World’s Strongest Flop

We’ve been trying to catch footage of the World’s Strongest Man television show as we could this last week or so. Had we been on the ball we would have TiVo’d it. Turns out we didn’t miss a whole lot. Not for lack of efforts of the competitors but for complete lack of giving a shit by those editing the contest down for CBSsports.

A couple of years ago, Bigg explained the concept of the World’s Strongest Man to me. In the last handful of years, the contest has become a television show first and foremost, a strength contest second. Though it is the World championship of Strongman, the main focus is how it looks on the television. Care of it’s athletes and conditions are low priority on the totem pole (my interpretation, not Bigg’s so if anyone reads this and wants to get pissy with Matt, forget it. My blog, my opinion.)

This year’s contest, uhh excuse me, television shooting is a perfect example of this. Although athletes and loved ones are strictly forbidden to comment on any results coming out of prelims or even the finals, enough peeps are there to spill the beans on the Sugden forum to keep us all posted. So we know what’s going on. So why the secrecy? It’s the WORLD FUCKING CHAMPIONSHIP of Strongman! Why do we NOT want people to know how it’s going…who’s excelled and broken world records…who’s out due to injury? FOK! We already know what’s happening, duh! For FOUR fucking months we’ve known that Brian Shaw is the standing World’s Strongest Man…but now we really know because he was finally “permitted” (again, my word) to announce it after the television show announced it. DUH!!!!!! FOK! By the way, Ironmind posted it back in August…way to ruin the surprise…heh.

Also, word coming out of China by those attending was that conditions were absolute shit. Strongman requiring IV fluids after day one due to sickness from the food (not to mention the oven type conditions of China.) I don’t remember which one was doing this but rumor had it that one Strongman was only eating Snicker bars to avoid the food poisoning everyone was enjoying. My comment to one of Lauren Holland’s (whom I don’t know but keeps me completely entertained on the Facebook and given an opportunity I’d really like to go drink with her at this Crush spot they seem to enjoy) posts lamenting about the food and conditions was that I would go ahead and burn every bridge available screaming about the shit care the athletes received. So kudo’s to all of you ladies who watched your Strongman wither away and compete at their very best in these conditions. You’re better than I.

Anyway…back to World Champion Brian Shaw.

For nearly four months he could have (not saying he would have but he appears to be a pretty smart man so I’m going to guess that he would have) been promoting himself and gaining further opportunities (remember the garbage bag commercial, that made me lulz) based on earning his second World championship. But we all were good little boys and girls and pretended while watching the tv show that we didn’t know who won. Well, not me but I’ve never claimed to be a good girl.

But okay, I’ll play along. I’ll wait four months for the television show where I get to view the best of the best in action. We got to see our fav Dutchie competitor Alex Moonen in two prelim events. Yeah! We caught the second half of Loz’s group and he was already injured from the squat event so we didn’t get to see him at all. We caught the Viking, Bjorn, kick ass at his first World’s. We caught other, brief (very brief), events that were fun but at the end of the day left me wondering where the rest of the contest footage went? We did, after all, wait months and months for this. After all.

But hey, the Finals are coming and they must be spectacular. Right??!!

Uhhhhh, no. Not even close.

One hour. One measly hour. Of that hour, there were at least 20 minutes of commercial. Of the remaining time, there were promo shots, interviews, and pre-event set up. I’m only guessing here but feel confident that actual event time was less than 20 minutes. Soooooo, we waited nearly four months for…20 minutes of footage. As I read what the Brit’s were watching on their finals, I kept thinking ”WTF!? I don’t see any of this!’ Well, it turns out because we just don’t get to see it.

And another thing…

I’ve hesitated saying anything about the passing of Strongman Mike Jenkins. I didn’t know him. Matt had never met him. It’s too personal for those who know and love him and miss him terribly. His death has shaken me up due to loving a Strongman, even competing at a different level than what Mike Jenkins and his counterparts do. These are big men. They put a tremendous amount of stress on their bodies. It’s scary. But the passing of one of the World’s greatest deserves a tribute that does Strongman proud. Did that happen? I don’t know. I’ve seen a few comments from across the pond that they saw something but if it was done  for our version of editing, we completely missed it. But we were watching. But we missed it.

That alone makes this television show the World’s Strongest Flop. Congratulations…you suck. You have failed to showcase the hard work, dedication, blood sweat and tears these men work all year for in efforts to succeed at your television show. Fok off. I know, I know…I’ve been completely spoiled by attending a couple of the Champions League Strongman events. My observation of how Ilkka and Marcel take care of the athletes is that everything is top notch. I was fortunate to watch while they put on a LIVE television event of the World Log Lift Championships and STILL managed to take care of the men. Huh. But ya, I’m spoiled.

We just watched a few minutes of the IFSA 2007 World Championships that Bigg was fortunate to be part of. After the athlete introductions guess what the next shot showed? The beginning of the deadlift event. Oh I see! So competition WAS important at one time. Good to know! Awesome.

Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.

Christian D. Larson

Training Log

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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