The sport of Strongman involves speed, agility, and of course strength - all using non-standard equipment.
The very first Montana Strongest brought out men and women to the Nutra parking lot in Billings.
“It’s an adrenalin rush,” said Ron Wilson, Montana Strongest promoter and judge.
Athletes competed in the novice, women’s, lightweight, heavyweight and masters divisions.
“Strongman has been around for centuries, said Wilson. “Picking up stones for strength and stuff like that, it’s been going on forever. It used to show a sign of manhood in certain states and countries. And just raw power.”
Some of the best lift 500 to 700 pounds but it’s not all about strength.
“Skill, technique is key,” he said. “You don’t have to be the strongest guy, but if you have the technique to lift that stone, you got it.”
Five events make up the competition:
- Circus Dumbbell
- Dead Life Medley
- Hail Bail Yoke Run
- Tractor Pull
- Atlas Stones.
To prepare, the men and women have to do more than normal weight training.
“You definitely have to have the implements and go to a gym that supplies the implements to practice.” Wilson said. “And work on all of your strength techniques and make sure that you do it safely. Find someone that’s going to coach you the proper way.”
Montana Strongest is put on by Ron Wilson’s Iron Barn Gym.
“I love it," he said. "I’ve been coaching and competing for a couple decades and I’m addicted to it. I don’t compete no more, so I wanted to promote it and bring it to Montana.”
The competitor with the best cumulative score in the five events of the heavyweight division qualifies to the United States Strongman Nationals in Minneapolis next summer.