Some of the best in the United States got together to prepare for the greatest strongman competition.
Seven American strongmen will be represented at the World’s Strongest Man (WSM) 2023, which will be held April 19-23, 2023 in Myrtle Beach, SC. Led by legendary four-time WSM champion Brian Shaw – who will be attending his final WSM this year – this stacked group of strength athletes is as follows:
- Brian Shaw — Four-time WSM Champion (2011, 2013, 2015-2016)
- Bobby Thompson — American record holder in trunk lifting (217.5 kg/478.5 pounds)
- Trey Mitchell — Reigning two-time Shaw Classic (SC) champion (2021-2022)
- Evan Singleton — First Arnold Strongman Classic UK (ASCUK) Champion (2021)
- Kevin Faires — Dinnie Stones walk world record holder (31 feet, seven inches)
- Donor Remick — Official winner of the Strongman Games (OSG) 2022
- Tom Evans — Winner of the 2022 Shaw Classic Open and the 2022 Arnold Amateur Strongman World Championships
Six of these American athletes recently came together for a powerful WSM workout about a week before the biggest strongman contest. Evans was noticeably absent, probably because he was added to the WSM squad at the last minute to replace the injured Pavlo Nakonechnyy. On April 11, 2023, Shaw posted a video chronicling the group’s time together on his YouTube channel.
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The six American athletes performed five moves that somewhat mirror events expected at WSM 2023.
They started the day by loading sandbags and a weighted barrel onto a platform. The weights and distance were not disclosed. While it was impossible to replicate the exact format in advance, this was in reference to the loading race from the qualifying phase of the competition.
“Definitely a good start with these guys. We are all armored and ready for the strongest man in the world. But that’s the tune-up and at the end of the day iron really sharpens iron,” Shaw said after completing the first practice medley. “So I wanted to have these guys out and in the gym with me on my way to the gym. My goal is for them to push me, I push them, and all of our levels go up. Together this will happen.”
Then they switched to a log ladder with five devices that gradually increased in weight. Only Singleton and Faires failed to lift all five logs. The Log Ladder will be the final event of the first day of WSM 2023.
Next, the group threw in some heavy overhead dumbbell exercises and a single Fingal’s finger. Contrary to the beginning of the session, none of the American group of participants are guaranteed that these events will be held at the WSM as they comprise different parts of the two-day finale.
To wrap up their day together, the six headed to the Conan’s Wheel, where the athlete’s task is to carry heavy equipment around as far as possible in a circular, fixed motion. The Conan’s Wheel will likely be a highlight for some WSM participants as it begins on day two of qualifying.
Here is an overview of the full WSM 2023 schedule of events:
Qualifying Stage Day One | Wednesday April 19, 2023
Qualifying Stage Day Two | Thursday April 20, 2023
Last Day One | Saturday April 22, 2023
Ten athletes advance from the qualification stage to the finals.
- Event One – Fingal’s Finger
- Event Two – KNAACK Deadlift
- Event Three – Reign Shield Carry
Last day two | Sunday April 23, 2023
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Of the seven American contenders, it’s clear that Shaw and his championship pedigree are likely to do best at WSM 2023. Someone like Mitchell with his back-to-back SC wins could also be a dark horse. Mitchell’s best-ever WSM finish was 10th at the 2021 iteration.
That’s not to say that Singleton, Faires, Thompson, and Remick won’t be successful. Just because there are putative favorites doesn’t mean another American stallion can’t come out of the blue to even out a talented field.
Featured image: @shawstrength on Instagram
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