The Battle Of The Badass Strongman Competition was originally published in 2013.
For three months all lifts had been geared towards my first strongman competition. The event was the Battle of the Badass, which is a platinum level show run by the NAS (North American Strongman Society). Competitions are ranked by the relative preciousness of the metal used to denominate the difficulty, platinum being the heaviest available show for my weight class.
I was competing in the Featherweight category of 175lbs and below. As I normally walked around at 185lb this meant a ten pound weight cut or I’d be competing against the monsters at 220lbs. I facilitated this cut through a strategic hyperhydration in the week prior followed by a structured dehydration using mineral manipulation, food selection and diuretics. While these are commonly used techniques by bodybuilders and wrestlers, I still had my progress monitored by a sports physician.
Following a successful weight-in the night prior to the event I rehydrated with Pedialite, oral rehydration tablets and an all-you-can-eat buffet. Twelve hours after the weigh-in I tipped the scales at nearly 195lb.
1) Overhead Press Medley
180lb 12” Strongman Log, 200lb 2” Axel Press and a 220lb 12” Strongman Log. All weights begin on the ground and must be cleaned and locked out overhead for time, the maximum being 60 seconds. In practice I’d hit a 215lb Log Press but with a 12″ Log. Last minute the organizers changed this to a 240lb 14″ Log and that proved to be too much for me. Second Place.
2) 600lb Yoke Walk for 50’
I haven’t had access to a yoke but I was able to hit a comfortable 535lb box squat one week prior so this should have been a brisk walk. What I hadn’t anticipated was the intraabdominal pressure. Truly a humbling weight. Second place.
3) 400lb Front Yoke for 50’
Again, no yoke access and I don’t have a lot of experience holding weights in the Zercher/Conan’s Wheel position but was able to gut it out. I managed to finish this with the fastest time. First Place
4) Keg Deadlift
Progressive keg weight in amounts totalling 300lb, 375lb, 435lb, 500lb and 535lb were added to a 230lb apparatus. A standard deadlift is 9” off the floor but this was raised to 18” and done with a 2” axel. I had hit 515lb x3 a few weeks back with a mixed grip and 605lb x 1 with straps at a similar height on the rack pull so had not anticipated any problems. Only one competitor finished the last weight and that was good enough for second place for me.
5) 240lb Atlas Stone over a 48” Bar for reps in 60 seconds
I had never touched a stone prior to this day but had recently acquired kegs to simulate the movement. I’d also picked up a jar of spider tack and spent a lot of time working on similar exercises. As evident by my results, there was no substitute for time with the stones. I completed one rep and many half reps. Last place.