Author Archives: Steve Morley

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Loaded Carries Rock for Waiters, Farmers and Office Workers

There are a few exercises I actually like but “loaded carries” which often come with names like Farmers Walk, Waiters Walk, Duck Walk and Suitcase/Briefcase Carry float my boat. These walks and carries are the classic strength building and endurance exercises, which basically consist of walking under weighted loads. As my evil buddy used to says “Pick heavy sh*t up, and carry it son” and they are amongst the few which I genuinely enjoy.

Basically it involves picking up an object heavy or not, unilaterally or bilaterally, carrying said object in a certain position and/or style. It really is that simple. Walk for speed, Walk for distance, Walk for time, but keep on moving.

These walks, carries and movements are full body workouts. They are cardio, strength and endurance training all in one. Its a killer fat burner, muscle builder and overall health builder.

Yoked Up

Getting “yoked” is what happens to farmers, huge neck, traps, rhoms, delts, shoulders, backed up by a powerful back and popeye worthy forearms. The epitome of “yoked up” farmer style is Mark Westerby. Mark were farmer, who one day stumbled into a local strongman event with his friend, and decided to enter likely in support. Unlike most other strongmen who were strength athletes or gym trained, Mark won the event in 2003, he went on to win his first national contest 2 yrs later in 2005. 2 yrs later he entered Worlds Strongest Man 2007, and placed just shy of a podium (top 3). Still from farmer to top tier worlds strongest people. This is a simple farmer who were “yoked up”, and in a few short years stormed the stongman world, so don’t underestimate loaded carries which are named after the humble farmer of old.

Required Equipment…

Image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerrycan

Image from Wikipedia

You can use dumbbells, barbells, weight plates, kettlebells, sandbags, wheelbarrows, stones, kegs, furniture, the bodies of your slain enemies, children or anything else you can grab a hold of. I have known people to use briefcases, holdalls, suitcases with weights, sand or other stuff inside them. I personally in a pinch used 5lt water bottles which cost £1.06, filled them with sand or water.

In recent times I have used 20l Jerrycans and 18.5L water cooler bottles which both clock in close to 20kg with water, closer to 30kg with sand and close to 36kg when you pour water into bottle with sand. Water is unstable, and the more unstable or bulky the load the harder your workout becomes.

There are specialist bars which can be used also. Farmers Walks, Hex / Trap Bars, Bulgarian Bags, Thors Hammer, Warhammers and more.

You will need something to mark the course boundaries and set your circuit(s).

The Course and Circuits

You will need something like traffic cones, rocks, stones, or even weights plates, water bottles anything which you can mark points. There are lots of layouts for circuits and courses. I favour two above the rest…

Classic Line: Take a marker, weight plate or cone and place them either 10 meters for heavy carries or 25 meters for endurance carries apart.

The Four Corners: Using 4 markers, weight plates or cones, place them in a square like : : roughly 10 meters apart, making a 40 meter square course. Including turning circle diagonal course is approx 15m, so if you do a |X| course, its nearly 55-60 meters.

There are various others, the limit is really how insane or creative you are. I have known people put Reebok steps, flat ladders and various other obstacles along the way in triangles, rectangles, squares even dodecahedron (I may have made that last one up) shape courses. Go wild and make a pattern, the only rule I suggest is aim for at least 10 meters between points.

I also suggest leaving room for a rounded return, sharp turns break your stride and slow your progress. Not to mention it breaks your concentration. Leave room to turn around each point smoothly, trust me!

Farmers Walk…

The original and classic loaded walk, this is the one you will have seen on TV in Worlds Strongest Man every year. 2 Weights, 1 in each hand, walk between Point A and Point B and back again. This is shown to work Abs, Lats, Obliques, Forearms, Glutes and Traps and Delts. Its hard on the lungs and cardiovascular system.

Keep your head up, back straight and maintain form. Go heavy!.

Suitcase Carry/Walk…

This is basically the unilateral, lowered arm version of the Waiters walk. It requires working the core and stabilisers to the max and touching the obliques to keep your body upright. If you use both arms, it becomes a standard Farmers Walk as above.

Some call a lighter carry a briefcase carry and a heavy load a suitcase carry.

Keep your body even and stable, don’t lean to one side or the other.

Staggered Farmers Walk…

A variation which is part way between a suitcase carry and farmers. You use 2 weights of different weights in each hand, which creates an imbalance which makes your core and lower back work extra hard to keep you stable.

As with the above, keep yourself balanced and even.

Waiters Walk…

If you think of an american style waiter carrying the tray of dishes or drinks above shoulder height or over the heads of diners, thats it. Its generally done unilaterally, if you do it with both arms its an Atlas Hold, Military Walk or Overhead Carry. Done unilaterally or 1 arm at a time, it puts extra pressure on your core, obliques and abs to stabilise your body.

This is spectacular for building core strength and shoulder stability. Keep your shoulders down and back, and core braced. Don’t overload it, or risk injury.

 Military Carry…

Think of a Soldier holding a weapon over his head to avoid it getting wet when wading through water. Perhaps in hollywood movies you’ve seen it as a punishment, making a soldier run with it overhead. Its the same thing, while an assault rifle is around 4kg, but you can go as heavy as you feel you are able.

For a Military Carry, you should use a barbell or something along the same hold position as a rifle. Be careful as its easy to obtain a shoulder injury with this carry. Shoulders and core braced.

Atlas Hold…

Think of Atlas holding the world on his shoulders or over his head, and you’re there. You can use a medicine ball, a sand bag, kettlebells, dumbbells or anything. Your holder above your head like a ball. I favour sandbags as it gives my wrists and forearms a beating while doing an overhead carry. As above be careful with this hold.

Duck Walk…

This is a strange one really, as its done 2 ways and both have different names, but I stick with High Duck Walk and Low Duck Walk. I did hear someone call the low walk a “Duck Waddle” which made me giggle. Basically, this move you are holding the weight between your legs either unilaterally or bilaterally. You can then either hold the weight low down with a bend in the knee and hip or a more upright position to move the emphasis.

Sumo Walk…

This is essentially a standing upright version of the Duck Walk, your holding a dumbbell or kettlebell at waist height with both hands. Don’t interlock your fingers and try not to raise the weight up with your arms or shoulder muscles, let it hang low.

Goblet Walk…

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Rack Carry…

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Zercher Walk…

If you want to work your core hard, Zerchers are the way. Puts extra load in your abs, core and lower back. Be sure to keep your back straight doing this, leading forward puts excessive stress on your lower back. I always try to put my hands in a more natural position like \  / rather than pronate or suplinate, but fine where its more comfortable for you. This is related to the Zercher Squat (like a front squat only the weight is at chest height).

Bear Hug…

This is more about removing the load from your shoulders, so don’t interlock your fingers, over lay your arms almost like your hugging someone. Your arms will be on fire in no time, your quads get a pounding and your core too.

Zombie Amble…

My friend and I pretty much made this up, its a very slow zig-zaggy walk with your arms outstretched in front of you like a front raise holding a plate out. We use 2.5kg plates to walm up and 5kg plates once warmed up. Its not alot of weight but its a fantastic delts work out.

Aeroplane Run…

An adapation on the Zombie Amble, only this is arms out at the sides like a lateral raise and your walk fast, a brisk pace. Another killer delt and stabilising move.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Giants Live 2018 Final at Manchester Arena

This was a long time coming, just a little History. I have bought tickets multiple times for the Giants Live Show and work has always clashed on the last minute so I have missed it. At Body Power 2018 I was walking by the SBD Stand taking more water to the lovely Paige Hathaway and everyone was queueing for Hafthor “The Mountain” Bjornsson and Big Z when I noticed someone, I wanted to meet and as yet hadn’t had the chance.

Colin Bryce at Body Power

Colin Bryce (right) was that person, I was more psyched to meet him than Hafthor or anyone else at the Body Power event. I told him I had bought multiple tickets, and never actually made the Giants Live show. I told him I had once emailed Giants Live about shooting there and his wife Monica basically told me “see that short pier, long walk please” only much more politely he just chuckled like it was the norm. When I met Monica she was lovely :). I had a decent chat with him about the sport and I had a little Fan boi moment too. Colin has been an Olympic bob-sleigher, a pro wrestler, even a strongman competitor but more importantly he’s been at the heart of the Strongman World for nearly a Decade and has such a vast knowledge of the sport and all athletes including those coming through and the future direction of the sport. Anyway he told me to come on down and check out the Giants Live final at the Manchester Arena in 4 months, and since its my home town I kept the weekend free and boom there I am.

It was a fantastic show, the shear amount of people involved in the show from about 50-60 arena staff, about 25 people from Giants Live, and about 20 event management people, a dozen filming and shooting, its such a huge thing and ran almost without mistakes. 

Family Friendly Event 


Giants Live Audience

Giants Live Audience

I spoke to a dozen members of the 7,000 strong audience vox pops style, many of them noted how the athletes had many friends and family in the audience. Indeed even Colin and his wife had their daughter at the event too. 

There was one chap whose phone battery had died and he had been waiting to meet Eddie Hall for an age, and he had little twin girls who was so excited but they wasn’t able to get a pic so he asked me if I could take a picture for him. He even offered to pay me, but that wouldn’t be in the spirit of strongman, so I took the pic and emailed it over him. The wee girls loved the pic.  I’ll ask the father if I can post the picture here so you guys can see them 🙂 

I can 100% without a shadow of a doubt tell you, Strongman and Giants Live are 100% a family event. There was so many excited kids, this was also commented on by some of the ShowSec Security guys, who said they had never seen so many young kids at such an event. The ShoeSec guys also commented how approachable and friendly everyone was, taking time to chat and do photos etc, unlike various other acts they names (but I won’t repeat). 

Mini-Interviews

Konstantine Janashia Traps

Konstantine Janashia Traps


First up, I caught up with the 6ft 4in, 152kg Georgian Bull aka Konstantine Janashia, sadly his English isn’t great (his words), but let me tell you it was better than my Russian. We talked about those amazing Delts / Traps and how they came about, what he thinks caused them.
 
The shortened story is that his Grandfather had them, so did his father so they are genetic much like Arnold’s Peaky Biceps. It just happens the heavy lifting nature of strongman has made those bad boys pop, and let me tell you, up close and personal those things are huge, and mighty impressive.
 
I’m going to shoot Konstantine a few more questions, as I’d like to update my previous story, and put more out there, from speaking to people there he seems like a proper character. 
 
Konstantine Janashia and Mikhail Shivlyakov

Konstantine Janashia and Mikhail Shivlyakov

I didn’t get to speak to Mikhail Shivlyakov but the comradery and sportsmanship between these two gents is truly inspiring. To the extent that they pushed each other and psyched each other up, I have little doubt neither man would have pushed as hard as they did alone.

At one point Shivlyakov was giving Janashia a head and shoulder massage and giving him a pep-talk to get him ready to smash the next event. It was non-shouting encouragement and then shouting back in Russian, a plenty of people in the audience joined in shouting too, people really got behind the pair. Interesting in the Strongman Team show, they are teaming up as Team Bear and I think they will be outstanding together.

There were similar comradery between Matjaz Belsak and Adam Bishop too. 

Eddie Hall Commentary

Eddie Hall Hosting

Eddie Hall Hosting

Eddie “The Beast” Hall was in attendance and doing the commentary, it was interesting to hear that Eddie Hall thinks the Harlequins Strength Coach is going to huge. Eddie was also blown away by Kieliszkowski’s improved technique with stones, I have said before he could improve his technique, now he has and WOW!

I am backing Martins Licis, Konstantine Janashia, Mateusz Kieliszkowski and Iron Biby to be the the new blood and heralds of change. Around a decade ago Big Z stepped up and The Dominator Stepped down, soon after Brian Shaw and Hafthor Bjornsson arrived and the podium was set. I think the same change is occurring again only this time its these 4 guys.

Eddie is returning to competition on 19th January 2019 at the Giants Live in Leeds, Eddies transformation from Deadlifting Powerhouse to Dominator-esque svelt power should be in line by then and we’ll see the new more toned Eddie. I can tell you he’s gotta be 25% smaller than last time met him in 2017. 

The Winners of Giants Live Final

Giants Live Final - Winners

Giants Live Final – Winners

The winners and the final score was somewhat of a surprise, I was expecting Kieliszkowski, Janashia, Licis to take the podium stops, but wasn’t sure what order. I was pretty sure Kieliszkowski would win, the man is just plain impressive and we have only just started to see this machine. 

1, Mateusz Kieliszkowski  – 44 Points
2, Martins Licis – 43.5 Points
3, Adam Bishop – 37.5 Points
4, Matjaz Belsak – 36 Points
5, Vytautas Lalas – 31.5 Points

Martins Licis and Mateusz Kieliszkowski

Martins Licis and Mateusz Kieliszkowski

Kieliszkowski only had 1 weak event which was the Giant Axle Press, it almost felt like watching Mariusz Pudzianowski all over again, he just dominated nearly every event, coming 1st or 2nd in all events part from the press.  Ironically Martins Licis weakest event was the Car Walk, if they both improved these fields they would have both been circling the 50s and annihilated everyone else.

There is a funny photo from when Licis see’s the final scores in black and white and he’s telling Kieliszkowski, “This close”, although I initially captioned it differently in my head. 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Shoulder Update April 2018

I have been a little quiet recently as not much blog-worthy has been happening but figured I’d post a shoulder update as someone asked what’s going on. Since its approx 14 months since I stopped using the brace/sling for my shoulder, its as good a time to update as any. 

Shoulder Anatomy Diagram

Shoulder Anatomy

I recently had deep tissue steroid injections into the shoulder socket and/or the AC Joint on the right hand side. I’m not sure where exactly in the shoulder this time, but they seemed to load a lot into the syringe. They also needed ultrasound guidance, so I’m guessing socket and/or AC. This was to see if they can take the inflammation down more, as things have improved but not enough. In theory if the swelling was reduced there is less agitation and the potential for increased healing and reduced impingement. Last time it didn’t work out ideally, saying that, last time I had them I wasn’t fully out of training and resting properly so 3-4 weeks post-injections it had returned to normal levels of discomfort. This time I’m barely lifting at all and certainly not heavy lifting so it should be different.

Its been about 6 weeks since I had the injection, the impingement is still reduced hugely, I have about 80% normal movement, the pain is massively reduced but still using various drugs to allow me to go about my day to day routine. 

The pain is slowly, very slowly increasing, I’m hoping its just settling and it won’t get much worse. 

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Body Power 2018 – Review

This years Body Power was in some ways a Giant Leap forward and in others a little bit of a step backwards. I’m going to focus on the leaps forward, as it demonstrates the organisers are listening and are taking steps. On the whole the show was a huge success I’d say, you can see my photo-set here

USN Stand at Body Power 2018

USN Stand at Body Power 2018

The ubiquitous USN was the central stage again, with almost non-stop give aways and a little bit of a Vegas themed slot machine action, where you could win something. Mostly people won protein bars and whey samples but was some other stuff. They had William “The Conqueror” Bonac and The West Twins, don’t get me start on those little monsters. Such cool lil bundles of energy, mad as a box of frogs those two. Along with various other athletes, there was a little grenade rivalry going on with shots being fire which was kinda fun but don’t think was serious. Speaking of Grenade they had Jamie Alderton who I’m sure thought we was stalking him. We saw him at breakfast, then in the show, then at dinner in the restaurant, then at the bar, then at the evening event and again at breakfast, it was like ummm “Hi Jay”, if he had been a woman I’d swear we would have been arrested for stalking.

The Body Power Expo

Each year there is a crop of complaints, one of the usual is the aisles are too narrow, this year the whole place was set out like city blocks (a tic-tac-toe board), so was huge vertical columns staged as Vegas strips which doubled as chill out / seating areas, and was wider horizontal alleys, easily 50% wider than previous years, this meant there was very few pile ups and “no cross” areas. Even where muscle food was showering the crowd you was still able to get by easily. This ground to a halt a few times like the queue for BodyBuilding.com which was just soooooooo long, you had to walk through the queue, a few other people had similar queues as well but no where was impossible to pass. 

There was also an addition of an in-show cloak room, which was operating as a “shop and drop” kiosk, so you could do your shopping and buy everything then drop it off into storage and enjoy the rest of the show, just pick it up on the way out. I used this myself, and previous years I used to take my bags out to the normal cloak room, so step forward and very useful. 

Special Mentions

Every year I pay extra attention to the athletes who seem to go that extra mile, who genuinely love their fans. Others will bad-mouth those who don’t or are having a bad day but I prefer to focus on those who go the distance, and 3 days solid at Body Power is enough to wear anyone down. 

5% Nutrition aka Rich Piana

5% Nutrition at Body Power 2018

5% Nutrition at Body Power 2018

I have said many times my views on Rich, like him or not the man loved his fans and had nothing but time for them. It was really specially to see the “5% Family” at Body Power, Martyn Ford had his missus and kid(s) at the show running around, Jens Dalsgarrd had his missus at the show, everyone seemed to be a family oriented. It was more interesting to see Martyn and Jens fooling around, and various others almost teasing each other like proper friends do. Rich always said 5%ers was his family and he was big on the camaraderie, it was really nice to see this same vibe on going. Everyone on the stand too time to chat to fans who asking questions and getting demonstrations, not a single fan was rushed or cut short. Which explains why the queue stretched back to Martyn Fords’ Gym, but everyone in the queue I spoke to seemed fine with the wait because they know they will get there time too. I even saw Jens and Martyn eat (when I say eat I mean destroy) their lunch and meals on the stand between fans rather than vanish, so fans got maximum time.

It was strange not seeing Rich there, but its good to see his legacy and family are still going strong. 

Michelle Lewin and Jimmy Lewin

Michelle Lewin and Jimmy Lewin at Body Power

Michelle Lewin and Jimmy Lewin at Body Power

I was there as Michelle and Jimmy arrived on Friday, and was setting their stand up. Rather than tell fans no thanks, we’re busy setting up the stand and getting things ready, Michelle had the platform setup, while a steady but orderly queue formed. She posed with fans, did some videos, some selfies while Jimmy set things up, every time Jimmy was wanted he came over for pics and such, while searching through boxes and cases for products people wanted to buy from the One-0-One (One Zero One) clothing range. 

I hung around an hour to help fans taking pics and leave Jimmy to set the stand up, and the whole time Michelle was lovely and chatty. I remember a few years ago, she was due on the stand (FitFuel) for 2 hours, and after about 3 hours, with a queue a mile long (literally) Jimmy got on a megaphone and was like “Michelle doesn’t want to leave without all you getting your pics and stuff, so we’re going to come down and everyone gather around, please have your phones ready or things to sign and just quickly in and out, sorry no time for questions” and she spent about another hour getting everyone done.

Simeon Panda

Simeon Panda and Chanel Coco Brown at Body Power 2018

Simeon Panda and Chanel Coco Brown at Body Power 2018

When Simeon arrived at the Body Power After Party, I had double take, he was with Mike Rachid, and I totally thought it was Jamie Foxx (dark club lights), when Simeon smiles he has that same look. Anyway Simeon spent most his time outside the VIP with the fans, chatting and taking pics and having a good time.

He was accompanied by Chanel Coco Brown who looked spectacular (see right).

At the show, he spent time talking to fans, doing video clips, shout outs and generally being a total superstar. I didn’t see him disappear for hours at a time, in fact at no point when I passed the stand he was on (Just Lift), did I see him not there with a steady queue of fan. He was always happy and smiling and a pleasure to chat too.  

Paige Hathaway

Paige is genuinely lovely, and at one point she even declared her love, she was dying of thirst and we (NJF and myself) kept taking her Sport Sense Water, Bang Energy and RockStar Energy to drink and a bag of MaoaM Sweets. She was seriously jet lagged, having difficulty sleeping and putting in long stints and still maintained a smile and took loads of time for her fans. 

Paige Hathaway at Body Power 2018

Paige Hathaway at Body Power 2018

After a long day at the show on Friday, she still attended the Pink Carpet event to launch Muscle and Fitness HERS, where she in the inaugural cover girl, where she spent a great amount of the night in a rather hot looking bandage style dress posing with fans and other names. At around 1am in the morning, she was on her way out and was stopped by a fan who wanted a magazine signing and a video message, she stopped putting her stuff down to do the message. She could have very easily kept walking with her manager/friend/notsurewho and ignored them but instead she stopped. 

On the Sunday she stayed an extra hour until her stands queue was essentially gone, then spent another half hour chatting and fooling around with the staff from the stand. At one point there was a young, small, slim guy and Paige was trying to pose for a photo where she was carrying him like a bride over the threshold. At various times some fans wanted to get pictures hugging paige or carrying her, and she was happy to oblige. 

Flex Lewis

Flex Lewis, Clarence De Vis and Olivier Richters

Flex Lewis, Clarence De Vis and Olivier Richters

Flex usually has a beast of a queue and crowds form around him like no ones business, at the After Party event, Flex spent much of his time NotInTheVIP but outside chatting with fans, other Athletes incl The Dutch Giant, Clarence De Vie, Mike Rachid and varios others. He was happy posing for pics, doing autographs, video messages and generally being around the fans. After a whole day in the show hammering it, he was still happy to carry on with fans. 

At one point was a conversation between multiple athletes and fans, where they was all sharing ideas, how often do you get names like Ulisses, Flex, Mike Rachid all in 1 place discussing work outs and techniques ? some lucky fans got exactly that. 

The above photo was during the time Flex and Clarence was fooling around with The Dutch Giant, for such a beast of a man, Flex looked tiny next to Olivier. 

The West Twins

The West Twins at Body Power 2018

The West Twins at Body Power 2018

Lucy and Jennifer West, what can you say about these two ladies, they are machines. They was bouncing around the show, running between commitments and stands, all day, then they hit the Pink Carpet event (Friday), then back in the show, then hit the After Party (Saturday) and still going 100mph on Sunday, they are absolute beasts wrapped up in a pretty bow. Everyone else who did the same looked like they was extras on the set of walking dead but these two looked ready to hit the town again Sunday evening. 

Both of them was a pleasure to chat too, they stopped randomly with any fan who asked, even stopped to graphiti my t-shirt with #WestIsBest hashtag, I joked they must be tired after the weekend and had confused my t-shirt with twitter which admittedly is a terrible joke but they was polite enough to giggle.

I can also confirm those bums are spectacular up close, and the ladies love shaking them, at any moment. 

The Pink Carpet M&F Hers Launch

 

Pink Carpet Event at Highline Bar

Pink Carpet Event at Highline Bar

The Pink Carpet launch for Muscle and Fitness HERS magazine was held at the Highline Bar in the Genting Casino, at the nearby Resorts World. I used to stay at the Crown Plaza alot, and it seems very bizarre still that such a huge complex fitted in there. It was a very much fun affair all around, a sound mixture of top athletes and general public and industry names. I was a little disappointed the organisers didn’t have an actual Pink Carpet, as its always a fun spot to joke about with them. 

The main attractions was the lovely Paige Hathaway who as always made so much time for fans and photos, even to the point where she was a walking jet-lagged zombie at 1am and she still stopped outside of the highline bar to do a video message for a fan. The following day (Saturday) Paige was back to her sweet smiley happy self despite sleep issues, she was a trooper.

Joel Corry was flitting around between mixing and taking photos and at one point, I could have sworn he was Joe Swash, just a look on his face and the way the lighting hit, that made me have a swash-flashback. Others such as BuffBunny (Heidi Somers), Jen Selter, The West Twins (these ladies are monsters, just go go go go go, non stop bundle of energy and smiles), along with the Editor of Muscle and Fitness Carl Walker and other members of the team like Nick Orton and his daughter Lucy Orton.

There were loads more I didn’t get every ones name and so many looked different out of active wear too but I gave loads of business cards out so if a hairy apeman took your pics and you want copies do email me or comment on this thread. 

The After Party

Ulisses at Body Power After Party

Ulisses at Body Power After Party

The official Body Power After Party were held at the NEC Hall 6 on the Saturday night and again were well attended Jay Alderton, Flex Lewis, Mike Rachid, The Dutch Giant Chanel Coco Brown, The West Twins, Clarence De Vie, Simeon Panda and loads more who I forgot. 

There were some entertainers such as clowns, stilt walkers and various other entertainers, along with Las Vegas style Casino Games and Dodgems Car Rides. A great number of the athletes spent most their time outside of the VIP room for most of the night and socialised with fans. Flex Lewis went from a casual conversation with a few other athletes to a mile long queue for photo’s, autographs and more, and spent half his night doing that. He could have hidden away in the VIP or kept out the way instead he had spent the time.

There are some funny photo’s from Flex and the Ducth Giant talking, at at one point flex was shouting “I can’t hear you” holding his hand to his ear because the other dude was so big, there’s photos of them messing about and having a giggle. 

Around 1,000 people attended the after party, and by all accounts it was a good night for all. 

Stand Out Stands

Sport Sense Artesian Water

Sport Sense Artesian Water

As has become tradition I single out a few stands which are worthy of a mention, on this occasion there are a few Rockstars, and some loud Bangs in there too. 

Rockstar energy was keeping everyone hydrated as was Hemp Water, Bang Energy and Sport Sense.

Sport Sense Water

I was really impressed with Sport Sense water, a Polish Artesian Water, which has a neutral 7.4ph and limited supply and what really impressed me was the bottle is bio-degradable, in around 15 yrs it turns into mush and minerals and is absorbed into the soil. Which means even if they end up in landfill or the oceans the bottle will eventually vanish. IF we can’t ensure they don’t end up in the wrong places, we can ensure they ain’t around for 100s of years. 

NOCCO

Year after year for the last 4-5 years at Body Power NOCCO has been knocking the ball out of the park with their drinks, and starting last year their protein bars / mousse via Barebells, and this year is no exception. Who knew those crazy swedes could create absolutely amazing tasting drinks. My conclusion is, the fact they are not at all cheap, is the reason they are low calorie, low sugar, and taste amazing, because they haven’t made it to a price, they have made them to a taste, regardless of the price.

Barebells New Protein Shakes

Barebells New Protein Shakes

I don’t think there was a single product I sampled by NOCCO or Barebells which wasn’t delicious and I would happily make myself ill gorging on them, its so bad I refused to start this year because last year I ate and ate and ate them.

Bang Energy

Bang Energy are BCAA and Amino based energy drinks, and their Cherry and Vanilla flavour one tastes EXACTLY like a cherry sherbet dib-dab, they also had a small army of promo-girls half of which was clearly insane. 

At under 10kcal per 500ml these was also a really top end product. 

RockStar Drinks

Rockstar Energy Drinks

Rockstar Energy Drinks

RockStar Energy drinks was a traditional caffeine, ginseng, b-vits based energy drink, and their new mixed berry flavour drink is outstanding. Unlike many other similar drinks this doesn’t get sickly, and at under 30kcals a can (500ml) its quite a lightweight too. I think this is because of the 5% fruit juices. 

All four of the above companies (Nocco, Bang, Rockstar and Sport Sense) really stood out in the drinks sector. 

Food wise the BareBells as above, their new range of protein shakes, the Banana and Chocolate was amazing but also the stand with the Vac Fried Broccoli Crisp was delicious, shame they are so expensive, around £3 for a standard sized bag 🙁 but they was outstanding and way better than potato chips.

There were so many yummy products to try, but those are the ones which stuck out in my mind. 

Missed Names

CT Fletcher

There was a number people who I was hoping would be there or have been missed from previous years. For me Lacy Kay Summers who is always a delight, Jade Katy is is a home town (Manchester) babe.

CT Fletcher

I was hoping the Vegas theme would have brought more of the American Names, the guy I missed the most was CT Fletcher who has just had Heart Surgery, by that I mean a heart transplant, the man is recovering well but certainly missed, get well CT, and Its Still Your Mother Fucking Set brother. 

Eddie Hall

Eddie “The Beast” Hall was missing as was the Xplosive Ape stand, which I have bought about 20+ t-shirts off every year, which meant Krzysztof Radzikowski wasn’t around either, however Donna Moore was on the SBD Stand but all 3 are usually on Xplosive Ape, sadly missed.  

Brian Shaw

I was also hoping with Hathor Bjornsson, Zydrunas Savickas, Laurence Shahlaei, Terry Hollands, and various other big names that Brian Shaw who is also a really nice guy would also be there, could you imagine Zydrunas, Hall, Thor, Brian and Kazmeier all under one roof, little too much to hope for I guess. 

Robert Oberst
Some others like Robert Oberst wasn’t there, despite his shit-talking about England and his heel like behaviour at UK events he’s a sound bloke, and very friendly.

The Unexpected

Colin Bryce at Body Power

Colin Bryce at Body Power

I wasn’t expecting to meet Colin Bryce, oddly I’ve never met him, I’ve met nearly everyone else but never come across Colin, so when I saw him on the SBD Stand, I literally made a bee-line for him. We had a little chat, about Giants (as in the really big people, not Giants the contest).

Really cool guy, and later I heard him shout Steven.co.uk as I went by, so joked that’s my new name then. Will be looking forward to seeing Colin on the 15th September for the Manchester Finals of Giants Live which could be Eddie Halls final outing. 

I also ran into bunch of Bikini Competitors, including Cesca (mtb_bunny) who lovely and tried at hand at the Classic Strongman event Thors Hammer Hold and to be fair, she held it up for about 45-50 seconds, which is longer than I saw quite a men do it for, and she declared that 4 wines made her do it. She was a trooper though and really fun, a few of the other competitors was really chilled and nice too.  

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Worlds Strongest Man 2018 – Hafthor Julius Bjornsson

I said it before, Hafthor would be in the with a shot, with Big Z’s injuries and surgeries and Eddie retiring, it leaves only Brian Shaw and Hafthor from the old guard to contest the throne.

Worlds Strongest Man – Hafthor Bjornsson

I haven’t looked at the official final finishing results at the time of writing this paragraph. This is mostly because I wanted to see if I could guess the top 5 finishing positions. I think Brian Shaw has to be second place, Shaw and Bjornsson will be like Capes and The Viking going blow-for-blow. I’m also betting the other 3 spots will be the future stars I tipped last year, so I’m saying 1st Hafthor Bjornsson, 2nd Brian Shaw, 3rd Mateusz Kieliszkowski, 4th Konstantine Janashia and 5th Matins Licis will the line up. Those 3 newcomers have huge potential to change the landscape of Worlds Strongest Man, Kieliszkowski has so much explosive power, Janashia raw untapped strength and Licis just has all around ability, they are three to watch out in the coming years.  

The Final Results

I’m about to see just how silly I look because I’m going to open the final results, and see if I got the top 5 right or at least the podium right. I’ll be amazed if the Big Z is in there, he’s just not ready to make his come back. 

1. Hafthor Bjornsson (Iceland) – 51.5 points
2. Mateusz Kieliszkowski (Poland) – 45 points
3. Brian Shaw (USA) – 44 points
4. Martins Licis (USA) – 38.5 points
5. Jean-Francois Caron (Canada) – 35 points
6. Johan Els (South Africa) – 30 points
7. Matjaz Belsak (Slovenia) – 30 points
8. Konstantine Janashia (Georgia) – 22 points
9. Robert Oberst (USA) – 19.5 points
10. Zydrunas Savickas (Lithuania) – 9 points (withdrew after Event 4)

I didn’t see that coming, Kieliszkowski has knocked Shaw down to 3rd, and Licis isn’t that far behind. Next year we could see a repeat of a decade ago  with Zydrunas Savickas and Mariusz Pudzianowski was duking it out, only for Brian Shaw to enter the mix followed by Hafthor which lead to a decade of Zydrunas, Brian and Thor dominating the top spots. 

Could Licis and Kieliszkowski be the new Shaw and Bjornsson, making Shaw and Bjornsson the New Zydrunas and Pudzianowski ? Setting the tone for a new era of podium domination ? 

Body Power 2018

I am lead to believe Hafthor Bjornsson, Robert Oberst, Zydrunas Savickas and possibly Brian Shaw (unconfirmed but mentioned along with Eddie Hall) will be at this years Body Power. I’m not sure Thor and Eddie in the same building is a good idea, but sure be interesting. Bill Kazmier, Laurence Shaelei, Terry Hollands and a number of big names are on the listing too.

If you’re at Body Power keep an eye out for me, and I’ll be looking forward seeing the monsters again. 

WSM Photo Courtesy of Hafthor’s Instagram.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Body Power 2018 – 10th Anniversary Vegas Style

I have been to 8 of the 9 Body Powers, and I’ve seen it grow and become all encompassing and now in its 10th year, they are going with a huge event complete with a Las Vegas theme, starting Friday 11th May 2018 running until Sunday 13th May 2018, it should be huge. 

Body Power Aerial Shot

Body Power Aerial Shot

The very first Body Power Event if I remember was only 1 hall, and mostly protein / supplement companies and body builder types with just the odd smattering of other companies like equipment and clothes. I wish I had taken some aerial photos but as mere customer it wasn’t possible sadly. Fast-forward 10 years, yes a whole DECADE!! and now its impressive filling a huge 4 halls, and last year broke over 100,000 visitors over the 3 days of the expo. This year there is a Body Power Trade Expo, The Vegas Party, and what looks like a blast the launch of the Muscle and Fitness HERS Magazine party party complete with Pink Carpet Event. Anyone who knows Nick Orton the organiser will likely rib him a little about the cost of the pink carpet 😉 

The Main Event

Eddie Hall at Body Power 2015

Eddie Hall at Body Power 2015

The main event is looking like it will be huge, with big names in the boys corner like Flex Lewis, Kai Greene, Christian Guzman, Ryan Terry, Martyn Ford, William Bonac, Aaron Lambo, Dorian Yates, Kris Gethin, and over in the ladies corner will be Paige Hathaway, Louise Rogers, The West Twins, Gal Yates, Courtney Black, Carly Thornton, Char Borley and I hope to see the lovely Kate Errington sporting her pro card too. 

Over in the “Something Else” corner we have the amazing Bionic Body, a double amputee who proves you can success if you want it badly enough, and along with Terry Hollands, and Bill Kazmeier we have The mo’fo’in MOUNTAIN! Yes Hapthor Julius Bjornsson, Game of Thrones The Mountain will be in the house, along with Zydrunas Savisckas. All we are missing is Eddie Hall (who is in York on the Friday doing his Tour) but could make an appearance Saturday or Sunday, and Brian Shaw who was sorely missed last year. 

Sadly this will be the first year, the late Rich Piana won’t be around but the 5% Percent stand should still be there to offer drive and advice to the 5%ers, and worth a visit if only to see the monster that is Martyn Ford. 

Body Power Trade Expo

Mountain of NOCCO

This year it also has a large Trade Village with B2B Sections (Business to Business) located in Hall 6 to stock up for your business needs, which is free to register and attend (doesn’t include the main show). If your a website owner, affiliate marketer, or in anyway selling products via a Gym, Shop or Concession, or even if you want to get into the sector, you really should make your way down there.

You can get samples of the products so you can provide some SOLID reviews, I never review or endorse any product I haven’t personally tried, and events like this provide the opportunity to try out and discover new products. You may also be able to source boxes of samples to send out to customers as well.

A few years ago, The Curse gave me a box of 250 samples, which I sent out 200 customers (I gave 50 out in my gym) and out of those 200 customers, I gained almost 35% orders for that product. I targeted customers who IMO bought a weaker pre-workout and would really notice The Curse kick. I was able to do this as I had sampled many pre-workouts at shows like this. 

Muscle and Fitness Hers Launch

The M&F HERS Launch Party looks like it will be a killer event, hosted by Paige Hathaway who is absolutely lovely, and takes time with her fans, along with the Late Rich Piana, Michelle Lewin, Steve Cook and Kai Greene I’ve not seen many people take so much time with their fans but Paige took time answering questions, offering advice and encouragement to so many. 

Muscle and Fitness HERS Launch Party

Muscle and Fitness HERS Launch Party

Muscle and Fitness Magazine is launching a womens only version of the magazine, which is probably long overdue, male based magazines just don’t cut it. Men want big arms, big chests and muscular legs but women a toned waist, a perky bum and firm thighs so the more magazines aimed at women the better. 

Personally I’d like to see a magazine aimed a more Average Joe, or newbies-intermediate to the gym, which really digs down to the basics, maybe I should pitch the idea at the Pink Party 🙂

Body Power Vegas Party

The Body Power Vegas Party looks like it will be a stonker too, to celebrate the 10th Anniversary, BP are going big, indoor fun fair, an interactive pool, casino games and more. I’m not quite sure what to expect but it sure as hell looks fun and I’ll be there. 

Body Power Las Vegas Party

Body Power Las Vegas Party

Flash Back

I figured I’d post a little flashback set of images from the previous few Body Powers where I have been taking photos. I really need to dig up 2012 and 2013 images. When I come across them I’ll post them as a flashback. 

As you can see its going to be a hell of an event, you can find more information out on the Body Power Website

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

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