Tag Archives: Brian Shaw

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.

Worlds Strongest Man 2017 Break Down

I had a few emails and twitter DM’s over the Worlds Strongest Man 2017 post I made, unlike my WSM 2016 I didn’t include the break down of times on the events, I am going to include that below. There seems to be some controversy over the Georgian Bull Konstantine Janashia‘s Traps / Shoulders. 

Konstantine Janashia Traps

Konstantine Janashia Traps

Firstly, Lets talk about the Georgian Bull aka Konstantine Janashias Traps / Rhoms / Delts / Neck / Shoulders, while having traps and /or an upper back that developed isn’t especially unusual for a strongman. All those shrugs, dead lifts, farmers walks, and more all with huge weights will have them explode in size. Having a more pronounced set of muscles isn’t anything especially out there when your body mass and body fat isn’t exact huge comparatively speaking to say Eddie Hall or Zydrunas Savickas. In one of the heats Colin Bryce commented on Zydrunas Savickas power-shelf or power-belly saying its (his stomach) is actually quite bizarre, his stomach looks like its fat but its actually rippling muscles under there. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger Peak-Biceps

Arnold Schwarzenegger Peaks

Its entirely possible his traps are just pronounced due to a lower body fat, I would speculate there are some sort injury at play, almost like callous on your hands. All the squats have caused his spine and shoulders to protect themselves. I had this happen on my shoulder, I had a swelling around my AC Joint, which looked a little like a tennis ball cut in half. Its fluid an tissue swelling to protect the bone edges. I would speculate there are a collection of issues all converging in one place for this to occur. Firstly I think much like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “peaky” biceps (Left), or Dexter Jacksons ear warming traps, Janashia just had oddly shaped traps. Secondly his lower than average strongman body fat makes them show up much more, Thirdly all the squats and axles and such have aggravated his spine and shoulders.

This trinity of effects or issues has resulted in the unusual and pronounced shape of Konstantine’s traps.

WSM 2017 Event Breakdown

And secondly here is the break down for each event. 

Event 1 (Debut)
Tire Flip 500kg (6 Flips)
Name Result Points
Brian Shaw 27.28 10
Hafthor J Bjornsson 28.83 9
JF Caron 31.56 8
Mateusz Kieliszkowski 34.52 7
Eddie Hall 35.12 6
Laurence Shahlaei 39.87 5
Martins Licis 39.93 4
Konstantine Janashia 5 Flips 3
Nick Best 3 Flips 1.5
Zydrunas Savickas 3 Flips 1.5
Event 2
Squat Lift 320kg
Name Result Points
Eddie Hall 15 Reps 16 Pts
JF Caron 13 15.5
Martins Licis 13 11.5
Zydrunas Savickas 13 9
Brian Shaw 13 17.5
Hafthor J Bjornsson 12 13.5
Laurence Shahlaei 12 13.5
Nick Best 6 4.5
Mateusz Kieliszkowski 3 9
Konstantine Janashia 2 4.0
Event 3
Viking Press 160kg
Name Result Points
Eddie Hall 15 26
Hafthor J Bjornsson 15 22.5
Brian Shaw 12 25.5
JF Caron 8 21.5
Konstantine Janashia 8 10
Martins Licis 8 17.5
Mateusz Kieliszkowski 7 12.5
Laurence Shahlaei 7 12.5
Nick Best 3 6.5
Zydrunas Savickas 2 10
Event 4
Commercial
Plane Pull
Name Result Points
Mateusz Kieliszkowski 40.07 22.5
Hafthor J Bjornsson 41.10 31.5
Eddie Hall 42.92 34
Laurence Shahlaei 44.12 20
Brian Shaw 47.60 31.5
Zydrunas Savickas 46.73 15
Martins Licis 49.30 21.5
Konstantine Janashia 50.25 13
JF Caron 29.81m 23.5
Nick Best 21.38m 7.5
Event 5
Deadlift for Max Weight
Name Result Points
Eddie Hall 472.5kg 44
Hafthor J Bjornsson 460 40
Brian Shaw 460 40
JF Caron 440 29.5
Konstantine Janashia 440 19
Martins Licis 440 27.5
Zydrunas Savickas 400 18.5
Laurence Shahlaei 400 23.5
Mateusz Kieliszkowski 380 24
Nick Best 380 9
Event 6 (Final)
Atlas Stones 150kg – 210kg (900kg total)
Name Result Points
Eddie Hall 58.74 (5) 51
Hafthor J Bjornsson 28.99 (5) 50
Brian Shaw 40.49 (5) 48
Martins Licis 33.24 (5) 36.5
Mateusz Kieliszkowski 33.01 (5) 30.5
JF Caron 29.41 (4) 35.5
Konstantine Janashia 35.35 (4) 23
Laurence Shahlaei 45.66 (3) 25
Zydrunas Savickas 19.76 (3) 21
Nick Best 26.68 (2) 23

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

Worlds Strongest Man 2017 TV

This is the 40th Anniversary of Worlds Strongest Man, we already know the outcome of Worlds Strongest Man 2017, it spread like wildfire across Britain when Eddie Hall brought it home after 24 yrs away, even if there was a little controversy. We can finally watch for ourselves and see what the fuss was about. I’m not entirely sure if Hafthor had been allowed that extra rep, if it would have been a win for him. 

Eddie Hall at Body Power 2015

Eddie Hall at Body Power 2015

What has been clear through the qualifiers and heats has how the sport is changing, looking at the incoming talent is slowing leaner, more explosive and almost as powerful athletes. More interestingly has been those monster power houses of old who have lost a heap of weight and look amazing all lean and trim. At first it appears the price of this lean figure is their raw-power, we all know Mass-Moves-Mass. Lean isn’t really what you think about when you think Strongman, I still find it hard to imagine Eddie Hall was an Olympic level swimmer, but you certainly don’t think CrossFit would go hand in hand with a current Strongman legend. When I heard about such a thing, it wasn’t clear who it was, but I discovered it was Britain’s own, the one and only Mark Felix. I spoke to Mark Felix a few years ago when I heard this rumour, thinking someone was playing a joke on me. Yeah Yeah Usain Bolt is powerlifting too, it just did not make sense. However the British Legend was happy to have a little chat with me at an event and I pondered would his strength and raw power was the price. Initially this did seem the case, but sadly he retired from WSM after ripping the bicep head clean off the bone. Heartbreakingly his year won’t be the year he breaks his own world record 9 appearances in the WSM Grand Final. He was one of many many who this year was taken out with injuries but he seemed to be going well and regaining his lost strength, but we didn’t see his full potential.

Changing Landscape

Kate Errington BodyPower

Kate Errington BodyPower

Another such person is another of Britain’s Legends, Terry Hollands who has lost a heap of weight resulting in an impressive transformation complete with a 6 pack. A huge part of this seems to be from the amazing Kate Errington (Left) kicking him up a gear. Watching the WSM TV coverage of the qualifiers and it was looking a little like that 6 pack may have taken the powder keg of explosives out of him. This trend doesn’t carry over to the actual heats where he’s putting in a killer performance. One of the most memorable was his part in the final event of the qualifiers. Terry recently posted to say he’s getting back the strength he lost and getting stronger all the time. Watching the changes from Qualifiers to Heats, you can see this power coming back for sure, over just a few months.

If you remember Mariusz Pudzianowski was quite lean, so its possible with his new physique he pack a heap of muscle on and come back way more powerful. Speaking of Kate, she won at the Arnolds USA this year, and finally got her long overdue (in my opinion) IFBB Pro Card. Both Terry and Kate are sponsored by Alpha, so certainly worth checking out their products. I’m certainly going to be keeping an eye on that, and should you want to follow in Terry’s footsteps, Kate is available for training/meal plans/etc and is genuinely one of the nicest people I have met. Plus she can breath fire 😉

Raw Power Isn’t Enough

The changing landscape of Strongman is starting to make the mammoth guys a little outmoded, Felix and Hollands could well be ahead of the curve. The advent of Last Man Standing this year saw Matjaz Belsak and Terry Hollands put in some stand up performances, both stuck in my mind. This changing landscape will certainly favour the fitter guys like Britain’s Terry Hollands, Russia’s Mikhail Shivlyakov, USA’s Martins Licis and Poland’s Mateusz Kieliszkowski. The latter three along with the raging Georgian bull Konstantine Janashia are very clearly the next generation of Big Z, Shaw and Hafthor, and Iron Biby maybe the next OD Wilson, certainly the same crazed power. 

Last Man Standing

This new final event of the heats, is basically a 160kg Atlas Stone, which is usually the middle ball of 5, has to be lifted up 4ft 6in and passed over the bar. Each man then has 10 seconds to pick it up, and pass it back. The 10 seconds both starts and ends the moment the stone hits the floor on each side. There is a good sportsmanship rule about about dropping the ball inside the centre square to give the other man a better chance but some didn’t observe this. If the ball rolls around the ring, precious time and energy are wasted stopping it and returning it to the square to lift.  

This new event seemed a little unfair, some of the underdogs really pulled out something special and powered on with a display of impressive performance of raw grit and determination. I would hope this event gets a little more tweaking next year as at least 1 or 2 people who clearly weren’t the strongest survived this, and some who should have won didn’t. As Colin Bryce said all so often, this event gives everyone a fighting chance. I can see some people training almost exclusively for this and saving energy during the main events so take the win here. We saw something like this from Big Z and Hollands, only the latter performed well.

Injury Time Galore

Zydrunas Savickas and Bill Kaz Kazmaier

Zydrunas Savickas and Bill Kaz Kazmaier

This year there seemed to be way way more injuries than normal. One of the heats nearly ended with a 2 man last man sanding, they are supposed to be 2+1+1+1, but one only has 3 people left by the end. Was Mark Felix who ripped a bicep off the bone, another guy did his hamstring, another his tricep. 

Zydrunas Savisckas appears to be really suffering with the spinal/neck injuries and surgery, but appeared to sustain no new injuries in his possibly poorest show to date. 

I can’t remember who it was now, but one guy dropped like 300kg on his shoulder and just shrugged it off. I think we are reaching the limits of the current generation of strongmen. In the past Bill Kazmeier held the World Record for Deadlift in the 300kg range, then Z in the 400s now Eddie in the 500, maybe time for the the new guys in their 20s to take it up a step and pushing to the 600s.

Here’s To The Future

I said it last year Martins Licis (USA), Mateusz Kieliszkowski (Poland), Mikhail Shivlyakov (Russia), Konstantine Janashia (Georgia) and new man Iron Biby are very bright stars. You can see huge improvements in the former 2, and Konstantine hugely improved especially with the Atlas Stones, experience last year clear gave him the same leg up that Eddie’s taste of the podium did for him. The Russian Marine is impressive, if he carries on and packs some mass on it, he’s going to be a terrifying force in WSM.

I was so hoping Big Z would hit 5x but all those injuries he has came back from, once its your spine or neck, it doesn’t look good. Geoff Capes has spoken many times about the issues he’s faced, the potential is catastrophic. If anyone in the current top tier can make it to 5x WSM, its going to be Brian Shaw. If Z doesn’t perform a miracle, Hafthor maybe getting his shot in 2019 or 2020, no Z, no Eddie, leaves a power vacuum with some impressive new blood waiting to fill it.

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

Eddie Hall – Worlds Strongest Man 2017

Eddie Hall at Body Power 2015

Eddie Hall at Body Power 2015

Last year one of the top 5 had been injured and in my opinion that’s why he got the podium last year, but that little taste of the podium seems to have pushed Eddie Hall to new heights. All that rarefied air drove Eddie Hall to new heights, heights so great he took the top spot to be crowned Worlds Strongest Man 2017 in Botswana.

Its not all celebrations since Eddie has taken hit time on the podium to follow through with his pledge to retire from Worlds Strongest Man when he won, but remain on the British Scene. Eddie is the first British Strongman to take the Top Spot in 24 years since Gary Taylor took it in 1993, before that it was the mighty Geoff Capes almost a decade before. 

Eddie’s win isn’t without a little controversy (more in the spoiler), but who cares we may get some of that Olympic Mania funding around Strongman now and it will get more popular and more gym equipment, whoop. I remember back in the late 80s maybe early 90s going to the local nature park for a carnival or summer fair to see Geoff Capes, it was a huge fanfare, lets see those days again.

Eddies Words

View this post on Instagram

I can't say how I've done at wsm but I can say I'm now retired from wsm! I'll still be on the British scene for many years to come and I thank all my fans and sponsors and my family and friends to the moon and back. Massive thanks to my wife who I dearly love and ow a lot of my success to her. Also my manager Mo Chaudry not only changed my life for the better but one of my best friends. Big Love The Beast @proteindynamix @xploape @strengthasylum @alphadesignsuk @bobosbeard @blakemans @wrightspies @pulseworldwide @getnewage @sbdapparel @giantslive #alphadesign #wrightspies #strengthasylum #giants #giantslive #proteindynamix #bobosbeardoil #beast #beard #deadlift #deadlifts #boss #bosslife #hulk #strong #strongman #strongmantraining #pulse #getnewage #performance #mouthguard #SBD #supports #SBDapparel

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Spoiler Alert

Don’t click the following if you don’t want to know the final scores and line up: [toggle title=”Spoiler”]The top 3 were the ever predictable Eddie Hall (51 Points), Hafthor Bjornsson (50 Points) and Brian Shaw (49 Points) with only a single point separating them. Hafthor believed he should have won but lost on a referee’s decision that one of his reps didn’t count giving Hall 1 point, and the win. Had that that not happened, Thor would have won, Eddie Second and Brian Shaw Third. Thor posted on Instagram that he believed he was robbed, so little bit upset. Lets hope Eddie doesn’t end up like Oberyn Martell with a crushed head at the hands of The Mountain.

Final Placements

1. Eddie Hall – 51 points
2. Hafthor Bjornsson – 50 points
3. Brian Shaw – 49 points
4. Jean-Francois Caron
5. Mateusz Kieliszkowski
6. Martins Licis
7. Laurence Shahlaei
8. Zydrunas Savickas
9. Konstantine Janashia
10. Nick Best

[/toggle].

The Final Word

Laurence Shahlaei at Body Power

Laurence Shahlaei at Body Power 2017

It would appear that Zyndrunas Savickas’ Upper and Lower back injuries not to mention huge weight loss has reduced his odds of joining the 5x club. Maybe Colin Bryce was right when he said earlier in the year that unless Big Z stops being more like Medium Z and gets back to being Big Z his chances aren’t good (Dec 2016 in WSM PodCast).

Its almost reminiscent of Mark Felix who has taken up Cross-Fit, lost a huge amount of weight and looks damned good for a 50yr old man. The price has been his raw strength, has Big Z fallen in to the same trap. Better question, is the weight loss because of his back injuries ?  

Some strong shows from other finalists, including Laurence Shahlaei who is the come back kid, having retired once now he’s back in the top 10 worlds strongest men again, sporting a rather nice beard. 

Its also interesting that Hafthor has made his 6 consecutive podium place, but its also a shame Mark Felix didn’t make this is 10th consecutive final, but I can’t wait to watch this when its on TV. 

 

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

Body Power 2015 – Flash Back Gallery

We are now mere days away from Body Power 2017 at the Birmingham NEC, which will be my 5th Year, and each year the show gets bigger and bigger. I previously posted Body Power 2014, now its Body Power 2015 and lastly a Body Power 2016 Flash Back. 

2015 Saw a boom in Stongmen, Fitness Girls and Competitions/Contests all boomed and even The Hulkster as in Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart made an appearance with Queue longer than an airport customs queue from Colombia.  Worlds Strongest Man Brian Shaw, Runner up Eddie Hall, along with Dana Linn Bailey, Flex Lewis, Ania Malys, Rob “Mr Hyde” Archer, CT Fletcher and many other names made an appearance. Lots of new products launched here ProMixx Blender with the main man Daniel Yeomans, BLK Volmix Water with Alternative model Becky Holt and many many others.

I’ll post a Body Power 2016 Flash Back soon. if I can obtain permission for Body Power 2013 one for that too. 

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

Body Power 2014 – Flash Back Gallery

Body Power 2017 is coming on 12th May, just next week. Body Power 2014 also at the Birmingham NEC was my first Freelance year at body power, previous year I was with a publication as a second photographer. The show was still early days for Body Power 2013, mostly body builders and supplement companies, 2014 saw an explosion with Fitness and Physique mixing along with fighting and combat people in the Combat Zone along with Boxer Ricky Hatton. You could see the massive growth from 2013, and this reflected in range of companies attending with bigger and bigger displays, along with an a huge boom in new products launching. 

The big names were Boxing Legend Ricky Hatton, and Worlds Strongest Man Brian Shaw, other names included Strongman Mark Felix, Mr Olympia Dorian Yates, Model Louise Glover and Body Builder Kai Greene and loads more. 

Many images I’m not able to post here due to exclusivity and sales, but I’ll post a Body Power 2015, and Body Power 2016 flash backs soon. 

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