Tag Archives: Eddie Hall

Stanley “Stanless Steel” Pleskun

Stanless Steel Strongman Movie

Stanless Steel – Strongman Movie

Its been a while since I posted about Arthur “The Ironmaster” Saxon, but there are plenty of other guys who I admire. One other such man who I admire does simple but zany feats of strength. Many of these feats remind me of the old school strongmen, and absolutely of the early days of The Worlds Strongest Man when they was ripping phone books in half, bending iron bars on their heads, lifting huge amounts of money (coins) in boxes and more recently throwing washing machines.

The one which made Stanless Steel so famous, is that he’s believed to be the only man on the planet who can bend a Penny with his bare hands. Its not 100% clear where this penny is from, but either way the size, limited surface to get leverage and small grip space makes pretty much any penny bending impressive. UK penny’s are made from copper mostly, and US penny’s are made mostly from Zinc, and the EU Cent / UK Penny are made of Copper coated Steel. 

Zinc is softer than Copper and Steel, so the US Penny should be easier than the UK penny, but either way its impressive. I have tried with the UK 2p which is double the size so better leverage and still didn’t even make a mark on it, using pliers and my hand I could make a slight bend but no where near bending point.

Using 2 pairs of pliers is fairly easy, I would like to try with varying lengths of leverage. This would enable me to work up to the strength, certainly be a fun and interesting training tool, Pleskun achieves his leverage by using a towel. I assume this is to reduce the grease and sweat on his on fingers rather than enhance leverage. 

Stanley "Stanless Steel" Pleskun under a car tyre.

Stanley Pleskun Under a Pickup Truck

Some of the other feats are fun too, bending a kro-bar, a wheel brace and various other metal bars, a more interesting one would be where a 4×4 pick up truck drives over his body with the director of the Strongman Movie driving it. 

I haven’t watched the video yet, but along with Eddie Halls, CT Fletchers and various others they are on my play list, been watched or in the process of being watched. I’ve watched Eddie Halls, and I’m half way though CT Fletchers My Magnificent Obsession, I have Generation Iron 2 and Stanley Pleskun’s Strongman ready and waiting.  Its worth watching Generation Iron and Pumping Iron as well. 

As best I can ascertain the Strongman video isn’t a happy or fun story like Eddie Halls road to being the strongest. The movie is very much in the same vein as Mickey Rourkes The Wrestler, showing the dark underbelly or the sports-entertainment industry. The place there dreams are either dead or dying. It sounds like a really sort of sad movie, Stanley is just a guy who happens to be really strong and born in the wrong time, he should have been in PT Barnums Circus or the travelling freakshows of old. Perhaps he would have been a contender along with Sandow and Saxon on the strongman circuit.

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

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

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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 2017 Is In Effect

I shall be down at the Body Power 2017 Expo at the Birmingham NEC from Thurs 11th until Monday 15th, so won’t be available to answer emails or anything else reliably. I will try to answer emergency requests and the ticket monkeys will maintain essential support. 

This will be the first work I have undertaken since my Shoulder Surgery, which was done early March, so hopefully it goes well. Assuming this goes well, I should be slowly returning to work towards the end of May according to my doctors anyway.

Below is a Flash Back Gallery from Body Power 2016, which was the biggest Body Power yet, with over 100,000 visitors. Exhibitors covering everything from clothing to supplements to medical to equipment, along with athletes from strongman, body building, power lifting, boxing, martial arts, physique, fitness, instafamous, and loads more. 

Kevin Levrone, Kate Errington, Faye-Evette Betts, Ania Malys, Tiny Iron, Bill Kazmaier, Rich Piana, Zydrunas Savickas, Rob “Mr Hyde” Archer, Paige Hathaway, Michelle Lewin, Zack Khan, Laci Kay Somers, Jade Katy, Dorian and Gal Yates, Calum Von Moger, Martyn Ford, Jeremy Buendia, William Bonac, Bionic Body, Sara Beverly Jones, Krzysztof Radzikowski, Terry Hollands, Eddie Hall, CT Fletcher, Natalie Woodall, Nick Orton, Carmen Black, Daniel Yeomans, Jimmy Lewin, Nina Ross, Abby Pell, Kirk Miller, Craie Carrera, Justin Gonzales, Katrina Freds, Steve Cook, Nora McAnulty, Dounia Rijkschroeff, Dana Linn Bailey. 

I’m sure there are many many more that I missed or forgot to list, don’t even get me started on the companies attendance. 

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.

Ginormous Strongman Stops Tractor Bare Handed

Arbab Hyat

Arbab Hyat

Abab Khizer Hayat, 25 from Mardan, Pakistan is for want of a better word is a behemoth of a man. Standing at 6ft3in, he clocks in at 68 stones 8 pounds, he were recently named Pakistans Hulk, and won various regional strongman events. 

The internet has literally been torn in half, mostly fat-shaming, and kinda abusive. There is a video of him stopping 2 cars, and holding a tractor back, which attracted some heat. The mechanics of traction explain it, if you’re on a wet road or on loose ground, you lose traction your wheels spin, same deal here. His weight as a land anchor against low traction, means I’m not even going near it.

At nearly 1,000lbs he’s certainly beastly, and now has his eyes set on becoming a professional wrestler in WWE, entering the global world of strongman, and getting even bigger to ease the path. Since I started writing this article, it seems WWE have made clear there is no affiliation on various outlets, so looks like a dead end there… for now. 

What I am going to touch on is, Eddie Hall is similar height, and less than half his weight, Brian Shaw half a foot taller and is rumoured to be half his weight (Brian declares 190’s but many speculate 220s), so I AM going to question how much of his mass is fat rather than muscle when compared to world class strongmen. 

Arbab Hyat Tractor

Arbab Hyat Tractor

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he’s not strong, every time that dude stands up, he’s basically squatting 400kg, every time he steps he’s calf pressing 400kg, his muscles will be lumping his mass around which means he’s going to be strong, there’s no two ways about it.

The problem is, when you start adding iron on top of his own mass, will his body be able to stand another 100-200kg of pressure. 

What I did find interesting about Arbab is his diet is 10,000kcal per day based on over 7lbs of meat, 36 eggs and a gallon milk amongst other things. It reminds me somewhat or Arthur Saxon Diet, which is crazy when you think Saxon weren’t even 1/4 of the size of Arbab. Many other strongmen from Brian Shaw to Eddie Hall all aim at the magic 10,000 calories, while body builders generally aim at 5,000 while bulking and 2,500 while cutting. 

Its reported that Arbab has no health issues, no pain or joint problems, I can assure you this is age at work. As he gets older and his joints and metabolic system wear down, its not going to be pretty. Geoff Capes said in an interview “I’ve ripped my stomach open three times, my abdominals. I’ve ripped my leg open, I’ve got a new hip. I’ve got degenerative problems in my spine because of the pressure on the lifts and everything else.”. There were more injuries listed too, and this were just about normal strongmen, Arbab will also suffer this too. 

It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, if indeed it does unfold. 

 

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

Worlds Strongest Man 2016 – The Final

Brian Shaw WSM Trophy Courtesy of WSM.

I have just finished watching Worlds Strongest Man – The Final, I read dozens of reviews and watched various bits of phone video from the actual event a few months back closer to the time it actually happened. 

Nothing compares to watching how close it were, like in the 825lb frame carry, it were a tiny mistake between Szymanski finishing before Bjornsson, or seeing how close Bjornsson came to caving his own head in trying to catch the 24kg kettlebell in from 4m drop. 

I delayed this post a few days, but If you haven’t watched it all yet, Channel 5 has lots of Strongman stuff on demands go there before scrolling down as lots of SPOILERS here, also check out my other posts, Mark Felix Cross Fitter and Worlds Strongest Man back in August, or Eddie Halls Documentary on Netflix or my Christmas Post on Arthur Saxon who is the daddy of strongman. 

The Frame Carry

Eddie Hall didn’t fair well here, I assumed the earlier injury would set the tone but wasn’t the case. He revealed later on in the show that during the frame carry one of his dislocated fingers popped out again. It didn’t seem to have a heap of impact through the event other than obvious swelling.

Laurence Shahlaei overcame so many injuries to come back only to be taken out after a reasonable placement in the first event. This were the only Injury in the final, but about the 3-4 in the heats and final combined.

Frame Carry @ 825lbs (Event 1 of 6)
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Event Score Overall Standing
1 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 17.69 Seconds 10 pts
2 Konstantine Janashia GEO 22.82 Seconds 9 pts
3 Brian Shaw USA 28.25 Seconds 8 pts
4 Martins Licis USA 41.29 Seconds 7 pts
5 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 51.29 Seconds 6 pts
6 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 52.93 Seconds 5 pts
7 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 24.3 Meters 4 pts
8 Jean-François Caron CAN 21.1 Meters 3 pts
9 Matjaz Belsak POL 1.30 Meters 2 pts
10 Eddie Hall GBR 0.20 Meters 1 pts

 

The Circus Barbell

Brian Shaw looked as though he simply lost track of time, and may have had 1 more in the tank, Eddie were maxed out I think. Martins I believe should have hit 7 but he like Shaw were just out of time.

Much like the Axel later this event has been made all the harder. The Circus Barbell were a non-rotating barbell. If you have ever used a fixed bar, its so much harder once they start rotating, your wrists just aren’t powerful enough to fight the rotational force. 9/10 for me, its usually 1 side which gives way and recovery is near enough impossible for us normal-ish sized humans. 

Circus Barbell (Event 2 of 6)
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Event Score Overall Standing
=1 Eddie Hall GBR 8 Reps 10.5 pts
=1 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 8 Reps 15.5 pts
=2 Konstantine Janashia GEO 7 Reps 16.5 pts
=2 Brian Shaw USA 7 Reps 15.5 pts
5 Martins Licis USA 6 Reps 13 pts
6 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 5 Reps 15 pts
=7 Matjaz Belsak SLO 4 Reps 5.5 pts
=7 Jean-Francois Caron CAN 4 Reps 6.5 pts
9 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 2 Reps 7 pts
0 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 0 Reps Retired / Injured

 

The Deadlift

This were a fixed Axel style barbell, so much thicker and stronger than a regulation or gym barbell. There were a few of these minor changes which added a new dimension to some of the events. In the Axel Deadlift Brian Show has held the world record since 2013, that is until Eddie Hall destroyed it, only for Brian Shaw to match him immediately after.

The main difference between this type of bar and the normal bars is the thickness and rigidity. The former means your grip and poor Eddies fingers would be pushed to the limit. The Rigidity means there is much less flex in it, which doesn’t sound like a big deal. The result is, you’re taking the full load much lower/earlier in the lift at the hardest part.

It didn’t help that they added a platform to bring the bar to a more standard lifting height. This wouldn’t have helped Brian or Hafthor at all, and even Eddie at 6ft+ wouldn’t have been fun. After JF Caron matched the 2013 Record, the remaining men decided enough at 445kg, their hamstrings were suffering and to avoid injury and save some juice for the last few events they agreed to share the points. 

Deadlift (Event 3 of 6)
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Event Score Overall Standing
=1 Eddie Hall GBR 445 kg 20 pts
=1 Brian Shaw USA 445 kg 25 pts
3 Jean-Francois Caron CAN 435 kg 14.5 pts
=4 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 420 kg 22 pts
=4 Konstantine Janashia GEO 420 kg 23 pts
=6 Matjaz Belsak SLO 400 kg 10 pts
=6 Martins Licis USA 400 kg 17.5 pts
=8 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 375 kg 17.5 pts
=8 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 375 kg 9.5 pts
0 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 0 kg Retired / Injured

 

The Plane Pull

Over the years Worlds Strongest Man has pulled locomotive trains, boats, ships, cars, trucks, juggernauts and various planes. This time it were a C130 Hercules Jet cracking the scales at a mammoth 40 Metric Tonnes. 

During the heats, the Truck Pull event were a “mere” 18 Metric tonnes, this bad boy which is used normally to transport Rhinoceros and big game animals and possibly Zyndrunas Savickas 😉 were a beast. When you consider a 18 Tonne Truck would need about 350kg of force to get it moving, you can imagine the forces needed for a 40 tonne plane.

Brian Shaw near enough passed out in his harness and needed to be lowered to the ground. None of them made it the full 25m, I this this maybe the first time none of the competitors have actually finished a pull. this would be most galling for Bjornsson who were so very very close, but once that monster rolls to a stop, no one has the energy to get it moving a second time. 

Plane Pull C130 Hercules @ 40 Tonnes (Event 4 of 6)
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Event Score Overall Standing
1 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 24.90m 32 pts
2 Brian Shaw USA 24.53m 34 pts
3 Eddie Hall GBR 24.45m 28 pts
4 Konstantine Janashia GEO 24.06m 30 pts
5 Matjaz Belsak SLO 23.55m 16 pts
6 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 23.35m 14.5 pts
7 Martins Licis USA 22.53m 21.5 pts
8 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 22.14m 20.5 pts
9 Jean-Francois Caron CAN 21.73m 16.5 pts
10 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 0.00m Retired / Injured

 

The Kettlebell Throw

I had seen a little of this in camera phone footage, and read some reports and it were a tense moment when the 24-26kg kettlebell nearly fell on Hafthors head as he tried to catch it. Seeing it in full high definition is a “woah” woman, what on earth was the mountain thinking, ain’t most measter put out your caved in head back together here.

Such a shame that he missed that throw and knocked his stride, I believe he could have scored the full 10 pts and possibly put Shaw off his game with the manic behaviour and display of power to take the top spot.

Kettlebell Throw 20kg-30kg (Event 5 of 6)
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Event Score Overall Standing
1 Brian Shaw USA 6 Bells / 34.97 Seconds 44 pts
2 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 6 Bells / 40.22 Seconds 41 pts
3 Jean-Francois Caron CAN 5 Bells / 31.88 Seconds 24.5 pts
4 Eddie Hall GBR 5 Bells / 56.92 Seconds 35 pts
5 Konstantine Janashia GEO 5 Bells / 59.50 Seconds 36 pts
6 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 4 Bells / 22.78 Seconds 19.5 pts
7 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 4 Bells / 34.28 Seconds 24.5 pts
8 Matjaz Belsak SLO 3 Bells / 49.61 Seconds 19.0 pts
9 Martins Licis USA 0 Bells / 60.00 Seconds 21.5 pts
10 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 0 Bells / 0 Seconds Retired / Injured

 

The Atlas Stones

Much like the heats, the final event were The Stones. All 9 men showed good strength, but a few were let down by technique. I think Szymanski and Janashia will improve with time, and Kielszkowski may have to sacrifice some of that speed for a little more power. Licis did really well here, in Strongman terms he were weeks behind Eddie, but with honing his technique I see sub-30 seconds in his future. I can also see Atlas Stones in the fields of his farm where there used to be bales of hay.

It were a bit annoying as they didn’t show the times Bjornsson and Shaw achieved so I timed them myself 3 or 4 times and I went with the highest time. They were buckets ahead of the nearest competitor. 

Atlas Stones 210kg Max (Event 6 of 6)
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Event Score Final Placement
1 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 5 Stones / 26.95 Seconds 51 pts
2 Brian Shaw USA 5 Stones / 27.83 Seconds 53 pts
3 Eddie Hall GBR 5 Stones / 29.68 Seconds 43 pts
4 Martins Licis USA 5 Stones / 34.80 Seconds 28.5 pts
5 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 4 Stones / 24.19 Seconds 25.5 pts
6 Jean-Francois Caron CAN 4 Stones / 29.79 Seconds 29.5 pts
7 Konstantine Janashia GEO 4 Stones / 29.92 Seconds 40 pts
8 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 4 Stones / 32.38 Seconds 27.5 pts
9 Matjaz Belsak SLO 4 Stones / 37.12 Seconds 21 pts
10 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 0.00 Retired / Injured

 

The Final Standings

Seeing these final scores, the Kettlebell Toss could have been the game changer to knock Shaw down and give Bjornsson his first win. I get the feeling The Mountain will be less Viking and more Berzerker Warrior over this, and be playing it over and over in his head.

Had it gone Hafthors way, I think the most likely outcome would have been a draw, had Eddie pushed a 450-455 on the deadlift, and Hafthor not fowled up the kettlebells, this would have been a very different ending. 

Final Standings
Event Placement Competitor Name Country Final Score
1 Brian Shaw USA 53 pts
2 Hafthor Bjornsson ISL 51 pts
3 Eddie Hall GBR 43 pts
4 Konstantine Janashia GEO 40 pts
5 Jean-Francois Caron CAN 29.5 pts
6 Martins Licis USA 28.5 pts
7 Mateusz Kielszkowski POL 27.5 pts
8 Grzegorz Szymanski POL 25.5 pts
9 Matjaz Belsak SLO 21 pts
10 Laurence Shahlaei GBR 4 pts

 

Worlds Strongest Man 2017

Next year, if Janashia, Licis and trhe Polish Duo of Kielszkowski and Szymanski work on their technique and keep developing, 2017 will be an interesting year and the old guard of Shaw, Bjornsson, Zydrunas (assuming he returns) and Hall maybe in for a dust up. 

Exciting times ahead. 

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