Tag Archives: Martins Licis

Konstantine Janashia the Georgian Giant

Konstantine Janashia Known As The Georgian Bull

Konstantine Janashia Known As The Georgian Bull – Img by WSM

I posted way back in August that Konstantine Janashia aka the Georgian Giant or Georgian Bull if you listen to Colin Bryce is one to watch. Watching him perform were a little tarnished, not because of anything he did or his performance, but because there were so much spectacular new talent in this years Worlds Strongest Man.

It were bordering on biblical, with the 4 Horsemen riding in to town to challenge the old guard, upon the ashen horses rode Mateusz KielszkowskiGrzegorz Szymanski, Martins Licis and Konstantine Janashia.

Lots of new blood in Worlds Strongest Man this year, lots of potential and this experience will have given many a new set of goalposts and without raised them up. 

I’ve just re-watched it again, which makes it about the third time now. 

A Quick Round Up

In the 825lb Frame Carry event, Janashia destroyed Brian Shaw by a huge 6 seconds, and Hafthor Bjornsson, well you’d need the Hubble Space Telescope to see across the 30 seconds gap between them, only the above Kielszkowski who pretty much sprinted the 30 meter course 11 seconds faster than Brian Shaw. 

In the 100kg Circus Barbell, he beat Brian Shaw again, Brian looked to be struggling and I think Janashia still had 1 more rep but ran out of time, Shaw looked struggling to match him. 

In the deadlift, Konstantine matched Bjornsson at 420, with only Eddie Hall, Brian Shaw and JF Caron beating him by 25kg. That 25kg did make it a new world record but you can see thus far how Konstantine Janashia is making some pretty big waves for a WSM Débutante. 

In the 40 Tonne plane pull, he were just 40cm between Eddie Hall, and 85cm behind taking first place, and the Kettlebell Throw he scored just 5 seconds behind Eddie Hall to gain 5 over the bar.

Lastly in the Atlas Stones you saw him come unstuck, he were only just getting to the 4th Stone up while Eddie Hall had near completed all 5, Hafthor, Shaw and Eddie all completed the full 5 stones up to 210kg in the time it had taken Konstantine to do just 4.

The Stones is a big event based on technique, and skill to wield the strength, and he has shown he has the power, strength and speed, he just needs to hone his skills and nail that technique. You could see in this grand final that he were standing toe to toe and took a bit of a beasting but still he stood toe to toe.

Another Way

There were the odd event variance, where they used a Viking Press with Canoes, or Fingals Fingers for example, had ALL the competitors had the exact same -semi-final events, I think the Grand Final may have had 1 or 2 different faces.

It really could have gone another way if some of the shorter contenders had Fingals, or some the weaker endurance guys the car carry. If there weren’t an injury or two during the semi’s the finals would have looked different for sure, and if Big Z weren’t out I think the Podium would have certainly been different. 

Really looking forward to seeing Konstantine and the other 3 horsemen excelling, I just hope this event has given a sample of the good stuff and increased their hunger. I remember feeling this way when Savickas showed crazy strength potential, the same moment when as a kid I saw Kazmaier do the original Crazy Eyes and you could see the raw passion, the same as when Pudzianowski went full on Berzerker Rage and earned the name The Dominator, exciting times. 

 

Image from Worlds Strongest Man.

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.

Mark Felix Cross Fit and Worlds Strongest Man

Mark Felix Body Power 2014

Mark Felix Body Power 2014

When you think of CrossFit pretty much the last thing you would associate with it, would be Strongman. Personally I don’t think the 2 mesh well, while they are not exactly polar opposites they are not complimentary of each other at all. Earlier this year I heard about a World Class Strongman doing Cross Fit, I expected to lumbering beast clumsily throwing themselves about like the proverbial bull in a china shop.

I was tagged in a post on facebook and discovered it were none other than Mark Felix, yeah the 50 year old Blackburn based Plasterer. Yeah 50 years old, dudes clearly found the fountain of youth, along with Odd Haugen they are proving Arnies “Old but not Obsolete” is a solid point. He’s looking spectacular for an old man of 50.

A little later in the year I ran into Kaz (Bill Kazmaier) and got a quick 5 to 10 minute interview with him. After a little fanboi action, where I was telling him I enjoy his commentary and the colour he adds as a man who were there in the early days, competed with the legends of my childhood and broken records himself (deadlift world record holder at 400kg).

Bill Kazmaier at Body Power 2016

Bill Kazmaier at Body Power 2016

Once I were finished :P, I mentioned that a month of so earlier I’d heard of this CrossFitting Strongman and that I had found it were Mark Felix. Kaz seemed equally surprised that a strongman, yet alone Mark Felix were doing it. I suggested it would be interesting to see if the speed and explosive power Mark would gain would come at a cost, the cost being Strength. He were a little non-committal but I did kinda put him on the spot.

The mini-interview were published elsewhere so I can’t put too much about it here. 

Not longer afterwards, a few Days I think. I ran into Mark Felix, I only got a few minutes to talk to him due to other commitments I had. He seemed confident that CrossFit can sit alongside Strongman and it would not have a negative effect on Worlds Strongest Man in just a few months time.

Wayne Worthington at BodyPower CNP Challenge

Wayne Worthington at BodyPower

What I did get to witness were his phenomenal grip in action, CNP along with Glenn “The Daddy” Ross were doing a Grip Challenge, it were basically a pinch grip using a rotating bar handle which were thicker than a can of coke. Only 1-2 people had lifted the heaviest plate which I believe were 90kg.

Lots of people were hooking the bar to get the 50kg-75kg up, but Mark did it in true pinch form. Brutal!. I also noticed compared to 2012, and 2014 (above) where lost alot of mass, in 2016 he seemed to have toned up a lot, the power shelf (stomach) near enough completely gone, he were looking good.

I didn’t get a picture of him doing it, but I borrowed this picture of Wayne Worthington who I spoke to about the challenge at the time. I think the weights were 50-75-75kg, not many made it past the 50kg.

I’ve just watched his group on the Worlds Strongest Man 2o16 and you can see its clearly reduced his raw power and overall mass. Sure he were faster than most others, his endurance were crazy especially on the Hercules hold, I think he could have easily taken the world record had he been aware he were just 11 seconds away.  I say “just” 11 seconds like it doesn’t seem much but 11 seconds may as well be 11 days under these circumstances. 

X-Ray of Broken Leg

X-Ray of Broken Leg

I’d say when legend like Mark with best part of a year of CrossFit under his belt… erm kilt produces one of his weakest shows, I say weakest as he still performed well just lacking maximum power. I do think if he goes back to maximum effort and keeps the crossfit ticking he’ll get some major speed like the Polish Speedster Mateusz Kielszkowski.

Its time to concede that CrossFit and their methods are good for toning up, gaining speed and weight loss but I’d say this almost proves that CrossFit doesn’t make for a Strongman looking for maximum power. Not to mention almost everyone I know who does more than casual crossfit has major injuries and broken bones. 

What I did notice were a little interview with Martins Licis where he said he were a farmer and saw WSM going farming moves, and thought he could do that, hes a farmer. He reminded me of Mark Westaby who were a strongman in the late 2000s, his trademark were crushing apples and basically walked out of the farm in to the arena. 

Along with Konstantin Janashia, Mateusz Kielszkowski and Martins Licis we have some big talent coming through from 2016.  

I’m looking forward to watching all these of them, even knowing they didn’t win, the final is up later. 

X-Ray Image Courtesy of Tsu Nimh.

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