Tag Archives: Zydrunas Savickas

Strongest Of All Time #SOAT

Zydrunas Savickas and Bill Kaz Kazmaier

Zydrunas Savickas and Bill Kaz Kazmaier

I was listening to the Worlds Strongest Man PodCast (yeah I’m late) and they were talking about the Strongest Of All Time Strongmen, and only Eddie Hall pulled an old school strongman out of the mix (Louis Cyr) where as most others were concentrating mostly on WSM guys, which is an understandable mistake to make given the context. Brian Shaw refused to name a 3rd but gave mention to Mariusz Pudzianowski and some others, he was the only one to mention the dominator too. 

In short most people said Bill Kazmaier, Jon Pall Sigmarsson and Zydrunas Savickas. The latter is the more interesting one because these are his peers and they are name checking him, which is a huge thing. It would like like Jenson Button saying Lewis Hamilton is the best driver of all time. I was really surprised that they named an active strongman, but equally I loved that they did. 

Colin Bryce made some good points about why Brian Shaw may not be remembered for the monster that he is because he doesn’t really show off and doesn’t finish events if he doesn’t need the points. Basically he doesn’t play the crowd, he’s playing just for points and the win. I say for no reason because last years WSM 2016, there were a moment where Thor and Eddie agreed to end it on the deadlift and take equal first points. Eddie played the points because he has dislocated his fingers and we know he could have done more but he played tactics due to injury. Zydrunas on the other hand near enough threw away his win by going for a world record log press, and often shows off his brute strength. 

My Strongest Of All Time

I am aware there are guys moving nearly 4x their body weight, and Olympic lifters with amazing numbers but I’m sticking within the spirit of Strongman and the extremes of human performance 🙂

Arthur Saxon Bent Press

Arthur Saxon Bent Press

Author Saxon – Arthur Saxon were born nearly 100 years before Worlds Strongest Man even existed, he nearly envisioned the WSM TV Format and some of his world record breaking feats still stand today.

There were no steroids, no growth, no intimate muscle knowledge or training techniques, very little body building knowledge existed. Still his feats are impressive, even more so for a man his size.  

There were so little available knowledge that Arthur Saxon (and his brothers) wrote a huge amount of the available literature at the time on how to get fit, strong and healthy, how to build a better body and generally documenting physical culture.

Much of the 100 year old advice given in his books (which are copyright free now) is still relevant today and even being touted as “new ideas” by modern science. 

Arthur invented the Saxon Side Bend which is one of my favourite core and abdominal moves, he used to eat like a beast, drink like a fish and even went to war with a dapper moustache.

What A Man! 

Zydrunas Savickas at Body Power 2017

Zydrunas Savickas at Body Power 2017

Zydrunas “Big Z” Savickas – The greatest in a long line of Lithuanian strongmen, having just turned 40 years old and holding 4 Worlds Strongest Man titles (matching Brian Shaw), with only 1 man holding more titles (The Dominator). Big Z is obviously the king of current day strongmen with even many of his peers saying the same thing.

When others struggle with events at Worlds Strongest Man, you see Big Z thunder up, the ground shaking under his steps, the crowd wide eyed and he lifts the weight like it wasn’t even there an shows his peers hows its done and strolls away.

I have met Big Z a number of times at various events, a fairly quiet man, doesn’t catch all that you say due to the language barrier and noise at the events but a really really nice guy and quite funny too.

At Body Power 2017, Bill Kazmaier did the forearm flex for a photo and Big Z stood up and did the same and his forearms are HUGE and made Kaz’s look normal size so Kaz took a step closer to the camera and pushed Zydrunas back a little and just a little fooling around between 2 legends of strongman.

 

Bill Kazmaier at Body Power 2017

Bill Kazmaier at Body Power 2017

Bill “Kaz” Kazmaier – When it comes to one of the early days legends of strongman, its all about Bill Kazmaier, while Jon Pall may have been the showman it were Kaz who were the berserker powerhouse.

I will always remember his eyes bulging out like Jim Carreys Mask Character and him slapping himself in the face Rowdy Roddy Piper style getting the rage up. 

Much like Eddie Hall having broken the 500kg Deadlift Barrier for the World Record, Kaz were the first man to break the 400kg Deadlift barrier for the World Record.

The fact they have Bill doing the commentary for world strongest man is awesome for me, along with Magnus they add some informed colour in to it. They KNOW what they are they talking about and what it takes. 

I’ve also met Kaz a few times and he’s also a really nice guy, and gave me a little interview a few years ago. I did want to get an interview for my blog this year when I spoke to him but he were just so damned busy when I met him, maybe next time. 

The Feats

I haven’t really gone on too much about what they have done and what makes them the strongest because you guys can read my Arthur Saxon post and the other 2 guys are well wrote about online so I won’t cover them again. 

This concludes my strongest of all time strongmen #SOAT.

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

Body Power 2017 – In Review

Body Power Aerial Shot

Body Power Aerial Shot

This was my 5th Body Power Expo, it were considerably busier on the Friday and Saturday compared to previous years, Sunday was about average. The official visitor total shows just shy of 96,000 visitors. So very close to the magic 100,000 visitors. I would guess if you counted the athletes, media, press, staff and security, it would easily hit the golden 100k visitors. Next year is the 10th Anniversary so maybe 10 is the new 100k, and Nick Orton the organiser say it will have a Vegas Style strip straight down the middle with all the arenas and such in the middle. Sounds like an awesome plan.

The main highlight for me were the Strongman Arena by Strongman Revolution which were right up my alley, and I spent as much time as I could watching the events. What I saw were a bloody good show, I only wish I had more time to watch but I was constantly on the go. Sadly I didn’t get that many photo’s because the arena were surrounded and packed the whole time. I would have ended up blocking some ones view or getting a Vauxhall Corsa dropped on me, so I spent more time watching the event than taking photo’s of the events.

Full Gallery of Images

There are around 500 images over the weekend posted on my facebook page:

Body Power 2017 – Friday (142).
Body Power 2017 – Saturday (122).
Body Power 2017 – Sunday (200).

Feel free to tag and share any images I haven’t already tagged. 

Panoramic View

Each year I have taken a panoramic view of Body Power. This year is no different, last year was the queue for Paige Hathaway, this year its the PHD Kitchen stand from the top floor of their stand.

 

This was taken on the Friday (I think), you can see how crazy busy it were, and Saturday was massively more busy.

 

Stand Out Products

The stand out products for me were things which made my diet and lifestyle better, so I’m putting them in Alphabetical order as I really couldn’t choose which one is best. 

Barebells Protein Pudding

Barebells Protein Pudding

Barebells – This is a company owned by Nocco (NO Carb COmpany), a Swedish company which has been my stand out company in previous years for having one of the best marketing and tasting products in its class. This time around they came with Barebells Pudding and Barebells Protein Bars, both of which considering their macronutrient content tasted amazing. I normally forcibly eat MyProtein Puddings or I pick up MHP PowerPak Pudding when I can find it.

I nearly turned down the samples, until I spoke to the people on the stand and they explained the connection to NOCCO, so I tried it and were blown away. You would barely be able to tell they are not normal products. I wanted to try the Hazelnut Spread by Barebells but they didn’t have it to hand, but more on that later. 

Jazz Apples – This company is emptying my wallet as a new addition to my fruit bowl. They are so delicious, they have a pear type firm consistency but a sweet and juicy taste. Its like biting into a fruit based Magnum Ice Cream, such an awesome crunch and explosion of sweet juice.  

The team on the stand explained they were a combination of Gala Apples and Braeburn which ironically was the 2 types of Apple I had back in the hotel room, I’d say that’s a fair analysis. I’ve since purchased them twice, a pack of 4 large ones from Waitrose and a bag of 6 normal ones. Certainly won a spot in my fruit bowl. 

Farmers Walk Treadmill Machine

Farmers Walk Treadmill Machine

Jim Jams Spreads – I had seen these in Tesco (I think) but I were sceptical of the low sugar content being replaced with sweetener and having an after taste or not being nice. The stand owner near enough guaranteed I would like them if I liked Nutella, only it wouldn’t contribute diabetes or sugar crashes.

Macro for Macro they are fairly evening matched, the difference is Nutella has 57.6g Carbs or which 56.8g are Sugars, where as Jim Jams has 49.4g Carbs but only 8.7g are Sugars, thats a beastly chunk of sugar you’re not eating by swapping over. Shame both of them are quite low on the protein compared to 

Farmers Walk Treadmill were one of my favourite bits of equipment and easily stood out. Its fixed at 11 degree incline so as to be able to generate momentum, with various resistance settings along the ability to load around 160kg of weight plates and walk. I didn’t get to use it very much, least nearly as much as I wanted to play on it. I’m not sure I could justify the costs, but so very cool.  

Challenges

Thors Hammer at Primitive Apparel

Thors Hammer at Primitive Apparel

The Thors Hammer challenge on Primitive Apparel‘s stand were good fun, the poor lad who were first up and scored over two and half minutes holding a 10kg Hammer looked destroyed when someone topped 6 minutes and more so when a girl was within 30 seconds of his time. It was certainly a fun challenge, beats the usual protein bags /  buckets and lateral holds and the likes. 

The Mammoth stand had an interesting challenge and Bryan made it look far easier than it were. It were good fun to watch. You had to have an empty 5kg Protein tub balanced on your back while you did a press up, then raised your hand and opposite foot, then repeat the other side with a 5 second pause.

Bryan did it dozens of times and made it look easy as pie, but very very few people actually executed the move without the bucket falling off. I love the Mammoth Carrier Bags, they are basically sealable 

Mars Protein Peg Challenge

Mars Protein Peg Challenge

The Mars Protein stand had a fun challenge, this stand were the biggest disappointment, as the biggest company there (Mars turned over ÂŁ25,000,000,000 (BILLIONS) in 2016), the fact they ran out of samples within the first 2 hours but still had plenty to sell potentially highlights now they made 25 billion, I won’t even go near the fact they were selling at full retail not a show price.

The stand had a peg board climbing frame challenge (see pic) which destroyed so many people, apart from some old man who pretty much ran up it matrix style. It certainly favoured the free runners, parkour and cross fit types but still fun to watch the techniques and 

There were one more challenge which stuck in my memory, a girl called Joanna managed to hold a lateral hold for over six in and a half minutes on another stand with two 2.25kg tubs of protein. Another challenge was for hang time, the longest time hanging on rock climbing handles, which is brutal on the fingers.

Some other challenges were equally fun to watch. 

Big Names

There was a little controversy over a certain big name who decided to get pissed out of their tree and didn’t bother turning up on their last day. Other big names included William Bonac, Kate Errington, Robert Oberst, Imogen Parfitt, Terry Hollands, Lee Constantinou, Zydrunas Savickas, Christie Bailey, Kris Gethin, Bill Kazmeier, Emma Hyndman, Zac Aynsley, Rich Piana, Flex Lewis, Cedric McMillan, Laci Kay Somers, Steve Cook, Dana Linn Bailey and Jay Cutler. There were loads more which I have forgotten, but will be in the images. 

Oh there were a dude called Callum Best sneaking around too

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.

Worlds Strongest Man 2016

Brian Shaw WSM Trophy Courtesy of WSM.

Brian Shaw WSM Trophy Courtesy of WSM.

I have been a fan of Worlds Strongest Man for years, and its one of the things which actually got me into gym were WSM. I discovered that guys with my build and strength levels had a sport. I didn’t need a six-pack and bulging muscles, I didn’t need to run a 100 in 10 or anything like that.

Brian Shaw took 1st place with 53pts, followed closely by Hafthor Bjornsson in 2nd just 2pt behind with 51pts who also broke a record or two along the way with Eddie Hall in 3rd with 43pts.

This gives Shaw is 4th WSM Title, matching him with Zyndrunas Savackas, Magnus Ver Magnusson and Jon Pall Sigmarsson. This also takes him ahead of Bill Kazmaier as the most wins for an american. One more win and he’s tying with Mariusz “The Dominator” Pudzianowski with a record 5 wins. Brians ultimate dream will be 2 more wins and he breaks history for 6 titles.

Hafthor Bjornsson broke the keg toss by launching a 15kg keg over 7 meters, he’s certainly racking up the record breaks in recent times. One of my favourite stories about Thor is about why they hired him for Game of Thrones. They needed someone who weren’t dwarfed by and able to lift the huge swords in the show. Most other actors were barely able to even lift the swords but what they didn’t expect is Hafthor to wield the sword with a single hand as if it were made of plastic. They agreed they had found the new Mountain there and then.

 

Eddie Hall takes his first ever podium spot. Theres lots of opinions such as Hall only got his podium place because Zyndrunas were out of contention this year due to a back injury. In saying that, Hall has been destroying deadlift records as the first man ever to break the 500kg barrier which many thought were another year away at least. Some speculate his concentration on deadlift has slowed his progress down speed and endurance wise.

Konstantine Janashia from Georgia

Konstantine Janashia from Georgia via FB.

Konstantine Janashia from Georgia placed in somewhat of a shocker, first time in Worlds Strongest Man and he placed 4th place.

He’s quoted as saying early in 2015 “If I continue to grow at the same rate, in three years I will definitely be among the top five of the strongest men in the world.“.

Looks like he’s fulfilled his prophecy, in the various events he placed above Brian Shaw, Hafthor Bjornsson and Eddie Hall. After Day 1 of the WSM Final, he were in second place behind Shaw with Bjornsson in 3rd and Hall in 4th Place. Even if Savickas were in contention the Georgian Giant as they call him, would have been top 5 anyway.

At 24 years old, and 160kg I think we will be seeing a whole lot more of Janashia in future worlds contests and he’s certainly on track for a podium placement.

Looking at the previous placements over the last 8 yrs

Year First Second Third
2016 Brian Shaw
(USA)
Hafthor Bjornsson
(Iceland)
Eddie Hall
(UK)
2015 Brian Shaw
(USA)
Zydrunas Savickas
(Lithuania)
Hafthor Bjornsson
(Iceland)
2014 Zydrunas Savickas
(Lithuania)
Hafthor Bjornsson
(Iceland)
Brian Shaw
(USA)
2013 Brian Shaw
(USA)
Zydrunas Savickas
(Lithuania)
Hafthor Bjornsson
(Iceland)
2012 Zydrunas Savickas
(Lithuania)
Vytautas Lalas
(Lithuania)
Hafthor Bjornsson
(Iceland)
2011 Brian Shaw
(USA)
Zydrunas Savickas (Lithuania) Terry Hollands
(UK)
2010 Zydrunas Savickas (Lithuania) Brian Shaw
(USA)
Mikhail Koklyaev
(Russia)
2009 Zydrunas Savickas (Lithuania) Mariusz Pudzianowski (Poland) Brian Shaw
(USA)

The same 3 giants of the WSM game have dominated the podium for the last 8 yrs, the occasional other contender taking a single spot but then falls out of the top 3. However prior to Savickas, Bjornsson and Shaw it were dominated by Pudzianowski and Savickas with lots of random contenders, a much more open podium with 16 different men placing, which is more than double than the last 8.

With Savickas Injured, and Hafthor, Shaw, Hall and Konstantine all in their 20s, there is room for a new face or two on the podium.

Main Photo Copyright of TheWorldsStrongestMan, and Konstantine Photo Copyright of Konstantine Janashia

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