What Is The Future Of Strongman?
A big talking point in the gym when training strongman is "where do you see the sport going?" For me this is an easy answer “down” and most would disagree but lets look at this in a different way .
The worlds strongest man started in 1977 with mainly Americans competing in it. It took off more for Britain when Geoff capes won his first title as worlds strongest man in 1983 and then 1985. These wins brought a lot of attention to the sport and from then on there has always been a good viewing of the sport especially with Mariusz Pudzianowski taking it to another level.
Around 2012 better and bigger characters of the sport came along ie Eddie Hall. Eddie brought new side to the sport. Someone you can love and hate … the beast …. a man fighting to win the worlds title and would give anything for it. It took the attention of Britain and got everyone hooked in order to find out if he will do it! He with others gave the sport new life.....
Up until 2017 before Eddie Halls win of wsm. Tickets had been selling out to see the beast perform to the crowds, wining new titles and claiming new world records! A 500kg deadlift, the room was electric with people screaming, shouting and cheering the beast on in a fully packed stadium.
The same happened for Europes strongest man where he went on to claim the world axle press record at 216kg and took second place overall. Narrowly behind Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson. Finally, he claimed the win with his worlds strongest man title in late 2017 after much hardship and sacrifice.
Now that the beast has taken a step back after his 5th win at Britain’s strongest man it has become more noticeable that the sport has taken a down hill approach in terms of popularity as the last giants live only sold tickets for the front few rows. Compared to a year back where it was a full sell out! This can be expected when you lose a character like Eddie who brought so much to the sport but the joy of the sport is that there is always new up and coming athletes. They are getting ready to take his place and that will bring new viewers to the sport once again. They will help to bring the sport back in to the public eye, bigger and better than before!
What about the future of regional comps that are held by locals? Small comps can be hit and miss as it all depends on the area and the people near that area that are interested in the sport. Many comps are normally full but you do find the odd one that only fills first timers, novice and inters but opens can lack support.
This is mainly down to how many stronger athletes that want to travel as it extremely rare to get 20 athletes in the same area that can perform the weights needed for the category. As said before though most comps do very well and bring a lot of interest, crowds and excitement to the sport.
Regional comps definitely open ways for people to compete and get into the sport. They can then move on to a higher level through the experience that can be gained.
Overall the future for strongman is looking positive and there are many new exciting competitors working up through the ranks!