Overview of Britain’s Natural Strongest Man u90kg Qualifiers

By James Smith

Leading up to this competition my training had been great and I was hitting targets and PB’s each week. Around two weeks before I picked up a slight ankle injury that was playing on my mind initially but a few days before it’d seemed to clear up completely, much of the credit due to Hook Chiro.

I was noticeably more relaxed than I had been before previous competitions, I’m not sure why, I think I was just more confident with the events. I knew that 1st place was probably out of reach as Adam Hales who had entered managed to get 3rd at the Nationals earlier in the year so I was targeting 4th minimum as that would qualify me for the finals.

Event 1: 90kg Axle Floor to Overhead in 75s

I’d been playing around with two techniques in training but decided on the day that my Power Cleans didn’t feel as snappy as I’d have liked so I used a technique I picked up from Arram Egyohan.

My target was 8+ reps which was perhaps a bit ambitious as the most I’d done in training was 4. I managed to get 7, major problem just gassing out towards the end on the presses. More shoulder work needed.

Joint 3rd place.

Event 2: 210kg Deadlifts in 75s

Deadlift is always a strong event for me and knew I’d have a chance of winnning, just depended on what Adam Hales was able to do. Unfortunately due to the last event I went first, so just aimed to rep out. Managed 10 in a row and then grinded out another 2. Still had 10s left but felt it may be enough. Adam was always able to get 12 so tied for 1st.

Joint 1st place.

Event 3: 110kg Farmers Walk 15m into 280kg Yoke 15m

I saw I was 5 points clear of 3rd at this point so I was just going to try to do enough to keep 2nd throughout now. Farmers are always strong for me, Yoke is still a bit of an unknown having not done it a huge amount. Main target was no mistakes and no drops on the Yoke.

Think I managed around 21s which I was actually delighted with.

3rd place.

Event 4: 7.5kg Shotput Throw

Again a bit of an unknown event, I’d practiced with a 4kg and hadn’t compared favourably to what some of the other guys had been saying they’d managed so knew it’d be a close run event.

Essentially you had to launch yourself off a wooden platform backwards whilst throwing the Shot over your head. I was 2nd to last and everyone had been managing 13-14.5m. On my last throw I managed just over 15m which I thought was probably good enough for the win, unfortunately again Adam on his last throw managed a huge 15.7m which took the win.

2nd place

Event 5: 120kg Front Squat in 75s

By far my worst event but I was 7 points clear of 3rd and around 14 points clear of 4th so knew I’d qualified which relaxed me. Target was 8, the most I’d done in training was 6. I did manage to complete 8 (just about) which I knew was probably enough to secure 2nd.

Joint 5th place

Top 4:

Adam Hales – 69.5

James Smith – 59.5

Rich ? – 56.5

Ceri Jones – 49

Over in the moon with 2nd and now I can’t wait for the finals in September. Massive thanks again for the all the support and to the individuals in my life who inspire, motivate and support me.

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