Every year, Dr Terry Todd and his staff try to find new ways to challenge the athletes they invite to what is easily the most challenging strength contest on the planet. Here at the Arnold Sports Festival, things arent just heavy, they are actually impossible for some of the athletes every year. Last years 240lb dumbbell press overhead saw the entire first half of the field unable to lock out even one rep. Hummer Tire Deadlift? Only 2 guys saw all 4 wheels on each side of the bar. This year looks to be about the same. The dumbbell event? Ya, they upped it to 255lbs....
2012 Arnold Strongman Classic Schedule
Shouldering Apollon's Wheels
2-3 p.m. Friday, March 2
Arnold Fitnes EXPO Stage
This event requires the competitors to lift the non-revolving barbell from the floor to the shoulders, replace it on the platform and then bring it to the shoulders for as many complete repetitions as possible. This year Apollon’s Wheels will not be lifted overhead. Before the lift is complete and the referee gives the signal to lower the Wheels, the bar must be on the shoulders with both hands in the normal position for lifting a bar overhead. A “reverse grip” may be used to bring the bar to the shoulders, but the “under hand” must be turned to the “pressing” position before the lift will be counted. Those who “clean” the Wheels will win in the case of a tie with a man who uses two or more movements to lift the bar from the floor to the shoulders.
We will begin with the bar loaded to 393 pounds (177 kg), and then increase the weight to), 437 (197 kg).
If anyone would like to skip the lighter Wheels he may wait and take his first (and only) attempt with the heavier Wheels. The weight will not go back down, so anyone who thinks he cannot lift the heavier Wheels must tell the officials that he will attempt his maximum rep attempt with 393 pounds (177 kg.). Anyone who wants to use the heavier Wheels for his maximum rep attempt can use the lighter Wheels to do one rep as a warm-up. One rep with the higher weight will beat two or more reps with the lighter weight.
Time Limit: 90 seconds
(The Apollon's Wheels are named in honor of the legendary French professional strongman Louis “Apollon” Uni, who many believe was the first man to lift the unwieldy set of narrow-gauge railway wheels, weighing 366 pounds, from the floor to overhead over 100 years ago. Only three other men lifted the Wheels over the following 100 years—Charles Rigoulot (1930), John Davis (1949), and Norbert Schemansky (1954). Mark Henry became the first man in more modern times to lift the Wheels when he made three cleans and three push-presses with them in 2002 on his way to winning the first Arnold Strongman Classic.)
The Circus Dumbbell—255 Pounds (116 Kilos)
3-4 p.m., Friday, March 2
Arnold Fitness EXPO Stage
Once again, we will use a large, partly hollow dumbbell made by Richard Sorin, which looks like the circus weights used by professional strongmen 100 years ago. This year the weight of the bell has been increased by over 15 pounds because we want this event—and all others—to test strength rather than endurance. The Circus Dumbbell in 2012 will weigh approximately 255 pounds (116 kg). The handle is three inches thick (much larger than the handle of the “Inch Dumbbell”), approximately as thick as a normal can of Coke. We use this large, Circus Dumbbell because it looks much better for the live audience and also for television. It is also more difficult to lift overhead with one hand than a solid, smaller dumbbell of the same weight would be.
Competitors may use any method to lift the Dumbbell to the shoulder, but the easiest way is to use both hands. If you plan to lift the Dumbbell overhead with your right hand first, you will lift it to your shoulder with both hands, and then remove your left hand from the Dumbbell. Then, using only your right hand and arm, you will lift the weight over your head and control it until the judge says, "Down." At that point you replace the bell on the platform and then try to lift it to your shoulder and over your head again. You may use any technique to lift the weight from the shoulder to arm's length—a press, a side press, a push press, a push jerk, a jerk, or even a bent press—as long as you finish with your feet more or less on line, your body more or less upright, and your lifting arm fully extended. Then, if you want, you may use your left hand to help you bring the Dumbbell down to your right shoulder and then on down below your waist. Then—without waiting for a signal from the judge—you will once again pull the bell to your shoulder with two hands, release the bell with one hand, and then lift it over your head again. You must lower the bell below your waist on every repetition. You can place it on the floor between every repetition if you like. Lowering the bell below your waist on every repetition makes the event a better overall test of strength and easier to judge.
We will allow the athletes to begin with either hand and then do as many repetitions as they want to do before they switch to the other hand. This means, for example, that if an athlete can do more than three repetitions with his "starting hand" he can do more than three before switching if he wants to do more. He can also switch to his other hand after doing only one or two reps. The athlete can also go back and forth from one hand to the other as many times as he likes, within the 90 second time limit. We will add the total number of successful reps with the right hand to the number of reps with the left hand and ranking will be based on the total number of successful reps. As before, the athlete will be allowed to use both hands to lower the dumbbell to the shoulder after each repetition. The athlete may also drop the weight to the floor from arm’s length if he prefers.
Time Limit: 90 seconds
15 repetitions with 202 pounds—Derek Poundstone in 2009
11 repetitions with 227 pounds—Derek Poundstone in 2010
8 repetitions with 242 pounds—Mike Jenkins in 2011
The Austrian Oak
From the Shoulders Up, Weight between 374 pounds (170 kg) and 441 pounds (200 kg)
2:30-3:30 p.m., Saturday, March 3
Arnold Fitness EXPO Stage
The weight of the log may depend on whether it is made of real wood and metal or of just metal. The challenge to the athletes will be to take the log from its supports (which will be just below shoulder height) and to lift it to arms’ lift overhead for as many repetitions as possible. A “down” signal will be given to the lifter by hand as well as by voice or a whistle. The log is then dropped or lowered onto the supports or to the chest. The lifter may choose to lower the weight to the chest and does not have to replace the log on the supports, but if a lifter decides to drop the log onto the supports between reps he may also use that technique—or even a combination of the two techniques. The lifter does as many repetitions as possible in 90 seconds using either a press, a push-press, a push-jerk, or a split jerk, but the log must be controlled on every rep and the referee’s whistle should not be blown until the bar is controlled. This will be monitored very closely. The supports will be constructed so that the lifter will not need to step forward or backward to lift the log to arms’ length overhead. The supports will also provide more safety for the athletes since the supports will prevent the log from falling on a man if he were to lose his balance or pass out.
We will use two logs—a light log and a heavy log—so that lifters who choose to only lift the lighter log will have a better chance to lift more reps and demonstrate their level of strength. Because our time on stage is limited, no lifter who fails to do at least three reps with the lighter log will be allowed to attempt the heavier log, and any lifter who knows he wants to use the heavy log for their max rep must tell the referees his decision before being allowed to do one rep on the lighter log as a warm-up. As in Apollon’s Wheels, one rep with the heavy log will beat two or more with the lighter log.
As soon as we know if our logs will be made of wood or of metal—and we will use wood if we can because wooden logs will look better on stage—we will let competitors know. We will also let you know at that time the exact diameter of the logs, but they will be very close to the standard diameter.
Time Limit: 90 seconds
2:30-3:30 p.m., Saturday, March 3
Arnold Fitness EXPO Stage
The tires on a new Hummer weigh approximately 100 pounds (45 kg) each, and the lightest weight available to our competitors will be a bit over 600 pounds (270 kg). By adding barbell plates and additional tires, we can increase the weight of the bar in increments of between ten and twenty pounds (five and ten kg) so the competitors can take what they want as the weight on the bar goes up. Each man will have three attempts, and we will use the "round" system, in which the lightest first attempt will be done first, followed by the next heaviest, and so on. When each man has made one attempt, the bar will be lowered and the second attempts will be done as the first were done—with the weight on the bar rising. This procedure will probably be repeated on the third attempt. The bar is almost 14 feet (4.26 meters) in length, and the handle of the bar is 1 3/8" (35.5 millimeters) in diameter. It weighs approximately 150 pounds (68 kg). We will stage the event so that the height of the bar will be between an inch and two inches (50 millimeters) higher off the floor than it is when plates of 20 kg or 45 pounds are used.
Lifting Straps will be allowed, but greasing or oiling the thighs is prohibited. Belts may also be used—but only one leather belt. The bar can be hitched, stopped, and even lowered so long as it is brought to the correct finished position at the conclusion of the lift—legs and body must be straight and the shoulders must be in line with the sides of the body. Please note: the bar cannot be raised and then dropped and bounced to gain momentum.
Time Limit: 60 seconds
After completing an attempt, the competitor will have 60 seconds to tell the expediter what he wants for his next weight. Failure to do so will result in the lifter being given the next available increase in weight. The expediter will use a stop-watch. No changes in the weight may be made after the expediter has recorded the weight, except on the third attempt, in which each lifter is allowed to make one upward change as long as his name has not been called. The expediters will have loading charts.
Best Performance Inside Competition
1,100.5 pounds (500 kg), Brian Shaw and Zydrunas Savickas, 2011
Best Performances outside Competition on 4th Attempt:
1,102.3 pounds (500 kg), Benedikt Magnusson, 2008
1110.5 pounds (505 kg), Zydrunas Savickas, 2011
The Timber Carry
With Approximately 881 Pounds (400 Kilos)
9:30 p.m., Saturday, March 3
Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium
The weight of the apparatus was dramatically increased in 2010 by adding more timbers, and it weighed approximately 1,003 pounds (450 kg). Last year all but one man finished the course, so we added even more weight, and so we decided to go back to a no-straps event rather that increasing the weight on the bar by 110 pounds (50 kg) or so. Even so the weight we’ll use in 2012 is the heaviest Farmer’s Walk ever done in a major competition, even on a flat surface, and our event requires the men to carry it up the same ramp we have used in past Arnold Strongman Classic contests. The apparatus is constructed of 8" x 8" (203 millimeters x 203 millimeters) barn timbers bolted together so that they form a rigid unit. The competitor stands inside the apparatus on a 4' x 8' (1.21 meter x 2.42 meter) piece of plywood, grips the two 1 ?" (31.75 millimeter) diameter handles (set 30” [762 millimeters] apart) in a suitcase or "hammer" grip (palms facing palms), lifts the apparatus, and walks up a ramp with a grade of approximately 1" (25 millimeter) rise per foot (305 millimeters). The ramp is 32' (9.75 meters) long, and it will have a plywood top, with a 4'x6' (1.22 meter x 1.82 meter) platform at the end of the ramp. The competitors will earn their placing based on how quickly they manage to reach the top platform, or how far they can carry the load up the ramp in the 30 second time limit. The apparatus can be put down and picked up again. Chalk will be provided, but no other gripping substance may be used on the hands. Although the apparatus may bump the ramp from time to time, it may not be dragged or slid forward on the surface of the ramp or platform. We have cut out a part of the wood at ground level in both the front and the back part of the apparatus. This should prevent the possibility of the apparatus falling on either the athletes’ toes or heels.
Time Limit: 30 seconds
Andrus Murumets, 6.87 seconds, 2007, carrying 875 pounds with no straps
Derek Poundstone, 9.28 seconds, carrying 1003 pounds with straps in 2010.
Brian Shaw, 10.18 seconds carrying 1050 pounds with straps in 2011.
Costume: No supportive suits, briefs, or support shirts of any sort are permitted in the Arnold Strongman Classic. Wrist-wraps may be used on the wrists and knee-wraps may be used on the knees but not on the elbows. Elbow sleeves are allowed but we prefer that you lift without them. You will be provided with t-shirts, shorts, and tank-tops from our sponsor and these must be worn when on-stage. You should bring your own shoes. Please remember that you cannot wear any logos other than those of our sponsors during the contest.
Scoring: Points in each event are assigned on a 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 scale, unless there is a tie. In the event of a tie, the two (or more) men involved will split the corresponding points and/or prize money as described in the following example:
Example: At this year’s contest, one man makes 6 lifts with the Circus Dumbbell, one man makes 5, one man makes 4, two men make 3, two men make 2, two men make one, and one man makes none.
The man who made 6 wins the event and will receive 10 points. The man in second place, who made 5, gets 9 points. The third place finisher, who made 4 lifts, gets 8 points. The two men who made 3 lifts will get 6.5 points (7 points for 4th place + 6 points for fifth place, divided by two). The next two men, who finished in a tie for sixth place, will get 4.5 points (splitting the 5 points of 6th place added to the 4 points of fifth place, divided by two). The two men who made one good lift will split the points assigned for eighth (three points) and ninth (two points), and each will receive 2.5 points. The tenth man, who made none, receives one point—as long as he attempted the lift. If, in the opinion of the officials, a man fails to make a bona fide attempt to lift the weight he will not receive any points. No other considerations will be factored into the breaking of ties.
In the case of a tie for first place at the end of the contest: the men who have tied will attempt to lift a stone weighing approximately 500 pounds (227 kg) over a bar for as many reps as possible.