Powerlifter Larry Wheels trains like a beast with strongman Hafthor Bjornsson
So…by now I’m guessing you are aware of the strength monstrosity that is Larry Wheels. He’s mean, lean and taking the entire fitness industry by storm. All that by the tender age of 24. Now that he’s tried his luck in powerlifting and classic bodybuilding, Larry decided to venture into the only other fitness branch he hasn’t touched yet…Crossfit.
Just kidding, Larry might be young, but he’s not stupid. He’s training strongman exercises with the reigning and defending World’s Strongest Man titleholder-Hafþór Bjornsson. Larry moved to Iceland early this month and is planning to stay with the man called “The Mountain” and train strongman stuff with the descendants of Thor. Now, the question is just how strong Larry is when compared to other Strongman competitors? Well, let’s find out!
What you are seeing above is just the latest video of Larry’s strongman training video. In his own words, he says he is taking his time to learn the technique and slowly add the weights. So, his numbers right now aren’t all that impressive (by his standards) but they will get there. Just give him some time.
At Thor’s gym, Larry is using a Buffalo barbell which is a specialized squat barbell with a curvature in the middle that allows the weight of the load to be distributed across your shoulders more evenly and thusly allows you to squat heavier. Larry does a top set of 2 rep in sleeves with 290 kg(639 lbs) on the bar. Larry, of course, makes it look easy. He also casually mentions that a week before, his max squat was at around 240 kg(530lbs). Too put into perspective, the year Eddie Hall won WSM, he did 320 kg(705lbs) for 15 reps on the squat. Yes, it was a different kind of squat then the one Larry is doing at Thor’s gym, and I’m sure he will work his way up to that weight in no time. This is just a reference point.
Stone to Shoulder
Natural stone lift is a fairly new event as it was introduced in the Arnold’s Strongman Classic last year. Guys were really struggling to get the stone up their shoulders because they weren’t allowed to use any chalk, glue, tacky or any grip helping implementation-excluding their special shirts. The stone is heavy and awkward and is awesome to watch guys lift it. Larry on his first day at Thor’s gym lifted a 301lb/137KG natural stone up to his shoulders. For a beginner, this was very impressive. The current record for the most stone to shoulder lifts is held by Poland’s Mateusz Kielzekowski who lifted a very difficult 185 kg(410lbs) heavy natural stone to his shoulder 4 times.
Yoke is a strongman 101 exercise. It’s everything you expect from a strongman event. It’s visually cool looking, it includes heavy ass weights and giants dudes carrying it. In the latest video documenting his trip to Iceland, he does a yoke walk with 355 kg(783lbs) on his back. It was a working set designated to get some speed with the yoke so not much issue there for Mr. Wheels. How does he now top with the big guys like Brian Shaw? Well, for starters, they do it with much bigger weights. This year at the World’s Ultimate Strongman event in Dubai competitors had to the yoke walk with 580kg(1278lbs) on their backs. At the 2017 Arnold Strongman Classic, the starting weight was even higher with a staggering 1300 lbs(589kg) and went up to 709kg (1,565 lbs).
Another classic event that has defined strongman events for decades now. Larry does a ladder set from 70kg to 160 kg in one of his first training sessions ever. Which are a standard strongman weight and exercise. British strongman Graham Hicks posted something similar to his Instagram. He went from 70kg to 170kg and back to 70kg. So, Larry doing this as an absolute beginner is legit as legit goes. However, when it comes to Larry’s specialty, which is pulling insane PR’s, there’s only one man and one letter that matters when it comes to the log press – “Z”. Zydrunas Savickas holds the record for biggest log lifted once and biggest log lifted for reps and many Strongmen are gunning for that record. So, even if Larry does start competing and does great-log lifting is going to be stacked.
Competing in Strongman
Well, Larry and Thor have been bouncing around some plans in one of their videos and the general plan is as follows: Larry competes in his first strongman competition at the end of January at the L.A. Fit Expo. IF he wins-he gets qualified to compete at the Arnold CLassic strongman qualifiers which if he places good high enough gets him a spot at the Arnold Strongman Classic. However, the titans of Strength didn’t specify if this would be the plan for this year or for the next year. If this is all for this year, it’s going to be baptism by fire at it’s finest. If it’s the more realistic scenario of Larry planing all this for 2020 then lord knows what this man will be able to lift by the time he steps on the stage as a Strongman.