Some of the biggest names in Strongman will clash in three weeks time in Barcelona at the European edition of Arnold Strongman Classic. Pride, glory and a spot at the next year’s main show, Arnold Strongman Classic, in Columbus, Ohio are all on the line.
A lot of top guys will be competing in Barcelona, including; the current World’s Strongest Man in Martins Licis, the runner up Mateusz Kieliszkowski and the 3x Arnold Strongman Classic champion, Brian Shaw! I told you guys this was gonna be a stacked competition.
Now let’s take a closer look at the competitors and the events.
Full list of competitors:
- Nedzmin Ambeskovic
- Maxime Boudreault
- J.F. Caron
- Anthony Fuhrman
- Kim Gerhardt
- Rauno Heinla
- Mateusz Kieliszkowski
- Jitse Kramer
- Martins Licis
- Brad Neitzel
- Oleksii Novikov
- Aaron Page
- Jimmy Paquet
- Luke Reynolds
- Brian Shaw
- Mikhail Shivlyakov
- Aivers Smaukstelis
Full event list:
- Log Clean and Press for Reps with 180 kg (397 pounds)
- Yoke Walk with 455 kg (1,003 pounds)
- Farmer’s Carry with 170 kg (375 pounds). No straps allowed.
- Deadlift for Reps with 365 kg (804 pounds). Straps and briefs only allowed. No figure 8 straps allowed.
- Arm Over Arm Pull – Weight to be determined
Now let’s have some fun and speculate who will win and give the best performance
Martins alongside Mateusz and Brian Shaw is the main favorite to win the entire show, He’s young, strong, fast and durable.
He’s the new breed….he’s also the 2019 World’s Strongest Man. Since winning WSM he has competed at the Giants Live event mere weeks after his big win while still being sore, beat up and exhausted from winning WSM.
Prior to the last 2 events, he was ranked near the very bottom and had almost zero chances of making a podium finish.
Fast forward two events later and he manages to rack up the missing points and make a podium finish! So don’t count Martins out because of his goofy and lovable personality. He’s a legit threat for any Strongman and if you doubt him-he will prove you wrong.
I won’t even bother copy/pasting his tongue-twisting name, because I’m 100% sure I will manage to somehow mess it up. So for now on, I’ll refer to him either as the King of the stones or Matt K. Moving along, Matt’s only kryptonite is his deadlift. He’s got some nagging injuries he can’t quite heal up because he’s competing all the time and deadlifts are a central part of Strongman events. S
o he’s stuck between a rock and a hard place. However, he still manages to rank top 3 almost every time he competes. Including a second-place finish at the WSM in 2018 and 2019. He’s up there with the strongest and best guys on the planet and he’s breathing down everyone’s neck just waiting for the right moment to stake his claim as the strongest dude on the planet.
When talking about the strongest humans who ever lived and the best Strongman competitors ever, you would have a very strong argument if you said, Brian Shaw. He’s a 4x World Strongest Man winner and a 3x Arnold Strongman Classic winner. He has the personality of a lovable cartoon bear and the strength that could tear a real-life bear in half…. or at least allow him to swing a giant tree log at the said bear.
Despite being one of the best to ever compete in Strongman, Brian is still human and he has been showing signs of old age of wear and tear.
This year at the Arnold Classic he tore his hamstring on deadlifts, which impacted his overall placement then later this year at World’s Strongest Man he tore his forearm which again, affected his overall ranking. Despite all of this, he’s still maintained a positive mindset and is going into the Barcelona event with the mindset of a multiple-time champion.
Will that be enough to land him an event win with guys like Matt and Martins, who are getting stronger and better with each competition, breathing down his neck? I guess we’ll see…Shaw has been sliming down a bit to keep up with the fast youngsters, so maybe that will manage to tip the scale in his favor.
Novikov is the new blood, his time will come in a few years time. At only 22 years of age, Novikov is just sitting quiet, busting his ass and causing trouble for older vets. He has proven that he can hang with the best Strongmen the sport has to offer and give everyone a run for their money.
He’s fast, strong and smart when it comes to figuring things out. He’s the first guy to “figure out” Conan’s wheel at last year’s Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio. He has won a few of these Arnold Strongman qualifiers, but they were nowhere near as stacked as the Barcelona event. We will see how he performs when the top dogs are breathing down his neck.
One of the strongest guys to never place in the top 3 spots at a major contest but he’s always somewhere “in the mix” with the best of them. He is also one of the best deadlifters among strongmen, so unless he is sporting an injury come competition day, you can count on him to dominating the deadlift event.
The Estonian actually won the deadlift event back in July at the Giants Live event with 455kg that looked very easy. He’s a tough Strongman who isn’t a pushover and wants to prove himself as one of the best there is. He’s good at everything and last year at Arnold’s he proved he hang in with the best of ’em. In a best-case scenario, he should be gunning for one of the top 5 spots.
Nedzmin made his international Strongman debut back in July when he competed in the deadlift open challenge at the Giants Live event. He’s a big man who can pull some big numbers on the deadlift. The deadlift event shouldn’t give him any issues.
If everything goes as planned, he will for sure dominate the deadlift event. Everything else is a bit of a mystery because he hasn’t shown much to the wider audience. Maybe he turns out to be a serious competitor, maybe he’s just a deadlift specialist, whichever the case-we will find out soon enough.