Canadian Strongman Mitchell Hooper is coming off a phenomenal win at the 2023 World’s Strongest Man competition. Hooper’s experience at the show was nothing short of thrilling, with four days of non-stop action that left him on the edge of his seat. In a recent YouTube video, Hooper shared his breakdown of the victory and his performance at the show.
Mitchell Hooper made headlines for his crazy feats of strength after beating legendary Strongman Brian Shaw in the qualifying stage of the 2022 World’s Strongest Man. He followed up with a dominant win at the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic UK, where he defeated 13 other competitors just a few months after the WSM. Then, he made his way to the 2022 Giants Live World Tour and took home the top prize ahead of Aivars Smaukstelis and Kevin Faires.
In November 2022, Hooper set the new World Record on the Dinnie Stones Hold, clocking in a time of 39.58 seconds by holding a total 732 pounds across both arms at the 2022 Rogue Invitational. He also left the fans stunned with his impressive strength earlier this year, having set a new two-rep PR on the raw squats of 771.6-lb (350-kg). Shortly after, Hooper extended his commanding competition streak with another win at the 2023 Australia’s Strongest International Competition.
Following the competition in Australia, Mitchell Hooper continued preparing for two biggest competitions of the year. So, Hooper crushed an intense set of 420-kg (925.9-lb) raw deadlift to achieve a new PR in training. In addition, just two months ago, Hooper smoked a heavy set of 770-kg (1,697.6-lb) raw leg press for eight reps in preparation for the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic. In the end, his hard work paid off as he came out on top of the contest last month.
The 27-year-old was last seen in action for his second WSM appearance at the 2023 World’s Strongest Man a week ago. Hooper went up against the most elite contenders and managed to win the coveted title.
Mitchell Hooper breaks down his win at the 2023 World’s Strongest Man
In a recent YouTube video, Mitchell Hooper shared his experience of competing and scoring gold at the 2023 World’s Strongest Man contest.
“On Sunday, Kate and I went to the alligator park,” said Hooper. “You guys see me do a lot of stuff before contests that most guys won’t like drinking, going to the alligator park, I’d be more than down to go to a swimming pool because that’s how I get myself in the headspace to perform my best.”
“In my group I had Mateusz Kieliszkowski, who was probably the number one guy I didn’t want in my group aside from Pavlo. I also had Aivars, which you never want a good stone lifter in your group. I also had Matt Ragg, who I knew people were sleeping on. We also had Spenser Remick who won the OSG and Graham Hicks. I’m looking at that group and thinking who on earth would be the bottom two. It’s really quite impossible to tell. The work was cut out.”
“The heat events were really good for me. I went to bed thinking I had a good shot but full form Mateusz on those events could beat anyone and Aivars can beat me on stone so I didn’t go in with 100 percent confidence.”
“The deadlift machine was interesting experience. It got very heavy after the barrel 6 or 7. It seemed to disproportionately get heavy.”
“I knew that if I won Conan’s Wheel I would sweep into the finals. I picked up that Conan’s Wheel horribly. After about half a lap, it came down my arm and I was in this sort of like handcuff position that was sort of weird for about half a lap. I thought I was in serious danger at this stage I needed to get a lap in three quarters. It fell into my wrist after the lap and a bit and then it was okay. I think next time I’ll be much better. Interlocking fingers, getting elbows close would be much better strategy.”
“Surprise group winner Jaco Schoonwinkel, amazing job. Sometimes, there’s guys who behave like they could definitely win the group and then this guy just came out of nowhere. He didn’t seem particularly confident or like he was ready to go smash it. He just absolutely killed the heats. I never expected it to happen so huge well done to him.”
Hooper revealed the difficulties he faced at the 2023 WSM
Mitchell Hooper laid out the difficulties he faced as a competitor at the show.
“Everything doesn’t run perfectly at World’s obviously. Everything doesn’t run perfect everywhere. It’s just highlighted the most at World’s because there’s so much emotion around it. We did our equipment testing, that was all good, then we had a meeting, Flex Lewis got introduced as Flex Wheeler, we talked about the rain situation and we weren’t given a set of rules. The only time I read any rules were when I asked for the rules on the bus on the way to day one of the finals. Then I gave it back to production. Otherwise, to my knowledge, no athlete actually had a set of rules that we traditionally get a package of. No athlete got that. No one was clear on the rules from the get go.”
“Shield Carry, I essentially thought if I beat Tom I will be in a good spot. That was my entire thought. Thankfully, Tom is very fast with a shield and I couldn’t keep up to him. I got a lap and a quarter about 30 meters and shield was already slipping, I did a bit of pop to readjust the shield up high, walk all the way down to the end, came on back, started crab walking a bit, and ended up beating Tom by the smallest of margins.”
“The story here is mostly around Pavlo, who’s the best at Shield on the day but his foot didn’t cross the line. He was deducted 19.8 meters off of his distance which is a harsh penalty for just missing the line. That being said, if there was an actual 100 percent proper rule, he should’ve been deducted 39.8 meters because nothing should count until their foot crosses that line and they come back. While it was a harsh penalty, I don’t think it was overstepping reason because they did still give him a distance.”
“The Fingal’s Fingers didn’t go so well. I won’t get into too much detail but I went into Day 2 half a point ahead of Oleksii, 1 point ahead of Tom and 2.5 points ahead of Trey. I wasn’t particularly confident at this stage. I was going to push hard for the podium.”
Hooper called for a clearer ruleset & explained his road to victory
Mitchell Hooper suggested developing a clearer ruleset to avoid ambiguity and shared his road to victory.
“Dumbbell was difficult. There’s some questions around rules and equipment, a big challenge. The biggest was should we be allowed to wear a medical cuff on our elbows to stop things like tendonitis. That’s their primary function but the secondary function can be they help you lift more. I was very hard on the argument that this is such a bicep heavy show this year meaning that we needed protection. If we’re not safe what’s the point of doing it? That was approved. There was a lot of talk in the athletes teens between us to the refs about what equipment should be allowed or not. There’s no long-standing ill will and I don’t think it’s going to be brought up again. We just need to be super clear and have a rule sheet.”
“Max dumbbell, I overperformed dramatically on that. My personal best was 125 kilograms. I ended up hitting 140 kilograms in the competition. That is the performance I’m most proud of and I believe what secured me the World’s Strongest Man.
“There were some calls that were soft, not as strict as they could be. For example, my reps a lot of them I locked out here, I’ll speak about me, there were plenty of soft reps given to other guys. The reason it’s not a problem is that nothing should change about the judging of Strongman currently. It can modify but nothing should change altogether. I got some calls that I believe wouldn’t have been called in other competitions. A lot of other guys are in the same boat. It’s because my body was not completely vertical.”
“All we can ask for in Strongman is that in a given competition it is equal referring. No one’s getting reps they shouldn’t get when other people aren’t getting those reps. If everyone’s getting soft calls, fair enough.”
“I feel for Oleksii and Pavlo because their lockouts were perfect. If the judging was the most strict in the world, those guys would’ve had disproportionately good results so fair play to them.”
“On the Bus Pull, there is this unbelievable chunk of people at 32 seconds, I believe there was seven guys. Tom goes and he has the lowest time of 32 seconds, still in that chunk of guys meaning that if I did 32 seconds flat I would get 7 or 8 points more than if I did 33 seconds which you can imagine the pressure on something I did very poorly in the past. Now I have to go essentially win the event or lose the competition. I started the track pretty well and ended up winning the event which helped me tremendously.”
Following the result, Mitchell Hooper opened up on the victory in an exclusive interview with Fitness Volt. He detailed his mindset and credited his fellow standouts for inspiring him on his way to the title. Hooper now continues preparing for other competitions, as he plans on making a few more appearances by the end of the year.
You can watch the full video below.