The 2018 Arnold Classic Strongman Preview

The first weekend of every March, Columbus, Ohio, becomes the hub of the weight training world. The convention center will see over a quarter million muscle enthusiasts descend down it’s halls. This year the spectacle and sport of strongman goes even larger with the addition of a new Women’s only event: The Women’s Rogue Record breakers!

The Pro Men

First and foremost, the Men’s Classic strongman will take place over Friday and Saturday. This is always the heaviest event of the year with the competitors putting emphasis on maximum strength and power and little attention to their conditioning. The first event is a departure from traditional Strongman and gives the nod to Highland Games with a 50 to 100 pound bag toss over a 15 foot bar! This is incredibly heavy and the floor is sure to shake when those sacks return to earth. Personally, I really think this event favors Hafthor Bjornsson with his athleticism and height working together.

Stones to shoulder, axel press, and long bar deadlifting will make up the rest of the more traditional events with the final test being the insanely heavy frame carry. Over half a ton without straps is a mind blowing frame pick up on its own. It becomes nearly impossible when that weight must be carried uphill! Most people will be asking; “Can Brian Shaw repeat his 2017 victory?” I believe so, as size will matter at this contest and he will almost certainly possess the most of it.

The World Amateur Championships

The amateur men’s and women’s preliminary event will be happening on the main floor all day Friday and Saturday, with the finals contested Sunday. Always a great way for the fans to see the next crop of professionals, this event promises not to disappoint. Featuring circus dumbbells, farmers walks, and stone loading, competitors from across the globe square off to the delight of the crowd. The best part of watching the amateurs is the variety of body types on the floor, as this is a weight classed event with men weighing in as low as 175 pounds and women at 140! This contest incorporates much more movement based activity for these athletes so expect many of them to be in shape that will rival the top fitness competitors.

The Second Annual Disabled Strongman and Woman

In conjunction with the amateurs, the strongest disabled athlete will take place on Sunday. These athletes are differently abled than the rest of us in a variety of ways but what they do share is the grit and determination of an athlete. Not letting anything hold them back, you can check out this modified show on the floor immediately following the finals of the weight classes athletes. If you have not seen it before, be sure not to miss this incredible competition.

The Pro Women

A new crowd favorite is the Woman’s Pro event, and it may be your last chance to see Kristen Rhodes compete in person. At World’s Strongest Woman in December she indicated she is going to be retiring very soon. If you haven’t seen Kristen compete, don’t wait!

This years competitors list reads like a greatest hits list of strongwoman:

Laura Anderson (USA)
Olga Liaschuk (Ukraine)
Donna Moore (United Kingdom)
Kristin Rhodes (USA)
Jessica Thaker (Canada)
Britteny Cornelius (USA)
Brittany Diamond (USA)
Lidia Hunko (Ukraine)
Liefia Ingalls (USA)
Keya Rachel Woodland (Australia)

This is an open weight event, but that isn’t stopping the lightweight and middleweight professional women from throwing their hats into the ring. Last years winner Liefa Ingalls may only weigh 175 pound,s but that didn’t stop her from winning the inaugural event. With Olga Liaschuk, Kristin Rhodes, and 2017’s World’s Strongest Woman Donna Moore in the mix, she has her work cut out for her. The prelims go on early on the contest floor but the feature event Friday (Stone of Steel) hits the Rogue Strength Stage as well as Saturday’s finals.

A Brand New Event for the Women Only

As a huge bonus for 2018 Liaschuk, Rhodes, and Moore are featured in a special main event for 2018: The Women’s Rogue Record breakers featuring The Womanhood Stone. This Slater made 309 pound beast will be loaded without tacky over a 44” inch bar with one woman walking away the champion! This weight stone is a challenge for any competitor much less without the aid of pine tar. This amazing athletes will make short work of it and I predict the winner will need more than four reps in the time allowed.

Do not miss these premiere events and help support the growth of the strongest competitors in the world! With so much being offered Strongman is now the second main draw to this incredible weekend. What started as a bodybuilding only weekend now shares the stage with some of the most incredible athletes on the planet! See you next weekend in Columbus!

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Weight training is in the blood of BarBend contributor Mike Gill. Learning how to lift as part of his conditioning for Jr. High School wrestling fueled a passion that has lasted now for 35 years. He has a background in all weight disciplines and has competed in Bodybuilding, Powerlifting and Weightlifting eventually finding his niche and turning professional in the sport of Strongman. Retired from competition, he now focuses on coaching and applying events from the most versatile weight discipline to other sports. His vast knowledge of Strongman has been highlighted in his work as a color commentator for live broadcasts of the Arnold World Championships, National Amateur Championships, World’s Strongest Man Over 40 and World’s Strongest Woman.Not limiting himself to just working with weights, Mike has used his decades of discipline to work as a life coach and speaker. Additionally he can often be seen in New York City as a stand up comic.He can be reached for coaching at Michaelgill100 [at] gmail.com, @prostrongman on Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram, and on Facebook.