The Ultimate 2020 Arnold Strongman USA Preview

Here’s what to know about the event in Santa Monica.

The sport of strongman will start 2020 in a big way because the final qualifier for the Arnold Strongman Classic will take place in Santa Monica, California. The Arnold Strongman USA is the last chance to dance for any competitors that are not yet qualified for the Arnold Strongman Classic in Columbus, Ohio. Last year this event got a lot of positive attention and there has already been a lot of buzz about the second running of this contest. Here’s what you need to know about the contest in California.

Martins Must Win

2019 World’s Strongest Man Martins Licis is currently not qualified for the ASC. He actually won this event last year but that got him into the 2019 ASC. He hadn’t won any of the Arnold Strongman events on the schedule since and was unable to participate in the Arnold Europe due to a nerve injury. He has been progressing and working his way back to competitive shape but is now in a “win or go home” situation. He doesn’t have enough points on the Arnold Pro Strongman World Series scoring system. So either he repeats as winner in Santa Monica or he will be watching the ASC as a fan.

What About Shaw?

Another World’s Strongest Man winner, Brian Shaw, is also a former three-time ASC champion. However, only the current champion (Hafthor Bjornsson) gets an automatic invite. Everyone else still has to qualify for the next year’s contest. Shaw hasn’t been included on the roster of athletes for the event in January but he could potentially still compete if he chooses. If he does enter, he also would have to win or not be a part of the big contest in Columbus.

The Arnold Pro Strongman World Series Scoring 

Athletes who don’t win a qualifying event are entered into the Arnold Pro Strongman World Series scoring system. As of this writing, the current top 4 scoring leaders are as follows.

Matjaz Belsak – 32 points

Jerry Pritchett – 26 points

Rauno Heinla – 23 points

Jimmy Paquet – 16 points

All four men will be in this contest, but only the Top 2 competitors on the scoring system will move on to Columbus in March. That means that if one of them doesn’t win, they must at least place well enough to stay atop this list.

The Events

Like the 2019 contest, there will be five events that the participants will compete in. They are not the same events as last year but will still result in serious competition for the athletes and entertainment for the fans that will be in attendance. The events are below.

Slater Log Clean and Press for Reps (380 pounds/172.5 kg)

Farmer’s Walk (400 pounds/182 kg)

ROGUE Strongman Throw Over Bar (15 foot bar with bags 70-90 pounds/31.8-40 kg)

Deadlift for Reps (775 pounds/351 kg)

ROGUE Strongman Sandbag Load (3 bags carried 30 feet – 300-400 pounds/136-181 kg)

World’s Strongest Firefighter

This contest is also a fundraiser to support California firefighters, and there is another contest that will run in conjunction with the Arnold Strongman USA. That is the World’s Strongest Firefighter contest which is a charity event put on by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Competitors will be matched up randomly and compete in different events with a final winner being determined based on the results. While there is no official sanction for this event, it is considered a large part of the overall event.

Featured Image: Instagram/martinslicis 

Roger Lockridge

Roger Lockridge

Roger "Rock" Lockridge has been writing professionally for 10 years and has been training for 20. His work in the fitness industry has been seen in numerous outlets and has been a part of coverage for several events including the Mr. Olympia, Arnold Classic, the CrossFit Games, and the Olympics. He's also shared his own personal success story in several interviews and articles. Lockridge lives in West Virginia with his wife and son.

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