On Oct. 29-31, 2021, the 2021 Rogue Invitational will take place at the Dell Diamond stadium in Round Rock, TX. It will feature the inaugural strongman contest at that competition, with 10 of the top strongmen in the world battling for one of the largest prize purses of any strongman contest ever — the first place finisher will earn $127,728*.
The 2021 Rogue Invitational strongman contest will consist of five events spread out over two days of competition — Friday, Oct. 29, and Saturday, Oct. 30. Here are the events:
2021 Rogue Invitational — Strongman Contest Events
- Rogue Elephant Bar Max Deadlift
- Cyr Dumbbell Ladder
- The Wheel of Pain
- Yoke Carry & Overhead Log Lift Medley
- Stone Over Hitching Post
*The prize purse for the 2021 Rogue Invitational is subject to change based on ticket sales.
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2021 Rogue Invitational Strongman Roster
For reference, here are the 10 strongmen scheduled to compete in Texas on Halloween weekend:
- Brian Shaw
- Tom Stoltman
- Luke Stoltman
- Martins Licis
- Mateusz Kieliszkowski
- Robert Kearney
- JF Caron
- Mikhail Shivlyakov
- Jerry Pritchett
- Oleksii Novikov
Two-time World’s Strongest Man (WSM) runner-up Mateusz Kieliszkowski will compete at the 2021 Rogue Invitational — his second contest after returning from his triceps injury. Additionally, 2019 WSM champion Martins Licis will return for his first contest after recovering from injuries sustained from being hit by a car while riding his bike.
2021 Rogue Invitational Strongman Events
Across the five events, there are some that favor specialists in the field. Overhead events are likely to favor Luke Stoltman, the dumbbell events favor Kieliszkowski and 2020 WSM Oleskii Novikov, and the Stone Over Hitching Post, functionally the Atlas Stones, will usually favor the 2021 WSM Tom Stoltman, aka “The King of the Stones.”
Rogue Elephant Bar Max Deadlift
Each athlete will have three attempts to establish their max deadlift on a Rogue Elephant Bar.
The world record holder in this event is 2018 WSM Hafthor Björnsson. He locked out 474 kilograms (1,045 pounds) in 2019. However, “The Mountain” has left competitive strongman to pursue a budding boxing career. That means other deadlift specialists in the field, such as Jerry Pritchett and JF Caron will most likely shine. Caron currently holds the Hummer Tire deadlift record of 545 kilograms (1,202 pounds).
Four-time WSM champion Brian Shaw is also one to keep an eye on in this event as he will likely enter the contest as the heaviest competitor despite a new lower-calorie diet. Mass moves mass, and Shaw can be deadly in the deadlift.
Cyr Bell Ladder
- 114.8 kilograms (253 pounds)
- 124.3 kilograms (274 pounds)
- 127 kilograms (280 pounds)
- 131.5 kilograms (290 pounds)
- 136.1 kilograms (300 pounds)
The world record holder in the Cyr Dumbbell is Kieliszkowski. He locked out 145.2 kilograms (320 pounds) at the 2020 Arnold Strongman Classic. To bet against him in this event is likely a fool’s errand. However, if anyone can give him a run for his money, it’s Heavy Dumbbell for reps world record holder Novikov.
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This event is a head-to-head format. Hopefully, Novikov and Kieliszkowski square off. Perhaps Kieliszkowski can avenge his runner-up finish to Novikov at the 2021 World’s Ultimate Strongman contest.
The Wheel of Pain
Athletes will have 60 seconds to rotate the 20,000-pound Wheel of Pain as far as possible.
The Titan’s Turntable event at the 2021 WSM contest is the most similar to the Wheel of Pain at a recent strongman contest. It was won by that contest’s eventual winner Tom Stoltman who blitzed the 30-ton train 30 meters in 46.89 seconds.
We don’t know what to expect from Licis or Kieliszkowski in this event, but Tom Stoltman should get the attention walking into the event.
Yoke Carry & Overhead Log Lift Medley
Athletes will carry a 1,000-pound yoke for 50 feet and then lift a 360-pound log overhead for three reps. The fastest time wins.
If there are yokes in the field of play, Novikov, Shaw, Kieliszkowski, Licis, and Tom Stoltman are likely to rise to the top. However, Luke Stoltman is the current British log lift record holder in the log lift, Rob Kearney is a former American log lift record holder, and JF Caron is notoriously consistent in overhead events.
This medley is poised to be one of the more action-packed events as the combination of movements plays to the strengths of so many on the roster.
Stone Over Hitching Post
Athletes will attempt to get five stones up and over a 50-inch high wooden log bar in the fastest time possible. Stone weights in ascending order:
- 124.7 kilograms (275 pounds)
- 136.1 kilograms (300 pounds)
- 165.6 kilograms (365 pounds)
- 181.4 kilograms (400 pounds)
- 190.5 kilograms (420 pounds)
If ever there is an Atlas Stone, bank on Tom Stoltman to take the event win. He’s the Atlas Stone world record holder and has only lost the event once in the past two years due to a slip while rushing to win the Giants Live World Tour Finals.
However, Licis has been documenting his training for this contest on his YouTube channel and is practicing his one-motion to pick up his speed in this event.
Athletes will compete solo in this event, so they will not have the adrenaline rush of a race. This format favors the strongmen who are later in the turn order, usually decided by standings before the event. Given that there are only five events total at the Invitational, the times in the Stone event may determine who stands on the podium and who doesn’t.
Into the Dell Diamond
For the largest prize pool in strongman history, the 10 athletes making their way to Austin, TX, are sure to bring their A-game. There are a lot of unknown variables coming into the contest.
Rob Kearney is returning for his first contest since rupturing his tendon. Licis is back for his first contest in nearly two years. Kieliszkowski may or may not have gotten all the competition rust off at the 2021 WUS contest. Brian Shaw finished in second at the 2021 WSM contest and the 2021 Shaw Classic and is undoubtedly looking for a win.
The inaugural strongman contest at the Rogue Invitational will be a competition for the ages. The question is, who will be remembered as its champion?
Featured image: @novikov_strong_wsm on Instagram