2023 Arnold Strongman Classic Preview

All 10 strongman on the roster seek their first Arnold Strongman Classic title.

The 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC) will occur on the weekend of March 3-4, 2023, in the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, OH. It is the 21st edition of this contest, and the fans are guaranteed to see a ninth champion crowned as 2022 ASC champion Martins Licis is not competing.

The highest finisher from the 2022 contest in this lineup is Luke Stoltman, who placed third in 2022. Also in the field are two-time reigning World’s Strongest Man (WSM) Tom Stoltman and Mateusz Kieliszkowski, returning from a leg injury in 2022. The full roster for the contest is below, with names in alphabetical order:

2022 Arnold Strongman Classic Roster 

None of the 10 strongmen in the lineup have won the ASC in their careers.

The Events

Below are the events and the day they will be held on in Columbus:

Event One: Wheel of Pain — Friday

The goal is for each competitor to push the handle of the massive 20,000-pound wheel around its fulcrum for the furthest distance within 60 seconds. The strongman to watch in this event is likely Kieliszkowski, who won the event at the 2020 ASC with a distance of 112 feet. If he feels 100 percent, making his presence known could happen early in competition.

Event Two: The Austrian Oak — Friday

The Austrian Oak Log Press is a max lift event. Each man will have three attempts to lift the heaviest weight possible and earn the judge’s approval. In 2022, Luke Stoltman lifted 213 kilograms (470 pounds) overhead to earn the win.

Based on recent performances, Luke Stoltman and American record holder Bobby Thompson are the likeliest to establish the heaviest weight in the field.


Event Three: Elephant Bar Deadlift — Saturday

The first event on Saturday, March 4, 2023, calls for the athletes to achieve a max deadlift with the 9.5-foot-long Rogue Elephant Bar. The strongmen have 60 seconds each to lockout an attempt. They will each have three attempts to establish their max lift.

The world record in this event is 474 kilograms (1,046 pounds), pulled by three-time ASC champion Hafthor Björnsson in 2020. This event was not in the 2022 ASC.

The Elephant Bar doesn’t necessarily represent how much weight someone could pull on a standard barbell because of how much give the Elephant Bar has at each end. While this event seems more open-ended in this field of strong pullers, keep an eye on Trey Mitchell to make a stand.

Event Four: Steinstossen Stone Throw — Saturday

This is a debut event at the ASC, inspired by a throwing challenge out of Switzerland. The replica of the Unspunnen Stone that the contestants will throw weighs 83,9 kilograms (185 pounds). Each athlete will have three attempts to throw it for the farthest distance possible.

Any throwing technique that has the hands above the waist is allowed. Each athlete’s feet must remain behind a line when they throw, and the stone must be tossed within 30 seconds. With the unpredictability of an event like this, any competitor can move up the leaderboard by scoring a long throw.

Presuming no one on the roster has had sufficient time to master the technique, Nakonechnyy’s size and height might offer him the advantage.

Event Five: Timber Carry — Saturday

The wooden frame that the strongmen will carry weighs 400 kilograms (881 pounds). It must be walked up a 35-foot ramp to the top in the fastest time possible. Drops are allowed, but the heats are capped at 30 seconds.

The fastest time or the farthest distance determine rankings and perhaps the contest’s champion. Lifting straps for grip support are not allowed.

In 2022, Maxime Boudreault breezed through this event at 8.35 seconds. Unfortunately, Boudreault’s recent shin injury will keep him out of the 2023 ASC.

Boudreault’s time isn’t the fastest on record. In 2020, Kieliszkowski finished the event in seven seconds. The Polish strongman is in this lineup, and he could be well set to win the ASC championship with one of his best events wrapping up the contest.

How to Watch

The 2023 ASC will be streamed live for free on the Rogue Fitness website and the Rogue Fitness YouTube channel. BarBend will provide results and recaps of both competitions as well.

Featured Image: @worlds_strongest_gay on Instagram