2023 Arnold Strongwoman Classic Preview

History will be made in Columbus.

The 2023 Arnold Sports Festival has featured professional strongwoman contests in the past, but the 2023 edition will be the inaugural Arnold Strongwoman Classic (ASWC). The contest will take place Mar. 3-4, 2023, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, OH, and it will run alongside the Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC).

Ten of the strongest women in the world will compete to become the first ASWC champion. Among those in the field are 2022 Arnold Pro Strongwoman winner Victoria Long, two-time winner and 2022 World’s Strongest Woman (WSW) Olga Liashchuk, and Donna Moore. The full roster is below:

2023 Arnold Strongwoman Classic Roster

A breakdown of each of the five events is below.

[Related: 2023 Shaw Classic Roster Announced; the Last Contest of Brian Shaw’s Strongman Career]

Event One: Wheel of Pain — Friday

The women’s wheel is the same as the strongmen, with less sand in the barrels weighing the apparatus down. The resistance the women will endure hasn’t yet been quantified. The contestants’ task is to push the wheel handle around its fulcrum as far as they can in 60 seconds. The competitor who scores the farthest distance wins the event.

Given the uniqueness of this event, there isn’t much precedence of past performance from anyone in the field compared to anyone else. Any of the 10 women could start this competition atop the leaderboard and set the tone for the weekend.

Event Two: The American Oak — Friday

Strength pioneer and ASC Event Director Jan Todd confirmed to BarBend that the log the women will use is known as “The American Oak” instead of “The Austrian Oak” that the strongmen use. This is a max lift event, and the athletes will each be allotted three attempts to establish the heaviest weight overhead to a judge’s approval.

In 2022, Andrea Thompson set a world record with a lift of 140 kilograms (308 pounds) at the 2022 World Log Lift Championships. She will almost surely be in the mix to win this event. Inez Carrasquillo is also a strong log presser and could also post a significant weight.

Event Three: Elephant Bar Deadlift — Saturday

Like the Austrian Oak, this is a max event. The athletes will have three attempts — 30 seconds per attempt — to lift the most weight to a lockout position. Regarding strongwomen and the deadlift, the first name that comes to mind for most is Tamara Walcott, who will make her competitive strongwoman debut in Columbus.

Walcott’s deadlifting prowess comes from her experience as a world record-holding powerlifter. Walcott pulled 290 kilograms (639.4 pounds) raw at the 2022 WRPF American Pro powerlifting meet. Walcott is no stranger to the Elephant Bar, as she locked out 641 pounds at the Rogue Record Breakers event in 2022 — the current world record.

Walcott’s biggest competition in the event could be Thompson, who is an excellent deadlifter. Thompson pulled 281.7 kilograms (621 pounds) at the 2020 Arnold Sports Festival in a Record Breakers event.

Event Four: Steinstossen Stone Throw — Saturday

This is a new event for the ASWC based on a challenge from Switzerland. The strongwoman will attempt to throw a 50-kilogram (110-pound) stone design specifically for this contest. Athletes’ hands must remain above the waist and stay behind a runway board. The farthest distance out of three attempts per athlete will determine rankings.

Event Five: Timber Frame Carry — Saturday

The Timber Frame that the strongmen use in their event weighs 400 kilograms (881 pounds). Landon Slater, son of renowned strongman equipment craftsman Steve Slater, created a 240-kilogram (530-pound) frame for the strongwomen’s contest. It will be used for the first time in 2023 in Columbus.

Like the strongmen, the strongwomen will have 30 seconds to carry the frame up to the top of a 35-foot ramp. Lifting straps are not permitted. If no one makes it to the end, the farthest distance in the fastest time still determines the event’s winner. 

How to Watch

The Rogue Fitness YouTube channel will carry both days of competition for the ASC and ASWC competitions. You can also keep track of the events on the leaderboard on the Rogue Fitness website. BarBend will provide recaps and results of the competitions.

Featured Image: @onestrongb on Instagram