Giants Live is teaming up with the Arnold Sports Festival. On Oct. 1-3, 2021, the inaugural Arnold Sports Festival UK will take place at National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, England. It will feature competitions in strongman, powerlifting, bodybuilding, arm wrestling, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, mixed martial arts, calisthenics, and, for the first time ever at the Arnold Sports Festival, a CrossFit®-licensed event titled the Arnold Fitness Games.
The Arnold Strongman Classic UK will be available to watch via Facebook Livestream for $4.99. Those who wish to witness the event live can purchase tickets via Eventbrite. The contest is a one-day event on Oct. 3, 2021. Ten of the top strongmen on the planet will battle through five events.
The Arnold Strongman Classic UK roster includes three WSM champions, multiple Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM) champions, Giants Live World Tour event winners, and a bevy of world record holders. As is the case with all Giants Live events this season, the who finish on the podium will receive an invite to the 2022 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) contest.
2021 Arnold Strongman Classic UK Roster
- Nedzmin Ambeskovic
- Konstantine Janashia
- JF Caron
- Mark Felix
- Oleksii Novikov
- Evan Singleton
- Trey Mitchell
- Luke Stoltman
- Tom Stoltman
- Žydrūnas Savickas
Novikov is the 2020 WSM champion and has been on an absolute tear since is let down at the 2021 WSM contest where he failed to make the Finals. Since then, he’s scored wins at the 2021 Strongman Classic, Giants Live “Strength Island,” and the 2021 World’s Ultimate Strongman (WUS). He also posted a third-place finish at the Giants Live Strongman World Open and a runner-up finish at the 2021 ESM contest.
Luke Stoltman has been the star of September, taking down back-to-back wins at the 2021 ESM contest and the Giants Live World Tour Finals in Glasgow. His brother and 2021 WSM champion Tom Stoltman, made a huge return to strongman competition with a silver-medal finish at the 2021 ESM after recovering from testing positive for COVID-19.
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Singleton continues to shred through the Giants Live World Tour. He’s landed on the podium in their three most recent contests, including a win at the 2021 Giants Live World Tour Open. He is very strong in single-day strongman contests.
Mitchell will enter the NEC coming off the biggest win of his career. He is the 2021 Shaw Classic champion, where he beat the competition’s namesake, four-time WSM champion Brian Shaw, who finished second.
2021 Arnold Strongman Classic Events
Although he is the oldest competitor in the field at age 55, Felix is undoubtedly the favorite to win the Hercules Hold. He is notorious for having incredible grip strength and is the current world record holder in the event.
Some of the most impressive deadlift performances were recently by Mitchell and Caron. Mitchell completed an event-winning 10 reps in the KNAACK deadlift event at the 2021 WSM contest but managed to lockout an 11th rep that was not counted by head judge Magnus ver Magnusson as it was after the clock ran out. Caron is consistently one of the best deadlifters in the game and currently holds the Hummer Tire deadlift world record of 545 kilograms (1,202 pounds).
The Frame Carry event is similar to a farmer’s walk but different in that the single-frame implement is clunkier to move compared to two logs or metal implements. The athletes to keep an eye on heading into the event are Singleton, Novikov, and Tom Stoltman. The former two strongmen are historically swift in medley events that involve a farmer’s walk. Tom Stoltman has improved his grip over the past year to become a force in carrying events — he even won the medley event (which featured a frame carry) at the 2021 WSM contest.
Heavy Dumbbell for Reps
The current world record holder in this event is Novikov. He scored 11 reps in 75 seconds of a 100-kilogram (220.5-pound) dumbbell on the WUS “Feats of Strength” series in 2020. It would be surprising if anyone else can take the win from him in this event, but Luke Stoltman is known for his strength in overhead pressing events as the British log lift record holder.
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The heavy dumbbell is obviously different from the log lift in that much of the technique involves leg drive than strict pressing power. However, if anyone can give Novikov a run for his money in this event, it’s probably the 2021 ESM champion.
At the 2021 Giants Live World Tour Finals, Tom Stoltman failed to win an Atlas stone event for the first time in two years. As the current world record holder in the event with a 286-kilogram (630-pound) stone lift, it was shocking to see him slip loading a stone and the stone falling off the podium. In that same heat, Singleton, who was matching Tom Stoltman’s pace, also misloaded a stone causing it to fall as well. They ultimately did poorly in that event as a result but still managed to hang on to second and third overall, respectively, at that contest.
One unfortunate outing, however, does not mean that Tom Stoltman is any less likely to crush this event. If he is anywhere near the top of the leaderboard heading into Castle Stones, the contest will likely be his to lose. Novikov and Mitchell are also effective in the stones and can post strong performances.
Heading to Birmingham
There is little doubt that the inaugural Arnold Strongman UK will be a fireworks-filled event with some epic lifts and memorable performances. A big mystery leading up to the contest is the speculation surrounding how well the four-time WSM champion Savickas will fare.
Although the event will be in the UK instead of the USA, it is an Arnold Strongman Classic event and Savickas has won that event more than anyone else. He has eight Arnold Strongman Classic titles (2003-08, 2014, 2016). He recently competed at the 2021 Shaw Classic but had to withdraw before the second day of competition. He is still a contender for any contest he enters as the sport’s G.O.A.T. and has some recent wins, including the 2020 Static Monsters Worldwide contest and the 2020 Lithuania’s Strongest Man competition.
Only one strongman will emerge as the inaugural winner of the Arnold Strongman Classic UK. They will cement themselves in the history books the way Mark Henry did when he won the first-ever Arnold Strongman Classic. To find out who will make history, clear your calendar on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, and head to the Facebook Livestream to tune in.
Feature image: @giantslivewsm on Instagram | photo via Zoie Ingham-Carter