After a relaxing two weeks off from the gym after dominating in his return to the competitive strongman stage via gold at the 2021 Rogue Invitational, 2019 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) Martins Licis is back. He took to his YouTube channel to do a Q&A with his fans about his plans in the sport, what he thinks about the growing popularity of strongman, and what that means for some of the sport’s biggest contests.
Check out the full video below. Licis and his team answer questions off his phone while sitting on a trio of Atlas Stones:
World’s Strongest Contest?
The first question posed to Licis did not beat around the bush. It asked for Licis’ opinion about whether or not the WSM contest will remain “the ultimate achievement in strongman” given the surge in major competitions with significant prize support. For reference, the 2021 Rogue Invitational’s first-place prize of $133,685 won by Licis is the highest individual strongman-competition payout in the sport’s history. Licis matched the candor of the question with his response:
A lot of competitions are the same caliber as World’s [Strongest Man]
Licis remarked that the Arnold Strongman Classic, Rogue Invitational, and World’s Ultimate Strongman (WUS) contests are on the same level as WSM in his view. The 2019 WSM champ stated that WSM needs to “step up their game and push themselves above…the other competitions because they should be the highest-paid” — meaning the most prominent prize payout.
When a fan inquired about how frequently Licis intends to compete in 2022, Licis was not entirely sure. Licis will compete “frequent-ish” with a focus on keeping his body healthy without overworking himself. Much of his competition at the 2021 Rogue Invitational suffered from a lack of proper recovery due to competing so frequently.
JF Caron, who dominated the Elephant Bar deadlift event, assumed he would have to pull well over 1,000 pounds to win that event. A massive 926 pounds was sufficient for the victory, and much of it was to other strongmen conserving themselves. Even 2021 WSM champion Tom Stoltman, who posted a commendable runner-up performance at the Rogue Invitational, mentioned he was not at 100 percent because he had competed in and won Britain’s Strongest Man (BSM) the weekend prior.
I’m at a point in my career where I gotta be smart and picky.
Licis will play out his competition schedule on a case-by-case basis but expects to compete in the biggest shows of the year — WSM, WUS, Arnold Classic, and Rogue Invitational.
Licis wants to continue competing at the elite level of strongman for years to come, exceed a 1,000-pound deadlift, and max out his overhead press. He intends to leave the sport healthy, though, to endeavor on his goals outside strongman. Those include embarking onto the silver screen — he’s already made his way onto television via the CBS game show “Game On! — continue building out his Wreck-It Gym based in El Segundo, CA, and “put a gym on Mars.”
Featured image via Martins Licis YouTube channel.