On Jan. 18, 2022, the 2019 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion Martins Licis released a video on his YouTube channel chronicling a squat session that he took part in with fellow strongman competitor JF Caron. Both men are preparing to compete in the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic, taking place on the weekend of March 4-5, 2022 in Columbus, OH.
Licis is notorious for training with strongmen he often competes against in elite competition. He’s previously trained with 2020 WSM champion Oleksii Novikov and 2018 WSM champion Hafthor Björnsson on multiple occasions when he was still a competitive strongman. The footage of Licis and Caron’s training begins at 2:49 of the video below:
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The session took place in Caron’s gym on the outskirts of Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Both men start with the basic barbell squat loaded with 102 kilograms (225 pounds). After Caron’s first warm-up set, he revealed that he’s dealing with a shoulder injury suffered at the 2021 Rogue Invitational, which Licis won.
The next weight that is shown on camera is 183.6 kilograms (405 pounds), which both men appeared to lift easily. Caron is seen putting on a deadlift suit for the next set. He explained that the deadlift suit is better for him than an actual squat suit. Caron explained further:
“Yes, because it is less tight. “[The] legs are shorter on a deadlift suit, and you want more room here [pointing to the stomach] to breathe.
Licis put his suit on while Caron performed his next set. Licis followed but realized he needed a different size for future sets. While he changed suits, Caron performed his next set with 225 kilograms (495 pounds). Another pair of 45-pound weight plates were added to the bar, and Caron approached the monolift. Three reps later, the 265-kilogram (585-pound) bar returned to the squat rack. After wrapping his knees, Licis performed a double with the same weight.
Caron took his next turn with 297 kilograms (655 pounds) on the bar, and he completed it for a relatively easy single. Licis did the same for his final set.
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Licis and Caron moved to another rack where they performed front squats. Licis explained the advantages of using this movement in their session.
“This is doing something that’s going to benefit and aid our stone-to-shoulder, and also log pressing, and dumbbell pressing. It’s got a lot of benefits.
Both men performed three sets, with a top weight of 143 kilograms (315 pounds). Following their squat session, they transitioned to work the deadlift off blocks.
Licis and Caron set the blocks so that the barbell was positioned at a mid-shin height. Once again, both strongmen performed three sets. Caron hit a triple at the heaviest weight of 356 kilograms (785 pounds). Licis’ set wasn’t shown on camera. They concluded with highlights of their supersets of leg presses and walking lunges. Licis mentioned they also performed hamstring curls as well.
Onto the Arnold
Both Licis and Caron will be competing for their first Arnold Strongman Classic title when they arrive in Columbus on the first weekend of March, as will the rest of the 10-man roster. Tickets and access to the pay-per-view coverage of the event can be purchased at www.arnoldsportsfestival.com .
Featured Image: @martinslicis on Instagram