The 2019 World’s Strongest Man, Martins Licis, has done what no other strongman has done before. No, he did not invent a new technique on the Atlas Stones nor did he set a new record time on Fingal’s Fingers. What he did was overhead squat Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski.
From Licis’ Instagram page:
Although neither Licis nor Gronk have shared a video of the epic maneuver at the time of this article, Gronk’s face tells the whole story. Gronk was clearly not prepared for the experience of being squatted by the strongest man in the world and the force by which he would be hoisted into the air. Judging by the positioning of Gronk’s body, he did not or could not maintain a stiff plank position during the squat and rested some amount of his weight on Licis’ head.
Video of Martins’ feat of Gronk strength has yet to be released, though we’ll share it here as soon as it’s available.
But having to lift with his head may not be the only thing that caught Licis off guard. Licis did not seem to realize how difficult it would be to hold and squat the 6’6″ tall former New England Patriots’ tight end. Gronk played at a weight of around 122kg (269lbs), though it seems like he’s slimmed down considerably since his playing days. In his Instagram post, Licis writes:
Overhead squatting the lord of mischief, [Rob Gronkowski], is no easy feat of strength. This guy’s a unit.
Licis and Gronk can be seen in the video in the post discussing preparation and the importance of warming up smaller muscle groups first as they work their rotator cuffs. Licis says plainly,
This is how champions are made.
Gronk follows up,
It’s all about preparation.
And who can argue with them? Licis had a runner-up finish at the 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic before claiming his first World’s Strongest Man title later that year.
Gronk played for the New England Patriots from 2010 to 2018 and acquired three Super Bowl rings during that time.
Gronk retired in March of 2019 at the age of 29 citing injuries and mental health as his reason for hanging up his helmet. He still maintains his celebrity with appearances in movies and television and even stepped into the wrestling ring at WrestleMania 33.
Martins Licis will aim to defend his World’s Strongest Man title in 2020 and he may found the unique edge needed to remain on top of the strongman world: Gronk squats.
Who is Martins Licis?
Martins Licis is an accomplished strongman from Latvia. He won the 2019 World’s Strongest Man competition.
What is a Gronk squat?
A “Gronk squat” is an overhead squat except the barbell and weight plates are replaced with former New England Patriots tight end and 3x Super Bowl champion, Rob Gronkowski.
Feature image from Rob Gronkowski’s Instagram page: @gronk