Top Strongman Athletes Share Mindsets Ahead of The 2019 World’s Strongest Man

Hear from Martins Licis, Mikhail Shivlyakov, and Rob Kearney as they prep for this year's World's Strongest Man!

In just a couple short weeks, the World’s Strongest Man will kick off in Bradenton, Florida on June 13th. This year’s event runs through June 16th and returns to the United States for the first time since 2014. While details like the official 2019 roster are still trickling in, we do know where everything is going down, and what events to look forward to.

The World’s Strongest Man qualifying rounds will get underway on June 13th through June 15th (Thursday to Saturday) and will be held at three locations in Bradenton, Florida. The World’s Strongest Man finals will be held on Sunday, June 16th. As for what the featured events will be during the finals? Get excited because there will be a truck pull, and sources have also said that the overhead press (as it is listed now) may end up as a dumbbell press.

[Check out all of the events for the 2019 World’s Strongest Man]

While the final roster hasn’t been officially release, BarBend got the chance to catch up with a few strongman athletes including Martins Licis, Mikhail Shivlyakov, and Rob Kearney, who all shared what they are most looking forward to at this year’s World’s Strongest Man, and what their training routine is looking like this time around.

Martins Licis

Licis finished in fourth at the World’s Strongest Man in 2017 and 2018, and most recently placed second at the The Arnold Strongman Classic. When we asked Licis what he was most looking forward to this time around, he wasn’t shy in telling us exactly what he’s expecting.

“I’m looking forward to WINNING World’s Strongest Man,” Licis saidLicis has been looking insanely strong. As for his training strategy, this season he said he’s been all in with consistent heavy training.

“My training this year has been significantly more focused on events and consistently keeping the weights heavy. Whereas in the past, I’d taper off from heavy lifting to recover. Recently, however, the demands to stay peaked in strength is high due to all the contests I’m preparing for.”

Mikhail Shivlayakov

Shivlayakov is definitely one to watch this year. Shivlayakov most recently finished in fourth place at the Arnold Strongman Classic.

“My global goal in all competitions is victory,” Shivlayakov said. “But, if I take into account all the nuances, for example, my physical form, this year I want to reach the finals at World’s Strongest Man.”

To avoid injuries, and make sure he’s in top form, he said is training has been very monitored.

“I trained this year very carefully. The constant succession of tournaments did not allow my body to recover one-hundred percent. Mostly in training I did exercises [that were] similar to the technique with those stated at the World’s Strongest Man this year.”

Rob Kearney

All year, Kearney has been putting on incredible performances. On top of setting an American Record in the log press earlier this year, Kearney also picked up a major win in March at the Arnold Australia Strongman event. Kearney couldn’t be more excited that this year’s Worlds Strongest Man competition is in the U.S, because it means his fan club can be there cheering him on.

“This year at World’s Strongest Man I’m looking forward to competing in the U.S. where my friends and family can come watch me live. I’m also excited for the events because they are some of my better ones!” Kearney told BarBend.

As for what his training looks like this year, Kearney said it’s been strategic since the duration of World’s Strongest Man is much longer.

“My training was much different this year for World’s Strongest Man and other contests. The set up of the different from the others since it’s so many days long. My training has been more intense, higher volume, and more days per week. My coach (Derek Poundstone) used his experience to guide me through this prep and get me ready to contest this year.”

Feature image from @martinslicis Instagram page.

Celia Balf

Celia Balf

Celia is a Staff News Writer at BarBend. At the BarBend office, you can find Celia writing news stories covering the largest strength sport competitions in the world, in-depth features with world record-holders, big lifts, and everything in-between. Celia also orchestrates and helps create content for the BarBend social media pages. She is a former Division 1 soccer player turned content producer and sports journalist.

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