Britains Strongest Man 2016
- Britains Strongest Man 2016 Championships
After almost giving up on strongman when I suffered a tricep tear at 2015’s World’s Strongest Man, the British Championships was my returning competition and the first live show I’d competed in on home soil in almost 2 years. The last 3 years have been tough for me. The injuries I’ve suffered while competing had taken just as much of a toll on me mentally as they did physically. But after the injury at World’s, I didn’t rush my return. I took my time building up and maintaining my strength and rediscovered my love for lifting. I finally feel back to my best and I’m really enjoying the sport again.
This is the first contest in a long time that I can honestly say I was looking forward to, and i genuinely enjoyed it.
Anyway, to the events.
The contest started with the viking press (150kg to be pressed over head for as many reps as possible in 60 seconds.)
My tricep still isn’t 100% but I knew if I could place in the top 3 it would set me up well for the rest of the day. I managed 10 reps which placed me joint 3rd with Darren Sadler. Terry Hollands was 2nd with 11 reps and unsurprisingly the winner was Eddie Hall with a very easy 12 reps. Eddie’s deadlifting ability is probably what he’s most famous for now, but he’s always been incredibly strong overhead. It feels like a very long time ago now, but I did hold the British log lift record for about a year and a half with a 190kg lift and I’m pretty sure I still hold the British axle record at 205kg. Thanks to my injuries, my overhead hasn’t had the chance to improve in recent years but it’s something I’ll be working hard to improve in the coming months.
Side handle car deadlift.
Side handle car deadlift.
I always like these events to be as heavy as possible because like many big guys, I don’t want to have to do nearly 20 reps on anything, ever. I’m pretty strong right now, but my fitness isn’t where it needs to be and I was worried about getting back pump which would make all the following events that much harder. Terry and I tried to get the organisers to add weight which they did, but it still wasn’t quite as heavy as I personally would’ve liked it. Still, you’ve got to get on with it. Events are never going to be perfectly tailored to your preferences and strong is strong. The strongest man on the day will win. Anyway, I hit 15 reps which was good enough for 4th behind Mark Felix on 16, Adam Bishop on 17 and Eddie Hall on 18 reps. Traditionally this has always been a great event for Mark Felix. He has such long levers and for reps, has always been one of the best deadlifters out there.
460kg Car Walk
460kg Car Walk
I was really looking forward to this event and before hand people were saying this is the event that could stop Eddie from winning. I was pretty convinced he would still do well but my main focus was on banking as many points as possible by winning this one. Moving with weight has always been my strength and people were talking about myself and Terry Hollands as being the favourites for the car walk. Fortunately for me, Terry had a slightly unbalanced start which probably cost him a second so I knew if I could put a solid run in, I could win. The pick up felt really easy and the extra squats I’ve been doing on the saftey bar paid of as I felt very secure and in control. I placed 1st with a new world record time of 11.92 seconds with Mark felix in 2nd and Terry Hollands 3rd.
I’ve always found this a pointless event to train, I’ve been so hit and miss at this in the past. It’s the sort of discipline that’s easy to over train and if things don’t go well in training, it can knock your confidence going into competition. It’s as much about mental strength as it is physical and I was pleased with a solid 3rd place just behind Mark and Eddie.
As I said before my fitness isn’t where it needs to be and that showed on this event, as the fitter guys took the top spots.
I did enough to place 6th and keep me in 2nd over all going into the stones.
Top 3 on this were Adam Bishop, Darren Saddler and Luke Stoltman who all put in really impressive performances.
The final event was the atlas stones, 5 stones ranging from 120kg – 180kg. I’m not known for my stone lifting abilities but I was very pleased with my performance lifting all 5 in a little over 20 seconds, beating some good stone lifters in the process. However, it wasn’t quite enough to hold on to 2nd place overall as Mark beat me by 1 second on the stones and ended up half a point ahead of me overall. Hats off to Mark though… I’ve been competing against him for years and somehow, he’s now the best he’s every been at nearly 50!
Top 5 overall;
1st Eddie Hall
2nd Mark Felix
3rd Laurence Shahlaei
4th Adam Bishop
5th Terry Hollands
Although I didn’t win, I was very pleased with a consistent performance through the events, a new world record and I’ve qualified for my 8th Worlds Strongest Man contest. Going forward, I feel like I can get much stronger and technically better at the events so I’m at my best ever in time for World’s and Europe’s this year. The British Championships has restored my confidence and reminded me that I still have events I can challenge anyone in the world at.
Right now I’m training hard and working on increasing my size with the help of Extreme Nutrition products and nutritional advice from the team, Liam and Doug, as well as improving my events and fitness for my upcoming competitions.
Follow my progress through Facebook (Laurence Shahlaei) and instagram BIGLOZWSM.