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Strongman Team Championships 2016

Strongman Team Championships 2016

    This was my first time competing in the Strongman Team World Championships and I was happy to be pairs with Terry Hollands. Terry and I have similar strengths and the events suited us so I was confident that as a team we could challenge for one of the top spots.

    This years contest had teams from countries such as England, Lithuania, Poland, the USA among others.

    Event 1 – The Super Yoke (2 motorbikes on your back for 30 metres, relay style)

    This was an event that I felt really confident that Terry and I would win. We’re 2 of the best in the world at the yoke and on the rare occasion one of us is beaten, it’s usually by each other! Terry went first, completing the first 15 metres of the course and getting us off to a great, quick start. The transition was also very quick and I was able to do a fast run back, securing us our first event win.

    Event 2 – 300kg incline log for reps

    On paper, this should have been a weaker event for us as neither of us are renowned for our pressing ability. However, we got the timing and technique spot on, working well together to get 11 reps. This was enough to draw with Eddie Hall and Mark Felix for 1st place and we beat a lot of very good pressers in the process.

    Event 3 – 2 man Deadlift for max

    Terry and I are both very good deadlifters but we knew we’d have very stiff competition from Eddie and Mark who were the current 2 man deadlift world record holders. We managed a new world record of 825kg but it was only good enough for second place as Eddie and Mark pulled a very impressive 850kg. Still great points for us and at this point in the competition we were tied for first place with Eddie and Mark.

    Event 4 – The Sweetie Snatcher

    In basic terms, the sweetie snatcher was like a tug of war but instead of rope, we used a metal frame. The structure of the event was that teams would go head to head and the winners from each round would then move on to the semi finals and then finals.

    For our first pairing, Terry and I were up against the Irish team which featured one of the biggest strongmen in the world, Sean O’Hagan. Luckily for Terry and myself, despite Sean’s impressive stature, our combined weight and experience was enough to secure the win.

    In the semi finals we were up against Dave Ostlund and Matjaz Belsak, a round which we won pretty easily so we had plenty of energy going into the final round.

    The final was us vs Eddie and Mark who’d just had a pretty tough battle in their final to secure the win. Despite Eddie jumping the gun at the start 🙂 it was still a pretty easy win for us and it was an event that Terry and I really enjoyed. There’s something very satisfying about winning a ‘man on man’ style event.

    Event 5 – 4 car arm over arm pull.

    This was by far our worst event of the day and ending up costing a fair few points. The pull was lighter than we would have liked and relied heavily on technique and fitness. Terry and I are not particularly fit right now as we’ve been training for some pretty heavy contests. Everyone was really close on this event and there just a few seconds separating first and last place. We ended coming fifth and dropping a few points in the process.

    Last event – Atlas stones.

    We went into the final event in second place. These were a very hard set of stones and no one has ever lifted Glen Ross’s 6th stone before. They’re larger than normal stones making the pick up more difficult so it was great to see Dave Ostlund complete the final stone in front of a very appreciative crowd. Terry and I lifted 5 of the 6 stones which was enough to secure 2nd place overall and we were happy with that. It had been a long, hot day but the crowd were awesome and really kept us going. It was a great confidence boost leading up to the bigger competitions I have this year and the guys at Ultimate Strongman did a great job putting on such a fantastic show. Thanks to everyone that came to support the athletes and I look forward to seeing you at Europe’s Strongest Man in July.

    Big Loz in his Brachial clothing

    Strongman Team competitor Laurence Shahlaei is also sponsored by Brachial clothing

    Laurence Shahlaei

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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.

    Event 1

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.

    Event 2

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.

    Event 3

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.

    Event 4

Front Hold

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.

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Laurence Shahlaei, Britains Strongest Man 2016

    Event 5

Conans Circle.

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.
Laurence Shahlaei
Strength Extremist

Laurence Shahlaei Britains Strongerst Man 2016 Championships

Laurence Shahlaei Extreme Nutrition sponsored athlete

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