BOZEMAN — The first-ever Bozeman Strongman competition took place on Saturday at Like Iron Strength Iron Strength and Performance.
“It gets me excited to see people get new (personal records), a lot of high five’s going around,” said Ron Wilson who runs the competition.
Last year Wilson had a strongman competition in Billings, but this year he wanted to start the event in Bozeman as well.
“It’s a new sport to Montana and I wanted to spread it around the state," he said. "(The hope is to) throw one in Billings every year like I’m doing. Start throwing one (in Bozeman) every year, then eventually one over in Missoula and eventually cover the state.”
The contestants competed in the log lift, deadlift medley, yoke walk, farmers carry and stone over bar.
“It’s totally different than what you’re used to," said Chad Lowry who was competing in his first ever Strongman Competition. "The body movements and the different kind of strength you have to have for those movements, it’s just crazy.”
Contestants came from Colorado, Idaho, North Dakota, and of course different areas of Montana and it’s not something everyone is meant to do.
“You got to be a little crazy -- a little nuts, but it’s fun,” said Wilson.
Most of us have seen professional strongmen like The Mountain, Eddie Hall, Brian Shaw, but to compete in the strength based sport you have to get creative in your training.
“To compete in this, your really have to have the implements with you or have place where you can find implements, or DIY type stuff," said Wilson. "Heavy sandbags, heavy kegs and imitate the stones and stuff like that.”
Winning is fun, but most of all it’s fun for the competitors to cheer each other on and watch people break personal records.
“That’s the whole thing of strongman, just watching your compadres get amazing lifts that they probably never got before," Lowry said. "The camaraderie around this sport is amazing. You’re out to win, but you’re also out to push the guys you’re competing against. You love to see it. You love to see them do great lifts.”