Olympia Through the Eyes of a Strongman Competitor

By, Justin Purcell

Olympia weekend has come and gone, and 2013 proved to be one of the more successful Olympia’s in the past few years. Vendors galore, giant crowds, amazing competitions, and a great energy overall! Between the expo, and the Orleans’s Arena the buzz was definitely fitness in Las Vegas.

The diversity of the vendors at this year’s expo was spectacular. The major vendors from Optimum Nutrition, BSN, Muscle Pharm, Image Sports, and Cytosport were all in full form, but numerous up and coming vendors were definitely in the mix. As an Athlete I’m excited for a lot of the new products that will be coming out in the near future! The supplement world is ever evolving and from this past weekend I can sense that the evolution is a great one. From the new protein combinations, and the much improved flavor profiles, to the cleaner, longer lasting pre-workouts are just a small example of what’s up and coming.


The athlete’s at this year’s Olympia really stepped up and improved drastically in what seemed to be an area where someone really can’t improve. From Bodybuilding, to Powerlifting, from Strongman, to Figure, Physique, and bikini everyone improved so much in 2013. Big congratulations go out to the athletes this year, and I’m excited to see the next step in our human advancements for 2013! I feel that the human body truly has no limitation on what it can do if properly cared for. It only goes hand in hand with our supplementation advancements that our physical advancements will follow suit.

In that past 40 years we have seen the progression of our athletes skyrocket. Take Arnold Schwarzenegger for example; a man who is considered the greatest of all time, but competed at a bodyweight of 242 pounds. In the offseason he would walk around near 260, and at 6’2 he remained relatively lean all year. Fast forward 40 years and we have competitors walking on stage over 280lbs, generally 6-8 inches shorter, and even leaner than imaginable. Competitors who are well over 300 pounds during the offseason.

Consider the sport of strongman, in the 1970’s a 300lb log press was elite level, and they ran 20 meters with a 400lb refrigerator on their backs. This past weekend a majority of the strongmen pressed over a 400lb log with speed and ease. Rough amateurs are pressing 300 in most competitions. This weekend we had competitors spring 20 meters with 950lbs on their back with ease. We even had a 2000lb wheelbarrow carry that should be impossible to move, yet 95% finished the course.


Evolution is all around us, pushing us to advance, pushing us to work harder, diet better, and improve our human species! We need to instill these habits in our young, and show that hard work and determination are traits that will always pay off! Our phones and gadgets can’t make us determined, we need to work hard, get dirty, get knocked down, and come back stronger every time. This is the only way we will advance and survive in the years to come.