The 5th annual Strong Man Competition was held Feb. 12 at Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.
A total of 15 competitors, 12 men and three women, tested their strength to see who would win the title of this year’s Strong Man and Woman.
Three lifts were evaluated: bench press, dead lift and chin-up. Participants were divided into weight classes and had three attempts to execute each exercise. In order to equalize the platform, a mathematical equation dividing the contender’s best score with their body mass was used to calculate their strength ratio.
Sophomore Matthew Brown, SMU personal trainer and Strong Man Competition coordinator, explained why the three lifts were chosen.
“We didn’t want it to be a powerlifting meet- we wanted it to be open for anyone,” Brown said. “When you put in chin-ups and take out the squat portion, it lessens the risk of injury and shows how strong of an athlete you are.”
Freshman Molly Coughlin, president of the Mustang Fitness Club, encourages students to live an active lifestyle.
“We wanted to get people involved in fitness,” Coughlin said. “We wanted people to see what’s going on and get excited about lifting weights and do fun things like this.”
Competitors snacked on the nutrient-dense foods while talking about their lifts, numbers and experience in weight training between sets.
Daniel Brooker, 21, participated in his first lifting competition this year. He hit two personal records (PR) for dead lift (480 lbs) and bench press (295 lbs).
“For my PR on dead lift it was a little unnerving because I couldn’t use a belt,” Brooker said. “But my form was good so that helped. Overall I think I did pretty well for my first competition.”
Contender Andrew Elrod, 33, competed for the second time in the Strong Man competition. He has been lifting on and off since age 16 and won the 2014 Strong Man competition.
“I hit a personal PR in bench press with 425 pounds, dead lift with 550 pounds and completed 28 chin-ups,” Elrod said. “Last year I hit 385 pounds for bench press, 545 pounds for dead lift and did 24 chin ups.”
Elrod won the men’s division for the 2015 Strong Man competition. Owen Klaiss and Ben Baker placed second and third. For the women’s division Ami Elrod placed first, followed by Gel Greene and Emily Field.