Getting pumped: Athletes test skills in annual strongman competition
By DOUG GORMAN
Saturday wasn’t just another trip to the gym at FITT Warehouse.
Ten male competitors and four females signed up for the fourth annual strongman competition at the facility. Instead of the usual free weights to test each athlete’s endurance, strength and overall fitness, each competitors skills were tested in five events — the log clean-press, axle dead-lift, tire flip, truck pull and power suicides.
Daniel Petro took the men’s portion of the strongman competition.
“They weren’t really sure I was going to able to compete but when I got here, they had some openings,” Denney said. “It was just another workout.”
Petro won his competition by 17 points over second place Patrick Witteker, finishing with a grand total of 38 points.
Each event was timed and points were given based on how each athlete finished in the different events.
Denney finished with a grand total of 40 points, edging Laura Walker by 12 points for the top two spots in the women’s competition.
For Walker, it was a chance to show some of the younger competitors she can still keep up with them.
“I am here to represent people 50 and older,” she said. “
Denney had never entered a strongman competition before, but the workout enthusiast from Cobb County was excited by the challenge.
“I have done tire flips and I have done power pushes, but I have never used the axle dead lifts,” she said. “I have done CrossFit for about two years now, so I have done a lot of Olympic lifting, but nothing like this. This was a lot of fun.”
Petro is a veteran of crossfit training, which uses short, intense workouts demanding full physical exertion. Most weight lifting exercises also include some type of movement.
Supporters feel the CrossFit style provides better fitness and builds strength quicker than other traditional methods. Others have been critical of the program for the strain it puts on certain areas of the body, including the spine.
Petro also took Saturday’s title in his first strongman competition.
“I have never done a truck pull and some of these other events, but it was a lot of fun just to do something different.” he said.
(To view photos from the event, please visit http://photos.times-herald.com/mycapture and click on Sports for the Photo Gallery).
The men’s competition was divided into weight class and Petro admits he snuck in just under the 200-pound lightweight classification.
“Weight classes make a big difference,” he said. "They did a great job of putting this thing on.”
Travis Self, the owner of FITT Warehouse, has watched the enthusiasm for this event grow over the past four years.
“A buddy of mine, we are sort of like-minded. We just stared picking things up, and putting them back down,” Selt said. “We started entering strongman Saturdays, and we started interacting with people on the different websites, and we said ‘this would be fun if we could do this for this gym,’ so August of 2009 was our first event, and it has just grown every year."
For most competitors, Saturday’s strongman competition was more about personal goals than how they placed.
“We sort of got tired of the traditional gym,” said Newnan’s Joelle Timm. “We were sort of looking for away to meet people. We started doing CrossFit. I had never done a strongman before but we were just looking for something to do with our gym family. It sort of combines what we do in CrossFit, but also something a little bit different."
Like Walker, Gary Hyde wanted to prove age is only a number.
With classic rock music playing the background, Hyde, 48, showed he could still push around heavy tires, pull trucks and do the other things it took to compete and have fun at Saturday’s event.
“It’s fun to get out here and compete with the younger kids,” Hyde said. “It’s just a great atmosphere.”
2012 Fitt Warehouse Strongman Competition
1. Daniel Petro ... 38 points
2. Patrick Witteker ... 23
3 Andy Timm ... 22
4. Andrew Turner ... 20
5. Travis Hearn ... 18
6. James Jirasakahiran ... 14
6. James Colye ... 14
7. Scott Gaston ... 11
8. Al Macaulay ... 4
9. Gary Hyde ... 3
1. Jessica Denney ... 40
2. Laura Walker ... 28
3. Joelle Timm ... 17
4. Alexandrea Hyde ... 16