Barbells were deadlifted, Atlas stones were hoisted, and cute dogs were spotted at the second annual Arnold Strongman USA in Santa Monica, CA. The Strongman contest was the last qualifier for the Arnold Strongman Classic in March in Columbus, OH. Reigning World’s Strongest Man Martins Licis claimed the spot and won the competition for the second year in a row. 

That means four-time World’s Strongest Man Brian Shaw will not appear at the Arnold Classic for the first time since 2009. In an Instagram post, Shaw, who came in second, said he was proud of how he performed and that “Big things are coming in 2020.” 

For a while, it looked like Maxime Boudreault was going to take the gold at Venice Beach after he won the first three events. But after struggling in the deadlift and sandbag toss, Licis and Shaw were able to catch up to him, and the Canadian captured the bronze. 

Here are some other highlights from the contest: