First held in 2002, the Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC) pays homage to old-time circus strongmen like Louis Cyr and Arthur Saxon from the late19th and early-20th centuries. ASC events include the 450-pound Austrian Oak overhead log lift, one-handed overhead push press with the 300-pound Cyr Dumbbell, and 1,000-pound-plus deadlift. Also contested are Pro Women and Amateur Men/Women’s events.


Each lifter gets three successively heavier attempts in the deadlift. For the Austrian Oak lift and Cyr Dumbbell push press, lifters get one attempt for reps with the heavier weight; anyone failing that then does reps with a lighter weight. The Bale Tote has two heats ending with 1,540 pounds, while the 1,100-pound Timber Carry features one attempt for distance in 30 seconds. These events occur over three days.

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What It’s All About:

Staged before more than 100,000 fans during the whole weekend, the Arnold Strongman Classic is purely about heavy lifting, as opposed to focusing on endurance and speed like the World’s Strongest Man.

Why It’s Cool:

Watching huge dudes like Game of Thrones actor Hafthór Björnsson (6’9″, 423 pounds) lift up ridiculously heavy objects doesn’t get old. Only six men have won, including WWE’s Mark Henry and World’s Strongest Man victor Zydrunas Savickas (with eight wins). The ASC also hosts Rogue Record Breakers, in which athletes attempt feats of strength that qualify them for Guinness World Records acceptance.