Q: Thanks Justin for taking time out of your schedule to talk. For those that don’t know you well, could you provide a little background and how you got into the sport of Strongman?
Justin: I competed in Track and Field collegiately as a thrower. After college I needed a place to focus my love of strength athletics, and thought Strongman would be a fun hobby to check out. I found a local club called the Fenton Strongman Club, and after training with them once I was hooked on my new sport.
Q: Congratulations on taking 3rd place at Michigan’s Strongest Man! How did you feel about your performance at the event?
Justin: Michigan’s Strongest Man was an awesome contest, and finishing third place overall felt great. My training focus over the last year has been almost exclusively in the gym, so there was some big concern about being “rusty” in the strongman arena. I was able to put together a strong showing though, only doing poorly in one event.
Q: What was your favorite event from Michigan’s Strongest Man and why?
Justin: Overall my favorite event was the Atlas Stone carry and load. This event was one I was really concerned with due to minimal strongman event training. However, I was able to finish the event by carrying and loading a 340 lb. Atlas Stone with relative ease.
Q: Leading up to this competition what has your training split looked like?
Week 1: Squat and accessory work, Upper Body Push, Upper Body Pull
Week 2: Deadlift and accessory work, Upper Body Push, Upper Body Pull
Q: What’s next on the agenda competition wise?
Justin: I will continue to work on my base strength through the winter and get back into competition mode next summer.
Q: You’ve been competing in Strongman for many years, what do you think has allowed you longevity in this sport?
Justin: One key factor is to have challenging but realistic goals. Having this keeps you mentally able to prepare for and compete in competitions. Physically I attribute a lot of my longevity to having built my strength up consistently over a long period of time and then maintained it. Supplementing my nutrition with BCAA’s and HMB has been a huge part of my nutrition since 2008.
Q: What’s your favorite event to contest in Strongman?
Justin: Definitely the Farmer’s Carry, and the heavier the better. Medley’s are always good too because I usually get a high placing due to the strength endurance involved.
Q: What’s the toughest part of competing in Strongman?
Justin: Right now it is definitely the logistics of getting to competition and training and balancing this with family and work.
Q: For those wanting to get into the sport do you have any advice for them on where to start?
Justin: The best advice I can give is to find a local club, learn to do the core strongman events, and practice, practice, practice. Although competing in strongman is not mainstream, training it is. There are 3-4x as many training options just in my local area alone compared to 10 years ago.
Q: What’s the highlight of your Strongman career to this date?
Justin: There are lots of highlights, including 6th place in the SCL 105KG World Championship, completing over 50 contests, but my favorite is winning the 2010 105KG America’s Strongest Man in a sudden death over time event!
Thanks for sharing with us Justin and we wish you the best with your strength training over the winter!
Learn more about Justin and his competitive history here.