What does a ‘strongman’ do? Well, he displays feats of strength. It’s’ as simple as that. There is a little bit of history to go with this. The first strongmen were circus performers who wowed the audience with their little feats. Over time it turned into a sport. And still later, ‘Strongman’ became a separate, powerful category in strength athletics.
Strongmen are expected to perform various feats and tournaments to display their strength. Some of the many events that find a place in ‘strongman’ tournaments are Car Flip, Axle Press, Deadlift, Duckwalk, Dumbbell Press, Hercules hold, Clean and Press, Squats, Tire Flip, Vehicle pull, etc.
Internationally, Strongmen competitions are widely followed. India Throwdown is another such event taking place in India, that wants to provide a platform of international standard for aspiring strongmen and strongwomen in the country. To tap national talent, give them an opportunity to excel is the primary objective.
Let’s have a look at the few international icons who have carved a niche for themselves in strength athletics, particularly Strongman Championships.
Timeless International icons
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson
The reigning WSM champion Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson is from Iceland and is the first person to have won the WSM (World’s Strongest Man), ESM (Europe’s Strongest Man), and Arnold Strongman Classic in the same calendar year. That is like a tennis player winning all Grand Slams in a year!
This former professional basketball player played the famous character, Ser Gregor Clegane aka “The Mountain” in HBO super-hit TV show, Game of Thrones. Try India Throwdown. Who knows, Bollywood might come knocking if you ace it. You can become India’s very own Bjornsson!
Jón Páll Sigmarsson
The original Iceland hero though is Jón Páll Sigmarsson who has won the World’s Strongest Man title four times, and the World Muscle Power Classic five times. He is one of the four strongmen inducted into WSM Hall of fame. He is considered one of Iceland’s national icon who, along with Norway’s Svend Karlsen, kept the Viking identity flying high.
Imagine an Indian winning a WSM title. What national feat that would be? Imagine India Throwdown, providing you with the impetus to carry our national flag to new heights. Come over and discover if you are that one!
Winner of three WSM titles (1980-82), Bill Kazmaier was so dominant that the WSM organizers did not invite him for six years! The American who now commentates during strongman tournaments became a research object for his sheer strength!
That’s what sports are about. It leaves a legacy in sands of time. Imagine your grandchildren boasting of your strength to their friends! What better way to leave your footprints for generations to see. At India Throwdown, you can test your skills, display your strength and see where you stand.
India has some fantastic strongmen stars. Well, that includes strongwomen as well. Despite limited opportunities in the country, many Indians have toiled hard and made a name for themselves.
Take Priyanka Vaishya, the Bhopal born engineering graduate who worked with a software firm in Mumbai. She relocated to Bangalore and switched to bodybuilding. And boy, how. In 2017 and 2018, she bagged the Strongman title in India and is today ranked 28th in the world. No mean achievement indeed. She begins the day well before the sun rises: at 4.30 hours and works in the gym for 10 hours, like you and I work in our company. The super lady never eats outside. She eats boiled vegetables when she can’t carry food.
Another remarkable name is that of Khundrakpam Pradipkumar. A Manipur lad, he was tested positive for HIV in 2000. After fighting depression and loneliness that the infamous disease brings with it, he turned to strength athletics. By 2007 he bagged the coveted Mr Manipur in the 60kg category. He practices six hours a day gobbles 20 eggs and drinks 10 litres of milk on a daily basis. At the turn of the decade, he won the silver medal at the Mr India contest in Goa. He has been crowned ‘Mr. South Asia,’ and bagged the bronze medal in the ‘Mr. World’ championship too. Now at 45, he is a physical trainer with the Manipur government. His biography, “I am HIV Positive, So What?” published by Bloomsbury India is a must read!
These achievers are not far away. They are Indians who have beaten odds and achieved success. What is stopping you? You don’t have to tear through your bank accounts and travel abroad to achieve these heights. All we ask is to drop by India Throwdown. That could be your start.
Read on for more stories of inspiring Indian stars
A fitness trainer in Delhi, his early inspiration was his uncle who served with the Indian Army. Winner of the Strongman of India title in 2017, he is a deadlift and powerlifting champion too. He has won “JERAI strongman of India” title and was crowned NABBA’s Mr India senior title in 2014. National Amateur Body-Builders’ Association is a UK based entity, whose Mr Universe contest is a fad in the bodybuilding world. You guessed right. He is Deepak Yadav.
Also known as the ‘young beast,’ Lekhraj Chaudhary consumes 60 eggs, one kg of chicken, a dozen bananas, a jug of juice and two litres of milk every day. Phew!
Apart from that, he spends five hours working out. This powerlifter won the Senior National Powerlifting Championship in 2015 and then at the age of 24 won the JERAI Strongman of India Award in 2016. A Mohali-ka-puttar, he is in a class of his own.
The story of Manoj Chopra is a classic
His height would make him an ideal candidate for a place in the basketball team. At 6ft 5in, he towers over everyone. Born in 1970 in Raipur, he moved to Bangalore to run a travel agency. He had a fleet of six cars all of which met with an accident on the same day in 1996 and Manoj Chopra had no money to repair them. The resultant stress made Manoj Chopra often fly into a rage. Once he beat up a man so severely that landed in jail. His slipping into WSM was by sheer accident.
One day, he chanced upon the WSM tournament while flipping through televisions channels! In 2014, he was the World’s 14th Strongest Man. The modern-day Bheem as he is often called, can tear up two whole telephone directories lengthwise, and can break frying pans, number plates, screwdrivers and even a car with his bare hands. Sufficiently frightened of him? Don’t worry. Manoj is now a motivational speaker and if you get to speak to him, he might turn you into a strongman too!
Strongman events continue to be a niche sport in India. But the ones who have starred in the sport have achieved great heights. India Throwdown is an opportunity to compete at the national level and access yourself.
Inspired already? Participate at India Throwdown’s strongman competition. It might well be life-changing for you as well.