Beginning at 10 a.m. on Jan. 12 at the East Carrollton Parks Complex, competitors in the 2013 Georgia’s Strongest Man Icebreakers will test their strength in six events.
Georgia State Chairman of North American Strongman and event organizer Scott Helms said strongman competitions have developed an enormous following in the United States in recent years, and his organization now has more than 5,000 members nationally.
The chairman said he is known in the strength contest community for being “nasty” in that he puts on “extremely heavy” contests.
Helms has been sponsoring events like this one in Douglasville for several years and said this is the third year for the Carrollton Icebreakers Competition.
Helms said the name “Icebreakers” has a double meaning.
“It’s for the time of year that it takes place in, when it’s cold, but it also kicks off the strength competition season,” he said.
The Carrollton Fire Department is donating one of its engines for the competitors to pull with a rope. The truck weighs about 40,000 pounds when it’s emptied of its water, Helms said.
The deadline to register is Saturday, though participants can enter after that deadline, for a $15 late fee. There is a $40 cost to enter the contest.
“Conventional strength thought from the public is you’d think about the bench press,” Helms said. “This is more of a functional strength, like flipping a ginormous tire, or lifting a car, or pulling a fire truck or an airplane.”
But Helms said entering the competition is not for the faint of heart — or weak of muscle.
“They have to have a certain level of strength if they want to enter,” he said. “I would personally want to talk to someone before they enter the contest. There are four different levels of NAS events — silver, gold, platinum and platinum plus. My event is gold, which means it’s slightly more difficult, and more importantly, the top two winners in lightweight and heavyweight divisions are qualified for the national championships.”
Winners will also be eligible for a cash prize.
“A lot of people come out just to impress their girlfriends, and they end up getting embarrassed,” he said.
Helms said the events normally draw big crowds and should be a special sight to see for spectators. For anyone interested in seeing a competition beforehand, he said the NAS has several videos posted on YouTube.
For more information on entering the 2013 Icebreakers Competition, email Helms at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The six events planned for the contest are:
• log press medley, in which competitors must lift three log-shaped weights and fully extend them above their heads.
• max deadlift, which requires the strong men to lift as much weight as they can from the ground.
• weight for height, which involves throwing varying weights over bars at different heights.
• wheelbarrow medley, in which the athletes will carry and load several kegs, weighing between 160 and 275 pounds onto a wheelbarrow and carrying them across the finish line.
• truck pull with rope assist, in which participants will pull a Carrollton Fire Department fire engine, weighing 40,000 pounds.
• atlas stones, in which competitors will lift 10 stones, weighing anywhere from 200 to 500 pounds, to a four-foot-tall platform in less than 60 seconds.
The event will take place at the East Carrollton Park Pavilion on Northlake Drive. Rules for the contest will be read at 9:30 a.m. that day, with the contest starting at 10 a.m.
The men will be divided into three groups based on age and weight class. There will be a lightweight class for those weighing 231 pounds and under, heavyweight for 232 pounds and over and a masters class for participants older than 40 years old.
The top two athletes in each division will qualify for the NAS Nationals 2012.
“You’ll see everybody out there trying to help, to provide equipment,” he said. “People that are trying to beat them are the loudest yelling for them. Because it is so fun, it’s just a really interesting sport.”