On Sunday April 30 2013, New England promoter Dana Geneseo once again held a favorite event of the local area strength community, the Maine StrongMan 6, held in Augusta, Maine.
The event had many Next Level alumni and supporters, including saw a return assembly of members of the legendary Next Level team The Beast. Chris Noonan, Steve Cyr, Ryan Aruck and Tyler Rabin all competed, along with Next Level Resource (and sometime teammate) Seth Carbonneau, and Gina Melnik (of The Drive(n) and co-founder of ally organization N.E.W.S., New England Women of Strength).
EVENT #1: PRESS MEDLEY
The first event was the press medley, which consisted of four lifts: an axle bar, a log, a keg and a circus dumbell. All competitors had to execute two lifts with each implement, but could do them in any order, to allow them to mix and match towards their strongest talents. As with so many events in StrongMan, they had 60 seconds to attempt completing the event.
EVENT #2: DESCENDING DEADLIFT
DECENDING DEADLIFT IS THE FIRST EVENT THE GUYS ABSOLUTELY CRUSHED.
The second event of the day was the descending deadlift under a 60-second time limit. The bar begins 18" off the ground, and very time the bar is lifted a level is removed, causing the next lift start from a lower level than the previous.
All the guys simply kicked ass in this event, with some heat firing up between Seth Carbonneau and Tyler Rabin, who both had to pull 450 lbs.
Seth Carbonneau's remarkable form was literally the object lesson of the concept of "retrieval." His ability to drop a little form and return to it for assistance made his lifts look not only effortless, but even poetic. (As if the admiration didn't show by how many photos we took!) I'm bummed we couldn't find a video of it – it was the very epitome of skilled heavy lifting.
Ryan Aruck is clearly the King of Hitch Form, and pulled his 575 lbs. with all the fire he is known for.
Tyler Rabin's own hitch-form skills also came to his assistance as he snuck in one extra lift just before the time ran out.
Chris Noonan and Steve Cyr both set PR's on this event as well. Noonan had never lifted 500 lbs. ever in his life – from ANY height – so even if he did not finish this event, he proved that strength is not always about sheer bulk. Meanwhile, Steve-O proved that graduated practice makes perfect, as he was finally able to use his hip thrust to his full advantage. Pulling 450 lbs. for consecutive reps was more weight than he has ever pulled over 60 seconds. (Way to finally get that gigantic ass DOWN, Steve.)
EVENT #3: YOLK WALK
YOKE WALKS SO FAST – AND SO FAR UNDER TIME – IF YOU BLINKED YOU'D MISS THEM!
The guys were flying through their classes and none of them came even close to the time limit. As always, Seth Carbonneauwas in top form with his 500lb. load – so fast we didn't even get all the video!
Chris Noonan was struggling for much of the day until this point, but his stable core not only made up for lost time, but also saved him on a couple potential stumbles under the weight of his 600 lb. yoke. Proof that keeping a stable midsection allows you to keep the weight up. The guys were allowed as many drops as possible, but Noonan refused to use the privilege, instead favoring time.
Ryan Aruck has come a long way with the yoke, and getting under 800 lbs. with no drops is proof of his progress over the past year, when he would occasionally destabilize under less weight.
Both Tyler Rabin and Stephen Cyr moved 500 lbs. quickly, both gliding in to a sliding stop which shows how much momentum they were able to create. The rules state that any part of the yolk can cross the line for the event to be considered "completed," so often competitors take advantage of this privilege by allowing the apparatus to slide forward just as they reach the line – a proven trick to ensure you "made it."
EVENT #4: CONAN'S WHEEL
Even after the officials changed the weights of the Conan's Wheel event, it was still far too heavy for several competitors. Some athletes were defeated at this event, barely able to make it through a full rotation. However, our guys held their own and managed to move some heavy weight.
In the heavier men's classes the wheel was harnessed with a sled/swing contraption, onto which three to six kids were placed. It was impossible to really know how much weight was on the wheel, but in some cases it looked to be around 700 lbs.!
EVENT #5: ATLAS STONE SERIES
Our guys made the Atlas Stone Series look simple, with solid times, or at least solid efforts. This is an event that many athletes can master based on form as much as brute strength, allowing some surprising lifts to be performed.
While the yolk walks were the most exciting event of the day, the Atlas Stones always seem to have a "big payoff" for spectators, and this time was no different.
Stephen Cyr: 1st Place Men's Novice
Seth Carbonneau: 2nd Place Men's Under 176 lbs
Tyler Rabin: 1st Place Men's Under 176 lbs
Ryan Aruck: 2nd Place Men's Over-232 lbs