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My journey into Strongman - Keoghan

A little before I turned 40 I began training for a Tough Mudder with my work colleagues. I wasn't fit at the time, I also began doing couch to 5k while learning to travel across monkey bars, starting with falling off the second rung.

I completed the first Tough Mudder and began training for the next, and met a couple of folks at the gym (Nick and Clara) that were interested in doing something similar. Together we booked up a Spartan Race, something with obstacles that were a bit more challenging physically.

I remember looking up how to climb a rope, and how to lift an atlas stone, the night before - I failed the rope climb and I just managed to get a 50kg atlas stone up to walk with it, by rolling it up my legs while kneeling. Just this simple action lit something in me to get better at picking them up.

At the same time, our gym started refurbishing and we started training together more - we eventually tried out a new gym Arc Gym, Wokingham. It was a brand new family run place, with great equipment including some strongman stuff, a log, an axle, famers, some atlas stones. We eventually moved all training here, and we met some great people. One of the most formative was Mark - he's always positive and loves Strongman.

Mark mentioned an upcoming Strongman Competition to me Basingstoke's Strongest Novice 2019, held at Elite Body Works. I signed up, and I got myself a coach Simon - SAF Personal Training and began working to be able to complete the events.

Simon had quite a bit on his hands, at the same time as trying to compete in strongman, I wanted to also complete a Spartan Trifecta in the year.

The competition was incredible, I loved the atmosphere. My family and friends came to support and really got into it. I had never experienced anything like it. Giving each event everything, being supported by competitiors and then supporting them to achieve their best. Huge.

I came 3rd in this first competition. I signed up to my next comp the next day, and inspired my training partner Clara to do the same. The next competition was the Wild Strongman Cup 2019, held at Wild Training, Loudwater. It had a truck pull!

In between, we completed a Spartan Super and bought a 120kg atlas stone for Arc Gym - a stone that was beyond me at the time, struggling still with 105kg no tacky. We tried out Wild Training on an open day, where we got to try the truck pull, and other equipment for the comp. I remember we almost turned around and walked out as soon as we walked in - so many huge chaps around - but turns out they are also some of the nicest people I've met. After that day Clara, Nick and I began training once a week at Wild. We began to meet other people interested in, or training strongman when there.

Game day, and somehow we both came first. An incredible day with a buzzing atmosphere and super competition.

A week later, and we completed the Spartan Trifecta with the Windsor Beast - it was brutal! (and the last one I have done).

Since then I have competed in quite a few competitions, all around the country. Each one testing me in new ways, each introducing new people, new ideas. I have also competed in a single powerlifting competition - where I managed my first 240kg deadlift, 6 months after my 200kg target.

Training has been full on, I was lucky enough to train through lockdown and to compete in the gaps in between. We have built a great group of people that train on a Sunday at Wild Training in the Muscle Tunnel, it's been forged through a love of training strongman. If you ever want to train with us, turn up around 8am, pay the day fee, head down the tunnel and say hi.

I was lucky enough to qualify for the Arnold Sports Log and Deadlift Championship 2021 with Official Strongman to compete on stage in the Masters category. What an absolute treat it was, such an incredible experience - and my goodness what a great bunch of people, though crazy strong.

As I have become more serious about competing, trying to push myself to get to compete at the Official Strongman Games in the Masters class I have changed coach to Josh Lancaster. We've been creating a base for a little while now and I'm excited to see where we go from here.

Late 2021 I started Strength Register with the aim of making it easier to find competitions and information about strongman and strongwoman. I aim to keep it evolving and I hope become an invaluable tool for all you aspiring strongpeople out there.

Instagram: @keoghan.litchfield

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