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My story so far - Andrew

As a child I grew up quite overweight and eventually wanted to do something about it, I started with going to the small sports centre gym, very quickly enjoyed it and the confidence that loosing weight gave me. Then I moved over to "pure gym" to have more variety and better strength equipment. I spent a few years in and out the gym making some progress but with no real goal in mind.

I always had thoughts of doing strongman and always watched the videos from Luke and Tom Stoltman, Eddie Hall and Brian Shaw, but never acted on them because i am asthmatic and see the size of them and felt like I had no chance , after being repeatedly encouraged to go try it and eventually building up the confidence to go into a gym like that I went to Free Fit in Paisley where the owner at the time Pieter Eisenbach took me and showed me the equipment and technique.

I very quickly loved doing the log press and it still is my favourite to this day. After a couple months training Pieter suggested signing up for "Paisley's Strongest" which was run by the gym every year. He offered to coach and help me to get ready for it. It was hard squeezing real training in with my long hours in work (I'm a chef) but I got there.

On the day l felt that I did well for my first competition the atmosphere was great! Everyone cheering each other on and helping each other - I even managed to have fun even though I went myself and since that day I have been hooked.

Being stuck with no gyms because of Covid and loosing a lot of progress has given me fuel to pursue strongman further.

I joined Hostile Strength and Conditioning and got signed up for another competition that I found here on Strength Register, "Manimal Monsters" in February 2022.

After struggling primarily with deadlift training I tried to find coaching - I am lucky enough to have Andy Black as my coach. After numerous sessions with him I went down to compete, together with my partner who has fully supported me since we first met. We had a good time and I placed 7th. I am now in training for "Goliath's Battle of the Strongest" in April and have aspirations to compete away in "Irelands Strongest Novice" next year.

For anyone thinking about starting, dive into it, ask questions, ask for help, everyone will help and support you one way or another, the big guys aren't as scary as they look and they won't eat you ?

Instagram: @arkm07

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