Seven American strongmen will be featured in the 2023 World’s Strongest Man (WSM), set to take place on Apr. 19-23, 2023, in Myrtle Beach, SC. Led by legendary four-time WSM champion Brian Shaw — who will be competing in his last WSM this year — this stacked group of strength athletes is as follows:
Brian Shaw — Four-time WSM champion (2011, 2013, 2015-2016)
Bobby Thompson — American log lift record holder (217.5 kilograms/478.5 pounds)
Trey Mitchell — Reigning two-time Shaw Classic (SC) champion (2021-2022)
Evan Singleton — First-ever Arnold Strongman Classic UK (ASCUK) champion (2021)
Kevin Faires — Dinnie Stones Walk World Record holder (31 feet, seven inches)
Spenser Remick — 2022 Official Strongman Games (OSG) champion
Tom Evans — Winner of the 2022 Shaw Classic Open and 2022 Arnold Amateur Strongman World Championships
Six of these American athletes recently came together for a powerful WSM training session about a week before the biggest contest in strongman. Evans was noticeably absent, likely due to his last-minute addition to the WSM roster as a replacement for the injured Pavlo Nakonechnyy. On Apr. 11, 2023, Shaw posted a video on his YouTube channel chronicling the group’s time together.
The six American athletes performed five movements that somewhat mirror events expected at the 2023 WSM.
They began the day by loading sandbags and a weighted keg onto a platform. The weights and distance weren’t revealed. While it was impossible to recreate its exact format in advance, this was in reference to the Loading Race from the Qualifying Stage of the competition.
“Definitely a good start with these guys. All of us are primed and ready for World’s Strongest Man. But this is the tune-up and, at the end of the day, iron really does sharpen iron,” Shaw said after completing the first training medley. “So it’s why I wanted to have these guys out and in the gym with me heading in. My goal is for them to push me, me to push them, and all of our levels to go up. Collectively, that’s what’s going to happen.”
They then shifted to a log ladder with five implements that featured gradually increasing weight. Only Singleton and Faires failed to lift all five logs. The Log Ladder will be the final event of the first day of the 2023 WSM.
Next, the group threw in some heavy overhead dumbbell work and a single Fingal’s Finger. Unlike the start of the session, no one amongst the American group of competitors is guaranteed to perform these events at the WSM, as they comprise different portions of the two-day Final.
To close their day together, the six took to the Conan’s Wheel, where the athlete’s task is to carry around a heavy implement in a circular, fixed motion as far as possible. The Conan’s Wheel will likely be a climactic moment for some WSM competitors as it starts the second day of Qualifying.
Here is an overview of the complete 2023 WSM event schedule:
Event One — Loading Race
Event Two — Deadlift Machine
Event Three — Log Ladder
Ten athletes will advance from the Qualifying stage to the Final.
Event One — Fingal’s Fingers
Event Two — KNAACK Deadlift
Event Three — Reign Shield Carry
Of the seven American competitors, it would stand to reason that Shaw and his championship pedigree may likely fare the best of the bunch at the 2023 WSM. Someone like Mitchell, with his two consecutive SC victories, could also be a dark horse. Mitchell’s best-ever WSM placing was in 10th at the 2021 iteration.
This isn’t to say that Singleton, Faires, Thompson, and Remick won’t thrive. Just because there are presumed favorites, doesn’t mean another American stud can’t come out of the blue to level a talented field.
Featured image: @shawstrength on Instagram