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Strongman competition: All or nothing. There is a constant little bird in the back of every competitor’s mind, chirping away that he might not make it. If he doesn’t make it, he just spent months of training and a bunch of money to watch his dream pass him by.

Army 1st Lt. Max Pippa’s mind was racing just like this as he pushed his body to its limits during the final stages of preparation in an arduous journey for greatness.

HEAVYWEIGHT STRONGMAN COMPETITION

Pippa, an infantry officer with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Alaska, battled against 29 of the toughest warriors from around the globe in the 90-kilogram weight class (198.4 pounds) at the 2017 World’s Strongest Man competition in Raleigh, North Carolina, Dec. 16-17.

The competition’s first day of events included a log clean and press, an 800-pound yoke carry for 50 feet, a deadlift of a Jeep Wrangler, and a timed-carrying medley. The medley consisted of carrying a 650-pound metal frame, a 325-pound metal tombstone and a 265-pound sand bag carry, each for 50 feet.

“This was the event that tests endurance and speed,” said Pippa, who hails from St. Louis, Missouri. “My forte is conditioning-based events, so I knew I could make a push in the standings in that one. It’s pretty high up on my list.”

One of the keys to success in this style of competition is recovery and knowing how to manage energy and adrenaline between events, he said. Read more

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Strongman competition: All or nothing. There is a constant little bird in the back of every competitor’s mind, chirping away that he might not make it. If he doesn’t make it, he just spent months of training and a bunch of money to watch his dream pass him by.