Lifting competition draws more than 20 competitors

Men, women battle for title in log press, axle deadlift competitions

Matt Hollinshead,
Farmington's Robin Varela maintains good form lifting a heavy log above her shoulders during Saturday's Strongman/Strongwoman deadlifting competition at American Strength and Fitness.
  • The event was held at Farmington's American Strength and Fitness.
  • Most of the competitors hailed from Farmington, while a couple of others came from Durango, Colo., and even Denver.

FARMINGTON — More than 20 men and women heaved and grunted trying to lift enormous weights during Farmington’s first-ever Strongman/Strongwoman dead-lifting competition today at American Strength and Fitness.

There were two competition categories: the log press and the axle deadlift. Most of the competitors hailed from Farmington, while a couple of others came from Durango, Colo., and even Denver.

"It's different than your typical strength competition," said Farmington competitor Nick Miller, who started Strongman competitions a couple years ago. "The implements are odd, and most people aren't used to lifting that sort of thing."

As the weight gradually increased, it became more and more challenging for the competitors. Some struggled at times just to maintain good form lifting the log above their shoulders, while others did it with relative ease.

"That's why I did such a long training block, to hopefully make sure my body is more than well primed and strong enough to handle the weights and movement," said Miller, who trained for 12 weeks prior to the event.

Stan Carradine of Denver, who started professional dead-lifting four years ago, set the bar high on the first of his three lifts in the log press, lifting an astounding 390 pounds.

"Weight lifting became super easy for me. It was something that came naturally for me to where I can pick something up and move it. People who run get that runner's high. For me, it's that lifter's high," said Carradine, who competed in another Strongman competition earlier this month.

Carradine, who played football in high school, said he stresses training the smaller muscle groups like the triceps and the quads because it gives him the endurance to lift heavy, increasing weights over an extended period.

"They're the bigger muscle that is needed in any lift," Carradine said. "I work on the stabilizer muscles, not just the power muscles. You get the guys who just do the power muscles, and they wear out and they're not as strong."

Farmington's Nick Miller prepares to thrust a heavy log above his shoulders in his second heat for the log press event during Saturday's Strongman/Strongwoman competition at American Strength and Fitness.

Katie Ruiz won the women's middleweight title (250-pound axle dead-lift, 92-pound log press). Angela Gallegos won the women's lightweight title (315-pound axle dead-lift, 127-pound log press). Robin Varela won the women's heavyweight title (300-pound axle dead-lift, 112-pound log press).

Nico Burgess won the men's lightweight title (465-pound axle dead-lift, 185-pound log press). Brett Lanier won the men's middleweight title (800-pound dead-lift, 235-pound log press). Jacob Nester won the men's heavyweight title (580-pound dead-lift, 275-pound log press).

Carradine won the men's open class, which was for competitors who weigh 231 pounds or more, with a 875-pound axle dead-lift and a 420-pound log press.

All the scores were added to the worldwide scorecard. The top 10 internationally will qualify for the world competition in May 2018 in Australia.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.