Readers' Digest (06.9)

Date: Sun, 29 Aug 1999 21:40:08 +0200 
From: Tahvo Jauhojärvi
Subject: Sweden strongest man, part 2

Moi, lauantaina oli kaksi ryhmää, kummasaki 6 kilpailija. Jorma oli ihan ylivoimanen omassa ryhmässä ja voitti kaikki. 1 laji oli rekan veto, Jorma juoksi maaliin ja rekka perässä. 2 laji oli hercules hold ja Jorma piti just niin etta voitti. 3 laji oli Conan wheel (270kg) jorma oli ainoa joka pystyi  juoksemaan. Thorbjörn Samuelsson oli paras toisessa ryhmässä tässä lajissa, kolme miestä pyörtyi. 4 laji oli wheel flipp, tämä on jormalle hyvä laji, mutta voimia piti säästää finaaliin eli kolme flippiä nopeasti 
ja sitten pikku show päälle.  Finalissa eka laji oli arms over arms, Jormalle huono laji koska tekkniikka ej ole vielä opittu mutta I Kinnunen antoi hyviä neuvojja tulevaisuutta varten, Magnus oli kova tässä lajissa samoin oli Thorbjörn. Tukinnosto oli vuorossa 
ja Thorbjörn nosti 130, Jorma 140 ja Magnus 145.  Atlaskivet seuraavaksi, Thorbjörn ei saannut viimistä 160kg kiveä, Jorma teki tosi nopean ajan 18s ennen viimistä kiveä, otti paljon happea ja nosti 160kg kiven. Magnus ja Jorma oli ainoat jotka saivat  
160kg kiven ylös. Farmers walk 120kg, oli vuorossa ja Jorma pudotti painot alas 5m Thorbjörnin merkin jälkeen. Magnus kysyi Jormalta että oliko se hänen maksimi, vastaus oli että varmisdettaan vain kakkospaikkaa. Magnus käveli ja kyseli yleisöltä välillä suuntaa. Viiminen laji oli medley, autokottikärry, 
wheelflipp x 2, ja paino(205kg) kantaa maaliin. Thorbjörn  viipyi minutin, Jorma 29s ja Magnus 24s. 

("Translation": Hey, there were two heats on Saturday, 6 competitors both. Jorma was superior in his heat and won everything. 1st event was Truck pull, Jorma ran to finish and the truck followed. 2nd event was Hercules Hold and Jorma held just to win. 3rd event Conan's Wheel (270kg) and Jorma was the only one able to run.
Thorbjörn Samuelsson was the best in the other group in this event, three men fainted. 4th event was Wheel Flip, a good event for Jorma, but he had to save strength to the finals so three flips fast, plus then a little show.
The first event in the finals was arm over arm pull, a bad event for Jorma for he hasn't yet learned the technique but Ilkka Kinnunen gave some good advice. Magnus was good in this event and so was Thorbjörn. Log lift was next, Thorbjörn lifted 130kg, Jorma 140 and Magnus 145. Atlas stones next, Thorbjörn didn't get the last 160kg stone, Jorma did a very fast time 18sec before the last, took a deep breath and lifted the last one. Magnus and Jorma were the only one to get the last 160kg stone up. Farmer's Walk 120kg next, Jorma dropped after 5m. Magnus asked him if that was his max, answer was that it's to secure the 2nd place only. Magnus walked and asked for directions from audience! The last event was medley, wheel barrow, wheel flip x2, and a 205kg to carry and drag. Thorbjörn used a minute, Jorma 29s and Magnus 24s.)

Magnus oli omaa luokkaa, mutta olihan hän valinnut lajit ja hänen laitteilla kilpailtiin, ja vielä huilannut lauantain, miksi hän oli 
mukana?,  1 palkinto  40 000 sek. 

(Magnus was superior, but he had chosen the events and the equipment was his, plus he had rested Saturday - why was he participating anyway? 1st price 40 000SEK 6000$)

Jorma Paananen, syntynyt 1964, pituus 188 ja paino 150,  tämä oli kolmas kerta Ruotsin vahviin mies kisoissa ja kolmas kerta sijoitus 2. Jorma oli mukana Suomen joukkoessa Skotlantia vastaan heinäkuun lopussa. 

(Jorma Paananen, born 1964, length 188cm, weight 150kg, this was his third time in Sweden's Strongest and third time he became 2nd. He was also in Finns team against Scottland, end of July.)

Tahvo Jauhojärvi

Date: Mon, 23 Aug 1999 00:57:13 +0200 
Subject: Sweden strongest man 

Lauantaina 21/8 oli karsinnat. Magnus S. oli vasta mukana sunnuntain finaalissa. [Qualifying was held Saturday 21/8. Magnus S. participated only in the finals on Sunday.] 

Lopputulokset: [Final results] 
1 Magnus Samuelsson 
2 Jorma Paananen 
3 Thorbjörn Samuelsson 
4 Stefan Ringdahl  
5 Jarmo Paananen 
6 Håkan Petchler 

Magnus ja Jorma lähtee WSM kisaan. [Magnus and Jorma go to WSM] 

terveiset Tukholmasta [greetings from Stockholm] 
Tahvo Jauhojärvi

latest updates end 
[Extracts from conversation with Karl Gillingham] 

Now, I gather there are many strong Gillinghams. Are you all brothers? So who's the powerlifter and who's the strongman in the family? You train together? What goals do you have in the near future? 

Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 08:13:00 -0500 
From: "Gillingham, Karl" 


All of us are/were powerlifters.  We are all brothers.  Wade & I recently started strongman contests.  It was very hard to get invited to the big contests from the US so we only have a couple contests under our belt at this point.  It is going pretty well for us so far. 

Brad is the best powerlifter of our family.  Last weekend he won our nationals again and we be competing in IPF worlds for the third straight year.  He has a couple of golds in the bench & a silver in the total in the IPF Superheavy division.  Barring injury he looks like a favorite for the title this year.  Wade and Brad train together at their club gym - Jackal's Gym.  I train with them once or twice a month for Strongman events.  I have a slim chance to get invited to this years WSM.  There is a contest the same weekend in St. Louis which has nice money if that doesn't work out for me. 

I got to compete with Jouko & Magnus in Hawaii.  They are both something to watch.  I learned quite a bit & hopefully it pays off for me for future events. 

I enjoy your website! 

Take care, Karl 

Yesterday I went to see a small competition nereby where Heinonen and Virtanen were supposed to compete. Virtanen didn't show up and actually Heinonen's performances weren't too convincing this time either. Although the other events went half-decently and he won the whole competition of course, his deadlift performance was .. a real surprise for me. In a conventional style rep contest with 250kg he got only 8 reps. Makes me wonder what has happened since his reported 370kg "silver dollar" deadlift or has it ever been better? Hopefully there was a reason for this. 

I still believe Heinonen would probably make it in the WSM finals (crucifix is the other relatively weak event) if he just got invited. But if TWI wants deadlift there in the finals, it seems that many many guys may lose their chances for winning the title. You should be able to pull 400kg from under the kness to get good points in that event. 

The more powerlifts, the more chances for you Americans. I don't necessarily mean your boys have a higher max strength, but that most of the other events (also max strength) have been quite unfamiliar there until recently. 

But I believe you now know a lot more of the sport and it's only a race against time before some of you start placing in the top-3. It doesn't really take that many months to figure out loading and crucifix for example. Maybe one third of it is learning how one should do it, one third about getting used to it and one third becoming good at it? When your ten last performances are inside a second you start to know what it's about. 

Actually it would be great to hear something about your training and equipment if you wish to tell! Any views of late developments in the US? 

You also noted it's hard to get to the big competitions from the US. It's the same everywhere. How many Finns do you see in GP competitions? The organizers still want only one per country! 

Also during the time when Riku was the only one from Finland to get to the WSM, we had several good strongmen in line waiting for a chance. Jouko as well - even though he won many big competitions already in '96. Sadly many from that line aren't competing any more / are injured / have moved back to powerlifting etc. 

But now I must see Mika Hakkinen win a Formula 1 race!! 

Good luck to you all! 

Here are my basic training schedules.  I really mix it up.  Event training at least once per month on the weekend.  Also started running a little now. Doing #5 at this time.  Also, my PL program is below.  I have been heavily influence by Coan's program for powerlifting.  Sometimes have to back off if overworked.  We all train without steroids recovery is sometimes an issue.  There are some other programs on our website. 

As far as implements, Wade & I have built a Yoke, Log, Farmers Walk implements, and a couple of stones.  Any help on a strongman program would be appreciated.  If you know Jouko's program for the off season that would be a great help.  I enjoyed reading your workout with him...  I hope he gets himself recovered well for WSM.  It should be a great battle between him and Magnus & maybe Gerrit?  I guess I had kind of forgotten about Gerrit & Veneberg.  I guess those guys showed that they still can win some big contests. 

Take Care,  
Karl Gillingham 
Gilly's Power & Fitness 

STRONGMAN PROGRAM                   
WEEK ONE:                    
MONDAY   Tuesday   Thursday     SATURDAY  
Bench     Squat-Pauses     Log Press     Sumo Deads  
Incline Barbell/Log Press     Zercher Squats     Dumbell Press     Bent Rows  
Barbell Curls     Good Mornings     Dumbell Tricep Ext.     Weighted Hypers  
Dumbell Curls     Standing Calf Raises     Static Holds     Leg Raises  
Weighted Situps     Situps     Ab Machine        
                Event Training  
WEEK TWO:                    
MONDAY     Tuesday     Thursday     SATURDAY  
Narrow Grip/PR Bench     PR Squat     Military Axle Press     Power Cleans/High Pulls  
Flyes/Pec Deck     Front Squat/Leg Press     Front Laterals     PR Deads  
Barbell Curls     Seated Calf Raises     Side Laterals     Chins  
Incline Curls     Situps     Rear Laterals     Weighted Situps  
Hammer Curls           Machine Tricep Ext.        
          Roman Chair        
Event Training               Event Training  

x5 belt
x5 belt
x5 belt
x5 belt&wraps
x4 belt&wraps
x4 belt&wraps
x4 belt&wraps
x3 suit*belt&wraps
x3 suit*belt&wraps
x3 suit*,belt&wraps
x2 suit,belt&wraps
x1x2 light shirt
x1 suit,belt&wraps
x1 pause(shirt)
x1 suit
*no straps
Squats: 7-10 sets
Bench Presses: 7-10 sets
Zercher Squats*
Close Grips: 2 sets 
Good Mornings*
Incline Bench: 2 sets
Front Squats*
Curls: 3 sets
Reverse Hypers*
Weighted Situps
Calf Raises
*Rotate every week
Deadlift: 7-10 sets
Behind Neck Press: 5 sets
Stiff Leg Deads: 1 set
Front Laterals: 1 set
Barbell Rows: 2 sets
Side Laterals: 1 set
Chins: 1 set
Rear Laterals: 1 set
Weighted Holds
Tricep Ext: 1 set
Hei Karl, 

Seems to me that you're a good powerlifter. With your 340kg deadlift you should also have the lower back strength for strongman competitions. However I wonder, when you base your workouts on mostly powerlifting, if you really get enough upper back and biceps training. It would not hurt your strongman performance to do different kind of weighted chins, heavy rows etc. I believe strongman comps are as much about upper than lower back. Then again I just happen to like these exercises myself. 

Event training... maybe you could still do more? I noticed you might not get to carry much stuff in your lap (barrels, husafel - could replace with a thick log maybe)? I can't tell you much about how Jouko trains, mostly because I don't know exactly, but I believe when his video comes out, he'll tell there all he is willing to. I heard it's about training all muscle groups through with strongman equipment. I hope he tries to explain things a bit too... not just "now, I lift this". 

About running, Jouko once told me he gets enough endurance from training strongman events already. Some can take even 60 seconds. 

Also I don't know if Jouko really has an offseason program any more. The one 
he had before wasn't really that special. Now I know he trains in a more special way. But he thinks it's more about seeing what someone does and how, even giving an exact program wouldn't help really. 

It's good that you train without steroids - often means less injuries and even better results in the long run, but nothing comes too easy or fast. In strongman steroids play a smaller role than in bodybuilding. 

I too hope that Jouko will be able to .. at least recover for the WSM. He has won much this year but WSM is still considered to be the most important of them all. Even financially it has very much importance. Then again, it's just one competition and who knows what might happen, so can't count too much on winning there. 

Yep, there are many guys who could win. And even Magnus, Jouko and Gerrit are out if they make too many mistakes. Being superior in some events doesn't help in total points. After seeing the event list it will be easier to say. But.. usually it's also the guy who is best prepared and .. maybe even most clever of the bunch!

Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 23:40:57 EDT 
Subject: American Championships and Hawaii 

The American championships in Hawaii this past week had the best field in U.S. strongman perhaps in history and that's without Philippi and Pfister competing. But we already know what both of them can do anyway. It was nice to find out what the rest could do. Bryan Neese took the title, with Ken Brown in second and Harold Collins placed well overall (in the GP). The U.S.strength athletes came a long way since 1997, when the organizers put together a field in which most of them had no strongman experience whatsoever. Now fast forward to 1999 and presently we can make a long list of men who can bring something to the table. Because of major competions held here, Full Strength, SMA and now Hawaii it has given the athletes a foundation to succeed against tougher international competitors. 

Plus the AFSA is making a big effort to making more opportunities and we should not forget the local events that are promoted almost every month. In the international event Ahola and Samuelsson went down to the wire. Showing us that, like in WSM98 if the events are mainly strength endurance based, Magnus can "hang" with anyone. Onasai showed very good for someone who "came out of the woodwork". I haven't seen him since Jan.98. 

As far as the WSM of this year and who will be there. IFSA made a rule that anybody who competes in a non-IFSA event is in danger of losing any future invitations to any IFSA events including the WSM. We soon will find out if Kiri, Rasmussen etc. won't be an invite. If the "ban" is for real and with Philippi and Badenhorst in doubt because of injuries that will leave open many spots (that's if the organizers has 40 men like last year). I can see Finland easily having 4-5 men invited, U.S. about 4-5 (remember folks Americans need to get excited about this sport and with that excitement may come corporate sponsorship) and I think I read somewhere that China might have an entrant for the first time (world team champs will be held in China). 

                     Patrick Marinko 

Date: Sun, 6 Jun 1999 01:08:48 -0500 
From: tara23 <> 
Subject: remember the ladies 

I would like to address the issue of adding a womens competition. I enjoy watching the mens competition very much. But of course, I being an athletic, sports loving woman, would love to feel I could have an oppurtunity to compete as well. Please if you ever decide to add womens competition please let me know. I think this would be great for ratings, and sports are turning to the point of involving women! I am a black belt martial artist, kickboxer, love to lift weights and would love to try this sport. Please think about giving women a chance at this sport as well. I'll be waiting.  

Sincerly,Tara Ivey 

Europe's Strongest is the only one by far I have heard of. 
... Hey, I just found this from the Diesel Power Forum: 
"Posted by Sebastian Burns on May 31, 1999 at 09:04:18: the lisbon beach strongman strongwoman contest and northern ny bench press championships will be held on july 11 at lisbon beach rt 37 lisbon ny.for more info e mail me"

Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1999 22:04:05 +0200 

Can I have some information of Odd Haugen? 

Odd Haugen (USA, orig Norway) 48 years old, 6 foot 5 and 295 pounds 

From: Evgeniy <> 
Subject: events 

Dear sears, 
Sport club "Kiev-sport" has several member which are willing  
to participate in WSM series. 
Our club is providing internal competitions named "Ukrainian Giant of the year" based on old Ukrainian traditional exercises still very popular in Ukrainian villages. 

Please, send details to the following address:, 
attn Kaptyukh Dmytro 

Sincerely yours, Kaptyukh Dmytro, manager.

From: Jarkko Hyvärinen 

Kyselit joskus hartsia/pihkaa: (You asked for resin)

Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 16:32:02 EST 
Subject: Helsinki '99 

After seeing what took place at Helsinki, the "Finns" are one bad 
group. Showing us once again that they rule the strength athletic field. They show what the go is all about. Ahola, Heinonen, Virtanen, finished 1-2-3-and the "light Tuk" tied Magnus for fourth. And we're not even mentioning that Kiri couldn't make it and Uppa got injured early on. I don't mean to sound like the whole Finn cheering section but we have to give credit where credit is do. I hope someday that the U.S. will have great competitors like this and they are surely on there way no doubt about it with Philippi and Pfister. But as of this moment the Finns are more athletic, stronger, battle tested and have that much needed "fire in their belly". I saw the WSM heat with Virtanen in 
it and he was going "head up" against Torfi who out weighed him by a million pounds. "Tuk" is incredible winning his weight class in the SMA contest and he shows he can compete against the heavies at Helsinki two years in row. What can we say about Ahola he's a cross between a Riku Kiri and "Tuk". He's fast, 
strong, quick etc, etc.  

Hey Sami, did Ahola ever get the MET-RX contract ? And when are you planning to rank the competitiors? I seen the pictures but who are the Graaf sisters I keep on hearing about, are they singers? 

Patrick Marinko 
Tacoma, Wa.  U.S.A.
(I haven't heard what happened to the contract. The rankings will probably be based on competition results this year (otherwise it would just generate bad blood). Maybe if Chris suddenly gets a burst of energy, or when there has been more competitions... And the Graaf sisters ... make music videos at least.)
Extracts from conversation with Henrik Svedlund <> 
...Powerlifting is my sport and I like getting stronger. But I admire anyone who handles heavy objects - be it in powerlifting, olympic lifting, highand games or strongman events. It is amazing to see, e.g. Jouko *running* with the stones. Or the last event with Jon Pall S. and O.D. Wilson (I liked the whole WSM that year (pulling logs in water, lifting boats, shoveling rocks) lots of *different* events. And then seeing Ed Coan walkout with 455kg on his back - that's really something. 

(Coan and Jouko have proved that the big aren't always the strongest. Also what I don't like is that some guys are considered being tough mostly just for their looks... 

I feel powerlifting in Finland is not that popular at the moment. No money and no publicity. I like it though, but.. for me, training for it would require too much concentration on merely three events.) 

I wrote:"but TV never seems to capture the atmosphere right." 
They should probabaly have people who like the sport working with photography and editing. That made a BIG difference in the 1995 world championships in powerlifting (I think it was -95, it was in Finland). They had a great crew, the angles of cameras were good and they followed the top three contenders in each class lift for lift. 

/ Henrik

Good page, should have more intervierws with Samuelsson though  
- Came from the comments box, name field was "Ar america"? 

(Thanks, and you're right. If anyone knows Magnus personally and would like to write us, that would be the nicest way. Anyone?)

Robert Petersson <>  
Hello Sami!  

I saw your link to the company that sells older contests of wsm.  
It would be real cool to see those competitions back in the early eighties.  

I remember when some of them were broadcasted here in Sweden and its a pity that I did not saved them on tape.   

(Yes, I haven't seen many of those either. In USA they have shown basically every WSM competition during the last two years.)  

Have you ordered any of the videos from that company? As I would like to have about 5 videos and as they are quite expensive I just wanted to know if you ordered any and if they were delivered ok and so on... The look of the pages with animated blood and stuff does not give a trusting look :).   

Btw... your pages about wsm are nice... They are bookmarked since many months and I drop by quite often to read your updates.  

(I haven't, but if YOU have, mail Robert!)

It's tough being a dedicated fan. Some time ago Heidi sent me a mail like this:  

"Could you please do me a favour ? It's against my principle to go behind people's back, but could you please tell  Jouko that he owes me a surprise and some words. I dare not bug him anymore because I'm afraid he would have me arrested for harassment, and I wouldn't like that to happen. As you probably understand he IS my favourite, followed closely by Magnus ver, Gerrit and  

(What I learned later, was that Jouko had been too busy lately to send any  
merchandise or write mails. I think some people close to him help with  
fan post, but sometimes there would be a need for a secretary or at least so it  
seems. Jouko remembered Heidi though (for her multiple mails?) and promised to pack something and send it.  

If this sport keeps getting bigger (and we hope it does), Jouko would need a  
(new?) secretary. But when the publicity is like that, he won't mind...  

If any of you have mailed Jouko, give him some time to answer. Just now I'd  
rather see him train for Helsinki than answer any mails.)

Subject: wallace  

A friend of mine told me that someone she knows was in the competition this past year.  His last name was Wallace and he is from Washington in the US. Can anyone tell me how he did?


I'm looking for Lou Ferrigno's stats or achievements on the World's Strongest Man Competition 77-78(?)...  

..think you can help me?  

(There should be something on