The Arnold Strongman Classic



We are excited about the great athletes who will be competing in the 2015 Arnold Strongman Classic. Please click here for a full biography of all the athletes!

Athlete Biographies

  • thor

    Hafthor Bjornsson

    Fourth Arnold Strongman Classic Appearance
    Hometown: Kópavogur, Iceland
    Age: 26
    Height: 205 cm/6‘9“
    Weight:180 kg/397 lbs

    Chest: 154cm/60.6 inches
    Thigh: 82 cm/32.3 inches
    Biceps: 53cm/20.9 inches
    Calf: 54 cm/21.3 inches
    Neck: 50 cm/19.7 inches

      Family: Daughter, Theresa Líf, 6 years old
    Profession: Professional Strongman & Actor

    Contest History & Records:
    Fifth Place Arnold Strongman Classic 2014
    Second Place TWI Worlds Strongest Man 2014
    First Place World Strongest Viking Norway 2014 & 2015
    First Place Europe’s Strongest Man 2014
    Iceland‘s Strongest Man 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014
    Third Place TWI Worlds Strongest Man 2012 & 2013
    Sixth Place TWI Worlds Strongest Man, 2011
    Eighth Place Arnold Strongman Classic 2013
    Tenth Place Arnold Strongman Classic 2012
    Fourth Place Europe’s Strongest Man 2013
    Second Place Strongman Champions League China, 2013
    Second Place Arnold Strongman Classic Brazil, 2013
    Second Place Strongman Champions League Fibo, Germany, 2013
    Second Place Strongman Champions League Holland, 2013
    First Place Strongman Champions League Latvia, 2013
    Seventh Place Arnold Strongman Classic Madrid, 2012
    Second Place Arnold Strongman Amateur, 2011
    Fifth Place Europe’s Strongest Man 2012
    Fourth place Giant‘s Live, Poland, 2011
    First place Jon Pal Sigmarsson Classic, 2012
    Iceland‘s Strongest Viking 2010, 2011 & 2012

      Best lifts in Powerlifting competition/titles and records:
    Squat - 360 kg/794 lbs. Raw
    Bench press - 230 kg/506 lbs. Raw
    Deadlift - 410 kg/904 lbs. Raw

    Miscellaneous: Hafþór (Hafthor) began competing in Strongman after an injury to his ankle ended his basketball career. In 2009, powerlifting star Benedikt Magnusson saw Hafþór in the gym and encouraged him to compete in Iceland’s Strongest Viking which was being held the next day. So, Hafþór called Magnus Ver Magnusson, who was running the event, and Magnus allowed him to enter despite the short notice. With no real training, Hafþór won one event and made an Icelandic record in stone carrying. An Icelandic record, it should be noted, is not insignificant as Magnus Ver Magnusson was a three-time winner of the TWI World‘s Strongest Man Contest and Jon Pall Sigmarsson won the event four times. .Only the United States has done better. After this auspicious beginning, Hafþór was hooked and began training solely for strongman competitions. He has improved every year at the Arnold Classic, and shocked many last year when he finished just behind Zydrunas Savickas in the 2014 World’s Strongest Man competition. As Terry Todd put it, “Hafthor doesn‘t sound right for a man of this size. At the least he should be Thor, or perhaps Thor-and-a-Half.” No doubt Hafthor himself thinks it should also be Arnold Strongman Champion. In addition to his strongman career, Hafthor has become a pop culture figure because of his recurring role of Gregor Clegane, “The Mountain,” on HBO’s hit series, Game of Thrones.

  • thor

    Warrick Brant

    First Arnold Strongman Classic Appearance
    Hometown: Gold Coast, Australia
    Age: 35
    Height: 179cm/5'10"
    Weight: 330lbs/159 kg

    Chest: 57 inches
    Biceps: 22 inches
    Quads: 32 inches
    Waist: 42 inches

    Job: Gym Owner, Athletic Kingdom.
    Family: Wife, Bethaney, and daughter Indiana Jayne, two months old.

      Records held:
    Guinness world record: Fastest caravan pull over 50 meters--13.4 seconds

      Contest History & Lifting Records: 
    Eighth Place, TWI World Strongest Man, 2014
    Second Place, Giants Live Melbourne, 2014
    First Place, 2014 Southern Hemispheres Strongest Man
    Fourth, Giants Live Melbourne, 2013
    First Place, Strongfit World Championships, 2013
    Competitor, World Strongest Man, 2013
    First Place, Australian Hercules, 2013
    First, Australian Powerlifting Championships, 2005

    Miscellaneous: After finishing high school, Warrick played rugby professionally for two years for Australia, and also in the English premiership. In 2000 his rugby career ended when he broke his neck during a game which led to multiple surgeries. He now has eight screws and three plates permanently installed to hold his neck together, but this has not held him back as an athlete. As he began to recover, Warrick discovered barbells and trained for both bodybuilding and powerlifting before deciding to focus exclusively on Strongman. Said Warrick, “I started my career with Dione Wessels and the ASC, competing in the 2007 IFSA World Open. I then competed in both the 2008 and 2009 America’s Strongest Man Competitions. You could say the USA gave me my start in my Strongman career.” Warrick admits that, “At only 5'10", I have many challenges when it comes to events like the stones or loading races onto high platforms.” However, he continued, “I just work on trying to push my own limits and hope others who see me will realize that you don’t have to be a modern day giant to be a good strongman. It’s also about heart and the will to achieve.”

  • burke

    Michael Burke

    Fourth Arnold Strongman Classic Appearance
    Winner, 2014 Mighty Mitts Contest at the Arnold Strongman Classic

    Hometown: Aurora, Colorado
    Age: 39
    Height: 195 cm / 6'6"
    Weight: 160 kg/ 350 lbs.

    Chest: 54inches/135cm
    Thigh: 29 inches/72.5cm
    Biceps: 19.5 inches/47.5cm
    Calf: 19.5 inches/48.75cm
    Neck: 19 inches/47.5cm

    Family: Wife's name: Maree Burke; Son, Michael; Daughter, Isabella
    Profession: Framing contractor

      Contest History & Records:
    Third Place (tied with Vytautas Lalas) at Arnold Strongman Classic 2014
    Fourth Place, World’s Strongest Man Contest, 2014
    Fifth Place Arnold Strongman Classic 2013
    Fifth Place TWI World’s Strongest Man, 2013
    Second Place Strongman Champion’s League Finals, 2013
    Fourth Place Arnold Strongman Classic Brazil, 2013
    Fourth Place Arnold Strongman Classic Europe, 2012
    First Place La Fitness Expo’s All-American Strongman Challenge, 2012
    First Place America’s Strongest Man, 2012
    Third Place Giants Live, 2012
    First Place MHP Olympia’s Strongest Man, 2011

    Miscellaneous: Coloradan Mike Burke has emerged as one of the top strongmen in the world. Burke began training in 2010 but has been a top five finisher over the past year in every major Strongman contest he entered. Burke, who runs a construction firm in Aurora, Colorado, is also known for his prodigious grip strength. During our new event, “Record Breakers,” Mike will try to set a world record in the Thomas Inch Dumbbell Clean and Push Press during the Arnold Weekend this year. Last year at the Arnold he competed in the Mighty Mitts event as well as the Arnold Strongman Classic and he won the grip contest handily. Many believe Burke’s large paws deserve to be called, “The Strongest Hands in the World.”

  • burke

    Eddie Hall

    First Arnold Strongman Classic Appearance
     Hometown: Stoke on Trent, England
    Age: 27
    Height: 6' 3"
    Weight: 175kg / 385bs.
    .Family: Wife: Alexandra; daughter, Layla, aged six; and son, Maximus, aged two.

    Chest: 62"
    Arms: 22"
    Thighs: 33"
    Neck: 25"

    Job: Professional Strongman 
      Records held in Strongman/Powerlifting Events outside the Arnold:
    400kg (882 lbs) raw squat
    300kg (661 lbs) raw bench
    450kg (993 lbs) raw deadlift

    Contest History & Lifting Records:
    First Place, United Kingdom’s Strongest Man, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014
    Sixth Place, TWI World’s Strongest Man, 2014
    First Place, Britain’s Strongest Man, 2015
    First Place, England’s Strongest Man, 2010 and 2011

    Miscellaneous: Eddie began his sport career as a swimmer, and was an age-group national champion between ages 11-15 in England. However, as he grew older, and substantially larger, he gave up the pool for barbells. He began bodybuilding at age 16, and then, at age 20, he began training and competing in Strongman. Two years later he won England's Strongest Man (2010) and then, at only 23 years of age, in 2011, he won UK's Strongest Man as well. Hall is the youngest man to have held the prestigious UK title. In 2012 he was invited to participate in the TWI World’s Strongest Man contest for the first time and finished fourth in his heat. In 2014, when he was invited back, he did far better and finished sixth overall. Hall is known for his tremendous overhead pressing ability and his deadlifting strength.

  • burke

    Mateusz Kieliszkowski

    First Arnold Strongman Classic Appearance
    Hometown: Maszewo, Poland
    Age: 22
    Height: 188 cm/ 6’2”
    Weight: 127 kg / 302 pound

    Contest History & Lifting Records:
    First Place, Arnold Amateur Strongman Contest, 2014

    Miscellaneous: Mateusz Kieliskowski was only 21 when he won the Arnold Amateur Strongman contest in 2014 which makes him, at age 22, the youngest competitor to ever compete in the Arnold Strongman Classic.

  • burke

    Benedikt Magnusson

    Third Arnold Strongman Classic Appearance
    Hometown: Hafnarfiorour, Iceland
    Age: 31
    Height: 6’0”
    Weight: 172 kg/379 pounds

    Best Lifts in Official Powerlifting Competition
    Squat: 420 kg. /927.7 pounds
    Bench Press: 220 kg./485 pounds (raw)
    Deadlift: 461 kg./1016 lbs. (raw)

    Contest History & Lifting Records:
    Fifth, Arnold Strongman Classic, 2006 & 2008
    First, Iceland’s Strongest Viking, 2007
    Second, Iceland’s Strongest Man, 2010

    Miscellaneous: “Benni” Magnusson is regarded by almost everyone as the strongest deadlifter in the world, and excitement is already building for what he may pull in the Tire Deadlift at this year’s ASC contest. Benedikt holds the official world record (WPO) for the heaviest deadlift in history at 1016 pounds and when he last competed in the Arnold in 2008, he wowed the crowd with his pulling power when he became the first man to deadlift 500 kg (ll00 kg).

  • thor

    Jerry Pritchett

    Third Arnold Strongman Classic Appearance
    Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
    Age: 34
    Height: 193 cm/6’4’’
    Weight: 159 kg/350 lbs.

    Chest: 140 cm/55 inches
    Biceps: 53 cm/21 inches

    Family: Wife, Kasey; Daughter, Abigail (age 7) and son, James (age 3)
    Job: Metal Fabricator

    Contest History & Records
    First Place, Mr. Olympia International MAS Wrestling, 2014
    Ninth Place, World’s Strongest Man, 2014
    Seventh Place Arnold Strongman Classic, 2013
    Fifth Place Arnold Strongman Classic Brazil, 2013
    First Place MET-Rx All American Strongman Challenge, 2013
    2012 MET-Rx World’s Strongest Man 4th place in his heat
    2012 Giants Live Poland 6th Place
    2012 Sin City III Strongman Challenge 1st Place
    2012 MET-Rx All American Strongman Challenge 6th Place

    Miscellaneous Born and reared in Phoenix Arizona, Jerry has been involved in sports most of his life, graduating from T-ball to Little League and then to high school basketball and football. In an effort to become stronger for football, Jerry began weight training and at age 15 deadlifted 460 pounds in his first meet. Although he concentrated on powerlifting (and sprint car racing) for a number of years, he gradually became interested in Strongman and entered his first contest in 2008 where he placed second. Since then, Pritchett has made steady improvement and finished fifth in the Arnold Strongman Classic in 2014. He is now a regular fixture on the world Strongman stage where he is feared for his great deadlifting strength. Jerry also competes in MAS Wrestling and won the International Championships at the Mr. Olympia this past year. Jerry is married to Kasey, who helps him at contests; they have two children. Jerry runs Pritchett Power Training and also works as a metal fabricator for a major utility company in Mesa, Arizona.

  • savatinov

    Dimitar Savatinov

    Second Arnold Strongman Classic Appearance
    Hometown: Gotze Delchev, Bulgaria 
    Age: 34
    Height: 178 cm/5’10”
    Weight: 147.5 kilos/325 lbs.
    Chest: 150 cm/59.1 inches
    Biceps: 56 cm/22 inches

    Family: Wife- Kat Savatinova 

    Contest History & Records
    Ninth Place, Arnold Strongman Classic, 2014
    First, America’s Strongest Man, 2014
    Second Place LA Fit Expo All American Strongman Challenge, 2014
    Third Place America’s Strongest Man, 2013
    First Place Odd Haugen Strongman Challenge-Los Angeles, 2013
    First Place Battle at Baywood Strongman Championships, 2013
    First Place Central Georgia Strongest Man, 2013
    Ninth Place Arnold Amateur Strongman Championships, 2013
    Third Place NAS National Championships, 2011

    Miscellaneous: Dimitar Savatinov, or “Mitko,” as his friends call him, was born in Russia to a Russian mother and Bulgarian father. His family moved to Bulgaria when he was only two years old and his mother, sister and niece continue to live in Gotze Delchev, Bulgaria, a town of about 20,000 people in southern Bulgaria. His father passed away five years ago and never had the chance to see Dimitar compete in Strongman. Dimitar participated in wrestling in high school and continued to wrestle during his time in the Bulgarian army which he joined at age 18. After leaving the army, he began working security at various nightclubs in Bulgaria and through his work at the clubs met several circus acrobats who asked him to join their act.  In 2006, Dimitar came to the United States with a Bulgarian Acrobatic Teeterboard Act to perform for Ringling Brothers Circus on a two year tour. During this time he met his future wife, Katherine, an electrician with the circus. Although life on the road with the circus made regular weight training difficult, Dimitar did what he could and in 2009 was invited by some local powerlifters to go with them to a powerlifting contest. According to Dimitar, his experience at the meet inspired him to begin pursue strength for its own ends and he began training for Strongman contests. He entered his first Strongman contest in May of 2009 and won first place.   From 2008 to 2012 Dimitar continued to work with the Ringling Brothers Circus as a member of the technical crew, along with his wife. However, when the circus’s strongman was injured in 2012, Dimitar took over his act for the next six months. The act that he then performed included laying on broken glass while a board on his chest had twelve performers dancing on it, bending iron bars, holding and spinning seven girls on a  human carousel, lifting a 200-pound kettle bell, and, finally, having a car drive over him.  Since this period as a circus strongman, Mitko has been training full-time for Strongman competitions. Known for his terrific overhead pressing ability, Mitko has emerged as one of the top professionals in the world. He says, “I feel fortunate to have had the chance to work for Ringling Brothers as a circus strongman but now I want to focus on being a real strongman . . . my focus now is on strength, and I’m thrilled to have made it to the Arnold Strongman Classic again this year.”

  • savickas

    Zydrunas Savickas

    Seven Time Arnold Strongman Classic Champion, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2014
    Four Time TWI World’s Strongest Man Champion

    Hometown: Vilnius, Lithuania
    Age: 38
    Height: 190.5 cm/6’3’’
    Weight: 182 kg/400 lbs

    Chest: 150 cm/59.1 inches
    Biceps: 55 cm/21.7 inches
    Thigh: 91 cm/35.3 inches
    Calf: 55 cm/21.7 inches
    Neck: 55 cm/21.7 inches

    Family: Wife: Jurgita
    Career: Professional Strongman and Gym Owner
    Contest History:
    First Place TWI World’s Strongest Man Winner, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014.
    First Place Arnold Strongman Classic in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2014
    First Place Arnold Strongman Classic Europe, 2012
    World Log Lift Champion, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014
    Fourteen-time Champion Lithuania’s Strongest Man, 1998-00, 2002, and 2004-2013
    First Place Strongman Champions League, 2008 & 2012
    First Place IFSA Strongman World Championship, 2006
    First Place IFSA Strongman World Championship, 2005
    Second Place TWI World’s Strongest Man, 2002, 2003 and 2004

      Records held in Strongman Events outside the Arnold
    Log lift: 227.5 kilos/ 500 pounds at Giant’s Live 2014
    Axle Press: 212 kilos/467.4 pounds
    Apollon’s Wheel:: 166 kilos/366 pounds x 8 clean & press each rep
    Giant Barbell Deadlift Reps: 320 kilos/705.5 pounds x 10
    22 kilos/48.5 pounds Medicine Ball: 17 feet in height
    Ring of Stones: 25.65 seconds
    Hummer Tire Deadlift: 524.22 kg/1156.70 pounds (2014 record)

    Miscellaneous: Zydrunas Savickas was born on July 15, 1975 in Birzai, Lithuania. As a child he was stronger and taller than most of his classmates and after watching a Strongman contest on TV in 1989, he decided to try to become a professional strongman. At age 16 he entered his first Strongman contest and, although he did not win, he beat a number of adult competitors in the contest. During his teenage years he also began to train in Powerlifting (starting at age 13) and in only his second contest he set new Lithuanian records. For several years he competed in both sports, totaling over 2200 pounds to win the silver medal in the IPF World Powerlifting Championships in 2000. Zydrunas’ powerlifting career was cut short when he suffered a double knee injury in a Strongman contest in 2001. Although some felt he could never lift again, Zydrunas continued training, focusing primarily on Strongman contests.  Now, Zydrunas is considered by nearly everyone to be the strongest man in the world and many argue that he is the strongest man in history. This reputation is based on his dominance in the Arnold Strongman Classic, which uses the heaviest weights in the Strongman world. He is a seven-time winner of the Arnold Strongman Classic (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008), and a four-time winner of the TWI World’s Strongest Man Contest—a combined string of victory in the sport’s two major contests which far exceeds anyone else in history of Strongman. A little-known fact about Zydrunas is that the measurements of his upper arm, his calf, and his neck are exactly the same, a rare balance the sculptors in Ancient Greece considered to be ideal..

  • thor

    Brian Shaw

    Champion, Arnold Strongman Classic, 2011
    First Place, TWI World’s Strongest Man, 2011 & 2013

    Hometown: Fort Lupton, Colorado
    Age: 33
    Height: 203.2 cm/6’8’’
    Weight: 191kg/420 lbs

    Chest: 152.4 cm/60 inches

    Job: Professional Strongman

      Contest History & Records
    Second Place, Arnold Strongman Classic, 2014
    Third Place, World’s Strongest Man, 2014
    First Place Arnold Strongman Classic-Europe, 2013
    First Place Americas Strongest Man, 2013
    First Place TWI Worlds Strongest Man, 2013
    First Place Arnold Strongman Classic Brazil, 2013
    Second Place Arnold Strongman Classic, 2013
    Fourth Place Arnold Strongman Classic, 2012
    Fourth Place TWI World’s Strongest Man, 2012
    First Place Arnold Strongman Classic, 2011
    First Place TWI World’s Strongest Man, 2011
    First Place Jon Pall Sigmarsson Classic, 2011
    First Place Giants Live London, 2011
    Fifth Place Arnold Classic Strongman, 2010
    Second Place TWI World’s Strongest Man Contest, 2010
    First Place Jon Pall Sigmarsson Classic, 2010
    First Place Viking Power Challenge, 2010
    First Place Swedish Grand Prix, 2010  
    Second Place Mohegan Sun Grand Prix, 2010 
    First Place Giants Live South Africa, 2010
    Second Place Giants Live (Istanbul), 2010
    First Place WSM Super Series, 2009
    First Place All American Strongman Challenge, 2009
    Third Place TWI World Strongest Man, 2009
    Third Place Fortissimus World Strength Challenge, 2009
    Notable Strongman Achievements:
    Stone Lift: 2011 Arnold Strongman Classic, 4 reps with 535 pound stone over a 4” bar in 53.13 seconds.
    Hummer Tire Deadlift: 1128.14 lbs at 2014 Arnold Strongman Classic.
    Miscellaneous: Brian Shaw is the only man to have won the Arnold Strongman Classic and the World’s Strongest Man contest in the same calendar year, a feat he accomplished in 2011. Brian was born, and continues to live in Fort Lupton, Colorado, and he began his athletic career there as a basketball player in high school. He then attended Black Hills State University where, at a bodyweight of about 242 pounds (110 kilos), he played on the varsity basketball team. After graduation, Shaw needed something else to compete in and became interested in Strongman contests.   He entered the Denver Strongest Man contest in 2005 and won handily with no formal training. It hooked him, he explained, and he loved the sense of seeing his strength increase. Shaw admits that, “I always had unusual strength, even before I really started training. The biggest tire, the heaviest stone, I've always been able to walk up and lift it. Odd strength is what it is, not weight-room strength; it’s brute strength, brute power.” According to Shaw, he was inspired to take up Strongman by watching the World’s Strongest Man shows on TV, “I had always been very into training and Strongman came very naturally to me.”  Shaw, who wears a size 16 shoe and has exceptionally large hands, believes Strongman competitions represent the best test of overall body strength. “I love the competition, and the feeling you have when you know you’re stronger than most men on the planet,” said Brian.

Presented by:

Maximum Human Performance
Slater's Hardware
The Arnold Sports Festival