The Arnold Strongman Classic


2016 Rules & Notes

A schedule of events appears below. The complete rules are available here.

Arnold Stronman Classic Officials

The Arnold Strongman Classic is directed by Terry Todd, Jan Todd, and Steve Slater. The other officials for 2015 include David Webster and Magnus ver Magnusson (Head Officials), Odd Haugen, John Fair, Kim Beckwith, Mark Henry, Dionne Wessels, Terry Young, Darren Sadler, Brad and Karl Gillingham, Dr. Bill Crawford, Susie Slater, and Bill Duerson. Stage Announcers for 2015 are Bill Kazmaier and Colin Bryce.

Arnold Strongman Classic 2016 Prize Money

The Arnold Strongman Classic is directed by Terry Todd, Jan Todd, and Steve Slater. The other officials for 2015 include David Webster and Magnus ver Magnusson (Head Officials), Odd Haugen, John Fair, Kim Beckwith, Mark Henry, Dionne Wessels, Terry Young, Darren Sadler, Brad and Karl Gillingham, Dr. Bill Crawford, Susie Slater, and Bill Duerson. Stage Announcers for 2015 are Bill Kazmaier and Colin Bryce.

In 2016 the total prize package has been increased by $15,000. The winner of the Arnold Strongman Classic will receive $72,000 and a 40-pound bronze statue of the legendary Louis Cyr.

The breakdown for the rest of the field will be:

  • Second: $22,000
  • Third: $17,000
  • Fourth: $12,000
  • Fifth: $10,000
  • Sixth: $7,000
  • Seventh: $6,000
  • Eighth: $4,000
  • Ninth: $3,000
  • Tenth: $2,000

The Rogue Record Breakers Challenge Events

Last year we introduced a “Record Breakers” event so that we could challenge some of the top Strongmen and lifters of today to break the records in several well-known feats of strength. Misha Koklyaev, Mike Burke, and Hafthor Bjornsson chose one of these records and only Koklyaev failed to break the record in the feat he attempted—a one-hand snatch of a 253 lb. (115 kg) custom-made bar. Even so, his three attempts came very close and were very thrilling to watch. Last year Hafthor Bjornsson set a new world record in the Weight Over Bar event by tossing a 56 lb. weight over a pole-vault standard set at 19’3”. Mike Burke then cleaned from the platform and lifted overhead a 172 lb. Inch Dumbbell three times using only one hand. Both Bjornsson and Burke received $5000 for breaking a record in 2015.

This year Rogue Fitness agreed to become the official sponsor of this part of our show and is offering $5000 to the man who is able to break the record in any of the six designated “Rogue Record Breaker Events” for 2016.” Rogue also agreed to manufacture several pieces of specialized equipment needed for these new events.

Any records set during the Arnold Classic in these Rogue Record Breakers events — made according to the rules, and to the satisfaction of our team of experienced officials — will be submitted to the Guinness Book of Records.

By Sunday, all three of this Sunday’s potential challengers will have taken part in the Arnold Strongman Classic held the previous two days. The events planned for this day are tentative because it’s possible that one or more of them will have sustained an injury or be too exhausted to attempt to exceed his best performance in the Rogue Record Breakers event.

Friday, 3:30

ASC Event One: The Rogue Elephant Bar Deadlift

Expo Stage

Each man will have three attempts, and we will use the "rising bar" system, in which the lightest first attempt will be done first, followed by the next heaviest, and so on through the final attempt.  Each man will have to begin his lift within 30 seconds of the time his name has been called. Straps will be allowed, but greasing or oiling the thighs is prohibited.  The bar can be hitched, stopped, and even lowered so long as it is brought to the correct finish position at the conclusion of the lift—legs and body straight and shoulders in line with the sides of the body.  However, the bar cannot be raised and then dropped and bounced to gain momentum.

The Rogue Elephant Bar will be much longer than a regulation “Olympic Bar,” and it will have extra length on each end to accommodate 12 or 13 of our custom-made 45 lb. (20.5 kg) plates to be loaded on each end. Each plate is 2” wide—like most cast-iron plates made during the first half of the 20th century—such as York Barbell’s “deep-dish” 45s, which were copied from the “Berg Hantel” 20 kg plates first imported to the US from Germany in the 1920s. Any bar loaded with these “old school” plates will look much heavier than it would look loaded with standard, thin steel plates. The plates that will be used on the Rogue Elephant Bar were designed and fabricated by Rogue Fitness, and the inside of the “dish” is a raised image of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Friday, 4:45

ASC Event Two: The Austrian Oak

Expo Stage

We will use two logs. The “Small” log weighs approximately 385 pounds (175 kg); The “Large” log weighs approximately 450 pounds (204 kg). The event will be conducted just as it was in 2015.

The logs are made of wood, metal and rope and the dimensions of the heavier log—The Austrian Oak—are as follows: length, 9’; diameter between the handles, 12”; distance between the handles, 26”; handle diameter, 1.25”; diameter at each end, 22”. The logs are also balanced so that the handles are equidistant from the exact balance point of the log.

The challenge to the athletes will be to take the log from the platform, lift it to arms’ length (and control it) Repeat for as many repetitions as possible. A “down” signal will be given to the lifter by hand as well as by voice or a whistle when the bar has been controlled. The log is then dropped or lowered to the platform. The lifter does as many repetitions as possible in 90 seconds using a press, a push-press, a push-jerk, or a split jerk, but the log must be controlled on every rep and the referee’s whistle should not be blown until the bar is controlled overhead. This will be monitored very closely. The lifter may use any technique to bring the log to the chest except to stand it on one end and rock it sideways into position for the overhead portion of the lift.

Lifters who choose to only lift the lighter log will have a better chance to make more reps and demonstrate their level of strength. Because our time on stage is limited, any lifter who knows he wants to use the heavy log for his max rep must tell the referees his decision before the event begins. All athletes who choose the heavy log will be allowed to take one attempt with the lighter log backstage as a warm-up. Just as we have done in the past with the Manhood Stones, we will begin with the heavy log—The Austrian Oak—and, after those attempts, the competitors who either failed to lift the heavy log for at least one rep or chose to only lift the lighter log will take their turn with the lighter log. The order of lifting in the log event will be determined by the placings in the first event—so that the person who finished last in the deadlift will go first with the Oak and the person who finished first will go last with the Oak. Ties will be broken by drawing lots. Anyone making at least one rep with the heavy log will be placed ahead of anyone who successfully lifts the light log for multiple reps.

Competitors will have 1.5 minutes (90 seconds) from the time their name is announced and the whistle has blown (NOT from the time the lifter touches the log) to complete their attempts.

Saturday, 1:15

ASC Event Three: The Cyr Dumbbell

Expo Stage

The rules for how the Cyr Dumbbell is lifted will be the same as last year—two hands may be used to lift the dumbbell to the shoulder, but then only one arm can be used to push it to arm’s length overhead. This year, however, we will use two dumbbells with different weights—just like we do in the Austrian Oak event. The Heavy Cyr—made by Rogue Fitness especially for the 2016 ASC—will weigh 300 lbs. (136.5 kg) and the Light Cyr will weigh 274 lbs. (124.5 kg.) Anyone who wants to attempt the Heavy Cyr will take their attempts in the reverse order of their placing at that time, and will do as many reps as possible. Those who want to wait for the Light Cyr will wait until the attempts with the Heavy Cyr have been made. At that point the Light Cyr will be brought to the platform and attempts to lift it for maximum reps will be made by those who chose not to try to lift the Heavy Cyr and by those who failed to lift the Heavy Cyr. Even one rep with the Heavy Cyr will get more points than five or even ten reps with the Light Cyr.

The background for this event is that in January of 1892—in front of 5000 people at the Royal Aquarium in London, Louis Cyr broke Eugen Sandow’s world record by push-pressing a dumbbell of 273.25 lbs. (124 kg) over his head with one hand after taking it to his shoulder with two hands.  We have this dumbbell in the Weider Museum at the University of Texas.  After Cyr’s death the dumbbell was owned by his grandson, who sold it decades ago to Ben Weider, whose son, Eric Weider, donated it to the Weider Museum in the Stark Center at the University of Texas in Austin.  The handle of the original Cyr Dumbbell (and of all of the replicas we use in the contest) is approximately 1 5/8” in diameter or a bit more. The other important measurements are as follows: (Handle Circumference—6 5/16”; Length—4.5”; Spheres circumference—31 3/8”; length from handle to end, 13 ¾”).  Using this dumbbell allows us to pay our respects to the legendary Louis Cyr, a bronze statue of whom is given each year to the winner of our competition.  The replicas of the Cyr Dumbbell have been designed and built by the experts at Rogue Fitness, the major sponsor of the Arnold Strongman Classic.  Rogue Fitness also made a lighter version of the 274 pound replica, and the lighter version, weighing 240 pounds (109 kg), will be available for warm-ups, in addition to a Circus Dumbbell weighing approximately 200 pounds (90 kg) and an Inch DB replica.  The dimensions of all the “Cyr Bells” are essentially the same.

Saturday, 2:40

RRB Event One: The Inch Dumbbell One-Hand Deadlift

Expo Stage
Challenger: Odd Haugen

The Challenger, age 66, must do a full deadlift at least 66 times within ten minutes using only one hand at a time. The dumbbell must touch the floor on each repetition. An official will say “Begin” but there will be no down signal before Haugen puts the dumbbell back on the floor. He does not have to hold the dumbbell at the top but he must convinces the judges that he has pulled the bell to a finished position. The way the lift will be judged is that three officials will keep an independent count, and when Haugen has done as many as he can within ten minutes each of the three officials will submit their counts to the scoring table and the counts will be averaged in order for Haugen and the audience to know the official count. If it’s 66 or more Haugen will receive $5000.

Saturday, 3:00

ASC Event Four: The Bale Tote

Expo Stage

This year we will load our yoke so that it weighs approximately 1300 lbs. for the first of two heats.  We have had two bales of cotton made at the oldest operational gin in America— in Burton, Texas—which began to gin and bale cotton in 1914.  These bales were made the old-fashioned way so that they are larger than modern bales.  Each bale weighs over 400 lbs. (182.5 kg) but will be reweighed before the event begins so the weight will be exact when announced from the stage.  The yoke that will carry the cotton bales and any additional weight we need was designed and built by Rogue Fitness.

The men will try to carry the yoke a very short distance (approximately 4 meters/13 feet) on each attempt and each man must carry it the full distance on the first attempt in order to qualify for the final heat.  On the first attempt the yoke will weigh approximately 589.7 kg/1300 lbs. On the final attempt, the weight will be raised to approximately 1544 lbs. (700 kg) and each man who successfully carried the first weight will go in the same order and attempt to carry the heavier yoke the same distance.  Anyone who fails to carry the yoke the full distance will be judged on how far he carried his final attempt.  The first heat attempts must be completed within 30 seconds.  Placements will be determined by a combination of distance and speed in the final event.

Each man will have 30 seconds maximum per attempt.

Saturday, 4:40

The Heavy Tire Flip — An Exhibition

Expo Stage
Challenger: Jean-Francois Caron

Caron will attempt to flip a tire weighing approximately 1350 lbs. for as many reps as possible. Although we’re not sure, we believed that no one has ever overturned a tire this heavy or heavier, and if Caron flips it one or more times he will be given $1000. Time limit: 5 minutes.

Saturday, 5:00

RRB Event Two: Farmer's Walk with the Inch Dumbbell

Expo Stage
Challenger: Mike Burke

Challenger begins by picking up two Inch Dumbbells from the floor. He and will then carry them along a set course marked out on the Expo stage. He may not support the Bells on the thighs or hips. To break the record he must carry the dumbbells past the marker set at 76’8”, the previous best in this event. Two attempts will be permitted, but the second attempt must begin no more than 10 minutes after the finish of the first attempt.

Saturday Evening

ASC Event Five: The Timber Carry

Battelle Auditorium

This event will be the same as in 2015, and straps will be allowed. We have used the same Timber Frame since the ASC began in 2002, although the weight of the frame has often been different. It was adapted through the years by Steve Slater. This year it will weigh approximately 1102 pounds (500 kg) and the goal is to carry it approximately 35 feet (10.7 meters) up the same ramp as fast as possible.  No sliding of the frame is allowed. The timbers can be dropped and picked back up again. The time limit is 30 seconds.

Sunday, 12:00

RRB Event Three: Weight Over Bar (56 pounds over 19'5")

Expo Stage
Challenger: Hafthor Bjornsson

Sunday, 12:00

RRB Event Four: Metal Log Lift (507 pounds)

Expo Stage
Challenger: Zydrunas Savickas

Sunday, 12:00

RRB Event Five: Manhood Stone (555 pounds)

Expo Stage
Challenger: Brian Shaw

2016 Results

Please check out the full results here! Placings are as follows:

Placing Competitor Total Points
1 Zydrunas Savickas 42
2 Brian Shaw 41
3 Vytautas Lalas 36
4 Mateusz Kieliszkowski 33.5
5 Hafthor Bjornsson 32.5
6 Jerry Pritchett 24.5
7 Mikael Shivilyakov 22.5
8 Dimitar Savatinov 18.5
9 Eddie Hall 11
10 Aleksandr Lysenko 10.5

2015 Results

Please check out the full results from Day 1 and Day 2! Placings are as follows:

Placing Competitor Total Points
1 Brian Shaw 42.5
2 Zydrunas Savickas 41.5
3 Mateusz Kieliszkowski 31
T4 Dimitar Savatinov 30
T4 Mike Burke 30
6 Eddie Hall 29
7 Hafthor Bjornsson 28
8 Jerry Pritchett 26
9 Benedict Magnusson 5
10 Warick Brant 4

Presented by:

Maximum Human Performance
Slater's Hardware
The Arnold Sports Festival