Cheltenham’s strongest man and woman competition at DW Fitness

Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.
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Support for Help for Heroes
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Competitors of Strong man and woman competition at DW Fitness, Cheltenham

Last month, I organised a strong man and woman event in honour of Help for Heroes. After competing myself in a strong woman contest and donating to charity,  it inspired me to organise my own competition. By doing so, I was able to contribute larger donations to charity where I could help make a difference. I wanted to encourage people to push beyond their training limits and try something new. Help for Heroes is ‘founded on the belief that those who put their lives on the line for us deserve a second chance at life for them and their families’. This non-profit organisation touches the hearts of many individuals, and together we were able to promote and fundraise for this amazing charity.

The competition had four categories, two for women (under and over 75kg) and two for men (under and over 90kg)

The competition consisted of:

  • Deadlift
  • Farmers walk
  • Hercules Hold
  • Bench Press
  • Pulling sled race

Death by deadlift

The deadlift consisted of a lighter starting weight for each category, and an increase of 10kg per lift. The focus was to keep lifting each weight increase until failure. We had some incredible personal bests on this event, and the energy in the room was sky high.


Farmers walk

The farmers walk was a starting weight of 120kg for the under 75kg women category. 130kg for the women overs category. 180kg for mens under 90kg category and 200kg for the mens over 90kg category. The goal was to reach the 20 metre line, drop and turn back to the finish line in less than 60 seconds.


Hercules hold

This may look easy, but this is probably one of the hardest events of all. This event requires strength of the shoulders, you must raise your arms with a weight in each hand and hold that weight in place for as long as you can.


Bench Press

The good old bench press. Not a classic strong man event, but an event that requires some serious strength. This exercise was made even harder by our lovely umpire Glen (particularly for the lads, bless them). The bench press required the competitor to bench a starting weight, and wait for the “PRESS” order to be given by the umpire. After each successful lift you were to hold the weight in place until more weight was added and repeat the same again… ouch.

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Pulling sled race

A race between competitors! The quickest time to pull a weighted sled over 20 metres.


Our winners of each category were: Matthew Diamond, mens over 90kg category. Christian Ayandokun, mens under 90kg category. Natasha Walters, women’s over 75kg category. Zoe Lundy, women’s under 75kg category. We also nominated our people’s champion as April Di’ Tomaso. I’ve known April for about 6 months, and strength training is not usually April’s forte. However she pushed herself past her limits and proved that she could compete in a strong woman event if she set her mind to it. I’m so proud of what we all achieved and the donations we all made. A massive congratulations to all the competitors, the event would not have been possible without you.

Thank you!

Huge thanks to Glen our umpire, Hannah co-host, Vicki Cale, our loudest and most supportive spectator, Cameron Hayward, Samantha Bond and Robbie for collecting donations on behalf of Help for Heroes. Thanks to Boston Tea Party and Pizza Hut for donating their time and delicious free snacks to our competitors and spectators. Thanks to Don Browning Trophies for your stunningly crafted trophies. Thank you to Brydie who spent hours getting footage of the event, and thank you Joe Allen the general manager of DW who made this all possible. Thank you to all the spectators for coming and supporting our fabulous contestants and last but not least the competitors themselves: Chris Lineham, Josh O’Malley, Adam Rauland, Jamal Ahmed, Aaron Jewell, Christian Ayandokun, Matthew Diamond, David Rushmer, Joe Butterfield, April Di’ Tomaso, Eden McClean, Naomi Craddock, Neringa Popruga, Zoe Lundy, Sophie Odam, Natalie Turner, Natasha Walters and Tay O’sullivan.

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