Local strongman not allowed in the gym, still wins competition

NLVaxPass made it so anyone without two shots couldn’t come inside, but that didn’t stop Jordan Stuart from breaking his records.

 

Jordan Stuart applies chalk before going for a lift.
Jordan Stuart suits up for his lifts and applies chalk to his chest. Chalk dust helps give friction when lifting weights. James Grudic/Kicker

Saturday morning in a small gym in the basement of a Paradise business complex, a few dozen athletes were chanting, shouting, and lifting unwieldly hunks of steel off the floor.

After each successful lift, the crowd would hoot and holler as hundreds of kilograms would be slammed back onto a collection of pads and mats with a muted thud.

Static Monsters is a worldwide log lift and axel deadlift competition hosted at True Strength Inc. by the NL Strongman Records Committee. The event shared the venue with the Battle of the Beasts, a strongman competition featuring other events like the yoke walk.

Jordan Stuart is one of the competitors. He’s in the gym seven days a week, and says that the feeling of lifting weights is its own reward.

“You get so amped up to do these things you’ve never done before and hit these big numbers. You get addicted to it,” he said.

For athletes like Stuart, lifting heavy things is one of life’s great pleasures.

“That’s the feeling you crave after a while.”

Two days before the competition, Stuart was training in a back room of Reps Fitness in St. John’s. He was in good spirits for the weekend’s competition.

“I’m hoping to just smash those numbers out of the park,” he said about his own personal lifts.

“Sometimes you need to compete in the rain.”

Since the advent of NLVaxPass, every athlete and volunteer at the Static Monsters had to show proof of double vaccination before entering the gym. For Stuart, that’s been tricky. His second dose was scheduled for a week after the competition.

Because he couldn’t enter the gym, he had to compete outside between rain showers.

Despite competing on the wet sidewalk, Stuart lifted 136 kilograms on the log press, a new personal record. He also deadlifted 330 kilograms on the axel giving him the largest overall total of the local event. Static Monsters is an international competition with an online database of rankings. For instance, Stuart’s log lifted ranked him 12th in the under 105 kilogram (231 pounds) weight class.

Mike Owens is the chief referee at Static Monsters and says helping one of their top athletes compete was no big issue.

“It was easy enough to accommodate him,” said Owens.

The group organizers helped out by bringing the weights, bars and pads outside for Stuart when his turn came to lift. For a relatively small local community, it’s important to let everyone take part when they can.

“We’re trying to grow the sport,” said Owens.

A welder by trade, Owens is able to apply his skills to create some of the equipment used by the athletes.

“I get to dream up weird equipment and implements all the time,” he said.

“You can kind of think up whatever you want, and make weird implements to torture the guys with.”

Stuart understands that competing outside the gym while everyone else is dry inside isn’t ideal, but it’s part of the erratic nature of the sport.

“It made me more excited for it, because I love that variability in strongman,” he said.

“Sometimes you need to compete in the rain.”

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