ORLANDO, Fla. – Church Street in downtown Orlando will muscle up this weekend for the American Strongman and Strongwoman competition.
“Strongman’s great. It’s a different form of working out,” said Alan Colley, the organizer of Saturday’s event. “It’s using the whole entire body -- back, legs, all-around strength to pick (up) cars and press big logs over your head, and big dumbbells -- just putting your body through the total maximum effort in pretty much every lift you do.”
The competition will take place for the first time on Church Street.
“I’ve always seen, like, other events done on Church Street and Wall Street and stuff, and I’m like, ‘Oh, I’d like to have my event there,’” Colley said.
During the competition, professional athletes and amateurs will go head to head with challenges like a yoke carry.
“They put this apparatus on their back, they run it down 20 feet. Put the next apparatus on their back, run another 20 feet, but it’s getting heavier as they go,” said the 38-year-old owner of Iron House Gym in Davenport.
It's a sport that showcases their strength and endurance across multiple events.
“For the women, they have a 20-, 25- and a 30-pound bag to try to throw over different heights for each weight class, and the men are doing from 35 to 50 pounds,” Colley said.
Saturday’s event will be extra special for Colley because he’ll be honoring one of his friend’s father who passed away last year.
“We had a good camaraderie. He was always a funny guy. He was also a veteran,” he said.
A toy drive will be held in Richard Lamb’s name. He was a Vietnam veteran in the U.S. Air Force.
“I feel that some of the younger generations (are) forgetting veterans and what they’ve done for us and how they fought for this country, and I made the toy drive in his name so people don’t forget that and his name lives on,” Colley said.
They’re a community of some of the strongest men and women that Colley considers a family -- despite the competition.
“I remember when I went to an event one time, I forgot my belt and a guy that I was going against, he’s like, ‘Hey, man, here’s mine. Take it real quick and use it.’ One guy forgot his shoes. I saw another athlete give him shoes,” Colley said. “We’re all in the same, like, misery when it comes to lifting the weight, so it’s like we all know what we go through. We always want to win but we want to see each other achieve good things as well, too.”
The American Strongman and Strongwoman competition begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and runs until 4 p.m. Athletes can still sign up the day of the event.