Eddie Hall has been the undisputed King of Britain’s Strongest Man for the last 5 years - and after years of hard work, he finally achieved his ultimate dream of winning The World’s Strongest Man title in 2017. But the punishment he has put his body though has taken its toll. With injuries that have never had chance to heal and doctors telling him he would die if he continued, Eddie has taken a step back from Strongman (at least for the time being) to focus on his acting career.
With the King out of the picture, this year’s Britain’s Strongest Man is now there for the taking for athletes both old and new. Can Big Loz claim another British title? Can the new lean, mean Terry Hollands beat the competition and take his second title, 12 years after his first? Is the new generation of strength ready – perhaps it’s time for the likes of Paul Smith and Tom Stoltman to take the podium?
One thing’s for sure, it’s gonna be one helluva showdown! With so much speculation floating around and so many athletes with their eyes firmly on the prize, here’s our run-down of the Giant competitors ready to take Eddie’s crown and the title of Britain’s Strongest Man 2019.
Big Loz has been a member of the world strongman elite for the best part of a decade. Entering his first Britain’s Strongest Man contest in 2007, he took the title in both 2012 and 2013 and is truly one of the best strength athletes Britain has ever had.
For every step forward Loz has taken in this sport, he seems to have been two steps back, with several major injuries (torn bicep, torn quad, labrum tear, torn lat, torn tricep) seriously threatening his career. Any less of a man would have given up after such horrific injuries, and to his own admission he has come very close to packing it all in, but in 2019 Loz comes back stronger than ever.
The aptly named “Warrior” has had a relatively quiet 2018; after sitting out Britain’s Strongest Man, Europe’s Strongest Man and the Giants Live World’s Strongest Man Tour Finals, he finished off the year in style with an impressive 5th Place at WUS in Dubai, ahead of illustrious names such as Big Z and Konstantine Janashia, proving he remains one of the sport’s elites and surely a favourite to win Britain’s Strongest Man 2019.
Throughout the reign of Eddie Hall, Hicksy has forever been the nearly-man of Britain’s Strongest Man, with 3 podium finishes in 5 years. At 5ft 10”, despite being relatively short for a Strongman, Graham has proved that you don’t need towering height to be a successful Giant.
In 2018, Graham pushed Eddie hard for the title, going into the Atlas Stones just behind The Beast, eventually finishing just 7 points behind in 2nd place. Graham has always said that winning Britain’s Strongest Man is his dream and this year he’s in with his best ever shot of making that dream a reality. With his impressive overhead strength combined with his agility on moving events, Hicksy will be tough to beat!
When most of the competition were still at school, Mark was already competing and beating the best strongmen at a world class level. Perhaps down to his longevity as much as his pure brute strength, Mark holds the record for the most podium finishes at Britain’s Strongest Man since 2006 with 6 visits, yet he shows no sign of slowing down just yet. 52 year old Mark says “Every year I gain more experience and learn more about what I am capable of.”
2018 was a fair showing for Felix; with a 7th at Britain’s, 8th at Europe’s and 10th at the Tour Finals in Manchester, but ask any of the athletes and they will tell you: you can never count Felix out!
Coming into Britain’s Strongest Man 2019, Mark needs to make sure his injury worries are behind him to make the most of what could be his best chance in years to take the title or at least bag his 7th podium spot at Britain’s Strongest Man and prove he really is the Peter Pan of the Strongman world.
Just like Mark Felix, Terry started competing in Strongman in the early 2000’s and has enjoyed great success over his career, taking Britain’s Strongest Man in 2007 along with two 3rd place finishes at World’s Strongest Man.
As an ex rugby player, Terry has always been one of the biggest strongmen around, using his weight and sheer power to pull some incredible lifts, but a couple of years ago, Terry decided to go back to the drawing board. After changing his diet and training regime, Terry was able to drop an incredible 30kg earning him the new nickname ‘World’s Strongest Bodybuilder’.
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Well its good to look at stuff like this and see progress. Top left 2 years ago, top right 1 year ago, bottom left 6 months and bottom right current condition. 5 stone in difference and very very happy with changes. I've never been one to train for vanity but it's always great to feel good about yourself.
Find out more about Terry’s incredible transformation over on OFFICIAL STRONGMAN.
Strong finishes at Britain’s Strongest Man and the Giants Live World’s Strongest Man Tour Finals in 2018 have set Terry up nicely for 2019 – and he’s on a mission to prove that you don’t need the strongman ‘power belly’ to succeed at the highest levels of this sport. While he continues to learn what his new body is capable of and is getting stronger all the while, Terry has to be one of the leading contenders this year.
The lovable ‘Bish’ has been quietly building a reputation as one of the best British strongmen around. Even though his strongman training comes 2nd to his day job as Strength and Conditioning Coach for Harlequin FC, Bishop put in some incredible performances in 2018. With 4th place at Britain’s Strongest Man (tied on points with 3rd) and even more impressively, 3rd place at the Tour Finals in Manchester.
A disastrous 2017 started with Adam falling and crushing his hand during the Shield Carry event at Britain’s Strongest Man and ended with a ruptured bicep tendon at Europe’s Strongest Man, so to see such an upturn in form in 2018 is seriously impressive.
Bish is a solid allrounder, and if he can avoid falling over or rupturing tendons, he is in with a serious shot at the title.
Sheffield born and bred, Paul Smith will have the support of thousands of Sheffield-ers behind him as he walks out at the FlyDSA Arena in January, and not without good reason. Paul put in a superb underdog performance in 2018, beating Eddie Hall in the Hammer Hold and finishing just 4 points from a podium finish on only his 2nd appearance at Britain’s Strongest Man.
Any other day in history, Paul could have been celebrating an incredible 3rd place, but such was the level of competition it just wasn’t to be. Paul has been training hard in 2018 and is in the shape of his life. Don’t be surprised to see Paul lifting a trophy this January.
Widely touted by Strongman royalty like Eddie Hall and Graham Hicks to be Britain’s next World’s Strongest Man, Tom has yet to turn that raw potential into a podium spot at Giants Live. There is no doubting that the strength and potential is there and at 6”6’ tall he towers over most of his competitors.
At only 24, Tom is still very young and if he doesn’t do it this year, you’d be a brave person to bet against him doing it in the future.
Of course, he has big bro to contend with, too...
Oil rig worker and owner of the deepest voice in Strongman, Luke Stoltman is fast becoming a firm favourite on the British scene. The 4 time Scotland’s Strongest Man winner has put in some solid showings at Britain’s Strongest Man in the past, hitting 4th place in 2017 and excelling at dynamic events like the Shield Carry and Atlas Stones.
But before beating the other competitors, Luke will be looking to beat his brother, Tom. In 2018 Tom beat Luke to become Scotland’s Strongest Man, so in the spirit of sibling rivalry, we’re sure Luke will be looking to put one over on him in January.
Phil debuted at Britain’s Strongest Man in 2017 and put in a very consistent performance, finishing the show in 11th place. After missing the 2018 comp, Phil will be looking to make a strong comeback. And be in no doubt - Phil isn’t just here to make up the numbers - he’s coming to win!
Mark made his debut at Britain’s Strongest Man in 2018, finishing an impressive 8th place despite injuring himself in the 2nd event. The lad from Leeds proved he has the attitude, grit and heart of a champion. With such a strong field, he’s going to have his work cut out, but we can’t wait to see how he performs on full form!
Former rugby prop and current Strength and Conditioning Coach for Locks Heath Pumas RUFC, Aaron turned to strongman after retiring from rugby to keep his competitive fire burning.
He bagged a solid performance at Britain’s Strongest Man in 2018 and as he heads into his 2nd Britain’s Strongest Man competition, we know the best is yet to come from this promising athlete. Aaron will be looking to better his 9th place finish from last year.
Hailing from across the Irish sea, Michael accrued his fair share of silverware in 2018 after claiming Ireland’s Strongest Man. Making his first appearance at Britain’s Strongest Man, he is somewhat of an unknown quantity and will be putting on his best performance to show us all how it’s done.
As Michael says: “It comes down to one simple thing: How bad do you want it?”.
Another athlete making his 2nd visit to the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield is Ben Brunning, after finishing 10th in 2018. Ben has been training hard to improve all aspects of his strength, including competing at the 2018 World Sumo Championships in Taiwan!
Ben ‘Badger’ Brunning will be looking to start his 2019 campaign off strong against this exceptional field of athletes.
Come along and see the showdown! If you love strongman, you won’t want to miss this!