Stephen Ogloff says he has always been strong.
He has been lifting weights seriously for eight years and, for the last five years, he has been pushing himself to the limit in gruelling strongman competitions.
The Salmon Arm resident has participated in competitions around B.C. in places like Williams Lake, Vancouver and Victoria. He will be showing off his strength at Sicamous’ Strength fest event on Saturday, July 27.
Strongman competitions mix barbell lifts that would not look out of place in a powerlifting gym with more unconventional feats of strength, such as lifting or carrying large stones, carrying heavy weights in hand and pulling trucks with ropes and harnesses.
Ogloff has had a chance to eye-up the list of events in which strong men and women will test themselves at the Sicamous Strength Fest, and says he sees a mix of events he knows he is competent at and others which will be a new challenge. He said his grip strength is helpful for the farmer’s walk, which involves carrying heavy weights in each hand as far as possible; deadlifts are also a strong event for him but he says the 585-lb. bar he can expect in Sicamous will be difficult.
More challenging will be the Log Clean and Press as Ogloff said he has struggled with overhead lifts in the past. The fire truck pull will be something new for the Salmon Arm strongman.
According to Ogloff, the Shuswap area lacks gyms with bespoke strongman equipment so, along with heavy lifting in the gym, he often mimics strongman events by lifting weighted kegs or large stones on the beach.
Ogloff competed in one powerlifting meet before his first strongman competition. Powerlifters strive for maximum weight in barbell deadlift, squats and bench press; Ogloff said he prefers strongman because of the greater variety of events and the less prominent emphasis on perfect form.
In his most recent competition in Williams Lake, Ogloff placed second. He recently moved into the super heavyweight class, leaving him testing his strength against some of the biggest and strongest men in B.C.
He said he is eager to keep competing in order to keep the sport healthy in B.C., while pushing himself against the strongest men the province has to offer. He said he hopes to one day qualify for nationals.
The Sicamous Strength fest will be the next chance for the public to see Ogloff and other competitors’ feats of strength. The event takes place at Finlayson Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will feature both strongman and highland games events.