Strongman can’t weight to win world championship

Strongman James Garrad lifts a car as he is preparing for the world championships
Strongman James Garrad lifts a car as he is preparing for the world championships
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Super strong Sheffield muscleman James Garrad show he’s a real man of steel – by lifting a car!

James Garrad, from Crookes, has qualified for the strongman world championship and will compete for chance to go professional.

Strongman James Garrad lifts an atlas stone as he is preparing for the world championships

Strongman James Garrad lifts an atlas stone as he is preparing for the world championships

The 28-year-old will compete in the Arnold Strongman Classic – created Hollywood superstar by Arnold Schwarzenegger – in Ohio in the USA in March next year after coming fourth in the British round.

James said: “I’m really excited, I’m proud of my achievements. It took two years to prepare for the competition. I’m nervous but I’m excited about the future.”

The heaviest weight James has ever lifted is an eye-popping 36 tonnes in the form of an arctic truck.

James said his biggest strength is overhead lifting and in every competition he has taken part in so far he has won the category.

Strongman James Garrad is doing a overhead lift as he is preparing for the world championships

Strongman James Garrad is doing a overhead lift as he is preparing for the world championships

But he confesses to a weakness. “Anything relating to grip as I have really small hands for a big guy,” he said.

The strongman, who came fourth in the British Elite Strongman Challenge, will be given professional status if he wins the world championship in Ohio.

He said: “To be recognised as one of the best in the world is the dream. And if not, I’ll keep trying.”

The elite challenge involved a picking up tractor tyres, pendulums and racing with beer kegs and sandbags.

To win a place at the British Elite Strongman Challenge James had to compete in the North of England Elite Strongman and the England’s Elite Strongman, coming third in both events.

James decided try his hand at strongman training after he met professional strongman Mark Felix at a sports convention in Birmingham.

“He was giving an equipment demo and I could actually lift some quite easily so I thought I would give it a go,” he said.

“At the time I was playing Rugby Union for Sheffield RUFC but I gave up rugby to concentrate on this.

“I started pushing my physical limits I find the competitions addictive as I am a competitive person who has also been into sports.”

The strongman trains four times a week for at least three hours at Titanium Strength Gym on Fitzwalter Road.

He said: “The gym is the perfect place to train, the environment is supportive and the equipment is second to none

“The people that train here are enthusiastic and they help push you.”

He estimates the cost of taking part in the world championships will be about £3,000 and has said he is looking for sponsorship.