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Strongman Zack McCarley
TRAINING AT IMPERIAL CROSSFIT
FARMERS CARRY OF 548 LBS
In 2011 Zack McCarley became Americas Strongest Man Under 231 lbs. A product of the Northwest, Zack not only defies what is humanly possible he also destroys stereotypes of what we think the typical strongman is.
What was your segue into strong man? I was a wrestler at Tahoma High School. Before that I did a little bit of football, but was mostly considered a wrestler. I always saw strong man on
TV and I always thought it was pretty cool. I started working out in high school and got pretty strong. Every time I would see strongman on television I would say those are heavy weights, but I can do that. Then one day I said I am going to do that. . So I went out and found a contest. I was really lucky because Grant Higa happen to be the promoter of the closest contest. We happen to live two miles apart from each other. I called him up and said I am an 18-year-old high school student that interested in strongman and would like to do your contest. What
could you tell me about it? He brought me out to and taught me how to do the events. Grant Higa was instrumental in bringing me into this sport. I was really lucky and I try not to forget that.
How often do you train?
As I get closer to contest I start train a lot more event specific. So this upcoming contest will have a tire flip, it will have a stone load and farmers walk. So I am training for those events once every two weeks. Strongman is very taxing, not only on your muscles and your ligaments but also on yourCNS. If your training once a week you will be breaking down faster than your body can repair. I still do gym work, but the contest specific work is spaced out.
Are the competitions blind, do you know the events going into them? You typically know what you’re going to be doing. Events will release their contest list about two or three months in advance. We see strongmen on TV pulling buses and flipping tires taller than most men. What has been the craziest thing you’ve ever lifted as a strongman?
I don’t know. I’ve flipped tires over a thousand pounds. I’ve pulled trucks over 40000 pounds. I think it’s like anything once you start doing it and start getting better and training harder, it’s harder to become impressed. I am never impressed with myself, because I expect it from my self. If somebody on this planet can do it I should be able to do it too. Your traveling to China soon for
a strongman competition can you tell us a little about it? I was invited to China by winning the 2011 Americas Strongest Man under 231LB. That takes the entire lightweight Pro division athletes and puts them all against each other, a strongman battle royal. I came out on top and got the first invite to this international contest. This is actually an unlimited weight contest, meaning I most likely will be the lightest competitor there. I did get confirmation that I will be the shortest guy there, but that don’t bug me. Height and weight play a role in strongman, but I think heart weighs in a lot more. I just got to want it more.
What your future goals with strongman? Right now I just picked the biggest sponsor in the sport, Met-RX nutrition. I’m really excited about that right now. Where I think I can go? In America I’ve gone as far as I can with the sport. I’m a three time national champion and
I’m the current Americas Strongest man under 231LB. In America you can’t go any higher. I’ve been in contact with the International Federation of Strongman to see if they will be holding 105KG (231lb) worlds and they are still looking for a venue. Looks like they will not be holding it this year. I would love to go to Worlds and I would love to represent America. I want to win a world championship.
Your very passionate about your sport do you see your self as a spokesman for strongman in America?
I try to be an ambassador for the sport. Our sport is still very underground. So I go around and do demos at high schools and events. It’s all about spreading the sport.
What’s something about you our readers might find interesting? I worked, as a one on one in a special needs program for three years while attending night school. Right now I am pursuing a Chemistry degree at central Washington University. I really like science. It’s something that I just get. For a while I was really into writing and philosophy. I was put off by it mostly because of teachers. It’s a very subjective field and if a teacher disliked your opinion they could mark you down. Science, like chemistry and math are concrete. There are correct answers and there are incorrect answerers. There’s no room for subjective viewpoints.
Zach runs a Free Strongman Training Crew in Ellensburg Wa. To find out more contact him through facebook.