COLUMBUS, Ohio– With NFL superstar Larry Fitzgerald and WWE’s resident “World’s Strongest Man” and 1996 Olympian Mark Henry in attendance, Zydrunas Savickas was the individual setting records. Savickas was competing in the Pro Strongman Contest on Saturday, March 1st at the 2014 Arnold Fitness EXPO when setting his world record. This competition was only the height of his weekend dominance.
“Big Z”, as the announcer and crowd affectionately called him, showed an amazing feat of strength by deadlifting 1,155 pounds, setting a new world record in doing so. He bettered the previous record of 1,128 held by Mark Felix by 27 pounds. Other competitors tried setting new world records at 1,130 and 1,150 pounds, could not complete the process, and that allowed Zydrunas Savickas to shine above others.
Savickas’ weekend was solidified on Sunday when he won the entire Pro Strongman Contest for the seventh total time, along with a fresh check worth $65,000.
Along with the Saturday contest came the Mark Henry Dumbbell Challenge in which “The World’s Strongest Man” was giving away $10,000 of his own money for the man who could lift a 300 pound dumbbell with one hand out of a wooden box would win the competition.
The strength seen in the Pro Strongman Contest did not translate to Mark Henry’s Dumbbell Challenge.
With so many strong men in the arena, not one was able to grip the 3.5 inch in diameter bar enough to get it out of the box, not even the record-setting Zydrunas Savickas. Luckily for the men involved this contest was only for fun and did not count in the official standings.
The weekend performance that Savickas gave will live on, at least until next year’s Arnold Fitness EXPO, and winning it for the first time since 2009 certainly made it one of the best Arnold Classic’s ever.
Brian Shaw and Mike Burke finished second and third, respectively, and turned in awesome performances.
By: Mark Francis