On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2023, Canadian strongman Mitchell Hooper posted a video of his own log pressing 195 kilograms (430 pounds) for two reps on his Instagram page. The increase is 10 kilograms more than his competition record of 185 kilograms (408 pounds), according to Giants Live. This achievement came seven months after Hooper managed to do two reps with 184 kilograms (406 pounds) in training.
After kneeling down on the log and cleaning it up to the shoulder, Hooper began the press, but briefly stopped in the middle of the rep. After working it into a lockout position, he lowered the log to the mats and took a few breaths before starting the next repetition. The second rep took a little longer to lock out, but he did it successfully.
“Things are heating up. Everything is on the right track.”
Hooper is preparing to compete in the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic, set to take place March 2-5, 2023 in Columbus, OH. One event confirmed for the competition is the Austrian Oak — a log-logging event named after the competition’s namesake, Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is unclear as of this writing whether the activity is for max reps, max weight, or another format.
At the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic, Luke Stoltman won the Austrian Oak Log Lift event by pressing 213.1 kilograms (470 pounds) above his head. Stoltman will compete in this year’s competition, as well as Log Press American record holder (217.5 kilograms/479.5 pounds) Bobby Thompson.
When the same event appears during the 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic, competitors are asked to perform maximum repetitions within a 90-second time limit. In the caption of the Instagram post, Hooper reported that it took him 50 seconds to complete two reps. This could indicate that Hooper is looking forward to returning to the “reps for time” format or that he is focused on building strength and endurance as an elite strongman.
Hooper goes into this Arnold Strongman Classic with momentum on his side. In January 2023, he won Australia’s Strongest International contest. Two months before that, he placed first at the 2022 Giants Live World Tour Finals in Glasgow, Scotland. Hooper is also the 2022 Arnold Strongman UK winner.
Hooper is considered by many die-hard fans and experts to be one of the fastest rising stars in the game. This was emphasized after he came first in Group 2 of the 2022 World’s Strongest Man, and finally placed eighth in the finals. This is his first Arnold Strongman Classic contest, and he has already been confirmed as one of the entrants in the 2023 World’s Strongest Man, which is scheduled to take place on Apr. 19-23 in Myrtle Beach, SC.
Ticket and pay-per-view information for the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic can be found at www.arnoldsports.com.
Featured Video: @mitchellhooper on Instagram
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