Jared Musgrove of Garden River First Nation is savouring his first gold medal victory as a Strongman competitor.
The 30-year-old man took gold on Saturday, June 3 at the Battle at the Brink Strongman competition in Niagara Falls.
“I was very proud of myself and very happy. It was a nice reward after really hard training. I’ve been on the podium six times but I placed second or third. This was my first time winning gold,” Musgrove told SooToday.
Musgrove got involved in Strongman competition three years ago and has won silver and bronze medals over the course of 12 previous competitions in Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, Elliot Lake, Ottawa and Cambridge.
Officially classified as an amateur Strongman at present, Musgrove said he hopes to attain professional status.
Winning gold in such competitions is no easy task.
Strongmen carry heavy weights, hold heavy falling pillars, pull parked trucks or other vehicles, lift heavy stones and carry iron bars on their shoulders which have two heavy objects such as refrigerators attached, one on each side.
At last weekend’s Battle at the Brink Strongman competition, Musgrove used his strength to:
- Lift a 200 pound sandbag and carried it for 50 feet, then picked up and carried a 550 pound frame, known as a yoke, and carried it for 50 feet
- Pulled a Ford F-150 truck for 75 feet
- Picked up 75 pound dumbbells, a 220 pound log and a 110 pound dumbbell
- Did nine reps in a 470 pound deadlift
- Hurled five sandbags over a 14-foot apparatus
Strongmen earn points for such events.
The contestant with the highest number of points at the end of all the events is the winner.
Competing in the U90 kilogram weight category, Musgrove’s performance in those events led to his accumulating 32 out of a possible 35 points and earned him the gold.
“When it comes to doing something like pulling a truck, you never expect you're going to do something like that in your life and then you actually do it. There’s so much cool stuff in a Strongman competition, it makes the adrenaline flow,” Musgrove said.
“It’s always a good time. The best part of it is because so many people love strength and the strongman community is very welcoming.”
Musgrove felt driven to get into Strongman competitions through watching a documentary.
“I watched Born Strong and it featured four winners of the world’s strongest man competition, explaining their training, and I was really inspired by it.”
He trains four days a week, sometimes five, balancing that training with his full time employment as a social worker.
“I primarily train at Sault Ste. Marie’s YMCA. They have a lot of strongman equipment there. And then I have a coach, C.J. Pierce, who’s won a world title for the U90 weight category and he also holds multiple world records. He’s the one who creates my programming,” Musgrove said.
”He’s one of my biggest heroes and I’m very honoured to be coached by him.”
He also credits Gary Knox, the founder of Valhalla Power Strongman Club in Sault Ste. Marie as an inspiration.
“We're trying to get more competitions in the Sault to make the sport grow more on the local scene,” Musgrove said.
Meanwhile, the athlete said he will continue his journey of strength in more competitions.
The Strongman Ontario 2023 Provincials will be held July 22 in Thunder Bay.
“I’m going to try to win that one to be the best in Ontario. I have to get back to training because I don't have too much time between competitions,” Musgrove said.
The road to gold has been a steady and determined one for Musgrove and has some advice for other young people interested in Strongman sports.
“I would say the best thing to do is to follow a program and have patience. Don’t try and max out every time you go to the gym. Just follow a program and take your time to build up your strength.”