The Santa Monica Pier, a place of smiles and sunshine will soon be overcome with bulging biceps, thunderous thighs, and men lifting things no sane human being should attempt. And it’s all for a good cause.
The Arnold Strongman USA Competition will take place at the Pier this Saturday January 19, marking the competition’s first time in Los Angeles. The competition, hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger, will feature ten of the strongest men in the world, all competing for a spot in the Strongman World Championships. All proceeds from ticket and merchandise sales will be donated to the Ventura County, Santa Monica, and CalFire Benevolent funds.
“The Muscle Beach experience of the 1930s is widely considered to be the birthplace of the physical fitness movement, which of course is still very relevant today,” Jim Harris, Deputy Director of the Santa Monica Pier said. “It is fantastic to have a contemporary event here which seamlessly recalls the area’s history.”
The event will feature such tests of strength such as a log press, last man standing deadlift (beginning at 700 pounds), and 400 pound stone shoulder carries.
One pro in attendance who will be seeking to gain back a record and the title of World’s Strongest Man is Jerry Pritchett from Arizona. Pritchett is a metal fabricator in his spare time in his home state, and often builds the things he lifts.
Pritchett was 2017’s America’s Strongest Man in the World, setting a deadlifting record of 1,041 pounds. Due to injury last year, he lost his title and record to Hafthor Bjornnson, better known as The Mountain from Game of Thrones. (Not a bad person to lose to.)
While Pritchett routinely travels the country to do Strongman competitions, Pritchett’s glad to be competing somewhere close to his residence and the birthplace of fitness.
“It’s going to be really cool, man,” Pritchett said. “I’ve done a lot of meets here and there but to have an Arnold Strongman Series by Muscle Beach on the Pier and being part of the first one is going to be neat. Should be a good show from guys from all around the world.”
Pritchett says he’s feeling confident about regaining his title and record, noting his training is going well and his body is 100%. The event he looks forward to the most? The antique fire truck pull.
“That’s one of the fun ones,” he says with a laugh. “You train for it and people get a kick out of it.”
The Arnold Schwarzenegger Arnold Strongman USA Competition takes place Saturday, January 19 from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit arnoldstrongmanusa.com