Nelson’s strongest man


Nelson personal trainer, Tom Armstrong, lived up to his name by winning the Vortex Spas Top of the South Strongman competition, held over two bicep-bulging days at the Nelson A&P Show over the weekend.

But according to Tom, he wasn’t the strongest man in the competition, because many of the eight events also required speed, endurance, an iron-fingered grip, as well as brute power. After two days of lifting logs, kegs, stones, spas and  dumbbells, flipping 200 kilogram tyres and pulling trucks, Tom prevailed, winning five of the eight events and finishing second in another two.

“It was a tough weekend,” says Tom.

“The log press was the hardest because it was so round and difficult to get any sort of grip, but the dead-lift was the biggest gut-buster – that was 480 kilograms so it was the heaviest weight.

“But it wasn’t just about brute strength. There were guys out there who could squat 260 kilograms – they were more powerful than me, but you also needed all-round strength and  endurance and a good, strong grip.”

Tom says it also helped to be able to train specifically for the challenges, because many of them were as much about technique as strength. Now that he is officially the strongest man in the Top of the South, Tom says he may consider entering other strongman competitions.

“I thought I’d give this one a try and see how it went. It was really cool so I might have another go at one, although I’m pretty sore now and will have an easy week first to recover.”