When it comes to prolific, successful resumes, few modern strongmen might be able to match the profile of Jean-François Caron, aka “JF Caron.” Later this year, the strongman world could see the 40-year-old veteran return to the sport after taking some necessary time away.
In a YouTube interview with Laurence Shahlaei on Apr. 6, 2023, Caron revealed he would attempt a strongman comeback sometime in late 2023. The nine-time Canada’s Strongest Man (CSM) champion (2011-2019) had previously suffered two torn patellar tendons during the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC). After a period of recovery, Caron maintained he was training again to return to form.
While largely bedridden while recovering from his injuries, Caron had lost 60 pounds of body weight. Making a jump back to the upper echelon is no guarantee after what the veteran endured, but he seems committed to making it happen through his training. Some recent 400-kilogram (881.8-pound) deadlifts and 270-kilogram (595.2-pound) back squats for reps are demonstrations of the power Caron is reassembling.
That said, it may still take some time before he’s ready to square off with some of the strongest people on the globe in an official competitive capacity. He still has a lot of progress to make before he can perform the requisite movements needed to shine as a professional strongman again.
“The power is there. It’s just not fluid like before,” Caron said. “… Changing directions … I’m not safe like before. Explosive movements will take more time.”
Caron declared that he will begin working on event-focused training with 2021 CSM victor Gabriel Rhéaume once he returns from the 2023 World’s Strongest Man (WSM). That contest will take place on Apr. 19-23, 2023, in Myrtle Beach, SC. At the time of this writing, Caron has not outlined an exact training timeline.
As for Caron’s overall profile, he has quite the mantle to lean on.
According to Strongman Archives, the athlete has appeared in over 80 competitions and earned nearly 20 victories, including his CSM title reign and a win in the 2022 Forca Bruta. Before his recent injuries, Caron had competed in 11 of 13 WSM contests since the year 2008 (missing 2009-2010) and placed among the top 6 in seven consecutive editions (2015-2021).
It’s unclear precisely when Caron will try to compete again, but he stated an expectation to be ready to compete by October. Whether he has eyes on the 2023 Rogue Invitational, typically held in late October, wasn’t clear.
If he is healthy enough, Caron did share that he will try to compete again at the 2023 Magnus ver Magnusson Classic. At the time of this writing, that competition does not have a concrete date, but it usually occurs around late November in Iceland, based on past precedent.
Whether the strongman fixture returns to relative prominence in Iceland or at a later date, the strength athlete is sure to be welcomed back, by fans and peers alike, after the devastating injury that many expected to be career-ending.
Featured image: @jfcaronstrongman on Instagram