2023 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) and 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic champion Mitchell Hooper wasted no time getting back to work and preparing for his next contest. Hooper will be one of 12 men competing in the 2023 Giants Live Strongman Classic (GLSC), at the iconic Royal Albert Hall in London, England on July 8, 2023. By all accounts, Hooper appeared to be healthy and locked in mentally when he shared a recent training video.
On May 15, 2023, Hooper posted an Instagram Reel of himself performing standing barbell overhead presses in a squat rack with resistance bands attached to the bar and rack.
Hooper revealed in the post comments that he measured the resistance applied by the bands and confirmed that he was working with a total weight of 184 kilograms (405.7 pounds) at the bottom of the rep and 200 kilograms (440 pounds) in the lockout position. That weight includes the barbell itself, which was loaded to 174.6 kilograms (385 pounds).
In the video, he is seen taking a wide stance inside the rack while wearing a weightlifting belt, wrist wraps, and elbow sleeves. Hooper performed three reps and held the final repetition locked overhead for a few extra moments before returning the bar to the rack. In the post caption, Hooper shared why he was using this particular exercise — to build triceps-focused lockout strength.
“Working on good, solid lockouts. Time to keep pushing.”
This approach may be a wise one for the Canadian strongman because one of the events listed for the upcoming GLSC is the Viking Press, which calls for competitors to perform a standing shoulder press with handles at shoulder level and heavy objects set on an apparatus behind them. The athlete must be able to perform the press and lockout their elbows without having to bend their knees to generate extra force — also known as “double dipping.”
Hooper was strategically using bands on the barbell, which offered more resistance as he pressed the weight upward. This forced him to work harder to achieve the lockout. Since the bands applied less tension at the bottom, they weren’t impacting Hooper’s shoulders as much, making this a more efficient way to train while emphasizing strength in the final lockout phase of the lift.
With both the Arnold and World’s Strongest Man titles under his belt, Hooper may be going into the Giants Live Strongman Classic as a favorite. He will be facing stiff competition in the form of Oleksii Novikov, the 2020 WSM champion who has won the previous two editions of the GLSC in 2021 and 2022, as well as two-time WSM winner Tom Stoltman, and nine other elite strongmen who look to win the title for themselves.
Full 2023 Giants Live Strongman Classic Roster
- Oleksii Novikov (Ukraine)
- Mitchell Hooper (Canada)
- Tom Stoltman (United Kingdom)
- Pavlo Kordiyaka (Ukraine)
- Pavlo Nakonechnyy (Ukraine)
- Cheick “Iron Biby” Sanou (Burkina Faso)
- Luke Stoltman (United Kingdom)
- Kevin Faires (United States)
- Eddie Williams (Australia)
- Evan Singleton (United States)
- Rongo Keene (Australia)
- Spenser Remick (United States)
Featured Video: @mitchellhooper on Instagram