Late last month, Mitchell Hooper ascended strongman’s tallest mountain for the first time when he won the 2023 World’s Strongest Man (WSM). After capping a meteoric rise to become the biggest name in the sport, the Canadian powerhouse is showing little signs of slowing down.
On May 14, 2023, Hooper shared an Instagram clip of himself capturing a 210.9-kilogram (465-pound) back squat for 20 reps. The display of endurance appears to be a smooth exercise of ease for a true superstar in strength sports. It might even be a preview of what’s to come for an already elite competitor sanding off the perceived rough edges in his overall strength profile.
As Hooper himself details in the caption of his post, he characterized himself as lacking in conditioning before his wins at the 2023 WSM and the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC). Aside from the victories themselves, a person observing this extended squat set from Hooper would never know he had any apparent drawbacks. The same could be said of a recent 200-kilogram (440-kilogram) overhead press with bands for reps, where Hooper attempted to start polishing up his upper body stamina.
Hooper is evidently focused on improving his endurance and conditioning even though he seemingly didn’t really need it en route to his recent dominance of the professional strongman scene. Given Hooper’s success at this stage, this ambitious mission could make him even more dangerous in future strongman endeavors down the line.
“I wasn’t happy with the direction my conditioning was heading through the Arnold [Strongman Classic] and the Worlds [Strongest Man],” Hooper wrote. “It didn’t cost me, but I know I could be better.”
At the time of this article’s publication, Hooper’s short-term competitive plans for 2023 appear to be lined up. The athlete was announced to compete at the 2023 Giants Live Strongman Classic (GLSC) in July, and he is expected follow that with an appearance at the 2023 Shaw Classic (SC) later this summer, as well as the 2023 Strongman Rogue Invitational (SRI) sometime in the fall. Hooper placed second in the 2022 GLSC and finished in third place in the 2022 editions of the other two contests. Beyond those, any other potential goals to stand at the top of a podium again might be up in the air.
Per his page on Strongman Archives, Hooper has stood on a podium in nine consecutive contests and won his last three competitions, including that climactic 2023 WSM triumph. At this rate, whenever he does lift an Atlas Stone again in an official capacity, it would be fair to assume Hooper thrives amongst his powerful peers.
Featured image: @mitchellhooper on Instagram