On Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2023, Canadian strongman Mitchell Hooper posted a video of himself log pressing 195 kilograms (430 pounds) for two reps on his Instagram page. The lift is 10 kilograms more than his competition record of 185 kilograms (408 pounds), according to Giants Live. This feat came seven months after Hooper managed to perform two reps with 184 kilograms (406 pounds) in training.
After bringing the log to his knees and cleaning it up to the shoulders, Hooper began the press, but he briefly stalled midway through the rep. After powering it up to a lockout position, he lowered the log to mats and took several breaths before beginning the next repetition. The second rep took even longer to lock out, but he managed to do so successfully.
“Things are heating up. All is right on track.”
Hooper is preparing to compete in the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic, set to take place Mar. 2-5, 2023 in Columbus, OH. One event confirmed for the competition is the Austrian Oak — a log press event named after the contest’s namesake, Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s unclear as of this writing whether the event will be for max reps, max weight, or another format.
In the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic, Luke Stoltman won the Austrian Oak Log Lift event by pressing 213.1 kilograms (470 pounds) over his head. Stoltman will be competing in this year’s contest, as will Log Press American record holder (217.5 kilograms/479.5 pounds) Bobby Thompson.
When the same event appeared during the 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic, competitors were asked to perform maximum repetitions within a 90-second time limit. In the caption of the Instagram post, Hooper reported that it took him 50 seconds to complete both reps. This may indicate that either Hooper expects a return to the “reps for time” format or that he is focused on building both strength and endurance as an elite strongman.
Hooper goes into this Arnold Strongman Classic with momentum on his side. In January 2023, he won Australia’s Strongest International contest. Two months prior to that, he placed first in the 2022 Giants Live World Tour Finals in Glasgow, Scotland. Hooper was also the 2022 Arnold Strongman UK winner.
Hooper is considered by many strongman fans and experts to be one of the fastest rising stars in the sport. That was emphasized after he placed first in Group 2 of the 2022 World’s Strongest Man, and ultimately placed eighth in the finals. This will be his first Arnold Strongman Classic contest, and he’s already confirmed to be one of the entrants for the 2023 World’s Strongest Man, set to take place Apr. 19-23 in Myrtle Beach, SC.
Ticket and pay-per-view information for the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic can be found at www.arnoldsports.com.
Featured Video: @mitchellhooper on Instagram
About Roger Lockridge
Roger “Rock” Lockridge has been writing professionally for 10 years and has been training for 20. His work in the fitness industry has been seen in numerous outlets and has been a part of coverage for several events including the Mr. Olympia, Arnold Classic, the CrossFit Games, and the Olympics. He’s also shared his own personal success story in several interviews and articles. Lockridge lives in West Virginia with his wife and son.