I never thought of myself as an athlete. I’m the kind of person that was always picked last when playing sports. I was the overweight one that no one really wanted on their team. Sports wasn’t really my thing.
When I started running, I still didn’t call myself an athlete. I was just running to be social. I’m not competitive at all. I just ran for the exercise. Even in race situations, I was just running for fun. I wasn’t trying to be the best. I just wanted to finish what I started.
The past seven weeks have been a complete departure from that previous mentality.
For the past month and a half, I pushed my body to higher limits. That pushing started when I decided to sign up for the Roughneck competition.
What is the Roughneck?
It is a strength and fitness competition. It’s not powerlifting. I wouldn’t even call it a Strongman competition. It’s something different.
I would call it a challenge of the physical limits. The competition consists of two divisions: Heavy and Scaled. I signed up for the Scaled division since this was my first competition. Each division has several weight classes depending on the athlete’s weight. I was in the Roustabout weight class.
The scaled division has five events: Farmer’s Carry, Bench Press, Tire Flip, Tire Pull and lastly the Chain & Anchor Pull. Each event last 2 minutes then you have 1 minute of rest before you start the next event.
Why did I sign up?
I signed up for the competition to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I’ve never been an athlete. I’m the guy who just ran and occasionally lifts weights. Since I started losing weight, I wanted to try something different. So, I talked to my friend Damien (he signed up for the Heavy division) and he suggested that I sign up. He said that it couldn’t hurt to try it. I had nothing to lose.
So, I signed up.
Once I found out what the events were, I really thought about my strengths and weaknesses for the event. My bench press was horrible at the time that I thought about signing up. I think I could only bench around 120 lbs. for 12 reps. Seven weeks later, I bench 155 for 12 reps. I still have more work to do on my bench press. I realized my strengths were all in my lower body. So, I really trained on building my legs up more especially my hamstrings since they are a nagging body part.
I spent the weeks building up to the events really working on my weaknesses and improving my strengths. If I wasn’t training with weights, then I was doing cardio. I knew I had a 5K to run before the Roughneck but I was more focused on the competition.
Fast forward to this weekend.
I ran my 5K but I took it easy. My focus was more on the Roughneck than the 5K. I wanted to watch Damien do his run but I missed it. Luckily, his wife, Jes, recorded it. I watched him pull then push a huge Ford F-350 barefoot. Actually, one of his shoes started to come off so he did it barefoot regardless. It was insane!
After waiting for what seemed like forever, I finally did my Roughneck run.
My Roughneck Run:
First Event: Farmer’s Carries
My first event was the Farmer’s Carry. You have to hold to long pipes that have a handle attached to them. You walk up and down as many times as you can while holding the pipes for two minutes. My grip strength isn’t exactly stellar. I went into this event not expecting a huge performance.
I was mistaken.
It was probably one of my best events of the five. I’m not sure how many times I carried but I promised myself I wouldn’t let it go until the 2 minutes were up and I didn’t.
Second Event: Bench Press
The next event was the bench press. You lay on a mat on the ground and you press a steel beam that weighs around 135 lbs as many times in two minutes as possible. I knew I was only going to press this bar at least 12 times.
I got 10 repetitions before I strategically called that event. I wanted to save a little extra rest for the next event.
Third Event: Tire Flip
The next event was the tire flip. This event was another good one for me. I kept flipping the tire as much as I could in the two minutes. I started using the grooves in the tire as a grip to flip the tire more and more. I had to stop a couple of times but I flipped the tire for almost 2 whole minutes.
Fourth Event: Tire Pull
The tire pull was next. I will say that these last two events were tough. The tire had a rope attached on each side. I had to pull a tire attached to a thin rope across a white line as many times as possible in two minutes. It was a challenge. My tire kept getting stuck on the parking lot gravel. I managed to get it across the line twice but this wasn’t even the hardest event yet.
Fifth and Final Event: Chain and Anchor Pull
The hardest event was the last event: the chain and anchor pull. This event was pure evil. The chain supposedly weighed around 135 lbs and an anchor was attached to the end of the chain. A lot of people had trouble with the anchor tipping over which resulted in the anchor digging into the parking lot and getting stuck.
I didn’t have that problem.
The chain was just really heavy and awkward to hold. My quads and hamstrings were on fire by the time I got done with the last event. I got the chain and anchor pass the line twice. I was toast after that.
I will say that the Roughneck was an incredibly challenging event. Seriously, I had a lot of fun with it. The whole time during my run I had this mindset to win my weight class. So I pushed myself.
The guy who isn’t competitive became competitive.
I was just super happy that I won and that Angela and our friends got to see me compete.
Will I do another one? I’m seriously thinking about it. The next one is during the summer. Until then, I’ll keep training. I’ll keep dropping weight until I hit my goals. I continue being competitive with myself. The guy who never considered himself an athlete is actually an athlete.
Would you ever do a fitness competition?