Why the battle to be the World’s Strongest Man still punches its weight

Giant men carrying a car! Bending iron bars! Worrying about someone’s insides actually exploding!

World’s Strongest Man has been a festive television fixture for decades, and for many of us, no holiday season truly gets going until a man the size of a bungalow has attempted to carry a needlessly eccentric weight over an obstacle course. Thankfully, that day has come, with the competition being broadcast over the next six days, culminating in the final on January 1. 

Telegraph Sport ate all three of its Shredded Wheat before having a chat with legends Geoff Capes and Magnús Ver Magnússon, as well as one of the heirs to their very large throne, Eddie Hall.

“World’s Strongest Man is the most alpha male title on the planet,” explains Hall. “You get in lots of arguments with lifting, how do you lift, how do you get stronger, what works best? One thing settles all of them: where the hell is your trophy? This competition means everything.”

Hall, all 410 pounds of him, is affable, generous and softly-spoken. But then, he can afford to be, can’t he? Who would take a liberty? He is the world record holder for the strapped deadlift, with 500kg (1,102 pounds) and has been lifting since he was a teenager.

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