Strong Suit

At the State Strongman/Strongwoman Championships this month, men—and women—prove that might makes great spectating.

massachusetts state strongman strongwoman championships

Local strongwoman Brittany Diamond preps for the big day. / Photograph by Trevor Reid

When the annual Massachusetts State Strongman/Strongwoman Championships kick off on August 1, Herculean athletes from the commonwealth and beyond will convene in Everett to do what they do best: pick up heavy stuff. Really heavy stuff. For fun.

Those competing in the daylong event will face four grueling physical challenges, not the least of which is the tire flip, which involves repeatedly upending a bulldozer tire (4 to 6 feet high, up to 800 pounds) to move it down a 100-foot course in one minute. Then there’s the Atlas Stone competition, in which athletes hoist concrete spheres weighing up to 350 pounds each and lift them over bars of various heights. For traditionalists, standard deadlift and overhead-press events are also on the lineup. “If you tell somebody outside of the sport that you lifted 100 or 300 pounds overhead, they don’t really get it,” says event organizer C. J. Murphy, a former Strongman competitor himself. “But when you see that axle loaded up with all those weights, you’ll be amazed.”

Murphy says he expects at least 50 athletes to attend this month’s competition, which doubles as a fundraiser for the Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea. Among them will be Brittany Diamond, a middleweight contender who took home top honors at last year’s event. The 23-year-old Medford resident began her Strongman career in 2013 after retiring from Division I rowing at the University of Rhode Island. A lifelong athlete who also ran track in high school, Diamond says that part of the appeal and challenge of Strongman stems from its unpredictability. “No two competitions are ever the same,” she says. “It is a true test [of] all-around athleticism because it involves strength, speed, and agility.”

$10, 8/1, 1848–1850 Revere Beach Pkwy., Everett,