The World’s Strongest Man and the Fittest Man On Earth walk into a gym. Not the start of a joke but the set-up for a YouTube video from CrossFit champ Justin Medeiros.
He joined forces with 2023 World’s Strongest Man winner Mitchell Hooper for a session as part of Medeiros’ preparations for the CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin, this month, where he was bidding to clinch his third successive title.
Cooper gave Medeiros a crash course in using the log—a strongman staple that, as the name suggests, resembles a log and has to be picked up from the floor and then pressed overhead.
Medeiros subsequently incorporated the 155lb strongman log into a CrossFit-style workout. Three rounds for time of:
- 10 log clean and jerks
- 50ft handstand walks
- 30 GHD sit-ups
- 25 calories on a Rogue Echo Bike
Not to be outdone, Canada’s first ever World Strongest Man champion joined in—with some understandable modifications given his 6ft 4in (1.93m), 320lb (145kg) frame. In place of the handstand walks, Hooper completed a 50ft bear crawl, and halved the number of GHD sit-ups each round.
There’s some cross-over between the two sports of strongman and CrossFit, but the duo still dealt with each other’s discipline impressively well.
In the video, Medeiros can be seen throwing some significant weight overhead on the log, while Hooper flies through the metcon workout despite describing it as being comparable to “six strongman events in a row”.
“I think I got some favorable modifications, but it’s tough, very tough,” he added.
Hooper was soon back in his comfort zone though, rounding off the session with a series of overhead presses with a twist. Instead of loading the jammer arm attachment with plates, Medeiros and his two training partners (fellow Games veteran Ellie Turner and 17-year-old Trista Smith) hopped on.
Justin Medeiros’ CrossFit Games Training
The strongman-themed training was all part of Medeiros’ work to prepare for the CrossFit Games, an annual competition designed to crown the fittest man and woman on earth.
The event is famed for throwing “the unknown and unknowable” at its competitors, with many tests revealed to contenders only moments before they have to face them.
Previous years have seen athletes contend with pegboards, free-standing handstand push-ups and double-under cross-overs with no prior warning, which is why so many competitors keep their training varied in the run-up to the event.
This goes some way to explaining Medeiros’ efforts to learn how to lift the log. After all, last year another strongman training staple made an appearance at the Games in the shape of a sandbag-to-shoulder event where athletes built to a one-rep max.
However, Medeiros also continues his classic CrossFit training alongside these experimental sessions.
Earlier in the video, he’s seen tackling the CrossFit hero WOD Hotshots 19. This workout involves six rounds for time of 30 unweighted squats, 19 power cleans (at 135lb for men and 95lb for women), seven strict pull-ups and a 400m run.
Medeiros also adds that, before that workout, the session involved “gymnastic skill work, and then a little workout, some front squats, then some more gymnastic skill”.
This all sounds exhausting, and far beyond the capabilities of your average gym or box-goer. But it’s all in a (very tiring) day’s work for a two-time CrossFit Games champ.