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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Cumbrian competing for England’s Strongest Man title

A Cumbrian farmer is hoping to lift himself to the top of the pile as he competes for the chance to be known as England’s Strongest Man.

Dave Baxter photo
Dave Baxter

After training and competing for around three years 35-year-old Dave Baxter, from Hornsby, in the Eden Valley north of Armathwaite, raised the bar to win his first major competition and be named the North of England’s Strongest 90kg Man.

That qualifies him for the full national competition where he will take on the strongest the country has to offer.

“I have been training for about three years and I think it is just now that my experience is coming through,” he said.

He has had to dedicate a big portion of his life to the cause. He endures a gruelling weight training schedule and goes to Lifestyle Fitness in Carlisle up to six times a week, sometimes for around three hours at a time.

“The training is very hard,” he added. “I also go over to Consett in the North East to get specific strong man training with a gym over there called Spartan Performance. Watching people like Mariusz Pudzianowski, the five-time world champion, has also helped me. I would like to thank Spartan and another of my coaches Alina Andrews, in London for all their hard work.”

As part of the fierce competition, Dave will have to navigate through a series of strength tests including 250kg dead lifts, lifting 95kg logs, a van dead lift hold (where contestants have to pick up the back of a van and hold it for as long as possible) and 340kg tyre flips.

Confidence is high in Dave’s camp as he comes off the back of an impressive run of form by coming third in both the British and North East Natural Strongest 90kg Man contests.

Also potentially up for grabs is a place in the World Strongest 90kg Man contest. Depending on results, a high placed finish for Dave could mean entry into one of the worlds biggest strong man contests.

Dave added: “I’m up against the current English champion, British champion and European champion so it is going to be hard. But I will give it a full go and see if I can win.”

Dave’s North East-based coach Robert Daglish praised his efforts.

“The last three years he has trained hard,” he said. “Two years ago he just missed out and last year he should’ve finished in the top three. But when he won this time it was a masterclass. He really deserves it, he trains nearly every day and is always asking question. He’s very committed.”

The England’s Strongest Man contest will be held at Lancaster University on April 6.

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