World's Strongest Man Dabbles in Olympic Weightlifting
Mitchell Hooper, the 2023 World’s Strongest Man (WSM), is stepping out of his comfort zone. In a recent YouTube training vlog, Hooper was seen practicing the split jerk, a staple in Olympic weightlifting. This move is a departure from the typical strongman repertoire, but Hooper is all about diversifying his skills.
“I want [the split jerk] to be a skill that I can use if I need to,” Hooper says in the video. He admits to having little experience with the movement, but he’s not letting that stop him. Strongman competitors need a solid overhead game, and Hooper is ready to learn from the best.
The split jerk is a more explosive, balance-oriented move than what you’d typically see in a strongman competition. It’s all about getting your center of mass under the bar, a concept that’s easier said than done. “But it’s all just theory; until you get under the bar for yourself, you really don’t know,” Hooper adds.
Hooper’s training session included nine single reps of the split jerk at 180 kilograms (396.8 pounds). Despite the strain on his wrists, Hooper pushed through, demonstrating his commitment to mastering this new skill.
Hooper’s foray into Olympic weightlifting is a testament to his dedication to his sport. He’s not afraid to switch up his training routine and learn from other disciplines. As he continues to diversify his skillset, there’s no telling what Hooper will achieve next.
For those inspired by Hooper’s journey, check out this tutorial on how to do the split jerk from Olympic lifting coach and BarBend Expert Zack Telander. Whether you’re a pro strongman or just a fitness enthusiast, there’s always something new to learn.
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