Joe Weider was known for his predictions about the evolution of fitness as well as the creation of the Olympia. Just as he believed that fitness and bodybuilding would reach the masses, he could see his signature event that started as a single bodybuilding contest evolve into an all-encompassing sports and fitness festival.
Armlifting is a strength sport that focuses on grip. The athletes test their hand strength with a variety of lifting challenges that include various objects to deadlift or weights to pick up with different handles. One of their most famous events is Rolling Thunder, which is a single-arm deadlift with the weight on a pin attached to a single cable handle that spins. There are other events like the Double Overhand Axle Bar Deadlift as well. Each lift has different rules, but the goal is the same; stand tall with the weight until the judge gives a down command.
Riccardo Magni is the President of Armlifting USA, and he refers to the sport as “deadlifting with a grip emphasis.” Even though grip sports have been around for several years throughout the world, he has seen the sport grow by leaps and bounds in the Western Hemisphere within the last few years.
“Even though we have ‘USA’ in our name, we have meets and events all over the world,” said Magni. “It’s the fastest growing strength sport in America.”
Armlifting’s growth has been as fast as ever in 2023, and many new fans will see it in Orlando for the first time. This is the second straight year that the sport held their biggest event during bodybuilding’s biggest weekend. Magni felt that the Olympia was a perfect event to host the world championships for Armlifting, and he feels the fans will be in for a special treat when they stop and check out the happenings at their booth. They should understand that while it may appear as simple as picking the weight up and putting it down, the athletes competing are special.
“When you have true professionals executing the sport, they make it look easy.”
The 2023 World Championships will be determined by three events – the 2” x 5” Saxon Bar lift, the Rogue Grandfather Clock, and the 1.5-inch Raptor Medley. Magni demonstrated each of the events in the video below.
There are both male and female athletes competing in multiple divisions to determine who can call themselves 2023 World Champions. There will even be Masters events for men and women over 50 years of age. For these competitors, this is the biggest stage they have ever competed on.
“These athletes have put in hundreds of hours to perfecting their craft,” Magni shared. “Some of these people have been training upwards of 20 to 30 hours a week for this.
Beyond the championship events, fans can see more about how Armlifting events are run and may even consider taking part themselves in the future. Magni feels that Armlifting would be a great way for fitness enthusiasts to fulfill their competitive mindsets in a way that is less challenging than traditional powerlifting or bodybuilding. While the competitions are to determine a winner, people can be a part of a community that is focused on supporting each other while improving themselves.
Magni said, “Everyone can lift a weight. We’re not doing a deadlift session with Eddie Hall. It’s determined by your hands, wrists, forearms, biceps, and grip strength. That’s why this event is such a draw. People of all ages and sizes can do the sport and return to normal life on Monday.”
The Armlifting USA event is included with the Expo Passes, which can be purchased at www.mrolympia.com. For more information on Armlifting USA and the schedule for all their events, go to www.armliftingusa.com.