Strongman competition coming to South Windsor

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Thu., Jun. 2, 2011
Stephanie Johnson began strongman training only three months ago. The upcoming South Windsor competition will be her first. Photos by Matt Mills, Lighting Fitness. - Contributed Photo

For those who like a different type of athletic challenge, a strongman competition is coming to South Windsor. Matt Mills, owner of Lighting Fitness, is hosting the competition to support the American Red Cross. “Battle of the Thunder Gods” will be held on Sunday, June 26, beginning at 10 a.m. at Lighting Fitness, located at 259 Sullivan Ave., in South Windsor.

The day’s event will begin with a review of the rules at 9 a.m., warm-ups at 9:30 a.m. and the competition beginning at 10 a.m. There will be two women’s divisions and three men’s divisions, based on weight. Events include axle deadlift, press medley, farmer’s walk (tire flip), yoke and stones to podium.

Mills is expecting 30 participants, many of whom train at Lighting Fitness. Mills himself has been competing in similar events for the past year. “We train really hard and heavy,” said Mills. 

It will be Stephanie Johnson’s first strongman competition. She started working out at Lighting Fitness last September to lose weight and gain strength. About three months ago, Mills suggested Johnson try the strongman training. “It got addicting,” said Johnson. “I could do the weights and exercises. It’s something I really enjoy.” Although Johnson has always been active, such as running and yoga, she said, “This is so different than anything I’ve ever done. It’s so much fun. It’s fun, but it’s hard.”

Participants must register by June 13, and all contestants must be members of North American Strongman, Inc. For registration details, visit the website

“It was a carrot to work towards,” explained Chris Barrett, who participated in his first strongman contest in May. “I had a pretty good time with it,” he said. “It gives me something to train for.” According to Barrett, such events are held outside, weather permitting, and spectators are encouraged to come support the athletes.

To register as an event sponsor, contact Matt Mills at Lightning Fitness by calling 860-917-6534 or by sending an e-mail to by June 10 to ensure availability of sponsorship options and listings in event materials.

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