Episode Twelve: Big Loz video transcript

Go, Go, Go,
I’m a bad man
Yeah buddy
What’s causing all this
I shook up the world
I am that damn good!

Radzi: Hello and welcome to Making Gains with me Radzi, in association with Finnebrogue Naked Bacon, the biggest revolution to happen to British breakfast in a generation, and the University of Derby where they make it real. Now today's guest is quite frankly a strong man legend, he's a 2016 Europe’s Strongest Man, he's a 2 times Britain’s Strongest Man winner and 11 times, I hope I haven't miscounted them, World’s Strongest Man competitor; Lawrence Charlie welcome to Making Gains sir.

Big Loz: I'm excited to be here buddy, thank you for having me.

Radzi: Mate it's great to have you here. I mentioned your legend of strongman, can we go back to the first time I ever saw you compete, which was when you became Europe’s Strongest Man? Because people remember Eddie hall's deadlift, for obvious reasons, 500 kilos, but not necessarily that many people remember what came afterwards, which was you defeating the mountain. But the actual entire performance was incredible.

Big Loz: Yeah it was a, it was a good day for me, uh it was a good day for British Strongman to be honest. Obviously, Eddie breaking the record was unbelievable, um but I I'd been training hard for that contest. It was weird because I'd been filming on, um the, the second Kingsman film. I was working on that for about five weeks leading up to Europe's Strongest one.

Radzi: Wow.

Big Loz: So I was kind of doing extremely long days, you know what filming's like, um and I was staying, uh do you know Dave Beattie?

Radzi: Yeah of course, legend, bulldog.

Big Loz: Yeah bulldog, Dave Beattie, powerlifting legend. He's always around in the background of strongman shows. Uh a real good friend of mine, someone that's helped me out for, since I started to be honest. He's, I think, my first Britain's strongest man. I met him and he's become a great friend of mine and um, sorry just dry throat.

Radzi: Absolutely.

Big Loz: Um, Dave let me go and he's got like a little private gym in his house, so I was sleeping on his sofa and training at, kind of, you know, 11 o'clock at night, sleeping on his sofa up at five I'd go to the studios. You know you have to be in makeup for like half six, you do these long days filming and then it'd be back training at his sleeping on the sofa um, and that was my life for eight, no, five weeks leading up to Europe's. It was, it was quite good because although the filming is quite draining, and we do like a lot of physical stuff, a lot of the time I was just able to rest, and the great thing being on set is there's awesome food everywhere. I could kind of I could just kind of focus on, on the filming that I needed to do and then chill out in my, I had like a little caravan it was a nice break. Yeah so I was just chilling out as much as I could, trying to just rest really. Um, I mean for a lot of people it wouldn't be ideal prep and, and I guess, you know it wasn't, take sleeping on a sofa for instance isn't, it isn't the best for a strong man, but because I was so distracted doing all these other things, I wasn't really thinking about the competition. I'd go to the gym and train, but then it was a whole day of filming, and that was exciting working with these, you know amazing actors and stunt men and directors etc, so mentally I wasn't really thinking too much about strongman, but I was training really hard and you know I knew my sessions were good, um and the great thing with, that's that Europe's I knew some of the events were really good for me right and I've, I've said many times you know with the right set of events that I believe I can be anyone in the world and I, I went into that competition really relaxed because I wasn't the favourite; but, and I kind of like that I'm, I prefer being the underdog. Obviously Hafthor was the heavy favourite, with a lot of other big names in the contest that were doing really well that year, and I was kind of on the comeback trail because the year before, uh World's Strongest Man, I retired because I got crushed by, this um makeshift Fingal’s Finger that they turned into, what they called, a Norse Hammer and you know it was a really devastating experience for me at Worlds and I kind of didn't want to do strong man but-

Radzi: Just to jump in there mate, you were absolutely devastated, you could see that on the TV screen, the way you kind of said ‘that's it I'm done these guys are incredible, I've been hanging with them for a long time but now it's time for me to kind of, you know, hang up my laces’ or whatever. It was, it was so clear that that wasn't kind of a knee-jerk reaction.

Big Loz: It was really tough, because up until 2012, I was up and coming and getting better and better every year. I was kind of doing closer and closer in big competitions, getting on podiums. I won a number of international shows all over the world. Uh Europe's Strongest Man 2012, I was third behind the Zydrunas and Lalas who went on to be first and second World Strongest Man that year, but 2012 I went to china and I, I ended up tearing my Labrum in an event that we were doing; a dumbbell event in the rain, and we were being rushed to get through it, and stupidly, I kind of missed, well it was just wet and slippery, and I tried to chuck the dumbbell up, it kind of slipped and I tried to push it when it wasn't in the right position and ended up tearing my Labrum and that kind of set me back. It set me onto a kind of number of injuries that I ended up having because I was always trying to rush back, uh just because I felt the pressure that I needed to be competing, um and obviously I kept coming back from these injuries and then 2015 at Worlds. I got myself in good shape again and then ended up with a devastating injury. It was visually really horrible to, you know it looked like I got completely crushed, luckily the stopper actually stopped this thing coming down crushing me, but if it did it could have been 10 times worse and I kind of lost the love for it for a little while and then my family and my wife kind of, I was probably just driving them nuts. She told me to just get to the gym and get out of her hair and kind of just slowly started enjoying it again. I went to Britain's Strongest Man in 2016. I hadn't really trained properly, um, but just enjoyed it, had loads of fun and ended up coming third at Britain's without putting much effort in. I thought, well if I can do that, if I like knuckle down and really focus then I can, I can do well in some big shows and I kind of, the hunger and the love for it came back. Yeah, I was training really hard for 2016 Europe's real quietly, I wasn't kind of boasting or anything like that saying, I could win, I just, I just wanted to go and enjoy it, that was the, the key for me. It started pretty well. I did okay on the deadlift um.

Radzi: I mean just, just shy of the 440 I think, from memory?

Big Loz: Yeah, yeah and it was weird because you know, I tore my Lat a few years before, and my deadlift was kind of world class at the time and its never kind of quite come back since that. But I, I did enough to score good points and then we got into some of my good events and I, I was just on fire. I broke two world records in in the frame carry and then in the car walk, putting a decent performance in on the log and then the final event, which is the stones, which is notoriously not my best event. I managed to come third in, and it was Hafthor, made a couple of mistakes and it just gave me the opportunity to pounce and, and take the title and it was, it's still now, you know within the strongman, it's my proudest moment winning, winning Europe's for sure.

Radzi: It was an incredible moment because there was the mistakes that were made by Hafthor, and then there was the realisation from the crowd, where I was sat, that Loz has just won this, but also for me. So you look at your car walk frame carry, you think okay these are really good events for Loz, no one in the world, certainly the time, is going to compete with you at those, but at the same time to have deadlift, where it's rising but it's not for reps, it's rising bar, I think from memory on your 440 you basically, get it to your knee you almost rock back to try and hitch it in your hand; you must be thinking about what's happened to you in Gateshead, one of the worst strongman injuries I've seen, with your torn Lat, you are then on logs is the scenario of, again, addressing the Labrum issue. So you actually had a lot of demons to overcome, as well as having the sort of the good run of events, you had that in the back of your mind I imagine?

Big Loz: Definitely, and it's kind of funny you mentioned the deadlift, because pre-Lat tear, and if you kind of look back at some of my earlier deadlifts, I would have kept trying to pull that, you know I, I didn't have an off switch and, and sometimes that destroyed my ability in a full competition because I'd kill myself on that one event. Whereas this time round I pulled the 420 quite well, the 440 I just couldn't quite get it high enough to kind of get my hips through, and I remember thinking for a split second, put this down there's four more, put this down and move on to the next event. Whereas before that, I would have kept trying and pushing myself and you know sometimes I guess you do have to learn from, from some of the, the negatives that you've had and, and it probably made me a better all-round athlete even though some of my lifts I had to kind of give a little on. I think it helped me be better at preserving energy making sure I was kind of good for a full competition rather than just doing one or two events and then your kind of done.

Radzi: What did it actually mean to you to be crowned Europe's Strongest Man?

Big Loz: It was huge, because I've been so close in a lot of big competitions before. I was kind of like always the nearly man, I, I'd kind of done well, obviously I've won the British and stuff, but you kind of, for how good I was at the time, I felt I deserved more right, um and I kind of so many times kind of had those knockbacks. Um various kinds of bad injuries, particularly World's Strongest Man, but you know, Europe's tearing my Lat, was, was really devastating, um and a number of other times where I kind of got so close but couldn't quite get over the line. So, to win such a major contest, not just a major contest but it was the first time we had a huge arena show we've done, the, the stadium shows at the um, Headingley.

Radzi: Yep.

Big Loz: Which were great with about four or five thousand people there, but this indoor arena with 10 to 12 000 fans the atmosphere was just incredible. Obviously, we had the 500 kilo deadlift, the fans were going nuts. Um there was Thor, who was almost seen as unbeatable at the time and to go there and me to win that show when no one was talking about me, you know even having a glimmer of hope, it was just an amazing feeling and it was kind of, as much as it was kind of like elation, and, and you know you are so happy that I won, it's also like relief that I've done it, I've won a major show in strongman and it was like off my back; you felt like I kind of, you know, even if I don't win Worlds or anything like that, I felt like I'd done something of great significance in the sport and you know, left my mark if you like, do you remember the moment?

Radzi: That actual moment of realisation that you had actually won, do you actually specifically remember that?

Big Loz: Yeah I kind of I thought I'd won and like people were kind of like, people weren't sure, they were like adding up points and stuff but I knew what I needed to do on the stones and, and I knew I'd had a good stone run for me, because I, you know people were saying I'd won before the stones, but Hafthor was such a good stone lifter and stones weren't necessarily my best event, but I knew I kind of did all five stones, it was the heaviest set of stones as well, so the 200 kilos was the last one and I knew that I'd done a decent time. I was fairly confident that I got it but once you get that official announcement it's like really feeling you can kind of relax. I actually went up to Liz and she was wearing quite a low-cut top and I had tacky on me that stuck to her top and kind of pulled her top away to to reveal her cleavage to the world. Actually it wasn't caught on camera, otherwise she would have killed me, but um, it was it was funny, but it was just an amazing night and, and you know just huge relief but um huge kind of joy as well and like you know it was 2016 probably, 11 years of hard work that I put into the sport, to that point, um to win such a major show was just a massive achievement for me.

Radzi: That's the one that you won, if you like, but what was the best Lawrence Charlie, in terms of, so move performance to one side, in terms of the man who's arrived at the arena, the stadium, whatever it might be, when did you feel that you were at your absolute best?

Big Loz: It's weird, I actually feel like I was at my best in 2012. Okay, um, I think I was kind of like constantly on the up. I think 2012 I was just getting better and better. I was, I won a number of Champions League shows, I was kind of you know really closing in Zydrunas in a number of the big shows that we were doing. He beat me a lot of times but I was getting closer and closer to beating him and whenever he wasn't there I'd win a lot of the Champions League shows um and I felt like, you know, it was a matter of time before I could beat him and unfortunately I ended up injuring myself, and you know, if I look back, I would have you know now I, I help a lot of up-and-coming athletes and I try and learn from a lot of the mistakes that I made. I used to compete too often that was a big mistake that I made early on in my career, um and I wish I didn't, but you can't kind of change it, so from 2012 I, I was then trying to chase to get back to my best because I didn't allow myself to fully recover from injuries and you know, do the work that I should have done, I was just trying to get back into competing and back then you know, strong trying to do strongman professionally was just stupid there was no money back in 2012. Um and i was trying to sort of get prize money and stuff like that to pay bills and do it as a full-time job and I, I shouldn't of, I should have been like right have a year off, rebuild yourself and then come back and that would have been the smarter thing to do but, that's easy to say in hindsight.

Radzi: Well here's a question, so I remember hearing the GB athlete, I won't say his name, but he was speaking to Michael Johnson, and Michael Johnson, for those who aren't into athletics, is one of the greatest sprinters of all time. Won in his home, won in 1996, did the double 400 and 200 in golden spikes, unbelievable. This athlete said to Michael, ‘Michael how do I win?’ And I remember thinking, I'm listening to this answer and Michael said ‘the problem with you Brits is you never compete’. Now, context to that, is in his book, Michael Johnson talks about the fact that every week he used to compete and he used to compete even in high school events and college events, he said ‘because I need to know I'm not looking to run a certain time, but I'm looking to execute a strategy’, he went ‘because I want to know that come the Olympic final, a World final, whatever it might be, where whatever condition my body is in at any given moment in time, in that track, I know how to get the most out of my body. It doesn't mean world record but it doesn’t I'll get the most’. So where is the balance between competing enough that you've learned the skill of managing competition? You've seen how many people bottle it when it comes to the actual event, versus not doing too much damage to your actual body in the process.

Big Loz: I think it's, it's a real fine balancing act I think I became very good at peaking at competitions. I was, I always managed to bring more out of myself in a competition and actually, if you look at volume of podiums and wins in international competitions, I have more international wins than any other British athlete in the last, you know 20 years.

Radiz: Is that right?

Big Loz: Um yeah, but I did a lot of competitions as well, um, so I often get kind of criticised I always get injured. Well if you go back and look at how many shows I did, I don't always get injured and I, I've won more shows than anyone else, so I'm kind of proud of that. Um, I'm actually, I think I'm fourth or fifth all-time best performances in the Giants Live shows.

Radzi: Wow.

Big Loz: In terms of victories and podiums. I think um Thor is possibly first, and Zydrunas and then I think it's Eddie and me, the next two.

Radzi: Okay.

Big Loz: Which is, is quite cool, um yeah. But yeah, so I, I, I know how to compete and I think that probably was down to doing so many shows. The problem is strongman got a lot heavier as my career kind of progressed, so it went from, you know, when I started in the kind of 2000s shows were a lot lighter and you could get away with doing more and then the standard of the guys got better and the shows got heavier and heavier and heavier and then you couldn't turn up to shows at 80 anymore, you had to be 100 or you just wouldn't be in the in the contest, so I think you know I ended up a couple of years maybe I did 18 to 20 shows in a year, which was just ridiculous. Whereas I think now, earlier on in your career, you can get away of doing maybe eight, eight to ten and then I think as you get better and better it's, you've got that experience you need, to back off competing all the time. You look at someone like Brian Shaw, he does like two shows a year.

Radzi: Okay yeah.

Big Loz: You get some others that do a lot more. I'm, I mean look at Ishkowski or um uh, who else, I mean uh Novikov, he's kind of renowned for doing lots of shows. Uh this last year we can't really compare because there's not been as many shows, but I think this second half the year we've got a lot of shows coming up and the athletes are going to have to be quite selective about what they do, they're not going to be able to every single major show because they're too heavy and they're going to risk destroying their bodies getting injuries, so they need to be selective about what's the most important to them and then you can do the other shows but, you say to yourself well this is a warm-up show it's going to be a training session, rather than I'm going there to win the title.

Radzi: So with that in mind then, what, for you, could be the future of strongmen, where we know that we can't have guys competing every week, but is there a way, in your head, of potentially having a league or a championship or something that means that we have a season that could even last eight months of the year, rather than just random promoters doing random things and it just kind of being a hodgepodge?

Big Loz: I would love to see some kind of unity between all the different shows, because at the moment you just have maybe five or six different promoters putting on their own shows and, all great shows, all different at what they're good at, um and, and it's great that the athletes have more and more opportunities now, but there's no sort of system that feeds people into the best shows and it is a real difficult one, you know, World's Strongest Man is still the biggest show, you know regardless of what people are saying, because people will say ‘oh The Arnold is better or ‘WUS is better’, what in terms of prize money, perhaps they are, but in terms of prestige the World's Strongest Man is still the show that everyone wants to win. I'd like to see a proper qualifying system. I mean Giants Live have the official qualifying tour which is great, um but you still end up with a lot of wild cards and, and you know I'd like to see opportunities for people in different regions. So we have like the you know Australian champions, African champions, South America, North America, Europe, etcetera, etcetera. you know lots of different regions and then we really start developing this as a worldwide sport, rather than a few sort of select areas that, you know, we it always goes inside. America is very popular, Britain, Eastern Europe, but the rest of the world is still kind of catching up and there's some great athletes in some of these areas that would do fantastic, uh, strong man contests.

Radzi: To that point, if you take some of the boys in NFL, so there is, um, they call it the Strip Curl. I would argue it isn't particularly strict, but the Strip Curl you've got a couple of guys in the NFL, with whatever training they're doing in the gym, they're having a pop at the unofficial world record. Is there then an argument that what you could possibly do is rather than have, let's say just pure strong man and that's the only way to compete, that you could almost have spectacles, so whether it is Strip Curl, bench press, whether it and bench press comes under powerlifting, but maybe it wouldn't be under IPF rules, where we need to worry about the bar being flat, the bar let's say not pausing etc. it's just locked arm, touch chest, locked up. What would you think about that kind of concept?

Big Loz: I think it has its place definitely, like um, I've seen certain contests like at a smaller level. Um I’m supposed to be emceeing a show called The Odd Lifts, you know where they do they do like a strict press, they do like a bicep curl, they've got the um the disabled deadlift, which is like a deadlift not really a deadlift, but it's a great lift and you see some huge numbers lifted. Um so I have no issue with things like that, I think it's cool to see who's the best at certain different things, I mean essentially strongman is that you know it's challenging yourself in lots of different areas, um, and a lot of, a lot of the original strongman events were sort of different regions have their traditional feats of strength, like in Scotland they've got the stones, Iceland you know etc. there's lots of weird feats of strength that people did in their certain areas, and then strongman kind of put it all together and see who's the best all-round athlete. Um so you're kind of talking of just people focusing on one lift?

Radzi: Yeah, well, it was just the idea that then because, as you were speaking I was thinking, it's a conversation we've had before, but also it was then the idea that well, if we know that guys can only compete a maximum of, let's say, 10 times a year, how could we then create a system where crowds can watch strongman throughout the year, and so one is that you treat it like boxing and that you'd have, let's say two guys, three guys, four guys have a competition together or you do it as right this week Loz is going to be competing in, let's say Hammer Hold or whatever it might be, but you're doing one, maybe two events rather than a full five that's going to just batter you in every department.

Big Loz: Yeah, yeah, I mean you know I, I like the idea of team competitions, um lighter weight competitions, women's competitions, you know challenging. I think we spoke about this as well, didn't we like you know everyone wants to see the heavyweights but I think if you start letting people see the personalities, you'll then start enjoy watching the different classes. You know it's the same in, in fighting sports. Originally people wanted to see the best big guy against the next best big guy, but now the mentality has changed, you know we, we love watching the lighter weight guys, um and often they're a lot more skilful. I'm not even talking about boxing and things now you look at the lighter weightlifters, technically they're often a lot better than the heavyweights, the heavyweights are just super freaks, whereas the, the lightweight guys are often the technical kind of experts and they understand how to get the most out of their body. Um and there's great characters in under 105 strong man in 90s in the ladies’ classes and I'd like to see more kind of crossovers into those classes and then maybe you know really odd competition. I like team competitions so either two or four man teams are great, but then you could have America versus the United Kingdom, where you have like a couple of heavyweights, a couple of lightweights, different you know maybe heavyweight female, a lightweight female and you compete as a team I think that would kind of be quite entertaining and then people can get behind their countries. Uh it could be an interesting format.

Radzi: That's really, I hadn't thought about that actually, because yeah, and then you reduce the number of events per athlete but you then get the synergy of the country, the rivalry because I think one of the things that, for me, say is lacking in the weight strongman and strongwoman, is the fact it doesn't look very good, and what I mean by that is, it's often, let's say a frame carry, it's actually modified farmers with let's say four red plates on where a lot of blokes out at home, you go ‘oh I could do that’, whereas sure in Giants Live with, Giants events, you're then seeing things that are just larger than that frame they've got, just looks incredible and I think that's really important.

Big Loz: Totally agree with you and I think visually, how things come across is very important. Yeah, you know one of my favourite events to watch is something like, a car flip, car roll, I just think it looks cool. It just looks cool the car you know the, the car run car yoke, I like that I think it looks cool. The big frames that they use at the Giants Lives, I'm not such a fan. Sometimes on the max deadlift with Aliko plates, because I mean it's great for people that lift but for people, just as an example, I put a video up of me doing a competition in the Faroe Islands, and I deadlifted on this long bar with lots of kind of hummer tyres, a bit like the hummer deadlift, but just a lower version. It was by no means the heaviest deadlift I've ever done, but visually, it looked immense and that got such a bigger response than some of the lifts I've done in the gym which were more weight but just with, you know powerlifting, uh, calibrated plates, it just doesn't look as impressive.

Radzi: That's part of the problem, I think with Olympic throwing, is that you see the hammer and the guy sling it around and off it goes or shotput, and you go okay that stone ball in that in their case their shot goes x feet by x metres, it looks quite cool, but it's not until you pick up that shot and you go ‘what this is how much it weighs’, the same with the hammer. Whereas if, if you can communicate that, it becomes so much more majestic. You think this is unbelievable and, and then it becomes larger than life and then it becomes a spectacle and then I have buy-in and that, to be fair, although I think stones are overused, I think atlas stones just look larger than life and you think ‘flippin’ hell now I don't fancy lifting that myself’.

Big Loz: Yeah no I, I totally agree. It needs to be visually impressive, and you know the bigger and more extreme it looks, the better. I, I'd love to see the old-fashioned back lift come back.

Radzi: Right, okay.

Big Loz: You can create such a huge, I mean the problem is, is cost and then kind of storing such an item or taking it to different places, but now that guys, look the Giants Live team have an actual team that travel around. They've got their own lorries etc, build something impressive like that and I think it would be awesome and also difficult for people to train.

Radzi: You see, what gutted me a little bit, and I've got to be honest ahead of this year's Worlds, the announcement of Fingal’s fingers, and my first thing was, amazing, people aren't going to be able to train with it. You said that you'd be surprised mate and so many people got them customised, got them fabricated and again, I get it, because these guys are dedicated, they want to win and fair play, it makes me respect them even more but just.

Big Loz: It shows how much the sport has advanced and you know right back, back in the 80s, no one even touched equipment to train on. Now you know, late 90s early 2000s, a couple of the top guys used to make their own now you can buy equipment right now it's manufactured and there's gyms all over the world that have strongman equipment in, so for, for becoming more specific at these events it's become a lot easier and that's why you know you can't compare Bill Kazmaier on a cut-out block with branches coming off it and probably imagine how unstable that was to the laser precision cut you know slater logs that we see used these days. You just can't compare those lifts, it's night and day.

Radzi: I was asking Geoff Capes about this and about the difference between calibrated versus not and he just said I cannot communicate to you the difference it makes where you've got two handles which, ultimately, aren't even in the actual centre of the mass, you know, it's just a different lift entirely and he said, ‘so what you're really seeing is sub-optimal lifts but sub-optimal lifts with guys using sub-optimal kits that they've never even touched before’ and, and even as I'm speaking I'm torn,be cause a part of me thinks I'm so pleased it's moved on and another part of me goes, ah but there's something so pure about that.

Big Loz: How would you like to see a contest where the guys now did the original World's Strongest Man events?

Radzi: Oh mate yes. Yes, is it, so 77, was that, that was the first?

Big Loz: 77 was the first.

Radzi: So what would it be for so, 2027, would that be 50 years?

Big Loz: Uh yeah 50 years, there's one year that it was missing, but um yeah.

Radzi: So 50 years since the original, oh mate that would be so, okay, question then to yourself, who would win?

Big Loz: I think when you look at like, what the events were back then, yeah someone like no Novikov is so adaptive, I think he, he's someone that seems to be able to figure it out and there's been a few guys like this over the years, I mean a couple that spring to mind Magnus Ver, Mariusz Pudzianowski, Jon Pall Sigmarsson as well actually they were great at figuring events out. They, they might not have been the strongest guys in the gym, but they were just great at working out events and figuring out how to use their body in the most effective way. They would watch other people, they would try things and those guys just had this ability to, to bring out a little extra than the next guy and that’s a great ability in strong man.

Radzi: People don't know how much Colin Bryce knows about that side of things because I remember hearing him have a conversation with Maggie Ver about that exact thing, where Maggie, we're talking about an event, I can't remember what it was, and he just immediately went, ‘if you want to get a few extra seconds out of that, what you want to do is,’ and I thought that just never dawned on me and especially in something where guys are like, if someone said to you just before Hercules Hold, ‘Loz, just a quick one mate,’ you're not in a mind space to be having tips, you're so zoned in, you're so alpha at that point you're so angry and focused, whatever you want to describe it as being, but Maggie, when he used to lift, that they didn't see it, it was almost a bit similar to Zydrunas, there was almost this, not quite relaxation, but almost a real presence as they are presently thinking as they're doing and that, I think, speaks to their success actually.

Big Loz: Totally. Um I was just thinking, another guy that was very good at figuring things out was um Derek Poundstone as well.

Radzi: Oh right, okay.

Big Loz: He used to kind of like, especially things like rocks, to press and stuff like that. He had a real knack of, of just slight, just feeling things with his hands and figuring things out. It was um, I remember competing with him in a few shows and his ability to, to just work things out was very impressive.

Radzi: Mate, backstage when you're at these comps could you kind of describe, say for example, Worlds, what actually takes place, because what really surprised me was when I first worked at Giants Live, is in my, I don't know why I thought this, but for example you've got deadlift out of the front, in my head there'd be platforms and everyone will be deadlifting and actually there's one deadlift bar, everyone has to decide what goes on that bar and then people just take turns and you could be almost, not deadlifting, for six, seven minutes while you're waiting for your turn.

Big Loz: Yeah, it's not ideal backstage, um it has got better. So, if we're talking World's Strongest Man, say we're warming up for the squat, there would be a forklift truck in the back with a bar on it, um and quite often they'd be like ‘oh we need the forklift now’ so you have to kind of put the, the weight down. It's terrible. When Rogue came on, they started kind of investing in some warm-up kit, but we're talking a rack. It's, it's still not ideal. I, I remember doing a show, a super series show in Sweden. The first event was a super yoke, 450 yoke, um at the time that was pretty heavy. There was no warm-up kit whatsoever, so my warm-up was getting under this yoke. I lifted it up, I saw stars, I put it down and I walked away. That was that was the warm-up.

Radzi: Wow.

Big Loz: A bit of mobility and stretching but, yeah. Um weight-wise, I got under the weight of the competition, picked it up saw stars put it down. I don't know that was me done, I actually won the event but.

Radzi: Yeah, it worked. What about the say plane pull, truck pull? What can you do, what would you, how would you warm up for that?

Big Loz: Often you'd be grabbing one of the other competitors getting into a rugby scrum with them, uh you might get some bands just to kind of warm the biceps up, so you can have like mimicking kind of pulling a rope. Uh often you see the guys kind of stretching against the vehicle or against the wall, just trying to stretch out their calves, but um yeah warm-up facilities are not the best at strong man competitions.

Radzi: So even at Worlds, I don't know, so you've got, Fingal’s fingers. Would there even be a replica there for you to use?

Big Loz: No, there's a bar, there's a barbell these days at World’s Strongest Man. You've got a barbell, some weights, um occasionally they might have like a lighter bit, so like if there's a frame carry you might be lucky and get some farmers walks. Um there might be a backstage like a lighter yoke that you could warm up with, but that's new, you know you go back to my first Worlds, the warm-up equipment was diabolical.

Radzi: That's really interesting because a lot of guys in the gym, you know you've got a one rep max, you'll be warming up for about an hour for that and it'll be methodical, it'll be I'll know all the incremental jumps I'm going to be making right the way up to the lift. Whereas, for the biggest even like.

Big Loz: Um even like in some of the, the one day shows where we warm up for the deadlift for instance, you'll be warming up and normally in the gym you might have a certain amount of time that you wait between your lifts, but you have to then go through the, you know the, the walkouts the walk-ons, for instance, so you might have done your last warm-up lift, then you have to go and walk out with the flags, greet everyone then you’re kind of sent back then you kind of, you know that the first athlete comes out sometimes you can be waiting a hell of a long time before you do an actual lift. So, it's quite hard to strategically plan what numbers you're going to do up, do up in the warm-up when you're going to do them to, to be optimal in terms of performance and you have to be laid back and just get on with it. It's, it's a difficult situation for a lot of people and you see some guys in the gym that are amazing and they crumble under that kind of pressure. I'm quite lucky I'm laid back about it you know, if people someone says it's time to go, all right it's time to go, I'm not going to stress about it, but some guys really struggle and you do see you see these guys that post these ridiculous numbers in the gym, comes to competition day and they just crumble because they cannot cope with, with the timings with what's going on with the distractions and that's um you know, it's a tough part of the sport that you have to learn.

Radzi: How do you manage, say for example, arriving in the arena and it could be perhaps at 3 p.m., doors don't open till 6. You might be doing the VVIPs, where you meet some of the crowd, you then go for your warmup how do you actually manage that process? Is it just the case if you learn just to almost accept that it is what it is?

Big Loz: Yeah, you just kind of get on with it you try and make sure your food is pretty good. Um my most important thing on a comp day is hydration, so that is kind of key for me. I suffered with cramp kind of the early part of my career, something I've learned to manage quite well, um and I've, I found managing hydration for me is more important than food on the day of a competition.

Radzi: Interesting.

Big Loz: Um a lot of people think about food. To be honest, the food that you eat leading up to the competition is important, but the day of the competition as long as you've got a good breakfast in you and then you're snacking on kind of carby type foods, sugary type carb, uh foods, you'll be fine. You're not trying to build muscles, you don't need to have loads of protein and stuff like that, you just need energy so intra workout shakes, um you'll see a lot of the guys having things like Haribo or red and peanut butter flapjacks, bananas, chocolate, just things that are going to give them a bit of an energy spike to, to get through the day, you're not worried about eating like you would, you know normally in your training.

Radzi: During the first time you said, oh sorry.

Big Loz: No, no, I was just going to say, you know the hydration side of it is, is key because I mean people joke about Eddie when he goes on about hydration and stuff, but it is so important, even if you're like, you know, two percent dehydrated, it's going to have a massive impact on your performance. So, that for me, is key on, on day of competition especially when you think the indoor arenas, they get extremely hot, your all those people in there um and you need to kind of you know manage that. We're big, you know big huge guys, one day shows in the arenas are hot. The World's Strongest Man in these hot conditions you know you're sweating all the time, so you need to be replenishing all that lost um minerals and, and water basically.

Radzi: I think, to your point mate, I think I'm right in saying, Eddie, before his 500 deadlifts, had something like 2500ml Lucozade before he actually lifted, something like that throughout the day because he was talking about trying to, there was a science behind it, I don't want to pretend I know what it was, um but do you remember the first time you walked into a gym. Do you remember what your, what you were roughly benching squatting, etc.?

Big Loz: Yeah, first time I went to a gym, I went with a friend, and he just told me to lift certain weights. So the very first time I went in, I deadlifted and squatted 100 kilos for sets of eight, but it was fairly easy. Um and I trained for about a couple of months and then I entered the strongman competition. Yeah, I deadlifted 230 in the gym, right um, thinking I was the, the bollocks. A commercial gym, there wasn't really any strong guys there, um and the competition I went to had 220 kilos for reps and come to the competition and I did 14 reps with 220 kilos, first time 200, yeah it was 220. I had 14 reps; I was like okay I haven't been pushing myself very hard in the gym. I realised I was capable of a lot more. Um so yeah, that was the first time i sort of really pushed myself if you like and my progression was pretty fast, if I'm honest. I went from 2005, for first entering a gym, to being at my first World’s Strongest Man in 2008.

Radzi: Wow okay. How much were you weight wise in 2005?

Big Loz: 2005 I was still a pretty big guy, I was probably about 19 stone. I, I kind of was very sporty. I was British Champion at Kung Fu, I played Rugby for the southwest, um laughably, I used to play Table Tennis and I was a Table Tennis coach. Um you know I did, I was British Champion at Kung Fu, I, I was a decent athlete. I was good at sprinting and some of the throwing events. I was decent at shotput and discus, not so good at javelin, and for some reason, I was just terrible at javelin, but shotput particularly was, it was a decent event for me and I was a good sprinter as well, like I could move fast which people always were shocked by but I think when they saw my movement in, in terms of strongman, they sort of realised, okay he's quite, he's actually quite explosive and fast. But I've always been very sporty, but I'd never been in a gym until 2005 when I turned 21 and then by 20, yeah 25, 24, I was at my first Worlds.

Radzi: And from a DOM standpoint I find it quite interesting hearing how different people get affected by sort of stimulus in the gym. Are you somebody that did you, do you, feel DOMS a lot after a session? Because I'm like Mark

Big Loz: But I'm not the freak of nature. Um yeah, particularly back then I felt it more than I do now. Um I trained more like a bodybuilder back then, you know, going to failure, um where you just feel you know your muscles are beat up. Whereas now I'm a little bit more of a strength orientated approach to my trainings. It's not about going to failure with a lot of the lifts, it's kind of understanding movement patterns and peaking at a certain time so I, I, it's very rare you'll see me push to the absolute limit in the gym. I'm always trying to make sure things are moving in a certain way, um and, and you, you I tend to get DOMS if I haven't trained for a while, but if I'm training regularly it's never that bad. I, I do remember certain times where I've had some absolutely brutal, particularly leg, sessions and you can get some nasty DOMS for a while, particularly if you kind of throw in a session that's taking you out of your normal comfort zone. But normally when I'm prepping for a strongman show it's not about that we're trying to prep for the events that we've got coming up, making sure that I'm strong in terms of my compound movements and obviously trying to bring up any weaknesses in terms of you know lagging muscle groups, but it's a little bit different when you're training for strength as opposed to training just for pure size and shape in terms of bodybuilding.

Radzi: What do you think led to success, so from 2005 to 2008 you're obviously doing a lot of things right, what were those things do you think?

Big Loz: I don't necessarily think I was doing a lot of things right, I was just extremely hard-working and determined and this is something that a lot of people can't get over and I see it, you know even now with, with certain athletes that are coming through, I had great genetics for strong men, a lot of people can't accept that.

Radzi: Well look at the size of your joints for a start.

Big Loz: Yeah, like my training wasn't the smartest. Luckily after a couple of years I met a guy called Nick McKinless who was very intelligent with his training and he's he almost took me backwards to take two steps forward. He was like, ‘right your technique is crap, we need to change a few things’. Whereas I was typical, I'm going to push as hard as I can my, my mentality in terms of pushing myself was faultless. You couldn't kind of fault how determined I was but I was leading to eventually hurt myself and I see that so often in the gym now, particularly from the coaching side of you know standpoint. I'm always trying to make sure people are safe and lifting effectively, often because of mistakes I've made where I've ended up injured and the body will cope to a certain degree. It can get away with a lot for a while, but eventually you'll get caught out, particularly if you want to keep getting stronger because the heavier those weights get, the more those little weaknesses will start to kind of cost you.

Radzi: So when you say 2000, so when you say working really hard, do you mean intensity, do you mean volume, do you mean sort of the number of sessions?

Big Loz: My intensity like, and I, you know I would push myself to the absolute limit, if you told me to do it, I'd do it. You know, if I trained with someone, if they did 20 reps, I'd do 21. It was always a competition. Everything was about being the, the best I could be, my mentality was no and it's funny when you look back because when you're new, you improve really quickly doing anything, it's not until you sort of hit that brick wall and you think ‘all right I've got to learn how to train properly now’, but for about two years you can get away with pretty much doing anything, as long as you're eating and pushing yourself hard, you'll get stronger but that progress gets slower and slower the stronger you get and it's, it's very evident you know, and I stupidly, back then, I thought ‘well I've improved 100 kilos on my deadlift this year, if I improve 100 kilos on my deadlift for the year after I'm going to be the world record holder’, and obviously it doesn't work like that. You know suddenly you start feeling, right well I can only put 20 kilos on this year, then it's like I only put five kilos on this year, then it's like getting one kilo stronger becomes harder and harder, just getting back to your best is a challenge and it's funny when you see these kinds of younger kids on their way up, they, they think it's never going to stop but it certainly does and you can hit a brick wall pretty fast. Um and sometimes you end up, just getting one injury can cost you massively, you know, I've experienced that.

Radzi: How do you program your sessions?

Big Loz: Um I program, normally, I, I do kind of like four-week blocks. Um for my training, uh normally it depends, like I've programmed my training for Europe, for the Royal Albert Hall, on a 16-week training block, broken down into four blocks, um and it's kind of like you build up and then you can drop back a little bit, you build up, you drop back a little bit, build up, drop back a little bit, um and I've only got five events to train for at the Royal Albert Hall which makes it much easier. When I was training full-time, in terms of looking to compete at Worlds, and that becomes a lot harder because you've got so many aspects that you're trying to focus on. Um like right now I just need to train for Axel, Frame the Axel, Deadlift, Hercules Hold and Atlas Stones, so it's not too hard to program for those, um I'm focusing what I need to, I've backed off on, I don't squat at the moment, I still train legs, but I'm not squatting because it allows me more recovery time to then focus on my deadlift and my events, so it's just about structuring it to, to suit what you're doing, but normally I, I kind of have like a hybrid powerlifting, strongman kind of split where I train legs, um and back once a week and I do pressing twice a week.

Radzi: And so how many times were you in the gym when you were full-time?

Big Loz: Now or when I was doing it full-time?

Radzi: When you were full time?

Big Loz: Originally I used to train 11 times a week.

Radzi: You're joking, wow.

Big Loz: I told, I told you I, I used to work really, really hard but without any thought process whatsoever and then I had my, oh, I had my eldest daughter which then restricted my time that I had to go to the gym, trained four times a week and I improved.

Radzi: Is that right mate?

Big Loz: Yeah. I was allowing myself recovery time and I started getting a lot better actually, uh reducing my training volume.

Radzi: Physiologically, did you change between the 11 versus the four sessions a week?

Big Loz: I started adding more muscle because I wasn't burning so many calories. Um yeah, I recovered quicker and I was able to actually improve my strength quicker as well.

Radzi: So those four sessions, how did you break those down?

Big Loz: My training has always been pretty much a leg day, a deadlift day with assistance and then a strict pressing day and a push pressing day. That has essentially been my training system. Uh sometimes I've pushed up to five days a week depending on whether I needed, if I needed to be fitter for a competition, so I'd push up to five I trained, I got four weeks, I got on the internet, I got invited to The Arnold's with four weeks’ notice and I dropped down to three training sessions a week because it was so heavy I needed the extra recovery time and it's kind of weird now knowing a lot more than I used to, I get some people and they're like I want to push so hard, I want to push harder, I want to train an extra day, I'm like ‘whoa, whoa, whoa, don't,’ trust me you know training less sometimes for strength is more, um you basically, you've got like your training frequency and training volume so they're the most things if you're, if you're kind of smashing your legs in one session, you don't want to have three sessions a week. You know you can, you can bring that volume down and then you can train more frequently, but overall, it needs to, you can't push harder than you need to because then you don't recover, so it's important, like sometimes I've done squats twice a week, deadlift twice a week, but for me I find one deadlift session a week works best. I have got away with squatting twice a week but then I have to really reduce my volume of leg assistance work and you know the weight that you're using, so one session will become like a technical session, if you like, you just focus on much lighter weights, working on movement patterns and then you'll have a heavier session where you push the weights a bit more, whether it's in terms of repetition or a heavier weight.

Radzi: And are you somebody who's got a logbook and you know the exact numbers of exactly what you're going to do or is it instinctive?

Big Loz: I plan things and I allow a window of change. So particularly as I've got older, whereas when I was younger, it's like I have to stick to this, it's written down, I have to do it. Whereas now I go on field so I do plan out my numbers, if I'm feeling really good I might allow myself to push 10 kilos heavier, if I'm not feeling so good I'll back off, um and I listen to my body, particularly these days where I've had so many injuries, I'm like ‘well I'm just not feeling it today’, it's best to back off, um and I've kind of explained that to a lot of my clients particularly if I'm not there to watch them. You have to understand your body and there's a difference between being lazy and something being wrong and you, you need to be able to establish that. You know you get some people and they're just lazy and you can tell they're lazy, you know ‘my quads are hurting from a few leg extensions’, but yeah your fine keep going. Whereas there's certain athletes you know if there's something wrong with them because they don't complain normally and that’s when you have to listen to them and, and back things off that's, that's important because if you push and you injure yourself, that's six months recovery and six months of, you know, you've gone backwards, if you like, so it is important to, to listen to the body and, and be adapted, be adaptable.

Radzi: If we take, for example, something like log press, where for some guys it might be an issue of lack of tricep strength, or it might be specific things, but how do you structure what you're doing to do for them, I guess to the client now, but possibly to yourself as well, would you then think ‘okay my triceps need to be brought up so I'm going to focus on tricep movements’ or is it a kind of an all-round that, regardless of where your weaknesses and strength points are, you'll do something quite similar?

Big Loz: Um I certainly do focus on certain weaker groups; a good example is people's squats. Often you get some people that are quite quad dominant, uh some people are more hamstring and glute dominant, so adjusting the way they squat can help with that. Um for someone like myself, I'm very quad dominant so if you watch me deadlift, I'm extremely strong off the floor and my lockout isn't quite as strong, so I've, I've kind of and it's not even sometimes weaker glutes, sometimes it's activating the glutes can be an issue for certain people. I don't know if certain people out there may find that their, their glutes get really tight, so I need to get a lot of work on them from my physio and chiropractor and, I, the difference when I'm firing is huge. I go from like struggling with, you know, 300 kilos, to I can pull 400 easily. It's such a dramatic difference when my body is working 100%, but it is important to establish weaknesses, any imbalances, so I'll often get people doing unilateral work, so maybe like single Bulgarian split stance squats for instance, single legged leg presses, whatever it might be, just because particularly if people have done sports for a long time, they develop stronger, you know Tennis players for instance, they're going to be right side dominant, um and then when they come into the gym you can see them just pushing off that right leg a little bit more and eventually, if they keep doing that, it's going to cause issues, so you need to be aware of things like that with clients, and other people they're perfectly balanced and they can get away with like bare minimum, in terms of assistance work, and you can just really focus on you know movement patterns and then specific training drills for, for events that are coming up.

Radzi: I feel like you're fast becoming the oracle of all things strong man right now, with what you and Liz are doing it's, something's happened. Go on Loz's channel he'll have an update on it. So, with that in mind, I've got a few questions for you about strong men and who are the ultimates. So, if we were to put together the ultimate strong man from history, including present day, so that means we can get the strongest arms, the strongest back, the strongest legs, every element to the ultimate strong man if we want. First of all who, for you, has the strongest arms in history?

Big Loz: I think Magnus Samuelsson was extremely well known for his arm strength. You know he was always good at any type of arm, overarm pulling events. His grip was extremely strong you know when it came to arm strength he was up there, obviously broke Megaman's arm. So, um I think we'll go with Samuelsson for arms.

Radzi: Strongest shoulders?

Big Loz: You can't, you can't go for anyone other than Zydrunas when it comes to strongest shoulders, he's just absolute beast, never really focused on records overhead, but he smashed them all. He still has the log record. I don't think he's going to have it for much longer, but he's had that record for so long and I think if, if log for was just a single event, back in his prime, we could have seen something ridiculous put up by him.

Radzi: What do you reckon, what was he capable of?

Big Loz: I think at least 240, maybe possibly even 250.

Radzi: I have to say, I'm going to put it out there, I think Biby, in the next couple of years, I think he gets the quarter.

Big Loz: I think you know I, I totally agree with you. Biby’s shoulder strength is just on another planet but he's not proved it yet, in terms of what Zydrunas did over such a long period of time.

Radzi: Absolutely, I think he'd agree with that. Strongest back?

Big Loz: Got to be Eddie Hall, it has to be. You know Eddie's deadlifting is phenomenal and you know I really was impressed by what Hafthor did in the feats of strength, but one of the most impressive deadlifts I ever saw, the Worlds, last Worlds, you know you had Brian Shaw, you had, well actually you had 10 of the strongest guys on the planet, most of us were 400 plus kilo deadlifters and we'd already done, I think we've done about eight to ten events at this point, um and I've never seen a deadlift competition that’s been such a high stamp, so many guys going over 440, and then you had, I think the last three guys in the comp was Thor, Brian Shaw and Eddie and he came out on top, so for me that was probably my most impressive deadlift I've ever seen by Eddie Hall. I put that above his, his 500 kilos.

Radzi: So do I and for me it was also the bizarre thing that it was a non-event that I'm not sure if it was four seven one, four seven two, what it was, but the way that bar went up, given how pre-fatigued he was, given how hot he would have been.

Big Loz: Whatever he needed to pull, it was as simple as that and at that time. No one could touch Eddie on, on the Deadlift.

Radzi: Yeah agreed. Strange one, strongest triceps?

Big Loz: Strongest triceps is difficult, do you know what, I'm going to go with Krzysztof Radzikowaski.

Radzi: Okay yeah.

Big Loz: Enormous pressing power. Krzysztof’s pressing power, particularly his tricep strength, was incredible. He couldn't quite match Zydrunas on a log for max because of core strength, it wasn't shoulder and tricep strength that held him back, he would just be in, like his body was unstable, he'd be moving around whereas Zydrunas was a lot more rock steady, but you put, um Krzysztof on like a Viking press or something like that.

Radzi: Just absolutely unbelievable. The reason I'm pleased he's on there is that means that my name is on there because we share the first five letters of the surname. Strongest forearms?

Big Loz: Strongest forearms. Well forearm strength is normally kind of it's not, it's really but it, it, it's it goes within kind of grip strength and um you know you can't not have Mark Felix in there if you're talking about, I mean Mark's got huge forearms as well, he's got huge hands. He's a plasterer so he's going to use it all day long. His forearms are massive, his grip's unbelievable, so let's go with the living legend that is Mark Felix.

Radzi: Strongest legs?

Big Loz: Strongest legs, there was a time I might have put myself in there for that, um I think again with strongest legs, I think you've got three guys, that if we're talking strong men, um I think Eddie's up there with the strongest legs, Zydrunas is up there with the strongest legs and Mr Bill Kazmaier.

Radzi: Big Bill I'm glad, okay I put, I'll put a few down there, so he said um Bill, Eddie and Z. Best competitor?

Big Loz: Best competitor. Oh, there's been a lot of great competitors. Do you know, because he doesn't probably get as much, much recognition as he deserves, I'm going to put Mariusz Pudzianowski in there.

Radzi: Interesting, yeah okay.

Big Loz: Animal and absolutely you know hated losing. He competed so often and always, always tried to beat his own personal kind of best, which you have to admire, even if he'd won the competition by a mile, he'd still be trying to break records and that kind of competitiveness you just have to respect.

Radzi: Best rigging strong man, I mean just unbelievable for me, when you know kind of an age where you're getting into the gym and you see a guy like him, you think that's what I want to look like, then you get into the gym you realize that you're, that's what I can't look like.

Big Loz: Yeah if you're going to be strong and you look like that, you're doing well.

Radzi: Yeah right. Strongest skeleton?

Big Loz: [Laughter] Um that's a, it's a really odd question. Um it's going to be one of like the giant guys, it's like maybe like a Brian Shaw or, or a Thor, where they, just they're so big, they're so durable, they, they don't seem to get injured very often which having that size helps matters. I know some amazingly strong smaller guys, but their bodies always break down. Thor and Brian, not that many injuries not, not severe injuries when you look, um at the grand scheme of things. So I would go with one of those monsters.

Radzi: So I'm, that's the first I'm going to beg to differ with you on, because I think the strongest skeleton is yourself because your ability to bear weight. The fact that you're, the way you moved with the yoke and the frame carry, that to me.

Big Loz: The problem is my muscles, and my tendons aren't as strong as my skeleton.

Radzi: Can we talk about that, was it 540 on that yolk at wuss?

Big Loz: 580.

Radzi: Mate it was absolutely ridiculous and I was working at that and to see guy after guy, first of all not even move it more than three metres, five metres, to the point that they had to work out, do we keep the yoke at one end of the, the stage and then go back the other way because it's too much effort to keep moving it back and forth, and then all of a sudden you turn up and made it look like it was discerning, like to the point you think is that the same frame, it was unbelievable.

Big Loz: Unbelievably I think that's possibly my most impressive, single performance in a competition, ever. Not just, I mean I've had some amazing performances on yokes, where I’ve just kind of blitzed past everyone, but if you look at the line-up of that competition, it was literally every single top strong man at the time, um you know you have Brian Shaw, Thor, you had like um Licis was there Kieliszkowaski, Zydrunas you know Iron Biby, some of the best kind of people on the yoke of all time, and I was five or six seconds faster than anyone and you know I, I had like Zydrunas and Kieliszkowaski coming up to me afterwards saying that was just unbelievable. So to get those type of compliments from those people, meant a lot to me for sure.

Radzi: And we talked about being pre-fatigued with Eddie in 2017, that was a long night in a lot of heat and to do it then, when you must have been exhausted mate.

Big Loz: Yeah you know, a funny story, I, it was such a long night. I put some deep heat on my legs and I was wearing some compression shorts, by the time the night was done I'd burnt my ass, I had to get into a cold bath just to, kind of relieve that pain, but maybe that's why I was so quick.

Radzi: Mate what kind of conditions have you competed in? Because the fact that you've had so much.

Big Loz: Yeah I've competed in everything from 45 degree blistering heat and humidity, to minus 36 degrees in Lapland in where you get off the airplane and your nostrils freeze. You're carrying like snowmen as part of the contest, um so yeah everything in between those type of conditions.

Radzi: Because, so I've had minus 24 in South Korea and walking for two minutes was, so it was, it was brutal wind as well, but it was, I mean if you said to me right did you fancy bench pressing, well no I'm not doing anything physically. How do you cope with that?

Big Loz: I think I was wearing about like eight layers. It was, it was actually, it was okay during the day, the temperature wasn't too bad, it was like minus eight during the day, with the sun out it was, when we were competing at night and the sun went down it became unbearably cold, like I've never been in those kind of conditions before, to be quite honest, I don't want to be in them again. You know it's a lovely place and I'd been before, the year before the temperature wasn't so bad, it was sort of minus five to minus eight, but the time we went that year it was just blisteringly cold, and I was so grumpy and just wanted to get out of it. We were doing the last event, which was this loading event. We're carrying kind of like snowman blocks, and then ice blocks and I was up against, um who was I up against? Uh no it wasn't Radzikowaski. Dainis Zageris, Dainis Zageris.

Radzi: Liz's knowledge by the way, for anyone who doesn't know that, is unbelievable about your career and everyone else's.

Big Loz: She knows, she knows her strong man for sure. Um but Dainis Zageris was kind of like, this was one of his first big international shows. Dainis is a great strong man, um competed at Worlds competition, Giants Live, Strong Man Champions Leagues, he's dominated a lot of the shows. This was his first kind of ‘big show’ and you could see how keen he was. He'd done amazing all day and it was him and me, head to head, on this loading event. I was just like a grumpy old man, I just did not want to be there and he was like blistering out of the, the gates as far as he could and he gets to the ice block and his hands just slipping, he can't pick this damn ice block up and I'm like a grumpy old man, I'm just like picking them up trodden along, kind of throwing them on and ended up beating him because he got, he was just like panicking and trying to do it so quickly he started making mistakes and couldn't lift it bless him, and I ended up taking second, I think, in that and like jumping over him in the placings. But yeah, sometimes just being grumpy and old helps.

Radzi: Mate, finally I'd love to talk to you about what's your dream with what you do now, because you've made such an incredible transition from competing to then, if you like, giving back to the sport on a daily basis. You analyse, in terms of the knowledge, information updates, news. What, say in 10 years’ time, what will be your dream?

Big Loz: Uh I want to kind of continue doing more sort of commentating uh gigs, that's kind of something I'm really interested in. Uh obviously keep developing the YouTube side of things, uh my coaching business is going very, very well and we have a few, few things that we're working on to expand that, along with my brother who's involved with that now, um but just kind of keep enjoying what I'm doing. I love strongman, I love being involved in it, I love seeing up and coming people progress, I'd love to see the sport keep progressing you know, I think at the moment we kind of feel it's bigger than it is because we live in a little bubble, um and it has certainly grown a lot but I do feel it can be so much better still. Um so I want, in some way, I'd like to kind of look back in 10 years’ time and think I had a small part to play in improving it and sometimes that means I have to be vocal and not very popular, because to create change, sometimes you've got to kind of stand your ground and say things because a lot of the guys think things but they keep quiet about it because they don't want to upset anyone. Um I decided, you know I'm going to just be honest and I, I don't know if I'm right or wrong it's, it's not about that, but we've got to kind of voice things and try and have change sometimes and make things better for everyone, you know there was a time in strongman where I won, you know I won the British title and you get like a pat on the back you know, whereas things are getting better for athletes, there's more opportunities, um and I want to see the athletes earning some money from it, being able to do it professionally, because there's still a very small handful, but at the same time I want to see promoters making money from it. I want to see the sport growing, I want to see sponsors coming into it that are really keen to help it grow. I'd love to run our own event one day, a little bit like um the Shaw Classic perhaps, something like that um, but yeah just want to keep seeing the sport grow, keep kind of giving back to it and obviously kind of, you know doing things for me and Liz as well.

Radzi: So if you do have your own show, what's it going to look like event wise, because I have to say I'm going to be the first person to go Loz you change the events, you change the outcomes. What are the units going to be?

Big Loz: I, I cannot possibly announce the events, there's, there's a lot of factors that come into play, but I'd love to do, like I said, some different events. Something like an old-fashioned back-lift, I think, I think how cool would that look at the Strongman Classic. I know it can't be done, but we're talking classic, bring back maybe an old classic event like a Paul Anderson type lift, where it was done, you know early on where strong man was just a circus show and you know some of those kinds of crazy lifts that they did and you can lift such huge weights on something like that as well, so it just visually would look impressive. I know it's not a huge range of motion, in terms of lift, but the actual weight that you're lifting, and something where a lot of the guys wouldn't be able to train for it, I think that would be cool.

Radzi: And also, I think the beautiful thing about strongman is some events have lots of movement. A Keg Toss then other movements like that but, but there's still the jeopardy there, so whether it's the kentos, will it go over the bar, this is, will you get it off the ground, will it actually get off the ground?

Big Loz: And you need like all four corners of it kind of coming off, it's um, yeah, I think, I think it would be cool.

Radzi: Loz, it's been an absolute pleasure talking to you, thank you very much for your time, man, I look forward to doing it again at some point.

Big Loz: Thank you Radzi, it's always a pleasure talking to you buddy.

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