A Lancing strongman is set to compete with the best the UK has to offer after qualifying for the national finals.
Andrew Flynn, 27, secured a third place finish at England’s Strongest Man last Sunday, taking him to the UK finals in July.
The giant father-of-two’s achievement was made all the more remarkable after battling back from rupturing a bicep two years ago – a setback that he said spurred him on this time around.
“The injury has definitely given me more drive this time,” he said.
“I was invited to UK’s Strongest Man shortly after by Glenn Ross, who’s a strongman legend, but I had to turn him down while I recovered.
“This time I finished first in the qualifiers for England’s strongest against some tough competition, but I still considered myself to be an underdog.”
Andrew said he is among the lighter competitors, standing at 6ft 2ins and weighing a modest 130kg – around 50kg lighter than this year’s winner, Gareth Blake.
It is no surprise such gigantic machines require enormous amounts of fuel. Andrew said he ‘eats with purpose’, taking in 5,200 calories a day which can up to 8,000 in the build-up to an event.
That equates to a bowl of porridge for breakfast, then ten sausages, four potatoes, spinach, carrots, broccoli and other vegetables just for his lunch at work.
Then it is home to his family for the evening meal. All in all, that is 400g of protein, 400g of carbohydrates and 180g of fats every day.
He trains four times a week, getting up at 6am for work at Southern Rail until 3pm, then a three-hour workout until 6pm at his home gym.
Strongman events use equipment rarely found in conventional gyms, such as enormous logs or Andrew’s favourite event, the Atlas stones – huge spherical stones that have to be hoisted onto plinths.
Andrew will take around a week’s break before competing and at least a week to recuperate afterwards.
The effects go beyond just muscle strains, he said, with the exertion taking its toll on competitors’ nervous systems.
A condition known as ‘yolk flu’ can leave them with flu-like symptoms after the yolk event, where the strongmen walk with 400kg weights across their shoulders.
Andrew’s shot at the UK’s Strongest Man will be broadcast on Channel 5 from July 26 to 28.