HARRISBURG -- Could Harrisburg be home to the next World’s Strongest Man?
Mike Jenkins hopes so.
Jenkins, a Harrisburg resident, is one of 30 competitors at the 2011 Met-Rx World’s Strongest Man (WSM) competition at Wingate University in Wingate, North Carolina, about 30 miles southeast of Charlotte. The championships begin Thursday with qualifying rounds.
Jenkins will compete in events like Car Walk; Truck Pull; Keg Loading and others that test not only strength, but also stamina. Prior to leaving for North Carolina, Jenkins gave CBS 21 News a sneak peak of his training routine at Gold’s Gym in Swatara Township, Dauphin County.
Jenkins is a rising star in the sport made famous by ESPN.
This is his first year as a professional and is making his WSM debut. “I started four years ago, so I’m hoping (I have) five or six more years (of competing in me), but anything can happen,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of good friends in this sport tear biceps; tear ligaments and tendons. (A career) can be over in a blink of an eye.”
His best event may be the giant dumbbell press. Jenkins set a world record last March by lifting a 242 lb. dumbbell eight times in 90 seconds. As a result, he placed second overall at the 2011 Arnold Strongman Classic; ahead of the reigning World's Strongest Man, Zydrunas Savickas.
The 6’6,” 330 lb. Jenkins, a native of Westminster, Maryland, also performed a log lift for CBS 21 News; which meant lifting 360 pounds over his head seven times.
A former offensive lineman at James Madison University, Jenkins seems to have found a home in his new sport. Now he wants a WSM title.
“I wanted to do something; I couldn’t just come to the gym,” he explained to CBS 21 News about life after football. “It’s an individual (sport). Every contest, if I don’t do well, I know I’m to blame. I just really enjoy it.”