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Local Strongman Wins Pagoda City Showdown

Local Strongman Wins Pagoda City Showdown

On May 18th, local strongman Adam Grimes competed at the Pagoda City Showdown in Reading. The competition had a total of 71 competitors amongst all divisions, making it the biggest competition in PA this year. Grimes competed in the Men’s Super Heavyweight division, which has the heaviest events and lifts of the show, and was one of seven competitors in that division. The contest was comprised of five events and included the Dinnie-Stone Walk, circus dumbbell clean and press, truck pull, sandbag load, and a max silver dollar deadlift.

The show started with the Dinnie-Stone Walk, where competitors had to carry two implements, weighing a combined weight of 500 pounds, down a 25-foot course in the fastest time possible. No drops were permitted once the attempt had started. This event was meant to simulate the famous Dinnie stones, which are a stone-lifting challenge in Scotland. “I had been training very hard for this event,” said Grimes. “I even fashioned my own implements to simulate it. I was very proud of my performance, placing first with a time of 8.9 seconds.”

The second event was the circus dumbbell clean and press, where competitors would lift the weight for as many repetitions as possible in 60 seconds. The circus dumbbell, essentially a giant dumbbell with a two-inch-thick handle, weighed 150 pounds and had to be cleaned to the shoulder before being pressed for every repetition. The athlete also had to fully extend their arm overhead with a locked-out elbow and demonstrate control of the dumbbell to receive an approved rep. “With this being my favorite overhead event, I was especially looking forward to it. I easily managed to hit eight reps for a first-place tie in this event,” said Grimes.

The third event was the truck pull. In this event, the athlete would wear a harness attached to a large truck, and the athlete would be given a rope to pull. Grimes was leading by one point at this point in the competition and knew he had to perform well to maintain his lead. “I managed to get another joint first with a time of 8.66 seconds,” said Grimes. Remarkably, there was less than one second between first and seventh place in this event.

The fourth event was the 300-pound sandbag load over a 52-inch-high bar for as many repetitions as possible in 60 seconds. If there was an event that Adam was not looking forward to, it was this one. “Training hadn’t gone quite as well as I would have hoped. Thankfully, I was able to push hard and got yet another joint first with four reps”. This performance put Grimes four points ahead of second place.

The fifth and final event was the last man standing silver dollar deadlift. This event was inspired by old-time strongman feats where they would actually lift boxes filled with coins. Unlike a conventional deadlift, the bar height started at 18 inches high. “This was the event I was looking forward to the most since I’ve held multiple state records and even a world record in it. Thankfully, I was in a position where I only had to place third to guarantee the overall win,” said Grimes. As he had hoped, Adam was able to lift 900 pounds for a competition personal record and placed third in this event. He also attempted 1,000 pounds, which, unfortunately, was not approved by 2 of 3 judges. “I was still quite happy with this performance as it more than guaranteed the overall win of the competition with a six-point lead over second place and ten points over third.”

When asked how he felt his strongman career was progressing, Grimes replied, “I can say that I am very happy with my performance. I met or exceeded my personal expectations at every event.” In addition to adding to his trophy collection and list of accomplishments, his first-place finish also earned him an invitation to the US Strongman National Championship in 2025. When asked what was next for the local strength phenom, Grimes responded, “My next planned competition is Pennsylvania’s Strongest Man, which is in September. Also, I would just like to say thank you to my wife, my mother, and my father for all that they do to help me be able to compete. I would also like to thank God for giving me these opportunities and abilities.”