Teamwork makes the dream work

Sky is the restrict for Strongman Tom… and brother Luke isn’t for slowing down both

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STANDING at 6ft 3ins and weighing 364lbs, Luke Stoltman safely qualifies as a person mountain. However subsequent to his youthful brother Tom, even he seems small.

A mere 6ft 8ins tall and tipping the scales at 408lbs, Tom Stoltman is now a three-time World’s Strongest Man having reclaimed his title earlier this month with victory in Myrtle Seaside, South Carolina.

A eager footballer who was invited alongside to trials with Ross County and Rangers in his youth, Tom has at all times had a hand in sport. Nonetheless, having seen Luke, 10 years his senior, take up and excel at Strongman, the youthful Stoltman give up soccer and dove into weight coaching aged 16.

Together with his greater brother performing as coach inside a yr of weight coaching, Tom rapidly displayed a flair for Strongman and Luke had no hesitation in serving to his youthful sibling navigate that new world.

‘Tom is a phenomenon, I knew that early on from taking him to the fitness center,’ says Luke. ‘Every part simply appeared simple for him. I knew his potential early on and, after all, it was simple to just accept (that he might go as far, if not additional, than me).

‘There’s nothing that makes me extra proud and happier than seeing Tom on the prime of the world and being mentioned as the most effective to ever do the game. To beat what he has carried out in his life to be right here now could be the stuff of Hollywood movies.’

Tom and Luke Stoltman have fun the previous’s third World Strongest Man title

Luke Stoltman won Europe's Strongest Man crown earlier this year

Luke Stoltman gained Europe’s Strongest Man crown earlier this yr

In addition to profitable World’s Strongest Man in three of the final 4 years, Tom holds quite a few information for the self-discipline, together with the world report for lifting 5 (gentle set) Atlas Stones — weighing between 100 and 180kg — in 16.01 seconds. He additionally holds the report for a single raise of an Atlas Stone, weighing in at 286kg, over a 48ins barrier. It’s no surprise he’s nicknamed King of the Stones.

The primary Brit to win the worldwide crown thrice, in addition to the primary to do it again to again in 2021 and 2022, reigning champion Tom nonetheless has his sights set on the general report of World’s Strongest Man titles, presently held by Mariusz Pudzianowski, who has 5 below his belt, the final of which got here aged 31.

‘The best way I really feel simply now, I feel it’s achievable,’ admits Tom. ‘I might clearly like to. WSM is such a particular competitors and the title each man competing in Strongman desires.

‘Maruisz was an incredible athlete too, so to even be thought of as somebody who might doubtlessly match his feat, that’s an honour in itself.’

It hasn’t at all times been simple for both brother. Each have beforehand spoken in regards to the unhappy passing of their mom, Sheila, in 2016 and the way they use her affect to encourage them to success inside Strongman.

Not solely that, Tom has been recognized with autism. Although many use the time period and recommend it’s a incapacity, to Tom it’s his ‘superpower’ and hopes he can present others with the situation that it isn’t a barrier to reaching their targets.

‘It’s crucial (across the fitness center and in competitions),’ he says. ‘There is usually a stigma round it, and folks can name it a incapacity and normally not perceive it.

‘In fact, there could be positives about residing with autism, and I need to encourage folks to see you can obtain nice issues and most significantly assist educate folks about it.

‘I known as it my superpower after profitable my first WSM title. At that time I used to be now not the autistic child that was being held again, I had channelled it to assist me concentrate on reaching my aim of changing into the world’s strongest man.’

As soon as once more, Tom’s particular energy got here into its personal firstly of this month in Myrtle Seaside, the place he was by no means out of the highest three in any of the six occasions.

The one man of an elite discipline to finish the Atlas Stones problem within the remaining occasion, Tom took joint first place within the third problem, the Keg Toss. Strongmen had been tasked with throwing a 15kg keg overhead, highest throw wins. There was one other new report for the Albatross, at 7.76metres, although he was compelled to share the accolade with Mitchell Hooper and Wesley Derwinsky.

Tom tops the podium ahead of Mitchell Hooper and Evan Singleton

Tom tops the rostrum forward of Mitchell Hooper and Evan Singleton

Tom Stoltman wows the crowds in South Carolina with his deadlift in event No5

Tom Stoltman wows the crowds in South Carolina together with his deadlift in occasion No5

It’s that consistency over the previous couple of seasons which has seen Tom rise to the highest of the game and reclaiming his crown this yr was all of the extra particular having Luke available to current him together with his trophy.

‘That was a lovely shock by the organisers, they understand how particular our bond is and clearly Luke is such an enormous a part of my story. After I win, he wins — it was actually particular,’ says Tom.

‘Final yr’s end result was the motivation I wanted to work more durable after profitable two years in a row, We assessed and made a plan of the way to get the title again, and fortuitously the whole lot got here into place.’

Like his brother, Luke has additionally struggled and is utilizing his experiences to assist others. Whether or not it’s by way of coaching, main a wholesome way of life or a dip into the North Sea, the Stoltmans are large advocates for utilizing the fitness center and sport to assist course of and deal with psychological traumas.

‘(The fitness center is) extraordinarily vital, and I attempt to inform as many individuals as attainable the advantages from coaching,’ says Luke. ‘Being wholesome, lively and robust are to be shouted about.

‘I’m an enormous advocate for chilly water remedy too. I try to begin most days by moving into the North Sea. It helps me reset and clear my thoughts for what’s forward within the day and if I get to see a dawn doing it, even higher. That’s one thing I really feel loads of vitality from.

‘We practice 4-5 days every week and periods final between 2-5 hours relying on what stage we’re at within the run as much as a contest, whereas the occasion particular coaching days are those that take longer (3.5-5hrs).

‘Restoration and relaxation is simply as vital, so we are going to guarantee we now have 2 days — normally weekends — off per week.

‘With the hectic schedule by way of the yr there isn’t actually loads of time without work. This yr we now have lined up competitions in January, March, April, Might, July, August, October and November. And consistency is the important thing, the game is getting much more aggressive, so we all know we have to put the work in to remain on the prime of our recreation.’

Even on the age of 39, Luke can nonetheless maintain his personal towards the very best from round Europe and the world. It was simply earlier this yr that he turned a two-time Europe’s Strongest Man, reclaiming the title he final gained in 2021 forward of Aivars Smaukstelis of Latvia by a degree.

Luke Stoltman competes in the Atlas Stones event

Luke Stoltman competes within the Atlas Stones occasion 

With occasions world wide — and in Scotland — nonetheless to return this yr, the eldest Stoltman has no plans to hold up the lifting equipment simply but.

‘Like Tom getting his title again, it was particular for me to know I might nonetheless combine it within the massive competitions,’ he says.

‘I had additionally made numerous modifications to my coaching, employed a brand new coach, labored to maximise restoration and we labored with a sports activities psychologist who had a huge effect on myself and Tom within the run as much as these two competitions.

‘Whereas I’m nonetheless seeing development I’ll preserve going, and with the modifications talked about earlier I really feel I’m as sturdy as I’ve ever been.

‘I don’t recuperate as fast as Tom, however we now have much more restoration methods now that we use to make sure we’re in optimum situation.’

One such occasion that’s coming to Scotland later this yr is the Rogue Invitational. A weightlifting competitors that works in tandem with CrossFit, among the largest names from each CrossFit and Strongman can be in Aberdeen from November 8-10.

It’s the primary time that the occasion can be hosted exterior of America, with a complete prize purse set to be over $1.5million. Few locations are higher suited to feats of power than Scotland. And with the World’s Strongest Man just some hours away, it might be no shock to see Tom go one higher than his second-placed end within the competitors final yr.

‘It’s superb to have such an enormous competitors come to Scotland, it’s actually particular,’ the brothers agree. ‘Scotland has a lot to supply and such a historical past in power sports activities and stone lifting, so it’s a becoming venue and nice to place it on the map.’

Each brothers work with Autism & Neurodiversity North Scotland (www.a-nd.org.uk) presently engaged on bringing extra help companies to the Highlands of Scotland. To maintain updated with the Stoltmans, you may observe their YouTube channel @stoltmanbrothers