Two events from the 2022 Rogue Strongman Invitational are back in the fold.
With 10 of the world’s premier athletes scheduled to square off at Dell Diamond Stadium on Oct. 27-28, 2023, there’s plenty of anticipation surrounding the 2023 Rogue Strongman Invitational. A stacked roster headlined by reigning champion Oleksii Novikov will have an opportunity to not only impress the crowd in Round Rock, Texas, but also secure a record-setting prize purse of $133,785.83, as of the time of this publication.
To emerge victorious, participants like Novikov and 2023 World’s Strongest Man Mitchell Hooper must go through a grueling gauntlet of six challenges over the course of the two-day contest. And with competition date inching closer, Rogue Invitational officially released the full lineup of strongman events on Oct. 10, 2023.
Day One (Friday, Oct. 27, 2023)
The first day of the 2023 Rogue Strongman Invitational will feature three events, all of which will test the athletes’ strength, power, and conditioning. Here’s a breakdown of each event, starting with an ultra-demanding deadlift challenge that made its debut in 2022.
Event 1: Tower of Power – Deadlift for Reps
Rogue ramped up its annual strongman competition a year ago by putting together the Tower of Power event. Ukrainian former powerlifter Pavlo Nakonechnyy proved to be the most proficient at the newly unveiled event by completing 12 reps of 18-inch barbell deadlifts during the 60-second time allotment.
As if lifting 900 pounds (408 kilograms) as many times as possible in one minute wasn’t challenging enough, competitors had to deal with much different leverages due to the height of the tower platform. Back again for the 2023 Rogue Strongman Invitational, this event should bring the best out of Nakonechnyy and 2023 North America’s Strongest Man Trey Mitchell, who completed 10 reps in his first encounter with the Tower of Power. Starting the day with a deadlift for reps competition will certainly set the tone for event No. 2.
Event 2: The Iron Bull Sled Pull
Event 3: Ultimate Log Medley
Although we don’t know exactly what the Ultimate Log Medley will entail, the 2022 Rogue Strongman Invitational included an event called “Yoke Carry, Overhead Log Lift Medley” that consisted of carrying a 1,000-pound (453.5-kilogram) yoke for 50 feet, followed by performing three reps of an overhead press with a 360-pound (163-kilogram) log. Mitchell Hooper easily outpaced the rest of the pack by completing the circuit in just 32.69 seconds.
Meanwhile, 2022 Canada’s Strongest Man Maxime Boudreault took another 14.1 seconds to wrap up the No. 2 spot. If the final event of the first day of the 2023 Rogue Strongman Invitational features the log press again, that could be a chance for 2022 America’s Strongest Man Bobby Thompson to earn some valuable points. Coming off consecutive third-place finishes at the Arnold Strongman Classic, Thompson showcased his upper-body strength at the 2023 event by hitting three reps of a 430-pound (195-kilogram) log press on the Austrian Oak challenge, which tied for second with Hooper.
Day Two (Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023)
Day Two of the 2023 Rogue Strongman Invitational will kick off with another event that captivated last year’s audience and wrap up with one that could have some CrossFit inspiration behind its name.
Event 4: Rogue-A-Coaster
Just like the competitors, the Round Rock crowd will be locked in for 90 seconds during the dynamic Rogue-A-Coaster event. Particularly taxing on the lats and rear delts, it takes pull day to another level — and then some. The athletes will start their Saturday morning by sitting at the bottom of a section of a rollercoaster and attempting to pull 600 pounds (272 kilograms) worth of sandbags loaded onto a cart up to the top and dump them over within the 90-second limit.
This 54-inch incline rope pull didn’t pose much trouble for Nakonechnyy (38.51 seconds) or Novikov (39.04 seconds) in 2022. However, neither could outdo 2021 Rogue Strongman Invitational champion Martins Licis (33:83 seconds), who will not be at this year’s event.
Event 5: Apollon’s Wheels
No specifics were provided about this event. However, it’s safe to say all the participants should have some idea of what’s to come.
Made famous by French strongman Louis “Apollon the Mighty” Uni, Apollon’s Wheels was his 366-pound (166-kilogram) barbell loaded with a pair of railway car wheels. Featuring a thick diameter of nearly two inches, it requires excellent grip strength just to handle the bar. It takes incredible coordination to power clean it off the floor and get it into a front rack position And it takes serious strength to press that weight overhead.
The fifth event (also named Apollon’s Wheels) at the 2018 Arnold Classic Strongman Classic utilized a replica reproduced by Ivanko Barbell Company that weighed 400 pounds (181 kilograms). Hafþór Björnsson, who went on to win the World’s Strongest Man title later that year, took home first place by performing four full reps of a clean and press in the two-minute timeframe. Rogue certainly seems to be paying homage to the famous barbell in 2023 based on the name of the penultimate event.
Event 6: The Duel
“The Duel II” was an elimination-style, multi-round event at the 2022 CrossFit Rogue Invitational that consisted of a legless rope climb, 10 overhead squats, and a sandbag carry. Although CrossFit and Strongman competitors may not cross paths often, the final event of the 2023 Rogue Strongman Invitational could have a similar feel as “The Duel II” but with a different array of exercises and much heavier loads.
Complete 2023 Rogue Strongman Invitational Roster
- Oleksii Novikov (Ukraine)
- Mitchell Hooper (Canada)
- Trey Mitchell (USA)
- Luke Stoltman (UK)
- Mateusz Kieliszkowski (Poland)
- Pavlo Nakonechnyy (Ukraine)
- Bobby Thompson (USA)
- Tom Stoltman (UK)
- Evan Singleton (USA)
- Maxime Boudreault (Canada)
Novikov’s campaign to become a back-to-back Rogue Strongman Invitational champion will come down to his ability to dominate both new and repeat events. Whether he can fend off the likes of Hooper and Mitchell remains to be seen when the strongest men in the world reunite at Red Rock.
Featured Image: @rogueinvitational / Instagram