A Fraserburgh man has been crowned Scotland’s strongest man under 90kg for the second year in a row – and now has his sights set on the world crown.
Ewan Massie, 24, outlifted the opposition at the national event in Motherwell, earning his place at the worlds in Liperi, Finland, to be held on August 4 and 5.
He finished fourth in world in 2017, after coming third in 2016, and was as close as two seconds from being crowned global champion last year.
Massie competes in the lightest strongman category, with the other two being under 105kg and the well-known and televised open class that sees competitors weighing in at close to 200kg.
However, even in the u90kg ranks, Massie, who’s 5ft 11in, is moving big weight.
Of retaining the Scottish title, he said: “It was a good feeling. I knew I had a good chance going into the competition.
“But I knew any mistake could cost me. In other weight classes, the favourites (slipped up and) didn’t make the world championships.
“I just had to make sure I was consistent on the day and didn’t injure myself.
“My main goal was to qualify for the worlds.”
Scotland’s Strongest Man, held over one day on June 16, started with an overhead press, which saw the competitors using one arm to lift a 60kg dumbbell over their head, before using two arms to press a 90kg axle bar above them.
The first event ended with Massie performing five overhead presses with a 115kg log, earning him first place.
The next events saw him carrying a “yoke” – a weighted metal frame which at one point got up to 350kg, before carrying weights of up to 200kg up a set of stairs.
He was leading the competition by the fourth event, a squat of increasing weight where he managed to reach the weight limit – about 250kg – and lift it several times.
Massie knew going into the Atlas Stones – strongman’s traditional contest finale – the win was within reach, and he lifted the 120kg stone over a bar 10 times in a minute to clinch the title.
Of the regime that allowed him to build his remarkable strength, Massie, who won last year’s national title while training in a garden after his gym burned down, said: “We managed to find a gym in Edinburgh with a lot more equipment this year, which has helped me get faster with more efficient technique.”
He works full-time in investment in Edinburgh and limits his strongman competition schedule to Scotland’s Strongest Man and World’s Strongest Man, but has improved from last year to the point he can now deadlift – essentially lift off the ground to his waist – 330kg, which is close to 52st and heavier than a fully grown male grizzly bear.
Of his super-strength beginnings, Massie, who was introduced to strongman by friend and former Royal Marine Kenneth Simm, said: “I started going to the gym when I was about 16.
“I started lifting proper weights when I was 18, my deadlift, bench press and squat were quite good for my weight and size.”
He hopes he’s done enough in training over the past 11 or so months to go to Finland for the two-day, seven-event contest and take the world title.
He added: “I’m better than I was last year or the year before that.
“But because I know the margins are so tight, anything can really happen on the day – I just need to try my best.
“I should be in with a chance of winning it – I should be up there anyway.
“There are so many variables on the day. If it rains that’ll change everything.”