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Epic Women’s Strongman Event Competition in San Jose, CA

San Jose, California | Event Photography

Strongman event in San Jose, CA

On a sunny day in San Jose, CA, an extraordinary event unfolded that showcased the incredible strength and determination of female athletes from across the United States. Organized by Letia Tybor of Distance Unlimited, the Women’s Strongman Competition brought together a fierce group of competitors who pushed their limits in a series of intense challenges, judged by none other than the esteemed pro athletes Gabi Dixon , Erin Murray, Angelica Jardine, Nadia Morrison, Brittany Diamond  and Matt Webb.  I had the honor of covering this event for the second year in a row, capturing each competitor’s strength, endurance and empowerment of each other. They all rooted each other on and gave each other pointers and tips! It is always great to be amongst women who lift each other up! It was also great to catch up with what have now become familiar faces in this second year of photographing this event. 

if you rather see a video and not read the blog scroll to the bottom-
although I do encourage you to read..

There were five main events that the women competed in, including the popular “Hercules Hold” judged by none other than current world record holder Gabi Dixon 

The age groups for the athletes ranged from 18 all the way to senior women, with various categories for each to compete in. This event was truly diverse in all aspects of the word! 

Event 1: 4, 3, 2, 1 Ladder

The competition kicked off with the 4, 3, 2, 1 Ladder, a grueling sequence that tested the athletes’ endurance and versatility. The ladies began by pressing a log for four reps, followed by a three-rep deadlift with an axle on a 2” deficit. The third challenge required them to press a circus dumbbell overhead for two reps, culminating in a single deadlift to finish. This event was a true test of both upper and lower body strength, and the crowd roared with excitement as each athlete completed the sequence.

Event 2: Pick Your Poison

Next up was the Pick Your Poison challenge, where strategy played a crucial role. Competitors had to choose between two sandbag weights and shoulder their selected bag as many times as possible within the allotted time. The catch? Once a sandbag was chosen, it couldn’t be switched. This event highlighted the athletes’ decision-making skills and raw power, as they each tried to maximize their reps with their chosen weight.

Event 3: The Carry Smorgasbord

The Carry Smorgasbord was a true spectacle of strength and stamina. The athletes started with a Husafell carry, moved on to a yoke carry, and finished with a fat back duck walk. Each implement had to be carried for 50 feet within a set time limit. This event tested their ability to handle different types of loads and demonstrated their versatility and endurance

San Jose, CA Strongman event

Event 4: Gabi Dixon Hercules Hold

A fan favorite, the Gaby Dixon Hercules Hold, returned by popular demand. In this event, the athletes had to hold two massive pillars for as long as possible. This challenge tested their grip strength and mental fortitude. The crowd watched in awe as each competitor strained to hold the pillars, with veins popping and faces contorted in sheer determination.

Event 5: Bottoms Up

The final event, Bottoms Up, required the athletes to perform as many reps as possible of a Zercher lift with an axle bar within the given time. This unusual lift, where the bar is held in the crook of the elbows, tested the competitors’ core and upper body strength to the max. Each rep was a battle, showcasing the true grit and power of these incredible women.

Meet the Judges

The competition was overseen by a panel of renowned judges, each bringing their unique expertise to the table:

  • Gabi Dixon: 7x World record holder ( grip specialist) 
  • Erin Murray: First ever Multi Weight Class World Champion
  • Angelica Jardine: America’s strongest woman, Arnold Strongwoman Champion & Arnold Strongwoman Clasic UK
  • Nadia Morrison: Block press world Record Holder 2023
  • Brittany Diamond: Pro Strongwoman 3x 3SWIW
  • Matt Webb: Keg over bar World record holder 535lb


And if you don’t know what the above titles mean- let me tell you it means they are all STRONG AS HELL! And from personal experience some of the nicest most down to earth people ever!! 

Matt Web Strongman

Behind the Scenes

The event was not just about the competition; it was also a celebration of community and camaraderie. Behind-the-scenes footage captured athletes supporting each other, sharing tips, and celebrating each other’s successes. Chats with the competitors revealed inspiring stories of perseverance, dedication, and the challenges they overcame to be part of this remarkable event, and might I add a story of driving across the country for the second time to attend and compete in this phenomenal event. If you ever get a chance to Meet Carol (pictured here) you will also meet the nicest lady ever!!!

San Jose Strongman competition
Strongman Event in San Jose, CA

Battle Under the Stars is truly a testament to the strength of the human spirit. Each competitor brought their best, inspired the audience, and pushed the boundaries of what is possible. With the guidance of judges, organizers, volunteers, and lots of yummy treats  the event was a resounding success, leaving a lasting impression on everyone who attended.

Be sure to stay tuned for next year’s event  and if you missed last year check it out here.

Need photos to document your journey?

Are you an athlete looking for a marketing photographer for your next event, to document your progress or for your branding? Drop me a note let’s plan your shoot and your marketing strategy. 

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