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13 July 2024

Dubai reinforces its position as home of Strongman

By Wam

Dubai Sports Council, DSC, in collaboration with the World’s Ultimate Strongman, has launched the WUS Incubator Programme - an innovative, intensive training programme to take athletes with potential and turn them into world beaters. Some of the biggest stars in strength sports are coming to Dubai to take part in a new initiative to develop a new breed of strongmen.

The announcement about the initiative was made at the DSC on Monday by Saeed Hareb, Secretary-General of DSC, in the presence of Hafthor Bjornsson, winner of the World’s Ultimate Strongman title in Dubai last October and Larry Wheels, the first recruit of the WUS Incubator programme. Based in Dubai, the programme will see athletes from all over the world travel for an opportunity to elevate their level of performance to compete with the best on the planet.

The initiative further reinforces Dubai’s status as the home of strongman, following on from the hosting of the hugely successful World’s Ultimate Strongman event at the Bab al Shams event area last October.

Saeed Hareb said: "With Dubai being the new home of Strongman after the hugely successful World’s Ultimate Strongman last year, launching this innovative WUS Incubator Programme here is a natural progression.

"We are pleased to see Bjornsson and Katona supporting this visionary initiative with their presence, and we thank Mark Boyd, WUS founder, and his WUS team for all the work they have put in to make this possible. We are confident we will see many strongmen come through this Incubator Programme in the coming months and years. My best wishes to everyone involved."

The first athlete to take part in the WUS Incubator Programme is Wheels, the American, who is a social media sensation with more than 1.2m followers across his YouTube and Instagram channels, and is a shining light in the world of strength sport. At just 24 years of age and with very little proper lifting training behind him, Wheels is already producing incredible feats of strength.

He is routinely lifting over 800 lbs on his squat, 850 on deadlift and more than 600 on his bench press. He recently took part in his first amateur strongman competition in Los Angeles, placing second. Wheels will arrive in Dubai in March and stay for six weeks, before heading off to take part in the World Log Lift Challenge. He will be joined for the first two weeks of his stay by current World’s Ultimate Strongman, Bjornsson – known to millions around the world as The Mountain from Game of Thrones. Bjornsson, who is also the reigning World’s Strongest Man, has seen Larry’s potential having trained with him, and recommended him for the WUS Incubator.

WUS founder Mark Boyd said: "The WUS Incubator is a unique addition to the world of strongman, and it is only fitting it takes place in Dubai – the city that is leading the way when it comes to the sport’s development.

"We want to give athletes with potential the training, knowledge and know how to help them on the path to becoming the best in the world.

"Whilst in Dubai, they will be in the perfect training environment, with top-level coaching, and expertise to maximise nutrition and recovery.

"We are hugely excited to be starting the programme off with Larry Wheels and Hafthor Bjornsson, and thank all our local partners for their support, especially Dubai Sports Council.

"We are very much looking forward to showing the capability of Emirates Strength being able to train everyone from general-population clientele to professional athletes. Using the only fully strongman equipped area capable of doing so Larry will be more than ready for his upcoming event Giants Live World Log Lift Championship."