Tyson Delay gives thanks to the crowd for their cheers during the deadlift event where he lifted 545 pounds for 11 reps to get first place at the CAASA - ACAFA Strongman Nationals in Fort McMurray Oct. 16. Delay lifted a total of almost 6,000 pounds in that event in 60 seconds. Joel Kingston photo)

Tyson Delay gives thanks to the crowd for their cheers during the deadlift event where he lifted 545 pounds for 11 reps to get first place at the CAASA - ACAFA Strongman Nationals in Fort McMurray Oct. 16. Delay lifted a total of almost 6,000 pounds in that event in 60 seconds. Joel Kingston photo)

Williams Lake strongman Tyson Delay cracks top 4 at nationals

Athlete sets sights on being strongest man in Canada

Williams Lake athlete Tyson Delay lifted, walked, pressed and tossed his way to a phenomenal fourth place finish at the Canadian National Strongman Championships earlier this month.

Taking place in Fort McMurray Oct. 16 and 17, the CAASA-ACAFA Nationals saw about 100 top athletes from around the country competing in several categories.

“I’m still reeling from it, because I didn’t expect that at all,” Delay said of his finish, where he weighed in at 212 pounds, about twenty pounds lighter than most in his class.

Delay has been working out in the gym since 2015, and competing in powerlifting since 2016. He competed in his first strongman competition in late 2017 placing second-to-last at nationals, the next year he placed just better than ‘middle of the pack’ and this year Delay was only 2.5 points off second place. His goal is to be the best in Canada.

“I didn’t think it was possible until last year, and that’s when I realized I have a chance to be really good at this if I keep at it.”

Different from powerlifting where competitors stand in one place and lift, squat, bench or deadlift a combined weight, strongman consists of heavy labour work mixed with powerlifting events. There are as many as 50 different events in strongman, with five or six events chosen for each competition.

“You have to be prepared for anything,” Delay said, noting events can include pulling trucks, lifting stones, pressing logs, tossing sandbags, deadlifts and squats.

“Usually it’s a lot of really odd stuff.”

Delay’s best results at nationals were in the deadlift event, where he tied for first place lifting 545 pounds, 11 times – or just about 6,000 pounds – in 60 seconds.

His second event was the log lift for reps 240 pounds.

“I did very poorly and only managed two reps but still somehow placed in the top five for this event. Most competitors said due to bright lights and unstable footing they underperformed,” he said.

His third event was the farmer’s walk where Delay attempted to carry 270 pounds per hand for 200 feet.

“I only managed about 50 feet before my right hand completely gave out. I am working on my grip but it is still a weakness. I came dead last in this event.”

The fourth event was the sandbag toss. Five sandbags ranging from 30 to 50 pounds are to be thrown over a 15-foot bar.

“I managed the first two very easily but ended up having issues on the third on two occasions throwing it up and having it land on the bar and then slide off on my side … this was highly frustrating but most other competitors had the same issue and because of my quick time with the first two, I managed to place third or fourth in this event.”

The fifth event was the sandbag run.

At 70 feet, 50 feet and 30 feet were three large heavy sandbags ranging from 250 to 270 to 300 pounds.

”I ran the first two across the line very quickly but was unable to lift the third as the bags were very slippery and my arms were too short to reach around the wide bag and clasp my fingers as I had in training. I am still happy enough with my placing though as I was able to beat most other competitors for time on the first two bags. And only two competitors were able to get all three across.”

Delay said he’s ‘really not a very big guy for the sport,’ and has to consume 5,000 calories per day to keep his weight up.

He started weight training at age 21 when he was 130 pounds, after being teased and bullied for his size growing up.

“I was always a really skinny kid and people made fun of me for it.”

Now Delay, who is 212 pounds and 27 years old, competes in the sport because he loves it.

“I ended up falling in love with it because most of the people in the sport are friendly, they’re very kind … the camaraderie in the sport is amazing.”

Delay trains two to three hours per day, four days per week. He attributes his good mental and physical health to lifting and encourages anyone interested in the sport to check it out.


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Tyson Delay (Photo submitted)
Tyson Delay competes in the farmer’s walk at nationals, where he attempted to walk 200 feet while carrying 270 pounds in each hand. (Joel Kingston photo)

Tyson Delay (Photo submitted) Tyson Delay competes in the farmer’s walk at nationals, where he attempted to walk 200 feet while carrying 270 pounds in each hand. (Joel Kingston photo)