My name is Elias Arcondoulis, I’m 29 years old (soon to crack the magic 30) and am a national level strongman. I have been competing at a national level in athletics since I was a teenager. At the age of 15, I qualified for the national championships in the 800m and 3000m. Genetics took their course which caused me to gain weight and focus on shot put and discus. I competed at the Under 18 and Under 20 national championships at both, and came second in the latter, where I threw the state Under 20 record.
I played around in the gym from the age of 19, where I quickly noticed that weights were going to be a strong point for me. Within months I bench pressed 140kg, could complete 60 dips without a break and my first ever squatting session I did 160kg, at a bodyweight of 85kgs.
My coach encouraged me to participate in Olympic lifting, to improve my throws at the age of 21. I met a young man called Jordan Steffens (now a top 3 heavyweight strongman in Australia and world class competitor) who welcomed me to a competition and to train with him. I took to the sport quite quickly, managing a power snatch of 110kg and an Olympic clean and jerk of 150kg within a couple of years. I also jumped to a 250kg deadlift and could squat 210kg for reps with no belt or wraps. I thoroughly enjoyed Olympic lifting and I have always had the utmost respect for the sport. But it wasn’t my best sport.
I also dabbled with some Powerlifting, managing a 160kg bench press, 240kg squat (no belt or wraps) and a 300kg deadlift, weighing approx. 100kgs.
It was again my friend, Jordan, at the same time who was competing in strongman competitions. In a similar manner, 4 years on from when I started Olympic lifting, Jordan introduced me to another sport, Strongman: but this one was the one for me.
Strongman generally consists of carrying events, overhead pressing events, deadlifting, atlas stones and occasionally a truck pull or similar event. All of these events suited me well (except the atlas stones, where it can help to be taller). Strongman not only requires strength and power, but endurance. Some events may take up to a minute to complete at high intensity. I found that my athletics background assisted me with this and I continue to pursue athletics training to assist my strongman training.
I have placed top 3 in state and national competitions since I started. My proudest moments were winning the Royal Adelaide Show’s Strongest Man in 2012 and placing 2nd at the Strongfit World Championships in 2013. Some of my more recent achievements include setting the state Under 105kg axle deadlift record of 325kgs and equalling the log clean and press record of 135kgs, both of which at the Adelaide Sports and Fitness Expo in May this year.
I am proud and privileged to be an ambassador for Bulk Nutrients. I must thank Megan Ann Hutchinson, fellow ambassador, for encouraging me to pursue this.
I cannot speak highly enough of the products. I enjoy the BCAAs during training and Recuper8 during gruelling 3+ hour strongman sessions and competitions. Post-training I take the Choc Mint WPI mixed with L-Glutamine. My strength and recovery have markedly improved since I have taken these and attribute this to the products.
But that’s enough for now, I will divulge into more of my training and supplementation in future blogs, and share pictures and video links too.
I can’t wait to represent South Australia and Australia in future strongman competitions and I am proud to have Bulk Nutrients in my corner!
Till next time!
Elias Arcondoulis (Arco)