Liefia Ingalls was the winner of the first ever Arnold Pro Strongwoman Championships which took place in 2017. Ingalls was one of the very first women awarded a professional status in the sport of Strongman with the creation of the division in 2016. She has competed and impressed in elite-level strongwoman contests, both nationally and internationally, including World’s Strongest Woman, the Arnold Professional Strongwoman Championship, and Strongest Woman in the World.
So as the weekend draws closer, we thought of no one better to help break down the 2019 Arnold Pro Strongwoman competition.
The third-annual Arnold Pro Strongwoman event will be held March 1-3 at the 2019 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio. The world’s top Strongwomen will be competing for cash prizes and the Katie Sandwina Trophy.
Laura Anderson (USA)
Sandra "Sunny" Bradley (Germany)
Jessica Fithen (USA)
Farah Fonseca (United Kingdom)
Olga Liaschuk (Ukraine)
Allison Lockhart (Canada)
Donna Moore (United Kingdom)
Brooke Sousa (USA)
Jessica Theaker (Canada)
Andrea Thompson (United Kingdom)
* Axle Press (220 pounds for reps, 60 second time limit)
* Frame Carry (540 pounds for distance, 60 feet with 60 second time limit)
* Husafell Stone Carry (300 pounds for distance)
* Blob Deadlift (375 pounds)
* Stone To Shoulder (220 pounds for reps, 60 second time limit)
We want to thank Liefia, who will be competing in the Rogue Record Breakers this weekend, for sharing her thoughts.
SC: When you look at the field for the 2019 Arnold, how does it compare to previous years?
LI: I think it is a pretty good spread in terms of skill level. There is more of a wide distribution of good, solid contenders. I don't think that it will be easy for someone to run out and away from the pack. There are always going to a couple who are the favorites but in actuality, the depth of the field is getting much broader.
SC: Who are some competitors the fans should watch out for? And who would you consider some of the odds-on favorites to win?
AI: You have to put Donna (Moore) and Andrea (Thompson) as the favorites. They have a bit of rivalry going on just because they seem to swap back and forth. Both of them have a ton of momentum. Most people think they will go 1-2.
SC: And speaking of those favorites, what will be the key to their individual success?
AI: With only a handful of points in each event it will come down to whoever is the most consistent and who is not wavered by the pressure. You are going to have to compete mistake-free and put it all together.
SC: Are there any competitors you would label as a “Cinderella story” that could come out from nowhere to either win or place in the top 5?
AI: Olga (Liaschuk) is always a good competitor. She is very, very powerful. She is someone who is a little out of the public eye and people don't see her as much so they tend to forget about her. If she's well prepared, she could do really well. Jessica (Fithen) is still relatively new but she is progressing very quickly. She is on an upward trajectory. She can surprise some people, in particularly the press. "Sunny" (Bradley) has been making a lot of good gains in training.
SC: Are there any specific competititors that you think will either be fun to watch or could be a difference maker in the overall standing?
AI: The events this year are more static strength. The Husafell Stone Carry is going to be a little unpredictable. Because they will not have to pick it up off the ground it is going to be a little more accessible. If you can gut it out I think you could pull ahead just by sheer determination. I'd like to pick Sunny to do well in this event. She has some crazy in her.
SC: What is the current state of the union for Strongwoman?
AI: From local events to amateurs and pros, all levels are expanding. The last couple of years have been an all-time high We are starting to see the boundaries pushed and instead of a handful of competitors we are getting more and more. I expect the weights to continue to rise. Reaching the top level is a challenge and it always will be, but with greater incentives, it is going to backfill with really qualified athletes that should make for more intense competitions.
- By Brett Auten