A Sheffield man has proved he’s as strong as steel after winning the title England’s Strongest Man, aged just 21.
Paul Smith fought off fierce competition in events such as the axle press, atlas stones and tyre flip to become one of the youngest competitors ever to win the contest.
Paul said: “I’m proud to represent the city. It was great to have support from fellow Sheffielders on Facebook and on my videos.”
Bouncer Paul first competed in a local competition in 2011 and has been climbing the ranks ever since.
He trains every day by lifting heavy stones and tyres and doing cardio workouts.
His diet involves eating as much meat as possible.
Paul, from Fir Vale, trains at the Titanium Strength Gym on Fitzwalter Road.
Fellow competitor Phil Roberts, who came third in the same event, is the gym’s founder.
Paul said: “There’s definitely a healthy rivalry between the two of us. We push each other to work harder.”
Paul’s success in England’s Strongest Man means he qualifies for the UK’s Strongest Man in August.
He said: “From then on I would like to build on my success and compete in the World’s Strongest Man.
“Strongman competitors don’t usually peak until their early 30s, so I still have a decade of improvement and growth ahead of me yet.”
Paul’s favourite event is the axle press, where competitors are required to lift a weight of 170kg over the head.
“The tyre flip at the end of the day is the most challenging. You’re tired and it’s very strenuous cardio-wise.”
Competition organiser and two-times Guinness World record holding strongman Mark Anglesea said: “Paul is one of our brightest talents. At only 21 his strength hasn’t even peaked and already he is dominating competitions.”
Co-organiser Andy Picken added: “This is only the start for Paul. He could make huge waves on the world stage.”
Last year Paul became England’s Strongest Junior and the UK’s Strongest Junior.