The competitors this year will be vying for the honor of the first win of a major international strongman meet in 2023. Columbus, Ohio will host this event less than two months before The World’s Strongest Man in April. Notably two top contenders and top finishers of the Arnold Strongman Classic 2022, Oleksii Novikov and Martins Licis will be absent from this competition, making the championship all the more uncertain. In spite of this, we will do our best to give you our best predictions of who’ll be doing well and who’ll be taking home the gold.


Luke Stoltman

Luke is a fighter who has only been getting stronger each year. His first place finish in Europe’s Strongest Man 2021 and second place in that same competition in 2022 attest to this steady increase in power. His pressing strength is nearly unmatched, so we expect him to place highly in the Austrian Oak event.

Tom Stoltman

Tom, like his brother, is a force to be reckoned with. Taking the title of World’s Strongest Man 2022 and 2021, expect to see him hungry for a three-peat. Not even the Arnold Strongman Classic will be spared his competitive strength. If there were atlas stones in this competition, he would be all the more terrifying to face.

Trey Mitchell

Trey has been making splashes in the strongman scene as of recently. His two wins of the Shaw Classic and higher placing in other big name competitions, such as the wsm, assures us of his ability to take home the trophy in the Arnold. We have great confidence he can win, especially in the elephant bar deadlift event.

Mateusz Kieliszkowski

With world record pressing power and impressive speed and conditioning, he has the ability to dominate any strongman event. Kieliszkowski’s track record in competitions is always on or near the podium. Hungry for his first win in an Arnold Strongman competition, expect him to be ready for the top. The timber frame carry in particular is an event we know he can dominate.

Pavlo Nakonechnyy

Pavlo has skyrocketed his way into the strongman scene after his impressive powerlifting performances. His win in last year’s Giants Live and impressive deadlifting ability make him a worthy opponent. Be on the lookout for great things coming from this 23 year old unit from Ukraine. He and Trey Mitchell will likely be putting on an impressive deadlift clinic.

Mitchell Hooper

Hooper is another powerhouse who exploded onto the strongman scene as of recent. His conditioning, in addition to his impressive strength, keeps him at the forefront of endurance related events, such as this year’s wheel of pain. Don’t be surprised if you find him on the podium, especially in the events requiring high reps.

Bobby Thompson

9th in 2020, 6th in 2021, and 3rd in 2022. If Bobby keeps up this trajectory, it will have been one of the toughest climbs towards a championship we’ve seen. Bobby will be sure to put up a solid fight in certain events, especially the Austrian Oak log lift.

Rob Kearney

If we’re talking strength, we’re talking Kearney. His technique and leverage allow him to compete with the best of them, despite not being gargantuan in stature. Kearney is a consistently threatening competitor who is sure to put on a show this year.

Maxime Boudreault

Boudreault is another technique powerhouse in the strongman scene. His recent boom into the top of every major strongman competition is undoubtedly due to the way he competes. Expect his power and endurance to reign supreme once again.

Tom Evans

Tom Evans may have the fewest number of competitions under his belt, yet he has won 50% of the ones he has entered (Shaw Classic 2022 and Arnold Amateur Strongman 2022). Don’t underestimate his experience, because watching him lift will be more than enough to impress.

Top 3

  • First: Tom Stoltman
  • Second: Trey Mitchell
  • Third: Mitchell Hooper

The bodybuilding show isn’t the only one worth watching during the Arnold sports festival. Stay tuned for a riveting competition of strength and athleticism.

About the Author

Jake Stewart

Jake Stewart

Jake is an author and weightlifter from the San Diego area. He has been in the gym for the past eight years, experimenting with weight training focused on aesthetics and strength. He...

View all articles by this author