KOROIT couple Liz Aitken and Paul Mammone are eager to put months of hard work to the test when they compete in a strongperson competition in Yapeen on Saturday.
Aitken, 30, and Mammone, 36, have entered the advanced sections at the Compound Carnage and Chaos event.
They are among eight south-west athletes who will tackle the strength challenges. Callum Woolston, Locky Moir, Campbell Sharp, Luke Featherby, Simon Gray and Billy Underwood are preparing for the novice categories.
They will tackle four events - sandbag medley, axle clean-and-press, frame carry and atlas stone throw.
All up it's four minutes of brutal competition which challenge the athletes' mettle.
Aitken, who took up competition a year ago, has endured setbacks such as cancellations and postponements. But she remained committed to her goals and believes she's doubled her weight-bearing capabilities.
"It has consumed a huge part of my life - the training, the food and getting enough sleep," Aitken said.
"On top of everything else in life - kids, work and study - it's really insane but it's been an amazing stress relief through COVID.
"It's given me something to take my mind off it and even though comps keep getting cancelled, there's always something that's coming up in the future that I am working towards."
Mammone said all four events required mental fortitude.
He said the sandbag medley was also a cardio workout.
"You basically pick up a heavy sandbag, run 10 metres and load it onto a platform which is 1.2 metres high," Mammone said.
"You do that three times and you have one minute to complete it.
"I am in the under 90-kilo male division and the sandbag weights are 110kg, 120kg and 130kg. It is very taxing."
Mammone said the axle clean and press was "what you expect in the Olympics".
"The weight for my division is 115kg and you have one minute to complete as many lifts as possible from the ground up overhead head," he said.
He will lift 260kg in the frame carry.
"You basically pick it up, run, drop it and pick it up again," he said.
The atlas stone - "a big round concrete ball" - is thrown over a bar.
"Mine is 140 kilos and you lift it over a 1.3m bar and I am about 1.7m high so it's very challenging and quite high for me," Mammone said.
Three years of training and competition has Mammone feeling primed for the carnage and chaos meeting.
"I have had a really good training block for this competition and I am keen to get into it," he said.
"This is my first advanced competition. It takes quite a bit of training and time to gain the strength to compete in these sort of things."
Aitken is eager to tackle the advanced women's section.
She will lift 85kg in the axle clean and press, 190kg in the frame carry, a 100kg atlas stone and 70kg, 80kg and 90kg sandbags. "For such a long time I went to the gym for weight loss and hitting a number on the scale and being small," Aitken said.
"I stumbled across strongwomen because I thought it was just a class at the gym.
"I went to a few sessions and realised I was stronger than I thought."
Aitken, who would love to score an invite to Australia's strongest men and women, said creativity in training meant she was well prepared.
"My partner and I are very lucky, we have a lot of our own equipment here at home," she said.
"We don't have anywhere at home to train so we were training outside in the weather - in the heat and the rain - (when there were lockdowns) doing what we could to keep aiming for our big goals."
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