By Alex Zakrzewski, Online Editor
Mike Jenkins burst onto the strongman scene in 2012 by winning the Arnold Strongman Classic in just his second attempt. Not only did he beat out former champions Derek Poundstone, Zydrunas Savickas and Brian Shaw, he followed-up his historic victory two weeks later with a crushing win at the 2012 Giants Live competition in Australia. Although recent injuries forced him to take a bit of a hiatus from competition in 2013, Jenkins was poised to take the strongman world by storm and it seemed only a matter of time before he achieved the coveted title of “World’s Strongest Man.”
Standing 6’6” and weighing close to 400 lbs, Jenkins was a natural athlete. As a standout offensive lineman at James Madison University he helped The Dukes clinch the 2004 I-AA football championship. In 2007 he won the Maryland’s Strongest Man competition and in 2010 he took home the Arnold Amateur Strongman World Championship, which also earned him his pro strongman card. Outside of competition Jenkins boasted degrees in sports management and athletic administration and operated Crossfit Gamma, a sports-performance facility in Hershey, PA.
Aside from his towering size and freakish strength, Jenkins will always be remembered for his approachability, kindness and generosity. Perhaps no other strongman champion has done as much as Jenkins did to positively promote the sport, give back to the fans and use his fame and influence to help others. This past year, when he discovered through a member at his gym that a local woman was suffering from ovarian cancer, he went out of his way to raise over $8,000 for her medical expenses. The massive outpouring of grief on social media from fans all over the world is a testament to the indelible mark he made on both the sport of strongman competition and physical culture.
Hip Lift: 2,500 pounds (World Record)
Timber Carry: 7.42 seconds (WR)
Circus Dumbbell: 8 reps (WR)
Austrian Oak Lift: 207-kilogram standing log press, two reps (WR)
Mike Jenkins Sets a One-Arm Dumbbell Press World Record at the 2012 Arnold Strongman Classic