In Safe Hands

Scotland’s Strongest Man (under 105kg), Graeme Lamont, can be found in Tayside Christian Fellowship on Sunday mornings showing his gentler side playing in the band.  For many among the fellowship his well-kept secret is now out, and we are keen to find out more!

In April you became Scotland’s Strongest Man u105kg - can you describe your feelings and thoughts at that time?

I compete in the sport of strongman which is the same as the World’s Strongest Man which you see on TV.  The sport is divided into different weight categories like boxing.  These are under 80kg, under 90kg, under 105kg and open weight.  I compete in the under 105kg class which means I have to weigh under 105kg bodyweight when I compete. 

Claiming a Scotland’s Strongest Man title was a huge accomplishment for me and has definitely made many years of training worthwhile.  I am now in the nice position where I will naturally keep pushing on and aiming for higher things but if I achieved nothing else in the sport, I would still be happy with what I have done so far. 

I think in some ways it is actually difficult to process the result as it is something I have strived towards for years.  At the time, it was of course a great feeling to win.  These competitions are really brutal sometimes so in some ways it feels just like I survived it the best! 

It is a very satisfying feeling to put in huge amounts of work and preparation and for it all to pay off.  I really believed in myself this year and I prepared meticulously to be able to perform to a very high standard across all 6 events.  On the day it was consistency that won it for me which was the plan. 

Let’s go back to where this story began and was this title an ambition from the beginning?

I first started training at the gym around 11 years ago at Dundee University where I studied Dentistry.  I initially wanted to get a bit bigger and stronger and found I enjoyed heavy lifting so after moving to Perth for work I spent a few years competing in powerlifting.  When I changed gyms to my current gym around 6 years ago, I started training for strongman.  I did a few local competitions and won Dundee’s Strongest Man and Angus’ Strongest Man.

I first competed in Scotland’s Strongest Man u105kg in 2019 and placed 11th.  At this competition I could see what I needed to do to get on the podium and then hopefully win and this became my goal. 

Becoming Scotland’s Strongest Man u105kg was my main long-term goal in the sport as to me this seemed almost like an insurmountable challenge at the time.  Subsequent years I placed 7th, 4th, 3rd and finally took the win this year.  It was a bit of a relief to win this year as I probably would not have stopped until I had earned the title! 

I can’t even begin to appreciate the training and discipline required at your level. So, what is a typical week like building up to a competition?

There is a lot more dedication required than people realise. To come out on top at this level of competition you really have to be all in. 

I train 3 hours per session and 4 sessions a week. On top of that I ensure that I eat enough good quality food to recover, I need to sleep the right amount each night, I need to ensure I am doing mobility work to help increase efficiency at each lift and to avoid injury (sometimes I even do yoga!).  

I also ensure I am getting the right amount of vitamins, supplements, salts and electrolytes.  I have a coach who will write all my programming each week and will review all my lifts and give me technical feedback.  The week before a competition I will go through a water cut to drop weight and weigh in at under 105kg.

Your whole life has to be focused and optimised for strongman (as far as possible whilst also working full time as a dentist!) or the intensity of training will make you ill if you do not have the correct recovery protocols. 

Some might very well ask why do you do it?

I really enjoy the process and it does give a lot of benefits for life in general in terms of being fit and healthy.   It is good for building mental toughness too which tends to be beneficial in a lot of aspects of life. 

It can be a big commitment at times but when you enjoy it and see the benefits it is worthwhile, particularly winning the national title. 

Your faith is clearly central in your life so what impact has that had in your sporting life?

My faith impacts the way I conduct myself whilst training and competing.  This includes interacting with my friends at the gym and being able to help others with their training and programming.  

There is something very satisfying about training and making yourself stronger, healthier and fitter but I do believe that you can do all this for a while but there can only really be true satisfaction in our assurance of salvation through Jesus.  

When you have this assurance and contentment then I feel you are able to enjoy the things in life that God has provided for us. Most people try to find meaning and purpose in certain pursuits, but you really need to have found satisfaction in Christ first and then everything else can be enjoyed within the right context. You can then bring glory to God through what you do and what you can achieve with the gifts or talents he has given you. 

As a Christian I live by different values compared to most of the rest of the world and that can definitely stand out. 

What’s next?

Next, I will be competing in the UK’s Strongest Man u105kg in Hatfield near London at the end of July. 

I will then compete in the heavyweight Scotland’s Strongest Man in September, and I hope to compete at the World’s Strongest Man u105kg in West Virginia in December as I have a direct invite to this competition from my win last month.  This will be subject to either being able to fund this myself or being able to find some sponsors as it is an expensive year for me with travelling for competing but also getting married, going on honeymoon, and trying to find a new house! 

Header photo by CHU Gummies on Unsplash

Article published May 2023