Grove native Dan Williams recently placed third overall in the super heavy weight division of the Oklahoma Strongest Man competition, at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.
Williams, a software engineer by trade, weighs in at 294 pounds. at the height of 6”1’, of which any competitor over 265 qualifies for the super heavy weight division.
“The bigger guys are stronger,” said Williams who is planning to drop 30 lbs. to compete in the next division down in the coming year.
Williams was born in Grove and almost his entire family including his dad still resides in Delaware County or the city of Grove.
Williams grew up in Laramie, Wyoming but he returned to Oklahoma to spend his summers in Grove and Jay.
He attended college at the University of Wyoming graduating with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and earning a master’s degree in software engineering.
“I stated weight lifting for football, and I’ve always been strong since I was a kid,” said Williams.
Earning a scholarship to attend college he won state for Shotput while attending U.W..
After leaving for the professional world Williams started competing as a highland games professional which he has done for the past six years.
“I always wanted to compete in the strongest man competitions,” said Williams who also considers himself a small super heavy weight.
In order to prepare for his competitions Williams trains six days a week for an hour and a half on average taking one day off as a rest day.
Williams doesn’t rely on a trainer and pushes himself through different workout routines ranging from the bench press, squats, dead lifts and works on some strongman events such as the farmers carry.
“I do this all on my own, I’m 38 and doing it for a long time,” said Williams.
He also consumes 3,000 calories a day, “[for] my size is surprising, but I sit a lot as a software developer,” said Williams. “Putting on weigh is easy.”
“It’s a way of life at this point, I’m very competitive by nature,” said Williams.
The Strongman competition ran from 9 a.m. till 2 p.m. and had 50 competitors among all the weight divisions of which eight were in the super heavy weight division.
The event does include people from other states such as Texas.
Athletes have 30 minutes to warm up and then try and run through the events as quickly as possible to not lose momentum.
For Williams one of the hardest events was the yoke walk.
“750 pounds on your back feels heavy, it’s a hard lift to stay upright and jarring when you walk,” said Williams. “My feet are just now recovering [4 days later]”
Williams didn’t decide to compete in this event until April and will have more time to prepare for next year’s competition.
He will travel to Tulsa on Sept. 15 to compete in the highland games for Scotfest in the Caber Toss event which he considers his best.