Strongman competitions aren't just for women, despite the name. You've probably seen the MetRX (pronounced 'metrics') World's Strongest Man competitions that used to be televised on ESPN? Women do it too.

Lisa Kromer of Kennewick this year won the Women's middleweight  national championship out of 300 competitors at the event held in Louisville, KY.  Strongman events consist of a wide variety of events, ranging from semi-truck pulling to a log press, from tractor tire flipping to  tossing beer kegs, even picking up the back of a small car, depending upon the athlete's weight class.

Kromer's competition consisted of pressing a 145 lb log overhead as many times as possible, deadlifting an axle with wagon wheels on the end (345lbs) and an event called the Conan's Wheel. It's a long shaft attached to a base on one end (like a compass) and there's the weight in a basket near the other. The athlete picks up the free end, and has to carry the weight around in a circle until they cannot hold it up. They are scored on the number of revolutions they get (like drawing a circle with a compass).

She also had to lift a series of heavy stones and place them on platforms of various heights. She now moves on to the Pro Women's World title this fall, and her husband Mike will be competing in the World's Strongest Man Master's Division (over 40) in England later this year. Here's a look at a typical tire flip.

Tire flip (strongman of the north 2011 competition)
Tire flip (strongman of the north 2011 competition-you tube still)

Back in 2001-2004 I participated in the Lifequest Fitness Center's Boats and Behemoths Strongman Competitions during Boat Race Saturday in Columbia Park.  Our events were a 200 lb log press, 600 lb tire flip, semi-truck and trailer pull (using a body harness and cable), a farmers walk holding 220 cylinder weights in each hand, and tossing beer kegs weighing from 80 to 150 lbs. for distance.  Our Conan's Wheel had 500 plus lbs in the middle.

I finished every event, and despite being 20 years older than everybody else, actually beat 2-3 guys out of 16. Here's a look at my best event, the log press, as done by a much larger person!

Strongman log press (The Arnold Classic Australia 2015-YouTube image)
Strongman log press (The Arnold Classic Australia 2015-YouTube image)

After a number of years of being on ESPN, CBS Sports Network carried the 2015 World's Strongest Man competition. For a number of years in the late 1990's and early to mid 2000's,  the strongman craze swept the nation, and many local and regional competitions were held, including the now defunct Boats and Behemoths.  While still a strong national and international sport,  strongman competitions however have been pushed aside in the public's eye in favor of cross-fit and other more cardio-themed competitions and training. This includes tough runs, mud runs, cross-fit cross training and more.

Much of it was because people discovered most citizens can't handle the excruciating demands of the strongman events.  Having done three of them, the training and effort needed to just complete an event will push you past limits you thought not possible. It is not a sport for the faint of heart. It even makes power lifting look tame in comparison.

That makes Kromer's feat even more remarkable! Here's hoping she wins it all!

More From 870 AM KFLD