Damon Barth was kind enough to share his experience at the 2018 Arnold Classic. If you haven’t yet, you can check out his Athlete Bio here. How did it feel competing at such a big event? Like most people would, I get nervous prior to competing in front of such a big crowd, but that […]
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Damon Barth was kind enough to share his experience at the 2018 Arnold Classic. If you haven’t yet, you can check out his Athlete Bio here.
How did it feel competing at such a big event?
Like most people would, I get nervous prior to competing in front of such a big crowd, but that typically goes away as soon as I step out on to the competition floor. I am aware that the crowd is larger than normal, but I am so focused on the task at hand that I don’t think about it. I have also competed twice in the Masters World Championships in the past 4 years, so I have some previous experience competing on a big stage.
How do you stay motivated to focus on training for a competition?
I absolutely love competing and training, I have never looked at it like a chore or obligation. I enjoy constantly trying to better myself as an athlete and being the best version of me I can be.
Have you competed at the Arnold Classic previously?
This was my second time competing at the Arnold Classic, 2017 was my first year and it was the inaugural year for the indoor Highland Games. We got some really good exposure last year, so the field of athletes was much deeper this year.
Was your training different leading up to the Arnold vs. other competitions?
The Highland Games are traditionally held outdoors, so my season is typically April through August. So, November through March I am just hitting the weights and can’t really practice the Highland Games events. The Arnold falls right in the middle of my offseason, so I don’t really have the opportunity to get in much throwing practice. But even with the lack of practice, I was close to a personal best in almost every event, so the time in the weight room paid off.
What was the highlight of the weekend for you?
The highlight for me was definitely meeting Arnold and having him livestream one of my throws. It was surreal to watch that video and listen to his commentary.
What was the biggest lesson you learned?
My takeaway from this competition was that even at 43 years old, I am still progressing and still have a lot of untapped potential. So, I am happy to get back in the gym and work towards hitting some personal records this season.
Did you get to meet anyone you were excited about?
Aside from Arnold, it was good to meet and compete against Mike Zolkiewicz, a former professional Highland Games athlete, who competed in my group this year. From my experience it is good to compete against athletes who are better than you, it forces you to push your limits and is the best motivation to try to improve.
What advice would you give someone competing at the Arnold Classic For the first time?
Just enjoy the experience, interact with the crowd and try to promote whatever strength sport you’re a part of.
What goals do you have moving forward?
The great thing about the Highland Games, as opposed to some other strength sports, is the comradery and family atmosphere. Most of us are just out there competing against ourselves, trying to improve our personal records.
Thank you so much Damon for sharing your experience, and for helping make Stout Barbell #thestrongestgyminthefort