Manitoba adds 2nd professional strongman to its roster

Daniel Cadger joins Tyler Sigurdson as Manitoba's only professional strongmen, and as Joanne Roberts reports they're hoping more athletes join them.

Strongman isn’t for the faint of heart, for the longest time, Manitoba has only had one professional strongman. Now there’s two and they’re looking for more.

As of October 21st, Daniel Cadger is Manitoba’s second active strongman. He’s a former mixed martial artist, who started training to be a strongman two years ago.

“I just found that it still allows me to be competitive, but I have more control over like, if something’s hurting, I can drop it,” said Cadger.

Cadger says the physical strength needed to compete is only one part. The rest is psychological.

“I’m also the smallest one in the open category so I see everyone around me, it’s like … Looks to be twice my size, so I try not to let the doubts creep into my head,” he explained.

“I find once the first event is out of the way, everything kind of just flows together and everything runs well but it’s up until that first moment where I’m called up to go is very nerve-wracking. I’m usually nauseous for the whole morning.”

Daniel Cadger recently joined Tyler Sigurdson as Manitoba’s only 2 professional strongmen. (Photo Credit: Joanne Roberts, CityNews)

Cadger says before competitions, he takes his workouts easy and he tries to keep his day as consistent as possible.

“I usually check my gear bags, make sure everything’s in there, pack some food from the day. 90 per cent of my competitions, I get McDonald’s pancakes on the way there. It’s just a lot of carbs and it’s really easy to eat,” explained Cadger. “Just train. Train hard and be consistent and you can get there.”

Tyler Sigurdson is Manitoba’s only other active professional strongman. He owns Iron Age Strength gym, where he trains others in the sport.

“It’s a very, very tight-knit community. People who come in from the outside are usually surprised to hear… when someone else is competing against me, I’m going to be on the sidelines cheering them on and hoping they do their very best. And the same thing, when one of my athletes is competing, the other coaches are going to be there trying to help them out and give them tips and tricks and try to make sure that everyone’s having the best day possible out there,” said Sigurdson.

“It’s not something that you can just make up about yourself. You have to be able to show that you are as strong as you say you are, especially if you’re competing in Strongman. Your strength will be measured to the pound, to the very smallest amount. And if you can’t do it and somebody else can, they’re better than you that day.”

Sigurdson says Cadger’s transition from amateur to pro is not an easy one, and not just because of the strength it takes. Usually, only the winner of Strongman Corp Canada nationals gets to join the pro ranks.

“It was really telling of how hard the competition was this year, and just how good the guys are getting. The amateur guys are all really, really amazing. And so many of them deserve that opportunity to compete with the pros, that they decided to expand it a little bit and let the top three guys go,” said Sigurdson.

“I’m proud to say we’re the strongest gym in Manitoba. We have the most competitive Strongmen of any gym in Manitoba. We have some of the best powerlifters in the province too, and I really like to think that we’re also bringing up the next wave of people.”

Tyler Sigurdson is the owner of Iron Age Strength gym and one of Manitoba’s professional strongmen. (Photo Credit: Joanne Roberts, CityNews)

Sigurdson says he enjoys Strongman competitions, because every single one is different.

“One competition that you do in July will be completely different than one you do in August and completely than the one you do in September. Totally different events, totally different atmosphere, different environment. One might be inside, one might be outside. Every event feels like very much its own standalone thing and it makes it really fun to train for and fun to compete in,” said Sigurdson.

Both athletes say the best way to join the competition is to find a trainer already competing. Sigurdson says he hopes he sees more new faces from Manitoba in the coming years.

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