For some people success comes quickly.
However in the case of Finnish Strongman Jarno Jokinen it took 14 years to achieve his dream of becoming Finland’s Strongest Man, the title he finally claimed in 2011.. Over to Jarno to tell us
Phil Burgess: Jarno, you are currently Finlands Strongest Man 2011, what did it mean to win this title, and how long have you been working towards achieving it?
Jarno Jokinen: It means a lot to me, because the first time I competed for this title was in 1998.
I started strongman training in 1996 and in 1998 I was fourth in Finland’s Strongest Man contest. Therefore in 1999, I thought it was my year to win. However that 1999 competition was a total catastrophe on my part, I placed 9th.
After that year I stopped competing in strongman competitions for 10 years, eventually coming back in 2009, and then 2010 where I was second and I finally won the title in 2011.
Phil Burgess: How did you get involved in the sport of strongman, what were the key moments in your life, which made this happen?
Jarno Jokinen: In 1996 I had a summer job at a small community called Karkkila. Marko Varalahti who was third in the 1995 World’s Strongest Man competition lived in Karkkila. He asked me if I would be willing to try strongman.
At first I was not very excited about it. However the next winter I studied in Turku and I trained at the same gym where Ilkka Nummisto trained who was third in the 1990 World’s Strongest Man competition third. One evening when training I went and asked if I could try the strongman sport, and that’s how it all started.
Phil Burgess: How popular is the sport of Strongman in Finland? Do people recognise you when you walk down the street?
Jarno Jokinen: In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s Strongman was very popular in Finland. Then we had two of the worlds strongest men, Jouko Ahola and Janne Virtanen.
Now we have less strongman competitors than back then, but I believe that the number of Finnish competitors will grow back over the next few years.
Phil Burgess: Where do you live in Finland? And if a tourist were to visit what 3 places would you tell them to visit or do?
Jarno Jokinen: I live in a town called Varkaus, with a population of approximately 24 000, so most of them recognize me.
Varkaus is a town in Eastern Finland.
The three great places for tourists to visit are:
- Mechanical Music Museum
- Canal of Taipale
- Inland waterway cruise onboard a steam ship.
Phil Burgess: How many days a week do you train?
Jarno Jokinen: I train six times per week. 2-3 days at the gym and 2-3 days with strongest man equipment.
My typical weekly training schedule consists of:
- Monday: chest, shoulders, biceps
- Tuesday: REST
- Wednesday: Deadlift, Squat
- Thursday: Log or Axle press
- Friday: Farmer’s walk, Atlas stones, Sack running
- Saturday: Abdominals
- Sunday: Super Yoke, Tire flip, Shield carry, Power stairs
Phil Burgess: What are your best lifts for the Deadlift, Squat and Bench Press?
Jarno Jokinen: My best results are:
- Deadlift 330kg
- Squat 340kg
- Bench press 200kg
Phil Burgess: How much protein or other supplements do you take?
Jarno Jokinen: I supplement with protein, carbohydrates and creatine.
With protein I take approximately 250g per day and my calories are about 5000kcal in total.
Phil Burgess: How much do you weigh and how tall are you?
Jarno Jokinen: My weight is 140kg and I am194cm tall ( 6ft 4)
Phil Burgess: What are your goals for 2012?
Jarno Jokinen: My main goal is to stay healthy and be in better shape than last year.
If this happens I have the full potential to defend my Finland’s Strongest Man title.
Next week, I’m going to the Arnold Amateur Strongman World Championships. I’m in better shape than ever, so I expect that I will do personal bests in each event.
Phil Burgess: Who do you think has been the most inspiring Worlds Strongest Man over the last 30 years?
Jarno Jokinen: “I am not an Eskimo, I am a Viking” it was showman Jon Pall Sigmarsson who said it. I think he was the most inspiring World’s Strongest Man.
Phil Burgess: I will list some different events, can you suggest the best gym exercise to improve performance in each of them?
- a. Log Press – jerk from rack
- b. Farmers Walk – grip training
- c. Yoke – Abdominal training
- d. Atlas Stones – Deadlift on the box
Phil Burgess: What’s the stupidist thing you’ve done either in a competition or whilst training?
Jarno Jokinen: The stupidest thing I have done was in Finland’s Strongest Man competition in 2009 .
Wheelbarrow pushing was one of the events. At the finish I got a stupid idea to turn the wheelbarrow toward the starting line. The handles hit my calves so hard that for the next two weeks it was really hard to walk.
That taught me never to play again in competitions.