Watching Englishman Martin Cee commentate on a strongman competition is like watching an excited kid in a toy shop.
A good commentator can transform an everyday competition into an exciting show, and this is what Martin has become renowned for…..
Phil Burgess: How did you get involved in the sport of strongman?
Martin Cee: As a child, I like most others always enjoyed the WSM (Worlds Strongest Man) coverage at Christmas time with the likes of Geoff Capes etc
Phil Burgess: I completely relate to this, as this is something my late father and I used to always watch together.
It was in 2010 when my good friend Marc Cherry asked me and my other mate Terry Coldwell from 90’s pop band East 17 to commentate/present, “Only The Strong Will Survive”, a novice/open show in Gravesend, Kent.
The show was won by Lloyd Renals (novice) & Rob Frampton (open) I loved it so much I decided I wanted to do more.
Phil Burgess: What has been your favourite competition to commentate on and why?
Martin Cee: Britain’s Strongest Man 2012 was undoubtedly a great competition to work on, although there was a serious incident with a competitor in the Juniors being taken ill that put a dampener on the day as we was all concerned for his welfare.
The behind the scenes work at 2012 Europe’s Strongest Man was really enjoyable. To witness the tension and atmosphere in the changing room with all the athletes before such a massive competition is immense!
I am out most weekends working at various competitions, Champion Of Champions under 105’s, Englands Most Powerful Man, Britains Strongest Man, Wales Strongest Man and Woman 2012 have all been great!
There has been too many comps to list them all!
Phil Burgess: Who would you say is the funniest Strongman you have come across? And the most serious/intense?
Martin Cee: It is fair to say that most Strongmen have their moments!
I would have to say Terry Hollands, that may come as a surprise to some people as he often comes across as quite shy and reserved on camera. He is great fun to be around and can take the banter as well as dishing it out!
Rob Frampton is another who always brings a smile to my face and I always look forward to seeing. There is never a dull moment with him around!
The most serious/intense has to be Big Z,(Zydrunas Savickas) although this was just before he was going out to compete at Europe’s Strongest Man so in fairness there was a lot of tension in the air from all the athletes that day.
To watch Zydrunas warm up in the changing room and prepare for a big competition is something else…He has this something about him that he could beat many opponents before setting foot in the arena.
He is an absolute Legend in the sport and I plan to go out to his country sometime in the near future for an in depth interview and to film a typical training routine.
Brian Shaw is another, he recently came out for dinner along with Terry Hollands and his wife Lauren for my wife’s birthday. I was chatting with him there and I got a real insight into his philosophy of strongman. He is extremely serious and intense when it comes to training especially. I think he was put on this earth to do what he does! And doesn’t he do it well!!!
Phil Burgess: How long do you think it will be until an Englishman wins World’s Strongest Man?
Martin Cee: First and foremost I don’t want to sound unpatriotic but I am a fan and supporter of Strongman so where the WSM (Worlds Strongest Man) comes from does not matter to me as long as the best/strongest man wins.
As far as the English challenge for the title goes you have to look at Terry Hollands and Laurence Shahlaei as being major contenders…
I have witnessed first hand how hard these boys train and how much they want it, so I can see these guys pushing hard at this years competition!
Also looking to the future some of the guys like Jack Mcintosh, Eddie Hall and Chris Gearing are definitely ones to watch out for!
Phil Burgess: Can you give us a bit of a run through of a day in the life of a strongman commentator.
Martin Cee: haha really! Well my day starts off with a cup of tea of course! 🙂
I generally spend the morning looking around sites, forums etc for the latest news on athletes and competitions of note…I will then spend a few hours producing and editing videos of various competitions for VOS TV. I take a lot of pride in these so they are not released to Youtube until i am 100 per cent satisfied. This can be very time consuming! lol
I try and go to the gym in the afternoon. Jay Hughes is helping me get fit but it is fair to say I am a bit of a slacker in that department!
Preparation for competitions vary on the size of the event and the information that is available to me…I always try and have as much info to hand on each competitor and to have accurate info on each individual event, weights etc. This helps in keeping the crowd interested whilst the athlete is preparing.
Phil Burgess: What is the biggest mistake you have made as a commentator?
Martin Cee: No real major mistakes to be fair but I do have this problem that I call people by the wrong names even when I know exactly who they are!
I think I suffer a bit of overload or maybe it is the effect of the energy drinks I consume during a competition…
Phil Burgess: What shows/competitions do you know that you will be commentating at this year?
Martin Cee: I am booked up pretty solid until the end of the year with the UK under 105 final being a big one coming soon.
I have some other really exciting stuff in the pipeline for this year but cant say to much about that at this time..Sorry:)
Phil Burgess: What tips would you give to any aspiring strongman commentators out there?
Martin Cee: Be Yourself. Be ready to take criticism. Follow your dreams and never give up!
Phil Burgess: If you had the power to change the sport of strongman in any way,what would you change?
Martin Cee: That’s a really good question, and very hard to answer….Ok from my perspective, I would like to see Strongman taken to the next level!
It really is a sport that people enjoy to watch and it was proved that there is an audience for it at this years ESM (Europe’s Strongest Man) at Headingly where 5000+ people turned out to watch…
Credit to Darren Sadler and Colin Bryce for putting that together. The crowd loved what they saw and reminded me of a Darts type crowd with some even coming in fancy dress!
Bring the competitions out into the public domain! As I have said before these comps are not a side show, they are the MAIN EVENT!
The effort the athletes put in at all levels deserves nothing less!
Secondly, and this really is up for debate, I would like to see a worldwide governing body along the lines of FIFA in football. I think this would help move the sport in the right direction…
Phil Burgess: Finally what is the funniest thing you have seen a competitor do at a competition?
Martin Cee: You could find things funny in all comps to be honest…It is the nature of the sport!
I was recently commentating on a good friend of mine, Paul Carter when I thought he was not trying as hard as he could of done on the Atlas Stones.
I told him this over the Mic and we ended up in a bit of a argument for a few seconds…Must have looked funny to the crowd, a 30 stone man roaring at little old me!!!
We are of course best of mates, it was just a tiff in the heat of the battle!!! lol 🙂