Strongman Dan Macri – The Real Western Force


Dan Macri is one of the top contenders for the 2012 Australia’s Strongest Man title.

I met Dan at the Giants Live Event in Melbourne in March and recently caught up with him to see where he is at now….

Australian Strongman Dan Macri
Frame Carry Dan Style

Phil Burgess: How did you get involved in Strongman? And what is your greatest achievement so far in the sport?

Dan Macri: I first saw strongman on TV when I was younger, about 14 and thought it was the greatest thing I had ever seen.

Unable to find any local competitions, I got involved in powerlifting until eventually competitions showed up in Western Australia (W.A).

My greatest achievements so far are holding the W.A title for a few years now, competing at 2011 Australia’s Strongest Man and winning a couple of events and competing at the 2011 amateur Arnold Strongman Champs.

Phil Burgess: You are a giant of a man, how much do you weigh?

Dan Macri: Last time I checked I was tipping the scales at 176kg..ish I think, I am not overly concerned about what the scales say, as long as I am getting stronger and faster. 

Phil Burgess: What are your best results on the Log Press, Yoke, Farmers, Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift?

Dan Macri:  LOG, 170kg was the best single I ever did middle of last year, in the last few weeks before my pec tear I strict pressed 165kg for a few, and did 5 reps clean and pressed at 150kg, not quite that good, at the moment unfortunately.

YOKE carried 450kg for 25m in about 16 seconds earlier this year, hopefully my speed is still there on grass.

FARMERS have always been a bit of a weakness, 170kg for 18.5m was the best I have done.

SQUATTED 410kg with a cambered bar at the start of the year, 9 weeks post pec surgery.

BENCH 220kg for 2 was my best under a week before the pec tear, tore the pec trying 230kg.

DEADLIFT, pulled 345kg in the middle of the year felt I had a bit more in the tank, have only being doing reps since then.

Axle Deadlift

Phil Burgess: At Giants Live this year, I saw you talking to Big Mike Jenkins. What did you learn from him?

Dan Macri: I will honestly admit to having a bit of a man crush on Mike Jenkins, He has been successful in my two favourite sports of all time (American Football and Strongman).

It was really interesting talking to him about techniques and training, but mostly I just had fun talking with him and all the other internationals. Listening to how these guys set up their programs and pick their exercises was very interesting as there were a few differing theories. 

The two strongmen who have inspired me the most are Zydrunas Savickas and Mike Jenkins.

Phil Burgess: You will be competing in Australia’s Strongest Man at the end of November.  How well do you think you will go?

Dan Macri: My goal is to win and anything less will leave me wanting more, that is the first goal.  

I think if everything goes perfect for me, I am in a position where I could win, but there is some tough competition there and like everyone else, I have been carrying a few injuries.

It will be decided by who shows up the best on the day. 

Time to pull the truck
Time to pull the truck

Phil Burgess: As you have already stated your tore your pec in 2012, tell us more about how this affected you?

Dan Macri:  The torn Pec has left me with a few complications.

The pec cannot currently stabilise things overhead as well as what is used to be able to, however the arm has regained most of its size.

I still feel as if there is another 3-6 months before I am back on track.  The switch to the Viking Press has helped me as the pec does not need to stabilise as much any more.

In my training I have had to do alot to recover my grip, which is still unfortunately lagging and and isolation work of the triceps is out due to recurring tendinitis, so I have had to get creative with training.

If Zydrunas can recover from two torn patella tendons, I am more than certain I can come back from 1 torn pec.

Dan Macri
Shouldering the Yoke

Phil Burgess:  If you had to sum yourself up with 3 descriptive words what would they be?

Dan Macri:

  1. Big
  2. Hairy
  3. Hungry 


Phil Burgess: What tips do you have to people new to the sport of strongman?

Dan Macri: Develop a solid strength base!, work the core lifts; squat, bench, deadlifts, overheads and rows solidly in the gym and get into events work as soon as you can.

Don’t be in a rush to get heavier with the events, just get good at them, the weight will go up as you get stronger and more experienced with the events….

Phil Burgess: What is your diet like?

Dan Macri:  I have never really kept a track on the calories I consume, I know I usually go over 400 grams of protein without effort, 7000 calories would not be a stretch. 

Phil Burgess: Final Question,  of the other competitors in the 2012 Australia’s Strongest Man competition how would you describe each of them if they were horses in a race?

Dan Macri:  Unfortunately I have not had the chance to meet too many of the other guys, other than the ones from WA.  Here goes with those I know:

  • Marc Wells: A majestic thoroughbred
  • Mike “Hbomb” Vrillic: Crazy horse!!
  • Jordan Steffens: Another young stallion racing to compete with the front of the pack!
  • David Lawther: The prettiest little Pony
  • Les Milhinch: One of the more experienced horses in the race, but not to be under estimated!!

We wish Dan all the best on the 24th/25th November in the 2012 Australia’s Strongest Man competition.

Australia's Strongest Man 2012