Moe Westmoreland is the guy who reignited my passion for the sport of Strongman.
It has been interesting to watch his journey from state level Strongman to now being the 2012 Australian Highland Games Champion.
Phil Burgess: You recently competed at the Australian Highland Games Championships, where you came in second overall, to Pat Hellier (NZ), but came top of all the Australian competitors.
You are now the top ranked Australian Highland Games competitor for 2012, what does this mean to you?
Moe Westmoreland: It means the world to me, Australian Highland Games Champion 2012 and I have that for life.
Honestly I gave myself a 3 year plan to get this title.
To win the Australian title every thing had to go my way including 5 PRs and turning the Australian Caber.
To compete with my mentor and friend Craig Reid who has won the title more times than I can count, and with Pat Hellier one of the worlds most experienced Pros in Highland Games is an honor, Pat also won the overall title.
Phil Burgess: Can you run us through each event and how you did in them?
- Light stone put 17lb & 22lb Heavy stone put were the first 2 events and also my worst two events, I still managed 2 PRs on these events with help from my Shot Putt coach Brett Sowerby.
- Next were 16lb Hammer and 25lb Hammer (note the heavy hammer is usually 22lb). I managed 104’’5 on the light hammer and 82’’5 on the heavy hammer.
- Light Weight For Distance 28lb, I dropped my form on this event but still managed to grunt out a PR 62’’1.
- The Australian Caber was a strange event to say the least, three steps, a right turn and turned it to 9 min past 12 O’clock, then the three that turned the Australian Caber moved onto the Challenge Caber, which I pulled to about 60 degrees.
- Last event was the 56lb Weight Over Bar, I threw 14 feet with no miss and was so close to 15 feet.
Phil Burgess: What events have you made the most improvement on?
Moe Westmoreland: With only three years experience in Highland Games and throwing, all of the events have improved dramatically.
My best improvement though, would be the Hammers, as I have added over 25 feet in 2 years.
Phil Burgess: Where to from here? Will you be competing internationally in HG? Or will you be going back to Strongman or Powerlifting? What is your plan for 2013 and longer?
Moe Westmoreland: From the Australian Highland Games I travelled to Horoata NZ for the 2nd Annual Highland Games, where I came 3rd overall.
I also gained 2 new PRs 108’’ on the 16lb hammer and 21sec on the Stones of Manhood, comprising of 5 Sandstone balls, 5 meters apart loading onto barrels, 100kg up to 150kg, where I came 1st.
I have also been invited to the NZ Highland Games Championships at Waipu on the 1st of January 2013.
My ultimate aim is to compete in the IHGF Amateur World Championships 2013.
As for Strongman I think my days competing are over for now, I still love the sport and continue to train events that help my throwing and I will never stop lifting stones till the day I die.
Phil Burgess: What do you love the most about Highland Games?
Moe Westmoreland: The people that you meet along the way.
The tradition of a sport that is hundreds of years old.
Highland Games is a sport where champions like Pat Hellier, David Huxley and Craig Reid are happy to give you tips and advice even if it means that you might beat them in an event.
Health wise Highland Games is a sport where you don’t need to be 20-30kgs over weight to compete. Coming from Strongman I have dropped 20kg and I’m faster stronger and most importantly, I’m healthy.
Phil Burgess: What does a typical weeks training look like?
Two days in the gym,
- GYM Day 1 – Speed Deadlifts, cleans or snatches Front Squats.
- GYM Day 2 – Push Press Overheads, Close grip Bench, core work.
Three days throwing,
- THROWING Day 1 – Technical drills with coach.
- THROWING Day 2 – drills and 60% throwing, also speed work, sprints, box jumps
- THROWING Day 3 – warm up to 80% throws 10 throws max, for each event.
Phil Burgess: Finally, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Moe Westmoreland: I would also like to add this sport has given me so much, in such a short time and I have a long way to go.
If I can reach just half the achievements of the champions I have mentioned, I would be a happy man.
If anyone in the Sydney area would like to see firsthand what the Highland Games are all about or even have a go, they can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org