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Loved watching Strength Sports through my early childhood and now I have the privilege of interviewing some of the greatest strength athletes to have graced this planet.

Big Weights to Big Ships – Regin Vagadal – Former International Strongman

Halfway between Iceland and Norway sits the group of islands called the Faroe Islands. It is from here that our next Strongman comes – Regin Vagadal.

Regin Vagadal

On the Ship's Bridge

He burst onto the scene in 1994, and whilst only competing for 8 years, he achieved alot.

Now retired from Strongman, he captains a Norwegian Rescue Ship, making the move from lifting heavy things to steering them.

 

Phil Burgess: Regin you are from the Faroe Islands where you are  7 times Faroe Island’s Strongest Man.   How did you get into Strongman competitions, what made you start competing, and what did you love the most about competing?

Regin Vagadal: When I started I was still in Maritime school, I had begun to train more than I normally did.    I soon realized that I had some power, that was more than the average man.

Then I asked Magnus ver Magnusson what to do to enter the world class level . He told me to get in contact with Dr Douglas Edmunds (WSM referee).

I contacted him which led me to competing in a competition in Scotland where they would like to see me.  

I won the first day, and got second the next day – and after that I was invited to the World Strongest Man.

I loved the friendship between all the competitors and the fact that after and before every competition they gave each other advice. There was no-one that was biting each other’s ear off.

Phil Burgess: Regin are you still competing in Strongman competitions or have you retired?

Regin Vagadal:  I retired in 2002, and have not been involved in any strong man since.

with Derek Boyer, Brian Shaw, Gerit Badenhorst and Rene Minkwitz

Phil Burgess:  You have been to the finals of Worlds Strongest Man 5 times, which time(s) was the most memorable and why?

Regin Vagadal:  The first one in Mauritius – I was totally unknown and I won my qualifying group which everyone was totally surprised about, because there were strongman such as Heinz Ollesch, Berend Veneberg and Magnus Samuelsson.

And the worst one was in 2001 – I was at the top of my career and I also had won “The Atlantic Giant” a few months before.   I really thought that it was my best chance to win The World’s Strongest Man.

One week before the WSM,  I got sick (Flu) and I did compete with a fever and came last in my qualifying group . After that, I lost my momentum and didn’t have it in me any longer – and that’s the one reason that I retired in 2002.

Phil Burgess: You are from the Faroe Islands, how would you describe them to someone who has never visited?

Regin Vagadal:  It’s almost impossible to describe – there are so many beautiful things to see, that have to see it yourself. But give me a call and I would be happy to guide you. :)

Phil Burgess: What are your best competition results and lifts?

Regin Vagadal:   Puha, let me see. I have two boxes full with trophies and I did many competition each year, so …but if I google myself then it says:

  • 7 times Faroe Islands Strongest Man (1994–2000)
  • 8th place World’s Strongest Man (1996)
  • 3rd place in “World Muscle Power Champs 1997″
  • 1st place in “Iceland Strongest man 1998″
  • 8th place World’s Strongest Man (2000)
  • 2nd place in “THE ATLANTIC GIANT 1999″
  • 1st place in “THE ATLANTIC GIANT 2000″
  • 1st place in “THE ATLANTIC GIANT 2001″

Personal bests:

  • BenchPress 235 kg
  • Squat 340 kg
  • Deadlift 350 kg

Of course, there were lots of other competitions, but that list gives you an idea.

Phil Burgess:  What is your occupation now?  I believe you were studying to be a ships captain?

Regin Vagadal:  Yes, that’s right, and now my profession is Captain on “Esvagt Stavanger” which operates in the Oil Industry in Norway.

Regin's Ship

Regin's Ship

Phil Burgess: How many days a week did you train in a gym and how often did you practice competition events?

Regin Vagadal:  Normally it was 4 times in the gym and once a week practicing competition events.

Phil Burgess: What advice would you give to a new person to the sport of strongman?

Regin Vagadal: Be patient and make sure you have warm muscles and don’t let anybody provoke you.

In Strongman it is sometimes better to use your brain rather than your muscle.

Phil Burgess: Finally, which competitor was your favourite one to compete against and why?

Regin Vagadal:  I had a great time when me and Magnus ver Magnusson were competing, and we always had a lot of fun after.

At that time, he was the man to beat, that’s why it was always exciting to see if you could beat him……….

 

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