US Strongman Carlos Reyes – Teenage Title to Pro Card.


In 2010 Carlos Reyes took out the Teenage national – lightweight title.

He then made a name for himself in the lightweight division of NAS.

Now he has his PRO-CARD.

Lets find out more.

Circus Dumbell Press - Carlos Reyes
Circus Dumbell Press - Carlos Reyes

Phil Burgess: How did you get into Strongman competitions?

Carlos Reyes:  I first got involved with strongman training through a training partner. Around my junior year of high school, my training partner Nick told me that he started doing strongman and that he trained events on Saturdays at a gym in Waterbury. I showed up in November 2009 to train events for the first time, and was completely blown away by what I saw. I was training as an Olympic weightlifter at the time, but didn’t quite love it and wanted to seek another avenue to pursue in strength athletics. I trained log, yoke, farmers, and stones and was blown away by how hard everything was and how awkward the implements were. Plus, I had the privilege of training with Derek Poundstone and the CT Strength Crew. I had never seen someone as big or strong as Derek in my life, and after my first event day, I knew strongman was going to be my focus. 

Phil Burgess: How tall are you and how much are you currently weighing in competition?

Carlos Reyes:  5’8″, 220-225lbs.

Phil Burgess: What is your best Log Press? Squat? And Deadlift?

Carlos Reyes:   

  • My best Log Press is 380lbs.

I’ve missed 400lbs from the ground a bunch of times, but have hit it out of the rack.

  • I have back squatted 655lb for a double and front squatted 500lb.
  • My deadlift is around 675-700lb, although I haven’t maxed out since 2 weeks prior to the Europa when I pulled 660lb.

I train using the conjugate method, so I rarely max out on standard exercises.

Steel Log Press

Phil Burgess:  What event do you love the most? And which do you loathe and why?

Carlos Reyes:  Any type of max overhead would be my favourite event. I began in Olympic style weightlifting, so max log/axle really kept my interest. I’m not a fan of Conan’s wheel, keg toss, or tire flip. Mainly because I suck at them.  

Phil Burgess: Are you finding in the US that there are more and more people competing in the under 105kg class?

Carlos Reyes:  Absolutely. People are coming to the realization that you don’t have to be 6’6″ and 400 pounds to do strongman. Not everyone is built to be that big, but the 105 KG class gives some of us who aren’t genetically built to be 300 pounds a chance to compete and excel in strongman. 

Phil Burgess: How did it feel to recently win the Hartford Europa Platinum Plus Show?

Carlos Reyes:  It was incredible. I watched my training partner, current ASC Pro Mike Mastell, compete at the Europa in 2010 to try and win his pro card. That was the first Plat+ I had ever attended, and I had never seen guys that big or strong. Whilst watching, I was wishing that I was strong enough to compete at a show like that. It was one of the pivotal points in my training career that inspired me to take my training more seriously and pursue strongman at a higher level. Winning in Hartford 2 years later made it feel like all the hard work was worth it.

Carlos holding 2012 Lightweight Teen National Strongman Title

Phil Burgess:  What does it mean in practical terms, turning professional, i.e do you get paid etc?

Carlos Reyes:  Pro’s in the United States earn the opportunity to compete in the ASC (American Strongman Corporation) as a select group for cash rewards, and are also given opportunities to compete internationally in the 105kg category.

Phil Burgess: What is the biggest lesson that you have learnt from competing and training as a strongman?

Carlos Reyes:  Never underestimate the value of mental preparation.

Phil Burgess: In the sport are there any other athletes who you look up to, or have inspired you?

Carlos Reyes:  Derek Poundstone, Tom McClure, and Dave Mihalov. I was fortunate to begin my strongman career in the presence of 3 ASC Professional Strongmen, and they each left a huge impression on me with their incredible feats of strength.

Phil Burgess: What are your goals for the rest of 2012 and beyond?

Carlos Reyes:  I want to place top 5 at 105kg America’s Strongest Man to qualify for an Arnold Amateur World Championships invite. I also want to hit a 400lb log and a 700lb+ deadlift. 

Phil Burgess: What do you do as an occupation? And to relax?

Carlos Reyes: I am a full time student. Training is actually the most relaxing part of my day!

Getting Ready...

Phil Burgess: Where are you from, and can you briefly describe it?

Carlos Reyes:  I am originally from Bridgeport, Connecticut but relocated to Stratford, Connecticut in my mid teens. Bridgeport is one of the larger urban areas in Connecticut with about 150,000 people, and Stratford is a smaller shoreline town of about 50,000.

Phil Burgess: Finally, training for Strongman and competing can easily take over your life, how do you maintain balance between work, family and strongman?

Carlos Reyes:  Family, work, and strongman in that order!

Nothing in life should ever come before family. In regards to work, won’t be paying my bills any time soon.

Therefore, training revolves around both my academic and work schedules. In a perfect world, I’d get paid to train and compete and do nothing else! Strongman third. Training is part of my daily ritual to get in touch with my body and rid myself of the stresses of every day life.