Who is England’s strongest man?

Published:
06:00 July 8, 2022



By day, town father Leeroi Smith drives a backhoe – but after hours he does the heavy lifting.

And the 12 hours a week the 30-something from Brewers Court spends pumping iron has finally paid off.

The father-of-one was named England’s strongest man at an Elite Strongman Promotions event in Durham in late June.

He will now aim for more glory as he represents his country at the World Championships in Florida in November after finishing fifth last year.


England’s strongest man Leeroi Smith inside Big Andy’s Gym in Dereham
– Credit: Brittany Woodman

The Norwich-born strongman and father of one-year-old Lincoln said: “I love the buzz of the competitions.

“I used to watch World’s Strongest Man on TV with my dad and have now found out that I’m really good at it myself.

“No matter who you are or where you come from, when you think about it, you can reach great heights.”

To become England’s strongest man in the under 90kg category, Mr Smith – who eats 4,500 calories a day – had to complete six different weight challenges.

This includes the 280 kg deadlift in one minute, the 120 kg pendulum press and the 90 kg stone press.


England's strongest man, Leeroi Smith, inside Big Andy's gym in Dereham.  Photos: Brittany Woodman

England’s strongest man, Leeroi Smith showing off his weapons
– Credit: Brittany Woodman

Training at Big Andy’s gymnasium in Dereham, Mr Smith recalled how he had pushed himself to the limit in the past.

He said: “There are instances where I have nosebleeds and burst blood vessels in my eyes and on my chest, but you keep going.

“I was a bit skeptical about it at first, but then I did some research.

“You don’t really feel it popping. It’s only the next day that the redness starts to appear.”


England's strongest man, Leeroi Smith, inside Big Andy's gym in Dereham.  Photos: Brittany Woodman

England’s strongest man Leeroi Smith flexing his muscles inside Big Andy’s Gym
– Credit: Brittany Woodman

The buff praised his wife Samantha and Big Andy’s owner Andy Clarke for holding it together through the dark days.

And he often has to apply his weightlifting to everyday tasks.

“My stepdad probably uses it the most – in the nicest way possible,” Mr Smith joked.

“He’s a freelance carpenter and sometimes we work on the same site. When he has a job that involves heavy lifting, nine times out of 10 I’m the person he calls.”

Training to become England’s strongest man

Mr. Smith’s routine is regimented.

On Tuesday he will perform squat and leg exercises at the gym before pressing his shoulders and triceps on a Wednesday.

Thursday involves the deadlift and back weights. He then enjoys a well-deserved rest day on Friday before taking part in the competitions on Saturday.


England's strongest man, Leeroi Smith, inside Big Andy's gym in Dereham.  Photos: Brittany Woodman

England’s strongest man Leeroi Smith at Big Andy’s Gym in Dereham for training
– Credit: Brittany Woodman

He will still have two days off Sunday and Monday.

Mr Smith said: “Diet is crucial. I am now registered with a nutritionist with a doctorate in micronutrients and he has offered me five meals a day.”

It will start with Weetabix, protein powder and nuts in the morning.

At 10 a.m., he will feast on chicken and rice, or chicken salad with a wrap.


England's strongest man, Leeroi Smith, inside Big Andy's gym in Dereham.  Photos: Brittany Woodman

England’s strongest man Leeroi Smith in Big Andy’s gymnasium
– Credit: Brittany Woodman

Yogurt, banana and more nuts will be eaten at lunchtime, then a protein shake will be downed before a gym session alongside electrolytes.

He will then end the day with minced meat and rice or white fish and potatoes.

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