DUBAI -- World’s Ultimate Strongman, in collaboration with the Dubai Sports Council, has launched the WUS Incubator program - an innovative, intensive training program to take athletes with potential and turn them into world beaters.
Some of the biggest stars in strength sports are coming to Dubai to take part in a new initiative to develop a new breed of strongmen.
The official announcement about the WUS Incubator program was made at the Dubai Sports Council (DSC) on Monday, March 11, by HE Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of DSC, in the presence of Hafthor Bjornsson, winner of the World’s Ultimate Strongman title in Dubai last October and Larry Wheels, the first recruit of the WUS Incubator program.
Based in Dubai, the program will see athletes from all over the world travel for an opportunity to elevate their level of performance to compete with the best on the planet.
The initiative further reinforces Dubai’s status as the home of strongman, following on from the hosting of the hugely successful World’s Ultimate Strongman event at the Bab al Shams event area last October.
That event was recognised for raising the standard in terms of how athletes were treated and the WUS incubator is no exception. Those taking part will have all their training, coaching, accommodation, rehabilitation and recovery taken care of – providing the very best learning and development environment.
H.E. Saeed Hareb said: “With Dubai being the new home of Strongman after the hugely successful World’s Ultimate Strongman last year, launching this innovative WUS Incubator program here is a natural progression.
“We are pleased to see Bjornsson and Katona supporting this visionary initiative with their presence, and we thank Mark Boyd and his WUS team for all the work they have put in to make this possible. We are confident we will see many strongmen come through this Incubator programme in the coming months and years. My best wishes to everyone involved.”
The first athlete to take part in the WUS Incubator program is Wheels. The American is a social media sensation with more than 1.2m followers across his YouTube and Instagram channels, and is a shining light in the world of strength sport.
At just 24 years of age and with very little proper lifting training behind him, Wheels is already producing incredible feats of strength. He is routinely lifting over 800 lbs on his squat, 850 on deadlift and more than 600 on his bench press.
He recently took part in his first amateur strongman competition in Los Angeles, placing second. Wheels will arrive in Dubai in March and stay for six weeks, before heading off to take part in the World Log Lift Challenge.
He will be joined for the first two weeks of his stay by current World’s Ultimate Strongman, Bjornsson – known to millions around the world as The Mountain from Game of Thrones. Bjornsson, who is also the reigning World’s Strongest Man, has seen Larry’s potential having trained with him, and recommended him for the WUS Incubator.
WUS founder Mark Boyd said: “The WUS Incubator is a unique addition to the world of strongman, and it is only fitting it takes place in Dubai – the city that is leading the way when it comes to the sport’s development.
“We want to give athletes with potential the training, knowledge and knowhow to help them on the path to becoming the best in the world.
“Whilst in Dubai, they will be in the perfect training environment, with top level coaching, and expertise to maximise nutrition and recovery.
“We are hugely excited to be starting the program off with Larry Wheels and Hafthor Bjornsson, and thank all our local partners for their support, especially Dubai Sports Council.
“We are very much looking forward to showing the capability of Emirates Strength being able to train everyone from general-population clientele to professional athletes. Using the only fully strongman equipped area capable of doing so Larry will be more than ready for his upcoming event Giants Live World Log Lift Championship.”
As well as being in partnership with the Dubai Sports Council, a number of other local business have jumped in with their support. Fuel-Up by Kcal will provide food and nutrition, and athletes will stay at the prestigious Meydan Hotel.
From a training perspective, they will be coached by the team at Emirates Strength at the Train SF facility, while DISC and RehabNmotion will offer recovery and rehabilitation.
When they are not training, athletes will enjoy downtime with Recharge DXB who will offer hospitality and activity tourism.
Mark Carroll, Founder & Co-CEO of Kcal said: “Having the opportunity to provide both Larry and Hafthor with Fuel-Up by Kcal food during their training in Dubai is a real honour. We are a dedicated and passionate brand enabling physique and fitness focused individuals the convenience of meal prep that helps them achieve their goals.
“We’ve tailor-made both professionals’ meal plans to fit their specific macros and training plans and are really looking forward to seeing them develop their skills whilst they are here.”