Tom Stoltman’s Technique To Win Third World’s Strongest Man Title

Invergordon, Scotland’s Tom Stoltman is riding a wave after regaining the World’s Strongest Man title for 2024 after his back-to-back streak of winning in 2021 and 2022 was halted by Mitchell Hooper. Having returned to his native country just days ago following those epic feats of strength in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, “The Albatross” sat down with M&F to bask in the glory of a job well done, discussing some of the critical changes that he made in order to reclaim the coveted crown.

“It’s not sunk in too much,” admits Stoltman of his recent WSM success. “Obviously, losing it last year and getting it back, it’s a kind of a wee dream because I wanted to get three before I was 30 years old, that was kind of what I said in my head, and I’m 30 at the end of this month.” Standing in Stoltman’s way was a seriously strong class of competitors, not least of which was the man who took his spot last year, Mitchell Hooper, but in order to become the World’s Strongest Man, the key is to compete at your strongest and understand that the biggest competition is with ones self. Stoltman explains that after winning his second WSM title in 2022, he took some much-needed time off to spend quality time with his wife.

The flip side, he says, was that taking several months off and living it up in Disney Land made it all the more difficult for him to get his head back in the game when it came time to train in 2023. “Obviously, when you are trying to prep for a big competition you need to be a hundred percent and I went into that competition, not a hundred percent. But then, in my head as well, I was able to still come second place, at me being about eighty percent, so yeah, it did hurt a wee bit losing my title but then I just realized; right, I need to have a go.”

How did Tom Stoltman win his third World Strongest Man title in 2024?

Deciding that he wanted to “have a go” at regaining strongman’s biggest title, Stoltman entered multiple high-profile competitions, including finishing ahead of Mitchell Hooper at the Giants Live Strongman Classic. Then, at the 2023 Shaw Classic, “The Albatross” pulled 499kg (1,100 pounds) in the Hummer Deadlift. He won the World Tour Finals in Glasgow but came second to Mitchell Hooper at the Rogue Invitational to round out 2023. Stoltman started out strong again in 2024 by winning Britain’s Strongest Man for the third time, but placed third in the 2024 Arnold Strongman Classic, another event won by Hooper. The back and forth between the two behemoths undoubtedly set the scene for Stoltman’s toughest WSM challenge yet, with the former champ looking to make any changes necessary to get back on top.

Stoltman says that throwing himself into the mix and showing what he could do was a huge confidence booster in the run up to the 2024 WSM. He sat down with his trainers, nutrition coach, and sports psychologist to really dial-in and see what tweaks could be made to improve his performance further. “I said, look, the things I need to change for World’s Strongest Man this year is up my workload in the gym. I don’t have to get stronger, I have to get fitter; I need to start running,” shares Stoltman, who added 2K runs to his regime. “That was one of my secrets I did there.” The strongman also invested in an oxygen chamber, thought to have many benefits including faster recovery.

Tom Stoltman strengthened his mind as well as his body to win WSM 2024

“That’s why they call it World’s Strongest Man,” says Stoltman. “Because, it’s not just tough mentally and physically, it breaks you, and it breaks you big time.” On the mental side of his game, Stoltman, who talked to M&F about his autism in 2022, understands that how we focus on any task at hand can play a huge role in our chances of success. The big Scot says that he had used visualization techniques in the past, but took the concept further this time around.

“I (had) never done breathing and visualization — together,” he says. “Obviously, with World’s Strongest Man, its quite long days so you’re doing, like, one event in the morning, and then you’re not going to be competing until four, five-o-clock in the afternoon, so it was (about) the breathwork to get psyched up to the event, but then as soon as the event is over, get your heartrate back down and recover.”

Stoltman explains that he practiced this in the gym before heading to the USA. He learned to exaggerate on the exhale, making a noise as he breathes out. “Do short breaths, and breathe form the diaphragm,” he says. “I’ve never felt so fit, after the loading race, at World’s Strongest Man, I could have ran for another thirty-forty seconds.” Stoltman was surprised by the improvements that he made by controlling his breathing and visualizing an outcome, until he was on the podium and realized he’d actually become the champion once again.

Rich Storry / World's Strongest Man

Tom Stoltman appreciates having a worthy opponent like Mitchell Hooper

“You are competing against yourself,” says Stoltman, explaining that if you lose sight of that then there’s no point turning up to a competition. In the weeks before WSM 2024, Stoltman stopped putting his progress reports on social media. “I just used it all to my advantage. The me and Mitchell Hooper thing, it’s a big rivalry and the thing I love about it is; I needed someone to push me because, in all honesty, I thought (in WSM) before Mitchell Hooper came I was winning by quite some distance and I didn’t really need to change too much in my training, but thanks to Mitchell Hooper; I changed stuff in my training, I changed my mental side of things, and it’s made me an even better athlete.”

Television coverage of the 2024 WSM is set to be broadcast worldwide to more than 70 different countries and territories, totaling close to 500 million households. In the U.S., the 2024 SBD World’s Strongest Man coverage will premiere on CBS Sports Network and CBS beginning this summer. In the United Kingdom, the event will be shown during the holiday season on Channel 5. For more information visit The 2024 World’s Strongest Man in Myrte Beach had perhaps it’s biggest ever contingent of UK fans. “It was the most I’ve ever seen,” says Stoltman, making his win all the sweeter. Those who couldn’t be there, like stars from the worlds of MMA, WWE, and bodybuilding also sent message of support, including his beloved Glasgow Rangers football team. “I love my Rangers,” he beams.

So, what’s next? You will be pleased to here that big Tom Stoltman is already looking towards WSM 2025, and he wants to see his older brother, Europe’s Strongest Man, Luke Stoltman on the podium too. And, no matter your level of fitness, you can learn from the world’s strongest brothers by joining their online Stoltman Academy. Let’s get lifting!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *