2023 Arnold Strongman Classic champion Mitchell Hooper reflects on his big win and strongman future! 

The 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic champion Mitchell Hooper joins the Legends Of Iron podcast hosts Jon Anderson and Nick Best to discuss his recent high of winning one of the most significant strongman events of the year. 

The 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic took place this past weekend on March 3, 2023, Friday through Saturday, March 4, 2023, in Columbus, Ohio. The competition was fierce with the Stotlman brothers and reigning 2022 World Strongest Man, Tom Stoltman. And Bobby Thompson was there too, who received third place — for the second year in a row after tying with Luke Stoltman for the bronze medal in 2022. 

Nevertheless, it was Mitchell Hooper who raised the trophy in the end. The strongman competitors competed in a series of events to determine the champion — Wheel of Pain, The Austrian Oak Log Press, Elephant Bar Deadlift, Unspunnen Stone Throw, and Timber Frame Carry. 

Each event was different but tested the athlete’s overall brute strength. And contenders earned points depending on how well they performed in each event. Of course, the strongman with the most points at the end of Saturday was declared the winner. 

The Legends Of Iron crew got to talk with the champ, Mitchell Hooper, on his way home from the competition. He gave us insight into each event, reflected on how he feels about the win, and discussed what’s next to come for him this year, both personally and professionally. 

Reflecting on Being the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic Champion 

This was Mitchell Hooper’s first-ever Arnold show. He stated:

“It’s so different. I’ve gone through so many different…I feel like I’ve had a 10-year career in 1 year in terms of I’ve had the experience of going in as someone who no one knows to the experience of can you continue to prove yourself to the to the experience of now you go into the show as one of the favorites. And I did see myself that way going in, and it’s a very different sort of pressure a different mentality.

But the, the good thing is it doesn’t get to me all that much. So yeah, I mean, the show went pretty much as expected. And yeah, um, I was able to execute really, really and just do what I was capable of, and at the moment if, if I do what I’m capable of, I think I’m pretty hard to beat.”

Hooper noted that he was the first Arnold competitor to win the show without winning an event. Hooper also stated that it was taken out of context when asked what it meant to succeed in a previous interview. He sees it as a stepping stone in the sport and to motivate others to move. But critics took it as he didn’t care to win. Anderson concurred with Hooper’s view on winning. 

“I think the thing that should scare most people is getting to their goals. And that’s why I’ll never say that. I just think that, that, uh, a distinct end point isn’t my goal. Because once, once you reach your goal, then what are you going to do? There’s nothing left to do,” Hooper added.

Arnold Strongman Classic Events

After agreeing with Hooper, Anderson nudged Anderson to run through the Arnold Strongman Classic events. Hooper said that the first event, the Wheel of Pain, he had never done before. But he anticipated that he’d be reasonable based on his physiological makeup. 

Mitchell Hooper said he knew that the guys that were better conditioned would be better off for the log press since it was only two hours after the first event. When asked about his key to victory, Hooper said:

“As long as I don’t lose multiple points, to trail on the deadlift, which is the first event on day two, then I’m, I think I’ll win the show. And I said, I think Trey knows that I’m in a much better spot than him right now, even though I’m two and a half points behind.” 

Hooper also admitted that the stone throw is his least favorite event and never wants to see it back. 

Building a Platform Outside of Strongman

Jon Anderson mentioned how Mitchell Hooper got into strongman to build his platform and noted how much it’s grown since then. So Anderson asked Mitchell what his plans were with it. 

“Well, look, I mean the beauty about strongman and how it fits into the great plan is that strongman is basically taking fundamental movement patterns to the extreme. And most people aren’t using strongman to do it professionally or to make a living. And it’s really serendipitous how I can use strongman…if we set people up for early success in terms of exercise movement, that’s a key to be healthy later in life.” 

Hooper added that it has to be more than just about winning the competition because things can go wrong if it’s all about winning. For example, if you don’t win, it’s very disappointing. And on the other hand, if you win the competition and that’s your life’s goal, then what’s next? 

What’s Next? 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mitchell Hooper (@mitchellhooper)

To close out this short podcast concerning Hooper being on the road, Anderson asked Mitchell Hooper a closing question: what’s next for Hooper in 2023? 

Mitchell Hooper brought up how the World’s Strongest Man is in five weeks, and he also has other shows, including the Shot Classic, Rug Inventational, and Giants Live in Scotland for the World Tour Finals. In addition, Hooper said he’d be getting married later in September. 

Mitchell Hooper stated that he believes he can have six more trophies in his following six shows — he’s won the last four out of five competitions!

Wrap Up 

This Legends Of Iron podcast hosted the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic champion, Mitchell Hooper. It was a shorter episode since Hooper was on the way back home from the big win, but it still covered a lot of ground — ranging from tasting victory in one of the most prominent strongman events and what it means to win to the future of Hooper’s strongman shows this year. If you want insight into the mind of a champ coming off a huge win, you’ll want to tune in above. 

Tune into the latest episode of the Legends Of Iron if you love Strongman and strength sports! And check back in every other Thursday at the Generation Iron Fitness Network for more episodes! 

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to stay updated on the latest strength sports news!

Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.