Strongman Girard gets a lift

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:12 AM ET

Super strongman Hugo Girard is bigger and better than ever.

The 34-year-old Gatineau cop is back on the competitive strongman circuit and he's lifting, pushing and pulling stupendously incredible amounts of weight after taking a year off to recover from an injury.

During his time away, the behemoth 6-foot-2, 330-pounder changed his diet, and is reaping the benefits, reducing his previous body fat percentage of 25 by a whopping 15 points.

For Girard, that means less blubber and more muscle which is the reason, he believes, for a sudden surge in his lifting abilities.

And that's bad news, he said, for his opponents on the strongman world championship circuit.

"They have no clue about how I'm doing," said the affable Girard, who received the Ordre de Gatineau last night.

"They haven't seen me this way before and I have a surprise for them."

Like the one Girard delivered during an exhibition earlier this month in Quebec City.

TOPS 739 LBS.

There to promote an event in which he'll compete this weekend, Girard surprised even himself by completing a 765-lb. (347-kg) bench press, shattering his former personal best of 739 lbs.

"I wasn't expecting it, but everything just seemed to be going up easy," said Girard. "I just figured to pump some more and see what it takes to stop me."

Certainly not last year's injury.

During a competition in Ohio, Girard suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon on March 6 and had surgery the following day in Ottawa.

Two months later during his rehab, he suffered a setback with another Achilles rupture.

"I tried to push it because I wanted to get back," said Girard. "But after that, I was in a cast for three months. I was pushing, but I learned that I couldn't push too hard."

Not too hard, except during exhibitions like last weekend's in Quebec where he managed to push 765 lbs. off his chest.

Or during another exhibition last March in Japan where he lifted 173 lbs. over his head a dozen times -- with one arm, no less.

"Basically, everything has worked out perfect," Girard said of his comeback. "This weekend, I'll kick off the season with another bench over 700 lbs."

MAJOR TEST JUNE 1

His first major test comes on June 1 when he competes in the first leg of a World's Strongest Man super series at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut.

"I'm coming back, and I'm coming back better than ever," said Girard.

"I've got a lot of passion and it's passion I haven't felt in many years."


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