The Yoke is without a doubt of one the biggest and most well-known Strongman events. The Yoke can be defined as any event that requires you to carry weight on your back. It has evolved many times throughout the years and almost all forms of yoking are still used today in everything from amateur to professional Strongman competitions.
Yokes have been around for centuries and have been allowing to help men carry heavy loads easier. They were used to carry water and other goods for many miles. People would place them on their backs and attach buckets onto the hooks. You could say that these men and women were the original entrepreneurs of the yoke.
The first Yoke seen in Strongman was in the 1977 World's Strongest Man competition. It was known as the fridge carry.
The entire contraption weighed 904 lbs. The event required the competitor to carry the weight on their back and run it as fast as possible for a distance of 30 meters. One of the most well-remembered moments from this competition was when a well known body builder/ Strongman competitor by the name of Franco Columbo carried the Fridge and had an unfortunate accident leading to a serious leg injury.
The 1977 style fridge carry however was used in World's Strongest Man competitions until the year 1980. From the death of the fridge carry, the car carry was born.
The car carry was first seen in the 1993 World's Strongest Man Competition. Competitors would enter the car through the door and use shoulder straps to lift and carry it for 30 meters. Here is a video of Mariusz Pudzianowski crushing the car carry in the 2007 WSM Competition.
Today the Car Carry is still used in a variety of competitions from amateur to professional Strongman Competitions. With the need and want to carry heavier weights and push the limits of the Strongest Man competitions, the Super Yoke emerged.
In 2004 the Super Yoke was born and history revived a new version of the famous 1977 fridge carry. After this the Super Yoke was used in every WSM competition and the weights kept increasing as well as the objects used.
The 2014 Arnold classic Stongman Competition featured tires that were used for a weight total of 1,227 lbs, the heaviest a yoke had ever been up to that time. In the same year at the same event, bale was used to create a new weight total of 1,410 lbs. Stongman competitor Zydrunas Savickas went on to win this event by carrying the yoke 10 feet in 3.87 seconds.
The Yoke will always remain as one of the greatest events in Strongman history and as a testament to the will power, strength, and mental toughness of these incredible athletes.