CARRYING a boulder 25 metres or repeatedly flipping a giant tyre are challenges far beyond the physical ability of most people.

But they are just some of the tasks John Strange will aim to complete against the clock when he takes part in an international strongman competition in Hungary today.

The 25-year-old, of Haydon End, will battle it out against 12 other muscled opponents at the World’s Strongest Man Competition, organised by the World Natural Strongman Federation.

“I know I’m up against some of the best guys in the world so I am hoping for a top half finish really, which I think is reasonable,” he said.

“I want to win it but it will be tough in an international competition.”

John, a Royal Navy submariner based at MoD Corsham, started training as a strongman five years ago and began competing around the country two years ago.

The father-of-two works out three nights a week at the Ironworx gym, in Greenbridge, and practises strongman events once a week.

In the run-up to competitions, he eats as many as seven meals a day and takes vitamin supplements and protein shakes, supplied with the help of his sponsor EQ Nutrition.

John came ninth in the British Natural Strongman Competition in August and is also the current Combined Services Champion and Open Services Champion for powerlifting.

He was asked to take part in today’s competition, which will be broadcast on Hungarian television, because he is considered to be one of the top natural strongmen in the country.

In the competition, John will have to carry a 180kg hexagonal stone for 25 metres, flip a 500kg tyre four times and complete a 25-metre carry and drag medley.

He will also have to lift weights, each weighing between 175kg and 300kg, up three sets of steps and lift six stones, weighing between 100kg and 180kg, onto platforms of various heights.

“I guess it is an age-old thing. Man has always tried to show that he is the strongest man and the bigger man,” said John.

“And I get a buzz out of being able to do things that the average Joe cannot like pick up a big rock.”

He will be competing against strongmen from countries including Hungary, Poland, Romania and the USA.

The person who completes the challenges in the quickest time will get to keep the title for a year and will also receive 3,000 euros.