Former Salem Boy Working on Becoming World's Strongest Man


Spenser Remick, formerly of Salem, is 35-years old, weighs 320 lbs ±, is 6'3” tall and is well on his way to being a competitor at the World's Strongest Man contest.  Yep.

            Spenser grew up on a farm outside of Salem, played football (lineman) for Mt. Pleasant, and went on to be a three-year starter for Central College in Pella.  While at Central, the football team's record was 37-8, winning the Iowa Conference Title three of his four years.  Spenser was an All-Conference lineman for Central his junior and senior year.  He also earned the top lineman award twice, as he was able to play all offensive line positions, including center.     

            After college, Spenser became a graduate assistant in strength and conditioning at William Penn University in Oskaloosa.  Spenser knew the strength coach, who was previously from Central.  The strength coach was involved in Strong Man competition and encouraged Spenser to give it a shot.  Spenser had watched Strong Man on television as a kid.  It became a real possibility for him now, since he had the resources and facility in which to train. 

            Spenser received his Master's Degree in Business, and a few years later married Amber Smith, also a Central College graduate.  She was a CrossFit athlete and soon became hooked on body building in the Bikini Division.  They now have a four-year old daughter, Rhea.  Amber and Spenser live in Pella and both work for the Vermeer Corporation, Amber in Marketing and Spenser as a Sales Manager.

            Spenser’s Strong Man journey began in 2011. He earned a third place in a Strong Man contest which was a blessing in disguise.  It motivated him to improve.  He competed 25 times over three years, always wanting to feel like he was inching closer to being a national, and eventual world level competitor. 

            In 2015 he competed in a contest that would qualify him as a professional.  He won that contest.  In 2018 Spenser came in 6th in a World's Strongest Man qualifier in Indiana, just missing being able to compete in the World's Strongest Man contest in 2019.  But he was getting better.  That's all that matters—improvement. 

            Then his daughter was born, and a month after that Spenser ruptured the bicep tendon in his left arm.  It had to be surgically reattached.  In 2020 COVID reared its ugly head, so between new baby, surgery and COVID, competition for Spenser was almost nil.  

            In 2021 Spenser tied for first in the Official Strongman Games.  Since it was a tie, the tie breaker went to whoever finished better in their last event.  The guy Spenser tied with finished higher in the last event, so Spenser wound up second.  Dang!  However, the top three qualified for a Giants Live contest in London.  Spenser just returned from that event.

            The contest was held in the Royal Albert Hall.  There are five events in a four-hour time frame.  Whew!  The first event was the one-handed dumb-bell press.  Spenser pressed 242 lbs, one handed!  Then came the Hercules Hold, Farmer's Carry, Wagon Wheel Axle Deadlift (Spenser did four lifts of 795 lbs).  The last event was the Atlas Stone Load.  Spenser ended up 7th out of 12 competitors, but had competed against some of the world's best. 

            What's next for Spenser?  He's hoping to compete in an event this year that will qualify him for the World's Strongest Man contest in 2023 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  In the meantime he's continuing to train and work hard.  He has a trainer, two sponsors, and his garage in Pella is converted into a workout gymnasium.          

            You can follow Spenser’s training (and life outside of training) on his Instagram profile @spenserremick and on Facebook.  Future World's strongest man?  It could happen. 

Have a good story?  Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, find him on Facebook, email him at, or visit his website at

Spenser Remick, Curt Swarm, editorial, column, Sunday, Pen City Current, opinion, Empty Nest


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