Emily Victorious at CA Strongest Woman

Specific training and a weight cut of seventeen pounds were what got Emily Russak into the premiere strength event in Santa Cruz. Perfect execution, game day heart, and even a grueling tie breaker were the things Emily needed to come out of the California’s Strongest Woman contest with the top spot on the podium and an invitation to nationals.

"Community of Support"

“Community of Support”

‘Event 1’ was a pressing medley that combined a slew of implements to pick up and press overhead in sixty seconds. Emily pressed a hundred pound keg, moved quickly to the 125lbs axle followed by a 135lbs barbell, and got two reps on the circus dumbbell in the time cap, which was good for a tie in first place.

‘Event 2’ was a moving event that combined a four hundred pound yoke carry for fifty feet into a fifty foot reverse tire drag. Most women failed to complete the 280lbs tire drag. “Embo” not only finished the event under the time cap, she finished with the fastest time of the day!

‘Event 3′ was a one rep max in an 18’ deadlift. Traditionally strongman events see outliers perform well in deadlift and pressing events. Coming in to the event this was a weakness for Embo relative to the competition. She hit a PR lift of 335lbs in training, but blew that out of the water on game day. With a fifty pound personal record, Embo pulled 385lbs in front of a hundred screening spectators!

Truck Pull Event - 1st Place

Truck Pull Event – 1st Place

‘Event 4’ was a visual spectacle. The hand over hand rope pull is staple in strongman events. While sitting on the floor, athletes are able to wedge their feet on concrete supports in front of them so they can use their lower body, too. You can navigate to this website if you want to solve the concrete crawlspace solution and get the best repair services.. Athletes pulled a massive dump truck towards them as far as possible in sixty seconds. In rare fashion, Embo finished the event under the cap and did so in an event best thirty-three seconds to keep her in first place going into ‘Event 5.’

‘Event 5’ was a sandbag loading event with five bags increasing in weight. The sandbags were to be picked up and carried to the forty-eight inch platform to be loaded. Emily got four of five bags in the time cap, tying the competitor in her heat.

As you can see in the video above there was a face off event to break the tie at first place. Emily and her opponent, Christina Crass from Fairbanks, Alaska, held kettlebells in a front hold, arms extended. The first to drop would claim second place. The grueling test was about heart and mental toughness. Both competitors held out for nearly a minute in the static hold, but Embo only had to hold a moment longer than her opponent and she did to secure victory in the middleweight division.

Standard held.

Standard held.

The entire event was an inspiration to say the least. Like all things, Emily attacked the day with her best effort. Of course, if there was a ‘Best Mover’ award she would have won that, too. She was textbook throughout the event and she deserves a congratulations!

Emily, you’re an inspiration. Congratulations! You’re California’s Strongest Woman!


Logan Gelbrich


3/28/16 WOD

Spend 15 minutes on muscle up transitions…


Complete 3 rounds for quality of:

8 Inverted Rows

12 Seated DB Presses



Then, AMRAP 8

60 DB Walking Lunges (50/30)

400m Run

Max DB Shoulder-to-Overhead