Strongman success so uplifting for Dean Finegan of Blackpool

Dean Finegan is aiming to qualify for the 2020 national Strongman championship
Dean Finegan is aiming to qualify for the 2020 national Strongman championship
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A Blackpool sportsman has given his mental strength a massive boost with his success in the world of Strongman competitions.

A Blackpool sportsman has given his mental strength a massive boost with his success in the world of Strongman competitions.

Dean Finegan from North Shore only began competing seven months ago but his rapid progress has raised hopes of qualifying for next year’s UK’s Strongest Man event.

Such high-profile competitions – involving vehicle-pulling and lifting such objects as cumbersome kegs and Atlas Stones – make for compelling viewing on television, and to compete in the UK’s biggest event would crown an amazing journey for 31-year-old Fingegan.

At the start of the year Deanwas struggling to cope with a mental breakdown but he discovered a talent for deadlifting and lifted his life to a new level.

A keen rugby player with Blackpool, Thornton Cleveleys and Orrell, his time in the 15-a-side code was cut short by knee injuries, after which it wasn’t just Dean’s sporting activities which came off track.

He takes up the story: “I didn’t do much after that and I lost my way.

“I hit breaking point just over 12 months ago and had a bad breakdown.

“I work for the NHS at Blackpool Victoria and knew about the mental health services, and they helped me massively.

“I was not socially active and was struggling to leave the house, but I started to go to the gym with my earphones on as therapy and started doing deadlifts.

“I soon realised I was strong and was a natural lifter. A friend of mine was going in for a Strongman event in Atherton (Greater Manchester) and invited me down. I entered at two weeks’ notice as a first-timer and won.

“I then entered the Lancashire Strongest Man event and did OK but I had an injury on the day. Two months ago I did another competition in Atherton – an open event against experienced gym and with no weight limit – and I won again.”

Dean’s remarkable rise has earned him a place at the North of England Strongest Man event in Hartlepool in March, when he hopes to qualify for the national championship.

He trains at Defiance Strength and Conditioning in Poulton and a busy winter schedule lies ahead as Dean prepares for his biggest competition to date.

“A Strongman competition usually has five events and is quite diverse, so you need to work on a lot of different styles and skills, and plan your training carefully,” he explains.

But however his career unfolds, Dean is looking forward to a far brighter future. He added: “I hope my story not only brings light to the Strongman but also shows the mental health benefits of being involved in such a sport.”