In the fall of 2014, Rob Kearney mustered the strength to out himself on Facebook. Five months later, he rode that wave of strength to win the heavy-weight log press record at the 2014 Arnold Strongman Classic in Columbus, OH, with a 425-pound lift.
That press lift established Kearney as a giant in the sport and a fierce advocate for LGBTQ rights.
“Being closeted definitely affected my performance,” Kearney says. “I had the burden of having to pretend to be something I wasn’t, and using that energy was exhausting. When I came out, I was able to put more focus into Strongman and not this facade.”
Since his record-setting log press and outing in 2014, Kearney hasn’t just continued to compete—he’s dominated. First, he captured the 105-kilogram pro log press record in 2015. In 2017 and 2018, he competed at the World’s Strongest Man Competition—the pinnacle of strength sports—in Botswana and the Philippines. Last March, Kearney won the Arnold Strongman Classic in Australia—and married his then-boyfriend Joey the next day in Melbourne. Then he set the American heavyweight pro log press record at the Log Lift Championship in Leeds, England, with a 471-pound lift the next month.
Regardless of how Kearney does in future contests, whenever those start again, no one can say that he isn’t strong enough to hold his own.
Don’t believe us? Try one of his workouts and see how you feel afterwards.
|Rob Kearny Strongman Workout|
|Safety-Bar Box Squat||4||5|
|Ham-Glute Raise Superset with Reverse Hyper||3||12|