It may seem like a bunch of muscles pulling and squeezing at a table, but 150 athletes arrived in Albany Saturday for the Southeastern Regional Arm Wrestling Championships.
It's a grinding, twisted sport, and these men love it.
"Arm wrestling is maybe not for everybody, but it's for a lot of peopleâ|either you love it or you don't, but if you come out here and support it, you never know what's going to happen," arm wrestling heavyweight champion Stump Burton said.
These are all well-trained and well-coached athletes. Valdosta's Bob Watson, a champion puller in his own right, has built a program in the south. Coaching his fourth group, he gives advice like in any other sport.
"You're so confused when you get up there, so somebody hollering at them kind of helps," Watson said. "Our practices usually last three and a half hours and for someone to arm wrestle three and a half hoursâ|you're either going to quit or you're going to get in shape."
"There's a different type of way than just lifting weights. You have to train for arm wrestling to really be good at it," Burton added.
Five nationally-ranked arm wrestlers were on hand looking to boost their status at the regional championships. The arm competition is fierce, but that's where the fighting ends.
"We're all cool people, we all get along and we're all great friends, but when were up at the table, it's a whole new ballgame," Burton said.