HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Champion’s Sports Bar in Highspire is quiet on Saturday morning, Christmas weekend. Next to the stage, a group of very big, very strong men are setting up tables for practice. They’re all a part of Team Lethal Arms, Harrisburg’s newest and only arm wrestling team.
“It’s an adrenaline rush,” says Paul Linn, who is also the Strength and Linebackers coach for Central Dauphin’s football team, “For some of us into the more physical sports, are maybe masochistic when it comes to this stuff.”
Pained faces and veins sticking out of arms are the tell-tale signs of a tough match. Arm wrestling, like boxing and mat-wrestling, has weight classes. At a Lethal Arms practice, someone will arm wrestle a person 50 pounds heavier than them. These practices are designed to train. They usually go at 80% speed compared to actual competitions.
One arm wrestler practicing is Anthony Snook. The Shippensburg native is one of the best arm wrestlers in the country, a 4-time national champion.
“(People) think big muscles is strong. But there’s a famous quote from an old powerlifter that says big isn’t strong, strong is strong.”
Snook’s point, you don’t have be the most muscle-bound person to excel in arm wrestling. Having strong tendons, and fast reflexes are what many of the top arm wrestlers focus on.