The World's Strongest Man Eddie 'The Beast' Hall today shrugged off injury fears as he vowed to lift another record this weekend at Sheffield FlyDSA Area.
UK superstar Eddie, aged 30, plans to be the first strongman to retain for a fifth consecutive year the title of Britain's Strongest Man.
But today he revealed he is not as fit as he hoped as he prepares to do battle for the crown in Sheffield on Saturday, January 27.
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LISTEN: 'I beat Thor fair and square says World's Strongest Man Eddie Hall - hear his full chat with Graham Walker on Audioboom - CLICK HERE.
Eddie will be up against the likes of Laurence “Big Loz” Shahlaei, veteran gentle giant Mark Felix, strongman legend Terry Hollands, fellow athletes Adam Bishop, Mark Steele, Graham Hicks, Scotland’s Strongest Man, Luke "The Highland Oak" Stoltman and his brother Tom Stoltman,
They will lift stones, throw kegs, carry cars and hoist heavy metal, to prove they have the herculean determination to overcome five gruelling tests of strength.
The strongmen th UK's giants of the sport, many of them household name in their own right, who bring festive joy to millions of TV viewers every Christmas and New Year when they are shown competing for the title Eddie won - to become the reigning World's Strongest Man.
In an exclusive chat - listen to it in full here - he said: "It feels very surreal. It;s something I've been chasing since I was a child When I was 19 I promised my nan on her death bed that I would become the World's Strongest Man and pretty much 10 years to the day I achieved it from sheer hard work and dedication. It's very humbling to put the giants to bed.
"But I dropped four stones in a month or so after winning last year. It's taken me seven months to get right but I'm ready for the weekend. A 60 pr cent Eddie Hall can still beat the rest of British and I'm running at 90 per cent at the moment.
"Whatever show I enter I go in it to win.
"I'm never going to be complacent and will treat every competition like the last.
I can't sayI'm going to walk arway with the title...but those who give the most will won and I'm after that win."
In an emotional speech when he lifted the World's Strongest Man trophy he said he would quit at the top and never compete at that level again.
But in our chat, the only man to lift a knee crunching half a tonne in strongan competition, is now suggesting a change of heart. He's alaso considering movie options and even the possibility of wrestling.
Eddie said: "It's never to say never. I did say I am going to retire from World Strongest Man and that's probably going to be the case. But nobody knows what the future holds.
"For now I'm enjoying a lot more family time, a bit more to myself.I've relaxed off training a little bit. I've achieved the ultimate and in honesty when you've achieved your goals - what's next?
"There's plenty of ventures that need scoping out my end. The thing with strongman, my body can't stay around 30 stones for years or I'm going to end up six foot under - so I have to be careful what path I do take.
"There's been talks of me getting into wrestling - I may well do but it's got to be right for me.
"I don;t want to put myself in situations where I'm going to do my body even more damage, hurt myself or my image...I've got to do what's best for me and my family now."
Winning has changed his life, making him a global superstar. He has to shop online the days because he gets mobbed and he has had to increase security at his home. In our chat he admits it has all got a but much - but he is looking forwrd to posing for photos and signing autographs at Sheffield Arena.
Meanwhile his feud continues to rumble with the sport's other top star Hafþór Júlíus "Thor" Björnsson - the Icelandic Game Of Thrones star, who played The Mountain. Eddie plans to reveal all in an updated version of his new best selling autpbiography which has already sold 25,000 copies,
"Thor claimed he was robbed of winning World Strongest Man but when it aired on TV the truth came to light," says Eddie.
"The facts where he got beat fair and square in a strongman contest and and he was clutching straws trying to get the result changed - making out he should have won. He just couldn't take it.That;s all it is, Plain and simple.
"We haven't spoken since. There's been a lot of toing and froing - a few little digs here and there by his fans and my fans...I can't see us having a cup of tea and a sandwich on a Sunday afternoon anyway. Put it that way"
The two will clash when Thor defends his title of Europe's Strongest Man at Leeds First Direct Arena on April 7. For tickets visit www.firstdirectarena.com.
Before then though there' the issue of retaining his British title which has moved from a sell out capacity last year at Doncaster Dome to Sheffield Arena.
Giants Live director Colin Bryce, famed for his TV commentary, and business partner, former strongman Darren Sadler, will also entertain fans along with expert pundit and three times World's Strongest Man Bill Kazmaier.
Colin said: "The contest is part of the official World’s Strongest Man qualifying tour in a new, even bigger and better venue for 2018.
"With mor spectators, an epic atmosphere, gigantic men and colossal challenges, the spectacle of British strongman is finally setting its stage in front of the stadium audience it deserves."