Participants from various fitness backgrounds showcased their strength and resilience at the 2nd Annual Stars and Strength Forever competition in Philadelphia.

Mara McBride, who embarked on her fitness journey at 35, demonstrated her progress by successfully lifting a 145-pound stone during the Stone Load Medley over Hitching Post event.

The competition, hosted by Fire for Effect Athletics in Manayunk, aims to make strongman sports accessible to all, regardless of their athletic background. This year’s event was held at Wissahickon Brewery in East Falls.

In addition to the physical challenges, participants had the opportunity to support a charitable cause through a 50/50 raffle benefiting The Weekly Fight, an organization providing free workouts to veterans, first responders, and their families in the Philadelphia area.

Jermaine Rhoden, a newcomer to strongman sports, shared how he embraced the unique hobby and integrated it into his daily life.

Fire for Effect Athletics welcomes individuals of all skill levels interested in learning strongman exercises and more. Visit their website for more information: