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Our congratulations go out to Catterick-based Mark Tonner who successfully defended his World’s Strongest Disabled Man title, in Iceland, and broke a world record by lifting 280kg (44 stone) … with one arm!

It has been a phenomenally successful 12 months for Mark who has also been named Britain’s Strongest Disabled Man and smashed three adaptive Highland Games world records in Scotland.

He returns victorious to North Yorkshire with his trophy after winning the Men’s Standing Class 2 title for the second year running.

Mark’s life changed forever when his army vehicle hit an IED in Afghanistan in 2010. Losing the use of his right arm, he became angry and frustrated – the result of PTSD triggered by the blast.

Mark Tonner shoulder pressing
Mark Tonner has his own personal training business - Mark Tonner

Mark Tonner has his own personal training business (Pic: Mark Tonner)

Our sports coaches suggested Mark undertake a personal training course to combine his teaching skills and his love of the gym. And it proved a turning point.

He said: “Help for Heroes funded the course and I’ve never looked back. I now have my own personal training business, Mind Over Body. Help for Heroes also supported me in finding an amazing opportunity through the Prince’s Trust partnership, teaching unemployed young people about the mental health and physical benefits of exercise.”

He was also a vital member of the Help for Heroes team at the Mey Highland Games which introduced him to competitive weightlifting, which he now describes as his ‘therapy’.

Mark, who served in the Cheshire and Mercian regiments, was never in any doubt of his ability to defend his title.

Before the event he said: “I’ve had lots of competitions in recent months so I'm having to rest a lot more than I normally would – but I’m still going to win.”

And, when a man who can lift the weight of more than a baby grand piano with one hand tells you he’s going to win, it’s probably best to agree with him. Well done, Mark. You remain an inspiration.

Learn more about Mark Tonner