Only 16-year-old Jere Ilvonen is quite certainly the next big Finnish hope for the World's Strongest Man competitions.

The young man’s heart beats hard for training to the pattern that the choice of sport was very clear from an early age.

Immediately from the door, it becomes clear what kind of training environment the building is hiding inside.

Here, hipsters do not present their new workout jerseys, but the door to a private gym opens only by invitation, hard and purposeful trainers.

Everything you need can be found inside these walls - even for those preparing for powerlifting.

One of them is Jere Ilvonen, who is with his father Marko Patter starting the third training crunch of the week.

- Everything starts with me and my own background in wrestling and fighting.

The boys have been with me in the halls since the naps, watched the example and tried everything.

I had a background as an administrator, not to hurt anything havereita, Marko's father recalls.

Brother Jesse was not on the trip this time, but Jere was familiarly preparing for his training session, which includes Atlas stones often used in powerlifting competitions.

- Jere has liked to lift stones since she was little.

He has a kind of bond with them.

Light as a stone.

One hundred pounds on the shoulder and still smiling.

Only 16-year-old Jere Ilvonen is on her way to the World's Strongest Man competitions. Photo: Miika Wuorela

Due to Jere’s young age, the accelerator pedal has not yet been pedaled to the bottom.

The first, targeted training months have progressed with moderate goals, even though the starting level was immediately staggeringly tough.

- Autumn will be a full year when we have been training regularly.

Previously, the boys were with me in the gym only on Saturdays.

We learned stuff, and trained our deep muscles before any exercises started.

The results have been amazing, Marko's father says.

Just watching a young man’s exercises make you sigh in pain.

The 85-pound sandbag used for preheating rises into Jere’s lap like a toddler.

- Jere is super talent.

I, too, have a history of the hall for over 30 years, and nowhere have I seen anything like it.

Some men who are capable of the same results have trained for decades.

Logging adds strength to the shoulders.

Jere trains traditional martial arts in his home gym three times a week. Photo: Miika Wuorela

So far, the father’s results are still a little harder than the son’s balances, but at the current rate of development, a generational change is expected at any moment.

- I still have a little bit earlier, but I do not know how long.

Soon the taillights appear, and Jere goes to his expenses.

The results speak for themselves.

It is useless to compare the activities of a young person to the level of power of their peers.

A point of reference must be sought in much older and more experienced powerlifters.

- At the age of 15, Jere pulled 210 kilos off the ground, benched 120 kilos and squatted 170 kilos.

The stones are their own world.

When lifted, kinetic muscle chains work and produce total strength.

Jere has infinite crunching power, it springs deep and is visible in pounds of stones.

We’ve already ordered a bigger, 180-pound rock for the gym that we’ll soon be able to work out with.

Every young athlete should always have someone to look up to - and so does Jerel.

Making idols is interesting and motivating to try harder and harder results.

- Of course, my own father is the closest role model, and then I follow the strongest in the world, but I don't do much else, Jere nods.

At this point, a clear nest distinction needs to be made for popular fitness competitions where the competitor has been made to look as tense as possible after a starvation course.

Weightlifting does not include weight loss, as the sport does not judge appearance - only strength decides.

- Bodybuilding is a completely different sport.

The show muscles are meant to look big and tense, and the strong ones come from there as well.

A few have gone to try out the powerlifting races but haven’t succeeded.

This species is about strength and technology - muscle is just a by-product.

Throughout history, the mighty men have been oversized, framed, and scrapped.

There are a few exceptions, but they are rarities, Marko Patteri points out.

With the support of the father.

Jere's father Marko has been supporting and coaching his son since the beginning, and supervises every practice. Photo: Miika Wuorela


It’s in Jerella’s crystal clear mind.

The journey to the toughest race arenas is still a long one, but a strong entry level and fierce enthusiasm mean that in the end it is just a matter of systematic work and gaining experience.

- Janne Virtanen was the last Finn to win the title of the Strongest Man in the World in 2000. Jere must first get a little more age and experience, but I believe that ten years from now, he will be there to compete.

If not then competing for prize places, then at least level up to try.

The average age in competitions is at the age of 30, although a few young people have promised to show their skills.

The reason why Jouko Ahola (1999) and Virtanen have not come to Finland after the championship is very simple.

- In the open series, competitors run out of basic power.

There has to be a lot of it - so that you get 400 kilos raw and 250 kilos from the bench in the ground.

Although sporting skills are top notch, you can't do without basic strength.

It also forgives technical execution.

Young people usually need a lot of food, but they are even more involved in purposeful power sports.

- We haven't counted calories.

The boys eat well because their mother is a cook by profession.

There is enough energy for every workout.

Of course, snacks are not eaten, but only good foods.

In Patter’s family, the know-how to advance in an athletic career is found in the pattern that Jere’s advancement toward her big dream is not stuck.

- We train three times a week, two hours at a time.

Now we’ve done a variety of workouts and pounds, but next year we’ll break down the workout a little more sensibly, and increase the number of workouts by one.

Every third week is a light week when we let the nervous system recover.

I myself am a massage therapist by profession, so the boys get every couple of weeks also a massage, so that the muscles take trainings received.

The old truth is that an athlete does not see a healthy day.

It is unfortunately also true in powerlifting.

Risks are minimized through careful preparation.

- Good initial heat is really important.

The body needs to be warm from head to toe before we do anything.

The species are really raw and the tendons are hard.

We strive for care in every workout so there are no tears.

Doesn't feel anywhere.

After the initial warm-up, Jere Ilvonen grabbed a 120 kg sandbag in her arms for a picture. Photo: Miika Wuorela

Jere Ilvonen

Age: 16 years

Weight: 130 pounds

Length: 198 cm

Place of residence: Ylöjärvi

Competition debut: In my own hall, Ylöjärvi on September 26.

As a beginner, Jere participates directly in the men's series.

In 2021, Jere's goal is to participate in the Finnish Championships as the first minor competitor in the history of Finland's Strongest Man competition.

Father Marko and 13-year-old little brother Jesse also train regularly.