WEIGHT: 195 LBS.
LEVER LENGTH (ELBOW TO FINGERTIP): 18”
FAVORITE ARM-WRESTLING TECHNIQUE: Pull Inside
RIVALRIES: Michael Selearis
WAL TITLES: WAL 2014 Right-hand and Left-hand Champion; WAL 2015 Northern Region: 1st Place Right-hand, 2nd Place Left-hand; WAL 2015 Middleweight Championships: 4th Place Left-hand, Right-hand Champion
One different Google search result in the early 2000s and Todd “Toddzilla” Hutchings would have never become a force in the arm-wrestling world, and one of the very few competitors in the world capable of winning championships with both hands.
The 48-year-old Arizona man was looking for archery tournaments online in Michigan one day in 2000, only to chance upon a local arm-wrestling event. It was a time when such events did not enjoy the widespread online presence they do today, an era when pullers were just moving out of the garage and beyond word-of-mouth.
Hutchings learned a vital lesson in those early days: muscles plus skills equals victory.
Guys need a basic level of strength to compete, but they won’t go far on that alone, he says.
“You see it all the time,” Hutchings says knowingly. “The big, strong guys get beat by the little guys. A good skill guy can overcome power.”
Those skills take time to perfect, three years by Hutchings’ count.
Train for endurance, the veteran says. Guys need to be able to pull through six or seven matches to win a payout at a tournament.
Those payouts, money earned through sheer grit, is what keeps the by-day mechanical engineer in the game.
WAL will offer hundreds of thousands in payouts to tournament winners this year. Hutchings plans on taking his cut.
“The only thing keeping me going is the prize money,” he says.
One look at Hutchings and you see a puller’s ability to take home titles and the cash that comes with them doesn’t end as you age.
“You can start this sport late,” he said. “I didn’t start this sport until I was 35. In most strength sports, you’re washed out by 35. I’ve been the top 3 or 4 in the world for 10 years now, and I could never do this fighting or boxing.”