New IRG athletic trainer is the pound-for-pound Strongest Man in the World

IRG Physical Therapy, located inside Snoqualmie Ridge’s new Sno-King Ice Arena,  has a new addition to their team. Robert Kearney, a certified athletic trainer and the pound-for-pound Strongest Man in the World.

“I am excited to advance my career while living in a place I have never been,” Kearney said. Robert and his husband Joey recently moved to the Pacific Northwest after living his entire life in Massachusetts. After graduating with his Master’s Degree, Kearney’s husband realized there were not many job opportunities there, so they decided to see where he would be able to find a job he enjoys. Luckily, they landed in Washington.   

When asked what he thinks of the area so far, Kearney remarked, “Washington has been absolutely amazing so far. The landscape is so different than Massachusetts in all of the best ways possible. Seeing snowcapped mountains and tall evergreens every day really is very special. We are extremely excited for the Spring and Summer because everyone keeps saying how amazingly beautiful it is here during that time of year.”

Back home in Massachusetts is where he first found his passion for lifting competitions at the age of 17. A mediocre athlete when it came to traditional sports, but he found a real passion in the weight room. He began training at a CrossFit gym and learned about strength sports. Since then, he worked his way through the amateur ranks and has been competing professionally since 2013.

Rob has traveled the world competing in strong man circuits for over 12 years and currently holds multiple world records in the sport. His favorite competition was in Australia, where he met Arnold Schwarzenegger after competing in his Arnold Strongman Classic competition.

After browsing his colorful and fun website, I asked how it’s been the first openly gay strongman and if it affected his career.

“I came out publicly on Oct. 20, 2014, when I was 22, which made me the first and only openly gay professional strongman in the world (still the case). Initially, it was terrifying because when competing in such a hypermasculine sport, I wasn’t sure what it would mean for my career. Fortunately, what I found was, the competitors of this sport are absolutely amazing and supportive. Not one person has had a bad thing to say, and everyone welcomed both myself and my husband with open arms. It has certainly made me a better competitor since now I don’t have to pretend to be anyone else in the world, and I can live as authentically as I’ve always intended.”

Rob will be an athletic trainer at the IRG, located inside the Sno-King Hockey Arena in Snoqualmie Ridge. The recently opened clinic provides physical therapy, athletic training, and sports performance to patients located on the Eastside. Rob will be working with the athletes as a performance coach working on strength and conditioning drills. He will also be working directly with Sno-King Hockey and will be assisting Physical Therapist John Quinn with rehab during the day. He will also be available to provide free injury screens to any active individual experiencing pain.

To learn more about Rob or to make an appointment with him, visit

Welcome Rob and Joey! I hope our summers live up to the hype for you!

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