In 2002 Rajko began to compete alongside his father in the infamous Dragan Challenge – a simple yet brutal endurance challenge involving the high-repetition lifting of two 20kg dumbbells. Originally the contest required individual competitors to try to outlift either Dragan or Rajko for prizes of up to £1000, however for the past number of years the event has sought to inspire and challenge a new generation of strength/endurance lifters, and the recently endorsed Maximuscle Dragan Challenge has brought this Sport into a much wider arena.
Though both Dragan and Rajko are undefeated in ten years of challenges around the world, recent Dragan Challenge winners have shown that endurance lifting is by no means an unattainable fitness or skill unique to Dragan or Rajko. It is a powerful training exercise which makes massive demand on the upper-body’s muscles and cardio-vascular fitness – simultaneously. This year’s Maximuscle Dragan Challenge takes place at the Bodypower Expo.
The Dragan Challenge began when Green Foods sponsored Dragan Radovic to attend the World Food Expo in Las Vegas and challenge all-comers in a simple test of strength, which Dragan did not lose. Dragan then went on to take hundreds of challenges across the USA, never once being defeated by any individual or team. Most notably in 2004 Dragan defeated a team of 10 U.S Marines at the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic, whilst in 2010 Rajko and Dragan together defeated the combined efforts of 15 professional rugby players. In almost ten years of such competitions, neither Rajko or Dragan have ever been beaten in their challenge, despite the prize money offered reaching as high as $10,000.
“The aim of the Dragan Challenge has always been simply to draw people’s attention to what the upper body is truly capable of, but sometimes to get people’s attention you have to be bold and you have to make a statement. I guess my Dad and I have also used it to put constant pressure on ourselves to be able to put our money where are mouths are -so to speak. And this means being ready to compete at any time, on any given day, and be at our best – without excuses. For me that’s closer to how life really is – being ready to face struggles and challenges when you least expect them…and least need them!”