By Rachel Wulff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Heavyweights descended on Capitol Mall as the 45th annual World’s Strongest Man competition kicked off Tuesday morning in Sacramento.

They’re the biggest and best in the world, and the competition returned to Sacramento for a second year.

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From pulling trucks to lifting and pressing logs, every event is designed to push strongmen to their limits and challenge their physical strength, agility and mental toughness.

“To be the champion here, this has got to be your entire life. You have got to live it,” Nick Best said.

Having won the event before, Best knows what it takes to win.

“Guys have different leverages, different sizes and some guys are just big and powerful, and there is just no way around it,” he said.

The type of athletes that compete has changed over the years.

“Days are gone of being 350-400 pounds when you have no business being that way because if events get too heavy, everyone starts to get hurt,” Mitchell Hooper said.

Hooper is from Canada and is competing.

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“I played football into college, I’ve done some marathon running, did some bodybuilding,” he said.

Maria Horvunova came all the way from Ukraine to support her boyfriend. For them, this year’s competition means more than in years past.

“Because today, Ukraine needs any victory, so of course, Ukraine needs to be the strongest nation,” Horvunova said.

And you may see a few of the strongest women like Samantha Belliveau cheering on her boyfriend, Max.

“I’ve been competing as a middleweight and open athlete,” Belliveau said. “I just got my middleweight pro card at the Arnolds this year while winning the Arnold amateur world championship.”

It’s become a fan favorite, bringing in $5 million to the region. And this year’s event will include a fan festival area that is free and open to the public with food trucks, local vendors, special events and giveaways.

The competition continues Thursday with Friday being a day of rest and finals being Saturday and Sunday.

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The event is free. VIP tickets, which are under a tent, can be purchased online.