While bodybuilding has been the most popular and most known type of weight training, other styles have developed based off of it. There is CrossFit, powerlifting, power building, metabolic training, and strongman. While strongman has been around since before I was even born, it hasn’t been very popular and is just recently becoming more well known and popular.
Personally, I love that style of training just due to the fact that you need to be able to lift odd objects at very disadvantageous positions. It is the ultimate test of pure, brute strength and only a select few can actually accomplish the exercises needed. Not only does this style help your body become stronger, it also incorporates exercises that make you bigger and faster; also increasing your cardiovascular and conditioning work.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’d like to try out this style of training and learn what it takes to become a strongman. However, before starting this type of training, it is highly recommended that you build a very solid base of strength and muscle first. Most coaches recommend benching at least 1.5x your body weight, squatting 2-2.5x your body weight and dead lifting at least 2-2.5x your body weight. This will ensure your body can handle the heavy loads required for this program. Many exercises require actual coaching to fully master the technique and perform the exercises safely. The technique is crucial and will be the main reason why you excel or fail the lifts.
What is Needed for Strongman
First off, strongman has very unique events that will be at every competition. There are atlas stones, log press, yoke carries, truck pulls, axle deadlifts and many others. The only way to make sure you are good at those events is to actually use those items. However, not everyone has thousands of dollars to spend on axle bars and yokes. So try to find a gym that carries all of the equipment, and if there isn’t one in your area, here are a few variations you can use to mimic those events.
- Yoke carry – use a squat bar with weight and walk it back and forth
- Farmers walks – use a trap deadlift bar with weights
- Truck pull – use a rope and attach it to your own vehicle (amazingly fun and people look at you like you’re Superman!)
- Atlas stones – there is a specific item that Rogue Fitness makes, or you can just do deficit deadlits to start out, or make your own from Slater molds and a couple bags of concrete (easy to DIY)
- Axle press/deadlift – use Fat Gripz on a normal barbell
Usually a typical training week will be 4 days.
Day 1 – Legs
Squats working up to a heavy set
Leg press / front squats
Lunges / step ups
Day 2 – Chest or Shoulders
Bench press Variation OR Overhead Press variation
Dumbbell bench press
Day 3 – Back
Hyperextension / GHR
Dumbbell Row / Seated row
Bicep curls / Reverse curls
Day 4 – Event Day
*Choose 3-4 events and do them for max reps, max weight, or time
Axle press max reps
Farmers walk – distance over 15 seconds
Truck pull – distance for 20 seconds
This is just a very broad example, due to the fact that,everyone requires more or less volume and workload and everyone has preferred exercises they need/enjoy. However, the concept is still the same, and you can always increase or decrease reps/sets/time/distance to suit your own preferences and needs. This is meant to be fun and exciting, and if it is torturous then you need to reprogram.
This style of training is not for the weak or timid. This is for the elite who want to be the strongest people alive. If you train the events weekly and week after week try to progress (in time/speed/weight), always push yourself on the big 3 lifts, and eat like a savage. You will one day be crowned The World’s Strongest Man.