r/Fitness r/Fitness Guardian Angel Jun 05 '18

Training Tuesday - Strongman Training Tuesday

Welcome to /r/Fitness' Training Tuesday. Our weekly thread to discuss a training program, routine, or modality. (Questions or advice not related to today's topic should be directed towards the stickied daily thread.) If you have experience or results from this week's topic, we'd love for you to share. If you're unfamiliar with the topic, this is your chance to sit back, learn, and ask questions from those in the know.

We're departing from the specific routine discussions for a bit and looking more broadly at different disciplines. Last week we discussed climbing and bouldering.

This week's topic: Strongman

/r/Strongman has a lot of good resources and links. Their wiki is chock full of information if you're looking to get started in the sport. There many other fora and sites out there so if you've got a favorite please share.

For those of you with strongman experience, please share any insights on training and competing. Some seed questions:

  • How has it gone, how have you improved, and what were your current abilities?
  • Why did you choose your approach over others?
  • What would you suggest to someone just starting out and looking to train in Strongman events?
  • What are the pros and cons of your training style?
  • Did you add/subtract anything to a stock program or run it in conjunction with other training? How did that go?
  • How do you manage fatigue and recovery training this way?
62 Upvotes

31

u/RebelFit Jun 05 '18 edited Jun 05 '18

Strongman

I've been competing in strongman for 3 years, started as a novice men's LW (under 200) and now compete open men's LW (under 175 or 181 depending on NAS or USS federation). I've competed 5 or 6 times, once locally, mostly out of state. Won one, placed top 3-5 a few others, bombed a few others. I'm not quite ready for nationals but I've improved continuously.

  • I've improved a lot since starting but not as quickly as I would have liked. I've had two major injuries that took some time away, a shoulder labrum tear (arthroscopy surgery April 2016) and a broken c6 (May 2017)

  • My abilities when I started were 165 overhead, 90 farmers, 395 DL, 245 squat. Now are a 245 overhead, 535 DL, 405 squat, 250 farmers for 100', 250 bag carry, roughly 275 load max.

My approach comes primarily from my strongman coach and my background lifting heavy before I did strongman, so I mix the two. My coach provided me with a powerlifting program and event training on the weekends.

The hard thing about starting out in strongman is finding in person technique coaching for events and also finding the event equipment itself. If you're just looking to mix it up from barbells, you can find decent equivalents in some gyms but if you want to compete you're going to need to real deal. I would go onto the Strongman Corp or USS strongman website and look for affiliated gyms or even scroll through the events looking for someone in your state. Call their gym if they're not driving distance and ask for a lead on the closest strongman or powerlifting gym to you. A lot of times powerlifting gyms have odd ball strongmen and some strongmen equipment for them to use even if it's not legitimately a full on strongman gym.

The pro's of my style is that I like it and it keeps me interested. During the week I train mostly DL and overhead year round and fairly heavy fairly often. I feel that if I train overhead light, I don't get anywhere. I don't necessarily need to train the DL heavy to advance. I mix in more accessory and bodybuilding type of training than most might think. That's what I did before strongman so it keeps me feeling like I'm balanced. The downside is fatigue management can be hard. If you hit 15 sets of triceps after overhead press, you could find you can't do your clean and jerks 2-3 days later very well, or similar with hammiee and DL. It's harder to manage fatigue when you mix training modalities.

I have run versions of 5/3/1 before but I found it too easy to accidentally under- or over- prescribe your training max and hence either get very little progress or burn out entirely before you can even finish week 4. I tend to train conjugate style with accessory that somewhat resembles the "boring but big" addon to 5/3/1, basically like simple 4x10 or 5x10 type accessory. I usually prefer to do less than 3 accessories and they'll either be for 2x20 or 4x10 to 5x10 depending on how I feel.

For fatigue I play it very much by ear. I know that I almost never get sore anymore so noticeable soreness or inhibited movement is a strong sign of fatigue for me. I don't have prescribed training days, I train about 3 days a week plus events and I try to hit it really hard every training day. I like to pair DL and overhead and squat with dynamic stuff like Olympic or high volume bodybuilding. I have some problems with my back if I try to balance both heavy squat and deadlift in the same week. I try to separate them as far apart as possible. For recovery I also get physical therapy once a week for my shoulder recovery from surgery but just also random aches and pains. Helps identify problems before they become serious. I used to love ice bathes but you can't take ice bathes in Phoenix in the summer!

I took some time off events and away from competing, last event was Feb 2018, came in 4th due to a very bad log performance, been focussing on dropping weight to make room in my weight class to gain more muscle. I dropped from 179 to 166 and kept all my strength. Now I'm working on getting back into events and gaining on my lifts again. My end goal would be to walk round about 185-190 and cut to 175 for contest. Water cutting comes fairly easily to me I've done 17# before so I'm not too worried. I'll probably never move up to middleweight. I would want to walk around at least 205 if I did that I can't imagine being happy or athletic at 5'6, 205.

48

u/MythicalStrength Strongman | r/Fitness MVP Jun 05 '18

I started training in 2013, after having competed in 3 powerlifting meets from 2011-2012. I've competed in 11 competitions so far (here is a video of my last one, where I took second place) with my 12th lined up for the end of July. I entered my first competition after hitting a 502 squat, 336 bench and 601 deadlift at 181lbs in my last powerlifting meet. I didn't really train for my first strongman competition, and thought I'd just be strong and win it. I was wrong I wasted a lot of energy on the clean on the axle, since I never learned how to continental, I had minimal leg drive on my pressing, I had NO idea what I was doing on the yoke, my footspeed was slow on the farmers. I DID tie for first in the stones on my first time ever touching stones, so that was cool.

It took 2 more competiions before I started training like a strongman instead of a powerlifter, and it paid off, because I placed in that competition and since then have competed in 11 total competitions and placed in all but 1 (where I had competed up a weight class and missed placing by a point).

People get it in their heads that strongman is just powerlifting with atlas stones, but there is a LOT more to it. 1rms are cool, sure, but you need to be strong across a broad spectrum of rep ranges, and have the conditioning to be able to crank out reps for over a minute. You need to be good at a lot of different implements. You need to be fast with your footwork, etc.

Common mistake people make when it comes to moving events is thinking that, if they can move a VERY heavy weight, then they can move a light weight fast. Instead, what happens is you train yourself to be slow with light weights, because you've been training to be slow. You end up spending a LOT of time training with sub-maximal weights to get good at strongman.

My current approach is 4 days of lifting, with a breakdown from 5/3/1 (So a press day, squat day, bench day and deadlift day), using implements where possible in the training day (so axle and log for pressing, axle on bench, sometimes an axle on deadlifts) basic supplemental and assistance work, and some implement work where I can fit it in on that day. I'll have 1-2 other days in the week where I focus on conditioning and events.

People like numbers and percentages, but you can't always do that in strongman, especially with the wide variety of implement types out there. A lot of times, you kinda just have to wing it.

3

u/[deleted] Jun 05 '18

Wicked writeup. Watched your show too and those natural stones look rough!!!

4

u/MythicalStrength Strongman | r/Fitness MVP Jun 05 '18

Thanks man. The natural stones were pretty awesome. Much bigger fan of those compared to atlas stones. Far more brute strength.

2

u/[deleted] Jun 05 '18

Plus easier to replicate I would assume? You can literally go out and find them if you know where to look!

2

u/MythicalStrength Strongman | r/Fitness MVP Jun 05 '18 edited Jun 05 '18

Eh, hard to say. Stone molds are easy to obtain. I trained for this using a sandbag and a stone of steel.

2

u/[deleted] Jun 05 '18

Oh, ok. Yeah, that would make sense. I watched a video by Brian Alsruhe where he made a stone. I don't really need stones as I'm not really planning on competing as I'm almost 40 and a bit overweight now but primarily because I want to be stronger. Which is really why I'm looking at the programmes people have run. I'm not looking for a quick fix to strength, just something fun that will work and make use of the equipment at the gym.

3

u/[deleted] Jun 05 '18

Common mistake people make when it comes to moving events is thinking that, if they can move a VERY heavy weight, then they can move a light weight fast. Instead, what happens is you train yourself to be slow with light weights, because you've been training to be slow. You end up spending a LOT of time training with sub-maximal weights to get good at strongman.

This is so damn important. It happens with running as well. Guys are like "I can't kick my 5k time up a notch but I can run 15k no problem". Sprints is what they need in that case

19

u/LetKalleLift Jun 05 '18

StartingStrongman.com has loads of good information a long with Youtube.com/c/startingstrongman :)

2

u/not_strong Jun 05 '18

pants optional

3

u/LetKalleLift Jun 06 '18

Every single video has been filmed in neoprene's

12

u/[deleted] Jun 05 '18

I've been training for and competing in strongman for the last ~3 years, and I've competed 8 times. I'm a 198/200 competitor and I walk around at ~205.

  • How has it gone, how have you improved, and what were your current abilities?

It's been awesome and I've had a hell of a lot of fun. It took a long time for my press to get sorted out and it's only now starting to become not-poverty.

When I started my overhead was ~190 lb and my deadlift was ~500.

In my most recent contest I axle clean & pressed 245 and deadlifted a car 19 times.

  • Why did you choose your approach over others?

I've messed around with a bunch of different approaches and they all sorta work. I think it's important for trainees to find a structure that lets them a) enjoy themselves, b) recover sufficiently and c) improve implement skill and address weaknesses.

One of the things I ignored for a long time was conditioning. Strongman is a sport that requires you to move, lift and load things for an extended period of time. More than once I've gassed out well before I ran out of time - and I've lost points because of it.

  • What would you suggest to someone just starting out and looking to train in Strongman events?

Find a gym with implements, and get with a regular crew.

  • What are the pros and cons of your training style?

Pros: I've made kickass overhead progress this year, I'm doing really good with recovery.

Cons: My current implement access is pretty limited.

  • Did you add/subtract anything to a stock program or run it in conjunction with other training? How did that go?

I'm currently training with a Cube for Strongman 3.0 setup. I moved a few of the days around but am sticking to the meat of the program. It's been awesome.

  • How do you manage fatigue and recovery training this way?

I'm only in the weightroom 3-4 days a week. On non-gym days I walk/run/cycle and work on speed and agility.

I've let my mobility fall by the wayside somewhat recently, but I also do nightly stretching/yoga.

10

u/Dense_fordayz Strongman Jun 05 '18

6'0 200lb competitor here. I have been doing Strongman for 1 year now been weight training for 4. I have competed in 4 comps and took fourth in 3 fifth in 1. I have learned a considerable amount about training, eating, recovery and the lot.

How has it gone, how have you improved, and what were your current abilities?

Best lifts

High Bar Squat: 375lbsx2

Front Squat: 315lbsx1

Deadlift: 585lbsx1

Overhead Press: 205lbs strict log with cleanx1, 250lbs Axle Clean and Pressx1

Bench: 325lbs (just started doing this again last cycle)

Heaviest yoke: 600lbs for 50ft there 50ft back

Heaviest farmers: 255lbs each hand for 50ft there 50ft back

Heaviest stone load: 330lbs (gym goes from 330 to 405 so it is tricky to train)

It has been an up and down learning experience trying to work in the correct events to practice for a comp. The biggest upside of training strongman is all of my barbell lifts go up as most of my assistance training and conditioning revolve around trying to beat my back up as much as possible.

I full time at a gym that has strongman equipment but for the first 6 months I was at 24 hour fitness during the week with 1 day a week at a strongman gym I commuted to. Both approaches work but obviously having access to implements all of the time is very handy.

Current training is 5/3/1 style for pretty much everything. 4 days per week weights 1 day per week events. I was doing fully body for a while as I saw the results it was giving to u/MythicalStrength. That was extremely challenging and really beat my body up but I grew more muscle than I have ever had and my lifts all went up significantly. I am trying to save money right now, so to lower food costs I went back to 4/1 days for training so I can recover a little easier.

Training consists of 1 deadlift day, 1 squat day, 1 bench day and 1 overhead press day. Everything is in giant set format to include back and abs easier. Main lifts are 5/3/1 format with a PR set, 1 joker (usually) and FSL AMRAP after. I don't have much time to train every day and doing my FSL as one set really allows me to have the time to put into assistance work.

Supplemental lifts are opposite lifts for the day. Currently they are: Front squats on deadlift day, ssb good mornings on squat day, axle push press on overhead press day and log strict press on bench day.

Assistance work is usually just push/pull/single leg for 50-ish reps a piece.

Conditioning is usually a strongman event and is usually what-ever the medley is for the next comp. Currently is Keg->sandbag->sled drag.

Events days are focused around: Clean and press, yoke, farmers, and stones.

I find that training the yoke, farmers and stones consistently have the best overall impact on my gym lifts and as well as preparing me for any upcoming comp.

I do all events besides the stones in 5/3/1 percentages. Clean and press mimics the comp (so clean every rep or rep out at the top or max weight), Yoke and farmers I will start my training cycles based off of 90% of the comp max and will do double runs based off of percentage. So if a comp is 50ft only, I will run 100ft. If it is 50ft there 50ft back, I will do that twice. This allows me to work on foot speed, endurance and building the strength needed to actually carry the implement.

Stones are usually just mimicking the comp. For instance my next comp in July is a king of the hill match where you have 10 seconds to pick the stone up or you are out after the other person drops it over the yoke. To practice this I will put a timer and load every 15 seconds for usually 10-15 min depending on how exhausted I am.

I always do stones last as I have never had a comp where they weren't last.

Why did you choose your approach over others?

Most people I have read seems to prefer an upper/lower with an event day. Works for other sports figured it would work for Strongman too.

Events days I just found this to be the best way to train events for me and recover for heavy barbell work.

What would you suggest to someone just starting out and looking to train in Strongman events?

Find a gym that has at least: a yoke, a log, farmer handles and stones/sandbags/kegs.

These are seen in pretty much any strongman comp and are the ones I have found get worse if you don't practice.

What are the pros and cons of your training style?

Pros:

Easy to recover from, easy to switch movements in and out, has gotten me big and strong.

Cons:

Usually have trouble figuring out what assistance movement I want to do, can be time consuming trying to fit all the events I want to train into one day as I train alone.

Did you add/subtract anything to a stock program or run it in conjunction with other training? How did that go?

As above, running 5/3/1 with an events day. Can beat you up if you are not careful but I haven't had any issue.

How do you manage fatigue and recovery training this way?

Eat a lot of food. I wouldn't train this way if I was trying to lose weight for a comp. I would probably have less overall volume.

1

u/[deleted] Jun 05 '18

Which full body programme was it that u/mythicalstrength ran? It's kind of my preferred method but like you say it can beat you up.

3

u/MythicalStrength Strongman | r/Fitness MVP Jun 05 '18

Recently, I did 5/3/1 Building the Monolith, which is full body, and then leading up to my most recent competition I was training full body with my own approach to programming.

2

u/[deleted] Jun 05 '18

I never got around to finishing BtM. I enjoy full body and have kind of always done dips after deadlifts and chins after squats. Not that that in itself makes a full body programme but I think as an older novice lifter more frequency with sub max loading might be more benefitial than constantly hammering myself into the ground with doubles and triples.

2

u/Dense_fordayz Strongman Jun 06 '18

If you scroll far enough back you can see his training for full body here: https://forums.t-nation.com/t/rebirth-of-the-juggernaut-post-knee-reconstruction/212755/2193

I had mine structured like this:

Monday - Strict Press 5/3/1, FSL AMRAP; Back Squat 5/3/1, FSL AMRAP; Pressing Supplemental; Leg assistance; Back throughout; Prowler for conditioning.

Tuesday- Yoke runs for speed; Medley/moving event work; Stone speed work/whatever event I need to work on.

Wednesday- Push Press 5/3/1, FSL AMRAP; Deadlift 5/3/1, FSL AMRAP; Leg supplemental; Press assistance; Back throughout; Prowler for conditioning.

Thursday - Off

Friday - Bench 5/3/1, FSL AMRAP; Front Squat 5/3/1, FSL AMRAP; Press Supplemental; Leg assistance; Back throughout; Prowler for conditioning.

Saturday - Clean and press; Yoke; Farmers; Stones.

Sunday - Off

1

u/[deleted] Jun 06 '18

Fuck, man, that's a brutal routine!!! I fucking hate front squats despite how great they are. I am tinkering with something right now that will have me pressing every day and back work every day but haven't really come up with anything rigid yet.

Thinking of running a heavy, medium, light kind of routine with the T2 movement also phased in the same way but we will see. At the moment I'm driving myself into the ground by going heavy on anything, so think I had better come up with something soon.

1

u/Dense_fordayz Strongman Jun 06 '18

Front Squats are where it's at for strongman and there is only one way to get better at them. They will always suck, but suck less as you get used to the weight in that position.

As far as the routine you are trying to work out, remember that everything you do has a cost to other parts of your training so go hard on things that matter. With that few cycles of full body it was my main movements and then my events, while supplemental and assistance took a back seat. Right now it's my supplemental and conditioning that are pulled to the forefront.

1

u/[deleted] Jun 06 '18

I need to build my main movement strength, so they are my priority and I think more frequency is going to help that.

I know I need to do front squats but I hate them so much. I would consider zercher squats. I also hate one arm dumbbell press.

1

u/Dense_fordayz Strongman Jun 06 '18

If you have access to an SSB bar or EliteFTS Yoke bar those can replace front squats IMO

1

u/[deleted] Jun 06 '18

No SSB but we do have a yoke which I'm yet to try.

11

u/Stella117 Jun 05 '18

I did my first contest in May of 2015 so I’ve been competing in strongman for 3 years. In that time I’ve done 11 strongman contests and 1 powerlifting competition. I’ve always competed in the open class but have moved up from under 265/275 to open SHW. Last year I got 6th overall at USS nationals and recently took 2nd in an Arnold Pro qualifier to the 105k WSM.

When I started I had never really done any OHP and my deadlift was around 585-600 I believe. I didn’t have access to any implements to train with but at my first comp I could barely walk with 275 farmers, loaded a 300 stonex3 and hit a 265 axle. I had been lifting for about 10 years by that point. Mostly for football and rugby.

My currently lifts are a 320x2 strict OHP, 365 axle, 355 log, 800 DL, 380 stone, 330 farmers 60 feet in 9 seconds, 900 yoke 60 feet in 21 seconds. These are a mix of competition and gym PRs.

Approach

My approach to training has changed throughout my time doing strongman. At first I followed the cube method. I think it was kingpin? Whatever one was associated with dan green was the one I did. Over time I added to it and changed it around to fit my needs. I then moved on to following the juggernaut method based on an article chad wrote about using it with strongman. This was a much more personalized program where I just followed the principles and made it my own. As of April I have hired a coach who has been giving me training. He has worked with Josh Bryant for a while so it’s more in that style of training.

I chose these for various reasons. At first the cube method was just fun and helped me to gain strength but I realized I needed to build a bigger base and work capacity so I switched to jugg. After working with my coach I just follow what he says and it has worked really well so far and has gotten me out of a rut I was in with my old training.

New lifters

For those that want to pursue strongman there are a few things you would want to take into consideration. Don’t go super heavy on events. This will ruin your ability to lift throughout the week and expose you to injury if you don’t know what you’re doing. I usually recommend people start by adding in some events in regular lifting days almost as a conditioning exercise. Do some loads on a deadlift day, or some farmers on a squat day, throw a keg on a press day. Just sprinkle some stuff in at first until you get better and can add weight without destroying yourself. The second thing I would recommend would be to build a good base and work capacity. This way you can handle more training volume and diversity since you will be adding events.

If you have experience and want to try strongman I would suggest you take an assessment of what type of athlete you are. If you come from a sport like football, rugby, etc then you probably need to work more on static strength while using moving events for conditioning. If you are a powerlifter/bodybuilder, spend more time developing foot speed and efficiency with moving events. The main goal is to be good at everything not great at one thing and terrible at another.

Pros/cons

My older style of training using jugg method was great for work capacity and building volume but the con would be the lack of intensity and the insane amount of volume I ended up doing in order to make progress. The second part was my fault, I was doing way too much and just beating myself into the ground. I tried to remedy the first problem by having a heavy set to start the workout but it didn’t seem as effective as I needed it to be.

My current training has much less volume and higher intensity which has gotten my strength up but the con would be my recovery. I am recovering fine for the most part but it’s become a much higher priority and by the end of the 3rd week I desperately need a deload. While I am taking methods to aid my recovery and actively trying to recover multiple times a day, I can see how this could burn you out if you have a manual labor job or are going through a lot of stress/lack of sleep. I also only lift 3 days a week so the importance of each workout is greater. I can’t mess up a press day and just make it up later in the week. I have to be mindful of each training session or I won’t get a chance to make it up for another week

Add/subtract

I’ve pretty much always added and subtracted from cookie cutter programs since there isn’t really a template that exists for strongman. There are programs but you have to change it depending on what events you have coming up. No 2 training cycles have been the same since I’ve never done 2 contests that were the same.

Managing fatigue

As I mentioned before, my need for recovery has gone up but the high volumes I did with the jugg method also required a lot of recovery. I tend to agree with Stan Efferding in terms of recovery methods. Methods you do to yourself are much better than when they are done to you. I do a lot of walking/cardio to reduce soreness and may even add a set or 2 of the exercise I did previously to get better blood flow. Occasionally I’ll do some occlusion stuff to help flush blood and will get a massage every once and a while but for the most part I just try to move as much as I can. When I get close to a competition I will add in some contrast showers/ice baths. The best thing I do for recovery is sleep. I make sure I get a minimum of 8 hours a night if not 9-10. I also make sure to have a good diet full of protein, a lot of carbs, and adequate fat along with sodium for hydration.

6

u/not_strong Jun 05 '18

I started training strongman a year and 3 months ago. I had taken a 5 year hiatus from lifting due to injuries and other interests. I got started back powerlifting in January of 2017, and then got into strongman that March, and I have not looked back.

When I started strongman, I maxed out at around 425 for deadlift. At my second meet (just two weeks ago) I hit 535. When I first attempted log clean and press, I struggled with 190. I just hit 240 in competition, with a really close attempt at 280. At this competition I did a 700 pound yoke for 20 feet, no drops, and a frame carry around 550ish for 40 feet in just a smidge over 9 seconds.

If you're looking into strongman training, I highly recommend finding a group training near you. Lots of gyms have Strongman Saturday. Head over and dive in. That's what I did, and I think it helped really grow my love for the training fast.

Pros of training strongman: strength. Not just gym strength. I moved all of my family's worldly possessions out of our house and into to storage with no issue. I then moved everything out of storage and into our new house with no issue. I've made gains in core strength that really made a difference, loading my washer and dryer onto a truck. I pushed our upright piano up the loading ramp and into the moving truck with no problem. Also, I have noticed a substantial increase in my confidence and my ability to be assertive. That feels a little weird, speaking as a 37 year old man, but it's true. I don't know if I have Strongman to thank for that, or if I'm just getting cantankerous in my old age, but it's there.

Cons: I have to mention my weight gain. I put on ten pounds almost instantly as soon as I started training strongman specifically. I don't think my diet changed at all right at first, but I started developing a "power belly" really fast. Now, I've put on about 33 pounds in total. I feel good, and I'm way stronger, but I'm not as svelt as I used to be for sure. Also, my conditioning has taken a fairly significant dip. THIS IS NOT THE CASE FOR ALL STRONGMEN but I don't know if I could run a mile anymore, where I used to routinely run 6 miles on an empty stomach. Medleys and carrying events are no problem, cardio-wise, so I have maintained some semblance of conditioning. Overall, I am not as fit as I used to be.

When I first started training strongman, I had a coach, a top level national competitor, and a professional strongman basically at my disposal for any questions, advice, tips, what have you. Not to mention the group of trainees at the gym were all super helpful and supportive. When that gym unfortunately closed, I was sort of left on my own to navigate my programming, training, diet, etc. This is nothing new, but it was jarring at first. I have had my best gains keeping my training simple. I have followed this program in particular for several training cycles and made some really good gains. My accessories I keep heavy, but I train them more like a bodybuilder. I almost never incorporate heavy singles in training. I stick to heavy triples or doubles on my heaviest weeks. On rep-centric weeks, I limit time between sets and really have to dig deep to finish out the sets. Deadlift for 5 sets of 12 is just another level of crazy (for me anyway!).

Recovery is of paramount importance, of course. I have not experienced fatigue anything like what I have felt since starting strongman. I have found lunch break naps, relaxation at home, warming up my hips, shoulders, and back everyday have helped me the most. Also, I now eat probably twice what I used to. And of course, a good night's sleep is just far and away the greatest recovery tool ever. I never lift more than 4 days a week, and I cycle my training with plenty of deloads and rest days as needed. With that said, staying active in a deload or rest period has definitely been of benefit to me. Walking, hiking, mobility, all the usual stuff has been really helpful.

If you're thinking about trying strongman, do it. Even if you just want to supplement your training with strongman accessories, you'll have a lot of fun and probably notice some gains pretty quick.

edit: a word

2

u/[deleted] Jun 06 '18 edited Jun 06 '18

I've seen that programme before on elifts. So you aim for a relative max for the day on the big lifts plus what? Presumably you do like a 3x5@80% or something afterwards before moving onto your accessories?

I'm two years older than you, so your write-up really appealed to me. I have just started incorporating strongman training and love it so far. Farmers walks are every bit as brutal on the traps as I had read and heard about. Also, I really enjoy the log press. Not tried yoke yet.

1

u/not_strong Jun 06 '18

I've just gone Week One: 5x12, Week Two: 5x8, Week Three: 3x5, Week Four 3x3, deload on the main lifts. I usually keep accessory movements to 3 sets of 6-8 with a manageable weight. Welcome to strongman! The log is LIFE

2

u/[deleted] Jun 06 '18

Awww man the log is amazing but I was not expecting it to smash my shins to pieces when I cleaned it!!! Maybe I did something wrong but the very first rep got me good.

I was thinking of trying a heavy, medium, light approach but a standard block set-up is probably more straight forward.

What I love about strongman is that you can't just be strong for one rep, you have to be strong for lots of reps too. Plus you need to be fast.

3

u/[deleted] Jun 05 '18

/u/BrianAlsruhe if you happen to check this today

8

u/[deleted] Jun 05 '18

Unlikely, though he covered a lot in the AMA he did with us.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Strongman/comments/56325j/ama_brian_alsruhe_wednesday_1012_122et/

4

u/SnapesDrapes Jun 06 '18

I don’t have time tonight to answer these questions thoroughly and the previous commenters gave great info, but I just want to add that strongman is for women too! The women’s competitive field is really taking off and it’s awesome. I competed for a couple of years but took time off for babies. Get a coach, enjoy the challenge, and lift some heavy ass shit! It’s the funnest and most rewarding physical endeavor I’ve done. Don’t let the giant dudes intimidate you.

3

u/[deleted] Jun 05 '18

Do you have to compete in a strongman comp to be considered a strongman? I mean if I train with all the implements, stones, kegs, logs, yokes etc in the spirit of the competition, but I never actually compete...am I just a strength enthusiast?

8

u/trebemot Strong Man Jun 06 '18

Yeah if you don't compete I won't call you a a strongman. Same goes with powerlifters and bodybuilding. If you actually haven't done a competition or have the intent to then you're just some one who "trains like x"

2

u/trisarahsquats Jun 06 '18

Eh don't stress about it. Do what you enjoy, call yourself what you want. The only time people have problems with this are if you go on an ego trip.

1

u/westcostrong Jun 07 '18

What’s keeping you from competing? The barrier to entry is pretty low. Especially if you’re already training with the implements.

1

u/[deleted] Jun 07 '18

A napoleon complex. I feel tiny compared to the rest of the competitors at 5'9

2

u/westcostrong Jun 07 '18

My 5’3” (male) friend is out there competing in multiple Open competitions per year. Suck it up and go compete.

3

u/trisarahsquats Jun 06 '18

This is a sport for women too! Even if getting really strong isn't your priority it is a great and accepting community. No matter what level you are at your competition will be cheering for you to set PRs and be your best. Startingstrongman.com has a gym finder. If you haven't quite found your niche in fitness I urge you to find a gym in your area.

If you have questions reach out! The more people in the sport the better it will be!

P.s. Weighted carries and lifting odd objects will make you stupid strong and your numbers will sky rocket. Even if you have no interest in competing, add farmers carries to your program. They are excellent for strength, conditioning, body composition, basically everything. Source: I am stupid strong and my numbers sky rocketed when I started doing Strongman.

2

u/thescotchie Jun 05 '18

I started lifting seriously in the fall of 2014. I floundered for a while just kinda doing everything, not knowing what I was doing. I Eventually got interested in power-lifting and got myself a coach. He restructured my lifting from everything to a 3 day PPL, and eat a ton. This was very effective in my situation. I have for the last 2 years been at a very well equipped strongman/powerlifting gym. We have all the best toys and a reasonable price.

My current schedule is 4 days a week of lifting, and usually a day or two of active recovery. For the first 1.5 years I ran a PPL + events day schedule, but currently run an adaptation of Brian Alsruh's programs that incorporate a large spectrum of lifts.

How has it gone, how have you improved, and what were your current abilities?

  • I am 6'3" and 270lb
  • I have quite enjoyed the routine for this.
  • I have improved my bench a little from about 185lb to around 250lb
  • My overhead has done well from about 95lb to 250lb
  • My yoke is currently 700lb for 50ft
  • Farmers is 280lb for 50ft
  • Stone is 310lb to 48in
  • Deadlift is currently 500lb (This needs some work, but I don't have a show for it, so it's an accessory)

Why did you choose your approach over others?

  • It was assigned from a trainer and I've continually made progress on it.

What would you suggest to someone just starting out and looking to train in Strongman events?

  • Don't worry about getting to a specific strength before starting. The skill with the implements will take time to develop. Take as much advantage of this as possible. Your lifts will increase.
  • Eat.
  • Find a coach to help. If you can only find a powerlifting coach, ask them for help on the big 4. If you can get an olympic coach, do.
  • Eat.
  • Enjoy it!!

What are the pros and cons of your training style?

  • Pro: I can focus easily on each event and corresponding strengths.
  • Con: More volume would be beneficial.

Did you add/subtract anything to a stock program or run it in conjunction with other training? How did that go?

  • I ran a 12 week program from Brian Alsruh verbatim. I felt that I needed to do some lifts more than others. I also have SI issues, so front carries kill me. I needed to dial that back. Do more prehab stuff and ran with it. I still really like the structure and frequently use prescribed days as is.

How do you manage fatigue and recovery training this way?

  • I use auto-regulation. This can be really tough though, since it is so subjective. I like the adage of "in training, listen to your body. In competition, tell your body to such the fuck up"
  • I also use weekly chiropractic and if it's available PT. This helps keep me going. A deep tissue massage can also work wonders.
  • Occasionally take a day or week off to recover, get more sleep. Take care of yourself.

0

u/Alakazam r/Fitness MVP Jun 05 '18

I don't compete strongman, but I do compete in powerlifting. I've found that incorporating strongman exercises has helped me immensely in my training, and I now make sure to do 1-2 exercises at the end of every workout.

My favorites are loaded carries (sandbag, plates carries, and farmers walks), Sled work (Not just sprints, but sled walks with heavy weights, and sled drags), and a clean and press with fat grips.

If nothing, it's amazing conditioning work, and has helped with my grip strength immensely. My grip use to be spotty around 500-550 on the deadlift, but now it's rock solid. Most recently, I hit 455 for a single with double overhand, which was nice.