T Nation

1st Comp In Late June, Powerlifting or Strongman?


#1

Howdy,

I’m looking to compete in a strength sport for the first time this coming June. It’s a huge expo in Austin with events across the spectrum of strength/physique sports. My fiancee will also be competing in bikini. I was planning on doing the powerlifting (USPA, in the 181 or 198 class), but I saw that they are also now doing a strongman contest (I’d be in the under 200 class).

There are things about both which I like, and I know the decision is my own, and hell, since it’s 6 months i can train for both before speciallizing (I think). But, I’m a lot more clear on powerlifting than strongman. I was wanting to know a few things.

  1. I get that every contest is different, but what kind of weights should I be expecting for the events below?

  2. For those who’ve dabbled in both (or either), would you recommend one or the other for your first-ever strength comp? what do you like about it?

  3. There actually IS a strongman gym near my work, only problem is I train w/ my fiancee near the gym by our home. Working out together is sort of our thing, and honestly it’s way more important to me than either sport. I could always get a membership to both and hit the strongman gym over lunch, but it’d be a bit costly. And asking her to drive 45 mins to a new gym when ours is within walking distance is a bit selfish and impractical.

SO, how closely could I replicate these events in a standard gym (Olympic platforms, racks, dumbbells, etc.)? I’m currently doing 531 and have some fat gripz, CoC#1, and a neck harness.


This is a Strongman Corporation (formerly North American Strongman) sanctioned Level I competition, with the top finisher in each division (top 3 in each womenâ??s division as well as Masters) receiving an invite to SC National Championship. Awards given to the top-3 finishers in each division.

When: June 25th, 2016

Where: Austin Convention Center: 500 E. Cesar Chavez, Austin TX 78701

Divisions:

Men: <175, <200, <231, <265, 265+, Masters Open, Novice Open
Women: <140, <160, 160+, Masters Open, Novice Open

â?? Strongman Corporation (North American Strongman Inc.) membership is required of all contestants prior to competing. Membership can be purchased online at www.nastrongman.com or at the weigh-in (CASH ONLY if purchased at weigh-in).

Keg toss â?? competitors will have 60 seconds to throw eight kegs of varying weights over a crossbar. Men will be at 14’, women will be at 12’. Fastest time, or most kegs completed (should nobody in a division complete all kegs), wins.

18" Tire deadlift â?? competitors will perform a max effort deadlift to achieve the highest single weight. Three attempts TOTAL. Straps allowed, no suits.

Truck push/pull medley (hoping for four lanes for this event) â?? competitors will harness pull a truck 50’, then push the same truck back 50’, then grab a rope from the bed of the truck, sprinting to the start line, and hand-over-hand pulling the truck a final 50’. Fastest time/most distance covered wins. 90 second time limit.

Log Clean & Press â?? competitors will perform a max effort log clean & press to achieve the highest single weight. Three attempts TOTAL.

Atlas Stone ladder (head-to-head) â?? competitors will execute a five stone ladder with various weights of Atlas stones and platform heights â?? lightest stone to the highest platform, heaviest stone to the lowest platform. Tacky allowed. Weights TBD.


#2

Having competed in both sports, I definitely favor strongman over powerlifting. I find it more enjoyable simply because of the variety of demands placed upon me. That said, that personally doesn’t look like the kind of show I’d like to do. Only real event I’d really get jazzed about is the 18" deadlift.

Which sport sounds more fun to you? Ultimately, you’re paying someone to have fun, so no point in doing something you don’t find interesting.


#3

Thanks for the insight man. What about it/which events do you find unappealing? Honestly I think they’re both cool, but yeah strongman is more interesting to me. Though I’ve had some training add in the past and the variety’s either gonna be awesome or totally fuck me. plus I guess I’m just a tad worried about not being able to budge some of the objects, haha.

EDIT: getting butterflies thinking about it. Fux it, strongman it is!


#4

Just never been real excited about throwing events. It seems more "athletic’ than strong to me, if that makes sense. The fact that you have to be relaxed to really move the weight is what makes it stick out for me. Never really been a fan of truck pulls either. I know visually it’s pretty exciting, but watching them bores me pretty good, they’re a pain to set-up, and it just never really got me excited.

Max log isn’t the worst thing in the world, but I like reps more for overhead. Just how I am. Stone ladder isn’t a bad thing at all in all honesty, but stones are always just something I do because they’re in a show. I’d prefer kegs in all honesty. Less technique, haha.

As for your question about weights to expect, since 2 events are for a max, it’s ultimately up to you. Trucks aren’t the hardest thing to move, and you can practice pushing whatever vehicle you have access to as a means to get some training in. For stones, you can do the stone trainer idea like this

A sandbag would be a good substitute as well. Stone weight isn’t really something you can trend, as it tends to be based on what is available to the promoter. As a 200lber, I’ve had a medley that ranged from 160-330.

No idea what the keg weights would be.


#5

They literally JUST switched up the events. No Maxes listed. They made the tire deadlift a max reps in 60 seconds, and it’s now a “mystery pressing event.” The athletic vs strong does indeed make sense, but to be honest it’s actually a good thing for me. I’m relatively average in the strength department, but springy as shit; perhaps it’ll work in my favor lol.

Well damn now that you mentioned it, lifting kegs would be the ONE thing I’ve had experience with…thanks college. Haha.

Thanks for the vid, and the sandbag suggestion. I’ll try it out. Speaking of which, I heard zercher full cycles tossed around in the strongman forum. Do you think they’d have decent carryover too, or are they lacking too much in hip-snap portion of the movement?\

Thanks again.


#6

I’ve never actually performed a zercher squat to be able to say if they do or do not carryover. In truth, I’m pretty terrible with stones, and tend to just try to one motion it everytime. The safety squat bar helps in that regard, but it’s rare that I’m ever actually in a position where I lap the stone, then squeeze and try to move it.

I know Aero is pretty into zercher lifts though.


#7

Cool cool. Thanks for all the tips. I’ll work those exercises into training days, playing around with a little variety in hopes that where one move is lacking another takes care of it. No SSB, but I’ll be doing front squats as supplemental work for back squat.