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5/3/1 and Beginning Strongman

I have read several posts asking about adding Strongman events as essentially key parts to those peoples programs, but I am completely new to Strongman and just want to spend time getting better at some of the events. I would like to spend just 10-20 minutes each workout practicing and getting more familiar with some of the events. Strongman also uses a little more biceps strength than Powerlifting. I don’t like working my biceps, but if I have to, could I do 3x10 one day/week and not count it as a pulling movement in the recommended 25-50 pulling reps? I dont think biceps curls should count as a pulling movement for powerlifting. I think to count as a pulling movement an exercise should work your back. I’m doing the God is a Beast leader template right now. So could I do something like this?..

Biceps curls

Bench Press
Log Clean and Press

Keg Carry

Overhead Press
Yoke Walk

I want to repeat that I’m new to Strongman and just want to get some more practice with the movements. I’m not trying to work hard on prepping for a Strongman meet and want to only spend 10-20 minutes on the event taking my time to prepare for the event to reinforce good form. I would be doing the Yoke Walk on Friday so I have the weekend to recover from that. Thank you!

If you want to add 30 reps of curls to your workout because it will help your sport then go for it. If you don’t want to count them towards your pulling exercises, I don’t think that’s going to be a big deal. We’re talking 30 reps of curls per week, and I don’t think many people will argue that’s going to throw off your workout. Those keg carries are going to give your biceps some extra work, and I’d say that if you get to the point where you’re also adding in stone loads or other strongman movements, your biceps are going to get enough of a workout. But if you want to strengthen them up now in preparation for adding more strongman stuff, good on you.

The only thing about your plan that made me look twice was your yoke walk on the day after you do deadlifts and keg carries. Thursday is going to beat up on your lower back, and you might find that doing yoke the day after is not a great idea. But it depends on your age and recovery and stuff like that, so I would give it a few weeks and see how your body deals with it. Because yoke is so soul-crushing and taxing on the whole body, it gets a little tricky to program.

What have you done since last month?

Thank you. I think I will try doing the Yoke on Friday and see how it goes.

I have been following God is a Beast exactly as written except I took last week off because I got sick.

Remember; those are minimums. In Forever, Jim says you can do more if you want, just to keep in mind that he knows what the hell he is doing.

I’ve been running 5/3/1 as a strongman for a while now. I use 5/3/1 proper in the off season, and start changing it pretty radically as I get closer to a competition.

I use implements in my day to day training to make it work. I ran God is a Beast a while back. For the 10x5 stuff, I used a log and cleaned the first rep off the floor. For the other pressing, I used an axle. On lighter days, I’d continental the axle, and on heavier I’d take it out of the rack. Went similar with the deads. On 10x5 days, use an axle. On other days, pick and choose between axle and barbell.

When do you do your conditioning work? That is where I would work the strongman stuff in personally.

Similar to @T3hPwnisher, I use a strongman movement as the main movement if it’s going to be in an upcoming contest. In the off season, its either part of my supplemental movements, or I account for it in my assistance work.

I’ll also add, that there are two 5/3/1 strongman routines which are only a google away.

Those are great ideas for how to implement Strongman into your routine, but the problem is that I am not willing to replace the barbell with the log yet. I still have some powerlifting goals I want to accomplish before Strongman becomes a staple in my routine.

I will explain whats going on. I started with powerlifting and a couple years ago I learned about Strongman and really wanted to try that, but didn’t have any access to the equipment and didn’t know how to do any of the events. A few months ago, I moved and I live very close to a powerlifting focused gym so I joined that. One of the members who competes in Strongman advertised a free Strongman demonstration so I signed up. Only 3 of the 8 people who signed up showed up so he taught us the log clean and press, yoke walk, and keg carries. He gave us a lot of time to practice them as well. He keeps his strongman equipment at the gym and he was really cool and said we could use it if we want and if we want form checks just contact him. It was very fun and I learned a lot, so I want to practice what I have learned and switch to focusing on Strongman after reaching some of my powerlifting goals, but right now I only know the log clean and press, yoke walk, and keg carry and his kegs are a little too heavy for me. He said he would like to do another demo day next month and would go over sandbags and a couple other things.

Obviously, if you don’t do something for a long time you will not improve and probably get worse at it. So, I just learned these events and they were very fun so I want to spend some time practicing them.

To clarify, I was talking about the press, not the bench. You would still bench with a barbell.

I understand that. The two 5/3/1 for strongman templates I found though do not have the bench press in them at all though.

Ah, yeah, I was still discussing “God is a Beast”, but I’m thinking you were replying directly to @TX_iron now.

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I get you. If you want to keep the basic program with the Barbell lifts then, I’d just use strongman as the supplemental work. Reworking your 1st post:

Squat - 5/3/1 or 5s pro
Yoke - 3-5 runs, increasing weight each time but keep up the foot speed
assistance - keep the reps higher on the assistance work, 10+ reps/set & go for a total number of reps (like 50). You may want to go easy on the low back assistance work at first here too.

Bench - 5/3/1 or 5s pro
Log Clean & press - 10x 2 or 3, just really learn it before you add a bunch of weight. & learn to use leg drive.

Deadlift - 5/3/1 or 5s pro
Keg Carry - work up to it, (zercher carries, or other front-loaded walks)

Strict Overhead Press - 5/3/1 or 5s pro
Close-grip Bench - 5x5

Strongman movements can be draining, so don’t go all-out on any of this stuff until you really have your technique down. Also, you may want to have more frequent deloads.

I’d focus on my powerlifting goals and do some technique work for strongman on another day. Then make the change.

It is really worth having an offseason as well. The events are more grueling than you think when you’re starting.

Thank you. This is a great idea. The only thing I would change is the God is a Beast leader template uses spinal tap and boring but strong so I would keep with that instead of doing the 5/3/1 or 5s pro. I am not familiar with some of the terminology. When you say Yoke for 3-5 runs, is a run going from one side to the other or going from one side to the other and back?

I’m unfamiliar with the Forever version of GIAB, I only know the challenge version. The strongman movements probably won’t be too big of a deal while you are learning the movements, just count them toward your assistance movements (push for log if cleaning only once, single leg/core for yoke & keg). Once you get proficient at them & start putting up weight, you will probably have to do them in place of the supplemental work (first set last type stuff).

As for the terminology, don’t fret over it. The distance, whether or not there is a turn, drops permitted, is entirely up to you and in the future the contest promoter. I’ve seen 60’, 100’ with a turn halfway, and max distance in competition.

What would you categorize the log clean and press if you were doing the clean part on every rep? The clean part is the part I need the most work on. The press is pretty easy.

Probably both push and single-leg core. I’d say pull too, but some extra pulling work won’t hurt.


So if I decide to do them on another day could I do Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday Powerlifting, Saturday Strongman?