This may be interesting… from the “Sizzle and Burn” article by Chris Shugart (the anual NSCA seminal in LV)
Implement Training at the U.S. Air Force Academy ? Allen Hedrick
This was the first of several presentations this year that had about the same theme: strongman-style training and/or strongman equipment rules. Here are some highlights:
? Hedrick, head strength and conditioning coach at the Air Force Academy, first emphasized that this wasn’t strongman training, but rather using strongman implements for athletic training. The movement patterns you see in strongman competitions don’t always carry over well to athletic training, he noted. He used lifting stones to an elevated platform as an example.
? Although the speaker said that barbells and dumbbells still make up the bulk of his athletes’ programs, he noted that he’s willing to sacrifice the ability to demonstrate strength with a barbell (1RMs) for functional strength on the field and more wins.
? Train movements, not muscle groups.
? The password was “water-filled.” Hedrick is big on training with kegs filled to various levels with water, sand, and even antifreeze (less rust and denser). These are welded shut to create unstable implements for field strength. He emphasized that this isn’t the ever popular yet much lampooned “unstable surface” training, but rather “unstable implement” training.
? Coach Hedrick has rows and rows of kegs for his athletes which were donated by Coors. They range from 20 to 300 pounds each.
? The liquid filled implements provide “active resistance” as opposed to the static resistance of traditional equipment.
? Along with kegs, he has water-filled strongman “logs” of all sizes and some very cool loadable tractor tires for flipping. He also has some mini-logs that his athletes use as water-filled dumbbells.
? Since he started using the unstable implements, Hedrick says his teams are more injury-free than ever.
? Coach Hedrick is now experimenting with adding chains to Olympic-style lifts.
In short, this was some of the most innovative and interesting stuff I’ve seen regarding real functional strength as opposed to that “headstands on a Swiss ball” stuff. I’ve done a little keg training and found it to be challenging and effective.