T Nation

Attempts at Strongman

I have been very poor at keeping a log.
I have been training and competing in powerlifting for around 6 years. I have decided to diversify a bit. I have recently picked up the hobby of rock climbing, and have also chosen my first strongman competition. It is in Oregon on March 18th. I am a very poor overhead presser and struggle a bit with my conditioning, so I feel like strongman will force me to address these issues.
I will try to do better keeping a log as I feel my recovery and training will have to be precise in order to perform well at the upcoming strongman competition and also survive my regular, somewhat dense life.

10/9 Overhead and accessories
Strict OHP
Top set of 155x2 horribly difficult
3 sets of 4 with 135
2 sets of 8 with 120

Close grip bench with slingshot
3 sets of 5 with 315
275x17 for the friendly competition thread I started (video below)
3 sets of 8 with 275 with even narrower grip, paused at the chest and at lockout

Overhead single arm DB walks
50 lbs for 5 minutes with left arm, about 4:15 with right arm

DB “crucifix” walk (dumbbells held at top of lateral raise)
10 lbs for 3 rounds of 3 minutes

Triceps extensions/face pulls/ 25 lb plate raise
4 rounds of 20 each

10/10 Deadlift practice and accessories

I have not pulled conventional consistently in 3-4 years. I switched to sumo with powerlifting after hurting my lower back with a nasty rounded back deficit snatch grip deadlift.
My hope is to slowly reintroduce conventional pulling until my form and positioning improves, then slowly increase intensity.

High pulls
275x2 more like medium pulls at this point

Conventional deadlift, beltless, slight heel
315 for 8 triples, 2-3 deep breaths and full reset between reps

Barbell rows
4 sets of 8 with 225
2 sets of 20 with 135

Weighted pull ups
Remembered after the first couple sets that I strained my lower abdominal area setting a weighted pull up PR last week. Switched instead to weighted hangs. Did 3 sets of 2 minutes with a 45 lb plate

Hyper extension rows/ about wheel
Used a 50 lb fixed weight bar, did a back raise followed by 3 rows at the top of the back raise. Supersetted with about wheels. 3 rows+1 raise = 1 rep. 5 rounds of 10 reps

Zercher carry
Used a plate loaded ez bar

Good work for me, especially running on 3ish hours of sleep. Will find time to nap today.

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Following along. Man, with as much weight as you’re moving horizontally the carryover to pressing’s right at your fingertips soon as you get technique etc locked down

I hope the log is at least entertaining with my floundering.
I have only been overhead pressing with any sort of regularity for about a month. I am hoping that a technique “click” happens at some point, because it hurts my ego lol. The good part is that it doesn’t feel very taxing at all, so I have been pressing twice or sometimes 3 times a week with no ill effects.

Nice. Have you checked out @Alpha’s videos? Lots of great pressing info in there.

I have seen them, but maybe some revisiting is in order. Or I’m just very chest dominant benching and it has minimal carryover to overhead. Either way, I have some practice to do.

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Awesome. I’ll follow along surely.

Hey man, will definitely follow along!

I would guess that the gap between your bench press and OHP will get closer pretty soon. On the other side I have met quite a lot of people that can easily out-bench me and don’t stand a chance on overhead pressing. I have no idea why. but overhead movements always came pretty natural to me (that should not mean that I am strong by any definition though).

Best of luck with your prep, man!

I’ll be along for the ride!

Teach me your overhead ways. I’m incredibly jealous.

Feel free to drop advice or guidance, I need all the help I can get. Thanks for the motivation!

I am pretty sure my triceps are really weak, and my bench is a funky combination between pecs, lats, and a moderate arch. I’m dropping regular “competition” style benching until after this strongman comp. Instead it’ll be things like incline, close grip, dips, and sling shot work. Those should have a bit more carryover and hopefully leave me more fresh for overhead work/practice.


10/11 pressing assistance

Was pushed for time, rest periods were quite short

+135x8 PR, good to hit especially since I’m still fatigued from pressing Sunday

Db incline, 60 degrees
50 lbs, 100 reps in a little under 7 minutes

Tate Press
35’s for 5 sets of 10

DB pullovers
50 lbs for 3 sets of 10, one set of 20

Tricep extensions
A bunch in a 4 minute time limit

Am slightly worried that the abdominal strain I feel has the potential to be/may already be a mild inguinal hernia. Taking it easy till Monday, then ill re-assess and potentially see a doc. Boring stuff like an hour on a rower or a hour on a treadmill with a pack in the mornings until then.

10/13 Squat
I did some range of motion testing and didn’t notice any discomfort in my abdominal region. So I decided to squat because I was craving some weight.

Warm up

Back Squat
Add belt
455x5 failed on 6
445x6 failed on 7
405x6 failed on 7
Switched to high Bar
315 for 3 sets of 8
Was trying to keep up with MarkKO who posted in a challenge thread I started. Couldn’t catch him. Maybe next time!

Back raises SS/ bodyweight lunges
20 of each for 5 rounds

Called it a day as I was a bit shorter on time than usual. Plus I rarely do reps above 3 whole low bar squatting and they beat me up pretty good.

10/14 deadlifts and assistance

Warm up

Conventional deadlifts
405 for 5 singles
Add belt
405 for 5 more singles

Still Easing back into conventional pulling. I am finally getting more efficient, as I woke up the next day without a smoked lower back for once. My calves are really sore though, which is odd.

Half clean deadlift from hang with pause

I don’t know what to actually call this movement, but I really like it. Starting at the top of a deadlift, lower the weight just below knees, pause for a 3-5 count, then explode up like the first pull of a clean. If someone has a more palatable name id appreciate it.

315 for 6 sets of 6

Head supported barbell rows

New favorite back movement. Will keep these for a while

185 for 3 sets of 8
155 for 3 sets of 8
135 for 2 sets of 12, 10

Chin up hangs

90 degree arm angle

4 sets of 1 minute

Some arm work to assuage my ego.

10/15 Pressing

DB clean and press, video below so my form can be mocked
Worked up to a top set of 100x10
Also did a couple doubles with 120

60 degree incline db, paused for 3 breaths at the top and bottom of each rep
70’s for 4 sets of 10

Tate press, slight incline
40’s for 4 sets of 10

Paused dimel deadlifts maybe?

That’s close to capturing it, the only difference is the concentric ends with a sort of “high” pull (not really that high, maybe halfway in between my sternum and navel). Paused dimels is definitely better than the mouthful I came up with though.

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10/17 squats

Front squat, paused, beltless
Worked up to 5 singles at 315

Back Squat against average bands
Somewhere between 70-80 lbs of tension at the top per band
225 for 10 doubles, 45 seconds rest

Ab wheel SS/ back raises
5 rounds of 10