T Nation

Beginner Strongman Experience (Comp. Write Up)


Wanted to post this in case some beginners are reading the forum and are unsure if they should compete or not. This is copied from my log, excluding the video.

Despite being ill half the week and not being able to regain my lost body weight I decided to compete today. I am glad I did.

Competition started roughly 11.15 am.
First event was axle clean and press for maximum repetitions in 75 seconds. You could chose between a 75 kg axle and a 55 kg standard barbell

I ended up getting 6 reps but only 5 of these 6 reps did count. On my first rep I did not hold the weight, look at my judge and wait for him to blow the whistle (like he told me to do 30 seconds before). A beginner mistake that won’t happen again. Otherwise everything did go as expected. 6 reps would have been a PR, 5 reps is a tie. I did not get more reps because I was out of breath and couldn’t do another rep. Pressing was very easy.

The next event was deadlifts and it came with two big surprises. You could chose between 200 kg and 160 kg. The 200 kg would be on an axle but the 160 kg would be on a standard barbell. The second unexpected change was the deadlift height. The bar was set on two thick mats. This bar height actually is a disadvantage for me because it is right at my weak point and I have a hard time developing power at this height.
I ended up getting two reps. On the second rep I strained my back a little and I think that prevented me from getting a better result. But even if I didn’t hurt myself, this just wasn’t my event.

Onto Farmer’s walks. The weight for this was set at 90 kg per hand for a 40 m distance with one turn where you had to set the implement down, turn yourself around and lift it up again. Now this was an event I was very nervous about beforehand. I trained for this using a trap bar and I could not lift close to 180 kg, let alone walk with it. Adding to this my back locked up pretty hard after deadlifts (pretty sure I got some SI-joint issues because I misgrooved on my second rep).
The event went amazing! I picked it up pretty quick for my first 20 m lane. I wasn’t exactly fast but it was alright and I didn’t have to drop it. After the turn it was very hard for me to pick the implements up again. I was happy to have the head organizer behind me, screaming at me to stand up again. It was a grinder to pick up again but once I got to full standing position I got going again. I am happy to happy to have completed this without any drops.

After Farmer’s my body was shutting down. Like really down. I was feeling very tired, thought I have to puke, I felt finished.

Onto Loading. For the loading event we had to carry a 70 kg keg and a 100 kg keg for 7 meters and load it onto a 1,20 m platform. Additionally we had to load an 100 kg atlas stone which was placed right beneath the platform.
On my first run with the 70 kg keg the weight in the keg shifted around, I started tripping and ran straight into the platform (which was pretty hilarious) but I still loaded it without a struggle. The 100 kg keg wasn’t hard to carry but I had some problems loading it. I still got it up on the platform. Which brings us to the atlas stone. The judge was handing me tacky which I wanted to apply to my hands but when I touched it I didn’t get enough of it out of the container and couldn’t divide it between my hands. Instead of asking for more I said fuck it. I gave the stone several shots but couldn’t get it. I got it to right about the point where I fail my deadlifts ( approximately 20 cm off the ground). After the second or third attempt I threw my belt away and gave it another shot but lost my grip and landed on my arse.

After that there was only the award ceremony left. I ended up placing 23rd out of 25 competitors. Doesn’t sound good, does it? I couldn’t care less!

On a finishing note:
The contest was very well run.
The atmosphere was AMAZING. Everyone was very kind and I met some great people.
Of course I am a little disappointed because I got sick this close to competition and I am sure my results would have been better otherwise but hey, that is life!

For everyone reading this who is a beginner, unsure about whether to enter a competition or not: Do it! Nobody will look down at you for maybe not being as strong as everybody else, actually the opposite was the case. Whenever someone struggled everybody got behind him. Screaming at him and cheering him on. As long as you give everything you got, your best shot, no one will look down at you. I feel like this is what counts in this community, giving YOUR best and doing everything YOU can. Everybody respects someone who fights and puts his heart into it.


Awesome write-up! It sounds like you had a truly amazing experience. Way to go there and give it your all, despite the circumstances of a preceding illness. Really looking forward to my own comp even more so now.

Edit: so it sounds as if this will not be your last competition. Anything you plan to work on specifically for the next time around?


Thanks TX_iron! I really had a blast! I hope your prep is going well and you will do a write up yourself!

I really hope this wasn’t my last competition but you are hitting right on the problem here. Once you have participated in a beginner cup like this you are not allowed to enter again. So the only other GFSA (german strongman federation) competitions are the 1st and 2nd strongman league, open cups and international cups. All of these are far out of reach for me. The jump from the beginners cup level to the 2nd league is HUGE. I hope to find other competitions though. I might also enter a powerlifting competition in the future.

For the next time I would work on conditioning more! Other than that my deadlift is very weak so I would have to bring that up. The strong point for me are my shoulders, so overhead events are in my favor.


Aw man I didn’t realize that about the structure… you’d think that they’d want to help keep folks in the sport by offering them a chance to continue improving in the novice league. But hey, at least you get to focus on weaker areas instead of peaking specific events for a comp. Good luck on the conditioning goals!


Yeah the structure is very unfortunate but strongman or strength sports in general are VERY unpopular where I live. You might say strength sports are unpopular in the US but you don’t know how lucky you are! :smiley:
Thank you, I will try my best! That said, I will still try to find other strongman competitions to participate in! But I need a few years at least to be ready to go to 2nd league comps. Other than that I might get into powerlifting in the future.


I really loved your write-up man! Keep up the awesome work!


Nice work on your first competition… I lost a few reps on the overhead (log) in my first contest as well.