T Nation

Beginning Strongman


Hello every one I am new to strength training I have done bodybuilding but, I am very much hinterested in strongman and I was wandering if anyone has any advice for me i would much appreciate. The only thing I ask you to keep in mind is that the most I can be in the gym is 3 days a week and I have Tires sleds and stones at my house.


YOu could probably adapt a 3 day powerlifting split to strongman.

squats and sleds

log press, etc upper body work

stones or tires
back work

I've never competed in strongman, but If I was planning on it, it's how I would lay it out.


Thank you very much man


Havn't competed in strongman yet (just in powerlifting) and would greatly value a "cross-trainer's" point of view, but here is how I mix them. I've had good success with both my 3 lifts and my strongman times.

Mon: Squats, box, sled, fat bar curls
Tues: bench, close grip bench, pushdowns, pullups, dumbell rows
Thurs: deadlifts, tireflips, husafell stone, sled sprints, reverse sled drag, bb rows, dumbell shrugs
Fri: grippers (at home). Occassionally I'll do ghetto atlas stones at home on Friday (toss them over a bar set at shoulder height)


Honestly, you gotta put a pretty good emphasis on the actual strongman events to become a decent strongman. Make sure you are hitting some type of event training each week. If you're going to skip a workout, skip a gym workout. Get as much experience with events and equipment early on.

I made the mistake of slacking off on events and worrying more about gym strength for my first 12-18 months of strongman and it showed every contest. I built some decent (relatively) levels of strength and my gym numbers consistently went up, but I didn't see a lot of improvement on events until I started hitting events a lot harder.

Of course this advice means nothing if you are already freaky strong. You can away with just muscling and manhandling things.


Well I guess in that case I will have to practice the events doubly hard then because I am not freakishly strong by any means I dont think but I have a good base to work with I believe:

Im 17 190lbs and 5'6"
Push Press:205lbs for 3
Power Clean:205lbs(worst lift)


That's a good base of strength. My only point was to not neglect the events. Gym lifts can't replace event training.


Ok i understand I will make sure put just as much emphasis on the events as I do in to gym training thank you very much


I know this is said all the time, but check your squat depth.


Actually, for strongman, I don't think it matters much. There's almost never any actual squatting events in competition. Sure there's probably some carryover from going deep, but I think there's greater carryover from going even heavier and not as deep. As long as you're well-rounded in your training, I don't think you're missing anything by not squatting deep.


I agree, your deadlift should be significantly more than your squat.


I squat to parallel every time I lift. I train with a strength coach who has entered powerlifting meets and squats heavy as hell and I have to squat parallel with him or he gets completly pissed off. I dont squat lower than parallel unless I am doing 10 or more reps per set.

The deal with my Deadlifts is that my forearms are my limiting factor I dont much have a very strong grip but, I dont like to use straps they feel very wierd to me but I used them last friday and I pulled 380 instead of only 355 but I very rarely use straps so I just put that wieght on the static above.


meant statistic above sorry


From the athletes that I worked with, gym lifts don't translate into strongman events, very well. It works better the other way.

Some several people have already said , practice the actual events.



Here is what I am doing right now

Sunday Rest
Monday Squats, back squats, front squats and than some condtioning stuff, keg runs, some sort of carry for speed
Tuesday Pressing, start with either log or axle overhead than some acessory on whatever you need to strengthen up, lockouts, db OH presses, close grip bench, etc.
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Power cleans, deadlifts, a vertical and horizontal pull
Friday: Rest
Saturday 3-4 Events

I used to do a ME Lower Tuesday ME Upper Thursday Events Saturday but now recover better and having a high work capacity is important, if your gassed after the first of 5 events it doesn't matter how strong you are.


Front squats and deadlifts are indispensible gym lifts for strongman.

Concentrate on these two.


If your grip is weak, then please don't start using straps to compensate, it'll only exacerbate the weakness.
Just keep working on your grip, also if you can get a thick bar. do whatever lifts you like but use the thick bar instead.


Based on what? I squat to parallel by anyones standards, and my deadlift has never been above my squat, let alone "significantly."

OP, give us a list of ALL the strongman implements you have

And using the straps is fine, as long as theyre only used on the LAST set, after you've worked up without straps. Your low back and legs will get much stronger with you pulling 380 than if you stop at 355. Also, warmup sets should be pulled double overhand as heavy as you can go, hten switch to mixed grip, then put on straps.

Finally, where do you live? I take for granted sometimes that people have checked to see if theres a training crew in the area, but just in case you havent...


I kinda agree with what you said:
"And using the straps is fine, as long as theyre only used on the LAST set, after you've worked up without straps. Your low back and legs will get much stronger with you pulling 380 than if you stop at 355."

prob is that when guys start using straps and belts they tend to over use them , wear them all the time, because it's so much easier with the assistance gear, and who doesn't want to move more weight right? I rather see a guy not develop that bad habit, and strengthen his grip.


Deadlifting without straps is completely different for a powerlifter than for a strongman. For a powerlifter deadlifting without straps is competitive form; for a strongman its really just an accessory exercise for grip.

Most competitions allow straps on the deadlift. Having a strong grip is important of course - for farmers walks, axles, sometimes a hercules hold-type of event - but most deadlifts in competition wont test your grip.

And deadlifting without a belt is very very rare and more aquirky individual thing than any sort of widely accepted practice.