T Nation

Biggest Impact on Your Training

Just watched Brian’s alias @Alpha’s video:

and I thought this could be a fun discussion for this forum.

Let us divide it into two parts:
a) which piece of equipment hast had the biggest influence on your training or competition performance?

b) what other things - techniques books, philosophies, people - had the biggest impact on your training/ competition performance?

Equipment: Training log <-- Notebook, not my strongman log

Book: Tao of Jeet Kune Do. It really set up my general philosophy to stay open minded.

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The yoke had the biggest influence on my training. My very first competition, I showed up pretty cocky. I had just won best lifter at a meet 9 months before with a 601 dead and 502 squat as a 181 lifter, and had a solid overhead press. I thought for sure I was going to do great in strongman without even trying. The yoke was 500lbs, and I thought my squat was going to give me an advantage, and that the weight was going to crush the other competitors. I then saw dudes practically sprint with the damn thing, while I took a bunch of lumbering steps, kept hitting the front skids, walked sideways a bunch, etc etc. It was a disaster, and ultimately the wake up call that strongman was WAY different from powerlifting and I was gonna need to wise up and get good if I wanted to do well in competition.

The yoke was also the implement that blew out my knee in 2015. I was having an amazing training year at that point and felt pretty much unstoppable, and that moment helped me learn that I was human. Good for humility.

As for the second point, Jim Wendler has probably been the biggest influence on my training approach. It took a LOT of re-reading to finally “get it”, but I have a much better appreciation of how to program training, how I don’t need to test all the time, the value of sub-max lifting, etc etc. @Alpha of course gets honorable mention for constantly setting the bar for what can get done if you’re crazy enough.


Was just thinking of this the other day, actually, great timing!

I’ve switched up my squatting to the SSB and have loved it, it has helped my elbows and wrists tremendously (was having issues while back squatting with overuse, I believe). So this has been a huge addition to my training.

Wendler and the principles of 5/3/1, hands down for me, I still auto-regulate and have my own style, but his approach to the core lifts has totally changed how how I style my workouts.

Keeping a training log on here has helped as well for accountability, and then reading other folks’ logs, seeing people very near my size that simply blow me out of the water strength wise is very humbling and helps to motivate me (my gym has no “strong” guys in it.)


For me it is hard to say since I am still learning a lot of new things.

From what I have access to, I would say the log has made a big difference. You can hardly get better in the log lift without practising it. Also I have a feeling that the yoke will be significant. Just started out with it.

On the second part I think two things mainly: Tnation (!) and actual competition.

a) the log, with an honorable mention to stones. When I started in strongman, my ohp was garbage, ESPECIALLY with the log. The first time I tried it, I couldn’t clean and press a 12" 170 lbs log. Not even close. And keep in mind, this was just a couple years ago, when I had a 390 lbs bench press. That was a game changer for me. It’s part of what made me love strongman, and it gave me an awesome challenge to work on. Stones were similar. Stones are such a cool, strongman-epitomizing event. It’s so different from anything else you do in the gym, and ultimately very satisfying. And it looks cool on instagram.

b) no books. Our very own @T3hPwnisher has actually given me very good, specific advice on a handful of events, and it’s been fun to kind of be just a step behind him in strongman in general. I would say the philosophy that is the most effective for my strongman training would be 2 things: show up. that’s the biggest one. and #2 is hammer your weak points. That’s working for me with circus DB right now.