Complete Beginner, Where Do I Start?

After years of playing rugby and as a result spending the last year and a half doing gym work, i have seen the light. I want to try my hand at strongman training just to broaden out my training spectrum. After just over a year and a half of tedious gym work i have become bored, and yes i have tried many different splits etc to ‘spice it up’ but i cant help but being bored.

I imagine that i’d get a better buzz off more hands on training if you get where im coming from and i have always respected strongman competitors, so i thought i might as well give it a try while im young, im only just turned 20.
I’v been looking at this forum and if im honest iv become a little lost, i can normally understand the usual gym routines and methods but when it comes to strongman training i really dont know where to start!

First things first the stats though not impressive i am keen:

20years old, 6ft 3, 15 Stone or 90kg roughly.
Bench - 120 one rep max
Squat - 180kg for 3-4 reps on Smith machine
Deadlift - 180kg one rep max
Shoulder Press - about 40kg one rep max each hand.

if theres anything else you want to know ask

Second, how do i go about training, what routine should i follow?

Third, what equipment will i need? I have possible access to old tractor tyres, 5gal drums, and if im very polite may be able to steal some kegs, i could use my car for the truck pull, its a peugeot 307, weighs about 1500kg.

Any input appreciated

Here is an article that I wrote on putting together a training program. I would recommend finding a local contest or training group so that you can try the events as well.

Creating an Effective Strongman Training Routine
An in-depth look at how to design a custom Strongman Training routine to achieve your goals.
By Tom Mutaffis (AtLarge Nutrition)

The sport of strongman competition has grown tremendously in the last few years. This growth in popularity has sparked increased interest in the training techniques and routines of strongman competitors. The purpose of this article is to introduce the reader to strongman training with respect to the basics of building a routine. It will assume the reader is somewhat familiar with strength training in general and the specific exercises mentioned. Future articles will cover the â??how toâ?? of performing strongman specific movements (such a tire flipping and stones) and other nuances of the sport.

A simple Google search on strongman will provide a tremendous amount of training information. Making sense of all of that information and using it to put together an effective routine can be tricky business. Many individuals, excited by the prospect of newfound training techniques and exercises will create routines that quickly lead to overtraining due to excessive volume and loads. The following information will help you to avoid that pratfall.

Letâ??s start with a few basic guidelines:

ï?§ Use your heaviest working sets in the gym to focus on the lifts that will have the highest carryover: power cleans, deadlifts, front squats, push jerks etc.

ï?§ Begin with a low volume, low intensity warm-up and then work your way to a max effort (ME) set in one of the above key exercises. After that, focus on supersets and a mix of compound and isolation movements to improve your conditioning and muscular endurance.

ï?§ Only squat or deadlift once per week.
**If you are a powerlifter and looking to compete in both sports then you can do one ME and one dynamic effort (DE) day each week. For example, perform your ME work on Wednesday and DE work on Friday with events on Sunday.

ï?§ Low intensity cardio is the only kind of cardio that you should be doing when using traditional equipment (stair-stepper, stationary bike etc.). Higher intensity work should be reserved for plyometrics and sled dragging since they will have a more direct carryover and should not compromise, but rather can enhance your resistance training via the concepts of active recovery and improved muscular conditioning.

ï?§ Limit yourself to 3 days per week of resistance training with barbells or machines, 2-3 days cardio, and 1 events day. If you are just starting out, you should alternate your events days with both â??heavyâ?? and â??speed/techniqueâ?? focused workouts. Brute strength is important for strongman, but technique plays a nearly equal factor.

ï?§ If you are not feeling prepared for a good training session on any given day, cut out your heavy compound exercises and take it easy. Strongman training is very taxing on the central nervous system (CNS) and a recovery day can be much more productive than a heavy day when applied at the appropriate times.

Now, letâ??s take the above information and create some specific routines. Keep in mind that variety is important and even small things like a change in the range of motion, speed of movement, or rep ranges can provide the conjugate variety needed to avoid overtraining of the CNS.

Example Routine A (someone looking to get the most out of events day)
ï?§ Monday: incline / standing push jerk / log press, triceps & delts assistance work
ï?§ Tuesday: active recovery day â?? sled drag, swimming, etc.
ï?§ Wednesday: deadlift / front squat / cleans, leg assistance exercises (machines)
ï?§ Thursday: chins, calves, abs, cardio
ï?§ Friday: rest
ï?§ Saturday: events day (tire, yoke, farmers, stones, etc.)
ï?§ Sunday: rest

Example Routine B (focus on pressing strength)
ï?§ Monday: speed / technique pressing day â?? OHP, chins, rows, cardio
ï?§ Tuesday: rest
ï?§ Wednesday: ME squat / deadlift / cleans, leg assistance work
ï?§ Thursday: rest
ï?§ Friday: heavy pressing day â?? OHP, triceps assistance work
ï?§ Saturday: events (moving events only)
ï?§ Sunday: rest

Example Routine C (powerlifter / strongman):
ï?§ Monday: back & cardio (chins, rows, low intensity cardio / abs)
ï?§ Tuesday: bench work (bench, triceps)
ï?§ Wednesday: rest
ï?§ Thursday: squats (squats, glute-hamstring raises/rev hyper)
ï?§ Friday: rest / active recovery*
ï?§ Saturday: rest / active recovery*
ï?§ Sunday: events training (4 events, usually including a deadlift variation)
*Pick either Friday or Saturday to do some type of cardio / active recovery depending on how taxing the squat workout was. This can include sled drags, walking, low intensity sports, or swimming.

Example Routine D (bodybuilding / strongman)
ï?§ Monday: chest / back â?? incline press, chins, machines or dumbbell supersets through rest of workout
ï?§ Tuesday: rest
ï?§ Wednesday: legs â?? deadlift or squat, machine supersets and drop sets to finish
ï?§ Thursday: arms â?? biceps, triceps, delts (hammer curl, close grip, strict pressing then supersets using mostly free weights followed by machines to fatigue)
ï?§ Friday: cardio â?? low intensity, active recovery
ï?§ Saturday: events â?? this is where you will do all heavy training. Gym lifts should not be ME, but rather a 5x5 or 3x3 on your core movement followed by bodybuilding training
ï?§ Sunday: rest

One of the above programs should suit your individual goals. Choose one and give it your all! Train hard, train smart and you will soon reach your strongman goals and perhaps one day even join the ranks of professional strongman.

[quote]Shakes wrote:
Example Routine A (someone looking to get the most out of events day)
�¯?�§ Monday: incline / standing push jerk / log press, triceps & delts assistance work
�¯?�§ Tuesday: active recovery day �¢?? sled drag, swimming, etc.
�¯?�§ Wednesday: deadlift / front squat / cleans, leg assistance exercises (machines)
�¯?�§ Thursday: chins, calves, abs, cardio
�¯?�§ Friday: rest
�¯?�§ Saturday: events day (tire, yoke, farmers, stones, etc.)
�¯?�§ Sunday: rest

Example Routine B (focus on pressing strength)
�¯?�§ Monday: speed / technique pressing day �¢?? OHP, chins, rows, cardio
�¯?�§ Tuesday: rest
�¯?�§ Wednesday: ME squat / deadlift / cleans, leg assistance work
�¯?�§ Thursday: rest
�¯?�§ Friday: heavy pressing day �¢?? OHP, triceps assistance work
�¯?�§ Saturday: events (moving events only)
�¯?�§ Sunday: rest

Pretty good article Shakes. Do you have a website? I am looking for a little advice:

I have been trying to create a template for strongman for myself as well. I was running 5/3/1 (3 days, rotating SQ/DL), but I suffer from some serious “analysis by paralysis” and wound up doing too much in terms of other lifts.

I was planning on following rather closely to WSFSB II and makin one Upper day a OH dominant day, and the other a tri dominant day (floor press, CGBP, etc). Lower day would be either ME/rep supplemental + acc or DE/heavy supplemental + acc. My event day- we have access to farmers, tires, 2 logs, stones up to 300, big rope for truck pull/push, and what is basically a hussefelt stone. These are all only avail on Saturdays.

My biggest issues with the events seem to be pressing strength, so I thought the way I have it set up temporarily might work well, but, if we do log work on Sat, that is 3 pressing days.

What would you advise?