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Customized Program Suggestions?

Since I’ve been training at home I’ve really gained an interest in strongman; is there anybody that does customized strongman programs that you would recommend? I currently have a weight sled, 160lb sandbag, trap bar (for carries), barbells and plates, tractor tires, and a press rack. I have a neutral-grip swiss bar that I figured I could use until my log bar comes in (it’s currently on backorder).

Thanks for any thoughts

I’ll plug Brian Alsruhe (@alpha). You can check him out on YouTube by searching his name, or go to his website Neversate Athletics.

He does customized programs, presumably working within the parameters of the equipment you have available (I have not purchased one from him). His athletes all seem to get kick ass results and he’s a badass dude.

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This was my first thought as welll. Can’t go wrong with Brian.

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Along with Brian Alsruhe, Kalle Beck of Starting Strongman does coaching, and has written a book on training strongman in a commercial gym. Both dudes should be able to adapt to your equipment.

What is your training goal? What are you capable of right now?

Thanks all.

Broad training goal is to simply get stronger and more athletic and compete in a strongman comp next year. 1RM are bench - 320, squat - high 300s, deadlift - mid to high 400s, trap bar deadlift - low to mid 500s, strict overhead press - 190ish, power clean - 255ish. Currently sitting at 5’10" about 205lb.

Don’t do carries with the trap bar. It doesn’t carry over to anything, except kinda sorta the fram carry but not really. A basic program would be a Clean and Press day, with some accessory triceps work and maybe some accesspry shoulder work, depending on your weak points. A Lower body day with heavy volume squats or deads. A third day to work drags and carries, maybe sandbag shouldering, and somr lower back accessory work if you can take it. Every six weeks or so use only very light weights and literally just go through the motions and do some stretching. Don’t strict press except as accessory work, you have to work the timing for push press/jerk with main weights. Add weight. If you plateau, add weight not reps. You will need to push up the numbers across the board (Except for Bench Press - it is largely irrelevant in Strongman as a main lift)

As there are many ways to skin a cat, I’m not saying you are wrong, but I just have some questions:

Why not just tack event training to the end of a session? Make it a deadlift day and do some stones or front squats and sandbag carries, etc. Same goes for overhead and you would just cycle through different implements for overhead work.

I understand having an events day if that is how you plan to structure things, but putting them at the end is always a possibility as well.

Why would you not strict press? If you have a lower intensive event prior to your pressing event and your legs are shot, if your strict press sucks you are literally leaving points on the table. It makes sense to keep push pressing/jerks in a program if needed to practice the skill like you said, but never strict pressing as a main movement seems like a bad idea.

Again, why would you not do this? Most events are for reps (as many in 60 seconds, medleys, etc). I agree you need to be strong, but if you’re only proficient at 3-5 reps, you’ll gas out when it comes to high rep or AMAP in time frame events, again, leaving points on the table. You said you need to practice the skills and rep maxing is a skill necessary in strongman.

If anything you should strive to do both over time, getting stronger in all rep ranges.

While I mostly agree and understand your point (I genuinely cant bench with any normalcy anymore as it destroys my shoulders after having a tear in my left pec a few years back and my overhead press is still progressing), I also see the value in pressing particularly incline and close grip. Both build your press really well and if I could get back to benching somewhat regularly, I guarantee my overhead would go up more.

Again, there are a ton of ways to program your training, but saying absolutes makes zero sense especially when you’re talking about a sport with so many variables.

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Because events are tecnique. You can’t have tecnique when you fatigue yourself past it beforehand. An O-lifter doesn’t start with squats, he starts with pulls and keeps the reps low to avoid bad technique. Not saying you couldn’t do it the other way, it just tends to hamper performance on game day.

There is never a strict press event. Unless there’s something new I haven’t seen, you are never going to actually do it in a competition. That’s why I suggested using it as assistance if you do it, but not as a main training movement.

It actually doesn’t pay to train for reps. If you can train with weight well above the contest weight for reps, the conditioning work with sleds and sandbags and carries handles your ability to do reps. Anything past 5 reps is cardio. Moving your 5 rep max up will help your reps with lower weight - but it is important to maintain a certain volume (work sets for Deads and Squats really should be in the 12-25 rep range. But by doing more sets not bigger sets)

These are great as accessory work, but really only because they build triceps. The only carry-over to overhead from benching is the log press. The idea is that you cannot over-specialize. You maintain a certain minimum volume with given core strength movements that apply across the board in Strongman.