T Nation

DIY Strongman: How to Make a Small Log Bigger


#1


There is no way to make the topic NOT sound pornographic.

I posted this in my log but wanted to share it here too. I have a 9" CFF log and my upcoming comp uses a 12" log, so this is how I went about it.

Bought a roll of that stuff you put under carpet for $25, cut it into strips and rolled it around the log 3 times. Use daisy chained zipties to hold it all in place, and then used about 2 rolls of gorilla tape to seal it to the log.

I included photos of the project as I went along for people to follow at home.


#2

Well, that is actually pretty darn clever!

Is it firm enough; like not rubbery like wobbly or anything?


#3

[quote]WilhodFIN wrote:
Well, that is actually pretty darn clever!

Is it firm enough; like not rubbery like wobbly or anything?[/quote]

From some practice runs it feels stable enough. Not squishy, but definitely softer than steel. I’ll be pressing it on thursday, so I will find out then for sure.


#4

A little off topic sorry but Pwnisher would you mind if I asked for your advice on rating my routine Im going to lay out for my first strongman show in June? I ask because I see we both have similar backgrounds going from PL to strongman and your opinions always one I’ve gotten something from reading.


#5

[quote]cparker wrote:
A little off topic sorry but Pwnisher would you mind if I asked for your advice on rating my routine Im going to lay out for my first strongman show in June? I ask because I see we both have similar backgrounds going from PL to strongman and your opinions always one I’ve gotten something from reading.[/quote]

Thanks for the compliment, I view you in the same regard. I’ll definitely give it a look. I’m still learning the ropes on strongman, but as a statically strong oaf I’m sure I can lend a hand where needed, haha.

Would you mind listing out the events you’ll be training for in the contest as well? Gives me an idea of where things are working toward.


#6

The events are:
Barbell push press 60 secs
circus DB for reps 60sec
truck pull
Car deadlift 60 seconds
6 stone load

Coming from a PL background I’m really focusing on BB push press and DB push press and have been doing them on separate days. Car deadlift could be tricky for me, I consider myself a good DL’er but I usually do sumo so trying to focus on doing low block pulls and off the floor. There’s a strongman gym I can go to 1x a week to practice stones and other things.

I guess the conundrum I’m having is how much should I directly train for each event, seeing as the majority are timed. Its in June so I have some time to refine things and build conditioning. Right now I alternate heavy weeks with rep weeks trying to build stamina for 60 secs of pressing


#7

[quote]cparker wrote:
The events are:
Barbell push press 60 secs
circus DB for reps 60sec
truck pull
Car deadlift 60 seconds
6 stone load

Coming from a PL background I’m really focusing on BB push press and DB push press and have been doing them on separate days. Car deadlift could be tricky for me, I consider myself a good DL’er but I usually do sumo so trying to focus on doing low block pulls and off the floor. There’s a strongman gym I can go to 1x a week to practice stones and other things.

I guess the conundrum I’m having is how much should I directly train for each event, seeing as the majority are timed. Its in June so I have some time to refine things and build conditioning. Right now I alternate heavy weeks with rep weeks trying to build stamina for 60 secs of pressing[/quote]

Very cool. That looks like a fun contest. Your approach to alternating sounds pretty solid. For the pressing, is it clean once and press away, or clean and press every rep?

I’m doing my first car deadlift in May. Sometime to keep in mind is that it’s tempting as a good deadlifter to think it’s going to be no challenge, but try out the ghetto car deadlift set-up that Kalle Beck talks about in Starting Strongman. It’s a totally different animal, pretty much all quad and very little hamstring and back. For me, that sucks, as I’m all posterior chain, haha. Setting up the ghetto rig will go far.

For the stones, getting practice will go far. You say you primarily pull sumo, how decent is your conventional pull? I never train stones, but the only times I’ve had difficulty with them were mechanical issues (stone sleeves fell off/not enough tacky). Otherwise, in my experience, if you can pull a heavy weight off the floor, you can handle stones.

For the truck pull, is it hand over hand, or will you be strapped into a harness?


#8

I believe for the BB pressing you just unrack and have 60 seconds, and DB I believe it would be clean then press. But the site doesn’t really get into a lot of detail. Same with the truck pull, could be a harness or hand over hand. For conv pulling, I just used it as a tool to help my sumo, and the most ive pulled conv is 635 at the end of a beltless cycle leading up to pulling 7 sumo.

I was thinking about using a trap bar to maybe help with the car deadlift but I’ve heard conflicting things regarding that, I think I will just have to do the ghetto car deadlift setup. As far as conditioning, is there anything you think would help to just increase general stamina for these events? I think its one of those situations where I may not be in as good as shape as I think.


#9

Trap bar won’t really do the trick from what I’ve seen. The issue is that the weight of the car is behind you, whereas the trap bar has the weight beside you. It really is a different animal when you play with the leverages. I would definitely try out the ghetto rig when you get the chance to see how much it sucks, haha.

If the truck pull is an actual harness, you want to get yourself some rock climbing shoes. Nothing else will grip the floor better than that, and you need that to break the inertia of the truck.

For conditioning, the best thing I can do is the events themselves. It goes a long way toward quickly improving your conditioning since you develop some specificity and skill/efficiency in the movement. Instead of having an events day, I like to work an event or 2 into my training, usually as a means of improving a core lift.

I’m not sure what your training is like, but say you were doing something like 5/3/1

Bench day
-Bench (if you really want to go hardcore strongman here, you could make this incline press instead)
-DB press (clean each rep)

Squat day
-Squat (a lot of folks like front squats for strongman. I don’t ever do them, like the Safety Squat Bar more, but something to consider)
-Car deadlift

Press day
-Press out of rack (competition style, 60 seconds)
-Some sort of strict pressing

Deadlift day
-Deadlift (I would consider getting better at conventional leading up to the comp)
-Stones/truck pull (alternate each week)

Start lighter than competition weight and try to develop some technique/conditioning at first. As you get closer to the comp, you can increase weight until you’re really dealing with comp weight for comp time. Additionally, instead of doing sets of reps, you can work in sets for time as your assistance work approach and get used to operating in that style.

If you have time/energy for cardio, there is of course other things you can always work in. Dumbbell cleans tabata style, or 3 reps every minute on the minute for 10 minutes as an example, pushing a prowler/pulling a sled to help with the truck, just some general stuff.

You’re in a good position knowing the events so far out. I’d get in touch with the promoter and make sure you can get as much details as possible.


#10

Oh yeah, also, a decent substitute for stones is a sandbag. They make ones that can hold up to 300lbs these days, and getting decent with that will carry over well. Something you can do when you don’t have access to stones.


#11

Looks like a pretty good overall plan, I guess you could consider my training similar to the Cube Method, but its just like any American powerlifting style training where everything is 1x a week. It was tough switching my focus from flat bench to overhead as thats always been a weak area of mine. But now that I am I feel the benefit in my bench a little more. And good idea with the sandbags, I have 2 of those big duffel bags I kept from the army that should work well, probably make a 250lb one and 300 or so.

Thanks for the clarification, I literally know no one at my gym whos done strongman before so it was a shot in the dark. I’ll be sure to post some updates of the actual event itself, granted I don’t do absolutely shitty haha


#12

cparker: Good luck brother! As strong as you are, I am sure strongman will be a good fit.


#13

Thank you friend, its definitely been more enjoyable to train for lately


#14

Good luck, and definitely update us with video/a comp write up. It’s always cool to watch the transition.

Just remember, they wouldn’t have called it “Strongman” if being strong wasn’t important, haha. You’ll already bring a lot to the table.


#15

So here is the log in action

It definitely works. Something to factor in is that the softness of the material makes it so that it negates a lot of leg drive with the log. The force just gets absorbed. I suppose that’s a plus in that it makes it so that training is harder so comp is easier.


#16

On the clean you should try lapping the log and then dropping into a squat. Get the log high on your chest and then explode out of the hole with your hips. It’s rare to actually fail the clean, but a lot of energy gets spent on it nonetheless and if you can use more lower body for the clean your shoulders and traps will be fresher for the press.

You may find that what you’re doing allows more reps, but most top level guys drop at least somewhat on the clean, so I’d give it a try.


#17

Thanks man. This was more just to test out the log, but now that I know it will hold up I can definitely start moving toward developing my 12" technique. Lapping is still a little tough with the design, but I can get some semblance of the mechanics.


#18

Figure I’d post an update.

Hit a 12" log in competition. Managed 8 reps at 200lbs, which put me in second out of 15 other competitors while competing UP a weightclass. This ghetto log definitely helped prep me for the real thing.

Key differences here are that, since the log is so taped up, it’s going to stick to your body the entire time you clean it. This meant that I had trained myself to really crank the crap out of it during training, so that, when I got to a comp, it really moved up my body smoothly. Additionally, all the padding had soaked up my leg drive during training, meaning I really had to develop some brutal pressing strength to move the log. This meant that, in competition, the log just about flew off my chest.

I was pretty amazed at how easy a real log felt compared to what I developed. Definitely a valuable training tool.

I actually am contemplating making a ghetto shoulder saver bar ala elitefts sometime too. Same approach: get some 1.5" pipe, wrap a bunch of carpet around the center and tape it.


#19

Pretty inventive. Why not just take a welding class after work and build the real thing and maybe sell a few extras???


#20

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Pretty inventive. Why not just take a welding class after work and build the real thing and maybe sell a few extras??? [/quote]

I’d love to learn to weld, but time is a valuable commodity. It’s definitely one of those things I’d like to pick up when life settles down a bit more, but right now my family is already pretty amazing supporting my competing and training, I’d be a bit much to have them put up with that as well, haha.