T Nation

Giving Strongman a Go

Hey there, so I’ve recently been thinking about trying to attempt a Strongman competition. Since the gyms had shut (again) I’ve ended up watching lots of Strongman comps plus enjoying the content on Big Loz’s YouTube channel and it looks a lot of fun (obviously a lot of hard work but fun).

So I was hoping that the T-Nation community could kindly suggest what sort of benchmarks in terms of strength I should be aiming for before looking to sign up for a first timer/novice competition? As much as it is just for fun, I’d still want to be at least a bit competitive haha.

Many thanks.

I’ve never competed in strongman and don’t know a whole lot about it, but a lot of comps seems to post the implements and weights used ahead of time. You could also look back through the results of your local fed and see what the guys in those divisions were doing.

REALLY open ended question. Depends on the show.

I’m going for my first show in a few weeks. So i’ll put my gym lifts down. But my advice is to get to use some of the equipment. Strong man equipment is hard work.
If I say - you need to yoke 250kg - this impossible to judge unless you’ve used a yoke.

With regards to “gym lifts” assuming you’re entering a novice / under 105 event.
Dead lift - about 200kg. A lot of novice events in the UK run reps of 180kg/200kg in 60 second.
Push press about 100kg. If you have a log - 90kg
Front squat - this is more important than a back squat. About 150kg.
If you have a trap bar - try a farmers walk - total 200kg.

Whats your current level like?

Sorry, I was thinking it’s a bit of a vague question after I hit ‘post’. So I had been looking at past competitions trying to get an idea of weights of events but there seems to be alot of difference between different novice competitions. Yeah it would be a novice/U105s comp that I would enter.

Back in December before the gyms closed again… I was lifting 185kg Deadlift, 170kg (Back) Squat and 65kg (Strict) Overhead. Monday can’t come soon enough!

Currently at a commercial gym so no access to Yoke etc, but the idea was if managed to improve my gym numbers up to something reasonable by the end of the year I’d look into joining a Strongman gym to get used to that equipment. Being on the south coast of England, I’m pretty sure Rob Frampton runs a Strongman gym not too far away.


Some implements like farmers handles and sandbags you can make it buy for cheap. Most events will have one of those. Imo do it for fun, don’t go into it expecting to win. I’m in the same boat (thinking of doing my first strongmsn comp). I don’t expect to win, my lifts are decent 270 kg deadlift, 230 kg back squat and 95 kg strict press. I haven’t practiced the strongman lifts much. Some of the much less strong guys at my gym will smoke me on the actual events. You need to practice how you play. I will do a lot more event training before I compete.

Certainly wouldn’t be there to win. I’m fine with finishing last, I just don’t want to be so far behind everyone else that I’m essentially just getting in the way.

I’m not a million miles away in Kent. About 5 miles from the Dartford crossing.
Look at independent gyms. Lots have strongman equipment in these days. Twice I’ve called into smaller gyms when away from he and I’ve been surprised.

You’ll want to get that press up. And as @mnben87 says some equipment can be made cheap. Sand bags are £50. Farmers handles the same. Just 4x4 timber with threaded bar.
But getting strongman ready from where you are right now is easy within a year.

I think your lifts are good enough for not being embarrassed, and being able to get at least a rep or two on all events. Once you start getting into it, you will probably improve quickly.

I’m one of those guys.
I out stoned a guy that could destroy my gym lifts. No idea how. I managed to get the 130kg stone up. He could not. It’s an odd thing strongman.

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For sure not snoop dogg! Not sure on his lifts, but no one out stones him.

It is worth emphasizing how important practicing events is though! Magnus had a big advantage in wsm because he was a technician. He knew the events better than anyone. He had so many implements that he it someone else built for him.

Op, you mentioned watching strongman comps. All the wsm events are in YouTube. I’ve watched all of them at least once, some of them 2-3 times. Watch guys like Magnus. That is what one should strive for imo. No weaknesses.

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Just jump in. I know people who tagged along to support a friend and ended up competing without ever touching a Strongman implement. You’ll be fine and it supports the sport - if you give everything your best effort the folks competing with you will appreciate your participation

I 100% support this. Quick story.
In 2018 I was watching a small time event live. One of the novices guys had obviously never used a viking press before. So rather than throw him under the bus the event organiser got him out there with one of the refs. They spent maybe 10 mins going over the rules and regulations. Making sure he was comfortable. They held up the show, in front of maybe 500 people so this guy had a fair shout at the event.
Fyi when I say strong man ready I meant scoring / finishing most events. You could step up now. Depending on the events.

Don’t wait to be ready for novice. Go compete. Competition is what makes you stronger.

Thanks for the responses, it certainly gives me more confidence to give this a go :+1:

I’d be the first to admit my pressing is a bit naff so I’ve got a lot of work to do there. But if we can get past this Covid business sooner rather than later, and more local comps happen towards the end of the year, I may even get to try a comp earlier than planned.

@carlbm I’ll be following your thread with interest, good luck with the competition in May.

Thank you, it’s nice to have someone follow along. However - I’m a keen amateur. There are far better / stronger / more knowledgeable guys on here.
@T3hPwnisher is (in my opinion) one of the most knowledgeable guys on the site. And there are a few really good guy hanging around. He is dam strong, lean and you like these days, and never shy of helping. His input on this forum AND on his web site (mythical strength) are both invaluable. Know a few guys that owe him a few favours. Myself included.

Other guys logs I follow - Strong man Vinny - I ask this guy questions and he’s always keen to input. And his logs are SO detailed. You could read these and pick up a load of info.
But if you ever think I might help let me know. If I can I will.

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So much good advice in this thread.

Here is how I feel you should approach this:

  1. Have fun. no one gets paid to do strongman outside of a select few.
  2. We all start somewhere, just sign up and compete. Make sure you at least get a little bit of practice ahead of time so you know what you’re doing with the implements. Even Brian Shaw was a novice at one point.

That’s it, it’s that simple to start strongman. The strongman community is full of awesome people. No one ever shits on new people for not knowing what they’re doing or not being strong enough. I have podiumed all of my competitions (luckily I was pretty strong before starting strongman, but it is very common to watch novice’s zero events) but I have never been the strongest one at any competition, even in my own weight class. But my coach is so highly technical that it rubs off on me and therefore, I am now as well. The importance of technique cannot be overstated, but you don’t even know if you like it yet. So you may as well compete to make sure it is something you want to spend a lot of time and money on.

Just be careful, it is very addictive and you’ll find yourself spending a lot of time and money on it haha.

If you do, start a training log. I love all things strongman and I love even more to watch new guys get into it and learn, even more than I enjoy watching the pros hit crazy lifts.

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Think I’ve got a bit of reading to do then! I had a look on that Mythical Strength website that was mentioned, read a couple of the posts and enjoyed them so I’ll be visiting the site again soon.
What’s the best way to find local comps in the UK? I’ve been searching online and I keep coming back to the same site ‘clean and pressed’, but sadly not coming up with much locally to me (though not surprising while Covid has everything up in the air).
But most importantly the gyms opened today woooo! And I managed an accidental PB in the strict press :slight_smile:

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Check out the facebook group “Starting Strongman” run by Kalle Beck (previously here as @Kalle). Events get posted there, and you could even just ask the question to the group about UK events.

Appreciate having you as a reader of the blog dude!