T Nation

How TO..

Become a PL or compete in Strongman(woman) stuff…

This is for all you out there who have/are, or are getting ready to compete…Share your story!!

Where did you start, at point were your goals defined, how did you get involved with training and contacting certain coaches, etc?


I was thinking of starting this same thread myself, it’ll be interesting to hear the responses.

hey well I�??m one of the rowers going to compete in the strong man comp, and at first I thought it was just a joke about doing a strong man, but then we started challenging ourselves and making great progress. I guess the real question is how I got involved in rowing, I have been a competitive soccer player all my life, and my uni didn�??t have a soccer team so I had to do something, so I joined the rowing team and fell in love with it. The winter training of rowing is weight training and we have an amazing coach and he was telling us about power lifting competitions, then he heard about strongman competitions and he started building us a log press bar and farmers walk things, next thing I knew we were in full training.

We try to train at least two to three times a week. We do Olympic lifts to warm up, after a run, and then we do competition weight events. We knew what our goals were by when the comp was and what the weight for the comp was. So our goals were already designated for us, then our coach made a plan for us. thats about it.

[quote]pch2 wrote:
I was thinking of starting this same thread myself, it’ll be interesting to hear the responses.[/quote]

Same here.

I am glad you started this thread also, I find myself looking at these powerful women threads before my workout. I have been lurking for yrs. and now am ready to be more active in threads. Back to the topic what is a good starting point as far as weights to enter in a strongman(woman) comp?

Lisa you say such sweet things. If you’re just sucking up to get me to go easy on you in your next workout, you know how far that will get you.

There is no reason why someone can’t utilize OL, PL and strongman in there training. The elite level is probably the only case where that might not be true, but for someone that is training for personal enjoyment and fitness, it’s a great way to break up the boredom.

This strongman endeavour that Lisa and the other girls are doing is part of a small experiment. I test the rowers on snatch,
C & J, back squat, bench press and DL.

These girls haven’t maxed out on any of those lifts for 3 months or more. The week AFTER the strongman competition, they’re all getting tested on those lifts to find what affect strongman training has on those lifts. 4 girls times 5 lifts = 20. I’ll bet there are 15 new PRs.

All training is related.


I lost some weight and started training in 2005. In early 2006, I met a girl who was a personal trainer at a local gym, and she showed me how to deadlift, and told me about powerlifting.

I started training the big 3 lifts more, and then in July 2007, when I was interviewing for my current job, my boss asked me what I would be if not a lawyer - easy, a librarian or a powerlifter. Hehe!

Turns out, one of the women in the office is married to an IPF world champ. We met up, I did my first meet in 12/07, and I’ve been hooked on it ever since. I love it!

Well I’ve been posting about most of this in my log but to summarize:

-Quit smoking 2 years ago and got into the cardio thing and got bored as hell.

-A year ago I happened across Stumptuous.com website and got very interested in heavy lifting

-Started figuring things out myself with respect to the big three in PL

-Worked with a couple trainers. One is a big strongman competitor and we did a bit of training together and I loved it.

-Did my first strongman in June when another trainer told me about it. Totally loooooved it and decided to do the one in August in Woodstock

-Hooked up with TNT and his rowers to train a few of the events but I expect they will smoke me in a couple of weeks.

-Researched local PL clubs and got into one to start training a few weeks ago. Love that even more

-Doing my first open meet in September where I’m hoping to qualify for provincials in November.

I really have become obsessed with things strength related. I find I dream about it. But I’ve always been a little bit intense :slight_smile:

[quote]TNT-CDN wrote:

All training is related.


I still like to go into the OL room and practice, although my focus has switched to PL. And I’m just getting into rock climbing, which is wicked good for the forearms which will help in both PL and OL, which help the leg/core/posterior chain strength for rock climbing.

Getting into any kind of sport club is usually as easy as asking at your gym or surfing the net for a federation/club/gym in your area. Then just go and sign up!

Rowing is awesome BTW. I’ve only tried it once, but we have 2 clubs close by so next summer this will be a project to look into.

I really suck at running searches on the internet…most of what I have come up with is outdated. And it seems all the action is going on in the middle portion of MD…

I had always been athletic and into sports all my life (typical tomboy) including playing 4 years of college ice hockey. After college my activity level dropped way off and I gained weight. After my first baby I met with a trainer who had helped one of my clients lose a lot of weight. That was Sandy Joyce who has written articles for T-Nation, f-heit and mwa/fa. She gave me some “Grow” protein powder and at some point I googled it and found the site.

I started getting into decent shape and then got pregnant with baby #2, which put an end to everything for over a year (very sick). Finally once he started sleeping thru the night I was able to get back to the gym. I made slow and steady fat loss progress with Sandy’s help and everything I learned here. I stuck with the basic compound lifts and was one of the few women in the free weight area of the gym.

Eventually I got sick of dragging the 2 kids to the gym and built my own in the basement with a squat rack and different things I found on craigslist and ebay. I had a tummy tuck and breast lift 2 years ago to repair the damage from my pregnancies (serious ab separation, hernia, ptosis). I started playing hockey again a few years ago after many years of not playing. I LOVE playing again and love beating the younger college girls to the puck.

I have thought about trying my hand at a bb contest, but don’t seem to have the dedication needed to diet that hard and am not sure the idea of having my body judged in a bikini in front of a crowd is exactly for me. Powerlifting and strongman were always interesting, but intimidating.

Back in 2002 I watched my first strongman contest and was intrigued, but felt it was out of my league. Two months ago I watched another and decided to give it a try. The training is fun and motivating, I like the athleticism and speed required, too. I researched the events for the contest I wanted to do and started training for them. I got 2 tires to flip in my driveway from a contractor I know. I made a sled and dragged it up my driveway. I had a few training sessions with a strongman who helped me quite a bit and then had one at the gym hosting the contest so I could try out the events and make sure I wasn’t going to make a fool of myself.

I also got a good book “Personal Best” by Julie Halvelka ( http://www.juliehavelka.com/bookpage1.html ) that has been very helpful. And I joined another site that has a lot of strongman/woman competitors who have been helpful.

Along the way I also trained for 3 months with Charles Staley which was a great experience. I also had a few olympic lifting sessions with a great coach, which was also great. I would love to see him regularly, but it’s just too hard with my schedule and the kids and all that.

Hmmm, this is kind of long and rambling - sorry!

Thanks Jilly and for all who have posted so far!!

Wow, Jilly! Looks like you have lucked out and have been able to train with some awesome people!

If I ever get the urge to compete in something I think it would be strongman stuff…it looks FUN! And I like how it combines strength with endurance…

For now competing against myself is enough!

For anyone in the DFW area, there is a thread over in Strength Sports regarding a gym in Fort Worth which has begun holding “strength challenges” in the spring and fall. Their next one is in October and I’m going to try to be there. I’m definitely going to have to check my ego and focus on having fun, buuut…

(… trying to focus… trying to focus… competitive rush…)

…not sure how that’s gonna work out. If someone shows up with blood running out of her mouth, making WWF-style growling noises, that might just be me. That would be just before I get my ass stomped though, haha.

Here is the link: