T Nation

MW Pro Strongman

I am currently training for World’s Strongest Man U90kg, taking place on 16-17 December. I am coming off of a seven year hiatus from competitive Strongman, due to focusing on finishing college and serving in the US Army. I want to use this journal to give anyone interested an idea of how I am training for WSM and how I balance strength work with conditioning to optimally recover. Thanks for reading!

17 October
Warm up - 2x15 glute bridges, 2x12 walking lunges ea leg
Front Squat - worked up to 370 for 3x3 with a 3ct pause in the hole, then 410 for 2x3 no pause. No belt.
18" Axle Deadlift - worked up to 735x2, 745 2x2, then 2x1 5sec full eccentric deadlift with 605.
90ft Farmers/Sandbag Medley - 290 farmers and 240 sandbag for 3 runs. 40-45 sec avg time.
Back Extensions - 165 for 3x8 with a slight pause at the top.

18 October
Box Jumps - 6x3 to a 39" box with 1-2min rest.
Reverse Lunge - 135x10 ea leg, 145 2x10 ea leg.
Offset Barbell hold - 45 plate on one side of the barbell, 2x60 sec each side.
Easy Aerobic work - 40 min on an elliptical at an avg 140 BPM


19 October

Warm up - 2x20 close push ups, 2x8 35lb plate raise
Log Push Press from the rack - warmed up and felt like my leg drive and lockout timing were off. Stopped at 270x2. No top sets like I had planned. I decided to scratch the push press and do strict press as my main movement tonight instead.
Log Strict Press from the rack - worked up to 240 for 3x2.
Log Push Press from the rack - 240x6, 220 3x6 focusing on technique and timing, then hit 2x1 5 sec eccentric reps with 270.
Military Press Grip Floor Press - 310 2x5, 1x4.
High Incline DB Press - 70s x12, x11, 2x9
EZ bar Skull crushers - 90x12, 3x10
BW+45lb timed hangs - 2x60 sec. These are great to finish an upper body session with because they stretch the pecs and lats so well, while simultaneously adding a little grip work.

Overall not pumped on my performance tonight. I had planned on hitting 290-295 for doubles, but it just wasn’t in the cards. I will do two successively lighter sessions to reload before Static Monsters on the 28th.


I’m always in for a strong ass log (WSM pun intended, ha!)

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20 October

Warm up - stationary lunges 10 ea leg, 15 push ups, 8 pull ups x 2 rounds.
Squat jumps - 95 6x3
Alternating lunge - 135 3x10 ea leg
Prowler work - 180 for 8x40sec work, 2.5-3 min rest between each.
Core work - skipped it because I was exhausted after pushing the sled. :expressionless:

Overall feeling pretty run down from the last few training sessions. Ready to reload and dissipate some of this fatigue.

21 October

Warm up - 45ft bear crawl, 45ft reverse bear crawl, 15 clamshells x 2 rounds
Trap bar Deadlift - worked up to 455 3x5
Push press - worked up to 225 3x5
Close grip pull down/Standing DB military - 3x10 ea
Hot tub for 30 minutes.

Feeling a lot better after this light session. One more opportunity to go through the motions on Monday.

Welcome to the forums! Glad to see another Strongman join the board. I’ll definitely be following along.

Mind sharing some extra information for those interested? Age/height/weight/training experience/typical nutrition/current best lifts/etc?

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Thanks for asking! I should have included that stuff in my first post I guess.

I am 27 years old. I am 5’9" and typically weigh around 220-225, though I am currently 215 due to dieting down for the U90kg class of WSM. I have been lifting and competing in strength sports since the spring of 2006. My training experience ranges from training for strongman and powerlifting, to prepping for longer endurance work while getting ready for Ranger School. My diet right now is at maintenance kcals or less, involving a pretty basic carb cycling approach. I will eat around 180-200g of carbohydrates on my strength days, while conditioning days will be around 60-90g depending on the workload. I will add fat on lower carb days, and lower it slightly on the higher carb days. Protein stays right around the same every day at 220-250g per day. My best lifts in competition include a 556 squat, 402 bench, and 716 deadlift. My best strongman lifts in competition would be a 320 log press, 330 stone over 52" bar for 7 reps in one minute, and a 650 18" deadlift for 17 reps in one minute.


That’s some strong stuff there. Looking forward to following along!

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23 October

Warm up - 10 step ups ea leg, 8 pull ups, 15 narrow push ups x 2 rounds
Trap Bar Deadlift - 345 for 3x5
Push Press - 185 for 3x5
Seated Row - 3x10
Incline Bench - 175 3x10

24 October

45 min on an elliptical at an avg 139 BPM.
Planks - 3x60 sec

25 October
Currently water loading to make 198.4 for Static Monsters this weekend. I woke up a little lighter than usual on Monday, so I decided to take the plunge and execute a water cut down to 198 in order to get some practice before WSM. My weight, unsurprisingly, bloated up due to the increased water. Sticking to a pretty straight forward water load strategy, while saving some over the counter diuretics and sauna for the last 24-12hrs before weigh-ins. I am feeling much better overall after the two reload sessions (I prefer the term “reload” to “deload” because I like to be different). I am looking forward to the challenge of the water cut and seeing how my body responds to the plan.

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27 October

Made weight after a few hours in the sauna doing 15 min on, 10 min off. Weighed in at 197.4lbs right at 1200. All I did the rest of the day was rehydrate and carb/sodium load to put the weight back on. I didn’t use any IV bags or anything fancy. Just some pedialyte, soy sauce, white rice, and lots of water.

28 October - Static Monsters

Weighed in at 223 on the meet scale that I weighed 197.4 on the day prior.

Warm up - some lunges, light Barbell push press, push ups, and some upright rows with an empty bar.
Log press - 280x1 @8, 300x1 @9, 310x1 @10.
18” Axle Deadlift - 728 x1 @7.5, 775x1 @8-8.5, 815x1 @10.

The owner of the gym hosting Static Monsters was kind enough to let me train stones after the contest!
Stones - worked up to 315 for 3x5 over a 54” Bar (used tape and comp grade Spider Tack).

30 October

90/90 hip lift and diaphragmatic breathing for a few minutes.
Warm up - 5 box jumps, 20 squats, 12 good mornings with a barbell x 2 rounds.
Broad Jump - 5x3
Step ups to a 12” box - 185 3x10 ea leg
Planks - 3x60 sec
Prowler - 20 min EMOM of 135 for 50ft.

31 October

90/90 hip lift and breathing exercises for a few minutes.
Warm up - 50ft walking lunges, 20 push ups, 50ft bunny hop x 2 rounds.
Log clean and press - 6x1 with 280. (These felt great, considering I hit a log PR a few days ago.)
Yoke Walk - 750 for 3x60ft. Not that fast and could definitely clean up the stability. Lots of room to improve.
Zerchers from the floor - 365 for 3x7 (right around 60sec of work each set).

Great first session back! My training is going to transition to only specific event work for WSM U90kg events and times from now until the contest. Some people choose to do a lot of assistance work, or use lift variations to keep training interesting, or they just think assistance lifts matter more than I think they do this close to a big contest. I prefer to keep things very sport specific, especially as far as movements and the metabolic pathway being used for the respective event, this close to a big contest. I personally feel more people should consider dropping a lot of the “fluff” work or assistance lifting, in order to facilitate optimal recovery between event sessions leading up to a contest. If you were playing in the super bowl in six weeks, would it make any sense to play basketball for two hours a day with your buddies? Fuck no it wouldn’t. All you’d be doing is taking away from your ability to recover from training that would help you stand a chance against Tom Brady.

1 November

Warm up - 15 RDL, 15 military press, 8 reverse lunge w/ an empty bar x 2 rounds.
12” box depth jump - 5x3
Reverse lunge - 135 3x10 ea leg
Overhead plank - 3x60 sec. I don’t know what else to call these. I basically set up in a plank about an arms length away from a wall, then extend my arms overhead and hold a plank. I feel like these hit the core as well as most plank variations and the added upper back work helps with stabilizing weights overhead once they are locked out.
Aerobic work - 40 min at an avg 138 HR on an elliptical.

2 November

90/90 hip lift and breathing exercises off and on for 4-5 min.
Warm up - 12 back extensions, 12 military presses with 30lb DBs, 12 goblet squats with 48lb KB x 2 rounds.
15” trap bar Deadlift - worked up to 655 for 3x5, then an AMRAP of 1x9 in 60 sec.
Carry Medley - 300 farmers/345 Axle zercher/240 sandbag for 55ish ft each, for 3 sets. 45 sec avg time ea set.
Stiff leg Deadlifts - worked up to 405 for 3x6

My upper back, quads, and gluteals were still a little sore from the zerchers on Tuesday, so I kept the trap bar deads kind of reigned in today. No reason to go full speed right out of the gate and strain something, especially considering I deadlifted heavy this past Saturday. Overall, I’m happy with where I am starting on these two events tonight. There is time to refine everything and keep improving before WSM…and there is plenty of room to improve!

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3 November

Walked about half a mile to let my food settle a little before training.
Warm up - 5 pull ups, 10 dips, 15 squats for 3 rounds.
Vertical jumps from a seated position - 5x3
Side planks - 2x60 sec ea side
Walking lunges - 135 3x10 ea
Assault Bike - 1 min on, 3 min rest for 6 rounds.

This is a very Interesting log, I will definitely follow along.
Best of luck with your prep!

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Thank you!

4 November

Warm up - 15 military presses, 15 good mornings, and 8 pull ups x 2 rounds.
Push Press - worked up to 280 for 4x3.
Truck Pull Simulator - 250lbs of tensions for 3x40ft. These were brutal. Each set took 60 sec or more to just go 40ft. Pulling with the simulator is probably a good way to train the start of the truck pull and to practice good body position throughout the pull vs using an actual vehicle to train with.
Stone over Bar - 235 for 3x5 to 61" with a tacky rag. I wanted to give the back a little bit of a break after the last seven days of training, so I decided to try the 60"+ height that the first stone at WSM will be. Woof. That is a beast for the sub 6’ tall guys. I am glad I decided to train this height, and probably will again, just to be familiar with pseudo-shouldering technique I plan to use.

Overall, I am very pleased with how the first week of training for WSM U90kg wrapped up. I have some work to do, and I know where to put my focus and when, to bring the best package I can to the contest this December. Thanks for reading!

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Three quick tips I recently implemented outside of training that have been paying off with consistently great training sessions:

  1. Only use caffeine before a workout. Ok…this one has been the single best thing for performance and worst thing for quality of life outside the gym. I, like most people, have become addicted to daily caffeine use via my coffee consumption. To make this work, I had to switch to drinking decaffeinated coffee on days I don’t train. Finding a good decaf blend was no easy feat, but Costco came through perfectly with their decaf house blend. I am currently using about 400mg of caffeine pre training and I have found it to be way more effective due to my lowered tolerance from abstaining on days I don’t lift. Again, this one wasn’t easy, but it has resulted with a string of the most consistently good training sessions I have had in a long time.

  2. Finish your shower with two to three minutes of water as cold as you can stand. This one is very simple to implement, unlike cutting out the daily caffeine consumption. When you are finished cleaning off in the shower, gradually lower the temperature of the water until it is as cold as you can stand it. I emphasize deep, diaphragmatic breathing to ensure I don’t get too shocked from the cold water and go from a parasympathetic state to the sympathetic state (that would be the opposite of what we are going for here). According to some research, lowering the body’s core temp will improve sleep, circulation, and tolerance to cold temperatures (ha, duh…I know…but I live in Alaska, so a better tolerance to cold temps is right up my alley!). I have noticed I have been falling asleep faster, and consistently getting a more restful night’s sleep since making this simple change. I refuse to post a link to the research, because you’re either on your phone or computer reading this right now, so look it up…or don’t and just try it. It takes three or four nights of two minute cold shower finishes to try it for yourself and see if it works for you. Pretty affordable investment as far as time and resources go, in my opinion. At the very least, finishing a shower with cold water is kind of like contrasting…so there you go, one more reason to give it a shot.

  3. Eating for gut health. I add a little apple cider vinegar to a glass of water in the morning, have about a cup of Kombucha in the evening, eat Greek yogurt two to three times a week, and I eat as many green, leafy vegetables as my appetite allows. I have worked the Greek yogurt into my kcal allotment a few times a week, but other than that, there is really no significant impact on daily caloric intake. For example, a cup of Kombucha has only 30 calories, spinach and broccoli aren’t exactly known for their abundance energy, and apple cider vinegar has no calories. I have been eating at or below typical maintenance kcals for my body weight the last six or seven weeks, and I have had to bring them down even lower than I normally would to lose weight. I believe that is either totally, or at least in part, due to actively eating for a more robust gut biome. I’d like to think I am breaking down and utilizing more of the macro and micronutrients that I am getting from the same foods and amounts of said foods due to the improved gut bacteria. Again, I am not going to post a link to any of the scientific literature on this topic, because if you’re too lazy to look it up for yourself then you don’t deserve to reap the benefits of improving your gut health. For a practical example of the applicability to performance that this could have, think about the gut for a quick second here. This is the area of the human body that nutrient absorption from your food takes place. If your gut bacteria is unhealthy, how much of the energy, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals from your diet are you really going to be getting? You might be getting most of what you put into your body…but if you could get even a few % more from the foods you are ALREADY eating, by adding an insignificant amount of calories to your daily intake (remember, Kombucha has a whopping 30 kcals per cup), would you consider the change worth it?

Thanks for reading!


6 November

800m walk to get the blood moving a little.
Warm up - 8 pull ups, 20 push ups, 20 walking lunges x 2 rounds.
Broad Jumps - 5x3
Stationary, Alternating lunges - 135 3x10 ea
Planks - 3x60 sec
Prowler - 22min EMOM 50ft push with 135…about 15 sec of work, 45 sec rest each min

7 November

Warm up - Log RDLx10, Log strict press x10, band pull apart x10, banded shoulder dislocates x10 for 2 rounds.
Log Clean and Press - worked up to 285 for six singles. 2nd and 5th singles were a little off due to technique issues (mostly stemming from poor leg drive). 4/6 singles were very smooth and were an RPE 8-9.
Yoke - 5 sets of 650 for 57ft (I actually measured the distance…it comes out to 57ft and not 60ft like I thought, due to the lines on the basketball court I am training on…so that is why the random number). Times were between 11-11.5 sec. Still have lots of room to improve on this event.
Zercher Squat - worked up to 405 for 3x4. I’ll try to stick with 405 and add a rep here and there as we get closer to WSM U90kg.