My 1st Strongman Show - 2nd Time Lucky?

I was due to have completed in an open novice show last month. But - you know. Things got crazy.

I have managed to find a local Strongman Show that is still going ahead. Its at the end of November. I have attached the events and weights below. I’m committing to being under 105kg. I’m currently 109kg.
Does anyone have any insights in the what I can be adding / concentrating on? I’m engaging with a coach tomorrow. But I like to have my own research to fall back on as well.

My current training is all bar bell. But again now lock down is lifted I will be back in a Strongman gym (where my coach works) with all of the equipment I need - expect Conan Wheel.

My “plan” if I were not coached would be drop some body fat but stay strong. Which is where I struggle hence the coach. And then work on my grip. 4-5 months with no deadlifts - I think my grip is going to be crap. Aside from that - the only events I think I might 0 on are the CDB - 80kg if loads and maybe the heaviest stone.


Overhead Medley:
Axle, 13” log, 13” circus DB
Men’s U105s - 100/105/80

Car Deadlift 60s for reps (side handles, straps allowed)
Men’s U105s - 240kg

Conan Wheel : 60s/revolutions (no belt rests)
Men’s U105s - No weight just yet

Yoke into Farmers (20m returns)
Men’s 105s - 300/100

Atlas Stones - platform rise (sleeves no tacky)
Men’s U105s - 95/110/120/130

All help welcome.

That dumbbell looks really out of place… 105kg log and 80kg db? :confused:

I thought that. 80kg his HEAVY. But unless it’s a typo I guess I got to get on with it. Everyone is lifting the same weights.

These are all technique events. Except maybe the car DL. Is it facing toward the car or away from the car?
13" logs suck, I’m just going to come out and say it. You need implement time in your training for that and the CDB. Are you looking for form advice or training advice?

I’m after insights like this. I had not even considered the log thickness. Whats the issue? Where is the added difficulty over say a 10 inch log?
If this sound like a silly question - sorry.

Car - no idea but I will find out. I’ve always seen them behind you. Do they do in front?

I’m also thinking about the time of year. I mean November. I’m going to cool off very quickly. I can see lots of injuries.

The lift is ideally in a straight line of force from where you rack it straight down. Ideally through the ankles. So, as the log diameter increases the line of force becomes more difficult to maintain. Put simply, you either use more backbend or you have to push from a less optimal plane. This is offset to certain extent by the reduced ROM due to the diameter increase. 10" is the sweet spot. 13" is a vertical bench press. The clean should be easy, but the implement favours a pure presser.
The car DL used to always be facing the car, then they changed it and it doesn’t seem to have changed back. The technique is completely different from one to the other.
With Conan’s (Technically not the correct name, but it caught on that way and you can’t put the genie back in the bottle) the higher the pick, the better. On top of the abs, just under the pecs. a litttle back lean to center the weight over the hips and go like hell. Just think “Fast feet” and force yourself to accelerate, accelerate, accelerate. It really is about going as hard as you can as long as you can, once it starts to slide the clock is ticking fast, so you want to cover max distance before it starts to slide.
Yoke takes practice,but lead with your belly button and it’s about your upper body not moving. It’s a weird, chappy shuffle step, but picture the implement gliding flat. No up and down, no forward and back with the steps. You need constant Valsalve pressure for it, you don’t do a full inhale or exhale after the pick.
Stones are easy. Ankles just behind the stone, when you bend over you arms should hit along the center line of the stone and it’s essentially a Good Morning straight up. If you don’t generate enough speed to get to your chest it should be a natural fall into your lap just by sitting down. Your hands will pul it back into you automatically. If you lap it, re-grip sort of over the top and try to perch it as high as possible on the abs while it’s in your lap. Then you just sort of uncurl on the way up and drive the hips to force the motion. It should roll up the chest to a high perch to make it easy to set. Open up your hands as big as possible for the grip off the ground. Do the negatives with the stones in training, they do more for you than anything else in getting the technique.


Thanks for the help.

I’d love to reply to all the little bits you’ve mentioned that have given me food for thought. But that’s just not going to work. There are too many.

Can I pick your brains on last time?

This “seems” to be a fairly well balanced show. 1 over head, 1 dead lift, 2 moving events and stones.
However what I am seeing is:
No “max effort” / biggest weight wins.

Lots of effort over time. I can see fatigue being a factor.

Is there a way to take advantage of these?
I mean there is no point adding 20kg to my max effort on any lift. Rather go for adding reps to my 80-90% range and making sure I can operate at max effort for a solid 60 seconds.

This is individual to an extent. What I’m going to say is going to be at odds with what others might tell you, but it is my opinion. I would work to have my max higher than anything used in the contest if it isn’t already. The contest weights should not feel heavy, too close to your max is going to pound your CNS over the course of the day. So my approach would be working max triples and maybe some doubles up to the contest. That doesn’t sound like it will provide conditioning, because it won’t. I would do 30 minutes or so of interval cardio at least three times a week for that. I know a lot of guys are anti cardio for Strongman, I used to be too. There is no 1RM event here though, so conditioning will matter and I firmly believe that interval does that better than steady state (Not fat loss, conditioning).
I’ll also say this, the events have a very common functional point. The Conan’s, Stones, and to an extent the Yoke and the log rely on hip strength and the ability to use your abs as a shelf. I would use some heavy Zercher Squats in my training as well, they should carry over for most of these events.
Also, I present to you the word “Neoprene”. It is your friend, especially on a chilly day in November. Warm pants and some knee sleeves. Elbow sleeves might be worthwhile too, but the press is usually the first event so elbows aren’t a problem later in the day anyway.

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meaning lightweights have to lift that too??? Jesus Christ. When I had a circus db at nationals a couple years ago it wasn’t that heavy. meanwhile, the log and axle are easy peasy.

None of the other events are crazy weights. The car deadlift at ‘240kg’ is quite silly. They don’t actually know how much it will feel like, that specifically. But most car deadlifts I’ve done ‘feel’ like they are around that weight. sometimes a little heavier, sometimes a little lighter. Everytime I’ve had a car deadlift in a comp, the guys who are capable of a something around 230-240 kg deadlift don’t zero.

You mentioned grip. Why does your grip matter? I don’t see any grip events aside from the farmers run, and that’s not very heavy.

The atlas stones are a pretty manageable weight, although it’s super weird if the platforms are actually rising as the weight goes up… usually the opposite is the case. A 130 kg stone isn’t bad at all for your weight class.

Most of the 12" logs I’ve trained with actually measure closer to 13. I have a titan at home that’s supposed to be 12, and it’s a hair under 13.

It just feels different. It rolls better. I prefer cleaning a bigger log, honestly. It’s easier for me to get momentum with it. I can clean a lot more than I can press.

Pressing a bigger log is easier for some, harder for others. The nice thing is the pressing distance is shortened just a bit, because of the larger diameter. The negative is that the center of gravity is further out because of the diameter, so it’s harder to push it back over your head. Because so much of my pressing strength is just static brute strength, and I don’t rely on good technique, the bigger logs tend to benefit me more.

Sorry I meant “everyone in this weight class does the same”
The under 90s and novice do less. The opens do more.

Car deadlifts weight something I’ve heard about. It’s all about where the car is, length of handle, even what way round its parked. If the engine is closer to the pivot apparently it’s easier. Which make sence to me as an engineer.

I think my realistic target for this comp is to score in every event. So that’s good news (pre lock down deadlift was 250ish).

I feel like I have crap grip. My grip is always the limiting factor on things like deadlift. Maybe it’s not that week. But I guess with straps on the dead lift and 100kg in each hand I’ll be okay.

This might just be the answer. If I can strick press a 105kg 10inch log, in theory I should be able to smash a the same weight on a 13inch log with a leg drive.

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for sure. If this was a contest with a max log, you’d have something to worry about, but as light as that is, if a 10" log is relatively easy for you at that weight, you’ll manage the 12. If you post a video of your log clean and press, I can pretty easily tell you if your technique will translate well.

The people who have trouble with the big logs are generally people who come from an olympic lifting background, and try to clean it the way they would a barbell, and that’s just not a good way to handle a log. As log as you aren’t doing that, you should be fine.

assuming you can use figure 8 straps, use those. They take your grip COMPLETELY out of the equation. You can literally open up your hand and not drop the weight. They are incredible.

As for the farmers handles, I’m hoping that weight is manageable for you. It seems like it would be. If you don’t have access to farmers handles, try some runs or holds with 2 barbells with the correct weight and see how your grip holds up. Outside of that, don’t devote too much training energy to grip in this prep. Work on it after the contest. This show isn’t grip-intensive. Some are, for sure. I had one show where we had 145 kg per hand farmers handles… the grip was alright for me, but it was a real problem for some of the other guys (this was as a lightweight, which was insane, haha).

So I was at the gym tonight and they have a BIG log. If its not 13 inches it will be close. So I’m set for that. No making do. Honestly its like a play ground of equipment in there.

I’ll still do this if its okay? I’d value your input. Yours to @hardartery

I’ve never used straps before. But I’ll contact the organiser. And clarify. If I can used these then its a game changer.

Pre covid I done a 150kg farmers walk. 40m (20m then turn). 3 sets. It was tough but not so much I felt I could not do more.
I also trap bar dead lifted 200kg a few times (5) and was getting 10 easy reps with 180kg. And this was moving north very quickly.
Funnily enough it was not my grip I found hard. It was getting going. Once I got going I was okay. I cold use moment.

I’ve just returned from the gym. My back squat over lock down has gone down. Even thought I’ve been hammering them for higher reps.
A few weeks back I managed 140kgx23 reps. Tonight I struggled to 3 triples with 160kg.
I’m a bit pissed that the high reps did not translate into better strength retention. However - I would assume that the carry over just needs to be tapped into. And that once I start going for heavier reps again I will see a rapid increase in strength.

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No videos - the guy that took them will send them to me shortly.

But some training weights from today as I done my first events training day.
Some good some bad.

Log - 75kg x 5 (or 6) floor up - in 60 seconds.
I was VERY loose int he core. And had more. This was on a big diameter log and the weight being so far forward was noticeable. I’m happy enough with this. As I have the strength to go heavier. Its just the movement I need to get more comfortable with.
Hit a drop set of 10x65 press with the log after wards.

Tire flip
300kg x 3.
Very disappointed. While not on my comp - it was on todays group list. So we did it. I struggled a bit.

Farmers walk
Tale to two handles. With the heavier handles I managed to get 10m with 95kg.
With the lighter handles loaded up to 95kg - I got 20m easily.
Very happy about this. A bit of heavy work and I’ll be beasting 100kg per hand.

The run was 80, 105, 115. I had 3 runs and failed the 115 stone every time.
I then had 2 more attempts at the 115 stone. In the end I couldn’t even lap it.

At the end of the session I went again. Managed to lap it and then get it on the high shelf.

The low weight I’m struggling with here is not too much of a concern. Again I felt “strong” just not proficient with the movement. Fro example the reason I could not lap the stone was it was slipping out of my grip. A bit of practice and that should not be the case. Give me a bit of time and I’ll get to 130. Its only a few months off and its mine.

Do negatives with the stone. Be the guy that picks it up from the platform and sets it on the ground. That all by itself will fix that problem for you.


Had not even though of that.

Some of the lads where using the 130. I can return that to the floor. I’ll soon built that strength.
Of get crushed under a stone. Who knows …

If its okay with the Mr Chris - I’ll update this every week with my events training feed back weekly.
Just to log progress.

3 events today.

Log press for max(ish)
I maxed out at 2x2 at 85kg.
There is still a lot in the tank here. My coordination from the snap the press is not great. I’ve had 3 or 4 people tell me this. And with a belt I think I’ll build better bracing. This is still not perfect. I have to REALLY focus on it. And then I can’t focus on the dip. Time will bring technique which will bring weight. I’m certain.
Drop set of 7@65

Whoop - great event for me apparently.
250kg moved fairly easily. 2 runs of 20m turn and return.
We also loaded the yoke with 290kg and I had a go of just standing up with it. Got to a 19.9 seconds hold. Give me a few more weeks and I’ll be smashing a run with the 300kg.

2 runs of 80kg, 105kg and 115kg.
Missed the 115 both times.
First time I had the stone higher then the lip. I stepped in and the stone was 50/50 on the lip. The coach called drop it. He was confident that I had - an it was a technical point that made me miss. And fighting the stone to get the stone up was an accident waiting to happen.
The next time the stone slipped out of my hand and ripped some skin off and I bleed. Too much to carry on using shared equipment.

Over all a good day. Still a long way off the comp. And I’m worried about not scoring the over head and stone. The rest I’ll get a score. But we will see. I’d like not to 0 anything. But hey weak guys can;t make demands.

Don’t sweat the dip on the log. If you have physical contact with the deltoids it doesn’t take much. Most guys worry way too much about it and do themselves harm. Brian Schoonveld had a press in the league of Savickas and virtually no visible dip. Transference of force is not something that equates to perceived dip. The drive is actually going to come from your hips, your torso is just a handy solid object to transmit the force. I was useless on press with a belt on, but I’m weird. Don’t sweat it.

I meant to reply to this. Sorry I did not.

My theory is just get my shoulders string as hell. So when I do mid week log work I don’t dip. And when I do event training I dip. To get the movement nailed.
As for core bracing- I’m not sure if a nekt will help. But I’m gonna try.

Events today.

Log (as ever)
Warned up to another double double at 85kg. Was very close to getting a triple on the first set. Got fully there with the left arm.the right was still only 75%.

Drop sets of

Felt good. Should have added in some triceps work and lat rises to burn this out.

Farmers walk was great. 15m turn & return. Weight in each hand.
110kg - I dropped this in the return as my leg brushed my hand. I was also aware I was in a new gym and didnt want to drop the implements. So I controlled them to the ground. I think I could have made it all the way otherwise.

Last event was arm over arm sled pull and push return.
4 sets with last two being my heaviest.

Thinking about changing my competition. It’s right around the corner from my brother how I’ve not seen since 2019 and wont see until 2021 with out this comp.

So events are:
Axle dead lift: 180kg max reps
Log: 75kg for max reps
Yoke: 220kg
Farmers: 100kg/hand
Tire flip: 300kg

So lighter as well.

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I would do the strict work with a different implement. Try and ingrain the competition movement right now, practice make s perfect. You can do some separate DB Press for strict work, but I would want to practice only with the dip on the implement for two reasons. First, you don’t have much experience on it. Second, you won’t have time to get ton of experience before you compete with it.