T Nation

My Strongman Log. First Comp in August.

Hey all. Vinny suggested I start a strongman log. Wasn’t sure if I should post in strongman or training logs as I didn’t see a strongman specific log.

Anywho, this was my first week of going from 5/3/1 3 full body days to 5/3/1 4 days a week. I posted in the 5/3/1 forum a few weeks ago for advise but decided to go with what I had originally planned, despite advise otherwise. If I start feeling I need to scale back I will but I think right now the extra volume I’m putting in will be the best bet for me.

Let’s get started w/ just program overview, and a wk1 recap: My program is a 3/5/1 where I’m doing 2 full cycles w/o deload, so 3/5/1/3/5/1/deload(x4) for my cycle I’m on. I like this because it gives me 28 full weeks of workouts so it is easier to do. All my training maxes are based off of raw max, however on 3 & 1 weeks I’ll be using knee wraps on my top set and any joker sets that I do, just to get my confidence up and give me the ability to get used to using heavier weights more frequently.

Day 1:
Squats (3’s wk), worked up to 290x5 for the last set, 295x3 singles and 305x2 singles, bbb sumo deadlifts, abs, then finished off w/ a double’s(not sure how to do the french e but it is the kind that poliquin has talked about, just search poliquin/pierre roy). the double’s were squatting using 5/3/1 w/ dropping my TM to 90%(so basing the TM on 81% of 1RM) and doing 5/3/1. So I hit 260x7 after all that.
Day 2:
wrked up to 185x5 and then banged out a few more jokers. then rack pulls(done at the lowest pin @ my rack that I’m stuck with is just above knee height, so there is virtually no lower body…I find it hits my traps good and allows me to overload my grip and get used ot heavier weights more than shrugs), CG Bench for BBB, and then pullups: 5 done to failure, which I ended up doing 5 sets of negs since I’ve lost all pull up ability due to my gut, then double’s w/ push press, which is tough after pre-exhausting my triceps.
Day 3:
Just went in for a quick arm day. Wife and I had a dr’s appt for my son to be(and training partner in 10 yrs :-D) so didn’t have alot of time to spend in the gym.
Day 4:
DL 5/3/1
worked up to 330x5 and did a few jokers and then front squat BBB and finished w/ a double’s deadlift and ended w/ tabata bike.
Day 5:
Incline Press worked up to 165x6(my weakest upperbody lift currently)then joker sets, pendlay rows, BBB for pause bench, pull downs, and double’s incline press.
Day 6:
a few sets of shrugs, some front raises, 5 or so trips w/ the yoke working up to 470 and some light practice w/ a 150 lb log.

It seems like a lot of volume but I’m recovering amazingly(at least this first week), and my 5’s week I only do prescribed sets and down sets so it is an intensity deload in a sense. I’m doing set of 10 on BBB for first cycle, sets of 5 for second cycle, 3 for third cycle, and finishing off w/ 5 sets of 1 @ my TM for my last cycle. I’ve got a few other spreadsheets so if the volume gets too much I’ll just plug numbers in for a lower volume routine and go at that. My knee is back up to 100%. I did a spartan race in oct and fell off a wall and really hurt my bad knee(2 acl repairs and a spot w/ no cartilage) so was only pulling 265 from the floor so my strength has come a long way since my injury. I hit 405 deadlift and am on track to be over 500 by end of the year with a mid-upper 400 lb squat.

Thanks for the encouragement Vinny.

Oh, forgot to mention…I’ll be doing strongman once a week due to the proximity of the gym that has strongman to my house. My workplace has a gym that is free to use with a half rack so that is what I use for weights…


warm up w/ snatches(typically 5/3/1 w/ minimal reps are my lower body warm up but the rack was taken and there’s only one BB so I used dumbbells and did a few sets of 1 handed snatches)

within 5 min after warm up rack cleared out so did the following:
Back squats(5’s week)
BBB Sumo DL:
Back squats:

I’ve only been doing heavy’ish back squats for about 6 months…I started @ around 245 as my first max in oct. Even when I was lifting regularly I never went over 185 for sets of 6-8 even though it was fairly easy because of the misguided fear of injury. hit 355 2 weeks ago and am on track to hit 500 this year. After my strongman comp and this 6 month cycle of 5/3/1 I’ll be running smolov possibly. It’ll be my “off season” for strongman so might train for some PL events. I feel like I need a significantly stronger lower body base…






I was originally going to make Wed an ARM day since I’ve read about all of the bicep tear potential of events but today I decided to make Wed a day of complete rest and throw in some arms after my strongman events on Saturday. This saturday I’ll be doing stones, farmers, and working on log clean form from lap to shoulders…I’ll throw in some arms after that. I think 2 days of rest will be much better. I feel some major PRs coming next week.

Where is your comp. gonna be in August?

My upper back was bothering me so I just did 5’s w/ DL and decided to ditch front squats for zerchers to help out w/ stones so it was:



Incline press:


Pause Bench:

Pull downs

Incline Press:

I feel that after focusing on incline press for the first time in my life, I think it’ll help my overhead and benchpress strength. We shall see!

I’m feeling good right now, next week is 5/3/1 week and I’m going to shoot for 305x6 for squats, 195x7 for OHP, 345x5 for deads, and 175x8 for incline. All of these will be new PRs for me.

[quote]Samson18 wrote:
Where is your comp. gonna be in August?[/quote]

Actually, there is a comp in july too. The guy training me was telling me about it yesterday. These are the 2 events:


TBH I am very unsure how I’ll do. I can’t imagine doing well on the car DL w/ a current max of 405 on deads…the only event I have even a shred of confidence in is the log…

I guess I’ve gotta start somewhere.

I am hitting stones, farmers, and axle tomorrow, and I just found out yesterday that the gym I joined has a sled, probably a prowler so I’ll finish off w/ some pushes.

2nd strongman event day:

first time ever working w/ stones, I loaded to a chest high platform:

Guy that is training me said that 200 for my first time is not bad and that he can see me getting 220-240 within another session or 2.

110x4 laps, no turn(don’t know distance)
160x4 laps, no turn

2" axle:
140 clean and press 5-6 complete reps
140 lb cleanx1 followed by 5 strict presses and 5 push presses.

First time working with axle as well…it is so much more difficult…

Looking good dude.

[quote]bwhite829 wrote:

[quote]Samson18 wrote:
Where is your comp. gonna be in August?[/quote]

Actually, there is a comp in july too. The guy training me was telling me about it yesterday. These are the 2 events:


TBH I am very unsure how I’ll do. I can’t imagine doing well on the car DL w/ a current max of 405 on deads…the only event I have even a shred of confidence in is the log…

I guess I’ve gotta start somewhere.[/quote]

I would say do both the more experience the better. Even if you come in dead last you will learn from everything that day. What weight class would you be competing in as some of the weights seem manageable with the lifts you have.

I will be novice heavy. I did a spartan race in oct and hurt my knee. after 2-3 wks I started lifting and weighed in @ 240. I weighed in at 271 yesterday(both first thing, after bathroom, before consuming anything). Pants are same/looser in waiste, but tighter in legs, stomach is same but shirt is tighter in shoulders/back. I take in alot of creatine and right now am on arimatest & hexagen stack for about 6 wks so IDK but 31 lbs of water weight/muscle from oct-may seems a bit much.

Today was lower body:
I accidentally did 295 instead of 305 :frowning: I tried to make up for it w/ the singles:

315x3x1(15 sec between each rep) instead of 310x2x1
325x2x1 instead of 315x1

Sumo DL

275x2…wanted to get one more but lower back was so pumped at this point I just laid down for a few minutes until the uncomfortable pump subsided. Right now the hardest part of heavy squats is unracking/standing up. If I can unrack the weight and walk back I’ve been able to bang out quality reps each time. I guess the more time i spend on the yoke and get used to 500+ lbs on my back, the better I’ll get at that part of squatting. I don’t see a 450-500 lb squat this year outside of the realm of what is possible for me as long as I don’t get injured. My goal for the year was 315 by Christmas…well…that kinda was apparently very attainable.

I’ll be dropping the BBB and end sets starting 5 weeks out per Vinny’s comment on another thread about dropping volume and will be doing 5/3/1 min sets and then workin up to a max single on 3 wk & 5/3/1 wk and 5’s week I’ll be doing the minimum sets and then just ladder down to first set(so 5x5 starting/ending w/ 75% TM) I’ll do a regular deload, then the week of my first comp I’ll be doing DL day on Monday working up to about 70% of my TM(puts it about 63% 1RM) and about 70% of incline press TM on the tues before the meet, then stretching/foam rolling for the following 3 days, then comp, so it’ll be one full 5/3/1 cycle(including deload)=4 wks+final deload week then 1 deload after the comp.

I’m not sure what to do in between them. They are 5 weeks between each other. Should i skip the post comp deload and repeat the prev cycle/off week?

I’ll be posting my 240 lb stone attempt on Saturday to get more critique on technique other than the guys I’ll be training with.

Today was OHP:
185x1(guy was talking to me and i got distracted)

Rack pulls:
445x2 singles
455x2 singles

BBB close grip bench: 125x5x10

I’m starting to feel worn out. Don’t have joint pains or the other signs I’ve read for overtraining like depression, etc but my shoulders and back are taking a beating over anything else right now and not recovering. I hit 225 easily about a month or so ago and hit an easy 195x5 before that and the 185x1 and 195x1 was a grinder. I am going to take a couple weeks off completely with the exception of events on Saturdays. That way I’ll have a solid 6 weeks to devote to my first comp. This will be a well needed break since I’ve not had a week off other than deloads since new years.

Man, I take a week off about every 3 weeks! Listen to your body. Hope you will learn everything you need about recovery for this contest prep. It’s crucial for strongman.

I’ve been on a 5/3/1 full body 3 day split for 6’ish months and have bumped up the volume. The volume of gym days aren’t getting to me. If I was just in there 4 days a week I’d be fine but the events are kicking my behind more than expected. I’ve taken deload weeks every 3 weeks where I cut the volume to just the main lifts and work up to 80% of my TM so basically 3 working sets up to 80% but I’ll be taking 2 weeks off and then going to the following split
Monday: Squat
Tues OHP
Thurs: DL

I’ll be doing this split throughout the 2 comps, then picking up and taking time off from events.

Today was interesting. I was able to convince the gym managers to let me try out chalk despite the anti chalk/anti dropping weights mentality. I think it was due to my being a respectful patron and always cleaning up/racking weights and taking responsibility for my actions. I got chalk on Fri night because I knew I’d be doing farmers last saturday. With chalk I did the following:

275x5(overhand grip easily)
315x3(first time that I can remember ever doing with a double overhand because the weight always wants to slip at this amount of weight…I attribute this to the chalk 100% as I typically go mixed grip at this weight)
355x2 singles
DL(all w/ double overhand)

Looking forward to the next 2 weeks of relaxing…will be aiming for 455 lb dl before my comp. I should be able to hit it with this much needed break.

Started back today w/ squats. worked up to 365 for an easy rep and missed 385. It wasn’t a bad workout because it put several things into realization:

-I thought I could do 405 if I unracked it and was able to back up with it because I chalked it up to fatigue a couple months ago when I started to get unstable around 355 or so. I now know that I can’t. My max is 365, PERIOD…there is no question. i’ll be sticking to working up to a max double/triple of 315-325 in 2 weeks in my 5/3/1 week. It’s not a weakness, its an area of improvement. I also know WHERE I need to work on and what I need to do to get stronger…Next squat I miss WILL be in a PL competition IF I ever miss one again.

-I’ve never failed at a squat before. I was terrified of dumping the weight. I dumped it and had the pins set so now I know how it feels. It doesn’t hurt, just a temporary bruise to the ego. Time to climb back on the bike and ride again, this time going further than I went before.

-Back squat right now is not an end in itself for me. I’m not training for PL meet so it is a means to an end. I’m not going to hinder the end goal for instant gratification in the gym again. My #1 focus will be my comp in July(not aug) as the thread indicates. My back squat will continue to climb if I stay smart and not let my ego or desire for that instant gratification get ahead of my focus.

-I’ve read through the Cube some yesterday…as Brandon Lilly stated and I’ve eluded to, my goal is the competition, not my gym days. I’m not shooting from the hip in the gym and risk injury when it is unwarranted and unnecessary any more. I WILL be ready for the competition and I WILL be ready to dominate my own goals and fears in 1 month. And with that, I’ll have new goals to dominate.

-As easy as 365 was, I’ll be at or over 405 by the end of the year. Right now for me, I’m at a 120 lb pr since my knee injury last Oct. I’ll keep climbing the ladder and will be at 500 by the end of next year or before.

-I’m not doing the Aug event as my son will be born within a couple weeks of that date. Instead, I’ll start training for an APA meet down here in Nov using the Cube. I’ll smash the 405 goal in November and will not be defeated this easily by the barbell.

On another note, I finished the workout w/ stiff leg deads and static holds w/ 225(grip was still toast from car deads and farmers on Saturday and was tired from SLDL)

Cool log, keep it up!

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
Cool log, keep it up![/quote]

Thanks. I was very hesitant for a while about going to a strongman gym because of my low numbers, esp compared to my weight…I was expected to get laughed out and told to come back in 2 years when I am strong enough to do the events. Instead I got much of the same response as your response. Nothing but positivity from the coaches and strongmen that I train with and encouragement to keep giving it 100%. Seems to be a uniting thread of comradery with SM and PL that you don’t see in many other sports.

Anyway: today was UB:

worked up to 185 OHP 4 reps, then went to 205, and had a half hearted attempt because I’ve done it so many times in the past so I missed it due to laziness. Without reracking it, I just lowered it back to my chest, took a few deep breathes, focused and got my mind right, pictured me nailing it and it went up like the previous set of 185. put on 225 and did one, recentered myself and reset and did another, and the 2nd one went up just as easy so I went for a third one much like my first attempt @ 205: lazy, not focused, etc. so I missed it. I should have refocused and reset for my third rep but my inexperience got to me again today. I know today was due to technique and laziness unlike yesterday. The strength is there to get a third or fourth rep if I focus myself on it so in 2 weeks, I’ll be going for a triple at least. Regardless it bested my PR of 225x1 by 1 rep so I’ll take it.

Then I did pendlay rows, Z presses, hammer curls, and finished off with Kroc rows.

Today was a bit of active recovery from yesterday…first time I’ve had actual upper body soreness from the weightroom in a while. Dunno if it was shooting for the rep PR on OHP, z presses, high volume hammer curls or kroc rows(both of which I’ve not really ever done in high volume before) so I beat on the tire w/ the 10 lb sledge 5x20 and then took the sandbag(roughly 75 lbs, rest of the weight for it is at my moms, still stored from when we were living in an apartment) for roughly 200 ft right shoulder then 200 ft on the left shoulder. Not much but first active recovery day I’ve actually had in months and forgot how much it loosens me up. Wed will be active recovery days from here on out.

Now eating an egg and tomato salad drenched w/ olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. 6 eggs haven’t tasted so good.