T Nation

Need Advice, Starting at 16?


I'm 16 and have been interested in strongman since a young age, I have a good foundation of strength from a year's training and have just started doing powerlifting training, but my real interest is strongman. I'm 5'8" and 165lbs at the moment but still gaining, I won't grow much taller, if at all.

Basically, my question is, should I carry on with my powerlifting training to build muscle and strength before focussing in on strongman training, or should I taper my training towards strongman? I don't have any equipment to train with but I've read about all sorts of alternatives to do in the gym.

Also, am I tall enough to do any serious competing? At 165lbs, I'm not huge, but my frame is very broad, so I know I could pack a lot more healthy weight on, so weight isn't an issue, it's just my height that concerns me, any thoughts?

Thanks, guys


I wouldn't worry about your height. You'll probably never be World's Strongest Man, but that would still be true if you were 6'4". You're at a disadvantage when loading things, but height won't matter for most events, and you'll find you have an advantage in other events (it's hard to say for sure which ones, since a lot depends on your levers more than just your overall height).

As far as training, you'll definitely want to get access to implements to practice before competing. However, strength you develop in compound barbell lifts will have a large carryover to strongman. Time you spend developing your deadlift, press, front squat, and power clean will not be wasted.


Obviously as fantastic as that would be, competing at the worlds strongest man isn't a realistic goal of mine, I was just wondering if I do have a chance of competing, and also, thankyou for the advice with training, I would definitely not go into a competition without having tested out some equipment, but for now I'll continue to build my strength in the gym


There's a decent u90kg and u105kg scene in the UK. I competed in a couple of u90 competitions last year before deciding I'm too old and fucked so went back to weightlifting.

I'd find a gym where you can learn the events and then take it from there.


Get a hold of the equipment or find a gym to drive to on the weekends for events training. You can gain strength on the implements just like you can gain on the barbell. Synchronize the two and you'll progress much faster.


The easiest implement to start training on, besides weight itself, is probably the tractor tire. Unless you live downtown in an urban area, find a warehouse that uses tractors and have them help you load up a used one they want to throw away in your buddies/parents/own truck bed. If you have land, use it there, if not, see if a local gym will let you store it in or around their facility. We have one at the gym on base that was donated in this way.


I would say an axle is even easier. I got a piece of 2" pipe at home depot for $45. Used a roll of duct tape to make collars.


Did you just tape over the roll? Was it able to hold the weight well?


You just keep taping on spot on the axle until there is enough tape to make a collar. Went through the entire roll doing both sides.

I actually used gorilla tape, because that stuff is awesome.