T Nation

Reaching Goals to Compete in First Strongman Competition

Weightlifting, Calisthenics, Conditioning

Hey Guys, I have started this thread in order to keep myself motivated and dedicated to training for a strongman competition. I have always admired the strength shown in these competitions and I really like working out. I invite any criticism and advice pertaining to my workouts.

My mentality: My priorities in these workouts are to build my double overhand deadlift, build quad size(and strength), and build upper body strength through calisthenics. I want to double overhand deadlift because my DO max is close to my mix grip max. I want my grip to always be a strong point. I want to build my quads because my deadlifts and squats are weakest in the bottom position. I want to train calisthenics for my upper body because I am heavy(300lbs) and I have always been heavy. I want to have a mastery of my own bodyweight before accelerating my free weight lifting for upper body.

These are some rough goals I would like to reach before competeing:
1.10 full ROM handstand Pushups
2. 10 dips with 180lbs
3. 10 pullups with 45lbs
4. 10 DO deadlifts @455
5. 10 Cyclist squats @365

These are just numbers for me to shoot for.

Upper Body Calisthenics
Pike Pushups
Decline Wide Grip Pushups
Wide Grip Pushups
Regular Pushups
Time 24:30
Three sets of each type of pushup timed.

All Pullups done with feet on chair
Behind the Neck Pullup
Wide Grip
Neutral Grip
Close Grip Archback
Time 21:00

Goal is more reps in the same or less time

Welcome man. Im interested in strongman also. I should be competing next year

Also why not compete while you’re shooting for your goals. Competing gives you great experience and motivates you even further to reach your goals. And Things like the dip could take a very long time man. (Not saying you cant do it ) ,just a bigger time frame then youd expect but i have no clue exactly.

P.s in for your log

duketheslaya: Thanks for following my log. Those dips might be a lofty goal, haha. I would try to compete in a competition; however, I’m having trouble finding one near me. I live in South Carolina and it seems like there aren’t too many competitions near me. That’s why I have these goals. I’d hate to travel to another state to compete in something I’m not sure I would be decent at.

Weight this morning:310

Training: Lower Body
30reps as fast as possible @315
Time: 11:30

Cyclist Squats
30reps as fast as possible @135
Time: 13:00

Conditioning: Punching Bag Suicides
10/20/30yd suicides with 80lb bag on shoulder
2x left shoulder
2x right shoulder
2x bear hug
Total Yardage: 720yds Time:12:30


  1. Deadlifts felt strong. I find that raising my hips and finding the stretch in my hamstrings and coming back down before engaging the lift seems to get me in the right position.
  2. First time doing cyclist squats, they felt really good. Targets the quads well which is a weak point of mine.
  3. The punching bag suicides destroyed me. My abs were killing me and my legs felt like cement from the squats. Great conditioning tool.
  4. My Goal is to move up in weight on the squat and deadlift moves when I can do the thirty reps in eight minutes. The time frames give me an objective measurement to see if I am improving or not.
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Weight this Morning: 310

Training: Upper Body
5/3/1 Push Press
2x5, 1x5+
5@135 65%
5@155 75%
8@175 85%

Pullups: one foot on 12 inch box to assist on concentric, eccentric full bodyweight
Behind the Neck
Wide Grip
Neutral Grip
Close Grip Arch Back
Time: 22:20

Pushups: Two second pauses at the bottom, pike push up starts from bottom position(deadstart)
Decline Wide Grip
Wide Grip
Close Grip
Time: 24:40


  1. Pullups and Pushups were tough with the added resistance. Trying to keep these moves under 8 reps so I will continue to make these moves harder.
  2. My only upper body free weight lift will be the push press using 5/3/1. I need to work that motor pattern while still working on my calisthenics goals.

Lower Body Training:
Straight Leg Deadlift 5/3/1
205x5 65%
modified dragon flag 5 reps
235x5 75%
modified dragon flag 5 reps
265x8 85%
modified dragon flag 5 reps

Hack Squat(Behind the back deadlift) 5/3/1
185x5 65%
215x5 75%
240x6 85%

10 rounds
20yd barbell suitcase carry each hand 135lb
50 jumps jumprope
Time: 22:15

Messed around with new sandbag which weighs around 175lbs. That thing was way tougher than i thought it would be.

Upper Body:
40 Wide Grip Pushups
25 Assisted Wide Grip Pullups

Lower Body Training:
Back Squat
235 3x5

Barbell High Pull
165 3x5

15 throws with 45lb kettlebell

Upper Body Training
Giant Set:
10 One Arm DB Rows
Close Grip Bench 45,135,185,225,245,265
1:00 Plank

Volume: 3 Rounds @80% on Bench cont. giant set

Strongman Event Practice
Worked up to 95lbs on a plate loaded dumbbell with a fat grip on it to simulate a circus dumbbell, but I was pretty smoked from the 9 total rounds of that giant set.

10min EMOM 205(70%of friday top set)x2

30 total reps @335
Time 19:30

Sandbag Carries
10 15yd carries@175lbs

Push Press 5/3/1 Giant Set
10 One Arm Dumbbell Rows
Push Press 3,3,4@145,165,185
1:00 Plank

Walked 3 Laps around outer edge of my yard
Once with empty barbell on back
Once with empty barbell in right hand and once in left hand.
Probably around 1/2 a mile all together.

Lower Body Training:
Giant Set
10 KB Goblet Squats
5/3/1 SL Deadlift
20 side bends

20 KB Swings
5/3/1 Hack Squats

Giant Set:
3 5sec negative pullups
5/3/1 Incline Press
50 jumps on jumprope

Light Shoulder Work
2 Rounds
10 Front Raise
10 Lateral Raise
10 Rear Raise

Found a Program that Brian Alsruhe (Alpha) wrote up that I am gonna try out. I found a powerlifting competition to compete in on February 10th. I can get through four waves of this program by that time. So I got a max squat and deadlift today for the percentages to be accurate.

Did some kettlebell throws before every attempt.

Deadlift (these felt weak after the squat)

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Back Squat
9x2@295 85%
6x4@205 75%
Sumo Deadlift
5x6@250 65%

Merry xmas!

Merry Christmas to you too man

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So with this new program I have lifting every other day. The remaining days are for conditioning, event training, or active rest. So today was:

20 min Sun salutation yoga routine I have on a DVD. I have found that when I’m doing yoga, my body holds up to heavy lifting a lot better. I’m also looking at how to stay healthy for the long haul.

Then I played around with my new sled. Did several runs, pulls, rows etc. Got the heart working pretty good. Worked up to around 200lbs on the sled.

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Front Squat
6x4@155lbs (75%)
Strict Overhead Press
5x6@115lbs (65%)
Power Clean
9x2@175lbs (85%)

I used a rather low training max on the front squat so that I could focus on keeping my torso completely upright and squat straight down until by hamstrings touch my calves. The weight will be a little lower but I would rather have a legit front squat.