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Strongman Style Lifts in Classic Gym?

Hey guys, i’m starting to get intrigued with more strongman-styled training. I can’t afford to join a strongman or powerlifting gym. So i was wondering if anybody new some links for example strongman programs involving only classic equipment, not strongman specialized equipment.

My gym that i train at has a squat rack, dumbells that go up to 100lbs, a punching bag a couple of different machines(i never touch the machines) If anyone has some ideas on how to form a strongman training routine, hit me up!

Hey Jmax93

I recently switched up my training (January just gone) and have seen some great progression in terms of strength. Most of my program ideas and template was drawn up by the strength and conditioning coaches at my gym back home. (Not Personal trainers, actually qualified in specific training).

Being eastern european, they put me on a heavy prescription of squats. As I’m currently in Uni term time and don’t have strongman equipment, my training is being designed around compound strength movements. Currently the template looks like this:

Monday - Rest
Tuesday - Box Squats (High volume) and OHP with resistance bands
Weds - Deadlifts and Back squats (Heavy deads, 5 x 5 heavy squats)
Thurs - Rest
Friday - Upper body heavy work and hypertrophy assistance work
Saturday - Heavy sqauts
Sunday - Heavy OHP and olympic lift day

All of these sessions contain assistance work, but not too much, usually 4 exercises (mostly compound) after the main lift, and two after heavy leg days. (Weds and Sat)


Just get on a basic strength training program that uses some form of deadlift, squats and overhead press. There’s no cookie cutter ‘routine’ for strongman training. There’s guys out there who disperse their event work throughout weekly gym training and then there’s guys like me who designate a day or two to just events.

The main idea when training strongman is to first establish a strength training foundation, then establish your training with events. Just because you don’t have access to actual strongman equipment doesn’t mean you can’t train TOWARDS strongman. What I would do personally is do a three day split with something like:

Day 1: Deadlifts/deadlift assistance+core
Day 2: Pressing/pressing assistance
Day 3: Squatting/squatting assistance+misc/ more core
Day 4: Events (in your case strongman shit that you wing with gym equip). Things like heavy continental BAR clean and presses, dumbbell clean and presses for reps with the 100’s or w/e you can handles; farmers with dumbbells; big supersets like burpees with power clean crossfit shit blah blah. Stone emulation with the end sleeve of a barbell and bumper plates on it and etc.

You can do that which I highly recommend because of simplicity and the fact that I can vouch for that working as many others can…OR you can just dabble with strongman parameters throughout your weekly training. Just remember, you can train for strongman if you have the right mindset and training style. It’s not all about the equipment.

Westside Barbell Template using the Overhead Press, Front Squat, and Deadlift as your big three will work amazingly for you.

Monday- ME Front Squat, Deadlift, 18in Deadlift, or Low Box Squat.
Wednesday- ME Overhead Press, Push Press, Incline Press, or DB Press
Friday- DE Low Box Squat: 50-65% for 5x5 using bands if you have
Saturday- DE Strict Press: 50-65% for 5x5 using bands if you have

I would stick with 3-5 Rep maxes in the ME work as Strongman does require a type of endurance you wont use in powerlifting but Oberlin than that Louie Simmons is on point about strength training.

Here’s one simple thing you could do as well. Add farmer’s walks as your conditioning work. Do what you need to in order to get the 100 pound dumbbells heavy enough.

I just started doing these as a workout finisher. My upper traps were on fire and the forearm pump afterwards was insane. Only using 65 pound dumbbells because I’m weak as hell.

Make sure to include some strength endurance work as well, a lot of strongman involves that, which is why a lot of great powerlifters fail at transistioning well.

Have a solid powerlifting style routine and then add in stuff like:

Overhead press a bar and then walk 20 feet with it
Do one armed dumbbell presses
farmers walk with dumbbells and once those are too easy grab 2 bars, load up some 45s, and do a farms walk with them
pull your car around