Strongman Training Q&A

[quote]supermick wrote:
Ive been using some of your explosive dumbell vids of your site as a form guide (dumbell snatches, double snatches etc), but im interested in where you integrate these in your workout? Are they a perminant part of your routine or do you just use them at certian points of the year? What set/rep parameters have you had the best reults with?

Many thanks,

Mick.[/quote]

I like doing the explosive dumbell stuff all year. I will usually do them on a dynamic lower day, or for a warm up before a heavy day. Generally I try to stick to between 3 and 5 rps more often three. I really dont feel like i get much explosive benefit from doing any more reps than that. say 6x3 dbell snatch or 4x5 dbell clean and press… something like that

[quote]WS4adumbastard wrote:
Hey Brad, thanks for the advice on the other thread, tomorrow after classes ive got ME Leg day, and after that ill start making some phone calls, thinking ill call around looking for a tire, and then maybe call some liquor stores and see if they have some empty kegs i can get, as far as sand bags go, for a guy with a limited budget would you suggest making my own, or springing for something online. thanks for the knowledge man.[/quote]

I have a buddy that uses duffle bags. I like that idea only because it makes it very awkward. I know there are some cheap alternatives online though. If you have to spend more than 50 bucks or so i would try to find some heavy duty duffle bags or something along those lines.

[quote]Brett Tucek wrote:
Guys,

It seems like there are a lot of threads (here and elsewhere) covering everything except overhead pressing. What are some things you guys feel are staples in a good overhead routine?

I’ve only been training strongman-specific for a few months, but in that time I’ve done a lot of push pressing with the log, and occasionally with the axel. I rarely did any strict pressing, but I’ve started incorporating that into my routine. I’m planning on including lockouts with the log.

So, my staples would be:

-Push presses with 8" and 13" log, axel, or bar
-Strict presses usually with axel or bar, occasionally with 8" log
-Lockouts with 8" log, occasionally axel
-Bodybuilder-style exercises, such as dips, dumbell presses, and general arm work at the end of a training session.

Is there anything that I’m missing or that is completely unnecessary?[/quote]

Your exercises look good, shoot for variety. Ive never done a lot of strict pressing before for training. I think at one point I might have been able to strict press 200-215 pounds but my log split jerk was well over 300lbs.

Work the speed stuff. Like I said in another response I really like using the bands for log work. If you are explosive and fast enough you really dont have to rely on strict shoulder strength. Dont get me wrong if i could have strict pressed more I would have been better off, but i would rather be explosive than just strong.

[quote]Brett Tucek wrote:
Scott,

Thanks for your response. How do you differentiate between doing a pressing movement for reps and for speed? It seems as though I’m able to knock out the most reps when I do them very quickly.

I’d drop the 8" in a heartbeat, except that the 13" (yeah, it’s actually 13") is too heavy for me to do speed work, or to actually get any significant amount of reps on. I’m planning on ordering a 12" within a few months; do you have any suggestions as to where to buy? I’ve heard good things about Pitbulk.[/quote]

Press for reps is a weight you can get between 5-10 usually. Some contests will have say 240 for reps, so you would use that weight and go for max reps in say 75 seconds. If I’m not training for a contest I’ll do sets of 5-8 for rep work.

Press for speed is 60-70% of max, usually 70% for me, and do doubles or triples very fast. This will sharpen your technique and teach you to be fast.

My 12" log I got from Alan at Pitbull. He is reliable and somewhat fast and the product is pretty good. Check with him b/c he might have an extra log in stock.

[quote]bklyncobra wrote:
I’m interested in entering a local strongman contest in a few months time. I’ve split up my routine into ME Upper, ME Lower, Dynamic Upper, Dynamic Lower. The other two days I’ll work on Abs/obliques and grip with one day a week being my off day.

I have a fairly clear understanding of what my dynamic lower body workout will be but I’m having a hard time formulating a good dynamic upper body day.

I was wondering if you could suggest a few excercises or a routine.

Also, do you beleive that this split could lead to overtraining? I’m usually used to 2 days a week with rest as I was on a Chest/Back/ Delts/Legs &arms routine before.

thanks.

[/quote]

Stress overhead pressing and tricep work over benches. Make sure you throw in clean and jerks and some snatches also. They will help tremendously.

Brad, how do you set up bands for overheads?

Thanks.

Taken from an article Westide for Log Pressing on TPS:

“The bottom band is set in a ?choker? to the handle of a single dumbbell or to your custom rack attachment. You loop it through itself and slide the loop down until you choke the dumbbell handle. This is a long attachment. The second band is applied in a ?basket?, which basically means that you take the band long ways fully through the bottom band. Holding an end in each hand you just bring them together and loop both ends around the end of the log, outside of the rack. You will want to be careful not to crush the band. This band rig should give most people perfect tension from just above the head to lockout. You will have to adjust this if you height is extreme in either direction. You can use other band configurations at different times in your training as well. This falls under the speed-strength/strength speed concept.”

Thanks Machine.

[quote]gags wrote:
this is gonna be a cool thread…q1.how do you continue to up your dead while not overtraining, considering an events day that includes stones, tires, etc…really been having trouble with that…
q2. i guess this could be part of q1 but how do you set up your week routine-wise?..thanks in advance[/quote]

Strongman uses a lot of low back so it would be pretty difficult to train deadlifts often in the gym if training the events consistently.

I prefer to split my event training into 2 sessions weekly. One of them will include more low back focus, utilizing 2 or 3 events: tire flip, stones, deadlift, yoke walk, conans wheel. Yes you can deadlift on event day!

You really don’t have to do a regular bar from the floor deadlift often to increase it. I once went 2-3 months without maxing and it went up 30 lbs. The next time I deadlifted was another 2 months later and another 20 lbs.

Just plan out your training, say in a month max out once, have another day where you hit deadlifts working on your weakness (lockout or starting strength), and schedule that around your low back focus event day. You don’t want to be tired for either one.

For me, a lot of it depends on what events I have coming up in a contest. Nationals is in a week which includes a deadlift medley so I have been doing that on event days every 3rd week.

thanks machine…hope to be competeing against you sometime soon…ways to go though…good luck at nats, i know a few guys going…

[quote]MachineAZ wrote:
gags wrote:
this is gonna be a cool thread…q1.how do you continue to up your dead while not overtraining, considering an events day that includes stones, tires, etc…really been having trouble with that…

q2. i guess this could be part of q1 but how do you set up your week routine-wise?..thanks in advance

Strongman uses a lot of low back so it would be pretty difficult to train deadlifts often in the gym if training the events consistently.

I prefer to split my event training into 2 sessions weekly. One of them will include more low back focus, utilizing 2 or 3 events: tire flip, stones, deadlift, yoke walk, conans wheel. Yes you can deadlift on event day!

You really don’t have to do a regular bar from the floor deadlift often to increase it. I once went 2-3 months without maxing and it went up 30 lbs. The next time I deadlifted was another 2 months later and another 20 lbs.

Just plan out your training, say in a month max out once, have another day where you hit deadlifts working on your weakness (lockout or starting strength), and schedule that around your low back focus event day. You don’t want to be tired for either one.

For me, a lot of it depends on what events I have coming up in a contest. Nationals is in a week which includes a deadlift medley so I have been doing that on event days every 3rd week.[/quote]

What machine said…lol
Seriously though, he’s right. Traditional deadlifts will have to take a back seat if you have been hitting them regularly. Between stones and any car deadlift type event you may be training for, you should really try to train as event specific as possible.

When I dont have any comps to train for I try to bring up my conventional dead as much as possible, but sometimes may not hit it for a few monmths during a competitive season.

[quote]Loucifer1 wrote:
1.Approaching a show what changes in your workout schedule and do you still do gym workouts.Cause i’m having a problem finding a happy medium here

2.Do you guys add in any of the olympic lifts in your training.Wondering how to add them in with all my other work.Or should I do cycles of different movements.

3.Any info you can give me on cutting weight for a contest, currently 230 but plan to go up(during the winter) and see how much I gain.Still gonna compete in 105K but just wondering on any tips for dehydrating and getn it all pack within the time frame.

Thanks, Stay Strong[/quote]

  1. I will usually stick to my regular event specific routine until about two weeks out before I start changing intensity or volume. Two weeks out would be my last heavy week but probably only about 80-85 % of event weights. The week prior I focus on flexibility and speed work. Basically stay active and work on tecnique issues, but let the body recover.

  2. I would add them in to your lower days, or use them as a warm up. I prefer to use the snatches and cleans (preferably snatches) on my leg days heavy or speed but olympic lifts always first.

  3. If you are 230 now you have nothing to worry about. I have been around 245 1 week before a show and still weighed in fine. Depending on the contest weigh in I would just plan on watching the diet a little and water deplete. I have done the water depletion plenty of times with little experience and done just fine. Just train hard and if you go above 250 start worrying about it then.

Awesome Brad.

Just starting out on the strongman competitive scene, I’ve got two questions :

  1. I emailed you some time ago about how you went about training with your bicep injury. How did that go and what adaptions did you make ? What could you recommend ?
    My injury still comes up every once in a while, and I can’t train the tire or cleans during that time, however, farmer’s walk are fine.
    Something special, like which event/gym movement would be possible and beneficial?

  2. Weak arm strength. Sounds like a silly bodybuilderish problem, but really, this sucks when you can’t put your body fully into it(not talking any specific event here). I’m not “weak” weak, you know what I mean, but in comparison, I should be stronger. This is prolly due to the elbow injuries.

Just wanted to stop by and say that this is a BRILLIANT idea Brad! Kudos to you and John Sullivan for doing this. I’m sure I’ll be back later with questions…

hey guys just wondering if anyone has bought any strongman equip from brutestrength.com?

[quote]j62usa wrote:
hey guys just wondering if anyone has bought any strongman equip from brutestrength.com?[/quote]

Try pitbull, alan makes good equip. and is usually much cheaper

[quote]sensless wrote:
Brad,

I’m trying to learn technique for stone pressing and I was wondering if you have any tips other than just keep trying. I can get my 260 stone up on my chest with my hands under it for the press, but I can’t seem to get leg drive involved without losing balance of the stone.

Would it be better for me to just put it on my shoulder and practice pressing from there instead of rolling it onto my chest to press?

Another item of note. Other than event training what type of endurance activity do you recommend for someone that is drug free and can have a tough time maintaining bodyweight?

Regards,

Sensless[/quote]

With stone pressing I dont really have much experience. I do know that the pros Ive trained with that were good at it usually used the shoulder technique. I think in order to get under a large stone you would have to. Unless your low back is ready to take the brunt of the load.

As far as endurance training goes. I like long tire flip sets, long medleys and intervals. If your looking at a gym workout I would just try HIIT. Hope this helps

[quote]Ajax wrote:
Brad,

Have you given any thought to maybe writing an overview of strongman training?

Oddly, that seems to be one area that T-Nation’s stable of authors overlook. We get plenty of stuff on strength training for general sports performance, powerlifting, bodybuiliding etc. but I can’t think of any articles specifically on strongman training, tt least right now off the top of my head…

My business partner John sullivan has just finished an article that you will probably see soon. Once that has gone up I will look into getting something else out there. Im sure there will be plenty more we could cover in another article.

It would be interesting and useful, though, to read about how strongman training and competition preparation differs from other versions of the Iron Game. There must be some important differences.

You’d be an obvious candidate to write such a piece. I am sure reading it would interest a lot of us, so if the idea of writing it appeals to you, maybe try running the idea past TC?

Ajax[/quote]

[quote]j62usa wrote:
hey guys just wondering if anyone has bought any strongman equip from brutestrength.com?[/quote]

I had heard some shipping horror stories. I know the equipment is ok, Im just not sure about service. Things could have very easily changed since then ?

I actually bought some stuff from them a couple months ago and it isnt here and no one will return any of my emails or calls, terrible service if you ask me. now i dont know what to do besides take the guy to court to get my money back. oh well just another reason to never go anywhere but elite for equipment.