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Strongman Training Template?


Currently doing some Westside Training Bench SQ DL, and adding in some GPP and Strongman Training... Farmers Walks, Sandbag Lifts Etc. Any thoughts on a Strongman Template? I realize it may depend on events that i will compete in but any thoughts???


ya im also interested in how to train for strongman, both in the gym and event specific.


me also....


There is a strongman beginner article at the Ontario Stongman site. Also some articles applying Westside principles to strongman training.


Take a look at the articles on Murph's site (Total Performance Sports); he's done a lot with adapting Westside to strongman.



Ideally you want to build a very strong core. As per say working a powerlifting protocol. This will have the best carry over when you start to train the events. Especially in the 1RM max events(Overhead Press,Deadlift).
As important core strength is, it isn't everything. You'll also need speed and endurance in order to get through the medley events. This is where I find a sprint routine can be very beneficial for lung capacity.
I've found for myself that when a shows about 6wks away I stop all gym work and just focus on all events I'm going to do. At times working a split of sorts (2 events 1 day, and the rest on another). Really do this when there's an event I'm weaker at. So I work twice as hard at it, ya know. If not and feel confident with all events just do them all on one day just like contest day. If you can try to make training alot harder than the show, then the shows a cakewalk.
The events in themselves are a whole other animal. Lots of little tricks to make things kind of flow a little bit smoother. TECHNIQUE is must.



I think this is the Westside article you are talking about. It looks like some pretty good ideas.


What events do you have access to?

What's your split now? How many days can you get to the gym? What are your current strength levels?

Stop benching.

I'd like to help if I can get more info.


A strong core will also be built through the events. Squats and deadlifts are a start, but they won't carryover much to a heavy yoke walk. So do the events.

Also, a powerlifting protocol will do nearly nothing for your overhead press. I can out overhead press guys that bench 100-150 lbs. more than me raw. Yes you read that right.

You don't need speed for most medleys. Endurance yes, but speed no. You need conditioning. If you can't catch your breath you're not good for much. I'd recommend doing actual medleys over sprint work. After all, you're training to be a strongman, not a sprinter.


Whys this?


That's one of them. But if you Google "Ontario strongman basics", you will get the "how to start" kind of article. Not Westside, just a good overview.


Because there is no bench in strongman.

If you do it, don't do it often, and use it for assistance with higher reps.

Benching just isn't efficient for strongman. I have built my log press up a lot in the past several months and probably only flat benched 1 or 2 times. I can now press my old 3 rep max for 12-15 reps.

I have done floor presses, incline press, etc., just not flat bench.


Well, why do a lot of chest exercises but NOT bench? I can understand that one don't need spesific bench strenght and that over emphasizing on the bench would be stupid, BUT, why disregard the bench completely?


MachineAZ is 100% right on the bench thing.There's no flat bench event in strongman so try and mimic the events to the best of your ability.Doing lots of overhead work(log Press, Axle Press)is ideal.
Hey MachineAZ,can't see how you can say building core strength will "Do Nothing" though.If you have a chance explain yourself on this.I mean what about core strength and the other events.True I'm with you a 100% on training the events are the best way to prepare but these people are interested in getting into the sport from a newbies standpoint.In the gym and outside.
Sprints have helped me tremendous amount with medleys.It's the whole conditioning factor i'm talking about,ya know.By taking short predetermined rest periods I'm able to push myself mimicing the exhausting feeling of a medley to my lungs.People have different approaches at things not saying yours is wrong but just how I do things.
Plus of course including strongman conditioning work. Pulling stones for reps,light sled pulls for distance,tire flips for reps,farmer's holds,speed work with the yoke can all be done round robin style amoungest friends.


Scott didn't say to avoid the bench at all costs. He said if you do it, think of it as more of an assistance exercise instead of a core lift.

You are far better off dedicating time to push jerks, push presses, military press, and using some of the bench work to compliment those lifts. A lot of lifters I see get into strongman have poor jerking technique and while you may be able to purely muscle up a maximal attempt you aren't going to last in any of the repetition events.

The last competition I saw the winner of the heavyweight division log press was a former O-lifter, not a powerlifter. I don't know if he even benches at all. He hit 260 twelve times!! I don't think benching is going to make the difference for him.


Dan John as a good OLAD strongman program in his "one hard thing" article.


Brad Cardoza gave an example of what he likes in a strongman template. He posted this in his thread.

Mon - upper (overhead and tricep work)

Tue - lower (heavy push / pull)

wed - off

thur - lower speed day (sprints, plyos, olympic lifts)

Fri - upper pull

Sat - events (high volume)

Sun ? off

Although I think that he added the lower body speed day to incorporate olympic lifts and sprinting/plyometrics for someone who asked how to incorporate. I think Brad does events on wednesdays too.



I didn't say "nothing". I'm just saying the absolute best way to build core strength for strongman is to do the events. Squats and deadlifts are a great start, but a lot of guys can't just get under a 500 or 600 yoke for the first time and take off. Once you can do that, that's core strength. But again, that is why I asked the question on what he has access to.

Agreed. People take different approaches. Sprinting is fine, although it is very taxing. I would venture a guess that most strongman do NOT do sprint work yet they are still completing medleys. Flipping a tire, carrying a keg, and doing powerstairs in a medley is a completely different animal than sprinting. The best approach is to do medleys, in my opinion.


Josh is right.

The point is efficiency. If you're training for strongman, then your focus will be on the stuff Josh listed, "push jerks, push presses, military press", as well as log, axle, db press, incline, lockout work. Is there really a point to include flat bench work? Could your time be better spent on something else?

The guy Josh is speaking of trains with the AZ crew and hit 12 reps on the 260 log in his first strongman contest. He comes from an olympic lifting background. That many reps is national level standards and this guy probably only flat benches every full moon.

Another former olympic lifter that is a world class overhead presser that you may have heard of once or twice. . . Jesse Marunde.


You've got alot of true tested knowledge here in these posts.Keep an open mind towards everything that was said and pay close attention to stuff that's really important in strongman.
Strongman is an awesome sport cause if it's unique blend of different aspects of weightlifting.My best advice is to hook up with people that have been at it for a while and can really teach and push you.There's alot to learn and just be a sponge and soak it all in.