Strongman Training

does anyone know of a good video with lots of instruction or at least footage of strongman event training? I have read that the Hugo G. video lacks much footage that would be useful for learning technique.

Also, any books or other resources I could use to obtain this knowledge? stone lifting etc…

Unfortunately there really isn’t much out there in the way of instructional videos or printed resources intended to teach the events involved in strongman competition at this point. Having trained for heavy events for over a year now myself, I don’t believe that it would be a very effective approach to learning the sport either. Although those kinds of resources may be a good starting point for a total novice, insofar as they could provide a basic overview of how to approach each event, and make one aware of the major dangers; I don’t believe you could learn what you need to know in order to execute an event effectively that way.

What I’m getting at is that although the key points and major pitfalls are similar for everyone, your body mechanics, strengths, and weaknesses will play a major role in how you must adapt the basic techniques to be successful. Even your bodyweight and frame size can have a major impact on how you must tackle a particular event. As a result, strongman really is a sport you have to learn by doing, and working directly with the implements. Unless you can actually put your hands on an atlas stone, no video or book is going to help you understand what you personally need to do to lift it.

To give you an idea what I’m talking about; in the group I train with there are five guys, all with differing body types and strengths. We range all the way from big Jamie Aszmies at 6’-8" and over 400lbs, down to me at about 5’-11" and just over 210lbs. Even with obvious differences such as absolute strength and shear body-weight aside, there are tremendous differences in how Jamie and I must approach each event. The way Jamie attacks the atlas stones for example, is just not possible for a runt like me, and would get me hurt in a hurry. Similarly though, my technique with the Husafell stone, would not work for a man with such a huge chest. In general a bigger man can afford to be more lax when it comes to technique, because he can muscle his way through a lot of events, whereas a small guy like me must be more of a technician to perform well (and stay healthy).

To be honest with you, the best way to train for heavy events is to get yourself at least one dependable training partner who has a decent eye for movement and mechanics, some basic implements, and go to it. Watch each other training and be very critical; that?s the best way to troubleshoot your form. When I train with the boys we are constantly tossing ideas around and trying new things when someone is having difficultly with an event. Sometimes someone will see the problem right away, but often it takes a bit of trial and error. In some cases you may simply not be strong enough in certain muscle systems to execute an event properly as well, and will need to get back in the gym and build some strength before further work on technique will do you any good. You have to be honest with yourself in this sport (or at least have a partner or partners who aren’t afraid to give it to you straight); if you have weak shoulders and arms for example, your max log press will not go past a certain point until you correct that ? plain and simple.

You can get some basic pointers on technique for many events from the various websites and discussion forums that competitors frequent, but from there you?re on your own unless there is an experienced athlete in your area who is willing to work with you. I have found however, that the more experience I gain with the implements, the more I can also learn just by watching videos of actual competitions; where I can see different athletes, with different body types and techniques.

Hope this helps.


I think Sven Karlsen has a video.

Better look for someone to teach you, maybe another t-mag reader is into this type of training and lives near you.

any of you strongmen out there in the grand rapids, michigan area?

Elitefts sells a strongman training DVD. It was originally a two part video, but now sells as one DVD. Also, the Karlsen DVD along with Magnus Samuelson’s DVD are available at Ironmind. Sorry to sound like a shill.

Here’s a link to a strongman DVD. I think it’s geared towards applying strongman training to football but it may help you nonetheless.

The Karlsen and Samuelson DVDs are not instructional. I own them both and I want to make that clear. Both are interesting and worth watching (the Karlsen more so however).

You can get strongman training tapes here (I havent seen these).

In case anyone else was looking for an answer to this question, I bought the total performance sports dvd. I thought it was very good. It has shots of Karlsen giving instructions on each event. The tape doesn’t cover every event, but it has the most common ones.

still looking for strongman competitors in the west michigan area.