T Nation

Trying to Become a Strongman


Good luck mate! I chased that number for a long time and now it is really time to push past this and go towards 190 and then 200 kg.



Deload training. Was mainly helping out my girlfriend with her event training. She had another very good session. Now we only need her deadlift to play along and she is in a great position. I did some stuff in between taking times, judging, getting implements ready.

1 push ups
10, 25, 22

2 bodyweight squats

3 keg carries (to get it into place for her)
@ 60 kg

4 some keg c&p
@ 60 kg

5 atlas stone c&p
5 or 6 sets @ 115 lbs. All singles but the last which was a triple

6 incline bench press
2 x ? @ 60 kg


No doubt you’ll get there. Keep smashing it man


Thanks man!


17.04 .

Change of plans. I relaized that I won’t be able to train all weekend. Two of my best friends are visiting for the first time since I moved. Also my girlfriend will have her last two trainings and she needs me, so I won’t get to train myself. Therefore I spontaneously trained to today, will train thursday and then resume on Monday.

1 ssb Box squats (in briefs)
3 x 10 @ 122 kg
Doing these for more than 5 reps should be illegal.

2 hang power clean
5 x 5 @ 65 kg

3 strict press
4 x 8 @ 60 kg - Success

4 swiss bar pendlay rows
3 x 10 @ 80 kg

5 lat pull down
3 x 10-12


  • all cables have been exchanged. I can barely get any feeling for the right muscles and have to use significantly less weight. Sucks but luckily I don’t usw them much anyway.
  • wasn’t really ready for this session, especially hamstring- and erector wise but you have to adapt. Body is feeling good. Everything else a tad meh.


Not my training but an update:

  • girlfriend has had some good training but it is going to be very close with her deadlift. She pulled a smooth and fast 111 kg axle deadlift but failed at 116 kg. Only one more session to go. She can chose between 120 kg and 80 kg for reps in competition. I really hope she can get a rep with 120 kg. Axle clean and press and carries are coming along nicely.
  • my boss has substained an injury practicing his hammer throws (like I mentioned he is a world champion thrower in his age class). He injured his lower back. He can still deadlift 200 kg but is in pain for a few days after. He had an MRI Friday which showed that his listhesis (he had that for years) has moved and acted up when his throw went wrong. He still is kind of positive about being able to compete in two weeks but his training had to lay pretty low the last few weeks - not an ideal prep. He is going to visit his orthopedic doctor this afternoon. After that he should know what is possible and what isn’t



1 Log lift (Clean once)
10 @ 77 kg - Rep PR
8 @ 77 kg
9 @ 77 kg

2 Sumo deadlift (t&g)
10 @ 145 kg
10 @ 145 kg
10 @ 145 kg


  • Pump in hamstrings was disgusting after one set. The second set made me question how bad I want it for a few times throughout. The third took a lot of talking to myself.
  • total Volume PR for deads, I think.
  • lower back and hamstrings are toasted. Not the best kind of training for establishing good technique but good for strength/ strongman
  • I sound like a bitch. Sets of 10 aren’t horrible generally but this is really a very high intensity for me and I am not exactly operating at biggest capacity right now.
  • now looking forward to a weekend with lots of drinks and unhealthy food.


10 reps on DL is hard AF. It drains the body like nothing else.


Little late on logging.
Weekend was glorious but it made for a miserable training on Sunday evening because of dehydration, bad sleep and bad food. Got through it and it was worth it for the weekend fun but felt pretty shitty throughout the session.

Before I get to my session: My gf has been absolutely killing it these last two session! Like unbelievable. She had 3 PRs on her farmer’s walk time in one session (best was 18.46 seconds for 40 meter with one turn @ 55 kg per hand), PRed her keg run time in the same session. Then yesterday she had axle clean and press 46 kg for max reps in 75 seconds. Previously her best was 7 reps just in time. Yesterday she did 8, 9 and 8! Crazy stuff.


1 front squats
3 x 10 @ 70 kg (+10 kg from last cycle. Squatting this is easy)

2 bench press
10 @ 80 kg
2 x 10 @ 85 kg (Adjusting to the new grip, got a video and it looks way better than before, jsut doesn’t feel super powerful yet)

3 conv. deadlifts against bands
5 x 5 @ 90 kg + band tension

4a seated press
10 @ 50 kg
2 x 8 @ 55 kg

4b db row
3 x 12 @ 30 kg


  • was happy to get this session over with. For the circumstances I didn’t do a bad job.



1 ssb box squats (in briefs)
5 x 5 @ 152 kg

2 hang power clean
5 x 3 @ 70 kg

3 strict press
4 @ 67,5 kg
4 @ 67,5 kg - really lost my cool. Doesn’t matter, gym was empty
5 @ 65 kg
5 @ 65 kg - super grinder.
5 @ 65 kg


4 seal rows with swiss bar
10 @ 40 kg
10 @ 50 kg
10 @ 60 kg
10 @ 50 kg

5 row/ lat pull hybrid
3 x 8 ascending weight


  • His should have been event training but I ran into a scheduling issue and so I had to switch it.
  • squats were super hard! Still got it though.
  • gf failed her 116 kg axle deadlift attempt. It just wasn’t there. Now she will chose 80 kg for max reps instead (obviously weight beats reps). She did a set of 16 in 75 seconds. This was her last training before competition.


I am stuck thinking about my approach after this program is over. I can’t seem to figure out how to put these pieces together.
Here is what I want in there (because it seems to work):

  • ssb box squats (in briefs)
  • front squats
  • sumo deadlifts
  • log lift
  • strict press (either seated or standing)
  • other conventional like deadlift (SLDL, SNGD, bands)
  • yoke
  • farmer’s
  • bench press

The problem: Event training can’t just be spread out through the week but needs its own day. I would love to just do it with normal training but my implements are at my home and I can’t use them in the gym. So if I wanted to pair event training with regular strength training, I would have to go to the gym for squatting and then go home, set up the implements etc. It would take way too long.

What I thought about so far:

  1. conjugate method with max effort upper, max effort lower, dynamic effort full body, event training day. Dynamic effort full body would be like box squat, banded deadlifts, banded log lift or so.

Any suggestions are appreciated.



1 yoke walk
25 m @ 185 kg in ?
25 m @ 185 kg in ?
25 m @ 185 kg in 11.63
25 m @ 185 kg in 11.88
25 m @ 185 kg in 11.01
25 m @ 185 kg in 11.27

I was close to 10 seconds but not quite there.

2 Farmer’s walks
95 kg per hand for some max runs (I lack plates atm, so I can only go 65,95 or 105 per hand. Used 65 kg the last few trainings and wanted to go heavier)

  • ca. 18 m - stumbled and hit my foot. Nearly fell
  • ca. 35-37 m
  • ca. 45 m


  • the farmer’s walks killed me. After I put everything away and went up to the appartment I was just laying on the ground for a while and I am still wondering how I will survive the late shift.
  • tomorrow we will leave for girlfriends competition in saturday. I won’t get a training in until Monday, I guess.


At last the events for my next contest have been announced… That gives me 3 weeks and a deload. That is not ideal to say the least. Can’t Change it though and most of the stuff I have been doing anyway in some manner.

1 yoke run 200 kg - No word about the distance but probably 25 m.
2 Farmer’s Walk 80 kg max. Distance
3 Log lift 80 kg - each Rep from the ground
4 loading race - No word at all about type, size, weight or even number of implements.

Need to step up my game. Show is going to be heavier than I thought.

Slept on the couch at my parent’s. Now my back hurts - dies this mean I am getting old? Haha.
Go time for my girlfriend!


:joy: Yes it does. When you get old you would rather sleep on the floor than a couch or small bed. At least you can flop with out damaging something. :joy:


This is my take:

  1. One day per week is event training;
  2. The rest of your training days are gym training;
  3. I wouldn’t do conjugate full body, rather upper/lower;
  4. So your week might go ME upper/DE lower/RE upper/events, then the week after ME lower/DE upper/RE lower/events, and keep rotating like that.
  5. Rotate your ME lift each week - use it to learn to strain more than anything
  6. Rotate your DE lifts every six weeks (or after three uses) - use them to improve technique and get in reps. Alternate between very short timed rests and longer rests week to week if you like
  7. Let your weaknesses dictate your repetition method exercise selection

Because, everyone seems to forget the repetition method - except it’s this that really is a cornerstone of conjugate as I understand it. The ME and DE get all the limelight, but without the support of the repetition method they lose much of their effectiveness.



Contest prep from here on out.
I have a bad streek of sleep deprived nights. I feel far from my best. But hard training makes for an easy competition

1 Log lift (clean every rep)
6 @ 80 kg in 1 minute
5 @ 80 kg - Not enough fight left in me
6 @ 80 kg - effort was there
1 @ 85 kg
1 @ 90 kg

2 Bench press
5 @ 80 kg
2 @ 100 kg
2 @ 100 kg
2 @ 100 kg
2 @ 100 kg

3 lat pull-row-hybrid
10 @ 60 kg
10 @ 70 kg
8 @ 80 kg

4 seal row with swiss bar
3 x 15 @ 40 kg


  • in my tipical fashion I threw technique out the window if it is an event for reps.
  • Not even bad for a starting point. Log is going strong lately. Especially if you figure in that I am not exactly in a great spot with sleep and what not.
  • Back is not in a great spot from bad sleep and driving about 14 hours over the weekend. Not terrible either. I need to spend some time on hip mobility


Hey Mark, sorry that it took me so long to get back to you. I very much appreciate your suggestion! I’ll probably end up doing it that way. Also I may buy “built by Mike” off of Starting Strongman sometime in the near future. Kalle Beck said it should be easily adjustable to my needs.



1 ssb box squats (in briefs)
Up to
162 kg x 1
172 kg x 1
182 kg x 1 - ties PR
192 kg x 1 - PR
202 kg x 0
197 kg x 0
3 x 2 @ 162 kg

2 Sumo deadlift (t&g)
10 @ 140 kg
10 @ 150 kg - PR

3 Back raises

  • 20 minute break -

4 keg and sandbag carry medley
2 runs of

25 m keg carry
25 m run
25 m sandbag carry
25 m keg carry
25 m run
25 m sandbag carry


  • the 192 kg were good and speedy. Still 202 wasn’t going because I paused too long on the box. Was too spend for 197 kg. Still not mad, good squatting
  • the box squats doesn’t tax my back pretty much at all.
  • the medley was pure hell for me. I feared for my hamstring on the last run because it was screaming
  • I wish I had a video of the medley. I would watch it every morning to show myself how disgustingly out of shape I am. I was dying.


Back feels a lot better today which is a little ironic after super heavy squats and medium heavy deadlifts. Shows however that my back pain wasn’t training related. We’ll see how it feels tomorrow.

I only have time for a real event day on Sunday. So I will probably do a lighter log session tomorrow with some strict pressing, then on friday maybe front squats and event day on Sunday. That is a lot for a week but event day on friday won’t work out unfortunately, I can’t train saturday at all and I don’t want to not train for both friday and saturday.

Also sleep continues to be terrible. If I can’t get good sleep tonight I probably have to drug myself up with whisky or sleep medication or something tomorrow.


Celestial seasonings-- Sleepy time wellness tea. It works like a charm for me. I wake up drooling on the pillow and not super doped up the next day.