T Nation

What Are Your Routines?


#1

What routines are you guys following for your training? I have come across various methods, including a modified 5/3/1, the juggernaut method, the cube method, 4 to 10 day splits, etc. One this is very clear: strongman routines are much less consistent than powerlifting or body building methods!

In my search I came across a program I think will fit my schedule and looks very promising but is somewhat different from the status quo. Basically, this program has the lifter rotating workouts every week in 3 week cycles. One day is dedicated to the DL/squat, a second to the overhead press, and a third to conditioning or events. The title of the article is "Strongman A Complex Mathematical Problem"

Following this article's guidelines I was going to try the following:

Day 1
Overhead Work - Axle Press/Log C+P/Dumbell Press
Assistance - chin up pull
Assistance - chest push
Assistance - chest pull

Day 2
Deadlift/Squat Work - Axle DL/Trap Bar DL/SSB
Assistance - Events - Yoke/Farmers/Stones
Assistance - Whatever needs improvement

Day 3
Conditioning - Sprinting/Bag or Keg Carries for Distance/Anything demanding on the cardiovascular system

I especially like this split because I live near a high school that has a football sled and various tires. It would be great to workout outside during the summer too. Day 3 would be perfect for running sprints, flipping tires, or brining sandbags and doing a medley.

Thoughts?

Day 3
Conditionting


#2

That routine looks very workable, especially for training 3 days a week. Pretty much anything is a good choice as long as it pushes you and you work your ass off.

As you noted, there isn't a real science to strongman training like there is in bodybuilding/powerlifting, and I imagine a big part of this is the fact that Strongman just about anything is legal in strongman, so training is going to vary.

Take something real simple, like axle overhead. If you're an explosive athlete, you might be able to jerk or even split jerk the axle, and in turn it's the best way for you to get weight overhead. This means that you're going to focus more on jerks for overhead work and speed in your training, and so that's how you'll structure it. If, however, you're more just a brute strength kinda guy, you might spend more time focusing on strict pressing and building that sort of strength. Even though both athletes are training to get an axle over their head, the approach is radically different, and so is the training. Combine this with the thousands of strongman events and variations and it becomes really difficult to develop any sort of "strongman routine".

We've spoken before on my training, but just to re-summarized, I train 4 days a week with each day having a lift emphasized (stolen straight from 5/3/1: press, squat, bench and deadlift) with the relevant accessory work to improve those lifts and usually an event that utilizes those muscle groups thrown in. I like the IDEA of an events day, but training by myself makes it more hassle than it's worth in terms of set-up and tear down.


#3

Like Punisher said, there are just so many different facets to train in Strongman that it is tough to traditional program. I personally train 5-6 times a week.

The first 12-15 minutes are hard conditioning
then I run 30-40 Minutes of Strength stuff, usually loosely based off of the cube method, DUP or linear progression.
Then finish with 20-25 Minutes of Event work.

I post the workouts that I coach at my gym here http://www.neversate.com/wod/ if you ever want to check them out. I try to cycle some of the event stuff with percentages or intensities (heavy day, rep day, speed day) and that has seemed to workout fairly well for me.

It isn't a popular thing to say on these forums, but Strongman competition is kinda like crossfit for strong people. You need to be cock strong, have great endurance carrying heavy loads, or may do an AMRAP set for 60 seconds. Because of this, I try to train myself and my athletes is a wide variety of areas, then about 10 weeks out from a competition I try to focus more just on the individual events set for a competition. It has worked well for all of us so far.


#4

Ive been reading your routines this morning. They look pretty brutal. Unfortunately my job blocks video streaming so Ill watch those when I get home.


#5

Alright! After some research, worrying and fussing over things, reading, more fussing, and finally taking a deep breath, I think I have a program that will work very well. I based it on the following principles

1) Avoiding Injury/Adequate Rest
2) A 14 day schedule instead of a typical 7 day split
3) One deadlift day, one overhead/carry day, one conditioning day
4) No more than different 3 exercises per day
5) Do not forget about core work
6) Yoke Walk/squats need to improve

With these guidelines in mind this is what I came up with:
Day 1/4: Deadlifting Day
Primary - Axle Deadlift / Trap Bar Deadlift
Assistance - Safety Squat Bar
Assistance - Core

Day 2/5: Carry and Overhead Day
Yoke Walk / Farmers Walk
Incline Bench / Axle Clean + Press
Reverse Rows / Chin Ups

Day 3/6: Conditioning
Carries for distance/ Tire Flips for distance
Sled Drags or Pulls / Sprints

Let me know what you guys think. I have been very anxious about getting this right as I am trying to overcome a personal problem of following routines. Plus I want to do well!


#6

Looks very workable. The competition is in November yeah? This far out, you could get away with a little bit more assistance work just to take care of weaknesses/build some muscle. Maybe something like a 3 way shoulder raise complex and some curls on the conditioning day and some dumbbell rows on the deadlift day. Nice thing about some extra work like that is it gives you something to take away as you get closer to the contest, so you give your body a bit of a break as you start specializing on the events.

Not a necessity at all, I just know my shoulders feel less beat up when I give them raises/pull aparts.


#7

November is the goal, yes.

My shoulders generally don't bother me, my back however acts up randomly. I can see your point incorporating additional work. I just finished my spreadsheet and will add a few slots of additional nonspecific work as need.

Right now I am giving myself 6 sets to work up to a heavy set for AMAP. I think that should cover volume for the first lifts of the day.

For the assistance, I am thinking 3 sets of 10 or something along those lines. I have learned over this past year that doing more than 1 really heavy lift per workout usually ends in burnout.

The Yoke and Farmers I am going to use a fixed distance of 50' (that is what I can work with in my gym) and ramp up the same way. The Yoke I am pretty worried about as I have that weakness in my middle back. I suppose lighter is better starting off. The farmers walk I know already I am pretty good at it so I am not too concerned.

I have access to a wide variety of tires and sleds (not at my gym but at a local high school) which Ill take advantage of for dragging, pulling, pushing, etc.


#8

I wrote an article a few years ago with some example routines:

Note: You can google the article to find a better formatted version since the plain text here makes it a bit difficult to read.


"Creating an Effective Strongman Routine"

The sport of strongman competition has grown tremendously in the last few years. This growth in popularity has sparked increased interest in the training techniques and routines of strongman competitors. The purpose of this article is to introduce the reader to strongman training with respect to the basics of building a routine. It will assume the reader is somewhat familiar with strength training in general and the specific exercises mentioned. Future articles will cover the �¢�?�?how to�¢�?�? of performing strongman specific movements (such a tire flipping and stones) and other nuances of the sport.

A simple Google search on strongman will provide a tremendous amount of training information. Making sense of all of that information and using it to put together an effective routine can be tricky business. Many individuals, excited by the prospect of newfound training techniques and exercises will create routines that quickly lead to overtraining due to excessive volume and loads. The following information will help you to avoid that pratfall.

Let�¢�?�?s start with a few basic guidelines:

  • Use your heaviest working sets in the gym to focus on the lifts that will have the highest carryover: power cleans, deadlifts, front squats, push jerks etc.
    Begin with a low volume, low intensity warm-up and then work your way to a max effort (ME) set in one of the above key exercises. After that, focus on supersets and a mix of compound and isolation movements to improve your conditioning and muscular endurance.

  • Only squat or deadlift once per week. (Note: If you are a powerlifter and looking to compete in both sports then you can do one ME and one dynamic effort (DE) day each week. For example, perform your ME work on Wednesday and DE work on Friday with events on Sunday.)

  • Low intensity cardio is the only kind of cardio that you should be doing when using traditional equipment (stair-stepper, stationary bike etc.). Higher intensity work should be reserved for plyometrics and sled dragging since they will have a more direct carryover and should not compromise, but rather can enhance your resistance training via the concepts of active recovery and improved muscular conditioning.

  • Limit yourself to 3 days per week of resistance training with barbells or machines, 2-3 days cardio, and 1 events day. If you are just starting out, you should alternate your events days with both Ã??Ã??heavyÃ??Ã?? and Ã??Ã??speed/techniqueÃ??Ã?? focused workouts. Brute strength is important for strongman, but technique plays a nearly equal factor.

  • If you are not feeling prepared for a good training session on any given day, cut out your heavy compound exercises and take it easy. Strongman training is very taxing on the central nervous system (CNS) and a recovery day can be much more productive than a heavy day when applied at the appropriate times.

Now, let�¢�?�?s take the above information and create some specific routines. Keep in mind that variety is important and even small things like a change in the range of motion, speed of movement, or rep ranges can provide the conjugate variety needed to avoid over-training of the CNS.

Example Routine A (someone looking to get the most out of events day)

Monday: incline / standing push jerk / log press, triceps & delts assistance work
Tuesday: active recovery day �¢�?�? sled drag, swimming, etc.
Wednesday: deadlift / front squat / cleans, leg assistance exercises (machines)
Thursday: chins, calves, abs, cardio
Friday: rest
Saturday: events day (tire, yoke, farmers, stones, etc.)
Sunday: rest
Example Routine B (focus on pressing strength)

Monday: speed / technique pressing day �¢�?�? OHP, chins, rows, cardio
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: ME squat / deadlift / cleans, leg assistance work
Thursday: rest
Friday: heavy pressing day �¢�?�? OHP, triceps assistance work
Saturday: events (moving events only)
Sunday: rest
Example Routine C (powerlifter / strongman):

Monday: back & cardio (chins, rows, low intensity cardio / abs)
Tuesday: bench work (bench, triceps)
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: squats (squats, glute-hamstring raises/rev hyper)
Friday: rest / active recovery*
Saturday: rest / active recovery*
Sunday: events training (4 events, usually including a deadlift variation)
*Pick either Friday or Saturday to do some type of cardio / active recovery depending on how taxing the squat workout was. This can include sled drags, walking, low intensity sports, or swimming.

Example Routine D (bodybuilding / strongman)

Monday: chest / back �¢�?�? incline press, chins, machines or dumbbell supersets through rest of workout
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: legs �¢�?�? deadlift or squat, machine supersets and drop sets to finish
Thursday: arms �¢�?�? biceps, triceps, delts (hammer curl, close grip, strict pressing then supersets using mostly free weights followed by machines to fatigue)
Friday: cardio �¢�?�? low intensity, active recovery
Saturday: events �¢�?�? this is where you will do all heavy training. Gym lifts should not be ME, but rather a 5�?�?5 or 3�?�?3 on your core movement followed by bodybuilding training
Sunday: rest

One of the above programs should suit your individual goals. Choose one and give it your all! Train hard, train smart and you will soon reach your strongman goals and perhaps one day even join the ranks of professional strongman.


#9

5x5 with progressive weight increase


#10

How does that work with events?


#11

So, ironically, I got entered into a contest that will be in late August. My events are:

crucifix hold (as long as possible)
atlas stones (as many as possible in 60 seconds)
log C+P
axle deadlift for as many reps in 1 minute.
chain drag medley.

Which I'll be entering in the novice division. So my whole program is going out the window. Sunday I hit farmers walks for 500lbs, Atlas stones with 200lbs, 4 in 1 minute, then lowered the weight to 170 and got 8.