Chapter 1: Training a Strongman like an Athlete

Obviously, I don't know much about Strongman and I'm certainly not qualified to speak on training for it.  But, I'm going to anyway.

One of my assistants was selected to compete in a Giants Live qualifying event.  I forget the details, but with a certain finish he would then be qualified to compete in the WSM qualifier.  So this is cool.

We've started talking about his training and it got me thinking.  My default mentality is train EVERYONE like I'd train an athlete.  No matter what your goal, train like an athlete.  Am I right?  Probably.  The only exception might be bodybuilding?

What does every athlete need?

  1. Strength (general and specific)
  2. Conditioning
  3. Agility
  4. Injury Reduction
  5. Mobility (connected with general movement and Injury Reduction)

The farther away from a contest the more general the training should be.  This is where there should be some variety in movements and bars.  As long as you're moving all of the major joints you'll be fine.

I see this as a "power/building" phase.  There needs to be a strength progression, but not with the sole intention of seeing where you are strength-wise (showing).  Just build that base of strength and muscle mass.  Conditioning would fall into this, as well.  Make sure you're in good shape.

As the contest gets closer start dropping some of the variety out and start getting more specific with the movements.  I think the Assistance work can still stay pretty general, but the Main Lifts should probably get more specific.  I also think you could start adding in some of the events (provided you know them).  Nothing heavy.  Just use the events as a part of the general strength training - light.  Start to get better at the technique.

Once you're into your contest prep is where things become very specific and a lot of the variety is dropped out.  It's time to start focusing on the events and the movements that will directly contribute to their improvement.  Weights should probably start getting closer to what the contest weights will be.  Maybe start performing the lifts like they would be in the contest>  For instance, if there's a Deadlift Medley, try to train your Deadlift accordingly so you can get used to how it might be on contest day.

I've also heard that the warm-up area at Strongman shows is non-existent.  I'm not saying skip your warm-ups, but now would be the time to figure out what you need to do on meet day to make sure you're ready.  Start experimenting with different types of dynamic warm-ups/movement prep and see what has you feeling the best so you can jump from a 135 Deadlift warm-up to a 700lb first attempt (this is just an example).

At this point the Strongman version of Conditioning and Agility would be the exact types of movements you'd be doing in the contest.  I still think there is room for general conditioning (walking, elliptical, rower - whatever) 2x a week.  This would be very light conditioning.  Agility would be trained by performing the events that you'll be doing.

I won't get into this, but your eating and sleeping should be very consistent at this point.  No BS - eat your food and get your sleep.  Avoid all distractions that don't contribute to success.

Now, I have no clue if these ideas are good or not.  I have no idea if there are people that actually follow something similar.  This is simply how I envision it through the eyes of someone who trains athletes for a living.

My assistant and I are figuring his training out, as we speak.  I'm curious to see how it plays out.  He has a LONG time so I'm sure this stuff will get updated.  At this point, these ideas are what we've talked about.

We'll see how it all plays out.

Loading Comments... Loading Comments...