The Start of a New Chapter in Training: Strongman

I've been competing in powerlifting for about 8 years now, with about half of those being equipped and half being raw. I normally like to compete about twice per year (sometimes 3), with the goal being to compete at a larger national meet each year (I've competed at XPC finals, WPC Worlds, and qualified for USAPL Raw Nationals but didn't get a chance to go).

This past year I have continued to train, but put competing on hold as I was transitioning jobs, moving, and navigating a lot of changes in my personal life in general. Fast forward and I've been in my new job and location for about a month and a half now, and while work at the University I work at is definitely busy, I'm starting to get into a decent groove schedule/routine-wise. Now that I've moved and have the new position, I've turned my attention to focusing on competing again.

XPC Finals Joe

I've done a lot of thinking about whether I wanted to compete raw or equipped - The things that I find attractive about equipped being the additional variables (like technical skill in the gear, strategy at the meet, mental toughness under supra-maximal weights) that allow you to get an edge over more gifted lifters (if you're able to master those variables for the meet). The additional variables are part of the reasons I've always found strongman to be an awesome sport. I've said for years that it's a goal of mine to compete in strongman at some point, but this kind of reset with work/moving has provided a good opportunity to now do it. 

Joe Deadlift

There's also a strongman crew that trains in Northern Kentucky not far from me, that I'll be able to train events with at least 1x per week (which is priceless as I work on learning the sport). I can tell already that there are going to be some events I will absolutely suck at in the beginning, and some other things that I think I'll pick up fairly quickly based on my strengths. The challenges that come with addressing the weaknesses (especially in overhead work), learning the events, and continuing to get stronger; are things I'm really excited about.

Iron Asylum (the group I just started training with) is hosting a comp in January, so tentatively I'm going to plan on doing that. I just started planning my training adjustments and did my first event day with Iron Asylum this past week, so I'm sure I'll get a better idea as I learn more about how everything works.

I'll write up a post here shortly with what my new training schedule looks like, and some of the things I know right off the bat I'm going to be adding/focusing on in my training. This will be a great opportunity to see how my training philosophy and past experience melds with new knowledge and challenges, and what I'm able to learn from the strongman competitors I train with. I'm sure as the weeks go by I will keep adjusting things as I learn more. I'm also fortunate to have friends and teammates like Zach Gallmann, Andy Deck, Clint Darden, Chase Karnes, Murph, and several others that I plan on annoying the hell out of with a million questions.

I will plan on writing up what I learn with each training session and week, so that way it can hopefully provide some good things you can learn by reading as well.

Side Note: I'm not done powerlifting, but for right now the focus will be learning and being prepared to compete in a strongman competition, while continuing to focus on getting stronger - I'm confident that when I do a PLing meet again, the strength and conditioning I gain from this experience will be extremely valuable.

Stay tuned.


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