How To Start Strongman Training
You’ve seen those giant guys at the World’s Strongest Man throwing around Atlas stones and pulling trucks, and now you want that same level of strength.
Strongman training is not your typical workout that can be performed with a couple of dumbbells and a bench. If you want to get started with Strongman training, you’ll need the correct equipment, workout, and support. Let’s take a look at how you can get started with Strongman training.
FIND OR BUY STRONGMAN EQUIPMENT
There’s no doubt that you can increase your strength with the basic equipment at your local or home-based gym, but not to the Strongman level. If you want to build that level of strength, there’s no getting around using legit Strongman equipment. You have two options:
First, find a Strongman-focused gym. Niche gyms have become more of the norm over the last decade. It’s become much easier to find gyms that cater to powerlifting, bodybuilding, and Strongman.
Not sure what the difference is? Read our article on the difference between Strongman and powerlifting.
The other option is to buy your own Strongman equipment. Assuming you have the space and neighbors who don’t mind, you can turn your backyard into a Strongman training ground. Here are several pieces of Strongman equipment you must have in order to reach that level of strength you want:
Barbell: You’ll need a barbell for squats, walking lunges, and deadlifts. We recommend spending a bit more money and buying a thick bar. There are several benefits of thick bar training for Strongman including improved grip strength.
Want to improve your squat? Read our guide on how to master the barbell squat.
Thick Grips: If you don’t have a thick barbell, you can use thick grips to achieve the same benefits and results. Thick grips can dramatically increase grip strength, which will improve all other areas of your Strongman training.
Powerlifting Belt: This is going to be a must for when you start squatting and deadlifting with several 45-pound plates on each side of the barbell.
Drag Sled: This piece of equipment can mimic the same movements used in the truck pull, which was made famous in the World’s Strongest Man competition. It’s excellent for building explosive strength and endurance.
Farmer’s Walk Handles:Sure, you can use dumbbells for the farmer’s walk exercise, but having the extended length bars specifically made for this exercise is the way to go. You’ll develop insane core strength along with lower body endurance.
Giant Tires:Is there a more fundamental piece of Strongman equipment? Giant tires are a must to develop insane power and explosive strength. While you don’t need the length of a football field in your backyard, we do recommend having enough room to flip the tire twice with room to spare. No need to take out your neighbor’s fence with a giant tire.
Knee Wraps: These help to protect the connective tissue in your knee when you’re going for a new personal best. You can also use knee sleeves as an alternative.
Discover the other benefits of knee sleeves in our article.
Yoke: With a spot for weight plates at all four corners, a yoke is a must have as it mimics an actual Strongman event. In most models, the yoke doubles as a home gym allowing you to perform basic exercises. Some models can also be used as a power sled.
This is by no means a comprehensive list; rather, these pieces of equipment are the basics of what you’ll need to get started.
FOLLOW A STRONGMAN WORKOUT
Once you find a gym or stock your backyard with Strongman equipment, it’ll be time to begin with a Strongman workout. Like any workout, you don’t want to go near the advanced exercises until you’ve developed the fundamental strength needed.
For the first few months, we recommend sticking with the basic Strongman exercises, especially if you’ve never been in a weight room before. Over that time, you’ll see your strength, endurance, and mobility start to improve. Once you find that the following exercises aren’t as challenging, it’ll be time to upgrade. Until then, here are the best Strongman exercises we recommend following:
- Tire Flip
- Thick Dumbbell Press
- Sled Drag
- Farmer’s Walk
Not sure how to perform these exercises? Read our article on the top 5 Strongman exercises.
Try alternating between a strength-focused and a power-focused set of acute variables from week to week. For example, during week one, you’ll use perform 5 sets of 4 to 6 repetitions of each exercise. The following week, perform 7 sets of 1 to 3 repetitions. The lower the repetitions, the heavier the weight.
FIND A BUDDY OR HIRE A COACH
Strongman training isn’t your typical workout. For beginners, you’ll feel more post-workout soreness than ever before. This is why we highly recommend finding an experience lifter who wants to be your workout buddy, hiring a professional coach with years of Strongman experience, or both.
It takes time to develop that foundational power that lets you excel in Strongman. If you’ve had trouble in the past sticking to basic muscle building or weight loss routine, your motivation may quickly wane. Having a workout buddy or coach (preferably both) will ensure you stick to your workouts, see results, and avoid injury.
If you want to hire a professional, a normal personal trainer is not what we recommend. Find yourself a certified personal trainer with a specialty and experience in Strongman lifting.
WHAT MAKES YOU WANT TO START STRONGMAN TRAINING?
Do you want more strength? Have dreams of competing in the World’s Strongest Man? Have pictures of yourself in Strongman training? Tag us on Instagram!