Strongman for Beginners: How to Find Your Strength with Strongman Exercises
Going to the gym can be intimidating. Especially, when you want to train for a strongman competition and you have no idea where to start. Anyone can be a strongman, but not everyone has access to a gym specifically for strongman competitions. Here is some more information on strongman events and how to get started for beginners.
Strongman Events Guide
Strongman is an expression of strength through non-standard equipment. You’re never going to see Olympic barbells and calibrated plates thrown around during competitions. Athletes use axle bars, longs, sandbags, chains, or farmer carry handles and move them for reps, distance, and speed. As a beginner, it is your priority to be as strong as possible. Before we get into specific strongman exercises to get gains, Let's dive into the different types of events that you are training for.
- In strongman, deadlifts can be max lifts, lifts for max reps in a time frame, pulls from different heights, or axle deadlifts. From deadlifts, you will build up strength in your backside from traps to calves, an iron grip, and core strength. You will be able to use your entire body as a unit in this event.
- For the overhead push, you’re not holding a barbell over your head. In strongman, overhead push uses oddly shaped objects, like logs, stones, or globe dumbbells. This event requires strong shoulders and arms with a tight core to stay stable.
- This is one of the most well-known strongman events where you see someone carrying a large stone. This can be exhausting on your grip and requires the entire body to work in unison to move the large object.
Strongman Training for Beginners
Now that you know what you’re working towards, let's start thinking about what exercises you need to do to get that strongman physique you’re looking for. Here are some strongman workout ideas to add to your daily workout regime.
Carry Heavy Objects
- For loaded carries, do a farmer’s walk by carrying heavy dumbbells for 50 to 75 meters, basically across the gym and back, before setting them down. This builds core strength, rock-hard forearms, and a tight grip. Mix it up by changing your carrying position to include overhead and sumo carry between your legs to maximize gains. To keep track of your gains, invest in BFR training bands while you’re carrying to optimize your workout as you train your upper body.
Pull and Push
- In the World’s Strongest Man, you often see athletes pulling airplanes down a runway. Don’t worry, you don’t have to invest in a plane. Try using a sled with a set of heavy plates inside and pulling or pushing it with a large rope for 75 or 100 meters. This will show your total body strength before your next strongman competition.
- It’s not always about how much you can lift. When training for a strongman competition, you need to make sure that your form is being done correctly. Even if it is not with the heaviest weight you can lift, make sure that you are frequently performing the move to build up your muscle memory to be familiar with the exercise when you move up in weight.
Change up your object
- Again, in strongman, you’re not always going to be lifting barbells and dumbbells. You’re more likely to see atlas stones, tires, and trucks. Try out lifting different objects, like truck tires and sandbags to challenge yourself with objects of different shapes and sizes.
Strength and Cardio Training
- To get your strength and cardio training all in one place, load yourself up with some heavy barbells for total body movements. Then move quickly between them to get that strength with a cardio kick to raise your heart rate.
Stick to the Basics
- The basics in strongman competitions are squats, deadlifts, and presses. Make sure that these movements are the foundation of your training and load them with weight to maximize your gains.
With the basics of strongman events and some strength training for beginners under your belt, it’s time for you to head to the gym. At the minimum, you should be doing two full-body workouts per week. Most Strongman athletes train three-to-four days a week at least. Some people train for six days a week.
At the end of the day, everybody is different. Make sure you are listening to your body getting proper nutrition and have a recovery program set. If you still feel lost at the gym, think about trying out BFR Band’s 21-day #BEASTMODE arms protocol or 21-day #BEASTMODE legs protocol. After purchase, you will get an ebook immediately with exercises you can do to get swole AF with their bands.
Let’s go hit the gym!
Contributing Writer: Madeline Collins