So you're thinking of entering your first strongman competition?
Good for you.
Or you may even be a Crossfitter who wants to incorporate Strongman training safely and effectively into your training (makes sense).
It doesn't matter be you man or woman. When you are starting strongman, you are going to want to make sure that you start out right.
In this two part article I will cover all you need to know about starting strongman, so you are not left broken, busted up. And wondering just why the hell you thought Strongman training was a good idea in the first place.
Here's what this two part article covers,
It may not be the topics you expected, but think of it this way.
If just one of those components are not taken into consideration, your expedition into Strongman training is going to be a lot shorter, and a lot more painful than it needs to be. Trust me on this one.
So lets take a closer look.
How To Choose The Right Competition
If you are based in the UK there are some pretty handy resources to tell you about up coming competitions to sink your teeth into. Below are just a few sites you certainly want to check out.
There are loads of pages on facebook that you can check out to. Do your research.
So the big question, "How do I choose the right competition for me?" Well, there are a couple things that you want to consider.
Now lets address each one in turn, so you get a better picture of how it all fits in.
If you are at a decent level of strength then you have a good base to build from. And by decent I mean that you should be able to do the following (regardless of gender).
And in terms of conditioning you can row 250m in under 50 seconds for reps of 6 or more with 1 minute rest.
Some of you may have already smashed these numbers. That's great. While some of you may be far off these. Don't panic. You'd be surprised how much you can achieve in 12 weeks of effective training.
I've managed to slap on an extra 30kg to an athletes deadlift in that short space of time.
Have a look at the competitions. Chose one that is a minimum of 8 - 12 weeks away. Why? Because the last thing you want to do is enter a Strongman competition half arsed. You will get burnt, broken, chewed up and spat out.
Your body nor your ego will thank you for it. Do not underestimate the demands of training, physically, or mentally. Respect the sport.
A word about selecting the right competition. If you look at the events and think, "This is way beyond me"
Or if you have any doubt. STOP.
Then honestly ask, "Am I comparing it to where I am now, or what I can achieve and where I will be in 8-12 weeks?"
Here's the thing. Rather than limit what you are capable of, acknowledge the challenge ahead and then consider, "What would I have to do to be able to achieve that by this date?"
Then set up a plan on how to do it. This will be the structure of your training.
How To Structure Your Training
Your training should be specific to your competition. I can't stress the importance of this enough.
Now I know this seems obvious, but I've lost count of the amount of time I've seen people training for a max deadlift, when in the strongman competition it was deadlift for reps (and they wondered why they bombed).
As simple as it seems TRAIN THE ENERGY SYSTEM.
If your Strongman Competition involves overhead pressing for time, guess what? include that in your program.
If the competition involves heavy singles lifts on atlas stones, guess what? Yep. Chuck that in there too.
Yoke for quickest time? You know the drill, work on your speed.
Yet so many let their ego get in the way and just think that Strongman training is only about lifting heavy, and then just add weight each session. Week in week out.
It's a bit more sophisticated than that mate.
This approach will only get you so far. And will probably get you burnt out way before competition in the process.
Be smart about it. If you are unsure on how to structure your training find someone that does.
Now the two other things you will definitely need to be aware of are,
No point in focusing your training only on your strengths, while trying to sweep your weaknesses under the carpet.
Come competition day you will be found out. Don't expose yourself.
Schedule your training intelligently so that you buffer your strengths, and upgrade your weaknesses. This can be the difference between putting in a stellar performance, and bombing out like a true doughnut.
And no one likes the feeling of bombing out in a competition.
So how do you train intelligently? You know, so that you make steady gains in your strongman training, without burning out, and breaking yourself in the process?
In part 2 I'll cover just that (giving you two training samples). Not only that I'll show you the tools you'll need to get that mental edge. Plus some solid advice from 2 X Britain's Strongest Man, and World Class Strongman Competitor, Jack Lovett .
Yours in strength
p.s Check out the video below of the Strongwoman competition that we ran in the summer down at Villain Barbell Club.
The ladies put in an impressive performance.