So your channel surfing looking to find your favorite movie when you come across a bear of a man crawling with a rope tied to his waist pulling an 18 wheeler. What? How is that possible? Forget watching Dazed and Confused again. This strongman is much more interesting. As you sit there perplexed and wondering why you’re even watching these men hold two-hundred pound barrels in each arm, straight out in a crucifix position, you think to yourself… what am I watching? No matter what your opinion of it is; one thing is for sure…they are big and they are incredibly strong! So what exactly is a “strong man” besides the obvious? “Strongman” or “Strongmen,” refers to those who compete in strong athletics. What is strong athletics? Well, you know pulling trucks, lifting refrigerators, deadlifting cars, that kind of stuff.
Your next question may be; “is this even healthy?” I mean, really, it looks like they are going to break their backs! The answer is yes it is! Because strongman training is about true functional strength. It is about lifting heavy, awkward objects, like those you find in the real world and getting them from A to B – whether that is from the ground to overhead, or from one end of the room to the other. But before you rip your fridge of the wall and try to carry it across your building; realize that it’s safe when done correctly. These men have their form and technique down perfect!
Alright…so where do you start! Here are a few exercise that will help you on your road to strongdom. I will make them gym friendly as most of us don’t have access to strongman gyms.
First up is the deadlift. The deadlift should be part of every strongman program. So much of the competition consist of picking heavy things up off the floor that you must make sure your form is impeccable. The basics are as follows: put a barbell on the floor and stand feet shoulder with apart toes pointing inward or outward. Walk up to the bar until your shins touch the bar. Now grab the bar just outside your legs (the grip can be one hand over and one under or both over). Make sure your hips are back and your abs are tight. Drive your feet through the floor as you use your back and legs to bring the bar up to standing position. Reverse the movement by pushing your hips back first and that counts as a rep. Make sure to breath! Do five sets of five for strength gains.
Dumbbell Clean and Press
Next up is dumbbell clean and press. Grab a dumbbell from the floor, bring it up to your chest then hoist up over head. The five sets of five combo of sets and reps also works well for strength gains in this instance.
Follow that up with a crucifix. Grab two dumbbells and hold them out with arms straight to your sides. Hold them as long as you can I recommend that if you can’t hold them for ten seconds you have to go lighter If you can hold them for more than twenty seconds you can go heavier. As this is to work up in weight. Three rounds of this will work. For some variations of the crucifix check out the tutorial video below.
The tire flip definitely is an increase in the level of difficulty. Many say its best approached like an offensive lineman. Start by squatting down low and wide, about a foot away from the tire, so that when you lean in, your weight is in your tip-toes. Place your palms underneath the tire. Rest your chin on top of the tire. Lean your shoulders and chest into the tire. Then with your core tight, extend your hips up to lift the tire — your arms shouldn’t move. Once the tire is vertical, take a stutter step with your left foot and kick up your right knee to the top of the tire as you push it over to hit the ground. Reset to your crouch and repeat. For the tire flip, three sets of five flips or reps is sufficient.
Finally, you have the farmers walk. Place the heaviest dumbbells you can hold at each side of you. Kneel down and pick up each. Walk with them for a minute. Increase the time and weight as you feel appropriate. Do three three rounds of the farmers walk at the end of your workout.
So there you have it! But be warned, as with beginning any new training regimen or program, make sure you consult with your health physician to ensure you are cleared to do so.