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Question - Building into Strongman Advice

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  • Question - Building into Strongman Advice

    Howdy folks I'm looking to make a foray into strongman. I've been running DC on and off for a while now and went from 175 to about 220 and found I enjoy the crazier aspect of working more than just grinding for size.

    I have decided I want to take two solid years to build myself into a decent local strong man competitor and get my feet wet. Please take a look at my program and tell me where I can improve please. I'm using a modified Westside approach with a bit of what I felt the most results from in DC. This will be the general template for the next 6 months.

    Sunday - Max Lowerbody
    Max Hip Drive Exercise (DL/SQUAT/Good Morning/ETC) 9x3 (I dont like singles
    as I train alone)
    Max Knee Drive (Front Squat/Leg Press Variant/BB Hack) 6x2, This is treated more as a dynamic though for joint health.
    Grip - 10minutes assorted grip training
    Abdominals - 5x5, 3x12, 1x20
    Mobility Work - Glute and Hip Flexor emphasis
    Extreme Stretching on Glutes/Hams/Quads

    24 Total sets + 10 minutes grip training

    Monday - Dynamic Upperbody
    Horizontal Pressing Exercise (Bench variants) 8x3 w/ Bands w/ 30 second
    Machine Chest DC Run through (Decline HS machine/Nautilus/Smith) 1x22RR
    Single Arm Horizontal Rowing Exercise 10x6 w/ 30 second breaks
    Moderate Volume Delt training, 2 major pressing or pulling exercises depending
    on monthly needs 5x6, 4x12
    Light Weight/High Volume Biceps - Lingering bicep injury I prefer to ease into full range of motion for heavy weights. First few months will be rehabilitation
    High Weight Triceps - 5x5

    35 total sets though done primarily for speed

    Dynamic Hip Drive Exercise (DL/BOXSQUAT/Good Morning/) 8x3
    Dynamic Triple Extension (Cleans/Snatch/Tire/Stone) 8x3
    Grip 10 minutes Pull/Farmers walk
    Prowler work 10 minutes
    Mobility Work

    Friday - Max Upperbody
    Angled Bench Variant - Ramping to max set of 3. Repeat triple for 3x3
    Close Grip Pressing movement (CGBP/Dips/Floor Press) - 5x6
    Explosive Overhead Pressing (Jerk/Push Press/KettleBells) 5x30 seconds for reps.
    High front loaded exercise (Hang High Pull/Rack Deads/Zercher Squat) 5x15
    Close Grip Object Curl (Bear Curl/Hammers/Plates/Reverse Grip) 3x30
    Posterior Chain Volume - Reverse Hypers/Back Extension/Bridges 3x50

    All rest days will involve some kind of cardio. I work in a gym so it's a given that I can get after it when I don't have to work with a client.

    Thank you for your input and I defer to your knowledge and experience.

  • #2
    Welcome to the world of Strongman! I've been competing for 2+ years, and won 2013 Maryland's Strongest Man, 200 weight class. That being said, I'm by no means an expert, but I'll share what little I've learned.

    1) I agree with the no singles. I never really do them, preferring to go with max triples.
    2) Deadlift is king in the Strongman world. Get that strong!
    3) Front squats are immensely helpful, as everything is front loaded, e.g. stones, carries, etc.
    4) There is no benching in Strongman, so I would recommend focusing on building your overhead strength and technique. I use floor press and incline db press for accessory work though, and it's helped my tricep power immensely.
    5) This is the most important...FIND A STRONGMAN GYM!!! Strongman implements are unlike anything you'll find in a regular gym. They're awkward, heavy, cumbersome. A pain in the ass basically. But that's the point. When I first started, the closest Strongman gym was an hour away in D.C. but it was worth the trip. There's a website run by Kalle Beck called Starting Strongman. I believe it has a list of Strongman gyms throughout the country. Check that out.

    Hope this was helpful
    Ian S McCrae
    United States Strength Coalition
    [email protected]