Why you should be doing some Strongman!
The term ‘functional fitness’ has been a bit of a buzzword lately. This is because training to be prepared for life is appeals to many. They may not want to lift in a powerlifting competition (such as the one we are holding at Black Flag Barbell Club on September 10th!). They may not want to train for bodybuilding and maximum short head of biceps contraction, either.
Strongman training is about as functional as it gets – pick up something up, and move it. The ‘something’ will be awkward to lift, and the ‘moving it’ might be reps, for distance, or over another object. There are no standard lifts for strongman, however there are some categories that most strongman events fall into.
Farmers walks, frame carries, yoke carries, keg carries. Basically, take something heavy, grab onto it or put it on your back and go for a walk. These are great for core strength, grip strength (depending on the event) and back strength.
Axle bar deadlifts, car deadlifts, wagon wheel deadlifts, deadlifts for reps. These events are pretty straightforward for anyone who knows what a deadlift is – grab onto a bar and lift the thing. Great for back strength, core strength, posterior chain strength and making you want to puke if there are reps involved.
Log press, continental clean and press, circus dumbbell, viking press. Great for making you feel weak. Obviously these have a more upper body focus, although your are really using your whole body to get things in position and set yourself up for success.
Atlas stones, keg loading, sandbag loading. Pick up a heavy object, and put it in a trailer / on a pedestal / over something. You can use just about anything for this, the more awkward the better!
Truck pull, sled pull. Pull something heavy for distance or time, simple! You can do sled pulls at a lighter weight for conditioning and active recovery, or heavy as an actual training movement.
So if you’re training to be functional, or simply want a change of pace from the same old, give some strongman movements a try! You don’t need speciality equipment, get creative – anything that is awkward and difficult counts.