I’ll start with why I started, and the obvious, should you ever attend a competition; it’s fucking fun!!
Biased yes, but strongman training is the most fun way to get strong and turn into an animal!
Believe me. I think the thought of doing strongman for a ‘purpose’ never crossed my mind, I saw logs, tyres and farmers carries and just thought “OATH! Let me get in on that”.
Little did I realise the benefits it would give not only to my body, but more importantly my mind.
No matter what sport you’re in, “strength is never a weakness, weakness is never a strength” – Mark Bell.
For athletes involved in sports such as footy and sports that are pretty chaotic, the awkward movements in strongman training provides a strong functional carry over.
Many of the clients we have at Royale are athletes, predominately Australian rules footballers and have reaped the benefits from our strength classes and the strongman movements we place in the programming.
Many if not majority of our male cliental also consists of tradesman. Take picking up a truss, pulling some electrical mains in, hauling pipe all over a job site or simply just dealing with the physical demands every day of being a tradie, it’s countless amount of awkward movements and countless amounts of physical labour that if you’re not prepared for, could see you getting injured.
Strongman training however, makes you stronger in these movements and attacks the 3 planes of motion (the same motions that you undertake every single day); transverse (dead ball), frontal (over head press) and sagittal (squat) this way the body never full adapts to a particular movement pattern which keeps the body guessing and creates new stimulus.
Now this isn’t just for the men, the woman at Royale also reap these benefits. Ladies, strongman or lifting in general for that matter, will help you burn away body fat!!
No, you will not look jacked up like Arnie, no you will not have veins running down your arms and quads, okay maybe sometimes in training, but yes, you will look toned, fierce and sexy! Athlete or not, what better way to escape the office after sitting down all day and let your body find its truest strength.
Mid way disclaimer; some strongman implements can have more negative effects to the body if used irresponsibly, more relative to competition but also relative to any jacked up male high on testosterone at a gym…Yeah you know what I’m talking about.
Strongman events and implements do carry more risk with them then your traditional squats and deadlifts, if not coached properly, you put your body at risk and will not develop the necessary skills to perform the exercises safely.
Alright, now the good shit…
Let’s go through some of the main events and strongman exercises.
First, we have the carrying events.
The yolk, named after the yolk carry that your farmers cows did in the fields, yes you can be that cow! The yolk is great for teaching core stability and stabilisation through the trunk, static strength and how to control ones breath under tension!
The farmers carry, essentially a much heavier, less colourful, less plastic shopping bag run from the shops to your car! Can be trained in a multitude of ways and attacks a multitude of muscles, predominantly the whole mid section and upper back. Used often in a conditioning sense, this will get the lactic acid going through the legs also.
The over-head pressing events; strongman pretty much have this idea that
if you can grip it, then it can and should go overhead. Logs, Axle bars (think truck axles), Oversized Dumbbells that should belong in a circus, and kegs…full of beer, not really but it’s fun to think about it.
Lastly you have your loading events such as your atlas stones, med balls, tyres and more kegs! Traditionally paired up with a run, this is where strength and conditioning comes into play. Anything over 5 reps is conditioning right??
If you thought that wasn’t enough, you also have modifications on your traditional squats and deadlifts. Throw this all into one day and you have yourself a strongman competition. Throw a few of these into a 1hour session and you have yourself an idea of how a strongman session may go down!!
The reason why I love strongman training and think every program should have some element of strongman to it is the fact that it demands work from all of your prime movers. I’m talking lats, quads, hammies, delts, tris and core.
To put that into context, the more muscles you use, the more energy you expend, equals the more fat you can burn; unlock Beast mode.
Look I understand nobody wants to, nor has time to spend countless hours in the gym, but that doesn’t have to be the way.
At Royale, we pride ourselves on clients getting the most out of their 3-4, 1 hour sessions per week. At the end of the day, training should be challenging, but more importantly it should be fun!!
If training is feeling like a chore and you need something to spice up your routine, or maybe you just want to impress your loved one by carrying 20 shopping bags in from the car along with your kid draped over your shoulders, then give strongman a go and enjoy getting strong!!