Just a few years back I can remember going through my first ever strongman training workout.
We started by flipping a 450 lbs tire for reps of 5, then proceeded to do some heavy farmer walks with 120 lbs dumbbells, and finished with dragging a 350 lb sled… I wanted to die.
I wasn’t used to that type of training at all.
Since then, things have changed a lot!
The reason for this post is because it’s been asked numerous times, “Is strongman training going to make me big and fat like some of the guys on TV?”
This question has also been asked through email a bunch of times, “Is strongman training just for guys that want to add pure strength?”
Short answer, “HELL NO!”
If you’ve followed my blog for a while and have looked into some of the different types of workouts I use and create, you would know that I’m a HUGE fan of strongman training.
Just 4 years back, I really never looked into strongman training as a modality to use for athletes and regular weekend warrior clients as I thought that strongman training was only for guys competing in strongman only.
Well, I was wrong!
When I saw the likes of Joe Defranco, Zach Even-Esh, and freaks like Elliot Hulse using strongman training for all of their different athletes and clients, I knew there was something there to be had.
The truth: strongman training is an essential form of training that I feel any type of trainee should be using. Whether you’re goal be for fat loss, muscle gain, or just pure athletic performance, Strongman Training is the way to be!
Since I know that there are people out there that may still think that strongman training isn’t such a versatile style of training as it seems, I’m going to go over 5 different reasons why it so powerful and essential for everyone, not just the bulky, fat guys on TV….
1) Strongman Training Builds Functional Strength
With strongman training, many of the movements performed, if not all are functional in nature, meaning you don’t isolate your muscles but rather you use your whole body as a unit.
You’re NEVER in a machine – you are the machine. If you look at some of the main movements that represent strongman training to the fullest, you would notice that you need to be functionally strong in order to complete them.
Tire flips, farmer carries, and axle clean and presses are three of the most common movements and all require you to be able to move and be fully functional as you’re using your whole body, not just isolating muscles. This helps build functional strength that will cross over to anything you do in life, including sports.
2) Weighted Conditioning
One of my favorite reasons why I love strongman training so much is for the simple fact that it’s fun. The main reason I find it fun is because it takes regular boring cardio and turns it into a game of sorts.
One of my favorite types of strongman workouts is a carry medley where you carry heavy sandbags, kegs, farmer handles, heavy kettlebells or dumbbells, all right after the other. What’s cool about this is your not only working on building up strength but, you’re also building up some serious conditioning at the same time as well.
Try doing a carry medley or relay sometime and let me know how gassed you get from just carrying some heavy objects back and forth in a circuit. It’s NOT easy….
Another favorite form of weighted conditioning I love to do (Well, maybe not love) is heavy sled drags and pushes. I know you’ve seen it may times before with people pushing and pulling their trucks but, I much rather prefer a heavy loaded sled.
There’s nothing quite like dragging a heavy ass sled for 30-40 yards forwards then immediately backwards. You want to talk about your heart wanting to pop out of your chest… This is it!
You’ll not only build up some serious conditioning but your legs will get strong as hell at the same time.
3) Strongman Training Builds More Muscle
Now this one should be a no brainer… Lift heavy sh*t and you’ll build up more muscle… Pretty basic. It’s just your body’s way of adapting to the stimulus’s you put it through. Lift, carry, drag, and pull heavy stuff around enough and you’re body will grow. Enough said on this…
4) Strongman Training Burns Fat
In addition to building muscle through strongman training, one of the key benefits to doing strongman training is with how much damn fat you’ll be burning off your body while doing it.
Of course if getting leaned up and shredded is one of your main goals, in order to do so, you must eat right to make this happen as no type of training out there will burn fat off your body unless you’re fueling up your body properly to allow it to do so.
Strongman training will burn a ton of calories and in return, will help you get completely shredded to the bone. There’s some guidelines to follow though. You can’t just do strongman training a few times a week and expect to get ripped up. You’ve got to make sure you’re eating right.
My recommendations would be to eat like a caveman and go Paleo while training like a complete beast through strongman training. If you need to catch up on what Paleo eating is exactly, check out this past blog post here, on How to eat Paleo.
Combine a Paleolithic type eating style with strongman training and you’ll get jacked and shredded in no time.
5) Strongman Training Improves Athleticism and Performance
How I wish I would have known how effective strongman training was back when I was playing football in college. I really never looked into it back then but if I had, I guarantee my strength, power, and overall conditioning would have been even better!
Many of the different movements used in strongman training not only require you to be strong and explosive to begin with but, they help build these qualities as well. In return, training strongman will improve your overall athleticism and performance levels.
One of my favorite strongman training movements is the clean and press. I use a heavy thick bar for these as well as kegs, kettlebells, heavy dumbbells and sandbags.
The clean and press is one of the best movements I feel that helps improve full body strength and power. Basically take and object from the ground and lift it over your head. In order to do so, you need to use the clean to get it into position, then power it up over your head. This is simply one of the best movements to work power and strength all at once.
Overall, I’m a HUGE fan of strongman training. I use it in my own workout programs and within all of my clients programs. Doesn’t matter if you’re trying to improve performance, lose fat and get totally ripped up and shredded, or if you’re trying to pack on some serious mass, strongman training needs to be apart of your overall training program.
There’s a program that shows you exactly how to use strongman training within your program. I consider this program to be one of the best ever created for guys wanting to build muscle and get ripped and to make it even better, it’s coming from one of the masters, Elliot Hulse.
Elliot and I both cater to the serious strength addicts of the world and if you’re one of them, you will want to consider checking this out – LeanandMeanStrongman.com
Post Up In the COMMENTS what you like about strongman training. What else would you like to read about when it comes to strongman training?