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drmobley
08-18-2009, 08:40 AM
Just entered my first strongman/highland competition. Besides being the shortest and lightest competitor, setting the yoke height too high, falling in the farmers walk and only 3 training sessions prior to the competition, I had a good time. Needless to say i finished in last place. Was inquiring as to whether you or other strongmen had any semi-specific routines. i still want to train for raw powerlifting also, but haven't found anything really specific. I have a mastiff yoke, farmers implements, steel log, sled and a couple stones up to 300# at home, just haven't really known where to start. hope one of you guys can help or point me in the right direction. Thanks in advance.

Tom Mutaffis
08-18-2009, 08:52 AM
Here is an article that I wrote on setting up your training split to include strongman work: http://www.atlargenutrition.com/effective_strongman_routine.php

In terms of actually putting together the specific workouts, that can be a bit more tricky. Each individual has different abilities when it comes to volume and frequency of strongman event training. Much of it has to do with your CNS and also if you are trying to use the events to build strength or simply to learn technique.

The best advice that I can give is to start off slow and keep the max effort work to a minimum. If you are going to do heavy events work then I would limit it to 1-2 sets per event, and 3-4 events total on your strongman day. Things like log press you can do more frequently but heavy yoke walks and heavy stones should only be done 1-2 times per month as they really do take a lot out of you. Sometimes a "westside" method works well where you do heavy strongman training one week and then speed work the next week, alternating.

If you need help on specifics with your program just let me know.

drmobley
08-18-2009, 10:06 AM
Thanks Tom,
I've been watching your progress and accomplishments and have always been extremely impressed with your training mentality. i'll read that and put something together. Thanks for a push in the right direction.

Tom Mutaffis
08-18-2009, 10:16 AM
Thanks Tom,
I've been watching your progress and accomplishments and have always been extremely impressed with your training mentality. i'll read that and put something together. Thanks for a push in the right direction.

Thank you for the complements.

If you have a specific contest or event that you are preparing for I can help you to come up with a detailed training program for your strongman workouts(events / weights / distances).

BigTallOx
08-18-2009, 10:34 AM
I'm still really new to strongman training, but I do know that it's really taxing on your body, more so than powerlifting, at least it is for me. Initially I made the mistake of trying to do too much and my powerlifting suffered a little. Im still experimenting with how to work it into my training most effectively and I for now I'm trying out the less is more philosophy, I'm rotating it with my squat/dead max effort days. That is, I do strongman events once every 3 weeks. Given I currently have no specific goals for competing in strongman ( but I thoroughly enjoy doing it ), but I have a couple powerlifting meets in the future, it seems to be working out well. My powerlifts are going up again, and I'm completely fresh every time I train strongman.

drmobley
08-18-2009, 03:27 PM
ox,
I was planning on at least 1 strongman/highland training session each week and just rotating the events that I train. printed off Tom's recommended reading and am currently trying to write something up. Thanks for your input and good job increasing your prs, I've also been keeping an eye on your improvements and you have really jumped up in personal bests in this past year. Great job!

BigTallOx
08-18-2009, 03:44 PM
ox,
I was planning on at least 1 strongman/highland training session each week and just rotating the events that I train. printed off Tom's recommended reading and am currently trying to write something up. Thanks for your input

Just to be clear I wasn't disagreeing with anything Tom recommended. He clearly knows what he's doing. It's just for me, with what I'm currently doing for powerlifting, strongman event training once a week was too much. I wish it wasn't, at some point I'll probably make a switch over to focus on strongman more than powerlifting.

drmobley
08-18-2009, 04:26 PM
ox,
I totally understood where you're coming from. I am just anticipating 1 strongman day/week, but i realize tom has conditioned his body to a certain type of regimen and that everyone is different. I "hope" to train strongman 1 day/week, but we'll see. I too, don't want any of my powerlifting to suffer, although in the deadlift it would be hard to notice.:thumbup: Thanks for the input so far.

Off Road
08-18-2009, 04:30 PM
Is there a minimum ammount of strength somebody should shoot for before trying to train for events? I'm assuming there should at least be a minimum deadlift and press number?

Do the events have an "old man" catagory?

Tom Mutaffis
08-18-2009, 08:21 PM
Is there a minimum ammount of strength somebody should shoot for before trying to train for events? I'm assuming there should at least be a minimum deadlift and press number?

Do the events have an "old man" catagory?

There is a Masters Division for competitors over 40, and even a subdivision for those who are 50+.

You do not really need any minimum strength level to begin strongman, but I would recommend being in good physical condition (meaning no injuries or medical concerns). It would also be helpful to have some basic strength training background such as being able to squat / deadlift at least 1.5 times your bodyweight.

I have seen some guys with OK gym lifts who do very well in strongman due to outstanding athletic ability, mental toughness, and conditioning. There are also guys with incredible brute power who just do not have the coordination or flexibility to do well with events.

Definitely give it a try if there is a local training crew just to see what you think first hand. Let me know if you are interested and I can try to find a group near you.

Off Road
08-18-2009, 09:01 PM
My nephew has started competing as a teen. I'll have to go to an event and see what I think. I definately qualify for 40+ and I'm close to the 50+ :thumbup:

BigTallOx
08-18-2009, 09:29 PM
There is a Masters Division for competitors over 40, and even a subdivision for those who are 50+.


Really?!! I've been told that there isn't. Are their multiple federations like in powerlifting, and only some have masters divisions?

drmobley
08-19-2009, 06:52 AM
I entered the masters division in mine, just because i had hit 40. The bad thing for me was that there were no weight divisions in the masters. I weighed in at 196 and the rest of the masters were some pretty big guys. I agree with Tom. My gym lifts weren't bad, but I definitely lacked the coordination, endurance and training for this first competition, but like i said it was fun and I walked away with just scrapes and bruises. I think by entering this first competition, it definitely gave me a taste for strongman and if I would have waited longer, I probably wouldn't have entered one. Good luck.

Tom Mutaffis
08-19-2009, 08:47 AM
Really?!! I've been told that there isn't. Are their multiple federations like in powerlifting, and only some have masters divisions?

Whoever told you that must have been misinformed.

There is only one federation in the United States - North American Strongman (NAS) for amateurs and American Strongman Corporation (ASC) for professionals. They are both run by a husband and wife team. Just about every amateur contest has a Masters Division, though there is no pro class.

www.nastrongmaninc.com

NAS has 100+ contests per year.

There is also a federation that was formed in 2009 that combines strongman and highland games. It is called North American Highlander (NAHA) and they have a Masters division as well for competitors who are 40+

BigTallOx
08-19-2009, 09:26 AM
Whoever told you that must have been misinformed.

There is only one federation in the United States - North American Strongman (NAS) for amateurs and American Strongman Corporation (ASC) for professionals. They are both run by a husband and wife team. Just about every amateur contest has a Masters Division, though there is no pro class.

www.nastrongmaninc.com

NAS has 100+ contests per year.

There is also a federation that was formed in 2009 that combines strongman and highland games. It is called North American Highlander (NAHA) and they have a Masters division as well for competitors who are 40+

Very cool, thanks for clarifying that. That may change things. I think I could hold my own against fellow 40+ers, but not the 20-somethings I've seen.

So, I have another question. Can you wear powerlifting briefs when doing strongman competitions?

Tom Mutaffis
08-19-2009, 12:42 PM
Very cool, thanks for clarifying that. That may change things. I think I could hold my own against fellow 40+ers, but not the 20-somethings I've seen.

So, I have another question. Can you wear powerlifting briefs when doing strongman competitions?

The Masters Class is relatively popular, most of the contests that I have done have at least 3-5 guys competing in the 40+ category. Master's also have their own Nationals and the Masters National Championship is being held in about three weeks in Columbia, SC.

With regard to the briefs, almost every promoter will allow you to use them. I have seen some guys wear them for the Yoke or deadlift, occasionally you will see someone with briefs on stones as well but that is rare. A lot of guys prefer neoprene pants (rehband, vulcan) as those provide warmth and support but do not inhibit your mobility. These 'warm pants' can be somewhat expensive but are a good investment if you plan on doing a lot of strongman training. Compression shorts (under armor, nike, etc.) are another alternative.

Ben Moore
08-19-2009, 01:27 PM
Dr. Mobley - where in the MW are you?

drmobley
08-19-2009, 02:55 PM
Ben,
I'm in Fort Dodge, Iowa. And at 40, just now trying to get into your strongman sport. I see you're in KC, that's a great city.