Strongman Training: 3 Weeks Out

So I just realized it’s been awhile since I talked about training for this upcoming strongman competition and I’ve been getting lots of questions about it, so here you go! Overall, everything is going well and I’m really enjoying the entire process - I will say though, I have never been so bruised, scraped, or sore as I have been the past few weeks!

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I’ve gotten a few questions about what my training has looked like - I outlined what I did for the first week of training but it has changed a bit so here is a basic outline of what I’ve been doing each week:

Monday:

Atlas stones

Back squat 5x5 (volume)

Press (bench or strict) 3x5 (volume)

Hip thrusts for some sort of tortuous set length

Plate pinches for grip work

Wednesday:

Power clean + power or split jerk with fat powerlifting bar (not an axle but still pretty big)

Back squat 2x5 (deload)

Press (bench or strict) 3x5 or 2x5 (volume or deload)

Pull ups

Plate pinches for grip work

 

Friday:

Jerk work usually

Back squat 5 rep max

Press (bench or strict) 5 rep max

Deadlift work - either 17inch rack pulls or reverse band deadlifts (alternating each week)

Dips

Plate pinches for grip work

Sunday:

Either mobility work in the gym or some o-lifting technique, usually jerks with the fat powerlifting bar

 Although this training cycle has been based on the same template I’ve been accustomed to for a few months, it feels VERY different. My coach is subbing several strongman-specific things in lieu of most of my olympic lifting (it’s been awhile since I snatched in a training session & not just messed around with mega light technique work on a Sunday) and it has been pretty tough, physically. As the weeks have gone on it has gotten easier though - it is taking me less time to recover from super heavy deadlifts/rack pulls, the stones have gotten easier and aren’t so taxing, and I’m pretty comfortable with a fatter barbell in my hands. I also got a chance to run through the majority of the implements at a different gym with my coach which was unbelievably helpful...and fun!

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I’ve also just gotten stronger this cycle. At the end of the last training cycle, my squat was at 195x2 -  I got  stuck at 190 (190x2, then a very rough 190x5) and by the end, that 195x2 was ROUGH. Extremely rough. Too rough. So, my coach had me take a few steps back this cycle - instead of starting where I left off, I started a few steps back by getting 175x5. Last Friday, I hit 190x5 last week and it felt about 20 times easier than it did last cycle. I did 160 for 5x5 volume work on Monday and honestly, going into the workout, I was a bit nervous. Last time I did 160 for 5x5, I felt awful - it was extraordinarily tough and I needed a spot on every.single.set.  This time, it didn’t feel “easy” but it felt manageable. I was actually a little shocked at how good it felt.

I’ve learned a LOT in the past few weeks and still have a ton to learn but here are five things that have become blatantly clear in the past few weeks:

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 1. You’re going to be bruised, scraped, and beat up: Tire flips will bruise the heck out of your arms and atlas stones will give you rashes on your legs and arms. Your entire body may be one big bruise at some point.

2. You’re going to EAT: I have never had such a massive appetite as I’ve had the past few weeks. There are times (especially after my Monday and Friday workouts) where I literally do not stop eating. This girl knows what I’m talking about.

3. You’re going to learn so many new skills: Awkward, heavy objects are well...heavy and awkward...so it will take some time to learn how to work with them. It may be frustrating at first but it’s also incredibly rewarding.

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4. You’re body is going to hurt: Learning new things means your body is going to need some time to adapt. If you’re squatting frequently + learning these things - get used to the idea that your legs are just going to be sore for 8 weeks. Also, if you’re lifting stones then flipping tires then carrying 130#lbs in each hand for 80 feet - your traps will be on fire. For days.

5. It’s going to be ridiculously fun: You get to carry heavy things around, move big stones, and flip giant tires. It’s like the heavy version of recess meaning you’re going to have so much fun that the bruises and soreness won’t matter.

Now, I have to go look up strongman tacky, ice my knees, and eat something.

 

P.S. This is the LAST week to register for the competition - if you’re in the Richmond, VA or surrounding areas, sign up! It’s going to be a good time! Event info & registration here: https://rcsc2013.eventbrite.com/ (You can also see the exact events I will be competing in, if you’re curious!)