Strength Training

So You Want to be Strong

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So you want to be Strong? Learn the different types of strength.

First things first: knowing the different types of “strength”. One of the most grueling, demanding and toughest sports in the world is the Strongman competition. One of the main reasons behind this statement is because of the versatility of each event. It is difficult to train for a competition.

Unlike the brother and sister sports Powerlifting and Olympic lifting, where you have designated lifts that a person can train and be tailored for,  Strongman events change from contest to contest. Strongman has its own unique techniques involved, but they are harder to learn, depend on the equipment and still require you to be quick on your feet in all meanings of the word. To do strongman, you must be strong all around.

One thing both Powerlifting and Olympic lifting both focus on is a tremendous amount of technique and form training. Where the object in both sports is to lift the heaviest amount of weight from point A to B, both sports differ in the ways ofn doing so:

Powerlifters rely more on brute force and static grinding strength.

Olympic lifters rely more on dynamic and explosive speed strength.

What makes Strongman so unique is a combination of both measures of these strengths and then some. The measure of PAIN TOLERANCE and strength endurance. (The burn of a bar against your shins is nothing compared to an atlas stone ripping across your entire body, legs, forearms and chest, and then the task of carrying it five feet up on to a platform) Prime example of 2 monsters that together both show this quality:


Now that I have explained the differences to you, I will show you some main lifts for each sport. Then I will elaborate a little more on the basic types of events for strongman.

In Powerlifting you have your standard 3 main lifts being in order:



Bench Press




In Olympic lifting your main classic lifts:

Clean and Jerk




In STRONGMAN the basic template is choose 5 of these types of events:

  • Clean and Overhead Press – Almost all competitions have this event, & it is normally 1st. (Log, Axle/Thick Bar, Thick Dumbbell, Kettle bell, Keg, Stone, Viking Press)
  • Odd Object Carry – (Tombstone, Keg, Sandbag, Fire Hydrant).
  • Drag – (Sled, Sandbag, Boat Chain or Anchor)
  • Walks  – (Yoke, Farmers handles or cylinders, Frame, Car, Wheel Barrow)
  • Flips – (Tires ranging sizes and weights 400-900+, Car)
  • Deadlift – (Car, Platform, Wheel barrow, Axle, Barbell, Trap bar, Farmers, Frame)
  • Medleys  – all these events can be combined or paired together.

Example medley: Tire flip 40ft, Keg carry 20ft, load it into the Sled and drag it back 20ft

Other events:

  • Static Holds for grip or endurance (Farmers, Crucifix’s think Side lateral holds)
  • Harness Pulls (Car, Sled, Prowler, Truck, Plane)
  • Arm over arm rows (Car, Sled)
  • Conan’s Wheel (Think Zercher Carry)
  • Squat (Keg loaded, Car leverage apparatus, Platform, all smith machine like)
  • Toss (Keg, Tires, Stones, Sandbags, Sabers – huge sticks)
  • Fingal fingers (Long poles you must lift flip off the ground from 1 side to the other)

*For the most part, everything in strongman is measured by max lift, highest # of reps, longest distance and fastest time. In Strongman, the events change from contest to contest, but one staple lift for every Strongman contest is the Atlas stones.

Atlas stones (Round shaped stones can be lifted or carried and loaded to different platforms of height done in a series, typically 5, or so or they can be lifted over a yoke bar for reps)

*Nine times out of ten, amateur or pro contests alike, this famous last event is the staple lift associated with Strongman.


And there you have it – a basic run down of the 3 main strength sport disciplines. If you want to learn more about how to compete and train in strongman, stay tuned for my upcoming articles!

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