Strength Training

Your First Strongman Competition, Tips, Tricks and Things You Should Know

  • 26

So you want to compete in your first Strongman Competition!

My first word of advice is find a local training crew that has some of the events you will be encountering in your first competition.

You don’t want to start off like me and just compete in strongman competitions just to play with events, it is dangerous and costly. You are better off learning proper technique and form from those who have experience with it. Although, if you can not find anyone, you should go to a local Strongman competition just to make friends and find training crews, show some support, and get an idea of the rules and implements. If you’re lucky the promoter might let you try the implements out after the competition.

You most likely will compete with the NAS, North American Strongman Association. Memberships for Adults is 40$ for the year, 20$ for teens. Most entry fees range from 50$,60-75$, with late fees as well. 100$ for pro shows.

Strongman Weight Classes

If you are a beginning Lightweight there are only 2 weight classes to worry about:

  • Under 200lbs, 200-231lbs
  • Under 231lbs Men’s Lightweight Open

If you are a beginning Heavyweight there are only 2 weight classes to worry about:

  • 232lbs and over, unlimited to the Heavy Weight Men’s Open Division
  • 232lbs-265lbs, 265lbs+ and over

For a Lightweight you should have at least:

  • 200-225lbs Clean and Overhead Press
  • 405-455lbs Deadlift

For a Heavyweight you should have at least:

  • 245-265lbs Clean and Overhead Press
  • 495lbs-550lbs Deadlift

There are some more weight divisions but are barely seen outside of nationals.

Strongman Competition Levels

  • Silver – 1st place qualify for nationals.
  • Gold – 1st and 2nd place qualify for nationals.
  • Platinum – Top 3 places qualify for nationals.
  • Platinum Plus – Competitors can earn their pro card.

As a beginner, you want to look for lighter, silver level shows to get started, but will learn a lot from gold level shows as well.

When Picking Strongman Competitions

Try to pick shows not too far from you. Travel is tiring and will take a lot out of you as most strongman contests start early. Try to pick indoor competitions over outside competitions as the seating will be closer to the events, bathrooms closer, air conditioned, most likely a hotel near by so you can come in the night before and get good rest.

Weigh-ins are normally the day before the show, and day of at 9-10am, rules at 10:30am, show starts at 11am, sometimes at 12pm. Pay attention to the promoter’s rules. Always show up on time, or early to get good parking, an idea how the playing field is, time to warm up, eat, etc…

Most strongman shows are outside, so try to get shaded and close parking. Bring a comfy lawn chair with shade, sunscreen, umbrella, towel, a cooler filled with liquids and easy to eat foods like peanut butter sandwiches, bananas, etc.

I am pretty tired so I am asking other strongman competitors to add on to this list.

Body By Gamma

Tony E, also known as Body by Gamma, Has competed in over 15 Strongman/Powerlifting competitions. Best lifts include 360lbs stone, 300lbs Overhead Press, 350 Competition Bench, 525 Competition Squat, 405 Zombie Squat and 630lbs Deadlift. For more information on Body by gamma, please visit Tony's blog or Youtube channel.
1 Comment
  • Pau Jun 17,2010 at 10:59 am

    H Guys,

    I am trying to publicise my strongman training practices survey. Be great if you could help please. In New Zealand we dont have many competitors and none really that are at a International standard. Below is what I have been publicising and the reason for the survey.

    Hello strongman competitors. My name is Paul Winwood and I have competed in bodybuilding and powerlifting, and have a passion for resistance training.
    In the past decade the sport of strongman has grown rapidly in popularity both as a spectator sport and in terms of the number of active competitors. Anecdotal evidence suggests that elite strongman competitors may be some of, if not the strongest men and women in the world. How did these individuals get so strong? What unique training methods do they do to handle such incredible loads? Currently, a paucity of evidence exists to answer these questions.

    The following link is to the survey ‘The training practices of strongman competitors’. This survey will form part of my Master’s thesis, which is under the guidance of my primary supervisor Justin Keogh, PhD (<105kg 2008 New Zealand strongman winner). The aim of this study is to help improve our understanding of training practices for the sport of strongman. The information could also help guide future competitors in how they should train for the sport of strongman. We would be very grateful to you if you could take the time to fill out this survey and also email the link on to other strongman competitors. We will attach some of the primary results in public forums as well as seek to publish this data set in a scientific journal, like the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

    Kind Regards
    Paul Winwood

Leave Your Comment

Your Comment*

Your Name*
Your Webpage