Strongman is a sport where people lift and pull objects of different weights, and they have to be successful at finishing a selection of strength-based activities. The participants are tested for their brute strength in this competition.
The training program for Strongman is entirely different from that of other sports. These activities include pulling trucks, lifting concrete balls, throwing giant logs, flipping tractor tires, etc.
The strongmen go through specific training programs according to the requirement of the strongman activity. This article will give you an insight into the different training methods strongman contestants go through. You will also learn about the difference between strongmen and bodybuilders and the diet that strongmen follow.
How Do You Train To Be A Strongman?
Anyone can train to become a strongman by following a specific set of exercises to help build muscle mass and power. It doesn’t matter if you frequent the gym or are just a beginner at lifting weights. If you follow these basic exercises, you can gain immense strength.
Let’s look at the exercises you can perform to train like a strongman:
You can use the tire flip exercise to train your biceps, chest, and triceps. It is similar to deadlifts, but you use forward movements to push the tire.
The correct way to successfully perform a tire flip is to keep your feet in line with your shoulders and crouch down. Once in this position, you must move your hips back while maintaining a flat back and tight core.
It is important to use power for the initial lift, and you should use your legs to push against the tire’s weight. While doing this, you should also keep an eye on your hands to ensure you don’t miss your grip on the tire.
Once you have raised the tire to your chest level, you can change the position of your hands from an underhand to an overhand grip. Push the tire using your overhand and let it fall on the side.
One of the most basic but practical strongman exercises is to perform deadlifts. It gives you immense core strength and helps build your power. Since strongman activities include lifting heavy objects from the ground, the deadlift exercise gives you a taste of lifting weights.
Lifting the barbell will also give you excellent control over your grip. Your hands will get used to lifting heavy objects and help you in your journey to becoming a strongman contestant.
Deadlifting significantly impacts your posterior chain, like the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. This exercise gives you the basic movements required to increase stamina for other strongman-related activities.
Loading Atlas Stones
If you have ever watched strongman competitions, you must have noticed the contestants lifting big balls of stone. Those massive circular stones are called Atlas stones, an essential aspect of strongman training.
It might look challenging for beginners, but once you get used to it, your body will experience significant changes. Lifting Atlas stones help strengthen your pecs, lats, erectors, shoulders, and rhomboids.
The way to lift an Atlas stone is by wrapping your arms around it while squatting down with your feet apart. Pull the stone toward your body and guide it toward the groin area. This will make the stone rest on your thighs.
Raise the stone and place it on a platform, and the best way to do this is by using a spotter to stabilize the weight. Bring the stone back to its original position and keep repeating this exercise till you master it.
Sled-pushing is one of the best ways to increase your endurance levels, a crucial part of strongman features. Without high endurance levels, entering strongman competitions will be overwhelming for any participant.
It is a heart-racy and leg-pumping exercise that helps improve all muscle groups in your body. You can build speed, strength, and force by pushing sleds or any heavy object over a distance. Most athletes make sleds or prowlers in the gym to improve their stamina and speed.
The exercise is simple, as you only have to hold the handles of the prowler and push it as fast and far as possible with a straight arm. Your torso should parallel the floor and maintain a stable upper body while moving the prowler.
What Is A Strongman Body Type?
There is no specific body type to be a strongman. If you have watched the competitions, you must have noticed participants with various body types. Some are toned, some have big bellies, some have massive arms and legs, etc.
The only requirement of being a strongman is to have enough strength and endurance to overcome all the challenges in the strongman competition. You should not feel like you don’t stand a chance since you don’t have a ripped body. Anybody can be a strongman as long as you have enough strength and power.
However, you will notice some standard features in all strongmen, like massive arms and shoulders, wide and robust hips, tree trunk legs, broad backs, solid hands, forearms, etc.
Why Are Bodybuilders Not As Strong As Strongmen?
Many people are unaware that strongmen and bodybuilders are two different entities. A strongman’s goal is to possess super strength and power. On the other hand, a bodybuilder’s primary goal is to build their body in perfect symmetry.
Bodybuilders focus on working out to build the best-looking physique in competitions. They are judged based on how they pose on stage, their muscles’ size, how lean they are, the symmetrical accurateness of their bodies, etc.
However, a strongman only focuses on gaining super-human strength. Their diets are super-heavy, and they exercise to build muscle mass and power. It is not only the strength, but strongmen must also have excellent conditioning to compete in the strongman competitions.
Since bodybuilders aim to build muscle to achieve a toned body, they lack the strength and power of strongmen.
What Is A Strongman Diet?
A strongman diet is not maintained for gaining strength from eating lots of food but for having enough energy to go through the gruesome strongman training programs. Even after training sessions, they eat more food as it fuels recovery.
Here is a list of the essential diet of a strongman:
- You must avoid as much junk food and sugar in your daily diet.
- Include healthy protein foods like fish, lean meats (beef), eggs, nuts, dairy, etc., in your diet.
- Incorporate as many vegetables as possible in your diet, and ensure you drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
- Don’t try to force all the food in one sitting. Manage your food intake and divide them into different periods in a day.