Mike Jenkins is changing the competitive strength training landscape by incorporating CrossFit workouts into Strongman events. This past summer, Jenkins promoted and co-hosted the first-ever MHP Clydesdale Games, a national fitness competition mixing elements of CrossFit and strongman with $10,000 in prize money. His top six hardcore training tips, listed here, will get you training like a beast in no time— and maybe ready to enter a contest of your own.

Jenkins’ Strength Tips

  1. GET SIX
    Real strength building happens at six reps. You should be working toward a heavy set of six on all your main lifts. More reps than that, and you can’t go that heavy.
    When you get near your max effort, you don’t want to rush it. Between very heavy sets, I’ll rest five minutes. You need complete recovery.
    There will come a point when you will need wrist straps, but that’s OK. They are a tool to help you get stronger. And get a quality leather lifting belt that is the same height all the way around so it isn’t different in the front or back.
    Warmup sets with empty bars and deload weeks don’t look cool, but you can’t worry about how it looks.
    If you’re a good presser, you can’t just do that. Spend more time on what you suck at.
    People who are trying to get into the sport say, “I’m not ready,” or “I’m going to wait until I’m stronger.” But you are going to learn by doing it. There’s no substitute for just throwing your hat in.

Jenkins’ Strongman Shoulder-Workout

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Standing Barbell Overhead press 4 10, 8, 8, 6 3 min.
Barbell Floor Press 3 12-15 3 min.
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3 12-15 90 sec.
Lying Barbell Triceps Extension 3 12-15 90 sec.
Cable Triceps Pushdown* 3 15-20 90 sec.

*Mike switches up the cable attachment every week, using ropes, straight bars, and V-shaped bars.