“The average person who wants to get bigger, stronger, or even leaner can benefit from Strongman training, because the exercises that build the most muscle also burn the most fat,” says Matt Mills, a strength and conditioning specialist, pro Strongman, and the owner of Lightning Fitness in South Windsor, CT. It’s not just about moving heavy objects—it’s about moving heavy objects repeatedly. That takes endurance.

Fortunately, much of that training can take place in your local gym with free weights and machines, which is great for those who don’t have access to 350-pound stones—or don’t want to rig up a harness and pull a plane across the parking lot.

“The priority should be free weights, but I like to mix in machines, too,” Mills says. “Isolation work like hamstring curls and biceps curls is great for preventing injuries, especially if you’re newer to the sport.”

Here, Mills breaks down six of the moves he programmed in our How to Strength Train Effectively in a Commercial Gym plan that have the most carryover to Strongman events. Read up, then get ready to work.

Andrew Gutman competing at a Strongman competition

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