Workout Routines

How to Train Like a Strongman

Increase your strength and ready yourself for competition with this 8-week routine.

Andrew Gutman competing at a Strongman competition
Erica Schultz

After deciding to enter my first Strongman show, I realized I had a lot of strength to gain. Here’s the 8-week program I followed leading up to the contest, designed by Ian Engel, a New York City-based personal trainer and Pure Yoga-certified instructor, and a former competitive Strongman. Follow him on Instagram @engel_strength.

Directions: You’ll perform three workouts per week, alternating between the “A” and “B” days. For example, during week one you’ll perform two “A” days and one “B” day, then flip it the next week. The “C” day is an optional bonus workout you can take on if you’re feeling good that week.

DAY A

Warmup:
1. Hamstring 90/90: 10 breaths
2. Cat/Cow: 10 breaths
3. Sun salutations: 3 reps

Exercise Sets Reps
A1 Push Jerk 5* ** 6
A2 Split Squat 4 10 (Per Leg)
B1 Zercher Squat 5* ** 10
B2 Kettlebell Swing 5 20
C1 Erg *** 4 250m
C2 Farmer Carry 4 100ft

* Lower the weight to a six-count for first four sets, leaving two reps in the tank. Do the last two sets with normal speed.
**Perform a few warm-up sets with the bar and then light weight.
***Set Erg to level 5-7 and don’t kill yourself. Row at a smooth and consistent pace.

DAY B

Exercise Sets Reps
A1 Static Deadlift* 3 3
B1 Eccentric Deadlift** 5 10
B2 Bear Position Row 4 8
C1 Kettlebell Swing 3 30 sec.
C2 Eccentric Pullup*** 3 5
C3 Pushup 3 10
C4 Farmer Carry 3 30 sec.

*Pull the bar as hard as you can without it leaving the ground for about 10-15 seconds. Rest between reps, exhale all of your air out, and then pull again. Increasing the weight on the bar each session will allow you to pull harder.
**Take 4 seconds to lower the weight.
***Take 5 seconds to lower yourself.

DAY C

Exercise Sets Reps
A1 Trap Bar Deadlift* 5 5
A2 Pullup** 5 5
A3 Seated Cable Row 3 15
B1 Trap Bar Deadlift*** 3 1
B2 Farmer’s Carry 3 100ft
B3 Dumbbell Floor Press 3 15
C1 Hammer Curl 3 15 (per arm)
C2 Leg Curl on Sliders 3 15
C3 Dumbbell Skull Crusher 3 15
C4 Man Maker 3 3

Notes:
*Leave 3 reps in the tank
**Take 3 seconds to lower yourself back down.
***Leave just 1 rep in the tank.

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