Strongman competitors have a unique mix of size, strength, speed, agility, and work capacity. They are true strength athletes. Adding a day of strongman training to your program can help improve your overall lifting. It will not only add a completely new stimuli to your body but it can also be a nice mental reprieve from everyday training.

This is not only for the big lifting, iron freaks. It can benefit the everyday lifter and gym rat as well. I have used it with both my powerlifting/strength athletes and my “everyday Joe” clients. Hell, I use it on myself!

You may think that you’ve got to have lots of specialized equipment to start doing strongman training, this is sort of true, but it can also be done with equipment that almost every gym has.

Getting Started

The best way I have found to add strongman training into your routine is to start out by adding it in a couple of days per month. Replace your deadlift or squat workout that week with a day of heavy strongman training. If you don’t want to completely cut out your deadlift or squat training that week, just lower the volume from what you would normally do. Once you get acclimated to strongman training you can gradually add back in volume to your squat or deadlift day.

Exercises to Do

Expendables Workout - Farmer's Walk

Farmers Walk

This is best done with specialized farmers walk “bars” but most gyms won’t have these. What I like to do is grab the metal handles from the cable pulley machines and use TRX straps to tie weights together and attach them to the handle. So far, it’s the best use of TRX straps I have found. I have tied as many as five 45 lb. plates together on each side, so don’t worry about breaking the straps.

The farmers walk is a great total body exercise and really tests your intestinal fortitude. They help build strong legs, hips, core, and crushing grip strength. Farmers walks are also very functional, now you might have to only make one trip to the car for groceries.

Stone Lift

This one requires a set of stones (no pun intended) and is not as easy to duplicate without the proper equipment. In the stone lift, you take a heavy, round stone and lift it onto a platform. It is a total body workout that builds legs, back, hips (and hip extension), basically everything. If you can’t find a gym with a set of stones, a substitute can be to do Zercher squats.

Backward Drags

Again, another total body exercise. All you need to do these is something heavy and a length of rope. Tie the rope around a sled, stack of weights, or anything heavy that will slide, grab hold of the rope and walk backwards while dragging the weight. Simple yet effective.

All of these exercises are great total body workouts and they can be done in many gyms. So, next cycle give these strongman exercises a try.