I have always been completely captivated by strength athletics, strongman training, and all of the different events they do during a competition. I remember watching TSN (the Canadian version of ESPN) at midnight as a kid when these events would be on tv and just sitting there with a slack jaw. The Log Press, the farmers walk, and even the atlas stones were some of my favorite events to watch. As I grew up strongman training was constantly on my mind the problem is that there are not many places that allow for strongman training. However, when you look at the training itself and take a look at it from a sports coach perspective there are some really good benefits to adding some movements into your training.
Strongman Training For Athletes
Training for strongman is complicated, to say the least. There are so many different movements and events. You have to be an extremely well-rounded athlete. You need strength (obviously), endurance, quickness, explosiveness, and an every other athletic intangible you can think of. Strongman training is something that I have always been fascinated with because I went to a gym that a couple of strongmen trained in.
It took me a long time to gather the courage to come and talk to them about what they were doing but luckily enough I trained close enough to them that they came up to me. They saw some potential and asked if I wanted to train with them. It was both exciting as well as horrifying to me. I was 16 years old, relatively weak compared to them, and they were in their 30’s and strong as F@%k.
Training with them took me from mediocre offensive linemen to a GTA all-star level offensive linemen within a summer. It was the increase in GPP, the gains in strength, and the functional nature of the training that allowed me to get so good. I understand that strongman training is difficult to get into or find but if you have the ability to add at least some of the movements into your training you will find your ability as an athlete increase exponentially.
The log press is one of the most iconic events in strongman training. It is a very specific implement that may be hard to come across but if you are lucky enough to live in an area that has a strongman gym close by or even your normal gym is willing to get one for their members then you need to take advantage of it ASAP.
The log press requires the entire body. You need to get the log from the floor to your chest and then press it overhead. The log press puts the hands in a neutral position. It is the most natural position for your hands to be in. It is an athletic position. Let’s run through some of the keys to the Log Press.
- Make the handles tilted downward
- Deadlift log
- Squat down and rest it on your lap, keep your elbows high
- Explode up, rolling the log up your body.
- Push your elbows forward
- Your head should be looking toward the sky to make room for the log.
- Push the log overhead. As the log passes your head push your head forward.
We have talked about the benefits of the farmers walk on this blog before but it is so important I felt like doubling up on it! The act of carrying stuff from one spot to another spot is almost primal. We do this every single day in one form or another. The Farmers walk requires grip strength, endurance, and a bulletproof posterior chain.
- Set up in the middle or slightly behind the middle of the farmers handles
- Grab the handles deep into your palms with a flexed wrist slightly behind center so the front of the handles dip down a little bit
- Keep a straight/tight back
- Stand up
- With quick feet use short steps to control the movement of the implements.
Like I said a couple of times now on this article, there are endless amounts of events that a strongman needs to prepare for. It is a laundry list of strength feats that may be difficult to even fathom as being beneficial for your athletic career. Other events include:
- Atlas stones
- Arm over Arm Pull
- Truck Pull
- Axle clean/ press
- Axle Deadlifts
- Car deadlifts
- Tire flip
I could make this list longer but I think you get the point. The issue with strongman training is the lack of coaches to safely coach up these movements for young athletes. If you plan on getting involved in some strongman training you should find a group of people who are experienced in the movements because they require special techniques to be performed successfully.