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View Full Version : Strongman exercises that have carryover to powerlifting



Thaddypants
07-26-2013, 10:51 PM
Hello, everyone (and Mike T, congrats again on your 9/9 performance last weekend!) Can you recommend some strongman exercises that have carryover for powerlifting? I know Jeremy Hartman had credited strongman training with helping him overcome a plateau in his deadlift.

Thad

BobW
07-27-2013, 04:47 PM
I think pretty much all SM will have some carryover to PL.

Let's break that down a bit: there's dynamic and static. Dynamic events are "walking" events: yoke, farmers, tire flips, fingal's, Conan, object carries, weight pulls, and then pressing / pulling / loading for reps. Static events are geared more towards 1 RM performance, no walking: farmers holds, max DL, max press, max weight loaded.

Any dynamic work is typically limited to 75 seconds of intense work. This is going to hit the energy systems of the body in a way that directly translates to better recovery from heavy sets and increased work capacity. I find that something as simple as tossing in light tire flipping on a weekly basis (and by light I mean something that you can flip 20 times) helps immensely.

Walking events are going to give you some unilateral training for legs, and they emphasize core strength. You can't carry a 600lb yoke very far if you have weak core musculature.

Almost all strongman emphasizes hips. We joke about the one coaching cue for strongman: "Get your ass into it". You'll hear guys scream that at every comp urging the competitor on, whether it's a log press, stone loading, whatever. You figure out a way to get your hips into the movement, and suddenly you can move the weight.

The other things strongman emphasizes is grip. Farmers, frame carries, hand-over-hand pulls, stones, fingals - all of these require good grip.

With that said: what are you trying to improve in your PLing? The more specific you can be, including links to your videos, the better.

Thaddypants
07-27-2013, 05:06 PM
I am primarily concerned with directly increasing my 3 lifts, especially my hip/ass strength, as my squat lags behind my other 2 lifts. I do a lot of heavy squatting and deadlifting (2 times a week), and have training volumes commensurate with Mike T's (my programming for the last 3 years has used his powerlifting templates as a foundation). I have been doing very little assistance work in the last year, aside from upper back work.

I have always been comfortable with training relatively slowly in the gym, so improving conditioning may not be worth all the hard work, as I will likely abandoning the strongman movements as I get closer to my next competition and would likely lose the ephemeral conditioning effects anyways.

BobW
07-27-2013, 05:25 PM
I'm going to suggest incorporating one or two movements as accessories, I'll be interested to see what Mike has to say.

First, max log clean & press. This is going to work your upper back, help you learn to get your ass into the clean, and give you a nice neutral hand position for heavy pressing.

Second: stone loading to a 50"+ height. Think of it as a deficit deadlift at the start, and then you really get into using your ass/hammies to drive up from the lap position. The last roll up the chest to get the height will be great for upper back.

Mike Tuchscherer
08-14-2013, 10:18 AM
Sorry for being absent on this one.
Bob raises good points -- it depends on the effect you're trying to create. If you need more grip, then that will drive one set of movements. If you need core stability, then that pushes you toward another set. So what do you need? Also, just tossing this in there -- if you're well conditioned, you take shorter rests. So given however much time you want to spend in the gym, you'd be able to do more work in each session. More work over time will improve your results (all things being equal). From an energy system standpoint, I'm not sure that just blasting strongman events is the way to go. I obviously would take a more nuanced approach. But an aerobic base is still an asset, even in powerlifting.

BTW, without knowing exactly what you're looking for, I think Bob's ideas are a great place to start.

Thaddypants
08-19-2013, 03:02 PM
Sorry for being absent on this one.
Bob raises good points -- it depends on the effect you're trying to create. If you need more grip, then that will drive one set of movements. If you need core stability, then that pushes you toward another set. So what do you need? Also, just tossing this in there -- if you're well conditioned, you take shorter rests. So given however much time you want to spend in the gym, you'd be able to do more work in each session. More work over time will improve your results (all things being equal). From an energy system standpoint, I'm not sure that just blasting strongman events is the way to go. I obviously would take a more nuanced approach. But an aerobic base is still an asset, even in powerlifting.

BTW, without knowing exactly what you're looking for, I think Bob's ideas are a great place to start.

Thanks for the response, Mike. I think hip and glute strength are my weaknesses. My conditioning is fine, as long as I can take 7 minutes or so between sets:). I already spend over 2 hours/session in the gym, so I was going to do the strongman movements on a 5th day.