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Fit and strong!

All Areas > Health & Beauty > Looking Good, Feeling Great

Author: Will Mbanga, Posted: Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 09:00

In the never-ending quest for superior fitness, weight loss or increased athleticism and paying clients, Personal Trainers and Strength & Conditioning coaches are always looking out for new tools and exciting new training methods to give their clients and athletes an edge both physically and mentally.

While both are essential components in improving fitness and athletic performance, the principle of variety is one that is too often ignored in Program Design.

This article outlines the use of Strongman training as another excellent tool to challenge your physical development and provide a different stimulus within your training regime.

Strongman, or Odd Implement Lift training, isn’t a new phenomenon, but it has become more popular in recent years among some of the world’s leading Strength & Conditioning coaches in elite sport environments.

Although becoming more popular as a method with Personal Trainers, it is still generally considered more of an outdoor ‘Bootcamp’ or ‘CrossFit’ type methodology than something you might do in a traditional gym or home environment.

Greater physical and mental challenge

The major benefits of Strongman training are the promotion of greater physical and mental challenge, improved functional strength and greater range of motion, as many of the movements require the performer to stabilise and control the load through the full range. This is unlike the more traditional lifts, which can be limited.

Training in the Strongman style is also advantageous as it opens up possibilities with regard to the variety of implements or objects you can use to train with, such as truck tyres, sandbags, sledgehammers, weighted sleds, logs and even rocks in the garden.

The use of different types of training equipment will vary depending on the specific goals you or your coach have for the session or your overall development, be it for explosive power or strength endurance. The only limitation is the trainer or your own creativity.

Before you rush off to the nearest junkyard, it is important to note that while this training method can be hugely beneficial and provide variety to any strength or fitness program, a scientifically sound strength training program should be the basis of any training regime.

While this type of training can be extremely challenging, it can be modified to suit a range of abilities and performance requirements. If you are a beginner, or have little to no training experience of Strongman training, I would recommend that you undergo a general preparation or ‘pre-habilitation’ training phase to ensure you are prepared both mentally and physically, and to help minimise risk of injury.

Build in progression and vary exercises

A great way to introduce this training into your program may be to add one Strongman exercise into your weekly strength training session, building in progression and varying them so that you become familiar with a range of exercises.

As you develop in confidence and experience, you can add this method as a stand-alone or complimentary part of your training program weekly, monthly or only occasionally, depending on your training schedule and needs. Good luck, “lift strong!”

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