Back to Our Roots: Strongman Training
By Robert Linkul MS CSCS-CPT D*
Arden Hills Strength & Fitness Director
National Strength & Conditioning Association’s (NSCA) Southwest Regional Coordinator
At the turn of the late 20th century, muscular hulks like Eugene Sandow and Charles Atlas were referred to as “Strongmen” and performed demonstrations known as “feats of strength.” These demonstrations included bending straight reinforcing bars into knots, breaking free of chains wrapped tightly around their torsos and pressing dumbbells weighting just over 300 pounds over their heads. These demonstrations quickly turned into competitions and the sport of Strongman was born. Since its worldwide televised appearance in 1977, the sport has been dominated by names like Bill Kazmaier, Magnús Ver Magnússon and Darius Pudzianowski.
Strongman training is the root of all weight training and yet for the past 30 years it has lived in shadows of cardiovascular machines, universal stations and free weight training. However, strongman training is re-entering the general fitness industry and bringing with it many research studies proving its benefits. The more basic Strongman exercises include farmer walks, rope pulls, vertical sandbag tosses, the tire flip and the notorious log clean and press have proven to produce astounding results. Appropriately implemented, Strongman program designs show dramatic increases in core strength, stability, agility, balance, coordination, flexibility, power production, posture and muscular endurance.
Based upon results, the fitness industry has shifted away from single muscle exercises like the biceps curl or quadriceps extension having found that more complex and functional (daily-life movement) exercises like a push, pull, press, lunge, squat or twist is more beneficial. These six exercises make up the foundation for Strongman training and when executed correctly, under the supervision of a certified professional, it can cut training time in half while nearly doubling in results. Strongman training has been the root of all weight training since the very beginning for one very simple reason: it works!
To learn more about Strongman training, please contact Robert Linkul at email@example.com.