An Athletic Approach to Strongman Programming

Joe Stella

Modern Strongman requires a classic strength and conditioning approach to build the most well-rounded athlete possible. The days of powerlifting during the week and strongman on the weekends are no longer sufficient to compete at the highest levels within the sport. I will take a deeper dive on the practical use of a more “athletic-approach” to Strongman training in both loading strategies and overall training structure that are necessary to produce the best possible athlete.

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Course Syllabus

How Strongman Has Changed

Strongman began similarly to Mixed Martial Arts, with various athletes bringing their unique qualities to a competition to determine who was the best. Many athletes may have just followed simple powerlifting or Olympic lifting program during the week, then on the weekends they would toss in a few events that were coming up in their next competition. Over time the sport has evolved to include participants that are not only training solely for the sport of Strongman but individuals that have only ever trained with a Strongman focus. Combined with the recent availability of mass-produced Strongman equipment, individuals are able to add events in for almost all training sessions. Rising specific talent and the proliferation of Strongman equipment is what drives the need for Strongman training to become something unique unto itself but resembling something closer to an athlete competing in more classic sports like Football, Rugby, or Basketball.

Athlete-Centric Framework

In order to create a new system of programming, we must create a framework that includes various considerations. The following bullet points are key components to establishing a complete system for success at a high level within Strongman.

Off-Season vs In-Season

Field work vs Gym Work

Drills For Success

Training Blocks

Loading Strategies


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