When I first opened the Primal Strength Gym, I was the only one who trained for Strongman. At my last Strongman Sunday event, around 8 months after I officially opened Primal, we had more than 15 people come and train.
After this upcoming Saturday, I will have had 9 people from Primal compete within the past two weeks, with 5 of those competing for the first time.
It has been a cool experience watching the sport grow amongst my gym members, and the general awareness my gym has created across the city of Charlottesville.
But there are two things that seem to peak the curiosity of my followers.
Strongman Versus Traditional Training
Firstly, I get asked, does training for Strongman affect how I train others, more specifically, is it influencing how I train people who really aren’t interested in the sport?
This is a good question, and I think the honest answer is yes. But it has influenced my training in a very good way, and enhanced my ability to train people for size and strength.
Some people may say, “Tank trains Strongman, so his methods aren’t applicable to me”. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In Strongman, I train to get stronger across the board. It is mostly when I’m prepping for a competition that Strongman event training comes into play, meaning training for the events that are specifically scheduled. Otherwise, I’m just trying to increase my standard deadlift or squat or overhead press just like the next guy.
(A shining example is a buddy of mine, who is prepping for his first competition and started doing Strongman back in the spring. Over about 8 months of training, he is now deadlifting more than 3x his bodyweight, overhead pressing more than his bodyweight, and squatting more than 2x his bodyweight. Find me an average strength seeker, gym rat, powerlifter, or athlete who wouldn’t want those numbers.)
You can take a more mainstream example like Crossfit. What most people don’t realize is that the best Crossfitters in the world don’t train Crossfit full-time. They train like us weightlifters, and then prep for the games so they peak at the right times based on what the events are.
My Strongman training has given me a ton of experience in not only programming training to increase maxes on lifts, but also how to hone in accessory work to add on mass and how to increase functional movement.
Strength first, and size as a side effect will always be the Primal way and will always be the basis of my writing and programs.
Am I Strong Enough for Strongman?
The follow up question I typically get in regards to my training is, am I really strong enough to train that way?
I answer this with an emphatic hell yes.
Most people underestimate themselves. I had a Strongman Seminar at the Primal Strength Gym a few weeks back, and I had people who had never touched a Strongman implement putting up really good numbers. I even set up a truck pull, and I had small females pulling an 8,000lb+ truck across the parking lot.
Some people are intimidated by Strongman because of what they see on TV or how crazy some of the training looks. But as I alluded to before, Strongman starts with a mastery of basic strength, technique, and movement and then applying a lot of that foundation to odd objects.
I will tell you it’s addicting.
That explains why Strongman Sunday’s have doubled in size over the past month or so, and I have people drive several hours just to train at my gym. If I can get people to try it and overcome being uncomfortable at first, they get hooked. Or at the very least, people can apply their strength that they’ve trained so hard for to something outside of the norm and transcend some artificial boundaries their minds have created for them.
Even if it’s not your cup of tea, that’s not the point. The key to long-term sustained growth is exposure to new experiences and stimulus. Trying new things is paramount. You should be taking things from all of the different disciplines and then applying them towards your end game.
If you want to get strong, even with no interest in competing, I will always advocate incorporating Strongman training into your arsenal.
For more on Strongman style training check these out:
All the best,