Strongman Training Can Boost Your Gains in the Gym

Anyone that knows my training philosophy knows that I always preach about sticking to the basics.  Plain, vanilla, old school strength training.

Bench Press.  Deadlift.  Military Press.  Squat.  Build your training around those 4 lifts and stay away from the gimmicks and trendy sh*t.

But the beauty of running your own training business is that you are the boss; you can break your own rules!  Using strongman training strongman trainingis a great way to do that.

Strength Camp Saturday is how Primal Strength Camp was born.  These are the days when strongman training and odd objects come into play; a true test to see how our gym training is transitioning to an uncontrolled, outside environment.

At Primal Strength Camp, we use kegs, sleds, ropes, chains, and other unique tools to challenge our abilities to the extreme.  Odd objects don’t have handles, or uniform shapes and sizes.

It is one thing to grab a bar and lift it over your head with weight firmly attached.  It is entirely different to lift a keg filled with water, where the resistance is dynamic and fluid, forcing your body to not only lift the weight, but use an enormous amount of strength just to stabilize it.


It is one thing to carry 45lb plates around your gym, but it is not the same as loading up a pair of farmers carry handles with 125lbs in each hand and struggling with each step.

Pulling in a sled hand over hand with rugged rope across uneven ground is a far cry from your seated row on an amazingly smooth cable machine.

Strongman training is brutal.  It truly tests your ability to harness brute strength and pick up heavy sh*t.  You use your entire body throughout the course of a workout and muscles and movements that you don’t normally utilize in a controlled gym routine.

Its simplicity is eye opening.  Carry something heavy.  Flip something heavy.  Pick up something heavy off the ground, and move it somewhere else.  The movements are not earth shattering, yet the benefits can be staggering!

Perhaps the most important benefit of strongman training is its ability to forge unbreakable mental toughness.  It forces you out of your comfort zone and presents new challenges that you will not get by training in a “box”.  Odd objects will humble you.  Mentally, after one of these sessions, I’m totally wiped out.

I’m reminded of the training montage from Rocky IV.  The big bad Russian with all of his fancy equipment got whooped by mentally invincible Rocky, after he trained in the cold and snow, with heavy logs and a buggy.

After a day of training outside in the elements, shouldering sandbags and battling with heavy chains, I feel like a monster.  Strongman training, and the anguish and mental stress it brings, only makes me more prepared to dominate my next gym workout.

You think your strong?  Think your tough?  Want a challenge?

If you are ready to be humbled, incorporate some strongman training into your regimen.  Once a week is fine.  Any more on top of your normal gym routine is a recipe for central nervous system fatigue and injury.

But using it responsibly and strategically will help you in the long run, both physically and mentally.  Besides, aren’t you tired of doing the same ol’ sh*t all the time anyway?


— Tank

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