It’s a Bank Holiday and you’ve changed channels to see what’s on, and you see a rather large man lifting.
Yes, you have started watching a strongman event. But why would you want to lift a car in the first place?
Well let Simon Knowles tell you, as part of his five reasons to try strongman.
1. It’s fun
Strongman training in its most basic and boiled down form is lifting, pulling, pressing, throwing and dragging heavy and odd objects as far, fast or as many times as you can.
You won’t ever understand the feeling you get as you walk up to a car, strap yourself onto the handles and pick it up for the first time. Somewhere in your brain it doesn’t make sense that you can actually do it. Running with sandbags, throwing barrels, or pressing really heavy awkward things overhead – it’s all basically playing around, but with stuff that weighs a tonne!
2. Great conditioning
The standard time limit for a strongman event is 75 seconds. If you’re taking longer than this, then it’s pretty certain you’re doing something wrong or you need to lower the weight a little.
75 seconds is an awesome upper time limit for conditioning work, and with the rest period under your control, the intensity level is in your hands.
It’s long been known that for actual athletic conditioning work, short bursts of explosive, whole body compound exercise is going to absolutely batter your system in an efficient and effective way. This improves cardiovascular fitness and helps to burn unwanted body fat.
3. It’s for everyone
Let’s face it, some people just don’t have the genetics for bodybuilding, they’ll never get to super low body fat, never have striated quads and never develop a meaty calf. This doesn’t matter in strongman. What matters in strongman is that you give your all every time you either train or compete. At the end of the day, the only person you’re really against is yourself, and if you improve, then that’s all that counts.
This year’s Bodypower Expo really put this into focus for me. Not only did I see a guy whose legs don’t work deadlift 330kg, I witnessed my first strongwoman competition, and these examples really prove that neither disability or gender will limit people, and proves that strongman is the most inclusive sport you’re ever likely to come across.
It’s a fantastic community
How many other sports do you see guys finish first and cheer on the guy still finishing that event? Or see a crowd of fellow competitors (and Arnold Schwarzenegger) cheering someone that they know is going to beat them onto a new world record? None?
That’s because strongman is about the most supportive and encouraging community in sport. If someone forgets a piece of kit at an event, there will be numerous people willing to lend a spare. First and foremost, all strongmen and women are fans of the sport, and this means we like to see other people doing freaky feats of strength!
5. It gets you MONSTER strong
No matter how you look at it, doing strongman will get you strong. Really strong. You can’t lift a car, pull a lorry or press steel logs without this happening. It’s this reason that a lot of strength and conditioning coaches, at rugby clubs especially, are looking to our sport for inspiration for the training of their own athletes.
The sort of strength built loading stones, repetitive floor to overhead movements and especially the heavily weighted sprints we do, have incredible potential to cross over into other sports, or just into everyday life, as being strong is never, ever a bad thing.
About the author
Simon Knowles is a strongman and personal trainer based in Nottinghamshire. He’s a man with a serious appetite for meat, protein shakes and giving love to his dog, named Terry. He runs bootcamps and training sessions via Advanced Physical Evolution. You can see him in action below.
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