I’m often asked, why do strongman training? In order to answer that, We need to define what strongman training is. At its most basic, strongman can be defined as moving oddly shaped objects. And in that context, strongman, in some ways, can be seen as the ultimate expression of the CrossFit ethos. The CrossFit mantra is that of functional movement; training for real life. And when you consider strongman, there are few things more functional. As much as I love weightlifting, there are very few things in the real world that I need to move that are shaped like a barbell. However, there are plenty of things that I need to move shaped like the things that we do in strongman. Kegs and sandbags. How many times a week do you do a farmers carry? I’m betting almost daily. I’m sure we can all see situations in our own lives where learning to move these sorts of objects effectively would be helpful. But it’s not only those. For instance, the sled push. Ever have to push start a car, or shove that really heavy couch 3 feet to the left? Or how about the yoke carry. Picking something a couple of inches off the ground to move it to another location is again, something that is done often. And let me tell you, when the zombie apocalypse arrives, it’s not going to be enough to outrun them, there are just going to be times where you’ll need to drop a boulder on them from up high.
There is also the carryover effect to other areas in Crossfit. Strongman training is a great way to, as the name implies, get stronger. The multijoint movements and heavy loads are perfect for muscle development. And three areas that are emphasized are grip, core, and back strength. All areas of improvement that will benefit your other workouts. And women will benefit as much, or more so than the guys from this style of training. As mentioned before, getting stronger helps even basic cardio performance. There’s a reason we call it the Strong Wo/Man class.
Third, the competitive aspect. The CanWest games has had a strong man movement or two every year for the past three years. Getting used to these sorts of items, which are not often found in other CrossFit gyms, will give you a leg up on the competition.
Finally, it’s fun! There’s tons of equipment in the gym that never gets programmed by HQ. Come out and give it a try! And there are some fun events coming. Watch this space for details!
The Strongwo/man Answer