Total-body Strongman workouts are beneficial – even if you’ve no plans to flip 350kg tyres or pull 6-tonne firefighting vehicles at Strongman competitions. The tricky thing is, you’re not likely to find the hardware needed for such training – think prowlers, pipes and monster truck tyres – at your regular gym. There’s no need to plonk more money on another gym membership though. Elite trainer Joe Dowdell shows you how to approximate a strongman workout – with what you already have in your weights room.
Do each exercise for 30secs, then move on to the next one. When you complete all six, rest until your breathing returns to normal. Do a total of 4 sets.
1. Strongman Move: Prowler Push Load the prowler with a weight that is challenging, and maintain a stead pace for about 14m. Turn and repeat.
Gym Equivalent: Manual Treadmill Sprint
Set the treadmill incline at 7 to 10 degrees and the speed to zero so that you’re powering it manually. Place your hands against the front handles and run hard for 30 seconds.
2. Strongman Move: Rope Pull Attach a weighted sled to a 15m length of 5cm-thick rope. Unfurl the rope and assume an athletic stance. Then pull the sled toward you, hand over hand, as quickly as possible.
Gym Equivalent: Rowing
Adjust the resistance on a rowing machine to an extremely challenging level – as in one that kicks your ass in 30 seconds.
3. Strongman Move: Sandbag Carry Lift a heavy sandbag and hold it against your chest with both arms. Walk for 30 seconds.
Gym Equivalent: Suitcase Carry
Grab a very heavy dumbbell, hold it at your side, and walk for 15 seconds. Switch hands and repeat.
4. Strongman Move: Slosh Pipe Front Squat Hold a slosh pipe at shoulder height, resting it against your clavicles. Push your hips back and squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Gym Equivalent: Overhead Offset Squat
To replace the Slosh Pipe Front Squat
Hold a kettlebell overhead with one hand. Do squats for 15 seconds. Switch hands and repeat for another 15 seconds.
5. Strongman Move: Medicine Ball Rotation Pass Hold the ball at waist height and stand side-to-side with a partner who’s 4.5m away. Rotate, pass the ball and catch his return pass. Turn to your other side and pass it back.
Gym Equivalent: Medicine Ball Wall Throw
Stand perpendicular to a wall approximately 4.5m away. Rotate, throw the ball against it, catch, switch sides and repeat.
6. Strongman Move: Rope Wave Grab the end of a rope in each hand and kneel. Make waves by lifting and lowering your arms as fast as you can.
Gym Equivalent: Spiderman Push-up
As you lower your body, swing your leg forward and touch your knee to your right elbow. Reverse the move as you push back up. On your next rep, switch sides – left knee to let elbow.