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Old 12-10-2006, 07:41 PM   #1
Jan Szyndler
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Have looked through the archives and picked up some things, but I wondered if anyone had any advie on mixing in some strongman stuff. Saw a ton of posts by Steven Stackpole and was curious about how he trained for his competition.
Any help is appreciated!!
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Old 12-11-2006, 01:06 AM   #2
Lynne Pitts
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Moving to Fitness
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Old 12-11-2006, 11:20 AM   #3
Arden Cogar Jr.
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I incorporate a lot strongman movements into my training. I also train regularly with Phil Pfister and Brian Siders. Phil recently won the WSM and he and Brian, well, simply google their names and lot of stuff comes up.

I can tell you that Phil concentrates on gym work up until about 8 weeks from the contest. Then he stops most gym work except core/posterior chain exercises and concentrates on the implements.

I stay away form the heavy implements, because I am not a strongman competitor. However, I do enjoy some of the movements because of the "core strength" requirement. It has a lot of carryover in my sport.

I alternate upper body and lower body days and try to get at least 48 hours between workouts. I do some core movement and low intensity cardio as warmups. I try to do stone lifting and carrys on posterior chain or lower body days. I then do the log pressing or axle presing on upper body days. My personal favorite is Conan's Wheel - wonderful cardio. After a lap and a half, I'm ready to heave a lung.

Ask specific questioons.

all the best,
Arden
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Old 12-11-2006, 06:07 PM   #4
Steven Stackpole
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Hello Jan
I'll start off by saying that I'm a beginner, by any definition. Before I stumbled across crossfit a little less than 2 years ago, I had an aversion to weights, and went to great lengths to avoid them. Aside from that at 36, I got into this game on the older side.
In almost 2 yrs I've put on 20 solid pounds. I've pretty much given up all hope of staying under 270lbs, which was kind of a goal. I haven't quite done a double body weight deadlift yet but....I have cleaned a 290lb log, pulled full size school buses, flipped 800lb tires for 100 feet with little difficulty, and done farmers walks with 305lbs per hand for 75 feet.

My first year crossfitting was spent doing the workouts as written, or as close to it as I could. Building up work capacity, training my body, learning the moves. Much the same as what has been recommended by others. I had only been crossfitting a few mos. when I did my first comp and came 2nd. At this point the only time I did weights was when they appeared on the WOD. I did well at this comp. not because I was stronger than the other guys, but because I was a better overall athlete. Had it been purely a powerlifting comp. I'd have failed miserably. They knew it and so did I. I thought perhaps I was onto something.
When I read about Coach Rutherfords ME/black box variation, I thought that would be something I could sink my teeth into. I began doing it as prescribed. WOD/ME/WOD
More contests that first summer, more 1st. and 2nd places. Once again, not necessarily because I was the strongest guy out there, but because I did well, consistently in every event.
Be an athlete first, a strongman second.
They don't necessarily go hand in hand. Remember that.
Lots of 350lb men can lift more than I can, ONCE, but ask them to flip a large, heavy tire, for 75 or 100 feet, and it taxes their system so heavily, that often times it finishes them off for the day or weekend. In the hot summer days, its not uncommon to see guys taken away in an ambulance.
Last summer, my second season competing, I continued to make large gains.
I rarely did implement training. Crossfitting and lifting regularly.
For this off-season, I am sticking to the basics still. It seems to be working. Another name I was introduced to through crossfit was Dan John. His methods and teachings have also been a huge influence on me.
I continue to modify and tweak existing programs and idea's to suit my own methods and needs.
ME/WOD/ME
ME workouts divided by Hang cleans, cleans, front and back squat, push press and push jerk, and Deadlifts. Much same as Coach Rutherford had written. I do one extra set though. 5-5-5-5-3-3-3-3, and 3-3-3-3--1-1-1-1
I'm not a big believer in assistance exercises. I could be wrong. Besides I think that crossfit hits all the areas that would be considered assistance.
I pick and choose my WOD's now. I never did before. I don't want to do 100 pull-ups right now. I don't feel it would benefit me in where I'm going. I would rather do weighted pull-ups.
Aside from those main exercises I also do flat and incline bench, overhead squat, weighted pull-ups and dips, and bent over rows. 7 sets of 5, 6 sets of 3, 5's and 3's, 3's and 1's, 3's 2's and 1's. I assign each exercise, and each rep scheme a number. Then roll a dice. I try for two weight workouts a day.
A little more implement training would be nice, but it's hard here in Canada when its 20 below zero in the winter. Some local guys and myself are working on a crossfit/strongman gym in which to train the implements.
I'll disagree with Arden on one point. The implement training. Phil Fister does lots of implement training because he is an elite athlete. Few people ever make it to that level. I rarely do implement training. At the most I would like to do it once a week. Pick a different event, and do it. Again though, I could be wrong.
Learn to love some of the girls of crossfit. Elizabeth, Fran, Grace, Helen, Isabel, Jackie, Linda, Nancy, Kelly. I've found that these transfer particularly well to strongman because of their vaired, multi-modal,efforts. They are especially well suited for training A "medley" portion of a strongman event. I beat a 400lb monster this past summer in a stone loading event. The guy can press his bodyweight, can DL 800lbs, and at 26 is on his way to being one of the strongest men in Canada. He wasn't able to load the final 335lb stone onto the 50 inch bench. I could. He had the strength, but this was the 5th stone. By the time he got to it he was totally out of gas. At the end of the day, just fooling around, I saw him pick it up and throw it on his shoulder like it was a paper bag. For the record, field stones are much harder than an atlas stone.
Do intervals on the Concept 2 Rower. 500m's at a time. Balls to the wall. Aim for 1:30 or less. About the time that most met-con efforts in a strongman comp. last. Like the tire flip for example. Flip an 800lb tire for distance in 90 seconds, that sort of thing.
Once again. Be an athlete first!!! Can't stress that enough.

I think thats enough to get you started. :-)
I hope I didn't bore you or anybody else. Like I said, I'm still new to all this, and I could be totally wrong, but so far it's worked very well for me. I don't post here anymore, but keep my own blog which tracks my workouts.
strengthathlete.blogspot.com. Also check out ontariostrongman.ca for results, resources, links and ideas.
Feel free to ask if you need anymore confusion.
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Old 12-11-2006, 08:35 PM   #5
Josh Brehm
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Steven, I'm sorry to have to ask such a dumb question, but what do you mean by implement training? I'm thinking you're referring to movement specific training (stone lifting, farmers walks, tire flips etc...). So, for the majority of your strength training, you only do regular barbell power/olympic lifting?
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Old 12-11-2006, 09:58 PM   #6
Jan Szyndler
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Wow!!
Thanks a lot guys. What a WEALTH of information!! I cannot thank you two enough for the posts.
Arden- I was curious what your sport was that strongman has the good carry over, particularly the Conan wheel. I see it as a building block for many sports.

Steve-THANK YOU!!! The information you shared was tremendous and I really appreciate you time. I am not familiar at all with Coach Rutherford's ME/black box variation. How exactly does that program work?

Thanks again guys!!
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Old 12-12-2006, 06:32 AM   #7
Ralph Coates
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Jan: Re the ME black box, there are various ways you can implement this, but essentially you switch one day in the three day x-fit rotation with an ME focus day, rotating between upper, lower and 'total' body movements.

EG, for strongman, you may do something like:

day 1: x-fit
day 2: ME total body: power snatch
day 3: x-fit

Day 5: x-fit
Day 6: ME upper body: military press
Day 7: x-fit

Day 9: x-fit
Day 10: ME Lower: zercher squats
Day 11: x-fit


You can tweak this how you want to. A popular idea is to perform sets of 5 and then 3's the first time round, and then move to singles the second.


If you had things like a tire or a sled to drag, you could maybe use them as ME exercises, (eg a few sets of max distance for time) or possibly add them into a daily warm up, or construct WOD's around them.


Re further info, elitefts has a strongman section worth reading, as does powerandbulk. I know nothing of your size or strength levels, but I do think for the mere mortals among us the athletic ability Steven talks about could be the area where you level the playing field somewhat. A colleague at work placed 4th in a fairly large comp this year despite being unable to get a single rep in the car deadlift or the log press - he did this by winning the tire flip and the loading medley at the end. Anyway, good luck in your endeavours.



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Old 12-12-2006, 11:56 AM   #8
Arden Cogar Jr.
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Wow!! Awesome info Steven. Believe it or not, my schedule is sorta similar. Athletism is the key for me too.

Jan, I compete in lumberjack sports (woodchopping, crosscut sawing, chainsaw racing). I need work toughness combined with physical strength and keen hand eye coordination.

All the best,
Arden
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Old 12-12-2006, 06:52 PM   #9
Steven Stackpole
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Josh
Implement training, yeah, movement specific.
The reason I would'nt want to do it much more than once a week, is that it's brutal on the body. Implement training for competition has to be done at maximal intensity. Atleast thats the way I do it. Training at sub-maximal weights and intensity for a comp. won't prepare you. You flip an 800lb tire differently than you would flip a 400lb tire. That being said, if you are just doing it to mix up your training, and not for a comp. find a tire thats atleast challenging, and flippity flip. Try using a normal weightlifting scheme. 7 sets of 5 for example. Or for distance or time. Yes for the most part I stick with power/Oly lifting. Try doing sled drags also.

Jan
I use a scheme much similar to what Ralph has written down, which is the ME/black box I was mentioning. The difference is I do ME/WOD/ME WOD/ME/WOD. I also do different movements.
I'm considering changing that slightly yet still. Perhaps ME/WOD/ME ME/WOD/ME

Arden
I prefer to emphasize the athleticism portion of the sport rather than "pure limit strength" because I think Athleticism will get you a lot further in life. Besides even on a world class level where a man like Phil Pfister competes, if you have two men of equal strength, its the better athlete that will win every time.

Anyways, like I said I could be wrong about all of it.
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:56 PM   #10
Jan Szyndler
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Arden- Lumberjack sports sounds intense. This type of training must help out quite a bit.

Thanks again for all the info!! Where can I find some more info on Coach Rutherford's program?

Steve- may I contact through email for further questions I may have?
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