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​How to Build a Strongman Body: Tips and Techniques

​How to Build a Strongman Body: Tips and Techniques

Posted by Leonard Shemtob on Jun 12, 2024

Ever dreamed of building a physique that's both powerful and functional? Look no further than strongman training!

This article dives into the world of strongman bodybuilding, giving you practical tips and techniques to help you build incredible strength and a body that can handle anything you throw at it. 

From effective workout routines to proper nutrition, we'll cover everything you need to know to start your journey toward a strongman body. Get ready to transform your training and unleash your inner strength!

[Related] Powerlifting vs Bodybuilding: What's the Difference?


Short Summary

  • Training Techniques: Learn the essential exercises and routines that strongmen use to build incredible strength and muscle mass.
  • Nutrition Tips: Discover the diet and nutrition strategies that fuel strongman training and support muscle growth and recovery.
  • Workout Plans: Get sample workout plans designed to progressively increase your strength and endurance.
  • Recovery Methods: Understand the importance of recovery and explore techniques to prevent injury and enhance performance.
  • Ready to start your journey? Try our top recommended supplement, AnaFuse by Vital Alchemy, to support your training and maximize your results.


What is Strongman

Strongman is a form of strength training that involves lifting and moving heavy weights and objects in a way that mimics real-life situations. It's a type of training that focuses on developing functional strength, power, and endurance, rather than just building muscle mass.

Functionality and Strength of a Strongman Body

A strongman's body isn't just about looking impressive; it's about being able to perform tasks that require immense strength, power, and endurance. Let's delve into the functionality and strength aspects of building a strongman physique.

  • Functional Strength: Functional strength is the ability to exert force in real-world situations. A strongman's body is characterized by functional strength that translates into practical tasks.
  • Power and Explosiveness: Power and explosiveness are crucial components of a strongman body. This explosive strength enables strongmen to perform dynamic movements with ease.
  • Endurance and Stamina: Endurance and stamina are equally important for a strongman body. Building endurance ensures that strength and power can be sustained over prolonged periods.


Composition of the Strongman's Body

A strongman's body is a finely tuned machine, built for power, endurance, and resilience. Understanding the composition of a strongman's physique sheds light on why these athletes are capable of extraordinary feats of strength and agility.

Muscle Mass: At the core of a strongman's body is an impressive amount of muscle mass. Unlike bodybuilders who may focus solely on hypertrophy (muscle growth), strongmen prioritize functional muscle development. This means not just having big muscles, but muscles that are capable of producing immense force and enduring prolonged exertion.

Low Body Fat: While strongmen possess substantial muscle mass, they also maintain relatively low levels of body fat. This lean body composition is essential for maximizing the strength-to-weight ratio, allowing strongmen to move with agility and efficiency while still exerting immense force.

Dense Bone Structure: Strongman training puts immense stress on the skeleton. Over time, this can lead to increased bone density, making these athletes more resistant to injuries.


Types of Exercises Strongmen Perform

Strongman training involves a unique blend of exercises that build immense strength, power, and endurance. Here's a look at some of the key types of exercises that strongmen perform to achieve their impressive physiques and abilities.

Heavy Lifts

Heavy lifting is the cornerstone of strongman training. These exercises focus on developing maximum strength and muscle mass.

  • Deadlifts: One of the most fundamental strongman exercises, deadlifts involve lifting a heavy barbell from the ground to a standing position.
  • Squats: Strongmen perform various types of squats, such as back squats and front squats, to build leg and core strength.
  • Bench Press: This upper body exercise targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps, essential for overall upper body strength.

Overhead Presses

Overhead pressing exercises are crucial for developing shoulder and upper body strength.

  • Log Press: Using a large, cumbersome log, strongmen press it overhead to build shoulder strength and stability.
  • Axle Press: This variation uses a thicker bar, increasing the difficulty and engaging more muscles in the arms and shoulders.

Carries and Holds

Carrying and holding heavy objects enhances functional strength, grip strength, and endurance.

  • Farmer's Walk: Carrying heavy weights in each hand and walking a certain distance challenges the grip and core stability.
  • Yoke Carry: Strongmen carry a heavy yoke across their shoulders, walking a set distance to build full-body strength and balance.
  • Atlas Stones: Lifting and placing heavy, spherical stones onto platforms of varying heights requires a combination of strength, technique, and endurance.

Pulling and Dragging

Exercises that involve pulling or dragging heavy weights test overall body strength and cardiovascular endurance.

  • Truck Pull: Using a harness or rope, strongmen pull a heavy vehicle over a set distance, showcasing their brute strength and stamina.
  • Sled Drag: Dragging a weighted sled helps improve leg strength and endurance while also challenging the cardiovascular system.

Dynamic Movements

Strongman training includes exercises that require quick, explosive movements to build power and agility.

  • Tire Flips: Flipping large, heavy tires works the entire body, particularly the legs, back, and arms.
  • Keg Toss: Throwing kegs or other weighted objects over a bar tests explosive power and coordination.


Sample Strongman Training Schedule

Training like a strongman requires a well-structured schedule that balances strength, endurance, and recovery. Here’s a sample weekly training schedule to give you an idea of what a strongman routine might look like:

Disclaimer: This is a sample schedule for informational purposes only. It's recommended to consult a certified personal trainer to create a program tailored to your fitness level and goals.

Monday: Heavy Lifting

  • Deadlifts: 4 sets of 6 reps
  • Squats: 4 sets of 6 reps
  • Bench Press: 4 sets of 6 reps

Tuesday: Overhead Press and Carry

  • Log Press: 4 sets of 5 reps
  • Farmers Walk: 3 sets of 30 meters
  • Yoke Carry: 3 sets of 20 meters

Wednesday: Rest or Active Recovery

  • Light Cardio: Walking or cycling for 30 minutes
  • Stretching: Full-body stretching routine

Thursday: Loading Exercises

  • Atlas Stones: 4 sets of 3 reps
  • Keg Toss: 4 sets of 3 reps
  • Sandbag Load: 3 sets of 5 reps

Friday: Grip and Conditioning

  • Grip Crushers: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Thick Bar Deadlifts: 3 sets of 5 reps
  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): 20 minutes

Saturday: Strongman Circuits

  • Tire Flip: 4 sets of 5 flips
  • Sled Drag/Pull: 4 sets of 20 meters
  • Log Press: 3 sets of 5 reps

Sunday: Rest Day

  • Full Recovery: Rest and light stretching

Remember: This is just a sample. As you progress, you can increase weight, sets, and reps, or incorporate more advanced strongman exercises. Always prioritize proper form and listen to your body.


Benefits of Strongman Training

Strongman training offers numerous advantages that go beyond building muscle and strength. Here are some key benefits of incorporating strongman training into your fitness routine.

Full-Body Strength: Strongman training involves exercises that target multiple muscle groups simultaneously. This leads to well-rounded, full-body strength, making everyday tasks easier and improving overall physical performance.

Improved Grip Strength: Strongman events often involve awkward objects like atlas stones or kegs. By developing exceptional grip strength, you'll improve your ability to handle everyday tasks, from opening jars to climbing stairs with heavy bags.

Enhanced Core Stability: A strong core is the foundation for all movement. Strongman training strengthens your core, leading to better posture, improved balance, and reduced risk of injury in everyday activities.

Increased Power and Explosiveness: Strongman training involves exercises that require explosive power and speed. This can improve your overall power and explosiveness, making you a more effective athlete.

Improved Endurance: Strongman workouts are intense and often include elements of cardio, which helps to build cardiovascular endurance. This means you’ll not only be stronger but also have better stamina and energy levels.

Mental Toughness: Strongman training challenges both the body and mind, fostering mental resilience and determination. The rigorous nature of the training demands discipline, focus, and perseverance.


How Do You Get a Strongman Body?

Achieving a strongman body requires dedication, proper training, and a well-rounded approach to fitness. Here are the key steps to help you build a strongman physique.

Follow a Structured Training Program

Strongman training involves specific exercises that build strength, power, and endurance. Incorporate compound lifts, carry exercises, and loading movements into your routine.

  • Train with Heavy Weights: Strongman training involves lifting heavy weights and objects. This helps build functional strength and power.
  • Incorporate Power Exercises: Power exercises like box jumps, kettlebell swings, and medicine ball throws help improve explosive power and speed.
  • Focus on Core Strength: A strong core is essential for strongman training. Incorporate exercises like planks, side planks, and Russian twists to build core strength.

Balanced Diet

Strongman training demands proper nutrition. Prioritize protein for muscle building, carbohydrates for energy, and healthy fats for overall health. Stay hydrated throughout your training.

Prioritize Recovery

Rest and recovery play a crucial role in muscle repair and injury prevention. Make sure to give your body the necessary time to heal and adjust to the demands of strongman training.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is key to achieving a strongman body. Regular training, proper nutrition, and ongoing recovery practices will lead to steady progress over time.

Seek Guidance

Consider consulting a certified personal trainer experienced in strongman training. They can design a personalized program, ensure proper form, and offer valuable guidance on your journey.


Bodybuilding vs. Strongman: What Are the Main Differences?

While both bodybuilding and strongman training involve building muscle, their core goals and approaches differ significantly. Here's a breakdown of the key differences:

Focus

  • Bodybuilding: Aesthetics. Bodybuilders aim for a sculpted physique with defined muscles and a low body fat percentage.
  • Strongman: Functional Strength. Strongman training prioritizes building raw strength, power, and muscular endurance to excel in strongman competitions.

Training Style

  • Bodybuilding: Isolation exercises that target specific muscle groups are a mainstay in bodybuilding routines.
  • Strongman: Compound movements that work for multiple muscle groups simultaneously are the foundation of strongman training (e.g., squats, deadlifts, presses, carries).

Equipment

  • Bodybuilding: Barbells, dumbbells, and various weight machines are commonly used in bodybuilding gyms.
  • Strongman: Specialized equipment like atlas stones, kegs, tires, and logs are essential for strongman training.

Competition Events

  • Bodybuilding: Bodybuilding competitions focus on showcasing muscular development, symmetry, and conditioning. Competitors are judged based on their physique during poses and routines.
  • Strongman: Strongman competitions involve a series of strength-based events, such as deadlifts, log presses, tire flips, and atlas stone lifts. Athletes compete against each other in various challenging tasks to determine the strongest overall competitor.

Diet

  • Bodybuilding: Bodybuilders often follow strict diets with precise calorie and macronutrient (protein, carbs, fat) tracking to achieve a specific physique.
  • Strongman: Strongman athletes prioritize a high-calorie diet with sufficient protein to support muscle growth and a moderate amount of healthy fats for energy. While maintaining a healthy weight is important, extreme calorie restriction is less common.

Physique Goals

  • Bodybuilding: The ultimate goal of bodybuilding is to achieve a well-defined, muscular physique with a low body fat percentage and balanced muscle proportions.
  • Strongman: Strongmen aim to develop a robust, functional physique with an emphasis on strength, power, and endurance. While muscle size is important, it is secondary to overall strength and performance.

Overall

  • Bodybuilding: Ideal for those seeking a sculpted physique and a focus on aesthetics.
  • Strongman: Perfect for those who want to build raw strength, power, and functional muscle mass for real-world applications.


Best Supplements for Strongman

1- AnaFuse by Vital Alchemy

AnaFuse by Vital Alchemy

Anafuse is a supplement designed to support muscle building and help individuals achieve their fitness goals. It is a dual-agent bulking stack that combines two recently discovered anabolics to create a synergy that promotes muscle growth and strength. 

The formula is designed to provide all the necessary factors for adding lean, hard muscle mass to the body. It is intended for individuals who are looking to build muscle and improve their overall physique.

Key Benefits

  • It increases mass gains.
  • It reduces your body fat.
  • It enhances your muscle endurance.
  • It boosts muscle hardness.
  • It helps increase your strength.
  • It improves your pump.
  • It accelerates muscle recovery.

Key Ingredients

  • Epicatechin
  • Ajuga Turkestanica
  • HICA
  • Eriobotrya Japonica
  • Vitamin D3
  • Quercetin

Customer Reviews

 Muscle pump

“Well stack with alpha 7 and I can tell my muscle definition and it seems I can go for extra reps or extra weight!! & not Feel super sore the next couple days!!”

-Juan G.


 Excellent product

“I have been taking this for a week now and have already seen an increase in size without any water weight. My workouts have been more intense as i am finding it harder to wear myself out.”

-Brandon A.


 Great results

“This product produces excellent results, that you’ll quickly notice within weeks. My focus and strength are doubled while I’m on this product!”

-Micah H.


2- Colossal Muscle by Hard Rock Supplements

Colossal Muscle by Hard Rock Supplements

Colossal Muscle by Rock Hard Supplements is a natural anabolic supplement designed to support muscle growth and strength. It includes two key ingredients, one of which was part of a 10-week study showing significant increases in muscle mass and strength among participants. This supplement aims to help build muscle, increase strength, enhance endurance, and boost protein synthesis.

Key Benefits

  • It supports your muscle building.
  • It prevents muscle breakdown.
  • It boosts endurance.
  • It enhances strength and power.
  • It helps build muscle mass.
  • It speeds up fat loss.
  • It improves your focus.
  • It improves your overall performance.

Key Ingredients

  • 20-Hydroxyecdysone
  • Uzbekistan Ajuga turkestanica

Customer Reviews

 More Muscle

“After stacking COLOSSAL MUSCLE & SAPOGENIX together since I purchased them both a couple days ago from Strong Supplement Shop I'ma tell'ya they both work,just straight muscle and taking them seperate does put on muscle but I just like stacking to get better results and the pumps/hardness stays.I was skeptical at first but these two are good products if you want to pack on muscle and see results at my age of 52”

-Chisholm


 On second bottle

“First bottle was great - took a little to see the resutlts but then they hit and you are like yes im loving it! just started my second bottle - thanks!”

-HK


 Colossal muscle

“Was definitely a little weary about this product being new to the market. I gave it a try and it took about 3 weeks but results started coming. I bought 2 bottles so very interested to see how the second bottle works. Will come back in 30 more days to give a follow up.”

-Stu


3- Pepti-Plex by SNS

Pepti-Plex by SNS

Pepti-Plex by SNS is a muscle-building supplement formulated to support your fitness journey. This supplement combines ingredients that work together to enhance muscle growth, improve endurance, and accelerate recovery.

Key Benefits

  • It enhances muscle growth.
  • It increases blood flow and oxygen delivery.
  • It boosts nutrient absorption.
  • It enhances endurance and overall performance.
  • It helps reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.

Key Ingredients

  • PeptiStrong
  • VasoFLO+
  • Apigenin
  • Senactiv
  • AstraGin
  • Bioperine

Customer Reviews

 One week

“It’s only been a week, but I’m being asked to do this review. No issues or concerns at this time but one positive today’s work out was different, felt stronger, focused and energized. I would love to send second week up date if days like this continue. The 4 stars is just because of the short time to review.”

-Ramon G.

 2 weeks in and absolutely loving the gains

“About 3 weeks in so far and I'm already noticing more fullness to my muscles, better pumps, more vascularity, and improvements in strength. This stuff works incredibly well for being completely natural. Its almost like running a cycle of PHs but without any of the euphoric effects that the PHs provide. It just simply WORKS. No side effects whatsoever so far. Another positive that I noticed is that I don't feel as sore or achy the day after hard training sessions. Currently taking 4 capsules per day on training days and 2 caps a day on rest days just to stretch out my supply. I'll definitely be using this again in the near future. Very impressed.”

-Trevor G.


4- Androgin by Black Lion Research

Androgin by Black Lion Research

Black Lion Research introduces Androgin, an advanced plant-based anabolic supplement designed to support muscle mass growth, fat loss, and increased strength. This supplement works uniquely to naturally improve body composition.

Key Benefits

  • It improves muscle mass.
  • It enhances strength.
  • It helps reduce muscle loss.
  • It reduces body fat.
  • It enhances your overall performance.

Key Ingredients

  • ANDROGINS
  • Ginsenosides
  • RG1
  • RB1
  • RB2
  • GHR-1
  • Echinacoside
  • BIO-X Bioavailability Complex

Customer Reviews

 One of my fav supplements

“It's one of my favorite supplements for subtle energy and I seem to be gaining more muscle decently.”

-BOH


 Very Pleased!

“I'm 62 and have been lifting a lot more steady lately. Just as I had hoped from a BLR product, I saw an increase in strength, but then I even gained some size that I wasn't expecting to see at my age! How awesome is that??? I can't wait to see more people reviewing this stuff..”

-jessterlx


 Legit anabolic

“Androgin is now my hands down favorite supp. First week or so I mostly noticed improved sleep and recovery but after maybe 10 days strength started rising and i definitely started to fill out. Up7lbs at the end of my cycle. I highly recommend.”

-Eric V.


5- Superhuman Muscle by Alpha Lion

Superhuman Muscle by Alpha Lion

Superhuman Muscle by Alpha Lion is a supplement designed to support muscle gains and performance. It includes a combination of ingredients aimed at aiding in the development of lean muscle, increasing muscle endurance, and enhancing formula absorption. 

Superhuman Muscle contains Laxosterone, a building block known to support increases in strength, muscle mass, and endurance. Additionally, it includes Epicatechin, which contributes to the building of lean muscle and addresses muscle-building limitations, along with Bioperine, which enhances absorption. 

RipFactor, another component of the formula, is a clinically studied herbal formula that supports increased muscle strength, size, and endurance.

Key Benefits

  • It helps build lean muscle mass.
  • It improves strength and power.
  • It reduces muscle fatigue.
  • It speeds up your muscle recovery.
  • It boosts your pumps and vascularity.

Key Ingredients


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is the difference between bodybuilding and strongman training?

A: Bodybuilding primarily focuses on sculpting the physique for aesthetic purposes, while strongman training emphasizes functional strength, power, and endurance for performance in various strength-based events.

Q: How often should I train to build a strongman body?

A: Training frequency depends on various factors, including individual fitness level, recovery capacity, and goals. Generally, strongman training involves training specific muscle groups multiple times per week, with adequate rest and recovery days in between to allow for muscle repair and growth.

Q: Is lifting heavy weights the only way to build a strongman physique?

A: Lifting heavy weights is an important part of strongman training, but it's not the only factor. Strongman training also involves a variety of exercises that challenge your strength, power, and endurance. This includes dynamic movements, carries, and endurance exercises that help develop a well-rounded strongman physique.

Q: How long does it take to see results from strongman training?

A: Results from strongman training vary depending on individual factors such as genetics, diet, training intensity, and consistency. With dedication and adherence to a structured training program, noticeable improvements in strength, muscle mass, and overall performance can be observed within a few months of consistent training.

Q: Do I need special equipment for strongman training?

A: While some strongman equipment is specific to the sport (such as atlas stones and yokes), many exercises can be performed with standard gym equipment like barbells, dumbbells, and resistance bands.


Conclusion

In conclusion, strongman training offers a unique path to building a powerful and functional physique. It's not just about lifting the most weight; it's about developing raw strength, mental fortitude, and a strong foundation for overall health and well-being. 

Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a complete beginner, the principles of strongman training can be adapted to your fitness level. 

Remember, consistency, hard work, and a balanced approach are key to unlocking your inner strongman. With patience, perseverance, and a commitment to proper recovery, anyone can achieve their goals and unlock their full potential in the world of strongman training.


Sources:

https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/fulltext/2020/12000/body_composition_in_elite_strongman_competitors.5.aspx

https://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/full-body-exercises/8-greatest-strongman-exercises

https://www.elitefts.com/education/531-for-strongman-programming-adjustments-competition-prep-and-training-tips

https://www.truathlete-isff.com/bodybuilding-vs-strongman-which-is-right-for-you

Written and Sponsored by Leonard Shemtob

Leonard Shemtob is President of Strong Supplements. Leonard has been in the supplement space for over 20 years, specializing in fitness supplements and nutrition. Leonard appears on many podcasts, written over 100 articles about supplements and has studied nutrition, supplementation and bodybuilding. 

Leonard's articles have been published in many top publications around the web. Leonard enjoys weight training, playing basketball and yoga, and also enjoys hiking. In his free time he studies and works on improving himself. For more detailed information, visit his official blog.