500 kg deadlifts, 200 kg Atlas stones being thrown around, and men pulling aeroplanes across the finish line! Now that’s the stuff ‘strongman training’ is made of. From the ancient days of Milo of Croton lifting a calf everyday on his shoulders till it grew into a bull, to Eddie Hall deadlifting 500 kgs at The World’s Strongest Man competition, human beings have been using just about anything to get stronger. Don’t let the name fool you, Strongman isn’t just about brute strength – endurance, skill, and strategy are just as important. As a follow up to last month’s article on Unconventional Training Methods, this article explores the competitive aspect of odd object training.
Starting at a weight of 100 kgs, these huge stone spheres have to be lifted off the ground and placed on platforms usually higher than waist level. Athletes use a deadlift style lift, place the stone on the thighs and proceed to load it on the platform. Bear in mind, in competition there are usually 4-5 stones each heavier than the one before.
Keg Tosses/Sandbag Throws
This one’s about power and velocity.The kegs are usually up to 24kgs heavy and Strongmen need to throw them over a height of 4.42 meters, in a single attempt. Although the movement is quite similar to a kettlebell swing, the vertical height and number of kegs challenge the athlete’s endurance.
Originally known as The Fergus Walk, in this event, the idea is to walk as fast as you can for a predetermined distance, with a few hundred kgs in your arms. Competitions usually have a curved track the athletes need to walk on, and the turning makes this event even more unstable.
Arm Over Arm Pull
This event has strongmen sitting with their feet locked against a stable base, holding on to a thick rope which is typically fixed to some heavy object, usually a bus or truck. The athlete must pull the object across a set distance in a given period of time.
Overhead Log Lift
Combine a slow measured clean with some serious overhead pressing strength and you have the overhead log lift where athletes lift a wooden log, usually 100 kgs and heavier, off the ground and over the head. They go on to repeat this as many times as possible within a set time limit.
The Pillars of Hercules
Inspired by the mythological hero, the strongman must stand on a platform and hold upright two pillars. The pillars are over 150 kgs in weight and have chains attached to them which the athletes must hold on to. The event ends when the athlete can no longer hold on to the pillars.
Strongman competitions have always been part of the Indian tradition in fitness, and are now returning to the spotlight with major fitness brands sponsoring events across the country. Here’s hoping this phenomenal sport gains much more fan following in the days to come.
Article Credits – Rupesh Chowdhury