The Preparation For Alabama’s Strongest

The Preparation For Alabama’s Strongest

-Matthew Cavalier

If you’ve read some of my recent articles, then you have probably read that I am competing in Alabama’s Strongest Man 10 in August. This event is a fun one for the members of Atlas as a bunch of us will travel and compete together. We also turn into a vacation for our families since the competition will be held right on the beach. This will be my first competition in the Open division, and I am anxious to compete and test my mettle against what is always tough competition. I have already been preparing, and am going to start pushing really hard to be ready.
For the last five weeks, I put myself through a high volume block. My main movements were completed in sets of ten and I gradually increased weight across those weeks. I used a lot of different exercises for accessories. My goal was to promote hypertrophy and to condition myself to lift heavier later on. I did manage to gain a little size, especially in my back and legs. I can feel my t-shirts and shorts get a little snug. I did not realize how much I needed a high volume block until I did it. After this competition, I will probably do another volume block.
This week, I started my shift into the power or strength building phase. Obviously, the goal will be to try to push heavier weights. I’m starting off a little bit light and using 75% of my one rep max. Over the next five weeks, I will have to push into the eighties and ninety percentiles and eventually fall into a peak phase. The first lift of the week was pretty brutal for two reasons. One, I’m training in a threshold I haven't for a while, and two, we had our first Louisiana’s Strongest Man competition over the weekend. I was thoroughly exhausted after that day, and it made for a tough workout on Monday. Regardless, I’m off to a good start. The tricky part will be to make sure that I am recovering. I will have to do some self checking and auto regulate my training to make sure that I won’t crash and burn.
The events for this competition for my division are a 600 pound yoke walk for fifty feet to a clean and press way log at 245 pounds, a yoke squat for a one rep max, a 200 pound sandbag clean and press for as many reps as possible in sixty seconds, a car deadlift for sixty seconds and a 275 pound sandbag over bar for as many reps as possible in sixty seconds. This is going to be my most difficult competition so far, and I am really looking forward to the challenge. I think I will have my best event in the car deadlift. The last time I did a car deadlift for reps in a competition, I was able to squeeze out 29 reps. I’m hoping to have a similar performance, but I have no doubt the vehicle of choice will be much heavier.
I gave myself a four day training split. Monday and Friday will be my days to train the log, squat and sandbag events. Wednesday is when I will do barbell deadlifts, car deadlifts and yoke runs. Saturdays will be the day that I train the yoke squat. I will also continue to have accessories that target my posterior chain and will likely do them at a little bit higher volume, but heavier than what they were during the volume block. I will be making adjustments as I go through the process to make sure that I am doing what I think is best. I could always run a template or program written by someone who has much more experience than myself, but I think the best way to learn is to put yourself through the wringer and see what works and see what doesn’t.

Besides training to win, this is going to be a great learning experience for me. I’m going to be able to see exactly where I am strong and where I am weak. I will be able to test myself in ways that I haven’t before, and I am hoping to learn something from this experience. Hopefully, I will be a better competitor for it, and I will be able to help my fellow competitors at Atlas. There is much work to be done, but I think I have a good plan, and I am ready for the challenge. Lucky for me, my gym has everything I need to prepare for the competition.

If you are within driving distance of Baton Rouge and need a place to train for your next strongman competition, powerlifting meet or weightlifting meet, check out the Atlas Strength Shop for all of your training needs. Send an email to for your next visit. You can also check out our apparel line and programming options on our website. Be sure to like our Facebook page, here, and follow us on Instagram, here. Do you need a high quality energy supplement that won’t leave you with that crashing feeling? Check out veteran owned and use promo code ATLASSTRENGTH at checkout to get 20% off of your order. If you’re like me, and you like to bite down while lifting, you need to protect your teeth. Check out Impact Mouthguards and their custom molded mouth guards. Use promo code ATLASSTRENGTHSHOP at checkout to get 10% off of your order.

“Who dares wins.” -British SAS