Don’t look now, but competition season is just about back into full swing, and there’s another full year of competitions of all levels. Everyone from brand new novices to seasoned pros are gearing up and preparing for their next competition. What about if you’re someone who’s green as grass to the sport? At what point should you register for a competition? It can seem a little overwhelming.
For starters, you should have at least some base level of strength training under your belt. The sport is called strongman, afterall. I’m not saying you need to be able to deadlift 600 pounds and walk with an 800 pound yoke, but at the very least, you should have a base development and continuing the progression. The last thing you want to do is to sign up for a competition and get absolutely demolished because you aren’t capable of doing any of the events. That’s a surefire way to demoralize yourself and psyche yourself out of competing in the sport later on. At what point will you know whether or not you’re strong enough? There isn’t really a set barrier of entry, but at the very least, the weights shouldn’t be beyond your ability to at least give an honest try. No one will expect you to excel at everything, but implements shouldn’t be stapled to the floor with every attempt. Give yourself enough time to build up your strength, and give yourself a fighting chance. You’re probably not going to make the podium for your first competition, but you should at least be able to move some weight around. How long it takes to prepare will vary from person to person as some people are just naturally stronger than others. There is no reason to rush the process. There are a lot of strongman competitions all over the country. If it takes you a year or two to prepare, then there is nothing wrong with that. If you take too big of steps can lead to discouraging failure.
Being strong is definitely an important part of the sport, but unless you’re especially gifted with a high degree of strength, it’s not the only thing that will matter. You also need to spend time training with the implements. As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, there are a lot of different events and implements in the sport of strongman. From atlas stones and Conan’s wheels to logs and fire trucks, strongman likes to use a wide array and often weird selection of implements to showcase the athletes’ abilities. If you can, I highly recommendfinding a gym with strongman implements you can train with. Even if you can’t join a strongman gym full time, if they allow you to make drop in visits, that is infinitely better than not being able to practice with the implements at all. Just like barbell training, there is a technique that must be practiced with all of the implements. Even if it’s just a large sandbag, there’s always some technique or trick you will learn by just practicing with it. The more you practice with a movement, the more proficient you will become. Your body will adapt to it and allow you to progress. If you never spend any time practicing with the implements, you will have a hard time at your first competition. Something like running with a sandbag might not have a high degree of technique, but other events will. If you have to do something like a log clean and press, that’s a movement that requires more complex technique. Learning how to do it for the first time during competition is not ideal.
Something else that I think is important to have when taking on your first strongman competition is a good support system. If possible, you want to be with friends or training partners who have at least some experience competing. As much as strongman competitions are, it can seem a little intimidating and daunting. Having someone who can talk you through the process and coach you up is an extremely valuable asset. You are much more likely to perform better if you have people in your corner. Also, and probably just as important, it makes the whole process much more enjoyable. It’s your first competition, so it’s supposed to be fun. There will be plenty of opportunities to take these events more seriously, but for your first competition, just enjoy the experience and take advantage of the opportunity. You will have a chance to learn and network with a lot of good people. Just like any other sport or activity, it’s always the people involved that really make the whole experience special.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 strikeforceenergy.com 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. But wait? What if you have a glorious Beard? Check out FerociousBeard.com and use Promo Code “ATLASSTRENGTH” to save 15% on all o your beard care!!
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