A Breakdown Of The Different Types Of Strongman Equipment
To be a great strongman athlete, you need to have the right training equipment in the first place. You can then use the different types of equipment to prepare for the different strongman events in the comfort of your home. Even though it might not be possible for you to have all the exact equipment you will use during strongman events, you can find great matches that help you get a feel of what the different events entail.
When it comes to choosing various kinds of strongman equipment it is important to match them to the different strongman events. This way, you will know what you are training for. In general, there are four different categories of strongman events push, pull, load and carry. Similarly, your strongman equipment falls under these categories.
Here’s a brief look at the four main strongman event categories mentioned above.
Strongman Push Events
Any event where the load’s final position is above your head is categorized under push. Since the load to be picked up starts on the ground, push events require participants to do a clean and press. A variety of equipment, including circus dumbbell, log, keg and axle can be used in events in this category.
Of all the implements used in push category events, the log and keg are among the most common, and should therefore not be ignored during training. As such, these are among the most important pieces of equipment to have in your personal strongman gym. These events also involve unique movements that you are better off training for.
Strongman Pull Events
Strongman events involving deadlifts and rope pulls are mostly categorized under pull. Even though rope pulls are not the most popular events in strongman competitions, it is recommended that you add them to your training routine if they are included in an upcoming competition. This is especially important because they involve the use of a special technique.
On the other hand, the deadlift, which can be seen in different forms including rack pulls, tire deadlift, max weight, reps for time or deficit, is one of the most common events in strongman competitions. An axle, which helps move the load in front of you is a must have piece of equipment when it comes to training for deadlifts.
Strongman Carry Events
Medleys, farmer’s walks and yokes are among the most common events that fall under this category. The yoke is a must have strongman equipment. Farmer’s walks are also quite popular, as stated, and are also a must have. The handles for the farmer’s walk are easy to come by, meaning that you should have no problem getting the necessary set up.
The main reason why you need to have these pieces of training equipment is to get your body ready to carry the heavy loads involved in the competition. Otherwise you might have trouble recovering in between events that require you to carry heavy weights during the actual competition.
Strongman Load Events
Strongman competitions also have events in which the participants are required to lift an object, or objects, over a bar and load it onto a platform. While the objective might simply be to lift the object and load it onto the platform, in some cases you might be required to carry the object across a short distance before loading it up onto the platform.
Some of the commonly used objects are kegs, stones and sandbags. Of all these, stones are the most challenging to get your hands on as they tend to be bulkier than the rest. They can also be costlier as well.
Now that you have a clear idea of the main types of strongman equipment used for different events, read on to learn more about each specific piece of equipment.
The Strongman Log
When it comes to overhead pressing equipment, the log is by far one of the best options. This piece of equipment does not exert as much pressure on the shoulders and wrists as other overhead press equipment. The log press works your triceps and delts hard while the log clean works the abs and back.
Logs are rarely found in regular gyms mostly due to their huge dimensions, they are usually 8 to 14 inches in diameter and 5 to 6 feet in length. They are however one of the more affordable pieces of strongman equipment and can be bought for no more than 300 dollars.
Strongman Axle Bar
Used for deadlifting and pressing, the axle is one of the most commonly featured pieces of equipment in strongman competitions. These implements can be used for a variety of grip training exercises in which you usually use barbells. Since different weights can be loaded onto axles, they can be used by a variety of people, and not just those training for strongman competitions.
If you are looking for a more efficient way to train while still getting the same experience as using the axle, consider the more compact alternative in the form of fat grips.
Strongman Circus Dumbbell
Even though the circus dumbbell is not the most versatile piece of strongman equipment, it is one of the most commonly featured events in competitions. One of the main advantages of this implement is that it is weight adjustable; meaning that you can perfectly adjust its weight to fit your requirements. Furthermore, the circus dumbbell is also compact and relatively affordable.
Strong Man Kegs
Kegs are increasingly being seen in strongman competitions. They are one of the most versatile pieces of equipment considering the fact that they can be used in loading, throwing, pressing and carrying events.
Kegs are quite affordable; you can even get your hands on one for free if you know where to look. These are then filled up with shot, sand or even gravel to give them the right weight. On the other hand, these implements tend to consume a lot of space due to their size, and may need more work when it comes to adjusting their weight.
As an unrivaled option when it comes to conditioning and strengthening leg muscles, sleds are another popular piece of equipment in strongman competitions. To condition the legs from different angles, the sled can be used to conduct lateral, backward and forward drags. This is also one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in that it can be pulled using the handles or by using a waist or shoulder attachment.
Even though they are not usually found in many commercial gyms, making one is cheap and straightforward. You can attach tires or place bags of sand in the sled to vary its weight. Sleds can be used on a variety of surfaces including concrete, carpet, astro-turf, asphalt and gravel among others.
Stones are by far one of the most commonly featured implements in strongman events. They are even considered to be a signature strongman implement. This is mostly due to the fact that their use is quite hard to replicate.
In addition to being quite limited when it comes to usage, stones are quite bulky; making them difficult to transport. Since adjusting their weight is more or less impossible, anyone who wishes to train using stones needs to get a few of them.
Another piece of equipment you will see in almost all strongman competitions, whether professional or amateur, the yoke is also considered to be a signature strongman implement. Even though they are not the most versatile piece of equipment, yokes can also be used for stone over bar training as well.
Some of the main drawbacks of yokes include the fact that they are quite large and therefore consume a lot of space. Moving yokes tends to be a problem as well due to their large size. They are also expensive to buy or make.
2 Inch Rope
Even though the 2 inch rope is not the most common piece of equipment in strongman events, it is by far and large one of the most versatile. The rope can be used in a variety of events and exercises including tug of war, cardio, rope climbing, and arm pulls.
Getting your hands on a decent length of rope can be quite costly; however, it is much easier to transport and does not consume a lot of space in your gym.
The harness is one of the rarely used pieces of equipment in strongman shows. However, it can be used by a wide variety of athletes, in addition to strongmen and strongwomen. A harness is relatively affordable, easy to transport and is compact, meaning that it does not consume a lot of space.
When it comes to deadlifting and moving, the frame is one of the most commonly featured strongman equipment. However, since it is quite large and therefore difficult to move, a hex bar can be used in its place in a home gym environment.
It is worth mentioning that you can use a combination of the frame, yoke and/or farmer’s implement to save on space and money, while still getting the strongman workout you need.
Tires, which can be obtained free of cost are no longer a strongman staple; mostly due to the fact that it was observed to cause a huge number of bicep injuries. However, they are still seen in some shows, mainly amateur. It is quite versatile and can be used for a variety of exercises including sled or arm over arm drags, as a platform for box jumps, and with a sledgehammer to condition and strengthen shoulders.
Tires need regular and thorough cleaning to remove all the dirt and nasty objects they pick up during use, they are also huge and require a number of people and a truck to move.
Strongman Car Deadlift Equipment
Another staple among strongman equipment, the car deadlift apparatus tends to be relatively costly and is quite challenging to move. Fortunately, those looking to train in this event can use a variety of simpler variations of the set-up.
As one of the most affordable pieces of strongman equipment, the sandbag is an exceptional conditioning tool. It is easy to adjust the weight of sandbags, making them great alternatives for stones. Even though the sandbag takes up a lot of space, it can be easily transported in a regular car.
The Farmer’s Implement
The farmer’s implement is commonly seen in strongman shows. It is mainly used for grip training exercises. This piece of equipment can be replaced with a number of other implements especially considering the fact that it is so limited.
With that, you have a clear idea of the most commonly featured pieces of equipment in strongman events.