Strength vs. Size…why you don’t have to choose.
Strongman season has come and gone; and while it was an intense showdown between “The Mountain” Thor Bjornson and 2016 winner Brian Shaw, Shaw takes the prize and now we can all go home…right? Wrong, the “World’s Strongest Man” competition is a display of strength and athleticism, rivaled nowhere else, not only do you have to be big but you have to be able to move. I don’t know about you but that seems like something tailor made for a SPORT like bodybuilding. “Good artists borrow, great artists steal” – Picasso. Let’s make bodybuilding great again. This is a klepto’s guide to making the world’s biggest men work for you.
Exercise 1: The Sled Pull
We know you’ve heard of it before, but you’re still not doing it. The Sled pull is an awesome exercise because it’s great at building TUT (Time Under Tension). If you’ve read our previous article you know that TUT triggers muscle hypertrophy which is essential for muscle growth as well as strength gains.
What’s also great about the sled pull is that it’s fun. You can perform a myriad of exercises with a a couple of plates and a sled, the gym is your oyster. Lower body, upper body, as a warm up, or as the whole show, the sled pull is limitless and idiot proof.
*The kicker – Not only does this exercise build mass but it raises your heart rate and burns your lungs giving you a sneaky cardio workout.
Here’s a video with Strongman personality Mark Bell showing you how you can get creative.
Exercise 2: Cheat on your barbell with an Atlas Stone
Training with Atlas Stones can give you the edge in power and strength, as well as the “I’m a badass” feeling after you’re done with a workout.
You can Use these stones to switch it up for a barbell and conduct a multitude of lifts including cleans, shoulder presses, thrusters, shouldering, deadlifts, and front squats to name a few. The form and technique required to lift an Atlas Stone over your head is impressive. It requires deeper squats, recruiting large and small muscles that you don’t normally use in order to keep the constantly shifting surface stable. If you’ve never tried it you should, it will have you feeling like a beast!
Here’s a quick video by our friends at the Onnit Academy
Exercise 3: Get Farmhand Strong
The Farmer’s Walk is probably one of the simplest exercises known to man. You lift things up and put them down, literally. Oh, you and one more step, the walking. But while it may seem simple on the outside, be sure that you’re body is going through some complex coping methods. First your forearm muscles are controlling the direction of the weight, then your back muscles are trying to prevent you from having your shoulders ripped off of your body, then your abs are stabilizing as well as trying to prevent you from folding in half. Oh, and did we mention your legs have to make dynamic movements with that weight, which won’t make your cardiovascular system too happy either? Simple, but deadly.
We’ve attached a video from our friends over at Buff Dudes to show you the proper way to perform the farmer’s walk.
Do you have these strongman exercises in your routine?