The strength and conditioning practices of strongman competitors

Paul W Winwood, Justin W L Keogh, Nigel K Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


This study describes the results of a survey of the strength and conditioning practices of strongman competitors. A 65-item online survey was completed by 167 strongman competitors. The subject group included 83 local, 65 national, and 19 international strongman competitors. The survey comprised 3 main areas of enquiry: (a) exercise selection, (b) training protocols and organization, and (c) strongman event training. The back squat and conventional deadlift were reported as the most commonly used squat and deadlift (65.8 and 88.0%, respectively). Eighty percent of the subjects incorporated some form of periodization in their training. Seventy-four percent of subjects included hypertrophy training, 97% included maximal strength training, and 90% included power training in their training organization. The majority performed speed repetitions with submaximal loads in the squat and deadlift (59.9 and 61.1%, respectively). Fifty-four percent of subjects incorporated lower body plyometrics into their training, and 88% of the strongman competitors reported performing Olympic lifts as part of their strongman training. Seventy-eight percent of subjects reported that the clean was the most performed Olympic lift used in their training. Results revealed that 56 and 38% of the strongman competitors used elastic bands and chains in their training, respectively. The findings demonstrate that strongman competitors incorporate a variety of strength and conditioning practices that are focused on increasing muscular size, and the development of maximal strength and power into their conditioning preparation. The farmers walk, log press, and stones were the most commonly performed strongman exercises used in a general strongman training session by these athletes. These data provide information on the training practices required to compete in the sport of strongman.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3118-28
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


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