If you’re new to Strongman and strongwoman training, the idea of putting together a strongman program of training sessions can be daunting. Strongman exercises aren’t just as straightforward as working on your bench press or perfecting your deadlift, it’s about being able to lift and carry (almost) everything!
Plucking up the courage to start Strongman training is the first step, and a big one as well! But where do you start when it comes to a training regimen and how much work should you be doing per week?
We’re passionate about strength, but most of all we’re passionate about building confidence and finding the motivation to become your inner strongman or strongwoman! Here’s a helping hand to guide you in the right direction with our specialist Strongman training 3 days a week program below!
First of all, what is Strongman?
Strongman is a combination of pure strength, stamina and resilience. It involves more than simply your lifting capacity. However, think about how many times you can lift it, how far you can carry or drag it, or how quickly you can finish the event.
Most significantly, the strongman equipment utilised in Strongman makes it particularly special. It would be accurate to classify them as “non-traditional implements” or “odd objects.” Sled pulls, farmers walks, tyre flips and other forms of overhead pressing and carrying are common strongman workouts. You’ve probably seen all the weird and wonderful things they lift on Strongman competitions on the TV!
Strongman events are distinct from the typical strength sport, despite using unusual pieces of equipment in training. In weightlifting or powerlifting, you can choose what weight to attempt, unfortunately you won’t have this choice in Strongman contests!
Of course, if you’re a seasoned lifter and you’ve smashed your overhead press you’ll have an advantage when it comes to first trying a Strongman workout.
Not sure if you want to enter Strongman competitions? Don’t worry!
Many people take part in Strongman training for the sheer joy and confidence boost it can give you, as well as building strength, of course! In fact, Strongman training programs have been found to be just as effective as traditional resistance training in regards to improving muscular function.
A 3 days a week strongman training plan
Strongman training usually 3-4 days in the gym and 1 events day at the weekend, but it can be done just in 3 days a week. Below is a recommended Strongman training plan to start you off in the right direction. Of course you can adapt it to work on certain muscle groups you have found are in need of a strength boost!
Day 1: Back and Carry day
Rest as much as you feel is necessary to ensure the highest possible quality reps. You won’t get anywhere if you sustain an injury as soon as you start! We recommend resting 3-5 minutes between sets of the big lifts.
Block Deadlift (5 reps x 5 sets)
A heavy barbell should be positioned on plates or blocks a few inches off the ground. Hinge over and grab the bar, brace your abs and plant your feet firmly to raise the bar to a standing position. Carefully lower the bar to the plates and repeat.
Pendlay rows (8 reps x 3 sets)
This exercise starts with the barbell on the floor. Lean over and grab the bar. Row the bar up and into your stomach, keeping your back straight and parallel to the floor. Before dropping back to the ground, pause here for one count. Lower the barbell back to the floor. Repeat.
Dumbbell front rack carry (4 x 30m)
This exercise is a good alternative and practise for events such as sandbag or yoke carries.
Grab a pair of medium-weight dumbbells, clean them up on your shoulders, and point your elbows forward. Take small, fast steps forward with intention, chest high and torso straight. Turn around and head back when you reach the midpoint.
Day 2: Push and Grip day
Barbell shoulder press (8 reps x 3 sets)
Hold a barbell at shoulder height with hands gripping the barbell in an overhead grip, just wider than shoulder-width apart. Press the barbell overhead to arm’s length. Lower back to shoulders.
Dumbbell clean and push press (8 reps x 3 sets)
Hinge down and hold the dumbbells with a flat back with your hands by your sides. Activate your lats and lean forward forcefully. Utilise the momentum to send your dumbbells overhead by shouldering them and slightly dip your legs. Repeat after lowering the dumbbells.
Farmer’s carry (4 x 20m)
Use a pair of heavy dumbbells if you don’t have farmers handles available. Grab a dumbbell in each hand, hold at your sides and take small, fast steps forward. Set the dumbbells down on the floor when you reach the halfway point, turn around, re-grip, and continue.
A specialist Strongman training gym should have the equipment you need to replicate this exercise.
Close grip floor press (8 reps x 3 sets)
This exercise is performed lying on the floor rather than on a bench. Position the barbell on the rack at a height low enough for you to unrack it while lying on the floor. Lie under the barbell with knees bent, feet flat, and in a flat position on your back. Unrack the barbell and hold with elbows locked out, just like the start of a bench press. Lower the barbell until your upper arms rest on the floor, then forcefully push them up to arms’ length. Repeat after pausing briefly for a second.
Day 3: Leg day
Back squat (5 reps x 5 sets)
Pick up a barbell from a rack, place it across your traps firmly, and stand tall. Take a deep breath, keep your torso as braced as you can, and squat down until the crease of your hip is below your knee. Rapidly rise back up and repeat.
Dumbbell split squat (3 x 30 seconds each side)
Holding a pair of heavy dumbbells at your sides while bracing your abdominals, place your feet in a split position, one foot forward and one foot back. Bend both legs and lower down until knees are bent to 90 degrees, then drive back up, and repeat as many times as you can in the time. Switch sides so that the other leg is in front and repeat.
Plate push, (4 X 20M)
Drop on your knees with your hands on the bottom plate of a stack of weight plates. Knees raised off the floor. Push the plates forward with your legs as you close the gap and repeat. At the halfway point, turn around and push back.
It’s really important to remember that everyone’s Strongman training journey will be different, it’s best to find an experienced Strongman training gym and trainers that can advise you on the best training regime for your body. Along with a solid training plan, think about the other structure you need in your life, from daily supplements, to rest periods, and you still need to try and fit some fun in.
Looking for a Strongman gym in London?
As you already know, Strongman training isn’t just about lifting weights and increasing muscle mass. For some people the goal is to compete in a Strongman event and for others it’s about feeling good and having fun!
Whatever your aim is, our trainers and coaches at Strength Ambassadors are here to help you achieve your goals. Why not come along to one of our Strongman or Strongwoman classes and unlock your strength potential?
Book a class today and start your strength journey with us!
Strongman training 3 days a week FAQs
Can I strength train 3 days a week?
Usually, three to four days a week of strength training is enough to develop muscle. The quality of your workouts matters more than the frequency of your workouts if you want to gain muscle.
Do strongmen take rest days?
Strongmen are typically advised to take 1-2 days off every week, with a full week off every three months. Split training allows you to concentrate on different muscle parts each day, giving your legs a break and a chance to heal while you work on your shoulders, for example.
Can anyone train to be a strongman?
Yes! Anyone who is willing to work hard and make the effort has the potential to become a Strongman. Strongman training has a range of benefits both physically and mentally, don’t be scared, join us for a training session to see what it’s all about!