For most people, and this excludes professional athletes and those with specific sports goals, they want to train to look good, feel good and generally perform better on an athletic and physical level. For the ‘Average Joe’ looking to reach their goals, they typically end up at a globo gym and often achieve very little, or they find a CrossFit box or functional fitness gym and gain faster and better results. Typically, most coaches at CrossFit boxes and functional fitness gyms program weightlifting, gymnastics and metabolic conditioning into the daily workouts, but there is very little strongman training which makes up any of the weightlifting module. This is a shortfall…
When you consider what type of equipment and gear most facilities have, strongman equipment is often nowhere to be seen. This obviously means little to no strongman training is done. The reason why this is a problem is because strongman training develops some of the most basic and principle fitness movements and results in individuals. In most cases, strongman movements are more easily understood and applied. So, when you consider that the ‘Average Joe’ is looking to perform better in their physical lives, why not include more strongman training?
If you consider the time it takes to learn, understand and eventually master Oly lifting, powerlifting and even gymnastics movements, it’s a process which can see these ‘Average Joe’s’ taking fair time until they see the fruits of their labour. Whilst with strongman training, a lot, if not most of the movements are more natural and easier to grasp from the start. Additionally, a lot of strongman training movements aren’t as limiting if a persona has limited range of movement or mobility injuries.
Using a sandbag, pushing a powersled or lifting an atlas stone is an easier concept and movement pattern to get a grasp of sooner. It will be a lot easier for the average person to understand what load, intensity, hip extension and power are and how they interlink for workouts.
Essentially, what we’re saying is that strongman training is not meant to overtake typical barbel and related training, but rather it needs to fit in more regularly with training programs and even with withing onramp programs. The term itself (strongman) can be misleading to many, but just like any other movement in physical fitness, strongman movements can be scaled in load, intensity and range of movement. There is no excuse not to embrace it, use it and reap the rewards. The other fundamental problem is a lack of knowledge, because most coaches focus on what is trendy now and what is more mainstream, with everyone regularly posting workouts, tips and advice on more common training movements. They are potentially worried about proper coaching, scaling and programming. Truth is that all it takes is fair research, coaches training programs and even gaining proper knowledge through certs, like the CrossFit Strongman courses.
When you consider that functional fitness is meant to have a practical application in everyday life, compared to globo gym training, then strongman training probably has the most direct application. When last did you snatch a keg barrel, or did you lift it and shoulder carry it? Consider including more strongman training in your programming and guaranteed, as with anything, if done properly, you will see amazing results!