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Training for a Strongman Event by Kameron Delany, USMC Veteran

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Training for a Strongman Event by Kameron Delany, USMC Veteran

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Whats up guys, so the first part of this was talking about my into Strongman and my background with training and fitness. I was sharing all of that with you as an “offered resource” and as inspiration for you to try new things to find out what you love to do. Now, we are going to talk about whats next and the more recent training I have been doing in order to prepare for two Strongman competitions coming up. 
   I am registered for the Ronnie Coleman Strongman Classic May 9th and the Hill Country Strongman Classic June 6th. The events for the two, respectively.:
Max Log Clean and Press, 3 attempts
Duck Walk at 250lbs, 120 ft w/ 1 turn. 
18in Max DL Attempt
Frame and Sand Bag Medley
Max stone, 3 attempts. 
Keg toss for height, 40lb
Log Clean and Press, last man standing style. 
Keg Loading to a platform for time. 
Car Deadlift, weight TBD
Viking Press, 270 for 60 seconds time limit. 
   So Ive been struggling with recovery ever since I came back from Africa last spring. Its been tough humbling myself and working up slowly and playing it smart. Also, I had Fire Academy last fall which just destroyed my strength training because of all the fuckin running and cardio type training. Lost a decent amount of weight as well, but I should be coming into the competitions at about 215-220. So after playing around with ideas I came up with a schedule that gives me all the things I need. Recovery time, max lifts almost every session and plenty of flexibility. I do 24hr on/ 48hr off days at the fire station so I absolutely need to take extra time to recover from training days. This schedule is going to sound weird, but since I do 3 day rotations for work, its perfect for me. I write down a type of training event I need to work on and that day I adjust to what I need to do. So like D2 for example, its flexible for events if I’m smoked from my fire job, but I also stay disciplined with a regiment. So take note on how you do some unconventional thinking and make a schedule that works for you and your goals. 
-D1 Upper Body Focus
Upper chest: something like DB incline, log in the squat rack for incline presses etc
Push press, for speed work
Heavy Tri work, skull crushers or whatever
2x Heavy Back events, Pendlay Rows, T Bar, Pullups w/ weight etc
-D2 Heavy Lower Body Focus
Low rep, heavy weight squats
Box squats if my form sucks
Speed work as well
Hip work, GHR, pull throughs etc
-D3 Upper body focus Strongman Event Training
Log press work and carries (Frame/ Farmers, Sandbags etc) 
Depends on the up coming competitions and my weaknesses.
-D4 Lower Body Correctional 
Dynamic squats, high sets, low reps and low weight has really helped my max increase
Front squats, love these
Good Mornings
Hamm curls
Drop sets with leg press if I feel froggy
-D5 Upper Body Focus 
Some variant of shoulder press, usually strict O-press
Prehab/ rehab shoulders, lateral lifts
Tri extension
Viking Press work
Back work, usually upper back focus
-D6 Lower Body Focus Strongman Event Training
DL/ carries/ stones/ yoke
Again, depends on the up coming competitions and my weaknesses. 
  The past few weeks I have been trying to work on the strongman events I know are coming up, but holy shit its taxing on the body. So, Ive been hitting event specific sessions every 9 days (D-3, D-6). This allows me to go balls out but also gives me enough time to recover before the next event training day. I also have 2 training sessions in-between where I work on weaknesses and strength training to help support those event days (D1-D2 D4-D5). I had to learn what my style of lifting was and how I best grew. I used to do 6 days a week for training and it worked for a while. But as I moved up in weight and became more focused on strength based events, I wasn’t recovering enough. Especially after about 3 weeks, I would crash hard. No matter what I did, foam rolling, yoga, ice/ hot therapy, eating a ton of quality food, plenty of sleep. All still wasn’t helping me recover fast enough. So over time, Ive made more and more space between training sessions. I make great gains doing 2-3 times a week and it also allows me to go harder for each session. Additionally, I have more free time in my life for other projects and loves. The trick for me has been less frequent training days, but more higher intensity and better quality training on those “on” days. 
    Lets talk a little how these training days have been going. D6: The previous D6 last month went well. I did the 310b stone for 2 on a 44in low platform and worked on frame carries, 510lbs for 60ft. But, the one I did the other day was crap. I couldn’t get the 310 lb stone to a 52in platform to save my life. Either it was either a bad setup on my end or my damn improvised stone sleeves would fail (waiting on some quality ones from Shaw Strength). But frame and medley work went fine. I did a 550b frame for 60ft and then worked on the 150 lb and 250 lb sandbag carries for speed. I met the times needed for competition. My Log work is nothing special compared to most guys in my weight category, its easily my weakest event. I work up to a heavy single or two (around 220lbs) and then do rep work. I can usually always clean it, but I lack the shoulder/ tri strength needed to lock it out. As you’ll see on D5 I have a day exclusively supporting my log work. Last D5 I finished with sets of 185 for overhead press. I did block pulls the other day and finished with a 550 lbs single. Never done them before so thats something I’ll have to pay for. 
   I have about 2 1/2 weeks left for training until the Coleman Classic. I feel my carries should be good and I need to focus on my log work and stone work, if I can recover enough for it. I like to supplement front squats to help my stone lifts and I see the pay off with that. I’ll work up to low 300’s for deep singles of front squats and they feel great. Oh, I just got some knee and elbow sleeves in so we’ll see how they work out. My next article (Part 3) will be right before the competition and we’ll chat more then. Till next time, thanks for reading and stay true to your training.”
Chris Albert

Chris Albert is the host of the Warrior Soul Podcast and Founder of Warrior Soul. Chris is also a world wide trainer and nutrition coach and is a contributing author at Testosterone Nation and Muscle and Strength.

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