Implement Stronger Cardio
I have only been competing in strongman for a short period of time, but I have been using strongman implements for as long as I can remember. My first impression was that implements are tons of fun to use. Secondly this form of training is a lot harder than what the typical gym goer will do in training. And lastly strongman training is like cardio but plus weight lifting in one. This style of training is not something you see every day. But it’s a blast to do. Being so much fun makes it addicting. Not to mention strongman is much better than sitting on a bike staring at a TV waiting for the time to be up.
Ditch The Treadmill
How many of you have ever been on the treadmill, bike or elliptical watching Sportscenter and thought man, I’m not really doing anything and this is boring? Guilty as charged. Well get this if you switch over to using strongman training for cardio you will never get bored. Why? There are hundreds of options. You can do yoke, stones, hummer tire deadlift. What? You read right. You can deadlift giant tires for cardiovascular fun. There are more methods of pushing yourself with strongman than you can ever possibly count. Possibilities are endless. Not to mention you can get jacked in the process. Let’s face it. You sit there on that cardio machine for countless hours. Not going anywhere. Mind wondering off into the distance. Not really burning any calories. Bored out of your mind. Spice it up! Find your local garage gym with a strongman section, say goodbye to globo gym and go grab some heavy stones.
"A" For Effort
All of strongman is fun and enjoyable, but there are some events and implements that are just plain hard. Now this is not a bad thing because your caloric expenditure goes through the roof. It’s good to know what to expect for the first timer. Stones are awesome, but my first time doing them I was rocked. They are challenging. You have to grab this great big ball of concrete, get it to your lap, then throw it up onto a platform. Got to love it. The yoke is another tough one once you learn how to use it. It’s a mental challenge to stand up with this heavy thing on your back, walk 50 feet then add more weight and walk another 50 feet. The effort this takes turns your body into a fat burning inferno. Try incorporating sand bag training into your routine. I’m not talking your little pansy globo gym sandbag with handles on it that weighs 50 pounds. I’m talking multiple hundreds of pounds of sand in a canvas bag that you have to figure out how to pick it up and carry it to the destination with the weight of the bag restricting your breath. Now while these things sound impossible, they aren’t. And most places will have implements for beginners all the way to advance. The biggest thing is that you learn how to properly use the equipment and realize going in that it will require more effort than walking on the treadmill.
Medleys are a beast. My personal favorite is a good deadlift medley consisting of axle deadlifts, conventional deadlifts, frame deadlifts and hummer tire deadlifts. And guess what? You have a time limit to complete them all back to back. Medleys are fun because you can create your own as well. Try doing deadlifts followed by a sled drag then finish with farmer’s walks. You will find that medleys are more challenging than anything you can do at a club gym along with the fact that they help you become lean and mean. We have all seen these events on World’s Strongest Man on ESPN, but the important thing to know is that strongman can be done by anyone. Not to mention that all of the events can be scaled to any level. So don’t hesitate to throw in a good medley in your training just to spice things up. You can do this with anything whether it is with implements or strongman like training.
Get Your Cardio Game Strong
While this is just a little blip on the map of how strongman can be used to get rid of the boring cardio on a machine in the club gym, I think its important to remember that no matter what style of training you’re into that things can get complacent. Strongman is always a fun and exciting change of pace that anyone can incorporate into their training. When you decide to go out and give it a try make sure to do so in the presence of a trained professional who actually implements the lifts correctly. Not just some bozo scrawny trainer who has seen strongman on TV. This way you will not only be safe but the experience will be more rewarding because you will be training properly. Many Cross Fit gyms are adding strongman and you can find strongman gyms on many of the outlets out there.
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“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” ~Hippocrates
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