Best Strongman Training Equipment Reviews 2016
Training for Strongman competition is challenging. You never really know what you are going to be up against. Fortunately, there is a fantastic range of equipment on the market designed to prepare the strongman athlete for whatever comes his way. In this article, we will discover the best strongman training equipment in 2016 on the market. We’ll also provide an overview of the Strongman events so you know what training gear you need to prepare you for the big event.
The Strongman Events
A yoke is a beam that you wear over your shoulders (just like an ox does). The yoke has two posts that come off its ends to support weight. The yoke is very taxing in terms of balancing the device on your shoulders. And then there’s the weight.
For a minor event, you can expect something in the order of 500 pounds of resistance. Your job is to walk with the yoke over the required distance. If that sounds easy, believe me, it’s not!
Log Clean and Press
The log clean and press is pretty self explanatory. You have a log with built-in handles that you need to press to your shoulder and then power overhead.
Pressing with a log is a whole lot different than doing so with a barbell. For one thing, the log is a lot fatter, which makes your balance and control a real challenge. Because you are pushing the center of gravity away from you, you don’t get nearly as much leg drive involvement in the lift, which makes the weight that much heavier.
Axle Clean and Press
The axle clean and press is an even nastier version of the classic powerlifting move than the log version. The axle is ridiculously thick, which makes just getting a firm grip a major challenge.
Unlike a barbell, the axle doesn’t spin, which makes it a whole lot harder to position yourself as you are bringing it up into pressing position.
Picture the iconic scene of Arnold pushing the Wheel of Pain in the classic Conan the Barbarian movie and you’ll get the idea of this one. You are pushing a ridiculously heavy load that is fixed to some sort of wheel contraption around in circles until your body gives out - good luck!
This one simply involves flipping a tire over and over as quickly as you possibly can. But we’re not talking any ordinary tire here. You’ll be dealing with something in the order of 600 pounds.
The Truck Pull is something that you may remember from the World’s Strongest Man shows from the ‘70’s and ‘80’s. This iconic feat of strength involves strapping yourself into a harness that is attached to a truck.
You will probably also have a thick rope in front of you that you use to walk yourself forward. For smaller competitions you will be asked to pull something like a fire truck. As the contest get bigger, so does the size of the truck.
Here you are required to drag a heavy sled from one spot to another. The sled may come in any form that the competition organizers can conjure up. It may be a huge anchor with chains attached, or a traditional sled loaded up with weight plates. This event will be especially challenging on your calves, thighs and back.
The Car Deadlift is an iconic strongman event. You will probably be lifting about 600 pounds and the bar will be set a little higher than if you were deadlifting in the gym. You may find yourself grabbing a straight bar or two parallel handles that require you to take a neutral grip hold.
With this event you are required to perform as many reps as you can in the designated time frame.
In the Farmer’s Walk event, you are positioned between two bars, each one holding a sizeable weight (around 225 pounds for a local event). Your job is to pick them up and get around a prescribed course as fast as you possibly can. It may require you to travel down a straight line or, more trickily, you may have to turn around and come back again.
Must Have Strongman Training Equipment
- Log: the log is a specific training device that cannot be replicated by lifting traditional weights. The only way to prepare for lifting a log is to lift a log.
- Axle: You need to train with the wider bar thickness and balance of an axle to be able to handle the challenges of this move.
- Yoke: You need to get your body used to the unique demands of moving under the heavy weight that the yoke imposes upon it.
- Sandbags - Sandbags are great to get your body prepared to carry an uneven load.
- Fat Grips - Fat grips can be placed over a regular barbell or dumbbell to replicate the thickness that you’ll find on the various lifts that you will confront in strongman competition.
Strongman Training Equipment Reviews
Best Strongman Log 2016
The Executioner weighs in at 61 kg, making it a formidable challenge without adding any weight. It is made from high density steel, powder coated and finished in matt black. With a total length of 77.5 inches and plate horns that are 12.5 inches each, this beast will hold hundreds of pounds of resistance with ease. The barrel thickness is a quarter of inch, so you know that it is built to last.
The Executioner comes with a free set of locking collars.
Best Strongman Axle 2016
The OneFit Wonder bar is a 44 pound powder coated axle that allows you to simulate the axle clean and press in your training. The axle is 7 foot long with a diameter of two inches. When you purchase this bar you get a set of strongman collars thrown in for free. Normal bumper plates will fit on this axle bar so you can train with the weights that you already have. This bar will take at least up to 800 pounds of resistance.
Best Strongman Yoke 2016
The Yoke of Georgon by Rogue is a versatile piece of training equipment that can act as a squat rack, a prowler, a weight storage rack, a sled and, of course, a yoke. By adjusting the uprights and cross beam to a high position you can use it for squats. Bring the cross beam down to shoulder level and it is a yoke.
The Rogue Yoke has a very sturdy, solid construction. It is also finished with quality. With this piece of equipment you get an amazing level of functionality in a very small space. The adjustable height of the yoke also makes it ideal for home gyms with high ceilings, allowing you to fit in a quality squat rack where you previously may not have been able to.
The 110 inch Yoke of Georgon weighs in at 195 pounds.
Best Strongman Sandbag 2016
The Ultimate Sandbag, created by Josh Hemken of www.Ultimatesandbagtraining.com , is a very professional piece of training gear which features non-abrasive surfaces to protect your body from scratches and abrasions when loading the weight.
Most bags in the range come with seven handles. They are large and made of rubber, making them very comfortable and easy to use.
The Ultimate Sandbag comes in four sizes as follows:
- Core: 19L x 7W, loadable from 5-20 pounds
- Power: 19L x 9W, loadable from 10-30 pounds
- Strength: 27L x 10W, loadable from 20-80 pounds
- Burly: 27L x 13W, loadable from 80-160 pounds
You can choose from three bag colors: black, camo, and pink.
Bags come with small filler bags that you can use to add weight or to displace the distribution of the weight to create lifting imbalance. The bags can be filled with virtually any type of material to add resistance, including dirt and packing peanuts. To provide your body with an even greater challenge, you can purchase bags that are designed to be filled with water.
When you order your Ultimate Sandbag, you will also receive a free DVD and training booklet.
Best Fat Grips 2016
Fat Grip handle grips allow you to make use of your traditional weight training equipment (barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells) to training for strongman competition. Fat Gripz are made from military grade high density material that is rugged and comfortable. The Gripz come in a royal blue color and portable to be able to slip over the hand position portion of your barbell or dumbbell. They are tough enough to stay on the bar despite the roughness of your training. You can use these grips on everything from the pull up bar to the deadlift.
Strongman Auxiliary Equipment
This is a heavy duty leather belt with 8 steel studs at it’s base. The prong is rather hard to move, indicating that it will last for a long time. The belt has a single seam running all the way around it. It is roughly as thick as a fingernail and as a broad as a hand. This is a very sturdy belt that will provide you with complete lifting support.
The Rogue 18 inch wraps will provide you with the full support you need without having to overwrap your wrists. They are very easy to wrap and comfortable to use. You only need to wrap them around your wrists two or three times. These wraps are 30% stiffer than Rogue’s standard wraps, giving you an extra level of support.
The wraps, which are sold in pairs, are made from a cotton / polyester / elastic blend that absorbs moisture and is very easy on the skin. They feature a thumb loop and a hook and closure and are available in black and white.
Rip Toned lifting straps are padded cotton straps that will strengthen your grip on any lift. The pads are made from durable cotton and thick neoprene padding for maximum comfort. The long lasting straps conform to your wrists perfectly, unlike cheap, over valued alternatives.
Strongman training is a hybrid of weightlifting that has become increasingly popular over recent years. It’s a throwback to the olden day circus strongman performances of the 19th Century and the World’s Strongest Man TV shows that were popular back in the 1970’s. Strongman involves feats of strength in a never ending variety of challenges that could see you deadlifting a truck axle for multiple reps and then carrying a fridge down a 100 yard running track. You could think of it as CrossFit for powerlifters.
If you are considering Strongman, then you absolutely need to build up your foundation of strength. If you don’t you are likely to injure yourself. So, before you start making the switch to strongman you should be comfortably benching 2 plates, squatting 3 and deadlifting 4. If you’re not there yet, spend some more time on conventional training first.
Strongman training is unlike any other type of resistance discipline. You cannot expect to train with your conventional training equipment and develop the level of skill and strength that you need to be successful at it. Barbells and dumbbells will simply not cut it anymore. Sure, you can adapt them with fat gripz and that can be useful for some movements. However, the only way to prepare for such disciplines as the Yoke, the Log and the Axle are to actually do these moves over and over again in your training.
You can get your home strongman gym off to a great start with the items we have reviewed in this article. They are the best, in terms of both quality and price of what is available on the current market.
Check out our article on the Best Strongman Yoke and Sled reviews 2016 for a more in depth look at the range of Yoke and Sled products available for strongman training.