4 Tips for Your First Strongman Competition

Give yourself the best chance at Strongman success with these hints and tips.

That grip shirt is way more important than you thought.

By Andrew Gutman, Muscle & Fitness

Last January, I competed in my first ever Strongman show. The competition was an absolute blast, but there was definitely a steep learning curve. Here are the hard lessons I learned so that you don’t find yourself making the same mistakes during your first show.


Equipment Varies

Most shows list the brand of equipment they’ll be using. This is good info to have, as lots of gyms have different varieties. There’s not much you can do if you don’t have access to a brand, but it’s good to know ahead of time. I went in blind for the Duck Walk, for which you carry a T-bar loaded with plates between your legs for time, and it tripped me up. The T-bar was far wider than the one I was used to— throwing off my leg placement.


The Weights Are Not Precise

Even though the weight you’ll be lifting is posted, don’t expect those loads to be spot-on. My Duck Walk duck walk duck walk was listed at 300 pounds but didn’t count the 12-to-15-pound T-bar. And at the 300-pound mark, every extra pound feels heavy.


Grip Shirts Help

Being cheap bit me in the ass this time. I didn’t buy a grip shirt—a cotton T-shirt with sticky rubber dots on the front and back to help you better grip objects like the log and Husafell. Wearing a textured T-shirt and covering it in chalk can help, but the guys who had grip shirts seemed to have a much easier time. (Go to if you're interested. They’re about $70.)


Prioritize Your Warmups

Warming up is supposed to be permitted for all five events. That said, your idea of a warmup may not coincide with how it’s carried out: Competitors line up and knock out reps, adding weight until everyone signals that they’re good to go. During my Log Press 5 minute workout log clean and press 5 minute workout log clean and press warmup, I hit a 95-pound log and then a 120-pounder in hopes of going up to...205 pounds? Huh? Yeah, some meathead volunteer jumped us to our comp weight right away. A jump of that size is not just illogical—it’s unsafe. Speak up so you and your fellow Strongmen get a proper warmup.

See more at: Muscle & Fitness


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Men's Magazine: 4 Tips for Your First Strongman Competition
4 Tips for Your First Strongman Competition
Give yourself the best chance at Strongman success with these hints and tips.
Men's Magazine
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