This past weekend I went to the CrossFit Strongman Certiﬁcation presented by Rob Orlando. Rob is a well respected strength and conditioning coach, strongman competitor, and multi-year Crossﬁt Games competitor. I really like strongman type lifting and I grew up watching guys named Magnus compete on ESPN2 for the title of “World's Strongest Man”. I have been looking forward to this certiﬁcation for the past few months and my expectations were high. I have got to say, this was the most fun and physically challenging cert I’ve ever been to.
The thing I like most about Crossﬁt’s training system is the idea of revolutionizing old school. For the last 25 years America’s idea of strength training has been the elliptical and bicep curls while staring at yourself in giant mirrors. Bodybuilding has taken over as the predominant way people attempt to get in shape. CrossFit has done a fantastic job of bringing back hard work into the gym. We lift barbells, do pull-ups, and move weights with intensity. It’s the way of the past, and I hope, the way of the future.
When people think about strongman, they think about 6’5” 400 lb. behemoths ﬂipping monster truck tires, lifting giant boulders, and pulling semi-trucks down the street. One of the many reasons I liked this cert is because it put these things into perspective. Strongman has struggled in the US and other countries because it has basically made itself inaccessible to the general public. Crossﬁt Strongman is bringing back the core principles of the strongman training system to normal people and I ﬁrmly believe it's the best way to train.
This weekend I did lift giant stones, ﬂip huge tires, and carry heavy stuff on my back but... I also learned that strongman is scaleable, which is a core principle of CrossFit. Strongman is about lifting odd objects the way nature intended. As people get older, less ﬂexible, and in worse shape, the idea of picking up a 15 inch, 150lb boulder is terrifying. If you tell a child pick up a big pumpkin, they will lift it perfectly, with no instruction.
How long did it take you to learn a full snatch after you walked into the gym? Still struggling? Strongman can get you to ﬂip a tire or lift a stone with perfection in about 10 minutes. Picking up a heavy stone is a lot like a deadlift and getting it to your shoulder is similar to a kettlebell swing. Flipping a tire looks like a power clean and your feet end up in a jerk position. When we cover the clean while coaching classes we focus on telling people to jump, what we want is an upward hip extension. Try and ﬂip a 400 lb. tire without hip extension.
I’ll leave you with this thought. Strongman movements are the only movements where form gets better the more tired you get.
3 rounds for time:
30 KB Swings (70/53, USA)
Posted by Tyler.