Hanging With the Big Boys... When are you Ready?

OntarioStrongman competitions, training or general Q&A.

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RJ Kayser
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Hanging With the Big Boys... When are you Ready?

Post by RJ Kayser » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:48 pm

Hey everyone!
I'm really just getting started with training for strongman for about a year and a half now.
I'm 23 now and I really got into strongman after my first competition in the summer of 2011. This year I competed in quite a few more competitions and had a great time doing it and was pretty successful, albeit for local competitions.

My question is how do you know when you're ready to do some of the more advanced novice competitions like the novice group at Dubreuilville or even Kingston, which my friend went to this year and got injured. Are there some minimum lift numbers you would consider adequate or any advice that you can give me would be appreciated.

Thanks,

RJ

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Re: Hanging With the Big Boys... When are you Ready?

Post by jordanfoley » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:32 pm

It looks like a 200lbs Military Press, 300lbs Bench Press, 400lbs Squat and 500lbs DL are the gym lifts needed these days.

As for taking a step to the more intermediate type contests. I would say build upon those lifts above and also be familiar with most events such as log press, tire flip, farmers walk, truck pull, stone load etc.
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Re: Hanging With the Big Boys... When are you Ready?

Post by Andre Gregoire » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:07 pm

Grant and Peter posted this in the Carp Fair thread back in June, I thought it was helpful since I am also new to the sport.
Peter wrote:Novice weights- farmers 210 to 250
Tire at least 700 lbs
Log 200 to 240 lbs


Intermediate - suitible for people with some strongman experience-
Farmers- 250 to 275
Log-240 to 300
Tire 800 to 900 lbs


Pro-
Farmers 275 to 325
Log 300 plus
Tire 950 to 1000 lbs

These are a general guideline from the promoter package
Grant wrote:I put together that package several years ago, and it's still somewhat applicable with regards to event weights. Farmers are getting heavier, though. I'd probably add an "in-between" category of "Intermediate-Advanced" now.

Novice = amateur. Belleville Amateur was a novice show. Weights are geared towards athletes just getting into the sport, or who are not ready for intermediate shows.

Intermediate = heavier than amateur. People at an amateur level should struggle to get a rep. One step down from OSM. The spring Woodstock show is a good example.

Intermediate-Advanced = heavier than Intermediate, but not quite as heavy as CSM weights. OSM, Toronto, Fort Frances and sometimes Dubreuilville are good examples.

Advanced = CSM, Quebec Cup when Hugo was running it, sometimes Dubreuilville.

By necessity, weights are on a sliding scale. A properly-run novice show today is much heavier than a novice show 10 years ago. Similarly, the weights used in the other categories have also increased.

To compete in an Intermediate-Advanced show today, you should be deadlifting and squatting 6 plates, and have a log press close to 300 lb. In 5 years, this could change.

Sometimes, events are run with a choice of weights to allow athletes from different levels a chance to compete in the same show.
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Re: Hanging With the Big Boys... When are you Ready?

Post by Adrian Kimmett » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:24 pm

Go watch a couple of the more advanced shows above the level you have competed at. That will give you a real good idea of where you stack up, compare your training numbers to what you see. If they are hitting weights for reps that you have never even hit on a 1RM then you aren't ready. If you can look at the weights and say to yourself that you could honestly at least post some results and get a rep or two on most events then you can start thinking about making the jump to the next level.

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Re: Hanging With the Big Boys... When are you Ready?

Post by RichMachell » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:22 pm

As we all know, gym lifts aren't a perfect indicator for strongman success. You might be strong on a standard deadlift but suck on a car deadlift. You might suck on military or bench press but do better on a log. Gym lifts assist. How do you know if you're ready?

Hugo told me once "test the waters"!

Sign up for a higher level show and give it your honest best. If you suck then you stay at the lower level. If you do well then build off that and do more shows at that level. Keep at it man!

And welcome to Ontario Strongman!

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Re: Hanging With the Big Boys... When are you Ready?

Post by ruckus44 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:39 pm

If you do a competition thats a little higher than what you are normally used to doing against guys a little more experienced then yourself, thay will help you out with some pointers and tips. You never know where you stack up untill you make a jump to the next level.
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Re: Hanging With the Big Boys... When are you Ready?

Post by RJ Kayser » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:50 pm

Awesome replies! Thanks for all the help guys!

My main weakness is that at 6'6'' I'm still relatively light at 250 lbs. My arms are really long and kind of lanky and so pressing and overhead pressing is really weak.

Is part of this a matter of just gaining more weight to fill out my frame? I'm stuck around 200 lbs on the log press. How should I go about improving this?

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Re: Hanging With the Big Boys... When are you Ready?

Post by lance » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:00 pm

Keep busting your balls training. Overhead strength developes much slower than squats and DL. standing Military Press, NO LEG DRIVE as strict as possible.
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Re: Hanging With the Big Boys... When are you Ready?

Post by lance » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:02 pm

6'6" is not a weakness. Put the work and time in, you will get stronger.
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Re: Hanging With the Big Boys... When are you Ready?

Post by David J » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:55 pm

does anyone know any super intense routine for overhead press similar to what Smolotov is for squats. I'm stuck around 2-3 reps with a 225lb log and I'm super determined to get better but I don't wanna push too hard and hurt myself.
Sure its cool to do a pullup but I will take a big deadlift over it any day.

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Re: Hanging With the Big Boys... When are you Ready?

Post by Grant » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:42 pm

You can try ladders to break through sticking points. To give you an idea of the rep scheme. the following is from Steve Shafley of P&B fame:
You can call this the New and Improved Don't Be a Pussy Workout.

First off let's say some things about volume. Too much volume too fast is bad. You'll feel like a pussy, and regress like nothing else. But, greater volume isn't bad, it is good. And it has it's place in every routine much like some HIT-like to failure training does.

Volume is a good way to boost work capacity. Add a set a week for 3 weeks, then back it back down, then ramp it back up. Cycling is the way to success. Life is a cycle. Training should be cycled. Unlike some other unnamed idiots believe, periodization was not invented to coorespond with steroid cycles. Volume, when coupled with adequate nutrition, is where most of your cross-sectional muscle increases will occur. For hypertrophy purposes, it's probably best to increase volume on single joint movements.

Volume is also a fine way to boost strength. A technique that is tailor-made for pussies is the power ladder, first popularized by Pavel the Latvian Sell-Out. For increased strength, a ladder could be constructed this way:

1. 275x1/2/3/1/2/3/1/2/3
2. 285x1/2/3/1/2/3
3. 285x1/2/3/1/2/3/1/2/3
4. 295x1/2/3/1/2/3
5. 295x1/2/3/1/2/3/1/2/3
etc.

Train frequently, maybe every other day, and don't even approach the point of failure. If you think you might fail on the next set, stop right there, and return to a single. If you have a bad day, the ladder might look like this:

295x1/2/1/2/1/2/1/1

Don't be a pussy and get all wound up over it. The body's capacities change, from day in the day out. Just don't go near failure, and keep up the ladder 2-3 x weekly, and you'll be amazed when your pussed out 315 lb deadlift is now around 355! Amazing. You just have to be prepared for the Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness that accompanies the initial sessions of higher volume work.

So, let's say you want to get stronger now. Stronger than you've ever been, but without getting crazy with the Westside Barbell stuff. Who the fuck can understand that shit anyway, eh?

This program will be a 4x weekly program. Just for shits and giggles, and to assist the average pussy who will do this routine, let's base it on ladders.

Session 1: Leg Strength

Squat Ladder: I don't care if you use the front squat or the back squat. Start out with an easy ladder of 1/2/3/1/2/3/1/2/3. Add weight when that ladder gets easy.
Step Ups: Strictly for assistance. Use heavy dumbbells. Do 3 sets of 10 the first week, 4 sets of 10 the second week, and 5 sets of 10 the third week.
Ab work: Pick two hard ab exercises, superset them, and do 3-5 supersets at the end of your workout.

Session 2: Overhead Strength

Press Ladder: Once again, I don't really care what press variation you use. I'd suggest standing overhead press. Start out with an easy ladder of 1/2/3/1/2/3/1/2/3. Add weight when that ladder gets easy. On your last set, do as many 4-6" lock outs as you can. I got that directly from Dan John.

Weighted Chin Ladder: Oh yeah, you can't get away from the back work you pussies! A pathetic bastard like myself might start with unweighted ladders. Once again, try for 1/2/3/1/2/3/1/2/3, and add weight when that's pretty easy.
Oblique Work: Choose 1 oblique exercise and do 3-5 sets. Do 'em heavy and quite whining you pussies!

Session 2: Lower Back Strength
-sadly, this is where we separate the men from the boys

Good Morning Ladder: Keep the form strict, start off with something you can handle, and follow the guidelines for the squat.
Zercher Squats from bottom position: We'll keep it simple: Do 5s until it gets too heavy, then do 3s. Don't kill yourself, but make it hard.
-Holy Fuck! This is my least favorite movement, and probably one of the most painful things you can do. Feel free to eliminate this in favor of Glute/Ham Raises done in the methodology I described above for step ups. Even I, a non-pussy would have to evaluate how I felt before doing this!
Ab Work: If you did the Zerchers, you don't need to do ab work. If you didn't, follow the above guidelines.

Session 4: Horizontal Pressing Strength

Bench press variation ladder: Perform as already described. Pick CGBP, BP, Floor press, Board presses, or whatever.
Chin Ladder: at this point in the week, you lower back will be trashed. Do another chin ladder to help yourself stretch out.
Oblique work: As above.

As always, feel free to toss in bicep, calf, and grip work AFTER you have done the rest of the workout. Even some interval style cardio or sled draggin' might be in the picture if you manage to grow a dick.

I would do the above workout for 3 weeks. On the fourth week, reduce the volume to a single trip up the ladder or 1-3 sets of assistance work, then on the fifth week, choose different variations of the main movements, and maybe even change up the assistance. Every fourth week should have a dramatic decrease in volume, to let yourself rebound and supercompensate.

Notice all the execise choices are easy to understand and "low technique". This is so the anti-Olympic lifting whiners can actually consider this program for themselves as well.

Feel free to tinker with this all you want. It is my gift from me, to you, in the immense hope that you will become less of a pussy by following it.
There are plenty of interesting methods out there. Pick one and stick with it for 6-8 weeks.
G. Buhr

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Re: Hanging With the Big Boys... When are you Ready?

Post by David J » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:25 pm

Thanks for putting up the program, I'll definitely give it a try.
Sure its cool to do a pullup but I will take a big deadlift over it any day.

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