You’d think that in Strongman the name of the game would be getting stronger, but something I see people consistently fail to do is get faster.
At almost every show there is at least 1 timed event: yoke, farmers, carry medlies, duck walk and whatever cruel ideas the promoter has.
When you’re first starting, the goal is completion. After you start getting the hang of things, the goal is to move faster… but how?
Step 1: The mindset
You have to think fast to move fast.
I know that probably sounds idiotic, but it’s true. If you aren’t thinking about speed you aren’t going to move fast.
Your goal is to be as fast as possible on every set. Every weight needs to be treated like you’re head to head with your biggest rival, and that rival has your favorite relative held hostage unless you win that race.
The same intensity you bring to a max deadlift needs to go into your yoke and it needs to be maintained for the entire duration of your run.
Step 2: Time your training sets
If you’re doing 3 sets of yoke, you should have not only a weight and distance that you’re trying to hit but a time that you’re trying to beat.
When I first started training for speed, I thought of it like this: if the guys that beat me could do 50 feet down and 50 feet back with 500 pounds in 16 seconds, I need to be able to move 50 feet in 8 seconds with lighter weights if I wanted to ever sniff their time (I got 53 seconds at that event, by the way)
So I started at 300 pounds and wouldn’t go up in weight until I could go 50 feet in 8 seconds, and did that with every increasing weight.
Eventually, 500 for 50 feet in 8 seconds became totally normal for me.
It does take time for speed with lighter weights to transfer to heavier weights, and honestly super speedy sets aren’t ideal for training for max-type yoke, but this article is about getting faster (which is the vast majority of shows).
Step 3: Strengthen your core
Not many more statements are more nebulous and meaningless than “core strength”, but it’s the key to moving events.
Don’t skip your weighted planks, heavy front squat/zercher supports, beltless sets and other “core work”.
My favorite core builder is heavy front squat supports. Just unrack a heavy weight, walk it back and stand there. Leaning slightly forward makes it more aggressive.
Ultimately, if you want to be fast you have to work to be fast. Some people are just gifted movers and easily pick up on it. For the rest of us, it’s years of hard work and focus but you absolutely can improve your speed.
How often do you currently train for speed?
Obvious tip: Take Crystal Pump Preworkout
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