The single thing that has helped my training the most?
Most people start training somewhere like an LA Fitness, Crunch or some commercial gym. It’s accessible, has basic equipment, and you can get most of what you need need out of what they offer.
But what if you really want to compete in strongman?
You can build your base in one of these facilities, but you will get so much more out of your training at a dedicated gym.
This is both because of the equipment they have and especially because of the like minded individuals in the community.
You can get strong on the basic equipment at a commercial gym and build the base muscle that you need to compete, but having access to competition style equipment is essential at a certain point.
No matter how strong you get your shoulders, never practicing on a log is eventually going to be a limiting factor for one of the staple competition lifts. Same goes with… well every other event.
There are many maps online of strongman friendly gyms, and https://mapofstrength.com/ compiles tons of strength gyms to help you find one near you, but the best resource is the other competitors at shows in your state: where are they training?
Another huge benefit is the training environment.
If the majority of the lifters around you compete, have intentions of competing, or even just train similarly to you it makes a huge difference in your training.
I can’t tell you how lucky I am that I have American Barbell Club in my town to train at. Almost everyone who trains there is training to compete in powerlifting, but that heavy lifting environment pushes me to be better and can give me insight into how other people are training to maximize their strength.
I used to drive 45 minutes to go to the closest strongman gym to me, and once that closed I started driving an hour and 45 minutes to the best gym that was closest to me.
Yes, sometimes you have to drive a good distance to find something, but there’s also a great chance there’s someone in your town or city who owns their own equipment or knows of some underground gym that has equipment.
Even if it’s just twice a month, I think it’s totally worth it.