As we covered circuit training in a recent article a look at some of the most popular methods of what circuit training brings into its circuits as well as bodyweight exercises and cardiovascular exercises many of them are using something called “Modified StrongmanTraining” this kind of training brings some big compound exercises into the training program and they work very well. If you are doing a form of modified strongman training or MST then you will undoubtedly become stronger, you will gain a considerable amount of power, you will, without a doubt, providing you are following a reasonable nutritional plan drop a massive amount of bodyfat and as a result look fitter, healthier and more athletic.
Modified strongman training takes your more traditional strongman exercises such as tyre flips, dragging and carrying various objects and combines them with the squat, deadlift and bench press to create a challenging but very effective fat loss workout that will give you an increase in strength and lead to a healthier lifestyle. The sessions at Caveman Training and Warrior Fitness for example will always be varied and be mixed in a high volume low rest period style of training that will be focused on fat loss and increasing strength and can target certain body parts very effectively, put all this together and it leads to a higher metabolism for longer and as a result, more calories burnt.
Why Modified Strongman Training?
There are many reasons why you should consider modified strongman training or MST to be a very effective tool for a whole range of fitness goals. Firstly modified strongman training uses big compound movements that make far greater demands on the body. Many of these movements complement other exercises in the gym. For example the farmers walks carry over to dead lifts and the yoke walks carry over into squats. Not only will these movements get you strong and powerful quickly, they will also push you outside your comfort zone and challenge you both physically and mentally.
Modified strongman training also creates one of the most effective hormonal responses in our bodies for rapid fat loss and not only that, it is a highly effective conditioning tool for the novice all the way through to the top level athletes. It is something all personal trainers should consider trying to fit in with the client depending on the client’s preferences of course.
Bringing strongman training into your training schedule.
Whenever a personal trainer designs a training program for a client one of the first things they will take into account their training age, how long have they been training and what experience do they already have? current physical abilities and level of fitness, maybe if you have a client that is quite fresh to training and exercise you might want to get the client stronger by doing straight sets on the big lifts, which of course are the squat, deadlift and all variations of presses and pulls such as bench press, military press, pull up, chin up and bent over row. Making sure the client has a good grasp of these movements, by doing this you as a personal trainer are giving them the basics to be able to take the next step in their training, something that all clients need, the next level!
This can be built on by following a natural progression until you hit a plateau, introducing remedial work as needed. Maybe a good way of approaching this would be to add in your simple strongman movements such as sled drags, pulls and pushes until they are competent to handle the more complex lifts and carries such as super yoke and farmers walk. By doing this you as a professional trainer will create a greater metabolic demand for your clients that are newer to exercise if they are unable to move a heavy enough weight during the big compound movements, load up the sleds and prowlers up as required, these are safe and won’t put the client in any danger of injury.
Alternatively, if you have an experienced lifter that is a lot more competent in their abilities and more comfortable with complex lift’s, there are numerous ways to program for fat loss, strength and conditioning or hypertrophy. Some of the training systems used but are not limited to would be light to heavy pyramid sets and giant sets.
So pound for pound or kilo for kilo, what are the best movements?
Without a doubt you can't go past the big three, so the squat, deadlift and bench press should be a massive part of anyone’s training, but once they are mastered that is where the real fun begins! This is where you can really introduce some of that modified strongman training to your clients sessions, testing them even further! I'm sure all the personal trainers out there don't mind testing their clients progress.
The farmers carry, super yoke, log press and the clean and press are where the real mental and physical challenges are as all these lifts allow for variants in training. You can further challenge yourself with timed carry and walks, distance covered with weight, ascending and descending sets or load lifted in a set time.
The most common mistakes made however are are poor exercise sequencing, too many or different energy systems targeted in one session or a series of exercises inefficiently programmed, this is where your personal trainer comes into their own, they are there to make sure you are targeting the areas you need to in order to be able to, firstly be able to complete your session and secondly to make sure you are on the right track and well on course to reach your goals.
Often too many exercises are selected, length session is too short or too long and over training can be quite common. Overall you must know your purpose for that session which makes it easier to get to your goals and be able to target an area of the body at every session, specific goal setting is a must, not just for modified strongman training but for any kind of training.
As with any training some exercises are more difficult than others, especially if you are halfway into a session or after a set amount of reps, if you are doing a series of exercises, always do the most difficult first and least difficult last. For example you may want to start off with a lift, followed by a carry then a pull or a drag.
So basically, any kind of training that has Modified Strongman Training has an excellent base to work from and has got to be a definite way forward, and for anybody looking to get fitter, stronger, healthier and eventually a much better lifestyle due to this then they have to look no further than Modified Strongman Training. Find out where you can do this and go for it, there are many forms of training but MST is among the best for results.