Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February 06, 2012 - Routine Stuff

Lifting and thinking. More thinking than lifting the past few days though. It is taking some time to mentally digest it but I think I’m starting to get it. The contest I’m training for has the following events:

Max 12” Log Clean and Press (3 attempts)
18” Pick Side Handle Car Deadlift (facing car)
900lbs Tire Flip (5)/800lbs Chain Drag (50’)
400lbs Husafell Stone (turns at 50’)
Atlas Stone Series to 54” (330,355,370,405,420)

My new training schedule looks like this:

Monday – Off
Tuesday – Event Specific Pressing
Wednesday – Deadlift
Thursday – Off
Friday – Squat
Saturday – Pressing
Sunday – Events

I’ll attempt to explain the reasoning behind these days.

The event specific pressing day is really the low volume, heavy weight day or the clean and press day. Since I have a max log clean and press, I won’t go above 5 reps and I will only do a clean once and then press away. The secondary exercise would then be rack work. Generally, one can press more from the rack then what they can clean and press. For me, it would be log press from the rack. Since I should be already warm from clean and press and since I’m aiming for max weight, only two sets or so. Finishing up the day with light upper back work.

The deadlift day should be fairly straight forward. If there is a deadlift event in the upcoming contest, attempt to mimic it. In my case, I have a heavy car deadlift. The pick height is 18”, it is a side handle pull and I will be facing the car so the form is different than the usual car deadlift. I do not have access to a car deadlift setup during the week so the next best solution is farmer’s picks. This might be an issue as not all plates fit on my farmer’s handles. I’ll find out Wednesday if this is workable. If a contest doesn’t have a deadlift, the goal is to use the time to build up my max through the Coan/Phillipi routine, albeit slightly modified in that I’d stick to my own assistance work and use a 7-week cycle (a la Ostlund). Assistance work would be high rep posterior chain stuff (gms, sumo stiff-legs) and then pull-ups to work the back, arms and deload the spine.

The squat day will generally be sets of five reps of front box squats. Most contests do not have a squat event and in event of that, this day would be altered to suit that situation. The idea behind this is that most events in strongman involve objects in front of the body. Maintaining an upright torso should improve my torso strength and carryover to my deadlift off the floor. The front squats should also help with getting used to implements on the throat/clavicle/chest as well as leg drive for overhead lifts. If for instance, I have an axle event, I might swap in an axle instead of a barbell for the front squats. The rest is just higher reps for the legs (leg press and glute hams).

The second press day is like the squat day in that the idea is sets of five, followed by high rep stuff. The main exercise is a strict press, followed by horizontal press and then triceps stuff. For this contest, it would be log strict press, followed by either swiss bar floor press or swiss bar incline (for greater range of motion but same hand position).

Event day is the rest of it. I will not try to simulate a contest but this will be the day that I put the work on the events not covered by the gym work. In this case, two events are covered by the gym work (log, car dead), leaving three (medley, husafell, stones). Thus my event days will center around these three events, varying the intensity of the three for the remaining weeks of training.

I apologize with this post was a bit lengthy, had a lot swimming in my head and needed to put it into something concrete, if only for my own reference.

Walking – 31.5 minutes

Comments: Midsection was sore from event training and my traps were really tight. Since I’ll be lifting with greater volume and frequency, I’ve decided to forgo the extra workout stuff for the time being. My triceps will get enough work and walking also loosens up my upper back as well. Fun starts tomorrow.


  1. Craig,

    can you elaborate on Ostlund's version of the Coan/Phillipi Deadlift Routine? Thanks,


    1. No problem here are the two pages of the article from Jackal's Gym