Military personnel must be strong and functional for the tasks they must perform.
Strongman exercises can help with this.
Strongman is a type of functional fitness that has many benefits for tactical athletes.
In this blog post, we will discuss what Strongman training is and how it can benefit military personnel.
We'll also provide some examples of Strongman exercises you can do to improve your strength, functionality, and performance.
What is the Strongman?
Strongman is a type of functional fitness that emphasizes full-body strength.
It dates back to the Strongman competitions of the early 20th century, where athletes performed feats of strength such as lifting heavy objects or pulling trucks.
Strongman training has since evolved and now includes a variety of exercises that offer new challenges through absolute weight and strange but safe maneuvers.
These exercises often use unusual objects such as tires, sandbags or drums.
But for the person who wants to join the armed forces, these items are perfect. They mimic the types of things military personnel might have to lift or carry in real-life situations.
The Strongman workout is unique in that it not only builds strength, but also builds raw power, endurance, and coordination.
Benefits of Strongman Training
Strongman training has many benefits for tactical athletes and those looking to pursue a career in the military:
Strongman is characterized by exercises that focus on you carrying heavy and/or strange objects. Beneath the weight and absurdity you will find functionality.
Strongman exercises develop functional strength, which is the type of strength most applicable to real-life activities.
This contrasts with aesthetic strength, which is the type of strength that develops through isolation and certain compound exercises. This type of strength is about getting really good at ONE type of movement, but it doesn't necessarily translate well to real-world activities.
While aesthetic strength can be useful in some military tasks, functional strength is much more important for the majority of tasks that military personnel must perform.
Many Strongman exercises are plyometric in nature, meaning they involve quick, explosive movements.
These exercises are great for developing explosive power.
Plyometric exercises are often used by athletes to build power and improve performance.
They can also be beneficial for people looking to join the armed forces, as the ability to generate explosive power can come in handy in many real-life situations.
For example, if you have to quickly throw a 50-pound bag over your back and then sprint across a field, it all comes from explosive power.
Develop mental strength
Strongman training is not easy. It often forces you to push your body to its limits.
This type of workout can be mentally challenging as well as physically challenging.
Regularly stepping out of your comfort zone can increase your mental toughness.
This is an important trait for military and police officers as they often have to deal with difficult and stressful situations.
More muscle and stamina, less body fat
Strongman training often leads to increased muscle mass and reduced body fat.
These exercises require you to use a large number of muscles and push your body to its limits. In the process, you will reap the hypertrophic (muscle growth) benefits while burning lots of calories.
Done right, you can build more lean mass and burn fat at the same time with Strongman training.
Strongman training can also lead to increased endurance, as the exercises are often very demanding and require a lot of stamina.
Best Strongman Exercises
Now that we've discussed what Strongman is and some of the benefits of Strongman training, let's look at some of the best Strongman exercises for tactical athletes.
Axle Bar Squats: The axis bar squat is a great exercise for building lower body strength. It requires you to squat down with an axle bar across your shoulders. An axle bar is much thicker than traditional Olympic barbells which will add a new challenge besides the weight itself.
Tire Flips: Tire flips are a great exercise for building full-body strength and power. They require you to lift a heavy object and turn it over repeatedly.
Carrying sandbags: Few exercises translate directly to the military, but carrying sandbags is one of them. As the name suggests, you will lift a heavy sandbag and carry it a prescribed distance.
Farmer’s Walk: The Farmer's Walk is a classic Strongman exercise that works the whole body. It requires you to pick up heavy objects and walk with them for a distance.
Keg Toss: The Keg Toss is an excellent exercise for developing explosive power. It requires you to lift a keg and throw it as far as you can.
Sled Drag: The Sled Drag is a great exercise for developing lower body strength and power. It requires you to strap a sled to your waist and drag it a distance by pulling it. You can also reverse the movement and push the sled.
Kettlebell swing: Kettlebell swings are a great exercise for building lower body strength and power. They ask you to swing a kettlebell between your legs and then swing it explosively overhead.
Strongman Workout Finishers
You don't have to train like a Strongman all year round to reap some of the benefits of Strongman training.
Here are three ways to end your workouts that tap into Strongman's explosive training nature.
Finisher #1: Tire Flips
To perform this exercise, start by standing next to a tire. Crouch down and place your hands on the tire. get up explosively and move the tire forward by flipping it from one end to the other.
Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Finisher #2: Carrying Sandbags
To perform this exercise, start by placing a sandbag on the floor in front of you. Squat down and place your hands on the sandbag.
Stand up explosively and lift the sandbag onto your shoulders.
Walk with the sandbag the desired distance, then put it back on the ground and repeat.
Finisher #3: Farmer Walk
To perform this exercise, start by placing two heavy dumbbells on the floor in front of you. Squat down and place your hands on the dumbbells.
Stand up explosively and keep the dumbbells by your side.
Walk with the objects the desired distance, then put them back on the floor and repeat.
Bonus points if you use thick handles on dumbbell or kettlebell handles.