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How To Get Strongman Strong

Here’s how Nick Best, 2010 All-American Strongman Challenge champ, preps for competition. Gentlemen, start your hernias!

Photo by Jon Boyles

Day 1: Lower Body

Leg Press
I’ll press anywhere between 1,700 and 2,000 pounds, and try to do one set of 20 to 30 reps.

Scissor Squats
Balance the weight bar between your biceps and forearm, then hold your hands to where your throat is. Squat down until the bar hits your legs, then stand back up. I’ll warm up with 135 pounds for seven reps and gradually increase by 90 pounds until I’m at 600 pounds, and try to get up to four reps. 

Rack Pull
With the bar at your knees, pull it up to where you’re in the last posi­tion on a dead lift. I’ll do 12 reps at 900 pounds, then 10 at 1,000.

Photo by Jon Boyles

Day 2: Upper Body

Log Clean and Press
To pick up the log, sit it on your legs, tip down a bit, and push out your abs like a ledge you can set it on to pull it into your chest. Then stand up. The log should roll onto your shoulders. From there, stay sta­ble, take a breath, and push it up over your head. I’ll warm up with 190 pounds for five reps and work my way up to three sets of three at 280.
Super Set
I’ll start with a block press and do 15 reps at 190 pounds. Next I’ll do 15 front raises with a 100-pound plate, going all the way up over my head, then down to my legs. Finally, I’ll drop down and do 20 push-ups with the plate on my back, then repeat the whole routine six times.

Day 3: Event Training
Truck Pull
I take a rope and put it around a 100-pound tire, hook it up to my wife’s Chevy Silverado, pop a 250-pound sandbag on top of that, and pull it along the street.
Keg Toss
To get yourself a 16-foot frame like we have in the competitions, buy some PVC pipe at the hardware store. Fill your empty kegs with sand to get them to the right weights: two at 44 pounds, two at 48 pounds, and two at 56 pounds. Then head to a volleyball court, get the pipe upright, and start flinging the kegs as high as you can. Try not to embarrass yourself—people will come over to watch what the hell you’re doing!

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