Boostcamp is a fantastic app that digitizes a lot of the free strength programs that you seen around the internet. If it just provided these programsin one place, that by itself would make it a pretty useful tool. But the fact that you can punch in your numbers into your phone and have the often complex percentage-based programs auto-populate with appropriate weights makes it a pretty invaluable resource.
I know what it’s like to take something like a Sheiko template (which requires calculating dozens of percentages for each work out and doesn’t progress in a very intuitive or comprehensive way) and try to hand write it into a notebook. It’s a giant pain in the ass.
I was happy to partner with Boostcamp and put up some of my programs for free, but we also saw an opportunity to do something new. Michael Liu, co-founder of the company, had the great idea of putting together a program that was tailored towards strongman. It’s a popular sport and a unique style of training but people are heavily limited in their ability to participate by their access to equipment.
I immediately lit up because, if anybody has experience in trying to prep like a strongman using the equipment available in an LA Fitness, it’s me. My first five years of competing in the sport we’re done with access to little more than a machines, plastic dumbbells and smooth chrome barbells (and no chalk). I would say I made due.
Obviously I didn’t perform as well as if I had specialized training centered around the actual implements (the way that I do now when I prepare for higher-level shows) but I was able to build a substantial strength base which is one of the most important things to a budding strongman. If there’s any lessons I can take from that, it’s that jumping in even when training wasn’t ideal was one of the most important factors to getting to where I am today. To pay that lesson forward to you, all I can say is not having access to equipment is not an acceptable excuse.
I trained differently than your typical strength trainee, who would simply prioritize a few compound movements for low reps, do some accessory and call it a day. I had to have more conditioning and I had to be comfortable in more awkward positions. I would make some modifications to basic barbell movements, holding them in different ways are changing the bar path to make them more cumbersome and this had a huge strengthening effect that helped with picking up stones, sandbags and kegs later on. I would do explosive movements like one arm snatches and clean and presses for high reps, movements that aren’t typically done by the average gym goer and they’re certainly not done for higher repetitions with maximum weight.
But this began my understanding of how to build strength and, more importantly, how to make it useful. It’s not enough to be able to demonstrate a lot of force in one instantaneous moment; to do anything a value out of the gym is going to require some amount of staying power. It’s really not that complex to do, it just requires a willingness to program it and suffer through it.
So after thinking strongly about the things that I did back in the day that did the best to prepare me for success in the sport and what tends to work for the clients that I work wit,h I came up with a program detailing how to train strongman in a corporate gym. Of course, this applies to garage gyms as well. If you have a barbell you can make this work.
Many of you might be familiar with the Husafell stone, which is rooted in Icelandic history. The story was that anybody who could pick up the 400lbs+ stone and carry it around the full perimeter of a goat pen was said to have reached “Fullsterkur” status, which translates to “full strength”.
So I’d like to introduce you to “Fullsterkur: Acheive Full Strength in Any Gym“.
I thought carefully about how to reproduce the physicality of a strong man, which includes strength stiffness and power to the hips back and shoulders but also requires conditioning and coordination. I also thought about which movements would do the best to prepare a young strongman hopeful for running with heavy weights and maneuvering awkward implements up to a platform. Exercise selection, set and rep schemes, rest periods and so on were all chosen to meet that end.
Fullsterkur is a premium program available on Boostcamp and I’m super eager to hear what everybody has to say about it. If you do decide to purchase it and run it, please let me know what you think and how it works out for you. I’m always taking feedback.
If you want to see how I put these principles into practice everyday, follow my Patreon where I upload workout with commentary daily. That’s also the easiest way to contact me directly as I’m regularly engaging with the people who comment there.
I appreciate everybody’s support. Now get to it!