My name is Dawson Montfort. I am a Christian, husband, father, engineer and International level strongman Competitor. Usually when I tell people this I get puzzled looks and several questions regarding how I balance my time, eating habits, the amount I bench press or if I pose on a stage (which would be incredibly entertaining to watch a bunch of Strongmen participating in a physique competition). I live a wonderful crazy busy life with Strongman playing a very small but significant role in what makes me who I am. Although the sport dates back centuries and across several countries not many people know or understand what we do. My simple explanation, primitive CrossFit where we lift cars, concrete balls and run with awkwardly shaped objects. Strongman isn’t just about training for a one rep max it also encompasses endurance, core stability and conditioning. The training style can be utilized by many athletes in a variety of sports.
Why Train Strongman- The mental image most get when they think of a strongman athlete is big, burly, behemoth and sometimes overweight males that pulls planes and lifts giant concrete stones. Although at times this is true, it does not represent most competitors today. Many amateur and professional strongmen and strongwomen are well rounded athletes that are both fit and strong. The unique qualities about this style of training is that it requires the participant to not only be powerful but have muscular endurance. Most of the events require max reps, max distance or fastest time so just being strong won’t cut it. Training programs host a wide range of variability from picking up and carrying awkward objects to powerlifting and even High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It’s a full body workout that will challenge every muscle in the body and provide a unique way to spice up your training routine. There is just something primitively rewarding about picking up car or placing an atlas stone on a 52-inch box.
How to Incorporate Strongman Training into your program - There are multiple ways to incorporate strongman training into a fitness routine. I would suggest by starting with a simple and effective movement such as the tire flip. Tires range in a variety of sizes and weight and can be found at many weight rooms and old school gyms to date. There is a reason this exercise has been performed for ages, it increases power, explosiveness, strength and conditioning. I find it to be a great complimentary exercise to the deadlift. To start with I would find a tire than can easily be handled and perform 3 sets to failure focusing on speed and explosiveness. Another highly effective exercise that is becoming more and more popular is the farmers carry. It’s an easy movement that targets core and grip strength. A recent study published in the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning” suggests the grip strength is an indicator of muscular endurance and overall strength. Furthermore, a strong grip is correlated with a lower risk of heart attack and stroke. I suggest performing the farmers walk at the end of a lower body day. If performed correctly it should tax grip enough where you won’t want to pick up anything heavy afterwards.
Strongman is a great sport with an extremely supportive community. If you are interested in trying it out find your closest strongman gym and reach out to them! If you any questions about getting started feel free to contact me through Instagram @montfort_strong.
God Bless and have a strong day.