Emils Solmanis

show time

At the end of last week I signed up for my first ever strongman competition. It's been 6 months and a bit since I joined The Temple. As I'm writing this, it's exactly 80 days until I have to show how far I've come to myself, the people I train with, and a crowd of friends and strangers.

how it works

The competition itself isn't particularly sophisticated. That's pretty much the point of strongman. It's usually "here's a heavy thing, there's a line, get the heavy thing over the line" level of rules. How you do it mostly doesn't matter, as long as you don't ask your friends for help.

The one organised by Commando Temple has five events. For my skinny men's <80 kg weight category they are

  1. Atlas stones over 48" yoke in order
    • 65 kg, 75 kg, 90 kg, 90 kg, 100 kg
  2. 90 kg each arm farmer's walk 2 x 10 m, followed by a 20 m 80 kg sandbag sprint to a 40" platform
  3. Tyre flip, 227 kg, max reps in 75 s
  4. Strongman log and circus dumb bell overhead press. 60 kg log and 42 kg circus dumbbell, max reps in 75 s.
  5. Husafell stone, 105 kg, max distance in 60 s.

The events themselves are fairly simple, in that there's not a whole lot of thinking involved. Only the overhead pressing and tyre flips are somewhat technical, and even those not that much.

where i'm at

It's a scary event for me personally for two reasons.

First there's the format. You do something, and then there's about an hour before you have to do anything again. During that pause you have to keep warm and make sure you're all ready to go when your turn comes for the next event. That also means a balancing act with eating, enough to maintain carbs and little enough that you don't throw it all up half-way through your next lift. That means getting angry and high on adrenaline for the short burst you need and then chilling for another hour. It's all a bit involved to the point where the heavy stuff doesn't seem like the hardest part any more.

Second, I know for a fact that I can't complete all the events there. As of right now, I can

  1. Get a 77 kg stone over the yoke. It's not too uncomfortable, so potentially round that up to 80. Definitely not a 90, much less a 100.
  2. Lift about 76 kg per handle on the farmer's for reps. I haven't tested this one, I think I could potentially pull the full 90 already if I really had to and belted up, for a 1 rep max, but it'd be a tough one. The sandbag shouldn't be a problem though.
  3. The tyre at least I'm confident about. We've done the 350 kg one solo before, the technique is slightly different for the 227 because of differences in shape, but I can definitely do it.
  4. Press about 51-52 kg on the log and comfortably do a 31 kg circus dumbbell.
  5. Get about 60 m with the 105 kg Husafell.

This leaves me 80 days to add some

  • 25 kg to my Atlas stone lifts
  • 15 kg to my farmer's handles
  • and 10 kg to my overhead presses

The last two I'm 100% confident I can do. The farmer's pick up is essentially a deadlift from a pretty high position, it's simple and easy. The overhead is just about working on it consistently.

The stones are tricky. I'm almost certain I can get good enough to get both 90s over, but the 100 is scary. Adding 20-25 kg in 80 days is not impossible, but adding that plus the other two is tricky. We'll see where it goes.

I've always been a "shoot for the Mun and asphyxiate in the cold vacuum of space half-way" type of person anyway, but my goals for the competition are completing all the events and not coming in last. Don't get me wrong, I'm a competitive bastard, and once the day comes, I'll fight tooth and nail for every point and second I can, but realistically I don't think I can win it when two and a half months in I can't even do half the lifts. It's a nice little challenge for myself though, just to see how far I can push my body's limits.

What about you? Any exciting events and challenges in store? Let us know in the comments!

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