Strongman Training To Build Muscle And Lose Fat
From Charles Poliquin
Use strongman-style training to lose fat and build muscle so you have a lean, cut body composition for summer. Strongman exercises such as sled training, tire flips, farmer’s walk, and truck pull are an excellent alternative to sprint training for getting rid of fat fast because they produce a muscle-building, fat-burning hormone response.
Strongman training, which includes exercises such as sled training, heavy tire flips, farmer’s walk, and truck pulls is anaerobic in nature and requires you to generate a lot of force into the ground. This combination makes strongman training effective for building muscle and strength for better performance on the field or in the gym. For example, a recent study looked at the relationship between body composition, 1RM strength in three lifts (deadlift, squat, bench press), and strongman exercise performance in elite rugby athletes.
Results showed that large correlations exist between relative strength in the traditional lifts and performance in the strongman events. Of interest, there was also a strong correlation between flexed bicep girth, calf girth, and mid-thigh girth and performance in the bench press and squat, reinforcing the benefit of muscular development in strength performance and vice versa. In addition, better strongman, squat, and bench press performance was strongly associated with lower body fat and greater muscle mass.
This suggests that training heavy pull, push, and carry exercises is idea for optimal leanness. Naturally, shorter rest periods between sets or exercises will produce a higher lactic acid response and lead to greater fat burning.
In another study, strongman training was shown to produce an anabolic, muscle-building hormone response in men. Testosterone was elevated a significant amount, making it relevant for body composition. In addition, with short rest periods and heavy loads (as are used in the workout that is linked below), you will experience a significant elevation in growth hormone for extra fat burning.
If you’ve never tried strongman before, or need help with programming, check out this Strongman Training workout and get Poliquin’s Applied Strongman Training book.
Ghigiarelli, J., Sell, K., et al. Effects of Strongman Training on Salivary Testosterone Levels in a Sample of Trained Males. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2012. Published Ahead of Print.
Winwood, P., et al. Interrelationships Between Strength, Anthropometrics , and Strongman Performance in Novice Strongman Athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2012. 26(2), 513-522.