Thought these were pretty cool

A brief description of the biomechanics and physiology of a strongman event: the tire flip

The purpose of this study was to (a) characterize the temporal aspects of a popular strongman event, the tire flip; (b) gain some insight into the temporal factors that could distinguish the slowest and fastest flips; and (c) obtain preliminary data on the physiological stress of this exercise. Five resistance-trained subjects with experience in performing the tire flip gave informed consent to participate in this study. Each subject performed 2 sets of 6 tire flips with a 232-kg tire with 3 minutes of rest between sets. Temporal variables were obtained from video cameras positioned 10 m from the tire, perpendicular to the intended direction of the tire flip. Using the "stopwatch" function in Silicon Coach, the duration of each tire flip and that of the first pull, second pull, transition, and push phases were recorded. Physiological stress was estimated via heart rate and finger-prick blood lactate response. Independent T-tests revealed that the 2 faster subjects (0.38 +/- 0.17 s) had significantly (p < 0.001) shorter second pull durations than the 3 slower subjects (1.49 +/- 0.92 s). Paired T-tests revealed that the duration of the second pull for each subject's fastest 3 trials (0.55 +/- 0.35 s) were significantly (p = 0.007) less than their 3 slowest trials (1.69 +/- 1.35 s). Relatively high heart rate (179 +/- 8 bpm) and blood lactate (10.4 +/- 1.3 mmol/L(-1)) values were found at the conclusion of the second set. Overall, the results of this study suggest that the duration of the second pull is a key determinant of tire flip performance and that this exercise provides relatively high degrees of physiological stress.
A kinematic analysis of a strongman-type event: the heavy sprint-style sled pull.

This study sought to (a) characterize the kinematics aspects of a popular strongman-type event, the heavy sprint-style sled pull, and (b) gain some insight into the kinematic factors that could distinguish the within- and between-subjects' fastest and slowest trials. Six resistance-trained subjects with experience in the heavy sled pull gave informed consent to participate in this study. Subjects performed three 25-m sets of sled pulls with a load of 171.2 kg with 3 minutes of rest between sets. Kinematic variables were obtained from 2 video cameras positioned perpendicularly 11 m from the intended direction of the sled pull. Camera 1 recorded the first 5 m (acceleration phase) and Camera 2 recorded the last 5 m (maximum velocity phase). Effect sizes and paired and independent t-tests were used to determine the within- and between-subject effects, respectively, with significance set at p < 0.01. Heavy sled pulls shared many kinematic similarities to acceleration phase sprinting, although the sled pull had somewhat smaller step lengths and step rates, longer ground contact times, and a more horizontal trunk. Within- and between-subject analyses of the fastest and slowest trials typically revealed more significant differences in the maximum velocity than the acceleration phase. Although the fastest trials were often characterized by significantly greater step lengths, step rates, and shorter ground contact times, differences in the segment/joint angles were less consistent. Based on the impulse-momentum relationship, our results imply that greater anteroposterior forces/impulses were produced in the fastest sled pulls. Accordingly, the heavy sled pull may improve acceleration sprinting performance in many athlete types and the ability to break and make tackles in contact sports such as American football and the rugby codes.

Comparison of different strongman events: trunk muscle activation and lumbar spine motion, load, and stiffness.

Strongman events are attracting more interest as training exercises because of their unique demands. Further, strongman competitors sustain specific injuries, particularly to the back. Muscle electromyographic data from various torso and hip muscles, together with kinematic measures, were input to an anatomically detailed model of the torso to estimate back load, low-back stiffness, and hip torque. Events included the farmer's walk, super yoke, Atlas stone lift, suitcase carry, keg walk, tire flip, and log lift. The results document the unique demands of these whole-body events and, in particular, the demands on the back and torso. For example, the very large moments required at the hip for abduction when performing a yoke walk exceed the strength capability of the hip. Here, muscles such as quadratus lumborum made up for the strength deficit by generating frontal plane torque to support the torso/pelvis. In this way, the stiffened torso acts as a source of strength to allow joints with insufficient strength to be buttressed, resulting in successful performance. Timing of muscle activation patterns in events such as the Atlas stone lift demonstrated the need to integrate the hip extensors before the back extensors. Even so, because of the awkward shape of the stone, the protective neutral spine posture was impossible to achieve, resulting in substantial loading on the back that is placed in a weakened posture. Unexpectedly, the super yoke carry resulted in the highest loads on the spine. This was attributed to the weight of the yoke coupled with the massive torso muscle cocontraction, which produced torso stiffness to ensure spine stability together with buttressing the abduction strength insufficiency of the hips. Strongman events clearly challenge the strength of the body linkage, together with the stabilizing system, in a different way than traditional approaches. The carrying events challenged different abilities than the lifting events, suggesting that loaded carrying would enhance traditional lifting-based strength programs. This analysis also documented the technique components of successful, joint-sparing, strongman event strategies.
The strength and conditioning practices of strongman competitors.

This study describes the results of a survey of the strength and conditioning practices of strongman competitors. A 65-item online survey was completed by 167 strongman competitors. The subject group included 83 local, 65 national, and 19 international strongman competitors. The survey comprised 3 main areas of enquiry: (a) exercise selection, (b) training protocols and organization, and (c) strongman event training. The back squat and conventional deadlift were reported as the most commonly used squat and deadlift (65.8 and 88.0%, respectively). Eighty percent of the subjects incorporated some form of periodization in their training. Seventy-four percent of subjects included hypertrophy training, 97% included maximal strength training, and 90% included power training in their training organization. The majority performed speed repetitions with submaximal loads in the squat and deadlift (59.9 and 61.1%, respectively). Fifty-four percent of subjects incorporated lower body plyometrics into their training, and 88% of the strongman competitors reported performing Olympic lifts as part of their strongman training. Seventy-eight percent of subjects reported that the clean was the most performed Olympic lift used in their training. Results revealed that 56 and 38% of the strongman competitors used elastic bands and chains in their training, respectively. The findings demonstrate that strongman competitors incorporate a variety of strength and conditioning practices that are focused on increasing muscular size, and the development of maximal strength and power into their conditioning preparation. The farmers walk, log press, and stones were the most commonly performed strongman exercises used in a general strongman training session by these athletes. These data provide information on the training practices required to compete in the sport of strongman.
Metabolic demands of "junkyard" training: pushing and pulling a motor vehicle.

Junkyard training involves heavy, cumbersome implements and nontraditional movement patterns for unique training of athletes. This study assessed the metabolic demands of pushing and pulling a 1,960-kg motor vehicle (MV) 400 m in an all-out maximal effort. Six male, strength-trained athletes (29 +/- 5 years; 89 +/- 12 kg) completed 3 sessions. Sessions 1 and 2 were randomly assigned and entailed either pushing or pulling the MV. Oxygen consumption (VO(2)) and heart rate (HR) were measured continuously. Blood lactate was sampled immediately prior to and 5 minutes after sessions 1 and 2. Vertical jump was assessed immediately prior to and after sessions 1 and 2. During session 3 a treadmill VO(2)max test was conducted. No significant differences (p < 0.05) in VO(2), HR, or blood lactate occurred between pushing and pulling efforts. VO(2) and HR peaked in the first 100 m, and from 100 m on, VO(2) and HR averaged 65% and 96% of treadmill maximum values (VO(2)max = 50.3 ml x kg(-1) x min(-1); HRmax = 194 b x min(-1)). Blood lactate response from the push and pull averaged 15.6 mmol.L(-1), representing 131% of the maximal treadmill running value. Vertical jump decreased significantly pre to post in both conditions (mean = -10.1 cm, 17%). All subjects experienced dizziness and nausea. In conclusion, a 400-m MV push or pull is an exhausting training technique that requires a very high anaerobic energy output and should be considered an advanced form of training. Strength coaches must be aware of the ultra-high metabolic and neuromuscular stresses that can be imposed by this type of training and take these factors into consideration when plotting individualized training and recovery strategies.