- It’s a new month, we need goals on the goal board! This month’s goals are all about recovery! Come up with something good and get to work!
- Make sure you are keeping up on your Nutrition Challenge points! Keep in contact with your partner as well to keep them accountable.
- If you want to see the Home Workout and record your score click here
- If you want the Nutrition Challenge point sheet and record your points click here
Ever shake someone’s hand and it’s obvious how strong they are? Usually it’s a callused, rugged hand-unaware it’s squeezing every drop of blood out of yours. And those hands often belong to an individual making a living as a mechanic, metalworker, or from another type of manual labor.
Some of the strongest people I’ve ever met make a living in those manual labor jobs. Most of them don’t even train at all-they’re strong right off the couch. And the manual labor jobs I worked as a young man definitely helped me develop the strength and physical capabilities I have now.
So what is it about manual labor? Heavy, odd objects, grip training, long days, unique tasks… The bottom line is: High levels of neuromuscular stimulation from grip intensive, heavy loading of odd objects on a regular basis produces results. And, we’re not just talking results in terms of strength here. The principles and training that go into strongman can be applied for injury prevention, core stabilization, work capacity-across all sorts of populations-from individuals with active lifestyles to elite athletes. In this article, we’ll discuss “odd objects”, “old school” or “strongman” training styles and how to integrate these into your program.
What is an odd object?
Odd objects include training items that challenge an individual in a unique fashion-often due to their awkward shape, weight, or odd distribution of load. They’re effective because they require high levels of nervous system stimulation, inter- and intramuscular coordination. Examples of odd objects include: items with oversize or no handles (i.e. fat bars), dynamic loads (sandbags), and/or unique shapes (river rock).
Why implement odd objects?
It’s functional. Training that is truly “functional” makes life easier by enhancing performance in some fashion. That could mean it prevents injury, increases strength, stability, speed, improves posture, or develops some other physiological or psychological factor.
Strength, or the muscles’ ability to produce force, is critical for everyone and should be functional. The underlying principles of strongman and training with odd objects embody the definition of functional strength training described by Siff and Verkhoshansky in Supertraining. The description lists functional strength as being “associated with many different performance goals, including improvement in static strength, speed-strength, muscle endurance and reactive ability.” Also under this definition, functional strength “…involves the following processes: Intermuscular and Intramuscular coordination, facilitatory and inhibitory reflexive processes, motor learning.”
Consider an individual hitting a clean and press on a sandbag, for example. That sandbag, or odd object, drastically changes the movement when compared to a barbell clean and press. The objects variability forces the individual to use a slightly different motor pattern with each lift-teaching the body not just to produce force, but to do it in a coordinated fashion and maintain stability at each joint along the kinetic chain.
This type of training builds mental toughness. Ever used a draft horse harness to pull a water truck? Repeatedly loaded a 250 lb. atlas stone above chest height? Flipped a 650 lb. tire 50 yards as quickly as possible? I have, and these things are challenging-mentally and physically. Question your ability while under a heavy load and things can go south quickly! Lack of mental toughness can be a big issue for athletes. If you’re not confident in your ability and will to succeed, who will be? I implement odd objects with my athletes and clients because I expect them to be strong both physically and mentally.
Creating mental toughness is an important precursor for physical strength. Odd object/strongman training involves daunting challenges that require grit, strength, pain tolerance, and focus. But the biggest challenges are often the most rewarding. And when you’re successful with something that’s intimidating and foreign-that’s when you build confidence and mental fortitude.
Injury prevention. Strongman and odd object training prevents injuries in a number of ways.
Above is why we do the stuff that we do when it comes to accessory. Different ways to build up strength and keep you healthy as well!
It’s Chris Wilkinson’s birthday! If you see him wish him a happy one!
100′ Sandbag Carry (AHAP)
20 Weighted Russian Twist
100′ Single Arm Farmer Carry (50′ each arm)
B. “Jelly Belly”
Toes to Bar
*12 Min Cap
A. 10 EMOM:
7 Ground to OH + 7 Burpees
*Both reps in same minute
rest 5 min
B. 10 EMOM:
Min 1) :40 Max Handstand Pushups
Min 2) :40 Plank (on elbows)
B. Cash out
1:00 Max Good Morning
1:00 Max Step Up (right leg)
1:00 Max Step Up (left leg)
Rest 1 min btwn rounds