How coaches use strongman implements in strength and conditioning practice
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Exercise and Health Sciences
This article describes how strongman implements, which we defined as "any non-traditional implement integrated into strength and conditioning practice" are currently utilised by coaches to enhance athletic performance. Coaches (mean ±SD 34.0 ±8.2 y old, 9.8 ±6.7 y general strength and conditioning coaching experience) completed a self-reported 4-page survey. The subject group included coaches of amateur (n = 74), semi-professional (n = 38) and professional (n = 108) athletes. Eighty-eight percent (n = 193) of coaches reported using strongman implements in the training of their athletes. Coaches ranked sleds, ropes, kettlebells, tyres, sandbags and farmers walk bars as the top six implements used, and anaerobic/metabolic conditioning, explosive strength/power and muscle endurance as the three main physiological reasons for its use. The strongman implements were typically used in combination with traditional exercises in a gymnasium-based setting. Future research needs to evaluate the performance benefits of such training practices in controlled studies.