So your getting ready for CrossFit meets strongman and your a bit unsure about how to get ready for it. In this article we’ll break down every event and help you with some tips for it.

1) Deadlift Ladder

There are two aspects to this event, maximal strength and strength endurance. Luckily with the deadlift you can work on both of these in one training session. I usually don’t recommend training the deadlift more than once a week as its a very taxing lift.

What I’d recommend you do with your training would be to train 2-4 sets of heavy singles, doubles or triples in the 80-95% range to build maximal strength followed by an amrap in the 60-75% range always leaving two reps in the tank. You rarely want to train the deadlift to complete failure because of how taxing it is on the system!

2) Sandbag Event

A tough event no doubt, that can be broken into two parts, the running/walking with the sandbag and the squatting of the sandbag. The best way to train for this event is to just do it, but if you don’t have a sandbag there is an alternative way of training and that is by using Zercher squats and carries, you can simulate this event exactly as it should be, only that your replacing the bag with a barbell.

3) Overhead for max (push press)

Unlike the deadlift we can handle more volume and frequency when it comes to overhead pressing as its no-where near as taxing. We usually train our press twice a week, one day heavy the other lighter.

Day one (heavy): Push press 1-3 sets of 1-3 reps 80-90% but picking our numbers wisely so as to not fail a lift, followed by some strict overhead pressing 3-5 sets of 5-8 reps, dumbbell pressing 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps and accessories including triceps, upper back and rear delt all 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps.

Day two (light): Push press 4-6 sets of 2-5 reps 70-80%, followed by some form of bench variation(usually the one your weakest at and some accessories, this time hitting triceps, upper back, rear delts and biceps for 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps

Note: You can use jerk/split jerk for this event if you want, I don’t coach the jerk whatsoever, I coach the push press for strongman and because of that I cant really give to many tips for the jerk so I left it out and focused on what I do know.

4) Timed Event with Rounds

Again with this one the best way to improve on it is to just do it but if you are struggling with any portion of this event then put some extra energy into that. For example, if you’re struggling with the power clean then put your time into that.

If your struggling to power clean 60kg for ten reps but can do a few, I would take a very similar approach to this as I would the deadlift, work up to heavy singles, doubles and triples followed by back off sets at much lighter weight in the 60-75% range.  I would do something very similar with the front squat.

5) Stone series

Other than actually lifting stones the best two assistant exercises that transfer best to stone lifting are stiff leg deadlifts with a dead stop for the stone pick and front squats for the stone load.

Both trained in the 3-8 rep range using 3 sets usually works best for this event. Something as simple as a linear progression model starting at 3×8 on week 1, 3×7 on week 2, 3×6 on week 3 and so on till you do 3×3 on week 6 will work just fine. Try to add a little bit of weight every week and try to stay 1-2 reps shy of failure, remember your trying to build strength not test it.

Practicing stones will obviously help with this event but you can train the movement of a stone pick and load with a tightly packed sandbag, although picking and loading a 100kg sandbag would be far, far more difficult than a stone due to the shape of 100kg of sand and the fact that it moves around. A tightly packed 50-60kg sandbag would closer resemble the shape and size of a stone.


I hope you find some of these events useful In your prep for CrossFit Meets Strongman, if you have any questions don’t hesitate shoot us a message!


Matty Costello (Head coach at Galway Strength and Performance)

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