Strong Man Training for Functional Strength

Everyone has an opinion about physical fitness.  For some people physical fitness means the ability to run for miles and miles and for others it simply means looking their best.  There is another type of person for whom physical fitness means something more than performing well at a sport or looking like a calendar model.  These people realize that physical fitness carries an importance far beyond that of the weekend sportsman.  These individuals understand that strength and all around physical fitness can mean the difference between life and death, it can mean having the ability to protect one’s family, and it can mean having the ability to complete any job that requires brute strength.  For these people, a different type of training is needed.

The World’s Strongest Man competition has rapidly grown in popularity over the last few years and can now be seen on television regularly.    The athletes that compete in this competition are not what one would generally think of as athletes.  They don’t display ripped abdominals and some even have what you might call a beer gut.  Other than being thicker than the average man, they don’t appear any different than anyone else.  What makes them excel is their ability to perform a wide range of physical feats requiring both great strength and exceptional endurance, the two biggest indicators of functional physical fitness.

Many people are strong and many people possess great endurance, but it’s rare to find the two together is such abundance.  Olympic and power lifters are amazingly strong, but they train for a single, controlled lift.  In the real world, these lifts aren’t really replicated.  That means their strength is specialized towards a sport and serves very little purpose in everyday life.  Those who train like strong men on the other hand, are well prepared for anything life can throw their way.

Traditional weight lifting trains the body in an unnatural way.  The goal of many people is to develop the big muscles of the chest, biceps, thighs, etc. in order to look impressive.  Unfortunately, the controlled lifts they use to do this often neglect the hundreds of smaller supporting muscles.  These support muscles are essential for true functional strength.  Not every situation in life, indeed very few, will present you with a simple clean lift like those of conventional weight lifting.  Angles, awkward objects, uneven terrain, etc. all increase the need for the assistance of support muscles.

To prepare for the real world, you must train for the real world.  This means mimicking as closely as possible the moves that will help you most in an actual situation.  In The World’s Strongest Man competition, they replicate real world conditions almost perfectly.  The athletes lift cars, move logs, toss heavy objects, pull heavy objects and more.  These tests are designed to be awkward and to require both superb strength and superior endurance. 

If you are looking for something more from your workout, something you can actually put to use, train like a strong man.  Challenge your body with a variety of events that require all-out effort.  Leave the cable flies and calf raises to the pretty boys who live in the gym and not the real world.


About the Author:
Patrick likes to write on various topics and has been doing so for more than a few years. His most recent site is http://necklacetree.net which provides folks with information on purchasing a necklace tree.
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