Strongwoman – what’s that about then?

That’s the question I’ve been asked the most this week as I went back to work and told people what I’d signed up to over the Christmas break. Most people have heard of Strongman but that extra ‘wo’ seems to throw them a bit.

So before I start writing weekly training updates I thought I’d write a post on what it is I’m training for. I’ve entered a novice competition which in this case means that it’s restricted to people who have either never competed before (like me), or have competed but haven’t been placed in the top 3 of whatever event they entered.

The event has two categories for women of different weights. Being heavier means that in theory it’s easier to lift more so this is done to even up the competition a bit. I’m in the over 75kg category. There’s no upper limit so I have visions of a 6 foot something Amazonian woman rocking up on the day and totally bossing my group.

If that does happens it doesn’t really matter – I’m doing this mainly because I want to find out how strong I can get. I need to not worry about the competition but focus on me and what I need to achieve to do the best I possibly can on the day.

There are five events that I’ll be taking part in.

12509844_10153148219101012_8279096761885609611_n1 – Deadlift

What I’ve got to do – 120kg deadlift – as many reps as possible within a time limit. Most people know what a deadlift is – you pick the barbell up from the floor and put it back down again.

Where I’m starting from – Last time I tested my one rep max it was 100kg. This one is going to be a challenge!

OH2 – Overhead medley

What I’ve got to do – Kettlebell 20kg, keg 45kg, 2.0″ axle 45kg, fat grip dumbbell handle 30kg, log 55kg. The aim here will be to get through the lifts as quickly as possible.

Where I’m starting from –  I’ve never tried to lift a  kettlebell overhead. I’ve never picked up an axle, a fat grip dumbbell handle. I can load a 50kg keg onto a high table but I’ve never tried lifting one overhead. Last time I tried my maximum log press was 37kg. My one rep max for a strict overhead barbell press is 42.5kg.

I feel relatively confident about my overhead strength but I’ve got a lot of technique to learn with these lifts.

IMG_20150821_1455233 – Yoke into Farmers

What I’ve got to do – carry a 170kg yoke for 15m then go straight into a farmers walk with 70kg in each hand

Where I’m starting from – I’ve done a 170kg yoke carry once before and have got up to 60kg in each hand on the farmers walk. In theory then, this should be relatively achievable. It will be about how quick I am.

Photo credit 5×3 training

4 – Carry and pull

What I’ve got to do – 15m Sandbag carry (3 sandbags) medley, rope hand over hand sled pull into duck walk

3 sandbags will be 50kg, 60kg and 70kg
Sled rope pull – 80kg
Duck walk – 60kg

Where I’m starting from – I’ve never tried any of these. I wasn’t even sure what the duck walk was – turns out it’s this!


Photo credit

5 – Atlas stones

What I’ve got to do – 3 Atlas stones at 50, 60 and 70kg – these are 5 spherical stones which have to be lifted and placed onto some kind of stand or platform, or dropped over a bar at around shoulder height.


Where I’m starting from – I’ve never tried lifting Atlas stones. They look really tricky!

When I write it all down like that it seems pretty daunting. Lots of things that I’ve never tried and some weights that I can’t yet lift.

But then I remind myself that when I started marathon training I couldn’t cover 26.2 miles and yet on the day, after a few months of consistent training, I did. It wasn’t easy, but I did it.

With 14 weeks before the competition I’ve got time to train, learn technique and get stronger. And that’s what I intend to do!


5 thoughts

  1. What an awesome challenge to have set yourself! If we don’t sometimes sign up for things that scare us and push our limits, how do we know what we are truly capable of?! I know you’re going to smash it, and I can’t wait to hear more about your training 🙂 x

  2. I am so excited for you! Yes, I know you feel overwhelmed at times, but really…look at the room for growth within your physical abilities and your mental abilities!

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