Tire Flips and Sled Drags for Muscle Mass…Oh, Yea!!!
by: Robbie Durand
It happens to us all, you’re in the gym, and you have been doing the same training routine for the past few weeks and you’re ready for a new challenge. What about strongman training? Many commercial gyms have the tires to flip and sleds outside but you may be hesitant. Your first thoughts are going to be: isn’t strongman training associated with a greater risk of injury and is it going to build muscle. Strongman training involves large multi-joint movements that are great for increasing muscle mass such as sled pulls, farmers walks, tire flips and overhead presses. The great thing about these exercises is that they are comparable to standard strength exercises such as the deadlift and squat. What about the metabolic and hormonal responses of strongman training? Do they stack about the traditional exercises such as the deadlift and squt? Research investigating hormone levels and strongman training has shown an increase in acute hormonal levels of testosterone following a strongman training session training. Researchers wanted to compare a traditional strength training session to a strongman training sessions and measure the
Ten volunteers performed strongman training and strength training on separate days.
-The strongman training consisted of a sled pull, farmers walk, tire flip and unilateral dumbbell clean and press. Exercises were performed with a load that allowed for 30 seconds of maximum effort.
Unilateral dumbbell clean and press
-The strength training consisted of squats, bench press, deadlift and power cleans with a training load up to 75% 1RM.
At the end of the study, researchers found that strongman training and strength training type training produced similar acute metabolic and hormonal responses. Both strongman and strength training has similar testosterone responses. Lactate increased significantly immediately post both sessions. Heart rate, caloric expenditure, and substrate utilization were all elevated significantly during both training sessions. Compared to strength training, strongman training represents an equivalent physiological stimulus on key parameters indicative of potential training-induced adaptive responses. Such adaptations could conceivably include cardiovascular conditioning.
Harris N, Woulfe C, Wood M, Dulson D, Gluchowski A, Keogh J. The acute physiological responses to strongman training compared to traditional strength training. J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Sep 25.
Ghigiarelli JJ, Sell KM, Raddock JM, and Taveras K. Effects of strongman training on salivary testosterone levels in a sample of trained men. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 27: 738-747, 2013.
West DJ, Cunningham DJ, Finn CV, Scott PM,Crewther BT, Cook CJ, and Kilduff LP. The metabolic, hormonal, biochemical and neuromuscular function responses to a backward sled drag training session. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2013.
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