Modified Strongman Training

Modified strongman training is something I’ve been getting into more and more of recent since frequenting the Commando Temple in Deptford each Thursday.

My 120 mile round trips to the Temple are a combination of work and pleasure. After taking my 06:45am HIT Box High Intensity Class I travel up to Deptford and train clients for a couple of hours or work on my online personal training clients programs. It’s also a great opportunity to grab some food at the excellent Deli X and bounce business ideas around with Rob (the owner) and his team and generally chew the fat of strength!

One of Rob’s specialties is in training both males and females for strongman competitions. His team of athletes have numerous first places to their credit.

Modified Strongman Training – Powerful Results!

Modified Strongman Training is gaining huge momentum in popularity at the moment and for good reason! Not only is it incredibly challenging and fun but it also delivers a host of powerful results!

Modified Strongman Training uses traditional strongman exercises such as Farmers

Walks, Tyre Flips, Sled Drags, Conan’s Wheel, Yoke Carries, Lifting Steel Logs, Atlas Stones and Sandbags. A small selection may be used as a training session or to complement other training such as barbell or kettlebell work.

A major benefit of modified strongman training is that it challenges the body to develop force and stability in multiple planes of motion – simultaneously. The dynamic nature of lifting, carrying, pulling and pushing means the load is always acting in different ways on the body – meaning huge carry over for athletic training which is in itself multi-planar.

Modified strongman training can be used for a variety of goals including increased muscle mass, fat loss, improved sports performance and of course development of strength, power and conditioning.

Modified Strongman Training – Ladies too!

The modified strongman training at the Commando Temple is proving to be very popular with both Male and Female members alike and it’s creating some very athletic and strong individuals with killer bodies!

Ladies needn’t be afraid of bulking up with this type of training – it’s awesome for creating lean, super strong bodies as the commando temple ladies are testament of.

Above and beyond the physical benefits this type of training is exciting and fun!

The training session

Yesterday we had a fun, challenging training session based around strength endurance using the Modified Strongman format.

We split into 3 teams of 2. The objective was 100 flips of a tyre working as pair to flip (men 512kg, ladies 350kg) combined with kettlebell farmers walks (men 40-48kg, ladies 32kg each hand). Each time the tyre was flipped both team members would perform a 20m farmer’s walk.

The tunes were cranked up and the play time began. I was working with Alex and the first 10 flips and 200m of farmers walks (I was on 40’s, Alex on 48’s due to stature differences) flew by. But 10 flips is nothing when a possible 90 more lie ahead. Onwards to 20 then 25 and the intensity was beginning to be felt – hard reps but all comfortable – sweat was rolling and breathing remained elevated.

Commando Temple – Something in the air

The atmosphere at the temple is something that sets it apart from any normal gym – there is no nameless training, shifty looks and macho peacocking – it’s a community of people that share the love of strength, of personal challenge, or perseverance and triumph. Everyone is known, everyone talks to each other and more often than not end up getting stuck in and training together.

It’s truly unique and creates a powerful environment for training and producing results.

At 40 reps Alex had to leave while I soldiered on with Dave through more reps and distance.

Flipping the 512kg Tyre – What’s involved?

The 512kg tyre is a beast. Both team members have to get low with the top of the tyre resting under your chin. You have to try and secure a grip low on the tyre on one of the treads and then it’s a case of DRIVING your chest into the tyre by pushing horizontally back through your legs. As the tyre rises from the floor you then have to continue driving until both team mates get a knee under the hefty wedge of rubber. Then in a moment of calm move hands into a better pushing position on the tread and then PUSH using a combination of legs, chest, back and arms to get the tyre up and over. With a tyre of this weight is it ESSENTIAL that both people work as a team. Every rep is a hard grinding effort and requires total concentration – bonding strong minds and bodies in an expression of strength and power.

Once the rep is done it’s a deadlift of two kettlebells and keeping shoulders back, lats engaged, abs braced and chest up – walk quickly 10m out and back before getting ready for the next tyre flip.

The best training sessions are simple and this was no exception.

I had to leave at 16:30 to dice with the traffic and get back home and so left once I had completed 75 reps of the tyre and 1.5 kilometres in total of farmer’s walks with the 40kg bells.

While the body felt tired it felt far from drained, in fact I left the session exhilarated in both body and mind – 24 hours on and all I have to show is a little worn skin on my clavicles from driving into the tyre!


I’ve been going up to the Temple each week now for the last 2 months and it’s safe to say my weekly modified strongman session has had a huge effect on my general strength and conditioning.

I’ve noticed my overall stability when barbell squatting and tyre flipping has really improved through engaging in heavy loaded carries. Back in Eastbourne I have been using the heavy sandbag (70kg) for shouldered carries combined with 48kg farmer’s walks and a good dose of heavy Turkish Get Ups and swings. This combined with the training at the temple seems to be a powerful combination that is delivering results.

If you are looking for an exciting and challenging way to train then I highly suggest giving modified strongman training a go – and if you’re in London be sure to check out www.bestronger.co.uk