WHAT IS STRONGMAN?
“Strongman” isn’t just for men, nor do you have to be a 6'8 400lb giant to do it! Strongman training is simply the discipline of efficiently moving every day objects from point A to point B. When can your remember finding a nicely chalked handle when you bent down to help a friend move a couch? When was the last time you picked up a box or a bag of dog food and it felt like an evenly loaded barbell? My guess is never! Strongman is a remarkable way to build truly functional strength and work capacity because it forces athletes to execute movements in sub-optimal positions with "odd objects" (unbalanced and without perfect gripping surfaces).
There are two classifications of Strongman - modern competitive Strongman and Oldtime performance Strongman. Modern strongman training includes odd objects such as stones, tires, kegs and sandbags. There are carry and drags, pushing and pulling of sleds, and throwing exercises. It is a fun and effective way to train for things that you might encounter in life outside of the gym. Strongman and the concept of odd-object training has gained recent popularity but this is how people trained before fitness became mainstream.
The Oldtime Strongman included a variety of exercises for the sake of building power, plus many more that were not geared towards competition but reaching the masses with a message of health and strength. The Oldtime Strongmen used the advanced techniques of weightlifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, gymnastics, and presented them in a way to inspire awe and entertain people with the physical culture.
There is a wealth of information in health and strength that was penned by the Oldtime Strongman, some of which is now in all the current research of exercise science, however, most of the Oldtime Strongman's teachings remain in obscure magazines that went out of publication in the early 1900's.
Read: The History of Physical Fitness