I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to expand my education in the world of strength and conditioning with some of the best coaches around. Part of this continuing education, I owe to the CrossFit Specialty Courses. Just recently, I was fortunate enough to attend Rob Orlando’s CrossFit Strongman course at CrossFit Ethos in Laguna Hills, Calif.
Going in I was more excited about this particular course than any other that I’ve attended. Still, Rob and his staff managed to surpass any expectations of the event. On a macro scale, it’s worth noting that this course is arguably one of the more fringe specialty courses in the CrossFit mix. The perception is that courses like gymnastics and Olympic weightlifting are so interwoven into CrossFit training on a daily basis that something like Strongman is in some way… dare I say, less important?
What a mistake!
The biggest thing I walked away with was how wrong this perception is. Strongman isn’t just for everyone, it’s for every gym. Strongman training tools and methods aren’t just worthy of respect and admiration, I’d go as far as to say the movements and skills have a return on investment via fitness adaptation that is too substantial to ignore. If you want to talk about functional movements, you’ll need to get away from the barbell to do the conversation justice. Not only is the use of tires, kegs, Atlas stones, etc. extremely effective at growing fitness, the learning curve — or lack thereof — gets athletes on the path to fitness safety and instantly.
With a vast majority of the seminar’s participants being Level 1 trainers, Rob solidified this point when he asked, “Of you coaches, about how long would you say it takes you to get an average student a decent squat snatch?”
The room broke out in laughter.
Strongman movements can get untrained students on their path to fitness instantly. For the sedentary beginner who wants to start his/her fitness journey now, odd lifts in the strongman arsenal tap into movement patterns that may need to be remembered but don’t need to be learned.
As a soon-to-be new-affiliate owner, I knew the seminar would be fun. I knew I believed in strongman concepts. I knew I wanted to add Rob’s training elements to my training. But what I learned that I didn’t know was that when ordering equipment, Atlas stones and yokes are just as critical as rings and bumper plates.
— Logan Gelbrich