13 Things You Need for Your First Strongman Contest (Part II)
What do you need to have with you at your first strongman contest?
Obviously ya gotta have the basics like clothes and shoes, but there are plenty of other things that you should have with you so you are able to capitilize on all the hard training you have done.
I’ve gotten to strongman comps and not been prepared. I don’t want that to happen to any of you, so last week, I started this series, “13 Things You Need for Your First Strongman Contest.” (Here is part one if you didn’t see it ==> Strongman Training.)
This week, we move on and check out 3 more things you need to take with you to your first contest so that you can be sure to maximize your potential. Remember, you don’t want to waste all the time you have invested preparing for this contest by not being ready on the sidelines. Make sure you have everything with you. Be prepared for anything and everything.
Belts are a necessity at the strongman contest and everybody there (that is competitive) uses them. Some people even use a combination of a back brace or back wrap with a belt over top of it. Dave Ostlund once told me that he would use two belts over top of a back brace for the Yoke Walk to make sure that he finished the event as quickly as possible on game day.
Dave Ostlund is one of the top competitors in the United States, so you’d better believe that I was strapped in every time I was carrying a yoke.
However, in some cases you should leave your belt on the sidelines. Two events you should NOT wear a belt for are the tire flip and the atlas stones. In the tire flip, you have to be able to bend way down to grasp the bottom of the tire and then explosively pop it up to flip it, all the while breathing in lots of oxygen. This can be challenging if you’re wearing a tight-ass belt, so toss it aside before hitting the tire.
The same goes for lifting the atlas stones. You’re bending over and moving fast between the stones. That belt is just going to get in the way, so leave it in your lawn chair.
At one contest I did, I had to pull a giant SUV backwards while holding a V-handle. Normally, this would have been no problem, but at this particular contest, we were pulling on grass. With the dew of the morning still glistening in the sunshine, I knew I was in trouble for this event, because all I had were sneakers.
Luckily, a friend of mine who was in attendance had a pair of cleats in his vehicle and he let me borrow them for the event. They were a size too small, they had an ugly green stripe on them, and they were high tops, but I wasn’t worried about fashion – I wanted to win the event. So, I wore them and was able to finish.
I know for a fact with how slick the grass was, there was no way I could have finished the pull with just sneakers on. Make sure you contact the promoter and find out if any pulling events are going to take place on grass, and if they are, make sure you have a set of cleats in your equipment bag on contest day.
If you played baseball or football in high school, you might still have an old set of spikes or cleats. If you don’t have them anymore or never played those sports, then do what I did last year when I needed a cheap pair for a softball tournament. Just google “discount spikes” or something like that. I was able to pick up a perfectly good pair of plastic cleats, size 14, that have lasted me two years and I paid less than $20 for them and didn’t have to drive anywhere to go get them.
After you finish a demanding cardio event like the tire flip or a medley, you don’t want to stand around when you finish – YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO SIT DOWN.
Unfortunately, there isn’t always a good comfortable spot to sit at the strongman contest. This could force you to sit or lay down on the floor in between events which can wear on your neck and especially your lower back.
Bring a lawn chair of some sort. This will give you a spot to rest after an event or to wait until your turn. Remember, some of these contests are extremely long and can be boring, especially if there are a lot of competitors across many weight classes.
What type of chair? I like the ones that fold up in a tube shape and can be stored in a canvas bag. They transport in your vehicle easily. They also can be stuffed into a decent sized lifting bag, which can’t be said about the flat-folding chairs or chez lounges. Ditch those fossils. Not only are they hard to transport, but if you sit in them you will lose some serious cool points.
There you go. Three items you need to have with you at your comp.
You probably already own a belt. Make sure it’s packed.
Grab some cleats. Dig ’em out of storage or find them on the net like I suggested above.
And get yourself a lawn chair. If the promoters don’t provide chairs, you might be one of the few that actually gets to relax in a chair in between events.
Hopefully, this list is going to help you out. Start collecting these items now so that when your next show comes up, you don’t have to scramble to get all of your supplies.
View Part1 of This Series: What to Take to Your First Strongman Competition
View Part 3 of this Series: Supply List for First Strongman Competition
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All the best in your training,
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- 13 Things You NEED for Your First Strongman Contest (Part III)