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Strength and Power Workouts with Strongman Implements


Here is a recent workout we did focusing on utilizing the strongman Axle.  The axle is a great tool and should be incorporated into your workouts frequently because there are many benefits.

Get Strong as Hell – Check it Out!

Benefits of Utilizing a Strongman Axle:

  • serious grip strength
  • eases pain in hands, wrists and elbows while benching
  • non-revolving aspect and thickness of the bar forces concentration, more tension and more immediate importance of rate of force development (RFD)
  • can be defined  an odd object as the distance from the athlete’s center of gravity (COG) to the center of mass (COM) of the implement is increased
  • can be substituted for all barbell movements

When to Use an Axle

There are times during our training where we just use an axle for a complete microcycle.  Then when we go back to a regular barbell, everything feels like and your grip is like a vice.

Axles are Expensive

I know what you’re saying.  Axle’s are expensive.  HELL YEAH they are.  There is no need to go out and buy an axle that costs hundreds of dollars just to try and get all of the benefits.

So building an axle is easy.  Here is what you do.

Get a 2 1/2 lb plate and put it in your car.  Drive to the local scrap yard (they are easy to find in the yellow pages).  Walk around until you find a pipe that the 2 1/2 lb plate fits on.  Have them cut it to 7 ‘ long.

You now have an axle.

Now, take a tape and measure dead center on the pipe and make a mark.  Work your way out from center at even increments on both sides of the center mark and wrap athletic tape around the pipe for hand positioning for bench, deadlifts, cleans, squats, etc…

Want to learn how to make more cool, inexpensive implements – go to homemade equipment central.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention


Over the years we have learned how to train athletes with the bare essentials.  No money, no fancy equipment and no problem.  When you want to train there is always a way.

Strength and Power Workout with Axle


1.  Muscle Snatch w/ Axle
2.  Snatch Grip Deadlifts w/Axle from Deficit
3a.  Snatch Grip Shrugs with Axle
3b.  Suspended Push-ups
3c.  Inverted Rows

You will also see in the workout our attention to flexibility, mobility and warm-up prior to the workout.  This is essential when you hope to be completely prepared for the workout.  You will move more weight, feel great even on the first set and improve your longevity.

Do not skip the warm-up!  If you have trouble with how a good workout should be structured, step-by-step with an easy to follow blueprint, get Accelerated Muscular Development.

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12 Responses to “Strength and Power Workouts with Strongman Implements”

  1. Jim Smith Says:

    Nice workout. Love the warm-up drills. Going to implement that crab stance thing for my upper body workout tomorrow for sure!

  2. Mike Hanley Says:

    Great stuff boys, keep it up. Warm ups are crucial for keeping the body healthy enough to train hard year in and year out.

    Mike Hanley

  3. jason z Says:

    Great stuff as always, Smitty. Now I’m trying to figure out how I’ll be able to smuggle a 7′ pipe into my gym. Any suggestions on pipe thickness? I figure in a pinch I can just hop down to Hope Depot and have them cut me one to size.

  4. Jim Smith Says:

    Jason, in the article, my best advice is to take a 2 1/2 lb plate with you and just test out the pipes they have. It is somewhere near 2″ OD (outside diameter)

    Thanks for check it out.

  5. Jim Smith Says:

    Wise words Mike.

  6. dixon Says:

    superb smitty! how much is the hieghest wt used for snatching &deadlift?[in the video]

  7. Jim Smith Says:

    Not really sure Dixon. We don’t usually count, but I think the deads were in the 400’s and the snatch (for Brad) was near 220 or so.

  8. sidharth Says:

    awesome stuff !!

  9. Shane Says:

    Nice. Who’s the band in the video and what song was that? Tryin’ to rock out to it tomorrow at work on Rhapsody.

  10. jason z Says:

    I should have been more clear – I’m looking for actual pipe thickness (wall thickness) rather than just outside diameter. Too thin of a pipe and it’ll bend. Too thick and it could get too heavy.

  11. Jim Smith Says:

    I believe sch 40 is sufficient.

  12. jason z Says:

    Sweet – thanks, Smitty. I have 50′ of rope that’s waiting to be used, so once I get that into rotation (hopefully Sunday), I’ll get that axle in there as well.

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