Strongman is a sport similar to powerlifting that is centered around the competitors being immensely strong and lifting heavy implements. Unlike powerlifting, there are no set events in a strongman competition, as the events are different for each strongman competition, and will change from year to year even for annual competitions. As a result there is no specific equipment that is a must have, unlike powerlifting that revolves around three lifts. This list compiles equipment that those practicing or participating in strongman sports and competitions can use to maximize their training efforts.
Even though the events are always different, there is still equipment that you should use, and that is common in most strongman competitions. Strongman competitions are based around four categories of movements: pull, push, carry, and load. Push involves any event in which you're pushing an object like log presses. Pull involves any event in which you are pulling large weights, most commonly done using rope and sometimes pulling planes and buses. Carrying events are any event in which you are carrying large objects, with common events being the farmer's carry and yoke. Lastly, load events involve either putting an implement on a platform or throwing it over a bar, with the most famous event being the atlas stones. Most other events can be simulated and trained for using other equipment that focuses on those four movement categories.
The log press is a strongman event that is common at many competitions. It is essentially a giant metal implement that you will be asked to clean and jerk. The log is one of the most important pieces of equipment to get for training. This is because it is widely agreed upon that the log press is one of the events that you can't mimic with any other implements. Since it is such a unique piece of equipment, and such a great training tool for strongman competitions, it is a good piece of equipment to have. A log press will cost from $350-650, depending on the diameter of the log.
Dragging sleds are a great tool for strongman training. There are many different training activities you can do with them. With the sleds, you can push them around, or attach a harness to yourself and pull it towards you using a rope. Additionally, you can attach a harness to your body and drag the sled. All of this applies to many events in strongman competitions like pulling cars and planes, while also improving your conditioning and strength. A sled can range in price anywhere from $100-300, depending on what type of sled you get.
Another important implement to get for strongman training is an axle bar. An axle bar is a bar with a much larger diameter and weight than the traditional olympic barbell, that is used in most gyms. The axle bar is so important because it is used for deadlifts at strongman competitions. Almost all strongman competitions have a type of deadlift event, so being able to train using the axle bar is beneficial to do. An axle bar costs around $125 from most retailers.
One of the most common carry movement events in strongman competitions is the Yoke. The Yoke is a giant frame that you stack weights or objects on at the bottom, then put the bar on your back and pick it up and carry the frame. During competitions, the yoke may have other objects as the weight instead of just plates. This includes fridges and giant stones that are attached to the yoke in some competitions that the competitor must carry around. The general price of a yoke is around $500, not including weights.
Another event that involves the carrying motion is the farmer's walk. The farmer's walk is an event where the strongman grabs two handles that are attached to weights and carries them back and forth. Farmer's walks are an event that is common to most competitions so it is important to train for. Farmer's handles are generally much cheaper than a yoke, going for around $100-200.
Sandbags aren't an item that will necessarily be used in strongman competitions, but for training it is a must. This is because sandbags are extremely heavy and difficult to carry because of their weight shifts. They can also be used for practice for loading events where you can throw them over a bar, or put them up onto an elevated surface. The multipurpose use of sandbags is great, and sandbags are cheap, with bags costing $70 and 100 pounds of sand selling for only $10.
Kegs in strongman competitions are a common implement, with kegs being filled with sand to make them heavier. A common event in strongman competitions is the keg toss, in which competitors throw kegs of increasing weight over a bar at least a dozen feet high. This makes buying kegs a worthy investment to improve your loading skill for that event, and to improve through the practice of your triple extension. Triple extension is the explosive extension of the ankle, hip, and knee that allows you to get that power through your lower body. Kegs typically sell for around $100.
One of the more famous events in strongman competitions is the atlas stone lift. This is an event in which you lift giant stones of increasing weights up onto platforms. This is a hard event because of how difficult it is to get used to gripping and picking up the stone. However, one piece of equipment that can help mimic this event is the stone trainer. The stone trainer is a vertical bar that you can stack weight on and then pick up just like an atlas stone. A stone trainer costs around $80 to buy, so it isn't nearly as expensive as buying atlas stones. It also doesn't take up nearly the same amount of space that atlas stones do.
An important piece of equipment for strongman competitions is wrist wraps. Wrist wraps serve three purposes: performance, support, and protection. For performance they help to get a better grip on the bar or implement, allowing you to lift heavier weights. They also help keep your wrists stable by offering support, which helps to protect your wrists. This is important if you have had prior wrist injuries, as you can prevent more injury to the wrist. You can get most wrist wraps for about $15-20.
Two other apparel pieces that are good to have for strongman competitions are knee sleeves and knee wraps. Knee sleeves and knee wraps are similar to wrist wraps as they also help provide support and improve performance. Knee sleeves provide their support through compression, and help you perform through more high intensity exercises like power sled pulls. Meanwhile, knee wraps give you more flexibility and allow you to fully extend and are better for lifts like the squat or deadlift. Knee sleeves cost around $50-60, while knee wraps typically only cost $25.