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Strongman equipment: What do you need?

Strongman equipment: What do you need?

Strongman training isn’t just about brute strength. 

It’s a multifaceted sport that blends strength, power, agility, and endurance. Strength athletes push themselves to their absolute limits to achieve incredible feats – both physically and mentally.

Strongman training involves almost exclusively full-body lifts like flipping a giant tyre or hoisting a log overhead.

So, how do you start training like a Strong(wo)man? What equipment do you need?

Read on to learn about the most common Strongman events, the equipment you should add to your home gym, and important support gear for strength athletes. 

In this article:

What are the most common Strongman events?
What strongman equipment do you need? 
What support equipment should strongmen/strongwomen use?
Why use Strength Shop equipment? 

We’ve been making Strongman equipment for over a decade: shop our range here

What are the most common Strongman events? 

With a powerlifting event, you’ll always see a squat, bench press, and deadlift. 

However, Strongman events aren't standardised: each exercise event can change from competition to competition. Some events are very common and are essential to train for:

Atlas Stones

Arguably one of the most popular Strongman events, this exercise involves lifting progressively heavier spherical stones (usually made of concrete) and setting them onto platforms. At the time of writing Scotland's Tom Stoltman holds the record for the heaviest Atlas Stone lift, at 286kg. 

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Log lift

Just like it sounds, this event involves lifting a large wooden log overhead from a standing position, seriously challenging the upper body and core strength. Cheick "Iron Biby" Sanou currently holds the record for the heaviest log lift at 229 kg. 

Tyre flip

Flipping a heavy tyre multiple times is a test of both power and strength endurance. Jean Francois Caron, a strongman from Canada, currently holds the record for flipping the heaviest tyre. He achieved this by flipping a tyre weighing approximately 612 kilograms (1,350 pounds) four times during the 2020 Arnold Strongman Classic.

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Farmer's walk

Carrying heavy weights in each hand over a distance. This tests grip strength and overall fitness and stamina. Stefan Solvi Petursson, from Iceland, holds the record for the heaviest Farmer's Walk. In 2016, he managed to carry a weight of 400 kg, split equally between both hands, for a distance of 20.67 metres.

Riot Competition Farmers Walk Handles - Strength Shop4

Yoke walk

A classic, the yoke walk involves carrying an extremely heavy crossbar over the shoulders while walking. As well as requiring strength, it’s also a test of balance and core stability. Our friend Patrik Baboumian set the record in 2013 when he completed a yoke walk of 555.2 kg over 10 meters.

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Of course, there are many other events, including:

  • Power stairs: Participants pick up heavy items, like anvils or blocks, and carry them up a staircase.
  • Keg toss: Competitors use a backward throwing motion to hurl varying weights of kegs over a high bar.
  • Hercules hold: In this challenge, athletes stand between two pillars and grasp handles, trying to keep the pillars from toppling outward as long as they can.
  • Fingal's fingers: This event involves flipping a series of poles that increase in weight.
  • Arm-over-arm pull: Athletes use a rope to pull a heavy load, such as a truck or sled, towards them while seated or standing.
  • Stone carry: Similar to Atlas Stones. This involves transporting a heavy stone across a specified distance or as far as possible.
  • Hammer hold: Athletes hold a heavy hammer at arm's length for as long as they can.
  • Throwing sandbags: Competitors throw weighted sandbags over a certain distance or target.
  • Loading medleys: This challenge includes loading various objects such as kegs onto platforms of varying heights.
  • Axle deadlifts: Competitors lift a bar equipped with tires or thick plates, known as an axle, from the ground to a standing position.
  • Car deadlifts: Athletes lift the rear of a car from the ground using a specialised apparatus.
  • Axle press: Competitors press a thick-barred axle overhead from a standing position.
  • Viking press: Athletes push a weight-loaded lever upwards until arms are fully extended.
  • Circus dumbbells: This involves lifting and pressing a large, single dumbbell with one hand.
  • Duck walk: Competitors carry a heavy weight between their legs and walk a specified distance as quickly as possible.

What strongman equipment do you need for training? 

You probably won’t find much Strongman-specific equipment at your average gym. For many budding athletes, finding a gym focused on Strongman competition is worth it. 

Of course, you can also invest in some strongman equipment for a home set-up. While not all of the equipment might be viable to purchase, you can still build a solid training foundation if you have the space at home.

Here are some examples of strongman equipment you might need:

Bars

It goes without saying that standard barbells are critical for improving strength. It’s important to pick a durable barbell that can handle heavy loads (and some quality weight plates and secure collars). 

But Strongman training also makes use of speciality bars, including:

Log bars


Used for overhead log press events.


Axle bars

60MM Axle, Black Oxide Coated - 25KG - Strength Shop
Barbells with a thicker grip to increase difficulty.

Swiss bars

B-WARE Olympic Swiss Bar %u2013 15.5kg - Strength Shop

Known also as football bars, they have various neutral grips, which can help alleviate shoulder stress during pressing exercises and focus more on specific muscle groups.

Trap (Hex) barsHeavy Duty Black Olympic Hex/Trap Bar 1.6M - Strength Shop

These bars have a unique diamond shape that lets the user stand within the bar. This allows for lifts like deadlifts and shrugs with a more neutral spine alignment, thus minimising back stress.


Cambered barsOlympic Cambered Bar - 25KG (B-WARE) - Strength Shop

These bars curve, offering a deeper range of motion for squats and bench presses and potentially easing shoulder stress during squats by altering the load angle.


Safety squat bars

Riot Olympic Safety Squat Bar (B-WARE) - Strength Shop

Designed with padded yokes and handles over the shoulders, these bars help the athlete perform squats more comfortably and with less chance of injury. This is important for a competitor: you don’t want to injure yourself in training and have it impact your competition.

Carrying equipment

Farmer’s walk handles: This event is one of the easiest to train for at home, as long as you have some space to walk. Farmer’s walk handles allow you to carry very heavy loads over a distance. 

Riot Competition Farmers Walk Handles - Strength Shop

Sandbags: Sandbags are a versatile and cost-effective piece of equipment for loading, carrying, and tossing exercises. 

B-WARE Double Layer Sandbag – Version 2, 140kg - Strength Shop

Event-specific gear

Atlas stones: You might be cringing at the possible delivery cost of an Atlas stone. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about that. While you can buy synthetically made stones, you’ll use concrete stones in competitions. That’s why we like stone moulds: these come in various sizes, which can then be filled with concrete (from 52kg to 136kg). 

Hybrid Atlas Stone Moulds - Strength Shop


Yokes: Adjustable in width and weight, yokes are essential for practising the yoke walk. Yokes are a staple in Strongman, and there isn't really an alternative way to train them. However, we understand fitting into your home gym is not easy. That’s why we designed a Strength Shop Yoke, which you can also use for squatting, benching, and pressing—essentially functioning like a power cage. 

Heavy Duty Riot Yoke - 3MM Steel - Strength Shop

Sleds: Used for pull and drag events, you can work on your power and endurance with a sled. We sell power sleds with handles and a Pulling Harness, which goes across your chest and can be attached to a sled (or a vehicle, in true Strongman fashion—although do so at your own risk!).

Compact Power Sled with Handle (for Dragging / Pushing / Pulling) - Strength Shop

This is a rundown of some of the most important pieces of Strongman equipment: you can view our full range of Strongman gear here. 

What support equipment do I need as a Strongman? 

Support equipment is vital for serious athletes looking to enhance their performance and prevent injuries during training and competition. Here's a look at some key support items every strongman athlete should consider:

Weightlifting belts: Crucial for helping you to brace your core and protect your lower back during strength training. Strong(wo)men will generally want broader and more durable lifting belts for maximum support.

Extra Stiff Black Lever Belt, 13mm - IPF Approved - Strength Shop

Read more: What’s the best lifting belt? 

Wrist wraps: Enhance wrist stability and support during overhead lifts and presses, helping to minimise injury risks. Straps are beneficial for grip-heavy events like deadlifts or the farmer's walk, enabling athletes to manage heavier weights than their grip strength alone might allow. 

Stealth Black PRO Wrist Wraps – Medium, 30cm/60cm or 90cm, IPF Approved - Strength Shop
Read more: What are the best wrist wraps for lifting? 

Knee and elbow sleeves: Neoprene sleeves help to maintain joint warmth and support, offering compression that stabilises the joint and may lessen pain and injury risks.



Read more: What are the best knee sleeves for squats?

Lifting shoes: With a flat and stable base ideal for exercises like deadlifts and squats. Some athletes opt for boots with added ankle support for events such as the yoke walk.


Read more: Are weightlifting shoes worth it?

Chalk: Chalk can be useful in all types of lifting but is absolutely essential for improving grip in strongman training. It absorbs moisture and reduces slipping, ensuring safer and more effective handling of heavy items like stones, barbells, or logs. Powdered chalk can be a good option, but liquid chalk can be a good alternative if your gym doesn't like you making a mess.

The Gripper Liquid Chalk - 40ML - Strength Shop

Smelling salts: Our Strength Salts are great for giving you an extreme kick, and to get you psyched up for a big event. Use this sparingly: it's very potent!

Strength Salts (Smelling Salts) - Strength Shop

Why use Strength Shop equipment? 

At Strength Shop, we’ve created top-quality strength training equipment for over a decade. Our products are meticulously designed with the insight and feedback of actual lifters, ensuring that every piece of equipment meets the rigorous demands of serious strength training.

But don’t just take our word for it; our sponsored athletes’ achievements are a testament to the reliability and performance of our equipment:

Rhianon Lovelace

3x World's Strongest Woman u64kg. Arguably one of the pound-for-pound strongest humans on the planet.

Louis Jack

Scotland's Strongest Man 2022 and UK's Strongest Man 2022

Laura Baxter

4x Scotland's Strongest Woman and Britain's Strongest Woman u82kg

Callum Crozier


2nd Place Scotland's Strongest Man 2023, 3rd Place UK's Strongest Man 2023. Holds the all-time British record for dumbbell overhead press at 128kg.

These elite athletes trust and use Strength Shop equipment to train and excel in their respective categories.

By choosing Strength Shop for your strongman equipment, you’re using the same trusted gear as some of the strongest athletes in the business. 

Get your strongman equipment from Strength Shop 

Whether you’re looking to kit out a home gym or add some Strongman-focused equipment to your commercial space, we’ve got you covered. 

From barbells and weight plates to log press bars and sleds, we have everything a strength athlete needs to reach their potential.

Shop Strongman equipment

Image sources:

¹ https://samyets.sport.blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/tom.jpg?w=1000

³https://www.roguefitness.com/theindex/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/1350_tire_lift-810x605.jpg

⁴ https://www.youtube.com/@Strongmancl

⁵ https://strongman.org/events/yoke/

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