Strongman training on a budget

In the last month or so I’ve taken on a handful of new online athletes that are dedicated to strongman and fairly new to the sport and the main issue they have is basically no regular access to strongman equipment, typically all they have are barbells, racks and some machines.

My advice to them (if financially possible) is to buy a few simple bits of equipment, the more important stuff that tends to come up in competition such as a log, axle, farmers, super yolk and a sandbag, but first ask your gym manager or owner these questions

  1. Can you store your equipment at the gym?
  2. Can you train your moving events in the gym(space dependent) or in the car park?
  3. Can you use the gyms weights for the outdoor training?
  4. If No is the answer to everything maybe look for a new gym nearby and ask there?

I was lucky enough to be able to do all this when I trained in a Galway City Gym, the one issue was that the gym was located on the first floor so when it came time to train events I had to carry the equipment and weights downstairs then back up afterward. If your hungry enough for results and success this won’t be an issue, just a pain in the hole!

So onto the equipment! After a quick google search I found some very reasonably priced equipment, It took about 5 minutes and I’m sure you can find better deals if you look harder or know a good welder 

  1. Strongman starter kit from Celtic Strength – This includes a Log, Axle, Farmers walk and Super Yolk for £495 + delivery (Celtic Strength are located in Wales)
  2. Heavy duty sandbag from Cerberus Strength – A very versatile bag that can be loaded to 130kg for just €62 + delivery

With all this equipment along with your commercial gym equipment you’ll be off to a flying start with the ability to train most events and strength qualities needed for competition such as grip strength, maximal strength, explosive strength and strength endurance.

If your gym doesn’t allow you to store equipment and/or use plates you will need to buy some plates – I would recommend going second hand and buying bumper plates as steel/cast iron will eventually break from impact of being dropped on a hard surface(which cant really be avoided when training strongman outdoors)

Where to buy second hand plates?? Check out done deal, this facebook group or something similar. Don’t be in a rush and check daily for good deals!


One of the easiest bits to acquire would be a keg for load medleys and pressing, most pubs don’t give them out anymore as they get money back on returns to the breweries but you’d be surprised who’d have one lying around and in the way, put up a facebook post or ask around to see if anyone has one that they will give to you. If that fails it won’t hurt to ask in your local pub to see if they’re willing to give one away, if not you should ask if they would sell an empty one and see if it fits your budget.

**When it comes to opening the keg to fill it be sure to get the gas out of it first!! Watch this video for instructions!!!

After that a tyre for flipping is usually quite easy to acquire, most HGV garages have to pay to get rid of these so are delighted to let you take one away, the only issue may be transport and storage for a massive tyre, so this will be dependent on your space.

Add ons…

So at this point you have your core pieces of equipment to get really strong but here are some relatively cheap add ons that may help and you can maybe add bit by bit to your arsenal as your budget/space allows!

  1. Harness for truck pull and sled drags
  2. Rope for pulling on truck pull and training arm over arm
  3. Fat gripz to train circus dumbbell press with regular dumbbells
  4. Plate loadable duck walk handle

Atlas Stones

This can be a difficult one because most gyms don’t want dusty stones (or tacky) lying around the gym and who can blame them! But if you have the space at home to store them I would recommend buying just 2 stones, one that is fairly light and easy enough to practice technique on but not so light that its to easy!

The second would be a fairly heavy stone that you can only do a rep or two at most, this way you can get your heavy practice in as well as light speed work.

Generally speaking what you want from your stones is technique work, the strength built to get better at stone work will come from training squat and deadlift variations in the gym, this combination will see your stone work improve.

What really isn’t needed

Silver dollar cages – Just do block pulls instead

Viking press – Strong shoulders, triceps and decent push press technique will carry you through here if your strong enough.

Shield/husafelt – Carry your sandbag in a similar manner to train the movement and be stubborn as hell on the day, that will take you a long way!

Pressing blocks – Again, strong shoulders, triceps and decent push press technique will carry you through here if your strong enough. I mean how many people actually have regular access to pressing blocks??

Frame carry – Training farmers walk will do just fine.

Car deadlift frame – There are tons of top strongmen that rarely train on a car deadlift frame, they rely on squats and deadlifts in the gym for this event.

Stone wall – Just use your yolk to train over, adjust the height when needed

Conans Wheel – Carry your super yolk in a similar style

Now I’m not saying not to train on these implements or that they are not an advantage, if you have access to them use them all and if you have the funds to buy them be my guest and please send me an invite to come use your new toys because I don’t have a lot of them  but they are not at all necessary. 

Hopefully if your getting into strongman and have little to no access to equipment all this info has helped and you can take something away from this article! 

Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions you may have by email or DM on my social media accounts!

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