Flex Flex UK - January 2018 - Page 118

F ROM THE MOMENT I returned from the 2016 World’s Strongest Man to the moment I set off for the 2017 event, I gave 100%. I didn’t miss one training session, one meal, or one physical ­therapy or cardio session. I was obsessed. I trained at my usual gym, Strength Asylum in Stoke, England, with my usual training partner, Luke Fulbrook. We didn’t periodse or back off at any point. We just trained heavy all year. The way I train hasn’t changed much over the years. I consistently train heavy but never one-rep max. I work at 80 to 90% of my one-rep max for up to six reps. If I can do more than six reps, I add more weight next time. I’ve followed this six-rep rule since I started training. If I feel good at a weight, I might do more than six reps, but in general, you’ll never see me do more than six. The only thing I changed was that I cut down on assistance exercises for smaller muscles like biceps, calves, and abs. I just didn’t feel they were making any difference. I was putting ­ nergy and recovery into too much e repairing those muscles when I needed to be focusing on the big, key muscles, like quads and glutes, that do the brunt of the work. Some strongmen have separate days for gym and event training, but I find it more effective to combine the two. If you are going to train yoke, you want to thrash your legs first to get them burned out. You are not only warming up properly but also simulating a competition scenario because it’s highly unlikely you will start an event fresh. Here’s how a typical week broke down. As you’ll see, it’s pretty basic—it’s what I did out of the gym to recover that gave me an edge over my rivals. Something else I changed from last year, which was very expensive, was that when I trained a muscle group, I had it worked on the next morning by my physical therapist, Richard Sale, for 1½ hours. For example, after 116 FLEX | JANUARY 2018 MONDAY //// LEGS I just did squats, leg press, and yoke. Simple. But to do those three exercises could take four hours. That may be hard to believe, but when you’re doing stupid-heavy sets you need lots of rest. Remember, I could be squatting 350 kg-plus [772 lbs], so I needed a good 10 to 15 minutes to recover between sets. Doing three or four sets at that weight can easily take an hour when you’re resting that much. I did the same on leg press, working up to huge amounts of weight and having plenty of rest between sets. That could take another hour, then I’d spend an hour or so on the yoke. TUESDAY //// CHEST This day was about building my pressing power. There is always a pressing event at the World’s Strongest Man. Again, I kept it simple and had long rests between sets. I’d do flat bench and incline bench, then do triceps. I took it nice and easy, working up to a mega heavy weight on the presses and then just doing one set on triceps.