Why Your Mom Will Love Strongman

 “As Logan has said many times, “having a coffee club seems way more awesome than NOT having one…”

 

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(Logan helps San Francisco CrossFit’s Zach Arab flip the BIG ONE)

Let me get this out of the way real quick. I’m a big Logan Gelbrich (@functionalcoach) fan…

Maybe it’s his quickly rising parking-lot “fake gym” training mecca, Deuce Gym, he has established in Venice, CA (with Lindsey, Danny, and Embo). Maybe it’s his insistent inclusion of a coffee club as part of said gym (mmmm… Cold Brew & CaveMan Coffee). Or maybe it’s his ability to so seamlessly build and blend an incredible training atmosphere with food, friends, and a brand so strong that it really makes you question what you’ve been doing with your life.

Now when I first heard about Strongman, my shave-legged, heart rate monitor-strapped, lycra-wearing runner self did not jump first in line to shoulder stones and press logs. In fact, everything (and I mean everything) in my athletic life involved shaving the pounds and ounces off. Sometimes quite literally. So no thank you, yoke walk.

Fortunately, my views on training have slowly expanded with my years in the field (to include more than just heavy breathing). It’s usually a result of some mind or another pointing me in the right direction. In the case of Strongman in particular, a lot of credit goes to Mr. Logan here. The most recent expansion of said views occurred this past weekend up in Fairfield at Joey Hoey’s Fitness Coalition.

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(Author Nate shoulder a keg…he’s not sure what to do next. Photo Credit: Joey Hoey, Fitness Coalition)

Now…another disclaimer. I’d already at this point hung out with enough lovers of weird lifting that I’ve flipped the occasional tire, pressed the log, and shouldered the stone. And yeah, whatever. Shoulder bruises aside, what I was interested in this time however, was not the secrets of towing an airplane with my teeth, but to understand more just how Logan talked about Strongman and why he’s just so damn excited about it.

“And let me tell you, if you can make kombucha-brewing, cold brew drinking surfer skater Venice hipsters fall in love with sand bags and rusty metal you are on to something.”

 

Truth be told, I wanted to know why he has a Strongman program bursting at the seams in Venice, with more woman signing up on a regular basis than their male counterparts! And let me tell you, if you can make kombucha-brewing, cold brew drinking surfer skater Venice hipsters fall in love with sand bags and rusty metal you are on to something.

Ultimately, it was Logan’s message of easily adaptable, safe, inclusive, and astoundingly effective fitness that really got my attention. Sometimes we all get caught up in barbell cycling, hook grip position, hang snatches, and all the dang equipment that comes with it. For the CrossFit Games devout, this of course is the natural road to follow. But for Deuce Gym, Logan and his team work hard to make this “constantly varied functional training” accessible and fun to people who neither know nor care too much about 21-15-9, EMOM’s, and the necessity for super spinny jump ropes and a separate pair of shoes for everything that you do.

But do not be fooled. Underneath this shiny Strongman exterior (ok rusty, dented but equally awesome exterior), there’s some serious technical performance at play. Simply put, a Farmers Walk and Yolk carry puts so much tension on the system it reinforces posture and position like nothing else. Tire flips and stones don’t just “suggest” hip extension. They outright require it, and they do it in a way that helps reinforce the skill sets that has often eluded athletes for years in their own barbell practice or in other sports like running.

IMG_4562(Author Nate H Log mid log clean and press. Photo Credit: Joey Hoey, Fitness Coalition)

Couple these “aha” moments with Logan’s good eye, and the natural encouragement in a group when someone tries a feat of strength normally reserved for Muscle Milk chugging dudes named Magnus, and little wonder his Strongman program’s are expanding like crazy.

As Logan has said many times, “having a coffee club seems way more awesome than NOT having one.” Well, I think the same attitude and passion applies to their Strongman program. Creating a space for everyone to lift, carry, shoulder, press, grunt, and yes drink some delicious cold brew afterwards seems way more awesome than NOT doing any of that.

So Logan, thank yu and the Strong Man crew (Joey and Jerry) for hosting a great day. You’ve got this endurance coach fired up and interested in bringing these movements to my runners and triathletes. That and towing an airplane. I need a new Facebook cover photo after all…