You know what you’re getting in a class called Strongman. Big weights, loaded sleds to push and pull. Atlas stone lifts and farmers walk. Tyres as tall as yourself to flip from one end of the room to the other. You don’t walk into a Strongman class with an expectation of anything less than the biggest, toughest, most impressive moves your body can do. Strongman is a no holds barred work out session with no lightweight options. It’s the double burger with bacon, cheese and black pudding of the fitness world. There’s no Diet Coke option available here.
Now, before I get into details of the class, I have to mention the new Gymbox Farringdon. I’ve been to all the Gymbox clubsas a member over the last 12 months, but Farringdon is by far the best. I’ve never seen a fitness space that houses such impressive facilities, with such top-notch equipment, than I found here.
Stepping onto the huge open floor that Gymbox has built for exactly this kind of class, I found my fellow strongmen and women. They were a mixed bag of grizzled lifters of lumps of steel, and a good mix of those simply looking for something a bit more interesting than their regular circuit class. We kicked off with a simple warm-up – a few deep squats and lunges, kettlebell swings and other big movements to get us warmed up. And then, it was straight into the big stuff.
With a large class, our instructor split us into groups of threes, with one person on the strongman activity, one resting, and one doing goblet squats. A good 60 seconds of activity, followed by 30 seconds rest, means you spend most of the class in a high-end heartbeat zone, not dissimilar from a HIIT class.
Starting on the sled push, the instructor, Ali – a fairly large chap himself – decided I had it too easy, and actively pushed back on the sled. It was like pushing a massive stone up a hill. Straight after, as I was pulling the sled backwards, he was resisting that too. Most people were pushing the sled with a fellow Gymboxer standing atop, going along for the ride. So you can see this is not about little, fast weights – it’s about slowly grinding against a big weight.
Sleds to the atlas stones. Atlas stones to the log press. Log press to the farmers walk, and then the type flip. On and on, around the circuit. Once complete, another quick 15 seconds each on the Strongman activity, with a buddy doing burpees. Good old burpees, they always find their place!
Suffice to say, I felt it afterwards – heart pounding and dripping with sweat. I was very much ready for an early night afterwards! Strongman is a great twist on the traditional circuit class, and is a good confidence builder for those uncertain on whether they’d enjoy big lifts. Gymbox Farringdon is perfectly suited to this kind of class, with its big open space indoors.
If you really want to be large and stay in charge, and you believe gains are the goal, you’ll love Strongman. And if you just want to get fitter, try something new and have a lot of fun, Plus, you’ll fit right in, too.