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The Stoltman brothers dropped a killer video going over their new conditioning workout in preparation for the World’s Strongest Man competition later this year.
When it comes to Strongman most people think that you need to be as strong as possible but forget about how important conditioning is. Take a look at how the Stoltman brothers are getting ready for competition then follow a sample strongman conditioning workout to see how you'd fare.
When people talk about conditioning, they typically refer to it as a measure of how fatigued someone becomes over time, and over time this has become linked with how “fit” somebody is.
Conditioning is actually the measure of a maximum sustained power output over a given duration. So in laymen's terms, how much power can a person produce without fatiguing.
Strongman competitions require athletes to produce an extremely high amount of power in a very short period of time, like a max log press. In the same competition, they might also have to produce and maintain a high power output for a longer duration, in events like the truck pull.
Conditioning helps these athletes by improving their work capacity, while also improving recovery time from workout to workout.
The Stoltman brothers typically use their recovery days to do a bit of conditioning. The brothers’ bright personalities and humor make this an enjoyable video to watch. They use the official keg that Tom used to earn his Worlds Strongest Man title.
The conditioning workout they choose to do in this video is a ladder progression with deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and push presses. Then they wrapped up with two sets of bar hangs.
The Stoltman brothers will perform a modified 21-15-9 workout. The goal of this workout is to do 21 of each exercise and then go back to the top of the list, doing only 15 reps of each exercise the second time through then finish with 9 reps.
You want to do this workout for time and not focus so much on the weight you’re working with. The weight you use should be challenging but light enough that you can do a high volume of reps. The goal is to maintain a high tempo throughout the workout to keep your heart rate up.
The first set of deadlifts Tom uses a lighter weight, it looks to be roughly 155 pounds. With the weight being light he is able to keep the tempo incredibly high throughout the set.
After completing the deadlifts he immediately goes into keg swings, making sure to hit about eye level each rep. About halfway through the keg swings, you can hear Tom trying to catch his breath. To avoid having to set up another bar or change weights, Tom uses the deadlift bar for his push presses. Make sure while doing push presses to use a small amount of leg drive (like a quarter squat), without actually squatting all the way down. Tom makes the push presses look incredibly easy to wrap up his first time through the ladder progression.
Most of the time when doing a ladder progression like this you would continue into the next set without taking a break, however, after Tom finished his first-round he switched out with Luke then took a break.
Luke makes the deadlifts look easy, but struggled to find a good hold on the keg while doing his swings. Luke made the push press look super easy as well. It seems like the brothers are having a friendly competition to see who can do it in the best time.
Luke talks briefly about why conditioning is so important in strongman. Stating that having better conditioning helps them to recover quicker, keep their cardiovascular system fresh, and keep their heart rates down. This is especially important when it comes to the World’s Strongest Man events like the tractor pull, and other extended events.
You can definitely tell that tom was exhausted by the time he gets through his final round as he collapsed from exhaustion at the end of his round. He puts on quite the theatrics to show off just how tired he was, while he was also proclaiming he needed energy. To help his brother with his energy shortage Luke dumps water from the keg on Tom’s face. Luke’s final round is pretty uneventful and he gets through it without any problems. He doesn’t seem quite as tired as his brother was after he finished his last round.
To wrap up the workout they finish up with two sets of bar hangs trying to see who can hold on the longest. Luke makes it to thirty seconds before letting go, with Tom not far behind. For the last set, both brothers let go at roughly the same time, making it to about the 40-second mark.
21-15-9 (For Time). For the first three exercises below you'll complete three sets and three rounds consecutively. For the last exercise of bar hangs take 30 second to 1 minute break between sets.
Make sure if you try this workout to record your time for the 21, 15, 9 and let us know in the comments how long it took you!
The Stoltman brothers always put on a show and it was nice to see them take a break from pure strength and power training sessions. After their performance at the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic we know they aren't satisfied with finishing less than first. Let's see how the rest of the year plays out for these lovable giants.
Related: The Best Strongman Workout Plan
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