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January 27, 2022
The Stoltman brothers are back with the second episode of “Becoming A Strongman.” In this series, Tom and Luke are putting their brother Harry through the paces of becoming a strongman. For anyone interested in training to become a strongman, then this is a series you shouldn’t miss.
The older Stoltman brothers probably don’t require an introduction, but in any case, Luke Stoltman is 2021 Europe’s Strongest Man, and Tom Stoltman is 2021 World’s Strongest Man. Harry is the younger brother recently featured in videos posted to the Stoltman brothers’ YouTube page.
The Stoltman brothers hail from a small town, Invergordon, Scotland where they began training for strongmen without access to specialized equipment, so they improvised to make equipment, going out and foraging things in the Scottish Highlands. These brothers have come a long way from their humble beginnings and now have one of the most recognized names in the world of strength sports.
The video starts off with the three Stoltman brothers out in front of the Stoltman Strength Centre, talking about the quest to turn their younger brother, 26-year-old Harry Stoltman, into a strongman to follow in their footsteps. Luke jokes and says Harry is “the future of strength .” Harry has some promise in the strongman world under the guidance of two of the most respected athletes in the sport. Strength coach Dan Hipkiss who helped the older Stoltman brothers excel is seen in the training session dropping some knowledge on Harry. Hipkiss has been an integral part of Stolman’s success in the sport.
In this episode, the older Stoltman brothers run Harry through various exercises, including deadlifts. Recently we’ve seen Brain Shaw training sumo deadlifts, so this might be a common trend moving forward. Luke mentions that deadlifts are a pivotal exercise in strongman, so you must train this exercise if you have any chance of competing in the sport.
Harry starts the workout with a few sets of warmup deadlifts. His goal in this session is to get up to at least 3 sets at 200 kgs (440 lbs) for reps. Harry’s form looks very technical without any major issues, which is a great sign. He can build on this foundation to keep getting stronger. While progressing into his working sets, Harry is told that he should start his working sets with his wrist straps on so there’s no mucking about to get ready before each set. With 180 kgs (396lbs), Tom comments that the deadlift was done too slow.
Next up, 200kgs for 2 reps, and Harry is feeling warmed up and ready to crush it. Harry says he used to train by himself (cue, sad music), but with people watching his every move and critiquing him, he can improve faster. Harry closes out his 3 sets of deadlifts at 200 kgs (440lbs) without shoes on; he’s looking good at this weight. By the end of the year, his goal is 300 kgs (660lbs), which he thinks is quite doable as his current max is 245 kgs. His brothers are proud of the improvements he’s made in his deadlifting.
The second exercise in this training session is deficit deadlifts. A deficit deadlift is where the lifter performs deadlifts from an elevated position; in this case, Harry is standing on some weight plates. The benefit of deficit deadlifts is that the lifters start at a disadvantaged position where the range of motion is increased, thus making pulling the weight off the floor harder. Training deficit deadlifts should make regular deadlifts easier to execute.
Harry’s training at this point consists of many doubles or sets of 2 with more conventional movements as he’s in a peak phase, so he should taper down his training. Harry is moving 170 kgs (374lbs) with this exercise. The next goal is to build up to a new one-rep max deadlift. Harry feels good about his progress so far and thinks the deficit deadlifts are hard to generate power off of the floor. We then see he took a page out of Tom’s book by using a mouth-guard when he lifts to safeguard against the clenching of his jaw as he lifts.
The third exercise is the snatch grip barbell row. This slight variation on hand placement with the barbell row grip out wide so it emphasizes the upper back. Harry knocks out 8 reps at 100kgs (220lbs). He completes 3 sets at the same weight, and he says that he feels his lats engaged more with this wide grip and that the exercise difficulty is increased. At this point, Harry has completed the big back exercises of the training session and will transition to accessory lifts.
Moving on, Harry is doing some seated rows on the machine. He’s performing these rows one arm at a time with 45 kgs (99lbs) on each side. It looks like he completes 2 sets of 10 here while focusing on proper technique with controlled movement.
Harry is strapped up on the hip thrust machine with 75kgs (165lbs) on each side. Each rep here is done with purpose and controlled breathing as he completes 8. Then, we see Harry using a resistance band to pump out 20 reps of pull-throughs that add to the hip driving motion he was just doing with the hip thrusts. Finally, the workout wraps up with another set of hip thrusts where you can see that Harry is pretty much spent at this point.
Luke sums up the strongman training session saying that he’s seen quite the improvement with Harry’s deadlift. Just 5-6 months previously, Harry struggled with 180kgs (396lbs) deadlifts, but now that’s a piece of cake as he’s almost doing that same weight during deficit straight leg deadlifts. So you can see that the focus in this training is on progressive overload and that there’s no doubt about its efficiency.
If you want to train to become a strongman like the Stoltmans, you can follow this workout below based on the one that Harry completed in the video above.
Note: Keep rests between sets from 1-2 minutes on accessory lifts and 2-4 minutes on the deadlifts.
We love seeing this family of giants training together, and we’ll continue to follow Harry’s journey of training to become a strongman.
Don’t forget, Tom and Luke have some big competitions coming up. Next month on February 26th, is 2022 Britain’s Strongest Man (BSM) in Sheffield, England, then in March 4-5th is the 2022 Arnold Strongman Classic in Columbus, Ohio.
Related: The Best Strongman Workout Plan
Feature Image courtesy of Stoltman brothers Instagram
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