Ben Gotting's Strongman workout with FS magazine ()Ben Gotting's Strongman workout with FS magazine () © Copyright

Train like a strongman

S&C expert Ben Gotting will help to get you ripped like an old-school strong man. Here's his advice complete with a workout for FS magazine.

Strongman training has always been synonymous with big-chested, boulder-shaped lads. But thanks to trainers like Ben Gotting and Dave Thomas, there has been a shift in popularity towards mainstream gym goers.

Big moves using funny-shaped equipment are the staple of modified strongman training (MST). When you challenge your body across several planes, one exercise will encourage hypertrophy in multiple muscle groups, as well as burning up to 1,000 calories. Factor in the effects of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, and the body will continue to burn fat for hours.

Ben has devised a workout using some of the more conventional tools of MST, split into a two-group, three-exercise medley. Both medleys are ‘tri-sets’, done for the prescribed reps or distances one move after the other. With the first medley you’ll need a 1:1 exercise:rest ratio (rest for the same amount of time it takes to execute on tri-set before moving to the next). The second medley requires a rest period of three minutes between each tri-set.


A modified strongman circuit designed for a super shred and massive calorie burn


Because the multi-plane movements do more than isolate specific areas of the body – it builds it as a whole


Using techniques often associated with strong man contests, such as sandbag carries, log presses and farmer walks

Mini medley 1

Ben’s workout will be split in to two mini-medleys. The first medley is a full-body builder, guaranteed to hit all major muscle groups, including the chest, back, arms, core and legs. Treat all three moves as if it was a tri-set, meaning you finish one set of one exercise before moving immediately onto the next. Once all three exercises are completed you’ll need to take a rest period the same length as it took you to complete that one tri-set. Repeat for six rounds. These transitions from heavy lifts to metabolic exercises won’t be easy, but the fat burn during and post workout will be unparalleled.



Quads, Glutes, Traps & Deltoids

Technique Holding a log bar at a hang by your knees, quickly bring it to your chest by dropping to a squat, rolling the bar upwards to your chest and standing upright. Then, in one quick movement, raise the bar above your head until your arms are fully extended. Lower for one rep.

8 reps //  6 rounds 

Log clean and press Ben Gotting FS magazine ()



Delts, Traps, Obliques, Quads & Glutes

Technique Stand under a weighted yoke with a horizontal bar across back and shoulders. Push upwards until legs are fully extended, and shuffle forward for the allotted distance.

40m walks // 6 rounds 

Yoke carries Ben Gotting with FS mag ()



Vastus Medialis (inner thigh)

Technique Taking hold of a weighted sled tethered with a set of suspension trainer handle, walk backwards until the trainer’s handles are under tension. Slowly walk backwards for 20m, keeping your back, neck and arms straight.

20m drags // 6 rounds // 1:1 rest 

Reverse sled drags Ben Gotting ()


Mini medley 2

The second medley does much of the same, targeting everything from your lower back and core muscles to your legs. In fact, the entire posterior chain gets a beasting. Medley two also doubles up as a fantastic metabolic conditioning circuit, with the prowler runs and the sandbag carries the ultimate in jelly-legged madness. Aim to complete three rounds this time around, and ‘tri-set’ set them as you did the first medley. Rest for a solid three minutes after each set – you’re going to need it! 


Posterior chain

Technique Stand on a barbell plate, and take hold of a loaded barbell that you can lift for six reps. Lift until your body is fully extended, pushing your chest out at the top.

5 reps // 3 rounds 

Defecit deadlift strongman workout Ben Gotting ()



Legs & back

Technique This exercise is as simple as filling a sandbag (40-50kg, depending on your bodyweight, is more than enough), gathering it in your arms and walking the prescribed distance. Be sure to keep your back and neck straight as you perform the walks.

40m // 3 rounds 

Sandbag carries FS magazine strongman workout ()



Core & lower body

Technique Load a prowler sled with a weight you can slowly push for the distance. Take hold, position your body at a diagonal with the floor and drive the sled forward.

40m // 3 rounds // 3 min rest 

Prowler runs Ben Gotting ()

Expert – Ben Gotting


T&I: @the_Gottfather

Liked this? Here's some more great workouts and fitness advice from FS magazine

Photos: Tom Miles 


  • Toronto City Guide Thinking of travelling to Toronto? Here's what you need to do when you get there
  • Bar-bae-dos Zoe Birdsall finds out that you don’t just go to Barbados for quality rum and beautiful beaches
  • Summer shirt steez Still looking for something to make that Summer ensemble? We love this Parana Shirt from Animal
  • Cruising Alaska is a revelation We send Matt Lizzimore on a Cruise of Alaska to get a taste of dog sledding, helicopters, mountains and some incredible scenery.
  • Don't miss Pennfest 2017 Primal Scream, The Charlatans, The Coral, James, Maximo Park and hot showers. Pennfest 2017 deserves your attention