Inside a Strongman Seminar: Parts 1-2

By Rob Orlando and Kelly Strarrett

In Coaching, Sports Applications, Videos

January 22, 2011

Video Article

What do kegs, yokes and concrete balls have to do with CrossFit?

Join Rob Orlando of Hybrid Athletics at San Francisco CrossFit as he takes coaches and athletes through strongman movements and equipment.

“It’s fun. It’s cheap. It gives us another mechanism to kind of harden the athlete,” says Kelly Starrett, owner of San Francisco CrossFit.

In Part 1, Rob Orlando introduces strongman and explains how he started incorporating the movements into his own programming. He says his intention is to make strongman approachable by anyone.

“Let’s make this infinitely scalable, just like CrossFit, and let’s bring it to people who can actually do it and who are interested in learning it,” Orlando says. “I think CrossFitters could benefit from the training, and they’d love it.”

The bottom line: strongman shouldn’t be intimidating.

“With strongman implemented into CrossFit training, we’re just trying to have some more fun and play with different toys,” Orlando says.

In Part 2, Orlando teaches the tire flip. “The tire flip has huge athletic applications,” he says. But to reach the training potential of the tire flip, you have to go heavy.

“It doesn’t have to be a thousand pounds, but it’s got to be heavy enough that it’s going to elicit some response,” Orlando says.

His demonstrator, Dave Lipson, shows the most efficient set-up and lift, as well as the common faults.

“You want so much momentum on that tire from the initial pull—like a power clean. It’s a full explosion … to drive it. That tire should not stop moving,” Orlando says.

Part 1
9min 49sec

Part 2
7min 25sec

Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Episode 135 by Justin Judkins, published Sept. 1, 2010.



11 Comments on “Inside a Strongman Seminar: Parts 1-2”


wrote …

The more I learn about and experience CrossFit as an athlete and as a coach, the more I re-affirm that it is all encompassing. People ask me all the time "what is CrossFit?" and I have begun to answer them initially with one word..EVERYTHING. I then go on to explain the "constantly varied functional movements executed at a high intensity" bit. But I get it out of the way at the beggining that CrossFit really is everything. Rob and Kelly really did a great job in this video pointing out that things like StrongMan and other "Focused" areas of fitness can all be incorporated in CrossFit. And at the end of the day, we are all better/fitter athletes for recognizing the valuable input of highly skilled individuals from groups like StrongMan and elite level gymnists etc. I like what Kelly said about us being the generation that is just scratching the surface of human physical potential. I get so jacked on that statement because we are really making leaps and bounds here and everyone can see that the all inclusive nature of CrossFit is responsible for it!


wrote …

I was lucky enough to have attended this seminar and let me say, for anyone even remotely interested in checking out Strongman movements, do it! It was one of the most fun and enlightening beat downs I've ever been a part of. I agree with Gabriel above that integration of CrossFit and other disciplines serves to strengthen our community, and Strongman is an amazing tool for practical strength and power.

Barbells provide a conveniently loaded and balanced mass that can be held as close to our center line as possible. But, as useful as they are, it seems that the only time we pick them up is during our training. More often than not, in our every day lives we are required to pick up odd objects with centers of mass that simply cannot be brought into an advantageous position for lifting and carrying. It was a humbling experience to find I was struggling to pick up objects that were significantly lighter than what I was used to with a barbell.

At 145 pounds, I was easily the smallest guy there, and about as far from a Strongman as one can be. Rob and his team opened my eyes to a very exciting and rewarding form of training, and I can only imagine how much of a positive impact it will have on the CrossFit community in the long term.
Thanks for what you are bringing to the community Rob!

Oh, and as far as functionality goes, I'd much rather be able to shoulder a 185# atlas stone than hit a double body weight deadlift. But I'm sure if I could do the stone, the deadlift wouldn't be a problem. Now, if you can only get Grundler to pour some stones...


wrote …

Really cool stuff! Hope to see more strongman movements implemented intro Crossfit :)
Looking forward to the rest of the videos


wrote …

Rob and two favorite CF-erlebrities....hands down;-)


wrote …

OK, so when will I be able to find "strongman" under specialty certs? I would love to do that stone seminar and bring home all those stones...but I am east that was not possible.


Daniel Colson wrote …

That looks like a valuable Cert, so many applications to CrossFit, general strength and life. And it looks fun! It's true when people think Strongman they think ESPN which is like thinking Crossfit is Miko and Graham. I'm very interested in hosting one of these certs.


wrote …

I dont know about the strongman stuff but someone needs to come up with the t-shirt
CrossFit-Mashed Dogs are bad


Frank DiMeo wrote …

Great video Rob!
It's great to see more of this in the CF Journal!
We've had the opportunity to have Tom Mitchell, Scott Weech, & Bud Jeffries do Strongman Seminars at our gym, CrossFit Gulf Coast and we have implemented their teaching over the past few years.


wrote …

A funny story. Magnus Samuelsson(strongman champion) went to a local gym before a strongman-competition. He went up to this kind of a big guy, whom was benchpressing approx. 130kg. When the guy was resting, Magnus asked if he could use the barbell in between sets. The guy answered that he had 2 sets left and didn't wanna break the pace. So Magnus waited as the guy huffed and puffed, yelled himself through the last 2 sets of 3reps. After which the guy said to Magnus, that the barbell was free and asked if the plates should stay on. Magnus said thanks in his humble way and told the guy to leave the plates on. He then began to do bicepscurls with the same weights that the other guy benchpressed. :-)

Needless to say that the guy left the gym in a hurry looking kinda red in the face.


wrote …

Magnus Von Magnusson - Best strongman name ever, period.

Thought catching one of these seminars would be great. After seeing this, it's a priority.


wrote …

I just attended a CrossFit Strongman Trainer Course and was blown away, definitely have a new perspective on Strongman Movements and will be incorporating them into my CrossFit Training. I highly recommend this course to coaches and athletes!!

This is my experience in depth:


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