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J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Feb;26(2):513-22. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318220db1a.

Interrelationships between strength, anthropometrics, and strongman performance in novice strongman athletes.

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  • 1Sport Performance Research Institute New Zealand, School of Sport and Recreation, AUT University, Auckland New Zealand. paul.winwood@boppoly.ac.nz


The sport of strongman is relatively new; hence, specific research investigating this sport is currently very limited. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between anthropometric dimensions and maximal isoinertial strength to strongman performance in novice strongman athletes. Twenty-three semiprofessional rugby union players with considerable resistance training and some strongman training experience (age 22.0 ± 2.4 years, weight 102.6 ± 10.8 kg, height 184.6 ± 6.5 cm) were assessed for anthropometry (height, body composition, and girth measurements), maximal isoinertial performance (bench press, squat, deadlift, and power clean), and strongman performance (tire flip, log clean, and press, truck pull, and farmer's walk). The magnitudes of the relationships were determined using Pearson correlation coefficients, and interpreted qualitatively according to Hopkins (90% confidence limits ∼±0.37). The highest relationship observed was between system force (body mass + squat 1-repetition maximum) and overall strongman performance (r = 0.87). Clear moderate to very large relationships existed between performance in all strongman events and the squat (r = 0.61-0.85), indicating the importance of maximal squat strength for strongman competitors. Flexed arm girth and calf girth were the strongest anthropometric correlates of overall strongman performance (r = 0.79 and 0.70, respectively). The results of this study suggest that body structure and common gymnasium-based exercise strength are meaningfully related to strongman performance in novice strongman athletes. Future research should investigate these relationships using more experienced strongman athletes and determine the relationships between changes in anthropometry, isoinertial strength, and strongman performance to determine the role of anthropometry and isoinertial strength in the sport of strongman.

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