Athlete/Celebrity Workouts

How to Train Like the World's Strongest Man

Britain’s Eddie "The Beast" Hall reveals how he trained in the run-up to this year’s ultimate test of human strength.

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Eddie Hall

Christopher Bailey

The Routine

Monday: Legs

I just did squats, leg press, and yoke. Simple. But to do those three exercises could take four hours. That may be hard to believe, but when you’re doing stupid-heavy sets you need lots of rest.

Remember, I could be squatting 350kg-plus (772 lbs.), so I needed a good 10 to 15 minutes to recover between sets. Doing three or four sets at that weight can easily take an hour when you’re resting that much.

I did the same on leg press, working up to huge amounts of weight and having plenty of rest between sets. That could take another hour, then I’d spend an hour or so on the yoke.

Tuesday: Chest

This day was about building my pressing power. There is always a pressing event at the World’s Strongest Man. Again, I kept it simple and had long rests between sets. I’d do flat bench and incline bench, then do triceps.

I took it nice and easy, working up to a megaheavy weight on the presses and then just doing one set on triceps.'

Wednesday: Full-recovery Day

My idea of a recovery day is different from most others’. I had something small to eat first thing, then did an hour of cardio, which could be tire flipping, sled pushing, or boxing. Straight after that, I’d have a regular exercise session, then I’d go home and eat.

I’d have a full English breakfast, plus cereal, beef jerky, yogurt, and I’d keep eating until my personal trainer arrived at 10:30 a.m. for 1½ hours of intense exercise. Then I’d eat dinner, which would be something like a huge steak or chicken and pasta.

Then I’d visit another therapist for shock wave therapy, which helps the muscles recover by breaking them down.

Then I’d eat again, something like chicken and rice, and have another 1½-hour exercise session in the afternoon, doing full hip mobility and breaking down the glutes.

I then stretched in the pool for 1½ hours and did a good 1½ hours of hot-cold treatments, which consisted of a sauna followed by an ice bath several times.

Then I’d go home, eat, and go to bed. That was my day off! It was nonstop.

Thursday: Back

Again, I kept things simple. I did deadlifts first, followed by two assistance exercises, like lat pulldowns and a rowing exercise. With the weights I used, that could easily take three or four hours, no problem.

Friday: Shoulders

I warmed up on dumbbell presses, working up to 30 to 40 reps using 132-pound dumbbells just to get some blood into the shoulders. Then I went straight into a log press and finished with some side delts.

Two months before the World’s Strongest Man, I heard viking press would be included in the events, so I switched to that. Fortunately, it requires a similar technique to log press.

Saturday: Full-recovery Day

I followed the same routine as Wednesday. I also did personal appearances and media interviews on this day.

Sunday: Light-recovery Day

I swam for an hour in the afternoon, then stretched for 1½ hours, followed by hot-cold treatments for another 1½ hours. I didn’t do any physical therapy.

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