Best Strongman Equipment for Home Gyms

Discover a new world of exercise possibilities by outfitting your home gym with strongman equipment for every event type.

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Strongman is arguably one of the most fun strength sports to watch and compete in. The varied events, odd objects, heavy implements, and behemoths of human beings create quite a spectacle. The same thing that draws people to strongman can also make it difficult and downright frustrating to train for. Unless you’ve got a solid strongman gym near you, you’re going to have to purchase or make the equipment yourself. 

Thankfully, strongman has grown in popularity since its humble beginnings in the 1970s, and even more in recent years with prominent personalities like Brian Shaw, Rob Kearney, and Andrea Thompson. With this came more companies making equipment for strongman, and now you can purchase almost anything you need to prep for a competition properly — from logs to stone molds and more. True, you need a base of strength that a power rack, solid barbell, and weight plate set can help provide. To compete well though, you’ll want to practice the lifts you’ll be performing in competition more than once or twice at a gym you drove an hour to drop into. To help you out, we broke down the best pieces of strongman equipment for home gyms.

Best Strongman Equipment for Home Gyms

Best Home Gym Rack for Strongman

The first thing you’ll need to do if you want to compete in strongman is build a solid base of strength. To do that you’re going to need a secure power rack that can grow with you over time, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with our pick here — the Force USA MyRack

Force USA MyRack

The MyRack is a solid power rack that can support up to 2,000 pounds, so you won’t have to worry about capacity no matter how strong you get. Made from heavy-duty 12-gauge steel uprights coupled with 10-gauge support brackets, this rack offers the security of higher end racks. It does so at a more affordable price of about $499 before taxes and shipping. 

Due to the modular nature of this rack, you can customize it to fit your training needs with over 20 attachments. Choose from cable crossovers, monolift J-hooks, a lat pulldown, landmine attachment, band pegs, and more. Grip is important in strongman and you can train grip with the pull-up attachments, which offer globe grips. This rack can last a lifetime and Force USA stands behind that with a lifetime structural warranty.

Force USA MyRack Modular Power Rack
Force USA MyRack Modular Power Rack
Force USA MyRack Modular Power Rack

This power rack is sturdy, can support 2,000 pounds, and can hold various accessories such as band pegs and dip bars. You can also add a cable pulley system and lat pulldown machine to really get the most out of your gym. 

Who Should Buy the Force USA MyRack

  • Those who want a power rack that they can customize to their training needs over time. This rack has hundreds of combinations and over 20 attachments.
  • Heavy lifters (like strongman competitors) who need a high weight capacity. You won’t exceed the 2,000 pound static capacity of the MyRack.
  • Athletes who want a rack that will last them a lifetime. The MyRack is heavy-duty and can last decades with proper care. Force USA even stands behind the product with a lifetime structural warranty. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Force USA MyRack

  • Those who are limited on room may want to look for a folding squat rack
  • Anyone who is very tall may find that the 87 inch height here is too short and might want to opt for a taller rack — many go up to 93 inches tall.
  • People who want a rack that already comes with a ton of attachments instead of having to purchase them as add-ons. 

This rack is sturdy, affordable, and has the ability to grow with you over time. You’re not going to get too strong for this rack (which is a common concern when purchasing a starter rack) thanks to the 2,000 pound capacity. This piece of equipment has all the available attachments (over 20) that you could want to prep for any strongman competition.

Best Home Gym Yoke

One of the most recognizable and impressive looking events in a strongman competition is the yoke carry. Many people think it’s as easy as walking out a heavy squat, but there is an entire technique to it that’s near impossible to learn unless you do the movement itself. Imagine putting two to four times your personal best squat on your back and going for a walk with it — that’s essentially a yoke carry. For the best home gym yoke look no further than the REP Fitness Oxylus Yoke. 

REP Fitness Oxylus Yoke

There are a handful of yoke options on the market, but none are as versatile as the Oxylus from REP. You can transform this piece of equipment from a yoke into a squat rack, sled, frame carry, or pull-up bar with the attachments REP sells for it. The base yoke will run you around $850 plus tax with free shipping, but the yoke with all attachments comes to about $1,400 before tax with free shipping. That may sound like a lot, but the functionality is unrivaled here. Considering most standalone yokes are around $700, the extra money here is well worth the investment.

By itself, the 72 inch tall version weighs 205 pounds and the 92 inch version is 215 pounds. Each of the four weight horns adds 25 pounds and the Oxylus has a total capacity of 2,500 pounds. The utility of this piece of equipment is considerable, and it can help you train for a bunch of different events with just one piece of equipment, saving you space and money for other specialty pieces or contest entry fees.

REP Fitness Oxylus Yoke
REP Fitness Oxylus Yoke
REP Fitness Oxylus Yoke

The Oxylus Yoke from REP Fitness is a solid yoke, for sure, but that’s not it. This doubles as a frame carry, pull-up bar, squat rack, and sled too bringing unrivaled versatility to the table. Buying all these products separately could easily cost twice as much as the Oxylus Yoke, which can be had for around $1,400 with all the attachments.

Who Should Buy the REP Fitness Oxylus Yoke

  • Anyone who is trying to maximize the utility they receive from any piece of equipment. This can replace three or four pieces of equipment itself.
  • Those who want a beefy yoke. The starting weight here is heavier than most others on the market, meaning you’ll have to add fewer plates to get to your desired weight.
  • Athletes who are limited on space. This can double as a squat rack too if needed. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy the REP Fitness Oxylus Yoke

  • Those who simply want to purchase a yoke may want to look at standalone yoke options. 
  • People who are just getting started in strongman may not need a yoke quite yet until they’ve become more advanced.
  • Athletes who do not have a yoke aspect to any competition coming up soon. 

This beast of a yoke is a solid option for anyone who seriously trains for strongman. Not only does it cover your yoke needs exceptionally well, but it takes the place of multiple other pieces of equipment as well — saving you money and valuable space in the long run.

Best Strongman Belt

When you finish a grueling event where you just gave your all for a solid 60 seconds or more, and you feel like you might pass out, throw up, and cry all at once, the last thing you want to do is fumble getting your belt off. That’s why most strongmen opt for a lever belt. Few are better suited for strongman competitors than the Gymreapers 10mm lever belt.

Gymreapers 10mm Lever Belt

This belt comes pre-broken-in, so you can start utilizing it straight out of the packaging. You won’t have to worry about taking the time and pain to have the belt conforming just right to your body. The smoothed and stitched edges help improve the comfort of this lever belt. Coming in at four inches wide and a moderate thickness of 10mm, you can expect a ton of stability without sacrificing mobility. The lever operates smoothly, so you can put this belt on and take it off quickly and easily.

To construct their 10mm lever belt, Gymreapers uses high-quality leather and features a moisture control inner suede layer. If you plan on competing in powerlifting too, as many strongmen competitors do, then rest assured this belt is USPA approved. Should something happen to your belt, Gymreapers offers a lifetime replacement guarantee. 

Gymreapers 10mm Lever Belt
Gymreapers 10mm Lever Belt
Gymreapers 10mm Lever Belt

This lever lifting belt has been rigorously tested for form, fit, and function and is manufactured with premium leather. The design incorporates smooth edges, reinforced stitching, and an adjustable lever buckle attachment.

Who Should Buy the Gymreapers 10mm Lever Belt

  • Those who want a belt that’s as easy to take off as it is to put on. The lever mechanism is much quicker than belt buckles and provides the same security.
  • Athletes who want the most support and stability will appreciate that this belt is thick but not restrictive.
  • Anyone who plans to compete in USPA for powerlifting. This belt is approved for use. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Gymreapers 10mm Lever Belt

  • People who prefer a thinner belt may want to opt for a velcro one. 
  • Athletes who fluctuate weight often may want to get a belt that adjusts easier, such as a buckle or velcro option.
  • Anyone who prefers not to purchase or use animal products since this belt is made from leather.

Just by looking at the top-level strongmen and strongwomen, it’s clear that a lever belt is the securing mechanism of choice. The Gymreapers 10mm lever belt checks all the right boxes — it’s secure and made from high-quality materials. Plus, the replacement guarantee is an added bonus.

Best Home Gym Strongman Log

The log lift is probably the most iconic strongman lift (other than atlas stones) and for good reason — it’s impressive and fun to watch. Traditionally, competitors take a wooden log that has handles carved into it and lift it up to their chest, then press it overhead. Modern logs are generally made from precision-welded steel though some competitions still use handmade wooden logs. The event is difficult to simulate without specialized equipment, which can be quite expensive. Thankfully, there’s a home gym friendly and affordable option — the Titan Rackable Strongman Log.

Titan Rackable Strongman Log

Training the log lift is just as much about pressing as it is about being able to clean the log. With a traditional strongman log, you have to clean it every time you want to press it. Titan made this log to be rackable on J-hooks like any other bar, so you can train the press portion without having to clean the log every time. The grips are knurled for better handling and measure 42mm thick. This rackable log is cheaper than most other options out there too, ranging from around $200 to $300 before taxes with free shipping, depending on the barrel size.

There are three options for barrel sizes: eight inches, 10 inches, and 12 inches. Strongwoman competitors usually use eight or 10 inches while strongmen almost always use 12 inch logs. The empty weight ranges from 50 pounds for the eight inch log to 84 pounds for the 12 inch barrel size. You’ll be better off with the best of both worlds because you can train this log from the floor or out of the rack without special safety spotter arms or slings to hold it up. In a home gym environment, having a rackable log pays dividends by making training easier. 

Titan Fitness Rackable Strongman Log
Titan Fitness Rackable Strongman Log
Titan Fitness Rackable Strongman Log

Bring up your lagging log press with a strongman log that you can rack when finished instead of fatiguing from cleaning it every time. With three size options of eight inches, 10 inches, and 12 inches, there’s a size available for every competitor.

Who Should Buy the Titan Rackable Strongman Log

  • Those who want to train for the log lift. Many competitions use a Titan log in the competition itself.
  • Athletes who want to improve their overhead pressing ability. You can train presses without fatiguing your lower body with cleans.
  • Anyone who wants a cost-effective strongman log. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Titan Rackable Strongman Log

  • People who are already good pressers but struggle with cleaning the log will want one that forces them to practice the clean each time. 
  • Anyone who prefers to use real wooden logs over steel. These only come in steel.
  • Those who don’t plan on competing in strongman may be better off just doing barbell presses. 

It can be difficult to train full log clean and press after hitting legs the day before or earlier in a session. Take the middleman out and jump right to improving your press with a log that you can take right out of a rack.

Best Home Gym Axle Bar

The axle bar is very common in competitions of all levels and is most often used when deadlifting (but it’s frequently used in pressing events too). You’ll have to go out of your way to find a contest without an axle bar in it, but thankfully you can pick up a solid axle bar from Titan to practice with in your home gym.

Titan Axle Bar

Axle bars are unique in that their sleeves are welded to the shaft and don’t spin. The diameter of axle bars is large too, and measured in inches instead of millimeters like regular barbells. They present a unique challenge when used for deadlifts as the weight not only is further out in front of you, but the sleeves don’t rotate. Both of those factors increase the difficulty compared to a regular barbell. When pressing, it’s more of the same. Cleaning an axle bar is difficult and most strongmen utilize the continental clean technique rather than a squat clean. Pressing an axle bar is often easier though since there is more surface area to push on through your palms.

The Titan axle bar is available in a compact 60 inch option or full-sized 84 inches. The weight capacity of the 60 inch axle bar is 880 pounds, though the bar itself only weighs 17 pounds. The 84 inch axle can support 660 pounds and weighs a whopping 24 pounds. Both are just about two inches thick, which is the typical thickness of an axle bar. Titan priced these nicely for home gym owners, and you can pick up the 60 inch axle for about $60 or the 84 inch option for around $75 both before taxes with free shipping.

Titan Fitness Axle Bar
Titan Fitness Axle Bar
Titan Fitness Axle Bar

Axle bars are a great way to practice similar lifts with a completely different feeling. Titan made two options for their axle bars — 60 inches and 84 inches. Both are right around two inches thick and powder-coated black.

Who Should Buy the Titan Axle Bar

  • Anyone who plans on competing in strongman. You’re practically guaranteed to come across an axle bar event.
  • Those who want to improve their grip strength. The thicker diameter here puts a real challenge on the forearms.
  • Athletes who want to change things up. A thick axle bar fundamentally changes the way you have to perform certain exercises, like the deadlift and overhead press.

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Titan Axle Bar

  • Those who have no intention of competing in strongman, but like to do some of the events for fun. It’s not necessary. 
  • People who don’t have a lot of room available. Sure, the axle bar can stand in a corner, but it’s still a five or seven foot barbell.
  • Anyone who wants a knurled axle bar. The Titan axle is smooth. 

The Titan axle bar is a cost-effective way to add one of the most common pieces of strongman equipment to your home gym. Axle bars bring a new dimension and unique challenge to staple exercises that can help you potentially break through plateaus. If you’re going to compete in strongman, getting familiar with the axle bar is a must.

Best Home Gym Strongman Sandbags

Picking heavy stuff up that other people can’t is the hallmark of a strongman competitor. Few things exemplify this as well as sandbags which are, exactly as they sound, heavy bags filled with sand or other materials meant to be picked up just because it’s difficult. They’re not all made the same, and if you don’t want sand all over your floor, then we suggest the Rogue Strongman Sandbag.

Rogue Strongman Sandbag

A sandbag is the more floor and skin-friendly, but still soul-crushing cousin of an atlas stone. Using the same technique, you lap a sandbag and either load it over a post or carry it around for distance and time. Rogue has made an exceptional product, which keeps the sand in the bag where it’s supposed to be and not on your floor, even when dropped repeatedly. This product features a built-in filler bag and an additional zipper and velcro closing flap to achieve this.

These sandbags range in size and loadable weight from the two beginner bags with a max capacity of 25 and 50 pounds to the heavyweight options. The heavyweight sandbags have capacities of 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, and 400 pounds. These capacities also correspond to the size of the bag, which becomes larger as the capacity increases. The price also ranges from around $75 for the smallest capacity of 25 pounds to about $165 for the largest, 400 pound bag. Notably, the bags do not come with filler material, but just drive down to your local home improvement store and pick up some 50 pound bags of play sand, and you’re all set.

Rogue Strongman Sandbag
Rogue Strongman Sandbag
Rogue Strongman Sandbag

Instead of breaking your floor, toes, and skin with atlas stones you can break your spirit with sandbags. Rogue makes these to be extremely durable and keep the sand inside thanks to multiple closure layers. The capacities range from 25 pounds up to 400 pounds to accommodate all strength levels.

Who Should Buy the Rogue Strongman Sandbag

  • Anyone planning to compete in strongman will have a sandbag in their contest in some form. They’re hard, but training them is just about the only way to get better.
  • Those who want a full body workout. Training sandbag loads or carries taxes the entire body.
  • Athletes who want to build strength in different positions than traditional lifting. Sandbags put you in sometimes weird and awkward positions. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Rogue Strongman Sandbag

  • Those who have a back injury or are prone to back injuries may not want to train sandbags until they strengthen their back considerably. 
  • People who don’t have a lot of room available. Once a sandbag is filled, you’ll need a considerable amount of space to store it — though the heavier ones double nicely as impromptu stools.
  • Anyone who already has atlas stones may not need sandbags specifically. 

These sandbags set the standard for all others to come with their built-in liner, zipper, and velcro enclosure. Rogue built these with strongman competitors in mind as they are admittedly tough on their equipment — so you know they’ll stand up to frequent use in your home gym.

Best Home Gym Farmer’s Handles

Farmer’s handles come in a few different types with loading types similar to washing machines. There are front-loaded handles where the plates slide on and give them their height. There are also mini farmer’s handles that are meant to save space. The easiest kind to load and unload though are top-loaded, and these Upright Farmer’s Walk Handles from Titan Fitness are among the best. 

Titan Upright Farmer’s Walk Handles

The farmer’s carry is a staple that you’ll find in some form of almost every strongman competition. It’s straightforward enough — pick up a heavy handle in each hand and go for a walk or hold it as long as possible. Training for this event can be tricky with different pick heights, which is where these upright handles come in. They easily adjust from eight inches tall, a typical trap bar height, to 16 inches tall, which is more of a traditional farmer’s height.

These farmer’s handles also double as a frame carry with an optional add-on to connect the two handles at the front and back. Each handle weighs 44 pounds and can hold up to 500 pounds, so you’ll have no trouble loading up the weight you need. Snag the handles by themselves for about $240, or the handles and frame carry connectors for around $330, both before taxes with free shipping. It’s worth noting that the handles are 31mm thick which is larger than a typical barbell so female competitors may find them too large.

Titan Fitness Upright Farmer's Walk Handles
Titan Fitness Upright Farmer's Walk Handles
Titan Fitness Upright Farmer's Walk Handles

Work on your grip strength and mental toughness with these upright farmer's handles. You can spend less time loading and more time training with top-loading pins. The handles quickly adjust from eight inches up to 16 inches tall for varied pick heights. You can even add on a connector that turns these into a frame carry.

Who Should Buy the Titan Upright Farmer’s Walk Handles

  • Anyone who wants to improve their grip strength and mental toughness. Farmer’s walks are grip and grit dependent to see who can hang on the longest when your forearms and fingers are burning.
  • People who need a strong grip as part of their sport or for their occupation, like firefighters or rescue personnel.
  • Athletes who want to work their whole body. There likely isn’t a muscle that goes unworked in farmer’s carries. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Titan Upright Farmer’s Walk Handles

  • Anyone who already has a weighted carry implement that they can use to train grip.
  • Those who have small hands may want to opt for handles with a smaller diameter.
  • People who are on a budget. There are cheaper options out there, but they may not provide the same utility. 

Improve your grip without putting in unnecessary effort to load and unload plates with these upright handles and be prepared for contest day no matter the pick height. Pro tip: If you place a bit of rubber or a two-and-a-half pound plate between larger plates when loading, the plates will be easier to take off when your grip is fatigued.

Best Home Gym Circus Dumbbell

Circus dumbbell, sometimes called monster dumbbell is something that shows up frequently enough to warrant its inclusion on this list, but not so often in local and regional competitions that it should be a priority. If you’ve already got the other pieces of equipment though, then this could round out your collection. The best option for home gyms is the Rogue Monster Bell. 

Rogue Monster Bells

Rogue’s modern take on this classic piece of equipment hits the mark well. The Monster Bells come in four sizes — six inches, eight inches, 10 inches, and 12 inches. Each features a 2.5 inch handle, except the 12 inch bell, which has a handle of three inches. Even before you attempt to press this overhead, you’ll have to pick it up to your shoulder first, which is easier said than done. The 12 inch bell weighs 125 pounds even while empty and can be loaded to over 250 pounds if you use lead shot. Other common fillers are sand, coins, random metal pieces, and gravel.

One important consideration is that you’ll need a 5/8” allen wrench to remove and tighten the loading cap, which is not included with the purchase. While you’re at the local hardware store picking up your filling for the bell, you’ll want to grab an allen wrench too. The major benefit the Monster Bells bring over traditional circus dumbbells is that the weight is self-contained, meaning plates won’t explode out when dropped causing a dangerous situation for those nearby. The prices range from about $565 to $905 before tax and shipping based on size.

Rogue Monster Bells
Rogue Monster Bells
Rogue Monster Bells

Rogue’s Monster Bells are the modern version of old-timey circus dumbbells and offer a more versatile way to load and train for a circus dumbbell event. Available in sizes from six inches to 12 inches with loadable capacities over 250 pounds these are great for those of all strength levels.

Who Should Buy the Rogue Monster Bells

  • Those who like to perform unilateral work will enjoy using a circus dumbbell to train.
  • People who are deeply entrenched in strongman training will want to add proficiency with a circus dumbbell to their skill list.
  • Anyone who has a circus dumbbell in an upcoming competition. This is very much a skill lift and requires practice to become good at. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Rogue Monster Bells

  • Anyone just getting into strongman training should focus on more common event equipment first. 
  • People who are on a budget may want to look at other more cost-effective options.

If you’re a serious strongman competitor, then being proficient in circus dumbbell technique is a must. This old-timey lift may not be very popular at local or even regional competitions because of the skill required, but the event will show up at most large competitions. Adding a Monster Bell to your home gym is a good way to ensure you’re ready when you get there.

Best Home Gym Atlas Stone Mold

Atlas stones, castle stones, McGloshen stones — they go by many names but they’re instantly recognizable and likely the single most iconic event in all of strongman. If you’re equipping a strongman training home gym, they’re a must. Hybrid Stone Molds are our go-to.

Hybrid Stone Molds

Making atlas stones is an art in its own right, and we aren’t going to cover that here. What we will cover is the product of Hybrid Stone Molds themselves. The molds are measured in diameters, which correspond to approximate weights that can be altered to be made heavier or lighter with different concrete fillers. The smallest diameter is 10 inches, which makes a stone that’s about 35 pounds, whereas the largest is 19 inches and weighs approximately 300 pounds. 

The price range doesn’t vary much for the individual molds with the smallest being about $119 and the largest coming in at around $199 before taxes and shipping. These molds are also offered in sets for those who want to practice stone runs or have a way to warm up before jumping right in. Keep in mind that these are just molds, and you’ll need to also purchase zip ties, silicone lubricant, concrete, and (we recommend) duct tape too in order to actually make the stone. 

Hybrid Stone Molds
Hybrid Stone Molds
Hybrid Stone Molds

These atlas stone molds allow you to train the iconic strongman event in your home gym. These molds are measured in diameter with approximate weights that correspond to that diameter. They're available in sizes from 10 inches which weighs about 35 pounds to 19 inches that’ll weigh about 300 pounds.

Who Should Buy Hybrid Stone Molds

  • Anyone who wants to lift atlas stones and practice them at home for an upcoming event.
  • People who participate in cross-training. Atlas stone lifts have become a popular event for that type of training.
  • Athletes who want to improve their ability to lift and move in less-than-optimal positions. Atlas stones require strength in a variety of positions that mimic a deep squat and deficit deadlift. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Hybrid Stone Molds

  • Anyone who is just getting started in strongman will want to build their base of strength first before attempting to lift heavy stones. 
  • Those who do not have these in a competition coming up can better spend their money on other more relevant and common pieces of equipment on this list.
  • People who aren’t handy or don’t have the means to make a concrete stone may not be able to make use of these stone molds. 

Atlas stones look objectively cool when you’re lifting them, and they can be quite fun to train. If you’re looking to change your training routine up or get serious about strongman training, then a Hybrid Stone Mold may be what you need.

Best Home Gym Weighted Carry Implement

In most strongman competitions, there is a component consisting of picking up something oddly shaped and heavy, then carrying it for some distance while being timed. Weighted implement carries come in many shapes and forms, but if you can pick just one implement to train with, few others will prepare you the way a plate-loaded Husafel stone does. 

Titan Plate Loaded Husafel Stone

The actual Husafel stone is a 186 kilogram (410 pound) piece of history and the thing of legend that rests in Húsafell, Iceland. This product from Titan Fitness is modeled after the stone’s iconic shape and made from steel, so you can load it as needed. It’s no joke though — even empty this implement weighs 110 pounds, stands 30 inches tall, and is nearly 30 inches wide. The 17 inch opening at the top allows you to load whatever you like, from bumper or iron plates to chains or anything else heavy. 

The difficulty with weighted carries is not solely in your muscles fatiguing, though that is a concern. Being able to breathe and learning how to properly manage your breath with hundreds of pounds crushing down on your chest is an acquired skill. This may not be the exact object you’ll be carrying in your competitions, but it simulates a bunch of weighted carries that are common at the home gym friendly price of around $280 before taxes with free shipping.

Titan Fitness Plate Loaded Husafel Stone
Titan Fitness Plate Loaded Husafel Stone
Titan Fitness Plate Loaded Husafel Stone

Titan’s replica of the famous Húsafell Stone from Iceland is plate-loadable and offers the utility to prepare you for nearly any odd object or weighted carry you may come across in a competition. It can be loaded with nearly anything which only increases its versatility.

Who Should Buy the Titan Plate Loaded Husafel Stone

  • Anyone who is training to become Fullsterker, or “full strength” in Icelandic, will want to test their mettle against this replica of the strength sports famous symbol.
  • Those who have to be able to carry or move heavy objects for their hobbies or professions, like rescuers, nurses, police officers, firefighters, or others.
  • Athletes who compete in strongman. If you compete regularly, you’ll eventually come across this implement in a contest. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Titan Plate Loaded Husafel Stone

  • Anyone who already has an odd object or weighted implement. One is enough for most people since they’re all fairly similar. 
  • Those who are just starting out in strongman should focus on other pieces of equipment, first such as a sandbag or log.
  • People who have a history of biceps injuries may want to consult their physician since this places a lot of stress on the biceps tendon. 

If you want to compete in strongman, you’ll come across odd object and weighted carries regularly in contests. Having this in your home gym will help prepare you for the unique feeling and breathing pattern required to do well in those events.

Best Home Gym Crash Pads

Picking up heavy stuff is all fun and games until you drop it and break your floor or put a crack in the concrete slab of your garage or basement. You might like lifting heavy in your home gym and slamming iron, but your neighbors probably won’t be too happy with all the noise. That’s where a high quality set of drop pads comes in, like the Silencer Drop Pad Set from Titan Fitness. 

Titan Silencer Drop Pads

Drop pads aren’t just there to protect your floor or reduce the noise — though they’re helpful in that regard. They’re important to protect your equipment and keep you safe. The force-absorbing high-density foam greatly reduces the bounce and increases the predictability of implements when you drop them. These pads are large enough for pretty much any piece of equipment, like barbells, atlas stones, circus dumbbells, kegs, or anything else you may be lifting to be dropped.

Titan makes these pads in black and red with a nylon carry handle on each for ease of maneuverability. Each pad weighs 44 pounds, so they’ve got some heft to them. In strongman, even the drop pads are heavy. Each pad has a capacity of 300 pounds, so a set should be able to absorb up to 600 pounds. They measure 30 inches long by 24 inches wide and six inches tall, and will run you about $170 before taxes with free shipping.

Titan Fitness Silencer Drop Pads
Titan Fitness Silencer Drop Pads
Titan Fitness Silencer Drop Pads

These Titan silencer drop pads can help protect your floors, equipment, and maybe even your relationship with your neighbors by helping to absorb impact and reduce noise when dropping heavy objects like barbells or other training implements. They come in red or black.

Who Should Buy the Titan Silencer Drop Pads

  • Anyone who has a home gym should really have a set. They can be used for reducing noise and protecting your home gym floor.
  • Folks who perform elevated deadlifts to work on partial ranges of motion can make use of these.
  • Anyone who gets kicked out by their significant other for spending too much money on home gym strongman equipment can use these as a pillow. They’re surprisingly comfy — just clean up any leftover tacky first. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Titan Silencer Drop Pads

  • Anyone who already has protective flooring or another drop solution, like an old tire, may not need to splurge on these. 
  • Those who are looking for log lift-specific drop pads may want to seek out other options.
  • People who are tight on a budget may want to use some old blankets or tires for the time being. 

The use of drop pads can significantly reduce the noise and bounce from dropping your equipment. You’ll also be looking out for your floor and anyone within earshot who doesn’t want to hear weights clanging. If you plan on doing any sort of strongman implement lifting, having drop pads can be a big help.

Best Home Gym Strongman Sled

It may come as a surprise to some, but strongman competitors do a rather considerable amount of conditioning. The majority of this conditioning is aimed at producing maximum effort output for 60 to 90 seconds because that’s how long competition events usually last. Few pieces of equipment will get your whole body and lungs burning like sled pushes and pulls. For an affordable and well-made piece of equipment, we like the REP Push-Pull Sled.

REP Push-Pull Sled

This sturdy sled has everything you need to improve your leg drive and have a solid conditioning workout. With multiple grip points and two removable posts, you can push this sled either high or low. Additionally, there are three welded eyebolts on the front of the sled, so you can attach a harness to simulate truck pulls or a rope to practice pulling. 

By itself, the sled weighs 75 pounds and has compatibility with two-inch olympic sized plates, so no standard one-inch plates here. REP makes changing the sled skis easy too, and sells replacement skis for when they are worn down from use. This sled is fairly compact at 40 inches long by 38 inches wide and 42 inches tall. The upright poles are removable for extra space-saving. You can add this to your home gym strongman equipment for around $199 plus tax with free shipping, making it budget-friendly, as well. 

REP Fitness Push-Pull Sled
REP Fitness Push-Pull Sled
REP Fitness Push-Pull Sled

This versatile sled will have your legs and lungs burning in one workout from pushing it, then your arms and back next session from pulls. The space-saving design and budget-friendly price make this the ideal sled for home gym environments.

Who Should Buy the REP Push-Pull Sled

  • Those who are looking for some extra conditioning work that’s not traditional running or cycling can utilize the sled for some seriously intense cardio.
  • Athletes who have to possess powerful leg drive can practice and improve that with this push-pull sled.
  • Strongman competitors can simulate a host of events like flag raises, truck pulls, and more with this versatile piece of equipment. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy the REP Push-Pull Sled

  • Anyone who already has their conditioning program locked down. Some folks prefer different types of cardio, like hill sprints. 
  • Those who already have a yoke may be able to accomplish pushes with a yoke, but not pulls.
  • People who are very limited on space may want to opt for a more compact sled. 

Conditioning is just as important in strongman as strength and often can make the difference in placing better in events. Events commonly require competitors to move quickly and powerfully for prolonged periods — oftentimes beginners are caught by surprise and tucker out quickly. Investing in a high quality sled with both push and pull capabilities, like this one from REP, is a great way to ensure you’re prepared come contest day.

Bonus: Best Home Gym Strongman Grip Trainer

One of the most overlooked attributes of a well-rounded and successful strongman competitor is grip strength. Training grip can be tedious and isn’t as flashy as pressing logs or pulling trucks, but your grip will be tested in every contest in some way. To train grip wherever you go and actually make progress with it, you can’t go wrong with the Captains of Crush Grip Strengtheners from IronMind. 

Captains of Crush

If you want to crush apples with your bare hands or roll frying pans like Mark Felix, the legend of longevity and grip, then you’ll have to take training your grip seriously. The Captains of Crush (also called the CoC) have been helping people improve their grip for over 30 years with grippers made from heavy-duty airplane-grade aluminum. Their springs are patented and extremely tough, though consistent even after years of use.

The handles offer a moderate knurling to help build up some thicker skin on your hands, so you can grip whatever a contest throws at you. Farmer’s carry? Anvil hold? Hub pinch? No problem after training with the CoC. The varying levels of difficulty range from the guide (60 pounds) through number four (365 pounds) — only a handful of people have ever been able to close the number four. Pick up a couple to train with, and treat them just like any other lift with warmups and progression. If you do, you’ll be on the way to tearing up phone books and decks of cards.

IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Gripper
IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Gripper
IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Gripper

IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Gripper has two handles connected by a resistance coil. There are eleven different weight options that range from 60lb to 365lb and each is made of billet aluminium and alloy steel. 

Who Should Buy the Captains of Crush

  • Athletes who want to develop the most crushing lockdown grip possible. These are designed for exactly that purpose.
  • People who have to use straps on their heavier deadlifts or row sets may want to improve their grip to match the rest of their strength.
  • Those who like the idea of being able to train grip anywhere. These are small enough to fit in your pocket, purse, or backpack, so you can practice anywhere and anytime. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Captains of Crush

  • Anyone who’s looking to build more muscle size than strength may want to look for other, more repetition-focused alternatives. 
  • Those who have sensitive skin or calluses prone to tearing may find the knurling too abrasive here.

These grip strengtheners can be used anywhere, and are the classic tried and true method of improving grip strength used by generations of lifters. If you want to compete in strongman, it will pay dividends to find some room in your home gym budget for a pair of these.

How We Chose Our Picks 

Choosing our picks for home gym strongman equipment took careful consideration. We thought of how often each piece of equipment or a variant of it will appear in competition generally. We also factored in the price of the piece of equipment as well as the novelty and functionality of the product. 

Novelty and Functionality 

Some movements are near impossible to mimic without the exact piece of equipment — like Hercules Holds, but you can mimic them by training farmer’s holds. Other novelty movements, such as circus dumbbell, are extremely skill-driven, and you need to practice the event specifically to improve at it.

Man Carrying Keg
Image via Shutterstock / criben

We weighted the products that need to be practiced specifically to improve them more heavily since they can’t be easily replaced by a more versatile piece of equipment. Additionally, equipment that serves multiple purposes or helps to simulate a type of event as a whole rank higher than those with just one purpose.

Competition Frequency

It seems there is a certain checklist that each event coordinator goes through when planning events for a contest. There will almost always be some sort of deadlift, overhead press, grip, movement, and loading event. You may find some wildcards, but generally, those are the most common.

Female Pulling Big Rig Truck Pull
Image via Shutterstock / balipadma

That said, the implements that correspond to a higher frequency in competitions were ranked higher as they offer a better utility. Those types of products will be better investments when starting out as you’re less likely to use them for one competition and then let them sit to collect dust until another contest rolls around using that same uncommon implement.

Variety

One common mistake people make when buying any equipment for their home gyms, especially strongman equipment is purchasing too many pieces of equipment with similar purposes. In their excitement to outfit their home gym, beginners may pick up a sandbag, atlas stone molds, and a keg.

Man Pushing Sled
Image via Shutterstock / UfaBizPhoto

That may sound fine until you realize that all three are commonly used for loading and carrying. You’d be better off picking up pieces of equipment with more variety like a pressing, loading, and grip piece. We tried to select pieces of equipment across a variety of different uses so everyone has something they can add to their home gym from this list.

Price

Price is harder to quantify since the prices for different pieces of equipment vary so greatly, from less than $100 for certain pieces to over $1,000 for others. The absolute price wasn’t as much of a concern as the relative price or value that the product offers. If you can train for four or five different types of events with one piece of equipment but it’s expensive, it may be worth it over something cheaper but only useful for training one singular event. The value overall that a product brings to the table in terms of usefulness and quality was considered heavily when choosing our picks.

Benefits of Strongman Training

Many types of traditional strongman events have crept their way into mainstream fitness circles with the popularization of the sport. CrossFit and cross-training style workouts are also to thank for more interest in the sport and training style. There are certainly some notable benefits. First, strongman training is probably unlike any exercise training you’ve done, so it helps to break the monotony and shake things up. Strongman also helps to improve functional strength as the events carry over directly into real life.

Functional Strength

In life, not everything you pick up will be in the shape of a dumbbell or barbell — in fact, very few things will be. That’s where the carryover from training or functional strength comes in. Strongman helps to maximize that carryover thanks to the unorthodox nature of many of the training implements.

Young man picking up farmer's handles
Image via Shutterstock / BLACKDAY

Collegiate American Football players who performed strongman-style training in the offseason reported feeling stronger and more powerful, and they performed better during the season than those who did the traditional off-season strength program (1). There are also major biomechanical improvements such as moving more efficiently that can be made by doing strongman-style training. (2)

Switching Things Up

Doing the same types of workouts every day for weeks and months on end can get boring, and kill your drive to show up and crush it. With strongman training, there is less monotony. Sure, you’ll have your core exercises, like deadlifts, presses, and the like, but event training is where the real fun lies. Each competition features different events, so when you sign up for a contest, you’ll have (usually) 12 to 16 weeks to prepare for the events and weights you’ll be lifting on contest day. This helps to always keep you working toward something and ensures your training stays fresh, so you don’t burn out as easily.

What to Consider Before Buying

Before clicking the “Place Order” button, there are a few things to consider. You’ll want to ensure that the piece of equipment you’re ordering provides enough functionality to justify the size it will take up in your home gym. Other factors include the carryover the product will have to events and the price you’ll be paying.

Size and Functionality

The size of a piece of equipment can be justified, even when space is limited, if it can perform many different functions. A squat rack is a great example of this. It’s large and takes up significant real estate, but opens up countless exercises to perform. Always think through the amount of functionality a piece of equipment will have in your home gym compared to the space it will take up. Circus dumbbells are a great example of something with low functionality because you can really only train dumbbell press and maybe rows, but they have a small footprint and can be easily stored.

Carryover

Carryover in this sense means how well a piece of equipment will prepare you for the event you’re intending to simulate in your home gym. Something with great carryover will mimic close to or exactly what the movement will be in competition. There are very limited ways to train for a yoke carry other than simply performing yoke carries.

Atlas Stones On Platform
Image via Shutterstock / Stephen Barnes

There are a ton of ways to train for grip events though, as well as weighted implement carries. Pieces of equipment that offer high carryover and can help you train for multiple types of events should be preferred when first building out your home gym equipment collection.

Price

All of this equipment can add up and get expensive really fast. It may seem like a couple of hundred dollars here and there, but before you know it, your garage or basement is filled with what looks like medieval torture equipment that you spent thousands of dollars on. The price of an item should reflect not only its quality but how vital it is to your training. It may be tempting to purchase the exact same equipment you’ll be using for each contest, but oftentimes, something that approximates the event is sufficient until you get to the national level and beyond. 

Is Strongman Just for Giant Men?

No! There is a thriving and ever-growing community of women, lightweights and adapted competitors, and almost every show will have multiple categories for people of all strength levels and gender identities to compete. We’re all doing this for the love of the sport and the fun it provides us. Throughout this article, we’ve referred to “Strongman”, but that’s simply because that is the sport’s name. There are tons of impressive strongwoman competitors, like Andrea Thompson, Rhianon Lovelace, and Inez Carrasquillo, to name a few. There are also lots of impressive middleweight and lightweight men’s competitors, like Luke Davies of the United Kingdom. 

Rhianon Lovelace Deadlift
Image via @rhianon.lovelace.kaosstrength Instagram

Strongman is a welcoming and supportive sport for all with a surprisingly low amount of “gatekeeping”. If you have any doubt, go to a local competition as a spectator. You’ll see firsthand how competitors cheer for each other, and help each other out with equipment, tips, and even snacks.

Final Word

When seeking to outfit your home gym with strongman equipment, it’s best to start with general equipment and work toward more specific or specialized pieces. Pick up some implements that are common by searching local shows to see what the majority of them have as events. At the end of the day, we’re all competing in strongman because we love it and think it’s a fun way to stay active. It provides something to work towards and can be trained for from the comfort of your home gym. Strongman competitors are as varied and sometimes odd (in a good way) as the events they perform. 

The equipment you need will change over time, so stop back to this list occasionally and see what you might need for a big upcoming contest. There are lots of ups and downs and strongman can be extremely challenging, but thoroughly rewarding. If you train hard and train with the right equipment, you may find your next contest is better than any before.

FAQs

Do I need a specific piece of strongman equipment to mimic every event?

In short, no. It’s certainly helpful to have similar types of equipment that train the general theme though. For example, if you have a keg carry coming up in a contest but you only have a plate-loaded Husafel stone, you can use that to train similar muscles and movement patterns. It won’t be exact, but it’s close enough without going through the trouble of procuring a keg, devalving it, filling, then sealing it. Certain events require skill mastery though, and you might need to train them directly (like circus dumbbell and yoke).

Is training with strongman equipment safe?

Just like any other type of training, we recommend consulting with your doctor before embarking on a new workout plan. Once you’ve done that, strongman training does dabble in heavier and more awkward weights, but if you start out by learning technique well and progress reasonably under the care of a seasoned trainer, coach, or workout partner, then it’s inherently no more dangerous to use strongman equipment than other, more traditional home gym pieces of equipment.

There are a lot of different pieces of strongman equipment, how should I prioritize what to buy?

Prioritizing what to buy can be confusing with so many different implements available and in use regularly. We recommend starting out with the most commonly used types of equipment and expanding as needed from there. You’ll want a way to train your deadlift, overhead press, grip, carries, and loading at least. That doesn’t mean you need to purchase all of those items at once though. Doing a few novice competitions for fun to get a feel for where your weaknesses are may be helpful in selecting which equipment to prioritize for your home gym. 

References

  1. Zemke, Brandon MS; Wright, Glenn PhD. The Use of Strongman Type Implements and Training to Increase Sport Performance in Collegiate Athletes. Strength and Conditioning Journal: August 2011 – Volume 33 – Issue 4 – p 1-7 doi: 10.1519/SSC.0b013e3182221f96
  2. Hindle, B. R., Lorimer, A., Winwood, P., & Keogh, W. L. (2019). The Biomechanics and Applications of Strongman Exercises: a Systematic Review. Sports Medicine – Open, 5. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40798-019-0222-z