Hybrid athlete Fergus Crawley has trained to run ultra marathons and deadlift 500 pounds. He’s trained for static strength and extensive endurance, performing unique feats of strength along the way. His latest venture: training for his debut in a competitive strongman competition.
Crawley is training for the Donald Dinnie Games, scheduled for Aug. 6, 2023. Known as “The Gathering,” the competition is entering its seventh year of stone-based, all-natural lifts. On July 17, 2023, Crawley published a video to his YouTube channel wherein he captured his strongman leg training in preparation. Check it out below:
This setup is to acclimate Crawley to lifting the Dinnie Stones, a legendary pair of unevenly weighted stones that are featured in every edition of the Donald Dinnie Games. While it may seem easier to have the barbell higher on a deadlift, Crawley feels the excess strain on his lower back instead of the lower body.
Using Dinnie handles, which are uncomfortable to grip, Crawley keeps his left hand in front of his thigh and his right hand behind his leg. He deadlifts the weight with the plates dangling underneath his frame.
A Dinnie deadlift is with 188 kilograms in the left hand and 144 kilograms in the right hand, the same weights as the actual Dinnie Stones. An unsecured grip in his left hand prevented Crawley from locking out a single rep. He attributed the failure to little tweaks he can make to his sleep, food, and hydration.
Crawley added back squats, Romanian deadlifts with a snatch grip, dumbbell carries, and Nordic hamstring curls to his workout. For back squats and deadlifts, he had an RPE of eight by six by four and eight by three, respectively. That means he subjectively rated his perceived exertion during those sets and adapted accordingly.
Crawley felt fatigued after the Dinnie handle lift failure, so he decreased the weight throughout his accessory work. He suggested his fatigue was in part a result of the beer he had had recently, acknowledging how much small details matter when training new disciplines.
Fergus Crawley’s Track Workout
Once at the outdoor track, Crawley performed 10 400-meter repeats using RPE for 80 seconds. That means the workout would be done if he completed a 400-meter run past 80 seconds.
Crawley’s heart rate determined how long his rest periods were, ensuring his heart rate was at or below 130 beats per minute before hitting another 400-meter run. Using variables to track his training helps Crawley recover sufficiently to continue training.
Crawley closed the workout at the 200-meter mark of the eighth repeat. All his full sets were completed in under two minutes.
“Regulation is key,” Crawley says. “We all try to optimize our lifestyle and focus on self-development…the important thing is to have a routine and parameters to hold yourself accountable to. What matters most is getting back into it and not punishing yourself for breaking away.”
Featured image: @ferguscrawley on Instagram