As bodybuilders, powerlifters and just guys who like to chunk around a lot of iron, it's hard not to watch those strongman competitions on TV. There's just something impressive about a guy pulling a semi or carrying around a rock the size of a Pinto. The functional size, strength and complete lack of necks always makes for a cool show.

But where do these giants come from? How do they train and what "special" European supplements do they use? To get the inside scoop, we talked to Chad Coy, a strongman competitor, contest promoter, and gym owner.

Testosterone: Let's cut to the chase. Is drug use as rampant in strongman competitions as it is in other aspects of the iron game?

Chad Coy:

T: Is there any drug testing at all?

CC:

T: What kinds of drugs do these guys use?

CC:

T: How do they cycle? Or do they?

CC:

T: Has anyone ever died from crazy cycles?

CC:

T: You mentioned that some use speed to get jacked up for contests. Tell us about that.

CC:

T: It seems that these days, most pro bodybuilders don't limit their drug use to anabolics. Party drugs are popular too. How about strongmen competitors?

CC:

T: Are any of the top guys drug free?

CC:

T: Tell us about yourself, Chad. What are your stats and how did you get involved in this crazy world?

CC:

T: Hey, no offense, but tell me this. Why is the sport dominated by Europeans? From what I've seen on TV, the Americans get their asses kicked regularily.

CC:

T: Were you involved in any other sports before you got into strongman?

CC:

T: Sounds like most of these guys are pulled in from other sports. What's the draw to strongman? Why do you compete?

CC:

T: What was you first competition and how did you do?

CC:

T: Bet no one chews gum in his class. What's your favorite and least favorite event?

CC:

T: Wait a minute, you're 265 and six foot tall! What do you mean "light"?

CC:

T: How big a role do genetics play? I mean, you've got to be born a big freak to really excel at this sport, correct?


CC:

T: When you're competing, what goes through your mind? How do you psych yourself up?

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T: Let's talk training. What do you do in the gym?

CC:

T: How do you train for the events themselves?

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T: How important is it to train with the actual equipment? Like, do you have an old car or tractor tires in the backyard to flip around?

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T: How important is grip and real-world strength compared to "gym strength"?

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T: Do you train your grip just practicing the event or do you do special grip work? Give us a good training tip for grip.

CC:

Editor's note: See our Short Topic article on these exercises here.

T: What do you do outside of strongman? What about the guys you compete against?

CC:

T: Sounds like no one is really making a living as just a strongman. Can you do this as your sole career?

CC:

T: The sport seems to be growing in popularity. Why do you think that is?

CC:

T: Can a strongman contest be fixed? I've heard stories....

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T: Does anyone cheat in order to win?

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T: What legal supplements are hot on the strongman scene?

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T: Bodybuilders tend to get a lot of groupie action. Are there groupies in strongman?

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T: Let's talk about getting your grub on. Tell us how these giants eat. What kinds of calories are we talking about per day, grams of protein, etc. Is nutrition important or do most of these guys just inhale everything in sight?

CC:

T: Some of these guys do look pretty fat, though obviously there's a lot of muscle under there. Is this extra size helpful or is it a hindrance?

CC:

T: What staple of a strongman's training program should the average guy adopt and incorporate into his training?

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T: What could the non-competitive guy learn from a strongman about training or diet?

CC:

T: Good advice, Chad. Thanks for talking with us.

CC: