Strong(wo)man training at Terry Hollands S&C Gym

I haven’t posted about training in ages. So here’s an update involving a truck, some large men, and a bit of falling over in front of my friends.

strongman training bodybuilding

Whether I compete in bodybuilding this year or not (#vague), I’m still in off-season, not dieting, and, y’know, enjoying living life not in a constant calorie deficit 😉

I’m taking the opportunity to do a few different types of training: I’ve been riding horses, going to the local boxing club, doing a bootcamp on the beach at 8:30am on Saturdays (!) and warming to the idea of a powerlifting meet.

So when there was talk of a local strongman and strongwoman event, all 5′ 5” of my good self said “sure, let’s do it.”

Happily for me, I know lots of strong men, and also some Strongmen.

And Terry Hollands’s (<<< apostrophe self-doubt panic mode) new S&C gym isn't too far from where I live. I’m sure you all know who Terry Hollands is but just in case my Dad is reading 😉 he’s the most successful British strongman competitor in 20 years, and has competed in 10 World’s Strongest Man comps (3rd twice), and has held the titles of UK’s, Britain’s and England’s strongest man.

And yes, to those of you who’ve asked, he was indeed there (but no he didn’t coach me). I borrowed his wife’s belt though if that’s cool enough for you?

My gym-pal Linda and I went over to Hollands Strength and Conditioning gym last Sunday to muddle our way through an approximation of the events which will face us on competition day.

Here’s what’s listed for the event:

Farmers walk 45kg in each hand for 50m. 60sec time limit
Viking press 55kg for reps. 60sec time limit
Deadlift knock out 80kg start weight
Arm over arm vehicle pull 25m
Medley load event to be announced on the day.

And here’s what Linda and I did:

Bit of battle ropes and light Viking press to warm up.


Viking Press 55kgs for 60s x 2 rounds.
– OMG this was so very difficult. I am in agony today! I got 11 reps, then 7 reps, yes in one whole minute (!) It was killer though I promise!

Farmers Walk 45kgs in each hand, inside (4 “lengths” of around 10m)
– I was somehow quite good at this?

Arm-over-arm seated vehicle pull using Linda’s truck which weights around 2.5 tonnes (?) – we’ve no idea what kind of vehicle will be used on the day
– This was surprisingly easy once I got it going. I suppose the thought (and visual) of pulling a truck that people actually drive around in makes your brain think “nope”. But it’s totally doable. Think I did this in about 28 seconds.

Loading medley. Again we’ve no idea what we’ll be loading on the day, but we used a light barrel, a 30kgs-ish dumbell, a 32kg (I think) kettlebell and a 65kgs (I think) sandbag.
– This was OK, I found it a bit of a struggle being relatively short (for strongwoman!) but we’ve no idea how high the platform will be on the day. Sandbags are a b*stard to load!

Farmers Walk 45kgs each hand, outside this time (2 “lengths” of 25m)
– Again I was pretty quick on this – 23 seconds the first time round, then I fell over at the end of the second go (still 26 seconds even with the fall!) And no I am not posting the video!

Then some tyre flipping “for fun” with a 180kg tyre.
– I’m glad this isn’t in the event, it definitely favours taller people! Felt very uncomfortable (maybe a padded bra would have helped!)


Strong(wo)man training was amazing fun and a brilliant change to my normal strength training. The two hours flew by and it didn’t really feel like training at all.

I’m really looking forward to the comp 😀 I’ll keep you updated (although I have no expectations and not a clue about how I’ll do).

Hats off to strongmen and strongwomen, your training is killer and I think I’ll be sore for a week!

Oh, and one last thing? In bodybuilding, “lightweight” is U55kgs. In this comp, U75kgs is the cut-off. In your face, bodybuilding! 😉 (Love you really).

Thank you to Linda’s partner Jeff for the pics (strength sports – not designed to look attractive! Haha!)

Have you ever done a strongman/strongwoman comp? Did you fall over?

Strong(wo)man training at Terry Hollands S&C Gym is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

8 Responses to Strong(wo)man training at Terry Hollands S&C Gym

  1. Helen says:

    Flipping tyres is one of the greatest things to do on earth. It makes you feel like a Titan. I’ve done 2 competitions and loved them both, the atmosphere and the support (whether you are the weakest or the strongest) is incredible. I don’t dare lift (these sorts of items) at the moment because of a back injury but one day I hope to compete again. Good luck, I’m sure you will smash it and look forward to reading the report 🙂 (also some comps have an U60kg category as well now which is really popular)


    • Nicola Joyce says:

      Thanks Helen, hope your back gets better soon and you can get a comp in the diary 😀 (U60kgs category wouldn’t be much use to me – I’m only ever there when dieting down for BB comps, it’s not my happy place 😉 )


  2. Tara says:

    I was so excited to read this! Welcome to the beautiful world of strongwoman training! You will be good at farmers as your deadlift is strong. The most I’ve done is 80kg per hand, but my best deadlift is only 135, so you should be able to dominate 45kg.

    Loading medleys and tyre flips are my favourite! And truck pulls… Who am I kidding, I love all of it! And I also love the fact that I’m a “lightweight” given most people consider 75kg to be quite heavy for a woman (proudly sitting at 74kg right now!).

    I’ve been invited to train at Terry’s gym countless times in the past 3 months but I couldn’t as I had my powerlifting comp. Now I’m strictly strongwoman again so I’ll be training there quite a bit in the next few months. Hopefully I will bump into you there!


    • Nicola Joyce says:

      Hey! Oh it would be great to go to Terry H’s together – please let me know your plans. The “beautiful” world hehehe – not the “beautiful” photos quite so much 😉 Ha! And yes hilarious that what’s probably classed as fat in bodybuiding terms is LW for strongwoman. ha! X


  3. I love reading this 🙂 Good luck for the comp! Will you be doing the up-coming comp at Nick’s again this year?


  4. […] We decided a while ago to enter this strongwoman comp, and headed up to Terry Hollands’s gym to train with real strongman kit (you can read about that here). […]


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