Tag Archives: training

All about yokes!

The use of yokes as a training tool is often associated with Strongmen like Eddie Hall and Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, it’s not too often the everyday fitness enthusiast gets to play “Strongman”, however we see these as invaluable training tools.

If you are unfamiliar with a yoke it is a large metal frame with a adjustable crossbar. Each of the four corners of the frame can be loaded with weight, often with several times your own bodyweight.

The most common way to use a yoke is to pick it up and carry it, however it can pushed and pulled and held too (depending on the make you have).

The great thing about using yokes is it allows you to move weights that would be impossible if loaded onto a barbell for a squat or deadlift. For example….

…Yes, that is a little excessive for us mere mortals, sure is impressive though!

Benefits of yoke carries (and pushes and pulls)

There are many full body weighted movements (squats, presses, deadlifts to name a few), however none of these compare to the head to toe muscle recruitment found when carrying a yoke. This is simply through the fact that you’re putting your body under a much heavier load than it is used to. Everything from your upper back, posterior chain, trunk/core, hips and legs will benefit from yoke training.

For lifters with minimal strongman and/or athletic movement background, strongman training like the use of yokes may help to increase neural drive, increase motor neuron recruitment, and develop a well-rounded strength and power athlete.

…basically it will make you more balanced, stronger and generally more awesome.

How to carry a yoke

Brace (stay ‘tight’): Now that you have that tension, it’s your main job to keep it. Do not underestimate the importance of this, both for safety and effectiveness.

Play around with yoke height: Having the cross bar set a little higher can be useful for that little extra ground clearance. However with the weight sitting little higher you may find the yoke swings more. Find what works for you.

Stance: This should be around shoulder to hip width

Take small, fast steps: This will help you with the previous two points. Large, slow (or stop, start) steps not only make hip/midline stabilisation harder but also introduced more momentum to the yoke causing it to pendulum back and forth.

Create a platform: Find a hand position on the yoke that allows you to create a shelf for the crossbar to sit on.

“Bend: the bar: Not literally, but create tension by trying to wrap the bar around your back and keep it there securely.

Focus on a spot: Keep your eyes ahead (not down to the floor or skywards) and focus on your target.

You don’t have to be a Strongman to use a yoke, but if you want to get strong it’s one of the best tools to have in your toolbox!

Take it for a ride in today’s workout!

Workout of the day for Wednesday 10th January – Strongman Day

So these guys are pretty strong…

Why do we incorporate yoke carries into our training? Well, if you have ever got under a heavy yoke you will almost instantly get an idea of the benefits.

Squats and deadlifts are usually the most popular lifts in gym and often it’s because those two movements allow you to lift the most weight, and lifting up heavy stuff makes you feel awesome!

Whilst squats and deadlifts are certainly full-body movements, they don’t quite compare to picking up a heavy yoke and taking it for a walk in terms of head-to-toe muscle recruitment.

Given the fact that you’re putting your body under a much heavier load than it is used to (much heavier than a squat or deadlift!), a heavy yoke walk elicits an awesome physical response in the body. Benefits include strengthening the upper back, glutes, hamstrings, lower back and hips

Given the extreme load placed on the body super heavy carries should be performed occasionally as part of your training routine, even just a couple of times a month can give you great benefits.

In terms of standards to aim for Strength Education recommends 2 x bodyweight as a realistic and achievable weight for men and women who strength train. 2.5 x bodyweight is a marker of good progress, but the next big landmark is 3 x bodyweight, and that’s a pretty advanced standard. For women, 3 x bodyweight is a superb standard…Get yourself to 4 x bodyweight and you are in the top one percent in the world.

Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) Build to a heavy yoke carry

B) Every 90 seconds for 15 Minutes :

5 Bench press (Heavy)
5/5 Dumbbell rows (Heavy)
AMRAP Row for calories in remaining time

Workout of the Day – Weightlifting Club

A) Snatch pull + Snatch
2 x 1+1 @ 70%
2 x 1+1 @ 72.5%
2 x 1+1 @ 75%
B) Push press
4 x 4 @ 70-75%
C) Back squat
4 x 3 @ 70-75%

Workout of the Day – Tuesday 24th October

People who do not know how to squat do not have normal hip function, don’t have normal leg functional. They can’t jump, run, throw or punch correctly.” – Greg Glassman

Box Brief

  • Remember we have our Halloween Party on Friday from 18:00. Get dressed up and come on down for a workout and some Halloween games
  • Have you tried out our new Yoga for Athletes Class? Saturdays 1pm to 2pm!

Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) Back Squat: 3×5, across
*Aim to add 2.5 to 5kg from your last back squat session

B) Seated dumbbell press: 3 x 5

C) 5 Rounds of:
8 Dumbbell push press
10-12 Nordic hamstring curls (6- 8 Full GHR)

Workout of the Day – MetCon Class

A) For time
400m Run or row
15 Dumbbell hang squat clean 22/16kg
400m Run or row
15 Dumbbell shoulder to overhead 22/16kg
400m Run or row
15 Dumbbell hang squat clean 22/16kg
400m Run or row
15 15 Dumbbell hang squat clean and press 22/16kg

B) 8 x 15 seconds on : 15 seconds rest
Max calories on airdyne

Workout of the Day – Structural Strength

A) Lower Body Accessory

3 Supersets
A1) Romanian deadlift: 10 reps with a 4 second lower on each rep
A2) Skater squats: 10 per side
A3) Banded good mornings: 20 reps
*Rest 30 seconds between B1, B2 and B3, and 2 minutes between rounds

B) Upper Body Accessory

3 Supersets
B1) Single arm dumbbell bench press: 10 per side, ‘resting’ arm holds lockout position
B2) Single arm dumbbell row: 10 per side, ‘resting’ arm holds top of row position
B3) Reverse snow angle: 20 reps
*B1 and B2 have a 3 second eccentric on each rep
*Rest 30 seconds between B1, B2 and B3, and 2 minutes between rounds

C) Finisher

Every 30 seconds, for 8 minutes, alternate between
10 Push-ups (load as needed)
5 Strict pull-ups (load as needed)