As my workout partner and I add to our collection of strongman training tools, the next thing on our list was to get a Super Yoke. The Super Yoke is an event where the athlete lifts a large, upside-down "U" shaped item from the ground and carries it for a given distance as fast as possible.
The weight of the implement may vary from 600-800+ lbs depending on the competition and level you're competing at. In order for me to improve on this event, I knew I had to practice. Our options we had were to either purchase one or make one. After some research in the equipment field, I found that you could purchase a really nice one from ALUMATECH STRENGTH EQUIPMENT (Tess4848@aol.com) for around $600.
This seems a little steep for our needs, but the quality is top of the line. After some debating, we decided that our uses didn't require one that nice. We we're only going to be using it for practice and it would take a real beating 1-2 times per week. So, after seeing the picture below on another strongman website, I decided this would be the one we would make.
There is a local container and packaging supply company (www.containerandpackaging.com) just a few miles from where I work that sell the large barrels you see hanging from each end of the bar/pipe. These are basically 50 gallon metal drums that are used as trash cans at stadiums and parks. I purchased used ones (that had chocolate stored in them) for around $10 each.
I then drilled 3 holes about 1.5 inches from the top rim. These holes would be how we attached the chain to the barrels using climbing carabiners from REI (www.rei.com). We then purchased 6, 21" pieces of chain that would attach the carabiner to the upright chain. These shorter chains all connect like a pyramid to a piece of chain that runs perpendicular to the ground. This perpendicular piece wraps around the pipe.
I bought a piece of steel pipe from a welding company that's about 9' long and 3" in diameter. It weighs around 75lbs. That cost about $30. We then lined up all the chains and wrapped them around a spot on the pipe 12-14" from each end. When setting up the yoke equipment to lift, you want to line the cross pipe up with your "pec/chest" muscles. After making some small chain link adjustments, we had a super yoke costing us about $100-$120 (depending on the carabiners you purchase).
For weights in the barrel, we bought 4, 70lb bags of multipurpose sand from Home Depot for about $3 each. We then add regular weight plates in each barrel after warming up with the lighter weight.
Here you can see the weight swinging back and forth as i walk with it. This is what makes this event so difficult. A stong midsection and strong legs are crucial! You can see that my hands are narrow, the same way they are when I squat.
Heath Otto, my training partner, feels that holding his hands out on the upright chains helps him stabilize the weight. However, he also holds the bar out by the weight plates when he squats... it depends on what you're used to.
Here you can see heath squeezing the cross pipe with his traps and shoulders.
Here is Jared Spybrook, a phenomenol pro strongman practicing the superyoke event with a yoke made by mastiff strength equimpent ($550). As you can see he's really squeezing his midsection into his belt, protecting his low back from potential injury.
Click HERE for some pics from the contest!
Please feel free to email me with any questions! Keep training hard!
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