Strongman Comp Prep: What works for me

Making the decision to sign up to a strongman competition, whether it’s your first comp or not, is always a big thing. Because a million thoughts go through your head about all the things you must do to prepare yourself for that competition. If it’s your first competition, you might not even know what questions to ask, what other competitors do or don’t do, or what *really* needs to be done. So, to help you out here are some tips that help me when I’m preparing for any competition. There are two main ways I beat the comp prep mind games: music and ensuring I’m as prepared as I can be.


Josh Callaghan - Brisbane's Strongest Man 2019 and Gym Bandit Athlete

Strongman Comp Prep and Beating Your Mind Games

Whether you’re entering a Strongman comp or any fitness comp, the mind games are pretty similar. As the date creeps closer, you’re stressing about weighing in, being able to hit the weights in competition, or the mental barrier of doing your first comp and hoping you don’t make a blunder of it. You need to understand that no matter what you’re worried about, there is always a way around it. So you feel confident and ready for battle.


Preparing for a competition can get stressful. That’s why I like to listen to upbeat happy music that makes me laugh and dance. I do this all through my prep and even on comp day between the events to stay in high spirits. I find I’m more focused and energized to perform my lifts but I’ve also noticed listening to this kind of music on comp day not only helps me to relax, but the other competitors relax more as well, so everyone has fun supporting each other. This makes for an awesome day competing. And that’s what strongman is all about; having fun and supporting each other through the whole day.

Team Gym Bandit Athlete Josh Callaghan at ASA Nationals 2018

My Perfect Competition Preparation

Any competition can be a bit daunting at times for any level of lifter. Firstly, having a checklist of all your equipment that will be required on the day is priority number 1 and will make things less stressful for you leading into the day. I also like to know what events will be held. But, one of the most exciting things about Strongman is that the what lifts you are going to complete, or the implements you’re going to move/lift are often kept secret.

Team Gym Bandit Athlete Josh Callaghan at Brisbanes Strongest Man 2019

My Comp Prep Checklist

I like to go over the equipment checklist 2 weeks out in case something needs replacing. I’ll look over it again 7 days out from comp. And then again the night before comp, just to make sure I’ve got everything. I always remember something last minute.

Must have Strongman equipment

My must have strongman equipment I get together is:

But, my comp prep checklist includes not just my lifting gear but also a few spare shirts, socks etc and also snacks, protein shakes and food you want to take with you. If you’re following me on Instagram, you’d know I also have a bag of Beast Mode preworkout in my bag.