Car Walk

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Why The Car Walk Is Used

The Car Walk is very similar to the strongman event The Yoke. The difference between the two is that The Yolk can have weight added to it in-between rounds to work as a universal instrument for many different types of events. As the Car Walk is as it says, Its Walking the shell of a car over a certain distance within the quickest time. Although the Car Walk cannot be easily changed within weight. It tests the strongman’s ability to be able to balance the car, while having the strength and agility to complete the run. Unlike the Yoke, because the car (usually a VW Beetle) is much larger in size, it can pivot around and throw the strongman off balance easily.

The Car Walk was first introduced at the 1994 World’s Strongest Man event, since then it has been a one to watch for spectators, as not only is walking the car down a 25 meter course impressive, but it is also great fun for people to watch at the event or on television! This has been a favourite for many years now due to the sheer size of the car and the strength and balance needed from the strongmen to complete this event. When you ask someone about the strongman sport, it is unlikely that they will tell you about the Hercules Hold or The Frame Carry. They will tell you that strongmen pull aeroplanes and pick up cars, this is due to these outstanding events having such an impact on the viewers. Regardless of how much weight an Atlas Stone weighs or a concrete pillar weighs, people feel the pain of these strongmen within these events due to most people knowing how much a car weighs (even without the engine!).

About The Car Walk

A similar discipline to the yolk, The Car Walk requires a competitor to clamber inside a hollowed out car, stick their head out through the sun roof and run it down the course shouting “Yabba dabba doo!”. Not everyone makes it look as easy as Fred Flintstone.

Although some strongmen make this exciting event look easy, the strongmen must combine their immense leg power to lift the car off the ground, their insane upper body strength to steady the car while using their arms to balance the car to avoid the tyres touching on the floor and colossal amounts of core strength, to be able to keep the car up of off the ground while they complete their 25-meter course. The balance and control needed to keep their body steady while walking these car shells down the course, is the equivalent of having 5 fully grown men on their shoulders at once!

Training for The Car Walk: Training for The Car Walk is near to impossible for the average person, in the sense that, unless you have a stripped out car with no floor and a big harness strap inside, it is going to be very difficult to replicate the size of the car and also the imbalance that the heavy car shell provides. Also it is not easy to get hold of a car shell without a floor and engine, so buying one for practice is out of the question. If you are lucky enough, there may be a strongman gym near you that already has a shell with the floor cut out ready for upcoming strongmen to practice with. The closest thing you will find to replicating The Car Walk is a loaded Yoke. Although The Frame Carry can be similar, in the way in which you have all that heavy weight and need to walk it over a certain distance. The Frame Carry requires a lot of grip strength and is not so hard on the upper body as The Car Walk.

Unfortunately, because this is such a bizarre event (fun to watch!) but still bizarre. There is not much advice out there even from the strongmen themselves on how to train yourself for this event. But because it puts so much load on the upper body, legs and the core. The best way would be to train these parts individually. Especially for beginners! For the legs, squat training will provide you with the leg power to be able to lift it off of the floor. The bench press along with some military shoulder presses, will be good to strengthen the upper body and some core exercises along with deadlifts will give you the core strength that is needed to be able to keep your stance while having this huge weight applied to your body. Along with training your muscles to deal with such weight, there is also the aspect of walking it over 25 meters. This is where The Farmers Carry and similar exercises can be an advantage. This will get you used to walking over a distance with heavy weight loads, allowing you to be able to train yourself to breath while your body is under such loads. As always, it is advised to start these compound exercises with light weight, work on the correct form and technique, before adding any serious weight loads!

Records

Laurence Shahlaei shatters the Car Walk World Record at Britain’s Strongest Man in 2016. Storming down the 20m course in a staggering 11.92 seconds with a Volkswagen Beetle, which weighs an incredible 460kg (1012lbs). Taking the record title from his long-time rival and former Britain’s Strongest Man Terry Hollands. Here is the video footage of Laurence taking his title:

In the same year Laurence Shahlaei went on to break his own title at the Europe’s Strongest Man contest and set a new record with the “heavier than ever” car, in a scorching 11.05 seconds to cover the 25-meter course! He beat his own title time whilst having to travel 5 meters extra. Here is the Video clip of Laurence making this event look easy:

Without a standardised or accepted car to carry within the rules, there aren’t any real documented records to compare within The Car Walk. Because of this many people find it pretty pointless not to have a set car or weight to be able to throw these records on a score board. But having said that, many people don’t think that matters as it’s still a great event to watch!

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