First Official Strongman Certification for Trainers

I believe it’s important to take certifications, continuous education or other courses to fully understand equipment and other tools you are using on your clients.  Thankfully, I know there are many, many trainers out there that share my opinion.  I also know there are some that are perfectly happy to not further educate themselves. To those trainers - please don’t pick up a piece of equipment you are unfamiliar with, hand it to your client then say “do it like this for 10 reps”.  Think of it this way;  keeping your clients injury-free is VERY good for business!  It is, after all, one of the main reasons why they come to a trainer; to make sure they are using proper form and don’t hurt themselves.

Hans Pirman is a competition strongman, sport bodybuilder and personal trainer with over 25 years of experience helping people reach their fitness goals.

From the age of 15, Hans has been lifting weights and working on achieving his physical goals through completely natural means, alongside hard work and perseverance. When coming to New York City at the age of 19 he began working as a personal trainer, a career he has maintained ever since.

Starting in 2000, he began taking his love of weightlifting to a competitive level, participating in Natural Bodybuilding competitions where he continued to build up and progress over seven years.

For the past three years he has been competing in Strongman competitions, including The New Jersey Strongest Man Masters Divison and the NAS Bad Ass Masters Heavy Divison, where he took 1st place in 2011.


If you build it, they will come

Hans quickly realized there were no gyms that offered significant equipment or space for strongman training in NYC.  If one tried to train like this in a gym, you’d be yelled at for making too much noise, or the floor could not take the weights that were being used and tossed around - if there even was space to do the exercises properly.  It was at this point that Hans truly found his calling; he decided New York needed a strongman gym. And thus, Global Strongman Gym was born.

Even before opening the premises, Hans had a vision way beyond just having a place for strongmen to work out.  He wanted to certify others and teach them how to be Strongman trainers.  When lifting such immense amounts where your form is alpha and omega in order to stay injury-free, trainers need an in-depth understanding of this type of training.  Strongman training is hard-core.  It’s also fun, and you will learn things about yourself and your body you may not know.  Training this way has proven to burn much more fat while retaining muscle compared to just cardio and conventional weights, and with proper nutrition, has the potential to really lean you out!

The strongman community is friendly, down-to earth and inclusive, with tight friendships built between themselves.  In his enthusiasm and love for the trade, Hans attended many competitions as a competitor, went to the international professional events as a spectator, where he developed a close friendship with several of the strongmen, especially Norwegian Svend Karlsen (World’s Strongest Man 2001), whom Hans has watched, worked out with, and learned professional strongman techniques from.


Svend and Hans developed the certification over an extended period where no stone was left unturned (pun intended), covering all necessary angles.  

Participants got to work with Svend the Viking and Hans the Global Viking themselves during the practical parts of the two days after the theoretic parts.  Hans, in his true generous family-style way, made sure that there were plenty of food and drinks out for all.  “Strongmen gotta eat”.

This is where the boys became men. It was fascinating seeing how nobody wanted to leave - two hours after the certification ended on the first day, many stayed behind and worked even more, trying for more, doing more. They didn’t want to stop.

I was only missing one thing -  the ladies.  This training is great for women as well, so hopefully next time they decide to hold the certification, which I hope will be soon, there will be a few StrongWomen.  I know there are female clients of Hans, trainers and “civilians” alike, that enjoy strongman training... word of advice - full fingered gloves (when appropriate) will save the manicure, other times, just go for the lift and get a new manicure later.

As Svend himself said; people tend to ask so-called “specialists this” and “specialists that” about how they should eat and train, and that’s fine. He continues, “I don’t have a degree in nutrition, but if you want to know what works, why not ask someone who’s been in the business for more than 20 years?”  About the Strongman certification he says in addition to the techniques of Strongman they will also learn a little about what to eat.  

The certification process is held at the Global Strongman Gym is right here in NYC, and is the only one offered in the world as far as I know. Svend said and knows that this will continue to grow and expand, and Svend and Hans are both already planning for the next certification! By attending, you will become certified by a real, live World’s Strongest Man; it doesn’t get any  more authentic than that.

Way to go, Hans, you are a visionary!