What Accessory Exercises Do the Stoltman Brothers Train To Improve Their Viking Press?

The world's strongest brothers are prepping their pressing strength for the 2023 Strongman Classic.

The Royal Albert Hall in London, England, will host the 2023 Strongman Classic, scheduled for July 8. Among the 12-athlete roster is the two-time World’s Strongest Man (WSM) Tom Stoltman and 2021 Europe’s Strongest Man (ESM) Luke Stoltman. On May 26, 2023, the world’s strongest brothers turned on the cameras to film their training for the Strongman Classic.

Among the five events scheduled for the single-day competition is the Viking Press. Both Stoltman’s are notoriously powerful in overhead pressing events, but the higher rep ranges required for the Viking Press in London will tax cardio as well. Check out the workout and accessory exercises the Stoltmans performed for their Viking Press prep in the video below:

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High-Volume Viking Press

After strapping on elbow sleeves, knee sleeves, and wrist wraps and clipping in his lifting belt, Luke Stoltman was the first to hit a working set of 150 kilograms (331 pounds). He successfully reached 20 reps before sitting on a nearby bench to breathe heavily.

While Luke recovered, Tom took to the Viking Press to post a matching 20 reps. However, the two-time WSM champ opted only for the wrist wraps and knee sleeves.

Both Stoltmans expect athletes performing the Viking Press event at the Strongman Classic to score reps well into the teens. The duo reached near failure at 20 reps in training and feel that is a marker of their cardio improving.

Since the Viking Press is the fourth of five events at the 2023 Strongman Classic, it is unlikely anyone will reach the 20-rep threshold. Fatigue from previous events factors in, as does positioning on the leaderboard and knowing who needs to beat who.

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Accessory Training

To supplement their Viking Press training, the Stoltmans performed a spread of pressing movements in the gym. Admittedly, they trained in a bodybuilding style of repping to near failure rather than training for movement efficiency.

The first exercise was the incline bench press on the Smith machine. The pressing continued with machine chest presses through a full range of motion and deep stretch at the bottom of each rep.

The third exercise in their routine was dumbbell bench presses with 50 kilograms in each hand. They opted for speedier reps, rather than full contractions at the top. Without much rest, they moved into closer-grip barbell bench presses, again for speed.

Noticeably, their narrower grip allowed them to achieve more elbow flexion to bias the triceps. This makes sense for Viking Press training, as that near-full elbow flexion between each rep is common during that event.


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The Stoltmans are aware that triceps strength is likely the difference-maker at the top end of a set and closed out their session with triceps pushdowns. They superset pushdowns with a rope attachment and a fixed bar, trading back and forth with no rest between sets.

The Stoltmans appeared in high spirits and hungry to get back to the competition floor. They still have a month of training left before trotting to the Royal Albert Hall. We’ll see if either can unseat reigning Strongman Classic champion Oleksii Novikov in July.

Featured image: @tomstoltmanofficial on Instagram