Training

Atlas Stone Training In A Commercial Gym


Written by

Atlas Stone are the event most synonymous with strongman. Lifting, carrying, throwing and loading stones are the original tests of strength. There are challenge stones all throughout countries such as Iceland and Scotland that date back thousands of years. They are the original strongman event and arguably the most important since there will be some type of stone load in almost every strongman competition and it is traditionally the last event. You cannot be a good strongman if you are not a good stone loader.  Nothing is more exciting in strongman than a close competition where it comes down to the stones to see who the champion is.

Phil Phifster vs Mariusz in 2006

Derek Poundstone vs Mariusz in 2008

Look at the reaction of the man who came out on top in these match ups and the man who was bested. What feeling do you want? I’ve been on both ends. I had a 3 way tie going into Washington’s Strongest Apple last year in a keg load and came out the victor and it felt amazing but losing a lead on the last event feels 100x worse.

Nothing will make you better at stones than actually lifting stones but you might not have access to stones every week and for me training them more than twice a month beats me up way too much. Here are the most effective assistance exercises I have found that can be done in any regular gym.

 

Stone Trainer: This is the closest you can get to mimic lifting a stone in a normal gym.

Unscrew the end of a cheap barbell or grab a loading pin. Load it on the bar and lay it so the plates are standing up, grip it around the plates. DO NOT grab the bottom of the plates by the lip to make it easier to grip. You need to train your upper body to be able to squeeze the stone and this is one of the biggest benefits of the stone trainer. Keep it to a weight you can lift up in one motion from floor to extension (don’t work lapping a stone with the stone trainer) for 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. Your chest and forearms will be on fire from having to grip it for that long. That amount of time under tension can’t really be duplicated with an actual stone.

Off the floor:  When picking a stone you are in a stiff leg deadlift position so naturally stiff leg deadlifts will help with the initial pick and build up that hamstring strength to rip stones off the floor. I like to do them for dead stop reps after my regular deadlifting for sets of 6-12 reps. Leave your ego at home and lighten the load. Make sure you actually feel it in your hamstrings and are not putting unnecessary stress on your low back.

Loading: Front Squats will give you the quad and upper back strength to stand up with heavy stones and load them onto the platform. I like to cycle these really heavy to overload with reps in the 3-5 range to build strength for big stones and lighter in the range of 6-15 reps to help condition myself for comps that have a light stone over bar for reps.

Grip: The area I’ve struggled with the most on stones is actually gripping the stones off the ground. Aside from proper tacky I have found doing some chest flies has helped a bit with the squeeze and who doesn’t want a bigger chest anyway? I prefer dumbbell flies on various inclines with a real deep stretch at the bottom for sets of 3-4 and reps in the 12-20 range. Another thing I can not recommend highly enough is the Spartan Stone Sleeves they have taken my stone loading to new heights!

Don’t miss out

Sign up today and receive our YouTube 250k eBook for free! Plus get all the latest and greatest Powerlifting, Weightlifting and Strength Training content, straight to your inbox.

You may also like

The Cube Method for Strongman
Training

The Cube Method for Strongman

LEARN HOW TO BECOME THE STRONGEST, FASTEST, MOST PREPARED AND EXPLOSIVE STRENGTH ATHLETE YOU CAN POSSIBLY BE!   Are you ready for the next level in strongman …

Strongman Training For The CrossFit Athlete
Fitness

Strongman Training For The CrossFit Athlete

With The 2014 CrossFit Games airing on ESPN, you may have noticed a increased prevalence in the amount of Strongman movements being used. I think …

The Juggernaut Method and Strongman
Training

The Juggernaut Method and Strongman

The Juggernaut Method is a great training option for Strongman competitors. Strongman places a great emphasis on maximal strength, explosive strength, strength endurance and athleticism, …

Lose Your Focus, Lose Your Edge
Training

Lose Your Focus, Lose Your Edge

Why did you first decide to join a gym? I am willing to wager that it wasn’t to stand around and gossip with the guy …

Optimal Training: The Death of Over and Under Training
Training

Optimal Training: The Death of Over and Under Training

The debate never ends. Some say you can overtrain, some say you can't overtrain. Some even say you are undertrained. People cannot wait to jump …

Smart Training is Hard Training: The Principle of Overload
Powerlifting

Smart Training is Hard Training: The Principle of Overload

How much volume do you need to get bigger? How much intensity do you need to get stronger? The principle of overload dictates that training …

Matt Vincent’s Training LAB
Powerlifting

Matt Vincent’s Training LAB

Throwing is one of the most overlooked sports of Strength Sports.  There is minimal info, compared to Powerlifting, Strongman or Weightlifting, regarding on how to …

Cube Method for Strongman: FAQ
Training

Cube Method for Strongman: FAQ

I thought it would be good to answer some common questions on the Cube Method for Strongman. Some of these I answer in the book, …

Shopping Cart
There are no products in the cart!
Subtotal
$0.00
Total
$0.00
Continue Shopping