T Nation

Atlas Stones, Weak Off the Floor


Is it strange that I cant budge the 160kg stone off the floor even though I have a 240kg deadlift (135 was hard but ok)?

I hear the best things for this are SLDLs and strict rows (according to Shakes who posts on here). Surely a deadlift from a deficit - as in the bar on the shoes (6 inch deficit) or even lower using a trap bar would have the best carryover to getting stones off the floor.


Big reason I suck at atlas stones is my grip and biceps. Holding onto the stone as I pull it off the floor. Once that's corrected I imagine the next thing to worry about would be lower back, so deficit deads would help in that respect.


What size stone can you lift? I personally don't think there is a big carryover from the DL to a stone other than just pure back strength.

For stones I like zercher squats, front squats, sandbag work, RDL's and of course stone training. Grip/biceps are an issue as well and need to be trained. Were you using tacky?


i was using tacky but perhaps not enough. ive no idea what size the stones were - how do you measure? height and width? They were big and round!

My starting position was very high hips so it felt like a stiff leg deadlift and then straight up (Im really tall so no lapping needed) in one movement.

Maybe this cant be cleared up without a video!


Well, there we have it. Your technique sucks.

When you deadlift, do you lock out your legs immediately and then grind the shit up with your back hunched forward? No? Then don't do it with the stones either.

You should try the following: Box front squats with the stone cradled in your hands. For reps.

Pick up a stone you can get easily (like a 110 or 120) and roll it up and down your thighs (don't stand up with it) repeatedly.

Try cradling the stone (hands not facing each other but rather shifted). I lifted the 180 mid-shin without tacky that way. Another advantage is that this technique adds a bit of a spin to the stone so you can roll it up with minimal exertion (loaded a 130 in 3 seconds that way). Then again, that's just my special technique.

Don't blame the tacky. If you couldn't lift it, your technique sucked.

Get stronger on front squats. Most important lift for stones by far.


It sounds like you just need more stone practice, a max stone is never going to be a one motion, but when you get to heavier stones you need to break the motion down into the lap and then the load. Might have been a tacky malfunction but then again it might be more practice needed, hard to tell with no video


There's plenty of guys out there stronger than me, but I have consistantly won the atlas stone events in the last several competitions I've done. For what it's worth my DL form is almost all back. My PR on DL is 560. I think this form is very helpful for me on the stones. Make sure your arm hang straight down when you grab the stone. Your fingers should point straight towards each other and not forward at all (You don't want to curl the stone, you want to deadlift it. Everyone can DL more than they can do on the stones and that is because of the grip. The pick is easy if you can hold the stone. focus all your energy on crushing the stone, you'll have plenty on strength to pick it up if you can hold it (Note: In the events I do no tacky is allowed). Other then practicing with the stones, I would recomend bicep and forearm work. I also think low cable cross uses a lot of the same muscles used to squeeze the stones. Good luck.