T Nation

Deadlifting and Stone lifting


I have not found a direct carry over from my deadlifting to stone lifting.

While I am only a mediocore deadlifter I was able to lift the 230lb Atlas stone (completly round)with ease, up to the platform in a local contest,at a body weight of 188lbs.

While I am not stating that this is any great feat, it is far and away more impressive than a one time 405lb deadlift at the same body weight.

What do you guys think?


A 230 stone load is pretty light for a deadlift of 405. You should be able to do at least 265, and probably 285 with a 405 deadlift. But, there are other exercises that are also important. Your particular weekness will determine the most effective exercises to bring your stone lifting up.


i have found the opposite true though. the more i do the stones, the heavier my deadlift gets. the increased rom of the stones really targets those pesky low back fibers :smiley:

by the way-i went to the NASS Nationals at myrtle beach this weekend. it seems that a Lightweight got ALL 10 Stones-INCLUDING THE 365!!!!

Excuse me while i go cry in my beer, then it is off to the garage gym!


Pitt-Yeah, Kirk Nowack got all ten. It was awesome. I only got 7 :frowning:
Then again, stone lifting is not my best event.


How much does Kirk weigh?


kirk weighed in at about 220-225, and I'm pissed because I was sure I would get the 365, having done the 370 easily a few weeks earlier. As far as the deadlift carryover with stones, I think as long as your willing to modify your deadlift technique, there isn't a better exercise to help with stones. I've been deadlifting heavy for about a year, constantly being told that my 650 dead was a stiff leg, but after three months of strongman training I got the 370 stone. I owe it all to my deadlift, that "I've been doing wrong"?


It's all about hip pop. Deads, cleans, box squats, stiff legs, etc.



You can Deadlift 650lbs. and can lift a 370lb stone. I assume it is an Atlas type stone, completly round.

That means that you lifted a stone that is about 57% of the weight that you can deadlift. As 57% of 650 = 370.5.

This means that my stone lift of 230lbs is exactly right on par with your lift, as I can Deadlift 405lbs for one rep!
57% of 405 = 230.85.

Thank you!


I have another question related to stone lifting.

Would deadlifting with a "shrug bar" be better than a straight bar if you are trying to raise your stone lifting strength?

With this bar you are forced to take a vertical, as opposed to a horizontal grip. You also stand over it which mimics the stone lift a bit closer.

Second question, it seems that T-Bar rowing would also help with stone lifting as you are also standing over the T-Bar in a similar fashion as the stone. And you also are able to take a vertical grip.

All productive comments are appreciated.


Zeb-There is a flaw in your calculation. In theory it works. However, the diameter of a 230 stone, as opposed to a 370 stone, is much smaller. Since the larger stone is so much more out in front of you, it becomes exponentially heavier.
Regarding the trap bar vs. straight bar, I would go with the straight bar. Again, the stone is out in front of you. The trap bar (shrug bar) allows you to keep the weight ver close to the center of gravity, very much unlike the stone lift.



Perhaps there is a flaw in your thinking!

If you (or someone) is 6' 3" and weighs 250lbs, then your legeage is far greater than mine. at 5' 10" 190lbs.

Hence, your larger rock is easier to handle, for you, than my smaller rock is for me.


No no no no

You guys aren't saying the whole story here.

ZEB, the true way to really lift atlas stones is to do so and immediately follow that by some good beer.

Except if you fail horribly, then you dont get the beer.



Once again you have shed light on the problem, and to my mind solved it!



Ahh, what a fertile mind.....BUT, we have another problem! Leverages do not necesssarily improve with greater size/weight (though with greater height you do not need as much hip extension). As you get larger your waist gets larger (generally) and the stone is still further away from your center. Trust me, they get way heavier as the size increases. Brad and myself are both about your height too, 5'10, give or take.


But, I still drink beer after, whether I suck at the stones or not!



You happen to be about my height, but if you were 6' 5" your leverage over the stone would improve enormously.


Yes, maybe. But, at 6'5 my pull from the floor would be much more difficult. Just like deadlifting 650 for Brad would be much less do-able if he were pulling the off a 7" platform (I'd wager the weight wouldn't leave the floor). In the case of the stone, if it doesn't leave the floor then it's impossible to load no matter how good your leverage is once you lap it. Height/weight increases don't always help in certain lifts, strongman or otherwise. There are too many variables to single out one, be it height or DL ability.



Interesting, however exagerating the point to clarify it. If I were 3 foot tall my leverage would be awful lifting the Atlas stone.

Isn't it harder to pick something off the ground when you are just barely taller than the object?

surely a 8 foot tall man would have better leverage than our 3 foot tall friend.



True, I supposed it's a parabolic curve, when at a certain point the leverages become less or more optimal.
Either way, get out there and takle a 265 or 285 stone for christ sake! :slightly_smiling: