T Nation

First Strongman Comp


#1

Hello guys, I'm going to be competing in my first strongman comp in June and am aware of all the events. 4 out of 5 of the events I can prepare for with relative ease at my gym. The 5th is the Atlas Stones, which no one in my town has. I have talked to the group of guys that compete and none of them access to stones, everyone from this town is in the same boat.

The town I live in is remote so neighboring areas are not an option. If you guys have any exercises I can do with conventional equipment that will at least help it would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance for any answers.


#2

Strong front squat (and mid-section of body) is good to have if you are thinking of lifting heavy stones. Techniquewise it’s rather hard to train without an actual stone, but if you have heavy sand bags, that might help to catch the idea of lifting awkward shaped object from ground to platform. IF you have to carry the stone for like 30ft the sand bag carry might do the trick here. Tho they are totally different types of events and equipment (solid stone vs. squishy bag).

You can also try to find somewhat round natural stones, or chisel one but that’s kinda waaay harder than buying a mold and making the stone yourself :smiley:

Hope this helps!

-Ville


#3

Is it the usa strongman event June 6 in Boardman Ohio per chance? That will be my first one as well if it is, I have heard heavy sandbags could be a good substitute.


#4

Congrats on your first contest! I’ll second sandbags. They are closer to stones than anything else. I was having trouble with getting sandbags off of the floor, but then my coach said, "they’re just like stones, and then it clicked. Will it be a serious or max?


#5

Another vote for sandbags and kegs to train for stones.


#6

[quote]WilhodFIN wrote:
Strong front squat (and mid-section of body) is good to have if you are thinking of lifting heavy stones. Techniquewise it’s rather hard to train without an actual stone, but if you have heavy sand bags, that might help to catch the idea of lifting awkward shaped object from ground to platform. IF you have to carry the stone for like 30ft the sand bag carry might do the trick here. Tho they are totally different types of events and equipment (solid stone vs. squishy bag).

You can also try to find somewhat round natural stones, or chisel one but that’s kinda waaay harder than buying a mold and making the stone yourself :smiley:

Hope this helps!

-Ville
[/quote]

That does, thank you. Starting to look for sandbags, since everyone commenting on it so far (these few posts on here and other lifters) seems to suggest them.

[quote]cparker wrote:
Is it the usa strongman event June 6 in Boardman Ohio per chance? That will be my first one as well if it is, I have heard heavy sandbags could be a good substitute.[/quote]

No, it is in Fairbanks, Alaska.

[quote]TheKraken wrote:
Congrats on your first contest! I’ll second sandbags. They are closer to stones than anything else. I was having trouble with getting sandbags off of the floor, but then my coach said, "they’re just like stones, and then it clicked. Will it be a serious or max? [/quote]

Thanks on the advice, but I did nothing to qualify for the competition. It will be a series: 200/220/240/260/280 (lbs)

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Another vote for sandbags and kegs to train for stones.[/quote]

Thank you, I should have mentioned I have access to kegs.


#7

Sandbags will be easier to lift from the ground since you can get your hand under them pretty easily. You can “grab” the bag and semi-deadlift it to your thighs, but with a stone you almost have to clamp your forearms and lift with them rather than your hands. They will be harder to lift up to your chest and put over a platform, since you cant squeeze the stone against your chest. I think picking up a big ass rock will be better, honestly. I say go up in 25lb increments from 100 to 300lbs if you can.


#8

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Sandbags will be easier to lift from the ground since you can get your hand under them pretty easily. You can “grab” the bag and semi-deadlift it to your thighs, but with a stone you almost have to clamp your forearms and lift with them rather than your hands. They will be harder to lift up to your chest and put over a platform, since you cant squeeze the stone against your chest. I think picking up a big ass rock will be better, honestly. I say go up in 25lb increments from 100 to 300lbs if you can. [/quote]

I found I can combat the issue of making a sandbag easier to grab my ensuring that there is no slack in the bag. If you can get it packed tight enough, it’ll have no flex when you try to grab it.

Although yeah, a stone is definitely more comparable to a stone than a sandbag.


#9

I don’t see how that will help. Maybe I explained wrong. What I meant was that the bag is soft, so even if you pack it super tight you can still wiggle your fingers under it and lift. As I said before, the bag is much harder to get to your chest because it is squishy. You can “roll” a stone up your chest, a bag you have to brute force it.


#10

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
I don’t see how that will help. Maybe I explained wrong. What I meant was that the bag is soft, so even if you pack it super tight you can still wiggle your fingers under it and lift. As I said before, the bag is much harder to get to your chest because it is squishy. You can “roll” a stone up your chest, a bag you have to brute force it. [/quote]

Ah, yeah, you would definitely want to try to avoid employing techniques that wouldn’t carryover to the stone (wiggling fingers under the bag) in order to get some of the benefit.

I like the keg as well for the reasons you mentioned. Can gain an understanding of the rolling mechanics with a bit of a more solid implement.

A stone would always be the best choice, but sometimes life happens, haha.


#11

Kalle Beck recommends this:

I have done this a couple of times, but honestly nothing is the same as a real stone.

Other things that have good carry over to stones are:
Front Squats
Zercher Squats
Zercher Yoke Carry
Log Clean
Keg Clean or loads onto a platform or over a bar

If you get really strong in all of the above, you will be able to just muscle your way through the event until you can get your hands on some real stones and work your technique


#12

How about a piece of tree trunk? - I’m cutting up a large oak that landed on my garage, and was thinking a chunk of oak 2 feet in diameter might be a good substitute for a stone.


#13

Speaking of stones. I’m going on a 10x3 program for weight loss (see - https://www.T-Nation.com/workouts/10-x-3-for-fat-loss ). The program is 3 days, 2 of which are focused on lifting and one is moderate cardio. They recommend jumping rope, but I was considering lifting in the park…pick up a ~100lb boulder and walk as far as possible with it. People might think “Who is that asshole carrying rocks in the park?”, but hey, who cares! The great thing about Ct (where I live) is that it has a surprisingly big strongman community.


#14

@ecjim

you reminded me of something important. The tree stump might work but you should treat it and clean it first! The weather is finally breaking up north so I went to the beach 2 weeks ago and found a log (6’-7’ long and 8-10" dia) and decided to try to shoulder it. Well, the log was a big bitch but I did get it up and managed to walk a few feet with it before having to let go, but I got really scratched up.

Later on that night when I went to take a shower I broke out in hives where the log was sitting. So, before you use that stump, get all the bugs and dirt out of it, clean it up, maybe sand it and weather proof it with something non toxic before you use it!