Sandbag/Stone Over Bar Progression

When training sandbags or stones over bar is it better to start with light weight but at comp height and work up in weight? or better to start at heavier weight but lower height and gradually increase the height? Just curious as to how you guys train this event? Thanks

I always keep the height the same. It’s hard with stones/sandbags as a lighter implement or lower load height changes the lift a lot (until you approach the event weights/heights)

Thanks . . how do you program them? I was thinking once a week at around 6 sets of 3 with the heaviest weight I can handle

When I am peaking for a contest, I always load over a competition height bar. When peaking I do not feel there is any need to go above or below competition height.

I think 1 time per week is good assuming you’re actually pushing yourself when doing them. My coach programs doubles with 30s rest between. My last competition I had to load a 300 lb stone over a 54" bar for max reps in a minute. Here’s an example of the peak progression (weekly training periods):

6x2 @ 260, 30s rest between sets
8x2 @ 260, 30s rest between sets
4x2 @ 300, 30s rest between sets
6x2 @ 300, 30s rest between sets
8x2 @ 300, 30s rest between sets
(deload wk) 6x2 @ 220

during my last peak week I don’t think I hit a single rep at 300 and had to back off to the 260 (and still barely got all my reps on that, when I peak I fucking peak hard lol), but on game day I hit 6 reps of 300 in 45s. I went last and the second place guy only got 5 reps so I just stopped with 15s left. I have always done very well with stone loading events using this method for peaking.

As far as a starting weight, start with a difficult weight but not something you can’t hit for a few doubles.


Great info here, thanks for sharing!

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One other thing I would like to add is do your stone work AT THE END of your workout. This conditions your body to be able to do them when you’re already really freaking tired. In my (limited) strongman experience, I have only ever seen stone loading events as the final event during competitions.

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