T Nation

To Lift The Husafell Stone

So I have a dream — a personal challenge, of sorts — to lift and carry the Húsafell Stone.

I understand the magnitude of this. Lifting 400+ awkward pounds off the ground is one thing, but carrying it 50m is a whole different ball game.

My question is, because my experience with strongman is limited, what types of lifts would you build a program around in order to best train for this Herculean feat?

Aside from training with front-loaded carries, my thoughts were deadlifts and front squats as the big barbell movements (for the pick off the ground), along with plenty of posterior chain movements (back, hips and hamstrings), biceps and grip, and probably sled dragging too to strengthen the knees.

Currently, I’m 5’9” on a good day, and weigh about 180-185lbs. I knows I’d have to put on a LOT of weight to be strong enough for this, and it would take a while.

You might think, “this guy’s crazy. He’ll never do it.” And you may be right. But they probably thought that about the first guy to achieve “fullsterkur” status as well until he proved everyone wrong.

Simply being big and strong isn’t enough of a goal for me. I need a mission to work towards. Competitions don’t interest me, but crazy feats of strength, like those we read about in legends do. The thought of challenging myself to a seemingly impossible task, attacking it ferociously, and coming out on top — THAT interests me. Being of Scandinavian heritage, my connection to my ancestry is very important to me. As silly as it sounds, thinking that completing something like this, and having my ancestors smile down on me and saying, “Yes, he’s fullsterkur” is a big driving force.

I’d appreciate any advice for those more experienced than myself (@T3hPwnisher and @flipcollar come to mind immediately). I know enough to know I know very little, and that I need help to complete this.


I appreciate the tag, but I’ve only ever handled a hus once, and it was the Titan version, so it was much thinner, and we started off an elevated platform.

A few companies make loadable hus stones that are very close to the real dimensions of the stone. Well worth getting one if this is a for real goal.


Picking the stone up and carrying it a few steps is not an outlandish goal for anyone involved in strongman, in my opinion. I’d like to do it one day. The 50m is brutal though. That’s a very, very elite achievement. I hope you do it though!

Your height will work against you more than just about anything else, because you won’t be able to wrap your arms around the stone very well, AND it’s going to be hard to carry it in such a way that it isn’t banging against your hips/quads the entire time.

You need to get a loadable husafell stone, as pwnisher said. Period. That shouldn’t even be a question. Find one as close to the appropriate dimensions as you can. If you know any metal fabrication shops, you could probably get a custom one made as well. I own a metal fabrication company, and I can tell you that making one would be very, very easy to do. I could knock it out in a few hours.

‘Accessory’ work that should help you would include training almost everything. Deadlifts, squats, even presses. You’ll need a strong chest and arms just to hold the damn thing. A strong back. So general strength training will benefit you the most, because EVERYTHING needs to get stronger. No part of your body is strong enough to accomplish this task yet. Once you get close to being where you need to be, maybe focus on some specific accessory movements.

But yea. If you wanna get good at carrying a husafell stone, carry a husafell stone. lol.

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Do you take commissions? Haha. That would be hella expensive to ship. I’m sure there’s a metal shop in town here.

This, I am very aware of right now. I need to get stronger overall. A LOT stronger.

I appreciate the advice!

for sure, they’re all over the place. Very little equipment is required to make this. You essentially just weld 8 plates together.

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@NHLFTR has a loadable one. Maybe he can advise.

Most comps have some imitation stone. WSM will ship it. I have a friend that dropped it about 2 meters short of 50 meters on Iceland. Dude is a beast at about 330lbs.

dopest thing I’ve read all day

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Bought this from titan fitness. We’ve loaded it to over 300 lbs and there was room for more weight.


Heavy sandbags work great. I haven’t touched a hus aside from nationals and i took 7th or 8th in the event out of 70 people just using a heavy sandbag in training. If you can load a sandbag up to around 350lbs, it’ll probably carry over quite well for the 400+ hus.

I don’t think you need to be of heroic static strength to lift and carry a 400lb stone though. Maybe a 600lb deadlift minimum might safeguard it, but a 7 or 800lb pull wouldn’t hurt.

Front squat, zercher squat, and deadlift for main lifts. Do heavy loaded carries once or twice a week. One day centered around simply carrying a lighter object for some “effort” work (getting heart pumping hard, but nothing insane). Other day working up to a concerted single attempt with max effort in mind with as heavy a weight as you can carry for at least 150 feet. I don’t think carrying a massivee object for 15-30 feet will do you any good accept where you down and potentially blow your fucking spine through your back.

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I admire your vision man, I would say to you thoughthat heavy front carries for distance are miserable… Beyond miserable.

I’d be getting myself a sandbag or keg, getting myself a good carry on that and then seeing how I feel about trying to push for an elite carry (and the Husafell is elite, there are pro strongmen that have failed it).

If I still wanted to do it, did I mention front carries for distance are miserable? Then I’d invest in a loadable Husafell.

To the above advice, I’d add stone loads - natural and Atlas. That is going to help with the pick but more importantly, stone to skin is a bitch and you need to prepare your skin for it. Metal sucks as well but the stone is a different ball game and it would suck major balls to be strong enough to get the lift but shred your arms up too much to deal with it.

Good luck, hope you get there. PS. Remember, no tacky :wink:

This was my line of thinking regarding carries as well. I appreciate the advice!

Miserable is good. I’m okay with miserable. It builds character.

Yeah, I agree here. Right now everything is buried under snow where I live, but once it starts to thaw I will be hunting down some stones for sure.

I wouldn’t dream of it. I feel like that’s… sacrilege or something.

Thanks for the advice everyone! Keep it coming if you have more.

This is random, but apparently rogue is having a max rep 315 comp. they’re dead deadlifts so they don’t count :grimacing: but naturally I thought if you. Jesus your 315 number would have to be sick. Idk details about it just that Athletes are trying to get to compete at the Arnold. I think the record that was sent in was 315x52.

I saw it. No straps seems so stupid, haha. The current leader has some super bouncy reps though, so I can’t even tell what is real anymore. I might try it with straps sometime. Appreciate the vote of confidence.

Lol yeah I saw that looked like was done on a spring board but whatever. I doubt the attempt at the Arnold will be on such a bouncy surface .

Just my 2 cents here, but Front Squats will not help you in this endeavour. Zercher DL will help with the pick (and I mean the real thing, from the floor in your elbows, not this pussy pulling it onto you thighs and then crooking or starting in the rack). The carry is super taxing on the hamstrings. The arms become an issue if you move slow with it, but it’s really about where you center the weight. It is very much like the old Stone Circle event to actually perform. A slight back lean gets the weight over the hips and changes the event completely. As mentioned above, sand bag carries are also really good at helping train for this.
I never carried the actual one, but I have carried replicas. Some guys are built for it and some are not.

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Good idea. I’ll start throwing these in soon.

I’m focusing a lot on the posterior chain in my training to help prepare myself for this. I know I’m years away from being able to lift the stone, but I figure I might as well add some specificity in as soon as possible.

Thanks for the tips!

Question for those wiser than myself:

Should I put my loaded carries first in my workouts? Currently I have them at the end, twice a week, with one day being lighter for long distance, and another day being heavier for short distance, as @strongmanvinny2 suggested. However, since my goal is to be really really good and carrying a heavy weight, it would make sense to place it first in the workout so I can make the most of it, no?

If you are open to supersets, I did workouts where the carry was done as the second or third movement of the set.

@kdjohn Brian Alsruhe does stuff like what Pwn just mentioned. I don’t gamble, but I’d bet that dude could carry the stone.