T Nation

Training Atlas Stones Without the Stones


I understand that the best way to train for atlas stones is to actually train with them. However at the moment I do not have the money or the space for atlas stones. I am aware that elite fitness has the atlas stone trainer, however I was going to use a sleeve on one of my bent bars to do the exact same thing.

My question is, would it be some what comparable to regular atlas stones? Also, if I'm using 300 pounds does that mean I can handle a 300 pound stone? I have never touched an atlas stone by the way.


Here is the atlas stone trainer from elite fitness.


There is no way to know if you can handle a stone until you have tried it. There is a lot of technique in handling a completely round ball that you cant learn anywhere else.


Lots of practice with real stones. There's nothing that compares.

Big, strong guys get humbled by light stones their first time out all the time.



What I use for instance is a car wheel (something like a 17-18" with the tire on it) with plates added to it. That's if you wanna do it the ghetto way and not spend a whole lot of money on eltifts gear.
The bottom part of the lift is exactly the same, so it's great as a supplemental exercise at least.


I'm actually planning on just taking a sleeve off one of my bars to load plates onto for my atlas stone training. It is the same thing as the elite fitness stone trainer just I dont have to pay like $70.


I know I have to use real stones, but are there paticular bar exercises that would be very beneficial.

I heard high pulls, and good mornings help with the loading phase as well as front squats. Also I read somewhere that hammer curls help a lot as well. Any thoughts are appreciated.


Stones are one event where it's hard to find any real carryover from gym lifts. The only lift I can say definitely helped me is bottoms-up zechers. And even that only helped with standing up. It didn't help with my pick up, lap, or extension.

Your plate idea is OK for a temporary fix, but you won't advance very far with only that. You need to touch the stones.


I have the stone trainer frome elitefts and its badass but you need rubber plates to really load it up to where you can grab it like a stone.But maybe you can pick up 300 lbs like a stone, I cant.

I started a thread on here awhile back on making an atlas stone like a big medicine ball but a light one like 150 lbs.I thought about taking a big kick ball and cutting it open and filling it with a combo of sand and a filler like cotton or foam then stitching it up and taping the shit out of it.


I was able to purchase 3 stones for my gym from a gardening supply business.

One weighs 88lbs for the ladies and warm ups, the next one up weighs 190lbs and the largest one weighs 205lbs. They were around $100 each.

As for training to get good at them, I'm not sure its possible. I'll explain.

I have a big guy training at my gym,Simon is 231lbs, 450lb deadlift. He couldnt pick up my 205lb stone. Another lifter, Nick, weighs 150lbs, deadlifts 375lbs, picked it up to his chest first go.

Its a very unique lift, and best practiced with actual stones.


Definitely need to use rubber plates if you are going to use the trainer. But as everybody else said, nothing compares to the actual stones. There is a lot of technique in picking up the stone. The first time I picked up the 200 lb stone it was very easy. The next 8 times I tried, I could not lap it, because I hadn't figured out the technique. I was lucky the first time, and picked it up perfectly. Tacky (or stickum) definitely helps.


I'm going to look into getting some stone molds from slaters hardware. Does anyone know what would be a good weight to start with? Also I have a rock that I use for stone carries, and it weighs about 215 or so. The rock is very easy for me to lift, so would that be somewhat of a good indicator where my strength is at?


Also if I do get a stone what is a good way to train them and how often?

Here is my current training schedule

Mon- chest and biceps
Tue- lower body- heavy
Wed- Grip
Thu- Shoulders and triceps
Fri- Olympic lifts and back
Sat- core
Sun- none at the moment


I'm going to start another page about event training.


Start with a 16" Slaters mold. That is a straight 175# stone with no inserts. If you decide to buy inserts you can go heavier (or suspend some old steel or iron weights. Doesn't matter). 16" is a bit on the small side for diameter, but trust me that you will never outgrow these stones as a warmup or something to shoulder/press.

18" stone is a pretty big jump in weight and will give you a 240 stone with straight concrete. Steve Slater is my training partner, so I've got some experience with the molds and inserts he has. http://www.slatershardware.com/stonemolds.html


Kelly picking up my 205lb Stone. Kelly weighs 182lb. This is the heaviest Stone I have, its solid granite. I have 3 Stones in my gym.


Granite stones... sweet. Pricey, and smaller than concrete, but very cool.


My 90lb granite stone was only $50, the 190lb and 205lb were $100 each, thats not too bad I reckon


Some time within the next few months I'm gonna start training stones. What is a good way to train them?


Bend over, grab the stone, pick it up.