Monday, January 08, 2007

Romancing the Stone

You may have seen these guys on TV before, you know those big behemoths (and I mean that in a good way fellas) known as Strongmen who pull trolley cars, lift those huge log bars over their heads, carry heavy implements in their hands (known as the farmers walk) and lift those huge stones. Well, you don't have to be that big or that strong to perform the exercises that they do but can definitely benefit from what those exercises provide as far as building strength and fitness.

Here's a perfect example of what I mean. I was looking to get a stone and Dr. Ken Leistner recommended I get in touch with a gentleman named Steve Slater of Slaters Hardware . Steve is a strongman competitor himself and was able very helpful in helping me decide which stone I should purchase. I ended up buying the lightest stone he made which weighed in at 39 pounds and 10" in diameter. I bought this particular stone so I and my clients could have even more diversity in our training, but more importantly I want to make sure that I can implement the use of this modality safely and effectively. I can see this stone being very addicting because it has so much versatility and is pretty challenging. This size stone is great to do deadlifts, (controlled) cleans to the shoulder, overhead pressing (1 arm or 2), hammer and regular curls along with stiff leg deadlifts, squats and other compound movements. Now the 39 pound ball is far from being a stones throw away (pun intended) from what these and other guys use for competition and recreation but it is still a very valuable tool and should be used more often to build strength and tax the cardiovascular system.

Here is a workout that involves only using the stone. Use 1 set of an all out effort with each exercise and take no longer than 60 seconds between movements.

Standing overhead press
Squat holding the stone at chest height
Stiff leg deadlift
Hammer curl
Stone lift to shoulder - alternating sides for each rep

This workout may take 15-20 minutes to complete. You will have worked every major muscle group in your body directly and indirectly and will certainly elevate your heart rate if you are giving 100 percent effort on each exercise and take little rest between movements. As time progresses I will try to update what new and exciting ways I have come up with to use the stone.

To reach Steve Slater email him at