There are many ways to get strong.
There are many ways to get ‘in shape‘.
For most of us this involves going to the gym and following a series of exercises with specific sets and reps. For most of us, fitness is very boring. There are many tried and true methods to developing an elite level of strength and conditioning, and for optimizing your results, it is best to stick to these basics. I am ready to tell you that there is a way to break through the monotony and give yourself that raw strength that we all strive for. What I am talking about will be of particular interest to strength and combat athletes.
I am talking about lifting stones, and not the stones that you see in strongman competitions either. Those perfect, smooth spheres are useful tools, but that’s not a real stone. I mean actual stones. Stones you find on the beach, or in the mountains, from mother earth herself. Boulders. Jagged edges, nowhere to grip, and a constant struggle to lift.
When you lift real stones, each lift is a battle. You and mother nature and nothing else. There are no handles on a real stone, and there is nothing easy about lifting it off the ground. You’ll know an ab workout when you zercher squat a stone. Pressing a stone overhead is an exercise in strength, balance, and bravery. You have to physically wrestle the heavy rock in order to keep it under control, and it will fight you every step of the way. There is no pattern to lifting a stone; you have to be strong in every plane of motion, and the stone does not care how toned your arms look. Lifting a real stone will give you a feeling of accomplishment that is unrivaled by traditional lifting, and a mental edge in all of your endeavors.
I set aside one day each week for stone lifting at the beach.
Some things to try with your stones:
- Clean and Press
- Deadlift and Zercher squat
- Shoulder and Shoulder Squat
- Push Press/Jerk
- Throws for distance or height
- Carries for distance, or for time, as fast as possible
- Lifting multiple stones in sequence
- Overhead squat (Be careful!)
Each stone will dictate what you can do with it; some stones will not let you press them and others won’t even leave the ground.
When you lift stones, you will understand what it means to have real, raw strength. It is like a rite of passage for that primal strength that we all strive for. Go out and find a field, beach, quarry, or whatever is available and lift some stones.