Lifting heavy is pretty cool. Lifting heavy implements that are not the barbell might be even cooler. It definitely makes for a great Instagram pic or video. Strongman implements are becoming more common in the world of CrossFit. While they make look simple, events like the Atlas Stone or the log/axle clean & press, are highly technical and require a high level of competency from both athlete and coach perspective. With that comes the need for qualified instruction.
Unfortunately, such instruction in local CrossFit boxes is extremely limited. The small number of coaches that actually have elite level experience in the sport of strongman and are able to coach the lifts effectively to their athletes are few and far in between. Luckily for us, our good friend Mark Valenti, owner and coach at Blind Dog Gym with over 20 years on the Strongman and Highland Games circuit and a few world records to his name, is here to save us from ripping our biceps and educate us on arguably the most widely integrated event in CrossFit, the Atlas Stones.
The 7 Steps to an Atlas Stone
- Place the stone close to the platform.
- Approach the stone with ankle bones on both sides of the stone cutting it right in half, having the stone right underneath your center of mass.
- Slight bend in the knees and get underneath the stone, squeezing your forearms together.
- First movement is to push back through the heels into your butt to break stone from the ground.
- Lift the stone to your knees and sit down immediately with it.
- Take your arms over top and clasp your hands together.
- Come straight up with your hips and pull up on the bottom of the stone to get it on the platform.
Key through the lift is to move the stone in as straight a line as possible. Remind anyone of anything?
Find out more about Mark, his career, and how to be generally epic in life check out the full Uncharted Performance interview here:
Pawel Wencel is CrossFit Level 1 certified and the Co-Creator Of Uncharted Performance, a website and podcast dedicated to pushing the boundaries of performance inside and outside the gym.