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Andrew Dube

Atlas Stones

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Andrew Dube    52
Andrew Dube

About 6 weeks ago I got my first atlas stones. A 170, 215, and a 250. I could easily shoulder the 170 for reps and could load the 215 over 48". I managed to lift the 250 a few inches but most attempts it seemed glued to the ground. I decided to add some light stone work in on my squat day: 170×5×3 and then work with the 215 on my deadlift day. After several weeks I was lifting the 215 for sets of five and thought I was ready to take another crack at the big stone. However I met the same result: a few inches but otherwise felt stuck to the earth. 

I'm looking for input moving forward. My barbells numbers are decent but nothing special. Most recent relevant lifts: front squat 310x1,1,3, sumo deadlift 400x1,1,3, pendlay row 200x5x5. I feel like my stone technique is pretty dialed in too. So do I just keep putting in time and volume with my 215 and build a bigger strength reserve with the barbell? 

Since the problem seems to be the initial pick I'm also considering adding more sets of just lapping, stone carries, and/or stone rows (I have some natural stones too that are perfect for this). 

I appreciate any feedback. 

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anwnate    4,089
anwnate

I've zero stone knowledge..but since you said "any feedback"..if it were me, is adjust my pick height.  I'd probably put a bunch of 3/4" plywood pieces under the stone until I could pick it regular..then pull one away and repeat my way down.

Just a thought.

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Royz    495
Royz

Also zero stone experience. I would guess however adjusting the pickup height would change the dynamics of the movement too much. The initial pull of the stone to the lap is an extremely low deadlift.

If you are bad at the bottom with a regular deadlift you shouldn't be doing rack pulls, you should be doing deficit pulls.
So I guess doing deficit deadlifts for a while wouldn't hurt and maybe some extra hamstring work too.

If you want to do extra work with the 220 stone you could try some kind of paused lift. So lift the stone a couple of inches(up to the problem height) pause for 2-3 seconds and then pull the stone to your lap.

My two cents...

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Andrew Dube    52
Andrew Dube
8 hours ago, anwnate said:

I've zero stone knowledge..but since you said "any feedback"..if it were me, is adjust my pick height.  I'd probably put a bunch of 3/4" plywood pieces under the stone until I could pick it regular..then pull one away and repeat my way down.

Just a thought.

I actually really like this idea. I'm going to build a ramp I can roll the stone up and then "cheat it" into my lap. Then I can re-grip it and try to load. This will give me a chance to work on squeezing the stone. Also would be a huge mental boost to be able to something with it. 

I'm also thinking that for the next 4 week block I'm going to prefix each rep with my 215 with an extra lap. So I'll lap, return to the ground, then do the full lift.

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MurrayStrongnan    19
MurrayStrongnan

Stones are very tricky to train because you either have the strength to lift the stone or you don't and there's often large jumps between weights. Spud Inc makes a stone strap to help people who are in between stones train on the heavier stone https://store.startingstrongman.com/product/spud-strongman-stone-strap/ . It's also possible that with a technique adjustment you could pick up the stone no problem. If you can find a local strongman gym with some experienced strongmen (or an intermediate weight stone) they may be able to help. Starting Strongman used to have a map of Strongman friendly gyms across the world but the site was hacked and they lost it. They are in the process of rebuilding it https://startingstrongman.com/strongman-gyms/. If you are unable to find one I'd be happy to take a look at a video of your technique and provide some pointers (I've hit a 400lbs stone in competition). 

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climber511    2,328
climber511

You can use a loading pin and some plates (I like bumpers best) and make an adjustable weight "stone".  This worked well for me.

 

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JHenze646    881
JHenze646

Is the 250 stone a different diameter than the lighter stones?

Are you losing your grip/rolling on the stone or just hitting a sticking point on the pick?

If your hitting a sticking point and not losing your grip, your pick technique might be slightly off. I am not strong but I ❤ stones.

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Andrew Dube    52
Andrew Dube

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXJV4fGhacB/

Here's a video from my last stone session with the 215. I lose the 250 in the grip. Honestly I just don't think I'm strong enough to squeeze it as hard as I need to. I bought these 2 stones brand new and they are extremely smooth as well. 

@MurrayStrongnan I know of a private strongman gym nearby that I could go to. But I have two young children and it's hard to schedule time away from home. Almost all of my training is done while watching them play in our yard. 

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MurrayStrongnan    19
MurrayStrongnan
17 minutes ago, Andrew Dube said:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXJV4fGhacB/

Here's a video from my last stone session with the 215. I lose the 250 in the grip. Honestly I just don't think I'm strong enough to squeeze it as hard as I need to. I bought these 2 stones brand new and they are extremely smooth as well. 

@MurrayStrongnan I know of a private strongman gym nearby that I could go to. But I have two young children and it's hard to schedule time away from home. Almost all of my training is done while watching them play in our yard. 

Overall your technique looks good, a few small adjustments I would make:

1) spread your fingers out more, this will give you greater serface area in contact with the stone. What I like to do is to make the "live long and prosper Spock hand" this leads me to my 2nd point

2) grip deeper on the stone, the farther around the stone you grab the more of your arm will be in contact with the stone. This is why I like to use a "Spock hand" it allows you to slide your hand deeper as you can split the part of the stone in contact with the ground with your hand. 

As far as training to increase your ability to squeeze the stones, I've found heavy decline pec flys to be very helpful. Alternatively, flat pec flys would also be helpful. 

Do you use tacky with your stones?

 

P.s. Couldn't help but notice the last name, are you the one that came up with the Dube Cube?

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Andrew Dube    52
Andrew Dube

 @MurrayStrongnan

Thanks for the feedback! I'll be more mindful of my fingers. I've never used tacky. I figured I should be repping this 250 without tacky before thinking about competing (not to mention better ohp) and would get some at that point. And hopefully some bigger stones too. 

I'll try adding some flyes in since I currently have no direct chest work. 

Yes I make the dubecube! Gil from Barrelstrength Systems came up with the concept. I saw in your other thread that you bought one! Thank you! I love seeing them get in the hands of strong individuals. If you check the gripnbend blog you will find submission guidelines to get on the leader board.

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MurrayStrongnan    19
MurrayStrongnan
52 minutes ago, Andrew Dube said:

 @MurrayStrongnan

Thanks for the feedback! I'll be more mindful of my fingers. I've never used tacky. I figured I should be repping this 250 without tacky before thinking about competing (not to mention better ohp) and would get some at that point. And hopefully some bigger stones too. 

I'll try adding some flyes in since I currently have no direct chest work. 

Yes I make the dubecube! Gil from Barrelstrength Systems came up with the concept. I saw in your other thread that you bought one! Thank you! I love seeing them get in the hands of strong individuals. If you check the gripnbend blog you will find submission guidelines to get on the leader board.

The tacky will help you stick to the stone but if you can get to where you can lift it without tack it'll be no problem with. 

Can't wait to get my hands on the Dube Cube. People have been putting up some pretty unreal numbers on the ballberring already. Eric Roussin was wondering how long it would take for someone to hit 40lbs, looks like it won't be nearly as long as he thought it might be. 

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Rob McMurren    122
Rob McMurren

Beer helps

 

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Bryan Hunsaker    120
Bryan Hunsaker

I don't think your core strength is an issue on lifting the stone.  I think the #1 thing is your hands aren't far enough under the stone on the pick.  CAREFULLY try to wedge your fingers further under the stone - sometimes you have to roll it a little bit, to do this.  Yes, tacky will help, and so would chalk or even spitting in your hands, but hand position is critical.  I've done a 400lb stone to about 54 inches, and for me, the hardest part is that initial pick.  Once it is to your lap, if you have decent hip drive, it will go up.

Your stone is small, so it makes the over-the-top form tough, but make sure once lapped, your arms are more over the stone, than around the sides.  Biceps get injured constantly by hugging it up when what you want to do is pull it in hard from the top and utilize your hips to drive it up, and not your arms/shoulders/upper back.

I think with a couple tweaks, that 250 is easily in your wheel-house!

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