By Robin Wright –
In the world of strongman the Atlas stones are by far the most recognized by the public. From the time of the Celtics, Romans and now modern athletes, the Atlas Stones have been and remain to be one of the most technical and whole body events.
For those of you who don’t know what the Atlas stones are here is a brief description: Take one large stone (concrete sphere), pick up and place onto designated platform. The weight of the stones will vary depending upon the level of competition entered into. A typical starting point might be 220 pounds progressively moving up to a weight of over 400 pounds. The height of the platform may also vary depending the competition; you might find a progressive height up or one consistent height.
STRONGMAN AT A GLANCE:
There are many different events in the sport of strongman. The different leagues sometimes have different events for their lines ups. However there are recognized staples by everyone, such as Atlas Stones, Log Press and Farmers Walk.
Strongman contests have common roots with Highland Games and Powerlifting, but still differ from both. Many great strongmen have come from these two sports. My personal favorites are the novices who come out to compete; generally they have no experience but have a ton of heart.
This sport is not only for the monster size men of the world, we also have light weights, teen, women’s classes, team events and we have even seen husband and wife teams, as well as the big heavyweights.
Some athletes will use music, smelling salts (ammonia) and other methods to get ready for their big lifts. I prefer to use visualizations – see it and do it.
Don’t over analyze it, JUST DO IT!
For starters, the athlete must stand over the ball. Next squat down over the ball and essentially hug it getting the hands down under the bottom. Once you have a good grip on the ball, push through with your legs and start pulling through with the back, drop the bum and place the stone on the lap.
The ball should be balanced. Re-grip if necessary, roll-up the body and place the stone. I have tried to explain this as if you were to do the lift in slow motion, however in real life you will want to move faster to help keep your momentum going. Some athletes do the lift in one motion.
ONE MAN’S OPINION:
Like in any sport you need to enjoy what you are doing! If you don’t it is time to try something else. I got into strongman because I was bored of just training for the sake of training. My genetics are not that of a body builder and powerlifting did not peak my interest. I saw the sportsmanship and functionality of strongman and an opportunity to direct my energy in a positive direction.
A friend of mine asked me in the gym one day, “Robin, you have all this strength and power! What are you going to do with it?” I did not know how to respond. I did not know about strongman at that time. But that statement had great implications in my life and lives of my wife and children. So I pose that same question to YOU!
You have strength and power! What are you going to do with it?
Robin Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org, Kamloops, BC Canada
Special thanks to my webmaster Diane Roberts: www.sbwebstudio.ca
Justin Cuzzetto: Reflex Nutrition, Kamloops, www.reflexnutrition.com
The City of Kamloops, BC, Canada Tournament Capital of Canada, www.kamloops.ca
and many more sponsors who have helped and are helping make the BCEAA strong in its continued success.