It would be great if every load you ever lifted was set 8.5 inches off the ground and was perfectly balanced. In the real world, however, the objects you have to move are seldom shaped like a barbell.
Stone lifting, on the other hand, trains your body to pick up awkward objects without handles and knurling. It’s a real-world activity that’s been around for millennia, and it’s one of several events you can usually expect to see at a strongman competition.
In this video filmed at Rainier CrossFit, Kurtis Bowler shows a female athlete the finer points of lifting a round atlas stone onto a platform, as well as how to get the thing down afterward.
If the snatch is about speed and power, stone lifting is about strength and grinding determination—and lots of chalk.
Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Episode 87, originally aired Oct. 2, 2009.