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Teaching Stone Loading by Kurtis Bowler - CrossFit Journal

Teaching Stone Loading

By Kurtis Bowler

In Sports Applications, Videos

November 13, 2009

Video Article

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.

8min 44sec

Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Episode 87, originally aired Oct. 2, 2009.

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10 Comments on “Teaching Stone Loading”


wrote …

Kurtis you guys are regular web-lebrities! Way to make the strongest stuff look like PVC pipes and med balls. Fun to watch except that very last stone lift for Sammy I have to question your ROM and whether you correctly rolled it into your stomach before popping it onto the platform. Would that be consider RX'd? Let the debates begin! (Kidding of course) :)


wrote …

Nice video... Are your stones coated with something?


wrote …

First rob on CF radio now you guys! i guess im gona have to make on a these. cool vid guys keep em coming!


wrote …

Tom, would you like to come play with our stones? Sam says you can use his :)

Kevin, Ours are either granite or Line X'd. Kurtis has made most of them with stone molds and they're concrete. They can be a little slick. Strongmen competitors often use "tacky" to stick themselves to the stone. We don't use it, just chalk, so having them coated was our answer to combat the otherwise smooth surface.

Thanks, Jake!



wrote …

This past week for some reason I decided to get some of my old MILO journals out.
There you were Kurtis, page 61, MARCH 2001 closing the No.3 gripper. Also in the same issue was a poem by Sage Burgener. Did you ever reach your 2001 Christmas goal? The videos are great. Keep making more.


wrote …

When I first heard about Crossfit my only gripe was "What about strongmen?". My feeling has always been that while Olympic lifters have very applicable strength, strongmen take it to the next level of functionality. I would like to see HQ put more odd object lifting in the main site WODs. That's why I love the stuff you guys do at Rainer, keep it coming!


wrote …

Is there a description of how to make a mold for making a stone? I saw the homemade kettlebells on the site the other day. This is one of those things I'd like to make and use at home. If you have plans please post them. Thanks and keep making the great coaching videos.


wrote …

I'm glad you guys like the videos. I love teaching people how to lift heavy awkward stuff.
James, I did not make my goal of closing the #4. I still use the grippers though and can still close the #3.
Glenn here are a few links on how to make stones.
The first one is probably the easiest, but you have to buy a mold. The second and third you are making your own mold so it's a little cheaper, but a lot more work.
I've made them both ways and prefer using Slater's molds.
Thanks again for watching the videos.
Kurtis (even though it says Laurie)


Frank DiMeo wrote …

Very well-done & informative video!


wrote …

Flexibility is probably also a factor, but mostly it's about differences in the center of gravity between men and women that makes that alternate stance work better for women than men. Women will usually have a CoG about an inch or so lower, and closer to the center of their bodies than men. She gets farther down and starts with it higher on her torso because she can balance better that way than Kurtis can.

When I was doing martial arts with female training partners, this made it a real bitch to throw them with certain techniques. Considering most women are several inches shorter, it made it like an ass-to-ground squat just to get into the right position. In their favor, if they could take you just a bit off balance, getting into position against one of us guys was a cinch. Sometimes, they hardly had to bend their knees.

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