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Inside a Strongman Seminar: Keg Lifting by Rob Orlando - CrossFit Journal
Video Article

What do kegs, yokes and Atlas stones have to do with CrossFit?

Join Rob Orlando of Hybrid Athletics at San Francisco CrossFit as he takes coaches and athletes through strongman movements using special equipment.

In this video, Orlando brings strongman movements to real life with keg lifting.

“We use the keg because it’s a dynamic load. It’s going to shift around on you. It’s going to take you outside your comfort zone,” he says. “It mimics real life.”

Dave Lipson demonstrates the keg lift and begins with the weight out front. Orlando says the starting position differs from the barbell deadlift but is more like real-life lifting of odd objects. Just like the Atlas stone, you deadlift the keg into your lap and cradle it on a shelf created by your knees. Then you need to change your grip to roll the keg up to your shoulder.

At the shoulder, you change your grip and the keg’s position to the front rack to press it overhead. Orlando says it’s important to keep the keg in contact with your shoulders before pressing.

“It’s absolutely critical to get those elbows underneath the load,” he says.

What’s another benefit of lifting real-life objects like kegs?

“With good stoppers on them, they’ll last forever. They’re made to be beaten,” Orlando says. “If it breaks, it’s a $30 piece of equipment. That’s the big positive.”

5min 58sec

Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Episode 135 by Justin Judkins, originally aired Sept. 1, 2010.

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7 Comments on “Inside a Strongman Seminar: Keg Lifting”


wrote …

Can someone explain how to get the kegs set up for lifting? I'm assuming you have to pop the valve out and then reseal it, Rob mentions something about the seals. A quick video would be awesome...


wrote …

Check the journal and/or the mainsite. I believe they had a video demonstrating how to seal one.


wrote …

There is an already-released video clip from the same seminar including camera closeups of the seals, as Rob Orlando gives details. Well worth reviewing to learn proper technique, because as Rob said, early-on he almost got nailed by the pressurized valve which launched itself to the height of his house. Rob replaces the valve with a custom washer-and-rubber-disk expansion stopper.


wrote …

Not finding the video, if anyone has the link I would appreciate it.


wrote …

Nicholas - it was a video on the mainsite, January 2nd.


wrote …


Matt Charney wrote …

I have 2 kegs already. One is exactly like the one in the video. The other is not flat when laid down. With that keg I can not acheive the contact points with the shoulders/chest. What would be best centered on chest or pulled in a little towards non-dominant side? I just filled that keg so I haven't had time to play with it much yet.

The other difference on my kegs is I didn't use sand. I have some plastic pellets that are almost half the density of sand. Completely full kegs came in at 115#. The load is not as dynamic as it would be with a partial filled keg with sand. Still a fun toy!

What about pony kegs? Would there be any carry over for football players or MMA guys who keep their hands in tight during their sports?

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