6 min read

How should you train for stonelifting?

Sean Urquhart shares his training expertise, a sneak peak at my secret project, and news from the stonelifting world.

Spring is taking its sweet time here in the UK. Despite longer days, it's still quite chilly while the sun remains hidden behind the clouds. On the bright side, I've seen a noticeable uptick in the amount of stonelifting recently, so Winter is behind us. There's a lot for you this month, so let's dive in.

Here's your list of topics. Feel free to jump around to the ones that interest you most:

  • Training guest articles and template download
  • Strength Unknown: Basque Country - Final two episodes
  • Donald Dinnie Day (The Gathering VII) funding
  • Sneak peak at my secret project
  • Short publishing hiatus

Training gust articles and template download

You may remember that back in December I wrote my 'year in review' newsletter. In that newsletter, I lamented on the fact that I'd neglected the training page on the site - which had been left as a placeholder.

Sean Urquhart read that email and reached out, saying he'd been working on a template himself and that he'd be happy to share it. Lots of people had been asking him about his training after seeing his Faroe Islands stone tour on Instagram. So it was perfect timing!

If you're not familiar with Sean, he's one of the top lifting stone researchers and lifters in the world. Last year he traveled to the Faroe Islands for a ground-breaking stonelifting tour where he lifted over 30 heavy stones. So there are very few people with the kind of stonelifting expertise Sean has.

We're publishing two guest articles as well as a mini e-book / template that you can download and use to plan your own training. The first article is about how Sean structures his training. In the second, Sean goes into more detail about workouts and the exercises he uses. Plus it's all free!

It's been a lot of work putting together two full articles and a mini e-book. But we're both delighted with how they turned out, and we can't wait to see how much progress you make!

Stonelifting training part 1: Structure — liftingstones.org
How I structure my training to prepare for stonelifting tours.
Stonelifting training part 2: The workout — liftingstones.org
What workouts look like when I train for a stonelifting tour.

I want to thank Sean once again for working on this with me. These are such incredible resources for people who want to progress their stonelifting.

Don't forget to follow Sean on Instagram where he posts some of his training, stonelifts, and tours!

Sean poses next to to 219kg Anfinn's Hav in the Faroe Islands

Strength Unknown: Basque Country - Final two episodes!

Martins Licis watches an experienced Basque Stonelifter

Martins Licis premiered the final two episodes of Strength Unknown in the Basque country this month. And both episodes were fantastic!

One of the things Martins and Romark manage to capture incredibly well is the people, community, and culture surrounding stonelifting (and the other traditional Basque sports) in Basque country.

There’s a charming moment in the finale episode where a group of children ask Martins "Why did you come here?"
"Harri jasotze" (stone lifting), replies Martins.
"Harri jasotze?!"
"Yes, yes"

Martin Licis talks to excited children about Basque Stonelifting

The excitement from the locals is infectious. And the kindness shown by everyone featured in the series is amazing to see. It's the perfect illustration of how an outsider participating in the local culture positively impacts a community.

Strength Unknown: Basque Country Episode 2
Strength Unknown: Basque Country Episode 3 (Finale)

Donald Dinnie Day (The Gathering VII) funding

A couple of weeks back, Stevie Shanks posted a GoFundMe link on his Instagram appealing for donations. For the last six installments, The Gathering has been funded by the organizing committee – but that's not sustainable for a growing event. So Stevie reached out to the stonelifting community with a goal to raise £1,500 by June to cover the basic costs of running the event this year.

Within 24 hours of Stevie's post, the stonelifting community came together and SMASHED the £1,500 goal! As of writing, the pot sits at over £2,200! There's no doubt that this year's event is going to be fantastic.

The additional money above the goal will certainly go towards making the event even better. Stevie already mentioned upgrading the quality of the trophies for competitors!

If you haven't donated yet, and you'd like to, you can donate on Stevie's gofundme page.

Sneak peak at my secret project

For a while now, I've been working on a secret project. When I first started liftingstones.org, I never thought it would be as popular as it is: There are now dozens of articles, countless readers, and (unfortunately) running costs.

Since starting the site years ago, I've been personally funding everything. And with the continuing growth of the site, the running costs continue growing too. Luckily, I run everything using pretty efficient and affordable services – but I would love for liftingstones.org to become self-sustaining.

The quickest way to generate revenue on websites is by placing banner ads on pages (like the ones you see on news sites). But they're ugly, invasive, and no one likes them. Banner ads are not option – not when there are alternatives.

So how about a product? Something that not only supports the project, but also gives you something uniquely stonelifting in return. I spent months in the background coming up with ideas, thinking about how to create something delightful for you. Eventually, I decided on an enamel pin.

Before we go any further, here's a mock-up:

A mock-up of an enamel pin depicting the Dinnie Stones.

The Dinnie Stones!

I worked with a talented artist to design the pin, spending a lot of time capturing the silhouette of the Dinnie Stones as they wait patiently for a lifter to come along.

Each pin is hard enamel set onto black nickel with two individual pin backs to keep the pin oriented. They measure 40mm wide x 18mm tall, so it's perfect for pinning onto clothes, your backpack/gym bag, a flag – whatever you like.

Production is beginning for a small first batch and I'm expecting to receive it by June. If they're popular, I'll run more batches, and may even produce pins for other famous stones.

So, if you want to help out and get a beautiful enamel pin to express your love of stonelifting, this is your chance.

Pins will be available exclusively to newsletter readers until I list them on the site. I'm aiming to start shipping pins in July. If you want pre-order, send me an email, or just reply to this one.

P.S. Please don't worry about the site! I will continue paying the running costs personally if need be, so it won't be going down anytime soon.

Short publishing hiatus

Finally, a little announcement. I'm taking a temporary break from publishing newsletters and articles. I'm not sure exactly for how long, but at least May and probably June too. I thought I'd let you know so that I don't receive too many emails from people asking where their monthly newsletter is.

Why am I taking a break? Because I'm traveling to Japan! And yes, there will be stones! I'm incredibly excited that after years of researching Japanese lifting stones I'll be able to visit and lift some.

I'm unsure if I'll share much whilst I'm there (if I do it will be on Instagram). But I'm 100% sure I'll write some articles when I return home.

Latest articles

Stonelifting training part 2: The workout — liftingstones.org
What workouts look like when I train for a stonelifting tour.
Stonelifting training part 1: Structure — liftingstones.org
How I structure my training to prepare for stonelifting tours.