6 min read

How to peak for a stonelifting tour

Sean Urquhart is back with another tremendous training template. Plus news and updates from the stonelifting world.

After last month's Summer Special, Autumn quickly fell upon the UK. It's getting much darker and cooler early in the evenings, but I've seen plenty of people still going out and lifting stones – so that's great to see.

This month's newsletter is a bit of a shorter read, but Sean Urquhart's new article and program published today are packed with plenty of reading material for you, so look forward to that.

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

  • How to peak for a stonelifting tour
  • Strength Unknown Scotland
  • David "Tamotsu" Dunlap's power stone diaries
  • 2024 Dinnie Stones attempt dates released

How to peak for a stonelifting tour

Back in June, Sean Urquhart was part of the first stonelifting tour of Ireland along with David Keohan, other lifters, and guests.

A group of men stand around an Irish lifting stone.

After the success of Sean's previous articles & training template, he reached out to me to see if I'd be interested in publishing the plan he followed to prep for the tour.

Of course I was interested! And especially so, since Sean remarked that "this is likely my best stone lifting to date" despite the fact that most of the stones were as heavy or heavier than Iceland’s Fullsterkur stones.

Like before, Sean's info comes in two pieces – the article on liftingstones.org, and the downloadable 30-page ebook containing the full program and some extra detail we couldn't fit in the article.

It took a little longer than I hoped for me to publish Sean's incredible work, but it's well worth the wait. Peaking for a stonelifting tour is now live for you to read and start training for your next tour!

Peaking for a stonelifting tour — liftingstones.org
How to peak your training and successfully demonstrate your strength for a stonelifting tour.

Strength Unknown Scotland

There's a pretty good chance that you've already seen Martins and Romark's latest Strength Unknown episode. But that's not going to stop me from including it here.

In a bit of a change of pace, the primary focus isn't solely on Martins – Romark is on his own journey to lift the Dinnie Stones at The Gathering in Potarch.

After making it to Scotland, the duo meet up with the legendary Brett Nicol, who accompanies them on a 3-stone tour of some of Scotland's most popular stones (the Ardvorlich, Fianna, and Menzies stones) along with an impressive group of stonelifters. The caliber of lifting is incredible with some impressive milestone lifts!

A strongman holds the lifting stone of the Fianna above his head.

In the second half of the episode the focus shifts back to Romark and The Gathering.

Martins takes on the mantle of "World's Strongest Camera Man" to showcase the day, including both the men's and women's competitions, Big Loz's monumental carry, and of course Romark's attempts at the Dinnie Stones.

Romark Weiss lifts the Dinnie Stones.

As always, the pair are entertaining, and production quality is top tier. You can watch Strength Unknown: Scotland on YouTube.

At the end of the episode, Martins signs off by saying "We will see you guys in Japan." And I can't be more excited!

David "Tamotsu" Dunlap's power stone diaries

If you read last month's newsletter, you may remember 力石総社 chikaraishi Soja - the stone holding competition in Soja, Japan. David "Tamotsu" Dunlap was one of the competitors that took part with the strongman team Osaka Chicken Legs.

Almost immediately after I sent that newsletter, David uploaded a video to YouTube showing the competition from his perspective. And it captures the day brilliantly!

David "Tamotsu" Dunlap stands in a circle holding a heavy block of stone between his legs.

Interestingly, he highlighted exactly the same thing I did: Stonelifting for everyone! Throughout the video you see men and women of all ages taking on the stones. And a whole montage shows dozens of children having fun lifting stones with background music that will not stop playing in my head.

Recently, David has been filming vlogs while visiting and lifting stones in various shrines. He's calling these videos the Chikara Ishi Diaries or the Power Stone Diaries.

For someone studying Japanese (like me), David speaking in Japanese is fantastic. But you can also watch with English subtitles. All of the videos I've watched are well edited and have a laid-back, authentic, style that's refreshing.

In his latest video in the series, Japanese Stonelifting Tour in Yao, Osaka, David ventures out into Osaka's summer heat on a walk to three different shrines searching for (and lifting) some stones.

One thing that really stood out to me was the sense of calm. There's no screaming or cheering – David quietly lifts the stones in the shrine precincts and then gently places the stones back down before returning them.

David's care and respect for the stones is not only exceptional, but it's a model for how everyone should be treating stones – not just in Japan, but across the world.

David "Tamotsu" Dunlap cleans dirt from a stone in Osaka.

David tells me that his goal is to spread Japan's stonelifting culture within Japan and in the west. As part of that goal, he's put together a bilingual map with dozens of stones. Considering there are thousands of stones in Japan, it isn't an easy feat – but I think it's going to be a fantastic resource.

Right now, David's YouTube channel is criminally under-subscribed and deserves far more than the 275 it currently has. So you should Subscribe to David's YouTube channel and then follow him on Instagram.

I believe you'll also see David in Strength Unknown Japan.

2024 Dinnie Stones attempt dates released

Last week, the available dates for 2024 Dinnie Stones attempts were posted on the official website! So if you'd like to attempt the stones next year, get in there quick – I have a feeling the dates will fill up fast. Spaces to lift the stones at The Gathering in 2024 are already accounted for!

Sessions are on the first Tuesday of the month at around 16:30. And each session now accommodates 8 lifters – which I believe is a few more than before.

As always, thanks for reading.

In strength,


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