7 min read

This month in stonelifting

All your stonelifting news from March

There's no new article on the site this month, but there's something incredible coming soon – so definitely keep your eye out for April's newsletter!

Instead, let's take a look at everything that has been going on in the stonelifting world this past month.

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

  • Arnold Classic recap
  • Rogue Record Breakers recap
  • Strength Unknown: Basque Country
  • Cerberus Strength visits Brett Nicol

Arnold Classic recap

Mateusz Kieliszkowski throws a stone.

Quick note: these recaps contain spoilers.

The Arnold Classic is over for another year! It's been a few weeks since it finished and it already feels like forever ago. If you read last month's email, you'll know I was pretty excited for the Unspunnen Stone Throw. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a mixed reaction from fans.

Fans' reactions to the stone throw weren't unwarranted either. There were definitely some kinks that could be ironed out to improve the event.

Here are a few of the issues I saw:

It was difficult to judge the distance

Once an athlete tossed the stone, it was almost impossible to judge whether the distance was good. You could try and guess based on the impact point - but when there are only a few inches between throws, it's just not possible. The leading throw marker on the edge of the sandpit was ok, but didn't help all that much.

This meant everyone had to wait for the official measurement announcement from the referees. In most events, the feedback cycle is almost immediate - you know when someone makes a lift, or you know that someone was quick. That element was lost here and made the event less fun to watch.

Athlete technique wasn't great

Since this was a new event for athletes, most of their techniques were pretty unrefined. Part of what makes events fun to watch is the athletes' proficiency - seeing someone perfectly pulling a heavy deadlift, or rocketing through a series of keg tosses is exactly what gets people excited about strongman events. And so much of that is based on an athlete's technique.

Of course it's still impressive to see athletes press a heavy stone overhead, run down the track, and then launch it. But fans definitely noticed the rough edges.

Some athletes didn't seem to enjoy it

A huge part of what made the event less enjoyable was the fact that a lot of athletes didn't enjoy the event either. A few athletes seemed entirely disinterested in their throw and distance - as if they just wanted to get the event over and done with.

Athletes and fans feed off of each other during a competition. Fans watching a live stream especially feed off of the athletes' energy. So seeing athletes that aren't enjoying the event definitely impacted how fans saw the event.

The stone toss followed the deadlift too - a familiar event that athletes enjoy and get hyped about. Seeing close competition, strategy, and world records in the previous event definitely gave the stone toss a high bar to reach. Unfortunately, this time, it came up short.

The unknown

In the end, I think the overarching issue was the unknown. This was the first time the stone toss  appeared in top level strongman, so there was no reference point. Athletes didn't know which technique was going to work best and they didn't know if their distances were any good. Fans felt the same.

Having said all of that, I mostly liked the event. And a good number of fans enjoyed it too. If you isolate  the more impressive throws from the event you can see that the stone toss still has the potential to be great - it just wasn't quite there on the day. I hope this isn't the last time we see it.

I don't know if we'll see the stone throw return to the strongman classic without a few changes - but I could see it becoming a Rogue Record Breaker event.

You can watch the whole of the Arnold Classic on Rogue's YouTube channel.

Women's Steinstossen
Men's Steinstossen

Rogue Record Breakers recap

The day after the Arnold Classic, Rogue put on their regular Record Breakers event. Anyone can qualify and take on the different feats of strength for a chance to win $5,000 if they break a record.

This year's events were the hammer hold, tackyless atlas stone over bar (for reps), Replica Dinnie Stones hold (women only), and Replica Dinnie Stones Walk (men only).

Tackyless Atlas stone over bar for reps

We've seen a max atlas stone over bar before, but tackyless for reps was a new event at the RRB.

First up were the women, attempting a huge 350lbs (159kg) stone. Unfortunately, neither Olga Liashchuk nor Donna Moore managed to get a rep - and it wasn't for a lack of trying! They were clearly drained after incredible performances over the two previous days at the Strongwoman Classic.

On the men's side, the stone weighed 460lbs (209kg). Mitch Hooper was up first and managed a single rep. He fought hard with multiple attempts at a second rep, but was unable to get the stone high enough.

Jordan Mulligan stepped up as a huge underdog in this event and powered through three reps with help from the crowd! It was a huge surprise!

Trey Mitchell was up last. Trey is an incredible stonelifter and trains tackyless, so he was the clear favourite going into the event. He dominated by hitting Five reps - even though he only needed four for the record. I think Odd Haugen egged him on for that fifth.

Trey also broke his own record in the hammer hold - earning himself a cool $10k in Record Breakers prize money. Trey said it best himself in his post-event interview: "Not a bad pay day for just 3 minutes of workin'." And I couldn't agree more.

Women's tackyless Atlas stone over bar
Men's tackyless Atlas stone over bar

Replica Dinnie Stones

The women were first to take on the Replica Dinnie Stones in the hold for time challenge. Three athletes stepped up to challenge Chloe Brennan's mark of 1.33 seconds that she set last year – resulting in the mega viral video.

Nadia Stowers started off the holds in impressive fashion by breaking the previous record by over four seconds! She certainly set an intimidating standard to beat for the following athletes.

If you remember from last month, I said to watch out for Gabi Dixon since she impressed on the Hercules Hold at Giants Live last year. And Gabi delivered! She comfortably picked the stones and held on tight. Eventually, the heavy stone broke her grip after 6.86 seconds, leaving her with the new world record on the replica stones!

Gabi Dixon holds the Recplica Dinnie Stones, breaking the world record.

Tamara Walcott followed Gabi, but didn't manage to break the stones from the floor. Another casualty of the previous two days at the Strongwoman Classic I suspect.

Women's hold for time

On the men's side, there were a bunch of athletes gunning to walk the stones! Obviously the athletes I was keeping an eye on were Mitchell Hooper and Kevin Faires - who have both impressed on carry events before.

Sadly, Mitch Hooper wasn't in it – dropping the stones after just a couple of steps. There's no doubt he was feeling it after winning the Strongman Classic the day before.

However, Kevin proves once again that he's the best in the world at these carry events. He smashed his previous record from last year with 31 feet 7 inches (9.63m) – more than 6 feet further than his previous attempt.

Kevin now holds both the world record on the Replica Dinnies and the indoor world record with the Nicol Walking Stones. I hope Kevin makes a trip to Potarch to carry the original Dinnie Stones.

Men's walk

Strength Unknown: Basque Country

You may remember from last month that Martins Licis visited Basque Country to explore their sporting customs. And he even took part in a stonelifting competition.

After weeks of waiting, Martins and Romark premiered the first episode of their Strength Unkown: Basque Country on YouTube. It's a must watch! Martins arrives in Basque Country and starts exploring some of the traditional sports, including a heavy stone drag. I can't wait for the next episode!

Martins Licis performs a traditional Basque stone drag

Strength Unknown: Basque Country Episode 1

Cerberus Strength visits Brett Nicol

Cerberus Strength visited Brett Nicol and interviewed him about the Nicol Walking stones. They produced a couple of videos that are worth watching about the history of the stones and how they came to be an event at Giants Live:

The Nicol Walking Stones Story
Brett's wall of fame

Did you catch this in the second video? My article about the Nicol Walking Stones and their records made an appearance! Amazing to see!

Latest articles

Sheriffmuir stones — liftingstones.org
Reviving the ancient lifting site where the Wallace Putting Stone once sat.
The Unspunnen Stone — liftingstones.org
Switzerland’s most famous throwing stone has a rocky history of theft!