Of Stones and Strength, By Steve Jeck and Peter Martin. It's not really a training manual, and it's barely long enough to be considered a proper book. What it is, however, is a reminder that all of the gym lifting in the world isn't going to provide enough awesome to counter-balance the pathetic waste that most of us call our modern lives. Why? Because we're not busy with picking up any random heavy shit we might see in the course of a day of plowing a field, because there's no right of passage into manhood in Western civilization, and because we're decidedly, sadly, in and incontrovertibly not Basques.
It gets no more metal than this. Someone's definitely wailing on a fucking guitar in the background.
Stay with me, fuckers, I shall elucidate my points. First, a bit about the book. It is essentially a display of the world's manhood stones, in particular those of Scotland. Steve Jeck, the co-author of the book, discovered these stones while competing as a pro Highland Games athlete in Scotland, and went on a quest to lift them all. He brought along with him a guy named Peter Martin, a historian of Scottish manhood stones and one of the main reasons I found the book so inspiring. Why, might you ask, was this historian the catalyst for my inspiration? Because the book is chock-full of pics of a 61 year old back in slacks and dress shoes picking up 300+ lb stones in a muddy field with a back so rounded it looks like he's trying to form the perfect arch with his back. Frankly, when you see a bunch of pictures of an old man picking up rocks the size of your torso, it makes you rethink every decision you've made in your life, and you realize that you've been fucking up if you cannot be out there outlifting that fucker like it's your job. Back to that bit in a second.
There is no reason for this pic, other than all of the awesome contained therein.
Then, however, I recalled an exercise that would offer a not-horrible substitute for stone lifting, get me out of my comfort zone in the gym, and possibly offer me an opportunity to discover a new favorite exercise...
Of Stones and Strength. In fact, few exercises are mentioned, the workout program's ridiculously basic, and that page and a half of the book is pretty much the least interesting portion of it. Nevertheless, it occurred to me that that "cradle" one uses for the bar is not too unlike that you use in stone lifting. Given that I've no access to stone for the time being, the Zercher lift would be a good way to approximate stone lifting in the gym, so maybe when I find myself hanging out with a badass Scottish sextogenarian I don't find myself embarrassed by my inability to emulate his random overdressed feats of strength.
Peoples pulled 728 at 178 with a double overheand grip and a completely rounded back in 1946.
With the next blog in this series, I'll throw up a couple of vids showing you some Zercher permutations, explain Bob Peoples' deadlifting technique, and hook you guys up with more titties. The chick, by the way, is ultra hot Pole Eva Wywal.