When I started this series over a year ago, I detailed some of the myriad methods by which lifters around the world have competed in stone lifting over the years. Stone lifting seems to be about as old as man, and is easily as old as human athletic competitions. Given its great age and ubiquity throughout human history, it seems pretty fucking retarded to omit it from your training. For those of you who have been hiding in your house doing nothing but blasting off motherfuckers' butt cheeks in first person shooters and have thus completely missed the unavoidable awesomeness of stone lifting, here's a little primer on stone lifting as it's existed around the world. Before you roll your eyes because you think you already know all there is to know about stone lifting, allow me to clue you in on the face that you know jack shit about it- there are apparently more ways to lift a stone than there are ways for a sorority girl from LA to shame her parents on any given Thursday night. These motherfuckers might not be guzzling glasses of cum, but they're certainly coming up with some fascinating ways to lift rocks off the ground to shame their neighbors and unman their countrymen.
Fucking ouch.Switzerland: For the last 200 years, the Swiss have competed in the Unspunnen Festival, an outgrowth of traditional Swiss cowherd festivals. The festival is named for the Unspunnen Stone, a large, oval stone weighing 184 lbs that is lifted and thrown for distance. The festival is only held every 12 years and hosts thousands of competitors. The current record holder in the event is Sepp Anbauen, a jacked joiner who stands 5'8" 253. Anbauen chucked the rock 3.64 meters, setting a new festival record. His throw was beaten, however, by Ernst Frieden at the Swiss Wrestling Festival with a 3.93 meter toss (Jeck 56-60)
Finns, being... Finnish.
Finland: The Finns, being the logging motherfuckers that they are, prefer their stones loglike. Like the Basques, the Finns lift cylindrical stones that rest on a flat bottom. The Finns, however, prefer to lift their stones and carry them for distance. The heaviest stones in this event weigh 356 lbs (Jeck 54). I couldn't find any pics of this or any other sources, so we'll just have to take Steve Jeck's word for it and move on to weirder shit.
Germany: Never to be outdone on any test of manliness, the Bavarians manage to outdo pretty much everyone on this list for the weirdness of their competitions save for the Indians and their weighted situps. As you can see from the video, the Bavarians start with a pull from a deadlift position and pull a rock attached to a handle as high as possible. The men compete in the following weight classes (-85 kg, -100 kg, -110 kg, +110 kg), though they all use the same 254 kg (558 lb) stone. Women, on the other hand, have two weight classes (-70 kg, +70 kg), and lift a 125 kg (275 lb) stone. If that wasn't awesome enough, they have another open stone lifting competition in which they just keep adding 25 kgs to the stone until no one can lift it- the last man to successfully make a pull is the winner.
Like I mentioned at the outset, there are more ways to lift a stone than any of us ever imagined, and they all seem awesome. Up next, the most famous stone lifters in the world (the Scots and the Basques), the training methods of the best stone lifters, and in-the-gym approximations of all of the aforementioned to up your awesome to guitar-wailing, ninja-esque, fantastical proportions.
With luck, it'll be this awesome.
Iqbal, Amjad. ‘Stone lifters’ out to save their dying sport. Dawn.com Urdu Edition. 8 May 2012. Web. 10 Oct 2012. http://dawn.com/2012/05/08/weightlifters-out-to-save-their-dying-sport/
Jeck, Steve. Of Stones and Strength.
Jeck, Steve. Of Stones and Strength.
Stone Lifting. Cultural China. Web. 17 October 2012. http://kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com/en/141Kaleidoscope3163.html
Tahiti Traveler. Ma'ohi Sports. Tahiti Traveler. Web. 17 October 2012. http://www.thetahititraveler.com/general/socsports.asp
Tere, Tushar. 1,200 kg stone lifted by Gama Pehelwan on display. The Times of India. 5 Aug 2010. Web. 10 Oct 2012. http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-08-05/vadodara/28318379_1_stone-baroda-museum-museum-authorities
Willoughby, David. The Super-Athletes. New York: A.S. Barnes and Company, 1970.