Strength has been a human obsession since the dawn of time. Every culture had larger than life heroes whose levels of strength were unheard of. The Bible had Samson, Greek Mythology was littered with strong myths, such as the story Hercules, and Theseus. Even in modern America we have Paul Bunyan, a giant lumberjack with a blue ox.
In history’s obsession with strength, and the bragging rights that come with it, strong games came about. The first one that comes to most people’s minds are the Olympics, which have been around since 776 B.C.—held every 4 years to honor the god Zeus.
Another culture who places strength on a pedestal are the Scottish Highlanders. Modern Strength Games are derived from the Highlanders and their feats of power. Two events from the Highland Games have always intrigued me. First, the Clach Cuid Fir (Manhood Stone) which is where a stone weighing over 100lbs is attempted to be lifted and placed high on a wall or podium. Think modern day atlas stones in Strongman contests. The second, which will be our workout today, was the Clach Neart (Stone of Strength). The Stone of Strength was typically between 20 or 30 lbs, and the person attempted to shoulder it and throw it as far are possible, like the modern day shot put.
For this week’s workout, we are going to channel our inner Highlander and try to see if our stones are strong enough to handle it (see what I did there).
Set a timer for 15 minutes, and go find something heavy and awkward. Go outside to an open area, and every minute try to throw the object 3 times one way. If you complete those throws and still have time, rest the remaining minute, but I would guess that walking to get the object should be your rest. Switch up the throws as you wish. I like to throw backwards, chest throws like a basketball pass, shot put, or keeping my feet dug into the ground and only twisting my hips for power.
An easy breakdown would be:
Minute 1– 3x with right arm.
Minute 2– 3x with left arm.
Minute 3– 3x chest throw
Minute 4– 3x Backwards for height
Minute 5– 3x Backwards for distance….
And so forth, switching it up every minute for the minutes.
If you need to scale it, only do one throw per minute. Then over time you can build to two throws, then three.
For my Globo gym friends, grab a medicine ball and toss it against the wall, slam it on the ground, throw it at the guys curling in the squat rack, whatever you would like to do.
This workout will not only tax your shoulders and build lean, explosive muscle, it will also develop your core more strongly and effectively than doing hundreds of crunches per day.
Give it a shot and like always, let me know if you complete it.
Follow Cam on Instagram @moderncaveman.55