A few weeks ago I attended a CrossFit Strongman Certification with Rob Orland, at Hybrid Athletics. A course, that I highly recommend for anyone looking to incorporate some strongman into their CrossFit. Eager to get to doing some strongman lift, I asked him what two strongman toys he recommended you purchase first, Rob told me to makes some atlas stones, and to buy a yoke. Following his advice I got to it, and surprisingly enough, he was right, atlas stones are really pretty simple to make.
I have also purchased a Rogue Y2 Yoke. The Y2 is perfect for a garage gym, you can push it, pull it, carry it, it serves as a bench/squat rack, and you can attach a pull up bar up top that you can do pull ups or ring dips from. If anyone is considering what piece of equipment to buy for their garage gym, I simple cannot say enough about the Rogue Y1-Y3 series.
Making Atlas Stones
– silicone lube
– zip ties
– trowel or a nice garden hand shovel
– clippers/scissors to remove zip ties
– flathead screwdriver
– a rag
– a rubber mallet (optional)
– a chisel or you can use steel wool
– the molds (you can get them from hybrid athletics or rogue)
– cement – quikrete works best (amount depends on number of stones)
All these ingredients are pretty darn cheap, we are talking less than $100 to have your own set of stones.
1.) Spray the inside of the molds. Be very liberal with the silicone spray! It should look like runny jello, very thick. This step will be key when you are taking the molds off, this is what helps them come apart.
2.) Zip-tie the halves of the mold together. This can be done first, then you can spray the inside and wipe it down with a rag.
3.) Mix the cement and fill the mold. I used a wheel barrow to mix the concrete.
* Consistency is important, you don’t want it too runny, but you don’t want it too thick either. It should like soft dog doo, sorry this is the best visual example I can think of to explain this.
* Make sure once it is full that you lift and shift it, this will help it fill fully and create more space to fill. Make sure you round it up top to get a circular ball and cover with a rag.
4.) After 24 hours, the stone is ready to come out of the mold. This is where you will need to use your flat head screwdriver to go around the edge and start taking it apart. Once you have one half off, you will want to pound around the edges with a mallet or the back end of your trowel. Be careful not to break the edges of the mold.
5.) Now clean up any rough edges with the steel wool.
6.) Rob Orlando said, the longer you can keep the cement wet or damp, the stronger and the better the cure on the cement stones. So after an hour baking in the sun, hose down the stones periodically to ensure their strength.
7.) Finally, clean up the molds carefully so that they last. DO NOT use sandpaper to remove debris. I made this mistake, so try and remember that you want to try your best to keep the plastic as smooth as possible.
8.) Let the stones harden for about two weeks before using them in your WODs.
This video – Mold Prep and Pouring, by Rob shows the process from start to finish.
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