WOW: The Sweatstone

1 cycle for time:

25 Meters Stone Crawl Push x 4
10 Shot Puts (5 each hand)
10 Overhead Throws
10 Chest Throws

How-to: This workout is best done on a grass field. Choose a round stone (aka “sweatstone”). Use a suitable weight for your ability level (10-30 lb will do for most people). Push the stone on hands-and-feet, always having three limbs touching the ground, so that it rolls away from you. Quickly crawl to the stone and repeat, alternating arms as you proceed down the field. Complete 25 meters.

Pick the stone up and shot put it 5 times each hand. Repeat the crawl for another 25 meters. Now overhead throw the stone with both hands 10 times. Repeat the crawl for another 25 meters. Now chest throw the stone using with both hands 10 times. Crawl once more.

After each of the throws above sprint to the rock.

Record your time. Submit your time and rock weight in the comment board below.

Variation: Complete additional cycles for time and/or use a heavier stone to increase the difficulty of this WOW.

Hat Tip: This is the very first reader-submitted WOW to pass the scrutiny and testing of me and my team. It comes courtesy of Mark’s Daily Apple reader Mike Krone. Thanks, Mike!

What are WOWs?

  • Workouts of the Week (WOWs) are an optional component of Primal Blueprint Fitness that add a fractal and often fun and playful quality to the basic PBF protocol.
  • In most cases WOWs should only be completed by those that have mastered Level 4 of each Lift Heavy Things Essential Movement. Also, it?s recommended that WOWsreplace one or both Lift Heavy Things workouts or the Sprint workout (depending on the WOW) each week instead of being done in addition to the Lift Heavy Things and Sprint workouts.
  • Learn more about WOWs and Primal Blueprint Fitness by getting the free eBook. And access all Workouts of the Week in the WOW Archive.

Reader-Submitted WOW Video

A big thanks to Mark?s Daily Apple reader and PBFer Kit Perkins from perkinskit’s posterous for submitting this WOW video. Grok on!

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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37 thoughts on “WOW: The Sweatstone”

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  1. That’s so crazy! I didn’t think I was going to have time to check the site today and my Sweatstone workout is up here!!! I’m so excited! Thank you Mark, and thank you worker bees! I can’t believe how quickly that went up, I figured you already had a few more WOW’s mapped out as it’s still young! Anyways I’m so excited to see how everybody likes it! I hope everybody finds it as fun of a workout as I have!

  2. Where do you get these sweatstones? That looks like a fun workout.

    1. Usually there is a good assortment of suitable stones near small rivers and creeks. I live in Illinois so no shortage here, but I suppose that could be tricky some places:( btw, stones that are actually broken up chunks of man-made concrete=BAD. They chip off a lot when you throw ’em and if your doing this at a park… kids play there, that could be bad.

    2. You can make one with a hollow ball, about softball size, some sand and duct tape.

  3. That looks awsome, I’ll do it tomorrow morning, since now it’s 21:15 in the evening here in Sweden. Although, going out now would be kind of cool, night-time hunting! Nah, better do it tomorrow before breakfast to get some apetite!

  4. Looks like fun but just need to clarify – once you’re done throwing the rock each time, what’s the best way to measure the 25yd crawl? Assuming that after each throw I could end up anywhere , wouldn’t it be best to return to a fixed point and then start the crawl to another fixed point?

    Thanks in advance,

    Confused Grok.

    1. I paced off the distance from the edge of the field, then stuck a funnel in the lawn to mark it off.

      I found that 5 throws covered about 25 yards, but that can easily be different for everyone.

    2. I usually stuck a couple of sticks in the ground for my 25 yds and when I was done throwin, carried the stone back to the nearest starting point, either running or walking, usually depending on how it was that day:)

  5. I’m curious to read what other folks are using in lieu of a bona fide sweatstone. I’m guessing medicine balls – but, I don’t have one, so hoping that others present creative alternatives that I might be able to consider! 😉

    1. Not to be too picky (or hog up the boards too much which I’m kinda doing) But when I first started doing this I thought of a medicine ball but then figured it would probably roll too far ahead… suppose you still get a good workout either way, I think maybe if I used a medicine ball I might increase the distance as to get an extra push in there. the basketball tricks below are AWESOME!! ~very McGuivre! I’m going to have to try that out, that could be REALLY fun!

    2. I was thinking of using my 36# kettlebell, since I don’t have a handy stone of reasonable mass.

  6. For those who dont have a medicine ball or cant find a rock, you can make your own medicine ball for around 5- 10 bucks. Get an old basketball (or a new one from walmart is like 4 bucks) cut a small slit and fill it with sand or dirt. Then use some rubber cement on the slit and tape the crap out of it. I used a few layers or duct tape, then tennis racket or lacross stick grip tape as the final layer, so when I sweat the grips not slippery!

      1. I used an old basketball, sand in a funnel, and when I hit 20lb, stuffed pieces of old shirts in to fill up the rest of the space. The sand ball won’t roll much more than a rock.

  7. I also made my medicine ball out of a basketball.

    I stretched it out to 30 yards because 25 seemed a little short. I was able to do four full crawls, but man are they tough.

    Also, perhaps my throws are just too short, but it was hard for me to sprint such a short distance. I did my best, then did some of my standard sprints afterward.

    Overall, tons of fun and work in a tight package. Total time 4:48.

  8. You know, I had thought about using an old tire for something similar. However, I didn’t think about shot putting. I had considered an overhand and underhand overhead throw.
    Either way, looks like fun.

  9. WOW! That’s an accomplishment getting past Mark and his team! This workout is the epitome as primal, in my opinion. I don’t know if it can get any better than this. The gauntlet has be thrown down! Time to turn on the creative and competitive juices…

  10. I can’t wait to try this. I was going to do it this morning – now – but I think Friday will be a better day. Doing it on an open field with a good size stone does seam ideal. Time to master the 5 essential movements instead for now!

  11. Damn that was tough but fun! I found a reasonably large rock, weighing approx 6 kg.
    First 25 yards went fast, on the shot-putting I was on fire! I had to shot-put to and from a couple of times since I had already reached the finish-line!
    After that, suddenly it was lactic acid all over the place.
    A quick peak at the stopwatch showed 5.45 right before the chest throws and last 25 yard crawl.
    “Can I finish the workout under 7 minutes?”
    I’m proud of myself, the last crawl I went from trainee to warrior, finishing the whole thing in 6.53!
    Looking forward to this WOW the next time it shows up!

  12. I went out to my local cross fit gym last night only to find out they were closed for Labor Day. Then, it dawned upon me…the WOW…so I went online on my phone and found it again. I grabbed a 15-20 lb. fairly round stone that we use to hold the door open and did the following workout by myself outside in the grass as numerous people drove by. They thought I was nuts!

    3 cycles for time:

    25 yards Stone Crawl Push x 4

    10 Shot Puts (5 each hand)

    10 Overhead Throws

    10 Chest Throws

    800 meter run

    After that, I did one round of tabata pullups on the bars outside the gym.

    Thanks for being there for me, Mark!

  13. Anyone have a video of this WOW? I have never done most of these exercises and would love clarification that I am understanding correctly.

    1. I think they’re planning to put a video up soon (hopefully the one I submitted!).

      If you’d like you can click on my name below for a link to my blog, and there’s a video of this workout in the “Day 36 Breakdown” post.

      Hope no one minds me connecting you to the video that way.

  14. One complete cycle for time, I came in at around 3 minutes. I thought this was way too quick. I will do this again tomorrow. As part of my 30 day challenge, I got my wife to do this too,

  15. 3:51 using 20lb basketball full of sand.

    Convinced wife and 3 out of 4 kids to do a lite version with me in about 2:30, then did the full version myself, barefoot. Stepped on a thistle. Got a mosquito bite. Loved every second.

    Sandball rolled a bit more than I thought it would. Rock would have been harder.


  16. Not sure if it was the wisest thing to do but I “warmed up” for this by doing a full round of Tabata sprints…

    Managed 6’20” using a 17lb slosh ball (my new favourite toy! – think basketball half filled with water).



  17. I staked out 50 yards and started in the middle. I went 25 yards with a 26 pound kettle bell swinging it out in front of me with 3 points of contact at all times while alternating hands each throw(that sucked after two trips). I then threw 5x shot put each arms, and 10 x exploding up and throwing the weight down after raising to to an overhead position. I changed this to kettle bell swings on later cycles because of the huge divits that I was creating in the baseball field. After one cycle I did a quick sprint back to the middle then walking lunges to the other line. Once there I did 10x air squats, and a 5 x 25 to get me back to the center line. I jogged to the other end and started. I alternated the kettle bell with a 20 lb. medicine ball, and completed 5 total cycles. 23 minutes was my total time.

  18. that should read a 5x 25 yard suicides to get me back to the center line after the air squats.

    This was challenging for my total body. I had an upper body workout planned for my lunch break, but opted to skip it, and I am sore tonight as I type. Good suggestion…

  19. The stone I used wasn’t round so I had to flip it over in the crawl which took a while. 26 lb stone, 18.36 minutes.

    1. now that’s a little bit more the true spirit of how this workout began. the random shape of your rock is what makes the challenge. I usually can only push a stone just a few feet in front of me. Also a little added bonus is to switch to more of an alligator crawl on some of the pushes, rather than the bear crawl style!

  20. Did this one today. The Grok crawl is harder than it seems but since I didn’t have to do it for an hour and then run a 5k, it seemed less daunting as I was performing it. Finished with good but slow form.

  21. Note to self: large dogs apparently like chasing rocks! Not too bright but would be a fun training companion….

  22. I don’t agree with the shot putting movement of this workout you should not shot putt over 10lbs you will be putting far too much strain on the weak rotator cuff. People tear the muscle all the time due to this over exertion particularly due to wieght load. professional shot putters never use more than a 12 lb shot and they have built the muscle up for years and use proper form. I wouldn’t suggest we cavemen use more than 10 to start with.