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11/15/2014 5:07:41 AM - RT
Just saw you in a wet suit for stones at Maryland's strongest man, have been actually thinking of trying one myself for my next comp, since my shirt and shorts always stick badly.. Would you recommend using one? anything I should look for or stay away from when getting one for stones? thanks

Yes, you did. I have switched to wearing a sleeveless, short wetsuit during cold weather training to stay warm(er). Why would I do something so seemingly strange? Because most of us are already doing this to a degree. What are most knee sleeves, elbow sleeves, and swamp shorts made of? Neoprene. What are wetsuits made of? Neoprene. Same stuff. Granted there is "special stitching" on some brands of swamp shorts and the thickness of the neoprene varies somewhat, but in the end it's all the same stuff. So rather than worry about getting cold if it's frigid outside or if I have a long break between events during a competition, wearing my wetsuit, or alternatively a neoprene shirt with swamp shorts, makes it easier to stay warm and loose. Additionally, some companies actually make (or used to make) and market a sleeveless neoprene shirt specifically marketed toward strongmen and strongwomen. Mike Jenkins had one for years that he would use exclusively for stones. I will say that I am curious to see how my wetsuit holds up after long term use with atlas stones, but so far so good.

Now, whether you go the wetsuit route or not is your decision, but my first recommendation would be to get a good pair of neoprene shorts because you DO NOT want to wear a wetsuit for either training or competition when it is hot outside. Even if it's only in the low 70s, wearing a wetsuit in this weather for any sort of prolonged time period is likely to be severely detrimental (I almost gave myself heat stroke the first time I tried mine out and it had a strong negative impact on my performance during training). So get yourself a pair of rehband or NRS shorts first. I would never recommend doing stones in regular shorts, especially if using tacky.

In regard to your shirt, there are several courses of action here. The first is to wear some sort of neoprene belt to keep the stone from sticking to your belly and keep your shirt pulled down. Additionally you can have someone pull your shirttail back behind you and tape it or otherwise fasten it so that it is tight through the torso. You could also wear a tighter shirt that doesn't have so much extra material to get pulled up and stuck to the stone. Finally, you could always do stones shirtless, but I do not like this method myself for the same reason I always tape my forearms if I'm using tacky - if I'm sweaty, tacky is impossible to put on my skin and I like to add a little bit to my upper abdominal region and chest when I'm doing heavier stones. So doing shirtless stones would make it impossible for me to tack up my chest if I'm sweaty, which is pretty much a given.

So to sum up, I would recommend getting neoprene shorts and a neoprene belt before I would get a wetsuit as they are a viable option to use for both training and competition year round. If you have these already and want to expand your wardrobe of clothing that will eventually be fit only for being stored in the Bog of Eternal Stench, then you can try getting a neoprene shirt or a wetsuit.

Neoprene is armor for strongmen,
Andy Deck

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