Are you a fan of lifting heavy things? How about strongman? Game of Thrones? Big rocks?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, I’ve got exciting news: The Rogue film Fullsterkur has been chosen as a marquee feature production for the Austin Film Festival on October 30. Hafthor Bjornsson, Magnus Ver Magnusson, and Annie Thorisdottir will be in Austin for the screening, and you can purchase tickets at austinfilmfestival.com.
Fullsterkur Film Synopsis
Here’s the film’s official description:
FULLSTERKUR is the third documentary in a collection of films produced by Rogue Fitness, exploring strength culture around the world, connected specifically by the ancient tradition of stone lifting.
Nestled at the doorstep of the Arctic Circle, the country of Iceland is uniquely acquainted with the relationship between strength and survival. For hundreds of years, men and women were challenged to overcome harsh weather and endless winter nights by developing their own distinct physical and mental fortitude—passed down from the age of the Vikings, and iconically represented by the lifting of heavy stones. Today, on an island with a population of just over 300,000, a disproportionate number of the world’s greatest strength athletes still call Iceland home.
The film features some of the modern stars of Iceland strength, including Magnus Ver Magnuson, Hafthor Bjornsson, and Annie Thorisdottir. But it also sheds light on strength culture’s early roots in the region, from the traditions of the Vikings and Sagas to the lives of farmers and fishermen.
In my opinion, though, it’s best summed up with some of the comments it received on YouTube:
“If this doesn’t inspire you, nothing will.”
“Next goal: Fullsterkur.”
“It’s stuff like this that makes you realize how much more you can give.”
Why Stones Are Awesome
From a training standpoint, here’s why you should care about stone lifting. In fact, stones have a long history in strength sports, and if you’ve ever loaded a heavy Atlas stone, you know exactly why. There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get from picking a massive rock up off the floor — mostly because of the sense of accomplishment, but also because of the sense of not being able to breathe because there’s a rock on your chest. If that doesn’t sell you on stone lifting, I highly recommend you check out the following articles here on Barbend:
- How Using Atlas Stones Can Benefit Almost Every Type of Athlete
- Grip Training Tips from a Dinnie Stones World Record Holder
- Pain, Grit, and Power: The Strongest Americans You Don’t Know
You can also read more and even check out Rogue’s first documentary about stonelifting – titled Levantadores – right here. Levantadores debuted in 2015, and explores the “rural” side of strongman, showing the Basque traditions of stone lifting, wood cutting, and bale tossing which, over time, have evolved into strength sports in their own right. Levantadores was followed by Stoneland, the story of feats of strength in the Scottish Highlands. I highly recommend all of Rogue’s historical documentaries about strength, including their Legends Series, all available on YouTube here.
In Remembrance of Dr. Terry Todd
The film was a labor of love for expert consultants Drs. Jan and Terry Todd, who have worked together with Rogue on all of these documentaries. On a personal note, Fullsterkur is dedicated to the memory of Terry, a strength legend in his own right who passed away on July 7 of this year. Terry was one of my closest personal mentors, inside and outside of the strength world. Even when I first began my doctoral work at the University of Texas, he took an interest in my training – long before I’d achieved anything anywhere remotely noteworthy – and he remained supportive of everything I did.
I still often reflect on one of the little wisdoms he shared with me early on in our relationship: “don’t let perfect become the enemy of good.” Terry was giving me advice for a powerlifting meet, but really, I think he recognized that I’m a bit of a perfectionist in everything I do, and he knew that I’d have far more success if I could make room in my life for the imperfect. He was, of course, no stranger to success himself: He won championships in powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting; he trained with the York barbell team; he ran the Arnold Strongman Classic; he wrote for Sports Illustrated; and much, much more.
Terry was extraordinarily inspirational in my life, and it would mean a lot to me if you could include him in your thoughts when you watch the film.
Feature image from @roguefitness Instagram page.