Fergus Crawley typically focuses equally on strength, endurance, and powerlifting as a hybrid athlete embarking on surreal feats of physical capacity. In 2022, he successfully lifted the historic Dinnie Stones, a feat fewer than 200 people have ever done.
However, that wasn’t his final foray into strongman. On July 25, 2023, Crawley published a video to his YouTube channel that featured his training session with the “world’s strongest brothers,” two-time World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion Tom Stoltman, and his older brother, 2021 Europe’s Strongest Man champion Luke Stoltman, along with 2022 Magnus ver Magnusson Strongman Classic champion Rongo Keene.
The Stoltmans train together and own their private facility near their hometown of Invergordon, Scotland. Crawley traveled there to learn the strongman trade. Check it below:
The training session was heavily focused on the events that Crawley will face at the upcoming 2023 Donald Dinnie Games (DDG) on Aug. 6, 2023. This is an annual gathering in Scotland more akin to The Highland Games than traditional strongman competitions.
The events and equipment used are unique to the DDG. However, the Stoltmans found ways to approximate each event to help Crawley with his technique. The events that they trained were:
The trio began with the log lift, a specialty of Tom Stoltman. He holds the British log lift record of 221 kilograms (487 pounds). While this an event Crawley will face at the 2023 DDG, the opportunity to learn from Britain’s top log-lifter was too good to miss.
Crawley explained that his overhead pressing is a weakness. He pressed the 70-kilogram (154-pound) log relatively easily, but the 90-kilogram (198-pound) log proved to be too heavy.
Keene joined for the next discipline — the bag toss. All three strongmen displayed explosive power. Crawley will throw the Rendrag Stone at the 2023 DDG, rather than a bag. This is an ancient Viking mill stone weighing 16.5 kilograms (36.4 pounds) to be thrown for distance rather than height.
Moving onto the next event, Crawley attempted heavy farmer’s walks carrying two independent weights by his side. He wore knee sleeves mainly to stop the weights from rubbing on his legs. In the video, the weights are clearly challenging as he could only move a short distance before putting them down.
At the competition, this event will be made all the more difficult as he will have to carry natural stones of mismatched weight — one is 138 kilograms (304 pounds) and the other 114 kilograms (251 pounds).
The shield carry is a familiar event, but the 2023 DDG does it a bit differently. Crawley will carry a stone molded in the shape of the legendary Icelandic Husáfell Stone. Although the same size and shape, the DDG stone weighs 130 kilograms (287 pounds) compared to the massive 186-kilogram (410-pounds) weight of the original Husáfell.
Tom Stoltman holds the 200-kilogram (441 pounds) shield carry world record and proved a worthwhile mentor for Crawley in this lift. Crawley moved with decent speed carrying a 120-kilogram (265-pound) shield. After finishing this lift, Crawley commented:
Strongman is just pain tolerance for time.
Crawley applied tacky to his hands and forearms to attempt the Atlas Stones. Tom Stoltman is regarded as the “King of the Stones” as he holds every world record the Atlas Stones have to offer.
At the 2023 DDG, Crawley will lift a stone to his shoulder for reps. While training with the Stoltmans, stones were lifted onto a raised platform under. It took him several attempts, but Crawley secured the 140-kilogram (309-pound) stone to the platform.
The video concludes with Crawley and Luke Stoltman taking a cold, early-morning swim in the North Sea. Stoltman explained that a daily swim in the sea helps settle any turbulent emotions. He expressed appreciation to Crawley for joining him in a ritual so close to his heart.
Featured image: @ferguscrawley on Instagram