Monday, August 31, 2009

The Lift at Jedd's Grip Contest

I think it's cool how people think up great names for their grip contests. I think it's funny how nobody thought up a clever name for the contest we just had at Jedd's. It's only been known as the "Lift at Jedd's" on the Gripboard. I like it that way. It's like an "Eat at Joe's" t-shirt.

A big thanks to Mike for carting my sorry ass up to PA and back at 4:30AM! A big thanks to Jedd for hosting this comp at his place and for his family’s hospitality.

Here’s my take (with a healthy dose of Monday Morning Quarterbacking):

Grippers – Stupid mistake #1: I should have done much better here. I made a stupid mistake by blowing a little strength off on a lighter BBE (to play it safe) and it took too much off me on the back end. I ended up missing the 174.2lb Hard BBE by pinching my skin between the handles TWICE. I’ll tell you this, that gripper went right down, but it wasn’t meant to be. If I was able to get that dang gripper closed I would have tied Jedd for first in grippers.

Pinch – Rookie mistake #1: I’ve only ever touched a Euro Pinch once before this contest. I pulled like 160lbs on it real easy with no advice. That’s it. Jedd pulls out the pinch and puts around 140-150lbs on it for folks to warm-up and get a feel. It felt amazing. Everyone started right at 173lbs. No problems all around. The next jump was to 184lbs and change and I pulled it very easily. 193lbs and change on the bar and I take a warm-up lift – easy (it felt just as solid as 184lbs). So I pass on the lift (Stupid). I felt so confident that I passed on 198lbs and change too (also stupid)! We get the pinch loaded up with 203lbs and change and I couldn’t budge it. Rookie move! I should have pulled 193lbs and change for an easy attempt and made a run at 198lbs and change.

2” V-Bar – I never train this event and to be quite honest, I’m happy I got what I did! HAHA! I was utterly amazed at the weight Brent and Jedd were able to get off the ground! I toyed around with my grip and tried to take in advice from everyone; it obviously didn’t help much. I tied for last. Ehh…

300lb Axle for Reps – WOW! It was brutal. WOW! I suck at thick bar. I don’t have access to a thick bar to train and it really, really showed here. I wanted to pull that weight, but my hands simply couldn’t hold on to that bar. I got 5th with a measly 2 reps. I need to work on my thick bar somehow. Jeez.

Medley – Rookie mistake #2: I should have pulled the 3-25’s FIRST! Jedd laid out a sweet medley for the contest finisher with 17 items. I took a look around and knew there were a few items I wasn’t going to be able to lift – Inch, 180lb RT, maybe the Euro Pinch, and maybe that 153lb thick handle loadable. I was pretty confident on everything else. HAHA! Wrong again. I tried to utilize my LH as much as possible in this medley, pulling more with it than I ever thought possible. I was very pleased in that respect. I pulled the 50lb Blob with my LH about 6” but, couldn’t get it to the platform so I had to re-grip and get it with my RH. I got to the 3-25’s (which I’ve done before) up a few inches several times, but I couldn’t get it on the platform. I was beyond frustrated. I ended up tying for second with Eaton on this event with 12 total items lifted.

I finished 4th. Not real bad. I wish I would have done better, regardless of where that would have put me in the final standings.

My impressions of the competition:

Jedd Johnson – Jedd is looking bigger and leaner than the last time we met. He’s been putting the time in the gym and it’s really showing. He’s strong all around and it’s reflected in his contest performance. He was solid in every aspect of the contest; not only as a competitor, but as an organizer and judge as well.

John Eaton – What can you say about Eaton? He’s nasty all around and he was up for like 2 days straight! HAHA! The guy drives in from work, kicks some tail and rolls out. John was on point with the jokes and grip advice per usual. He brought his daughter Kelly down who totally rocks the speed bag like it’s nobody’s business. She also clicked off a billion reps on Mike’s HG200. Hilarious.

Brent Barbe – “Who the hell is Brent Barbe?” is what I was thinking before this contest. The guy rolls up in a Toyota Echo smoking a pipe and wearing tourist Teva sandals and I immediately knew I was going to love him! HAHA! Brent is
really strong and gave some great tips to everyone who needed them (mostly me). Brent had some killer lifts and notices every aspect of everyone’s technique. He also helped Jedd judge several events. Real good dude. I hope to see more of Brent in the future.

Frank Snyder – This kid has some serious potential. He’s big and strong with giant hands to match. Really solid guy and well rounded in the grip game and so young!

Mike Rinderle – Mike is a strong dude. You know…the kind of strong dude who doesn’t realize his strength potential. Mike did very well considering the field and VERY well considering he’s only be playing around with grip for like 6 months. Every lift he made was a qualifier lift for the GGC. Not to mention, he had about 11 hours of wheel time on this trip. Great guy all around and really did well in his first contest.

Post Contest Lifts:

-Jedd hit that slick half 120lb hex and high pulled the Inch;
-Frank got a double Blob lift and a load of 5 dimes craziness (index and middle finger nonsense);
-Eaton cleaned and curled 5 dimes and pulled the Inch to about knee height;
-Mike got a solid 5 dimes lift;
-Barbe nailed a double blob lift and a shallow double hub lift;
-I hit the double blob and shallow hubs as well.

I'm still a little sore - back to training tomorrow. When I get my hands on some video and/or pics I'll post 'em up here.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

BIG NEWS: National Qualifier Contest and a Newer, Scarier Eaton!

Big News
First Grip Contest - I'm going to be participating in my first grip contest this weekend! It's a legit qualifier for the US Hand Strength Association National Championship (Global Grip Challenge, hosted by the Diesel Crew). This is The Real Deal Holyfield! Time to play with the serious guys in grip!

If all goes well, and I can complete the desired qualifying lifts, I'll earn a spot to compete in the National Championships.

A big thanks to Jedd for pulling this qualifier contest together in such short order!!!!

Mike and I will be heading up to PA on Saturday morning to represent the Mid-Atlantic Contingent. Wish us luck! I'll post a full write-up and any footage when I get back from the contest.

A Newer, Scarier Eaton - Have you been following the Brothers in Grip blog? If you don't...START. If you are, you'll know already that John Eaton is working out. If you are a grip strength athlete you should be worried. Everybody jokingly calls John's grip training method, "The Couch Potato Method" and he still lands on the podium at contests. If this guy sticks with his weight training, his grip will only improve along with it. Brothers in Grip is a great blog. If you have any interest in grip, you should check it out. If you don't have any interest in grip, you should check it out. John is only one of the three great dudes who post on there!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

6" X 1/4" Grade 8 Bolt Bend

I know...I said I wasn't going to do it. Yes, yes...I know. I understand... Wait...

I won't say I'm sorry.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mash Monster Level 1, CoC #4, and Left Hand Progress

Mike and I finally got our cert all squared away for the Mash Monster Level 1 gripper. Mike took a ride down to DC on Monday night so we could film our attempts. It was a total debacle: 3 cameras, 2 griptards, 1 gripper. Don't get me started on the $1200 HD video sure takes a pretty HD picture - just try getting your footage off the damn camera in a usable format. Yeah. Sweet. The bottom line here is we both successfully closed the gripper and were awarded Mash Monster Level 1 status. Once our profiles are completed and uploaded onto the Mash Monster site I'll post the link. I am the 58th man in the world to officially close the MM1 gripper and Mike is the 59th. Here's the vid:

As soon as we got the 'Three Whites' call, I immediately signed us up for the MM2. The roster is shorter, so I'll be looking forward to this sooner rather than later.

A big thanks to Mike's wife Melissa and daughter Lindsey for coming out and running the camera and back-up camera. It would have been much harder without the help!

So...I've been squawking about trying to close this CoC #4 for a while now. I've been following the progress of a few other folks on the Gripboard who are chasing the CoC #4 as well. There are some really strong crushers out there right now! My grippers have been doing really well lately, so I thought I'd give the CoC #4 a try tonight. I actually tried the other day; but, I didn't have enough rest from the MM1, so it wasn't a solid attempt.

I've had a few folks ask me how close I'm getting on the CoC #4; but, I hate to speculate so I always just tell them, "I'm getting closER." I decided to break out the camera for grippers tonight just to get a CoC #4 attempt on video. I think I've been a little closer...but not much. This is about as solid an attempt on this gripper as I've ever had. Every 1/16" is progress on this thing.

I've closed Mike's CoC #3 with my left hand a few times. I've missed my CoC #3 and Eaton's CoC #3 COUNTLESS times. So many times it's silly. So many times it's amazing I still try! HAHA! I picked up Eaton's CoC #3 tonight and finally felt the handles touch lefty! I can't mash it to hell yet; but, they touched. Just tapped. Tap tap taparoo. I'm pretty pumped.

More to come.