There were Superheros all over the place, this past Sunday.
From little kids with their faces painted like the Ninja Turtles, Spider Man, and even characters from Frozen…
To the athletes who participated in the 5K Run/Walk…
To the entertainers who did their thing after the event was complete.
It was a day to celebrate the inspiration we get from one awesome little boy and his family.
Sunday, August 23rd, was the 2nd Annual Mason’s Hope 5k Run/Walk.
And I had the honor to be a part of it for the second year, perform classic oldetime strongman feats of strength.
Above, I’m blowing up a hot water bottle until it bursts…
The whole day of activities is dedicated to Mason Barto, a boy from Towanda, PA, who has CDG (Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation) and it keeps him from living the kind of life most youngsters enjoy.
However, despite the challenges he faces, physically, Mason and his family continue to be bright faces in the community and an inspiration for countless people.
I know that when I came home later on and did my August of Arms workout, thinking of Mason made me focus in and take things a little bit further than my body wanted to.
It truly is my privilege to be a part of this great day each year.
Below, you’ll see the video of the entire show I did, and after I finished up, local singer, Aaron Kelly, who was on season 9 of American Idol, gave a little concert as well.
A great day indeed. I hope you enjoy the videos.
Intro and Warm-up Bend – Bending a Horseshoe
A nod to Pat Povilaitis, “The Human Vise,” and first person I ever saw do this feat.
Bending a 60D with Aaron Kelly in my Arms
A nod to Dennis Rogers, Grandmaster Strongman, who made this feat famous.
Bending a Nail on the Bed of Nails
I invited Mason up to help me out with this one.
Kid Lifting with the Strongman Bench
The kids always have a lot of fun with this one. I got the idea from Strongman John Beatty, who was once on America’s Got Talent and performs strongman shows all over the country.
Breaking a Chain with Arm Strength
I wanted to do something cool involving Arm strength, so I decided to break a chain. Looking back, I wish I would have gone for a double chain break, because the single ended up being too light.
Ripping a Phone Book in Half
This was a Pittsburgh phone book, so I made a couple sports jokes before ripping this book in two.
Bending / Breaking a Hammer
This was a Pittsburgh steel hammer, so I worked the Pittsburgh sports joke in one more time. Somehow, the handle broke on this instead of the neck bending like it usually does, so it didn’t look as good as it usually does.
Bursting a Hot Water Bottle with Lung Power
The hardest challenge of the shoe, I always feel like I might pass out doing this one.
Dousing the Flaming Hammer
This is one of my signature feats, I guess, since I light it on fire and talk about my original interest in becoming a pro wrestler called Napalm Jedd. I also use it to salute Slim “The Hammer-Man” Farman, one of if not THE oldest living performing strongman.
Performing feats of strength is a fun and reward form of training, and I’d love to share my knowledge with you, via any of my various resources. Please check some of them out below and let me know if you have any questions as far as what can be the best fit for you.
All the best in your training.
Tags: feats of grip strength, strongman feats, strongman feats of strength, strongman show
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Inch Dumbbell DVD
I’m excited to announce that I have a new DVD coming out soon on How to Lift the Inch Dumbbell.
This is a topic that readers have been asking me about for several years.
For many, Lifting the Inch Dumbbell is a lifetime goal of theirs.
For others, it’s something that they think they might never be able to reach, because it is so challenging to lift.
Well, I say, STOP PUTTING THE INCH ON A PEDESTAL.
With this DVD, everyone, from newbies in the world of Grip, to wily veterans who’ve set the Inch as their next goal, and even to the gripster who bought the Inch on a whim and is unsure how to go about working with it, will understand how to train on the Inch Dumbbell.
To be the first to get your hands on this DVD, add your information to the box below:
Here are some of the things you’re gonna learn when you pick up this DVD:
1. Inch Dumbbell Lifting Styles
There are 4 main ways to lift the Inch. You’ll learn exactly what they are, which one provides you with the most mechanical advantage, and which ones are more challenging.
2. Getting a Good Grip on the Inch
Do you just “Grab n Go?” They you might be making it harder on yourself to lift the Inch. You’re gonna learn the way you should apply your grip to maximize your grip strength, and also how to take advantage of the elastic properties of your hand skin.
3. Taking Advantage of Your Strengths
: You may not know it yet, but you may not be truly taking advantage of your individual strengths when you try to lift the Inch. You’re going to learn the three grip variations you can use on your attempts so you CAN take better advantage of your strengths and make lifting the Inch easier.
4. Inch Training Alternatives
What if you don’t have an Inch Dumbbell Replica yet? Does that mean you’re outta luck? No way! There’s plenty of good implements you can use to build Inch Lifting hand strength, you’ve just gotta know which ones are legit, and which ones are a waste of your time. You’ll find all that out here.
5. Inch Training Drills
There is SO MUCH you can do with your Inch Dumbbell, but you might not have thought of it yet. In 10 years of Inch Dumbbell training, I’ve discovered dozens of ways to work with the Inch. You’re gonna learn my absolute best Inch training drills so you can waste less time and move closer to the Inch faster than ever.
6. Inch Implement Drills
If you’ve bought a bunch of gear and you’re not sure what to do with it, no worries. You’ll soon see some High Impact drills you can do with things like the Rolling Thunder, Wrist Wrench, Gulley Grip, FBBC Crusher, Shot Loadable and Plate Loadable Dumbbells, and MORE!
At this point, your mouth MUST be watering to get your hands on this DVD.
Well, I’m not even done shooting this thing yet, so there’s gonna be EVEN MORE once this thing’s done.
While it’s not 100% complete yet, I’m at the stage where things are going to accelerate very quickly.
Make sure you’re on the Inch Dumbbell DVD List so you’ll know when it comes out ASAP.
For now, I’ve got a little bit more filming, quite a bit of editing, and some uploading and mastering to do.
All the best in your training!
Grip Training with the “Chunk”
My gym is filled to the brim with cool grip training gear I’ve accumulated over the years.
That’s what happens when you collect stuff for over 10 years!
Every so often, I like to dig one of the hidden gems out of the corner, dust it off, and give it a few pulls.
Recently, we pulled out the “Chunk.” This one isn’t really “new” to me, as I’ve had it since 2006, but I don’t think I’ve ever put anything out in the public about it until now. So, in that sense, I guess you could say it’s new…
The Chunk Block Weight
The Chunk is a 66-lb steel or iron drop, or scrap piece, essentially a piece that was cut off and never used. The Chunk is what’s considered a Block Weight. Even though Block Weights are usually one of the heads of a dumbbell, they can be any block-shaped implement that you lift with an open handed pinch grip.
Block Weights can be very beneficial for your training. They work the thumb very hard, and they make the entire lower arm work together in order to perform your lifts.
Block Weight Training is a great form of grip training to add into your routine.
Block Weights develop hand and grip strength in a general sense, which means it has the potential to improve strength in order types of grip training, and will carry over to other types of lifting because you’ll be stronger overall from doing Block Weight Training.
Here’s a few videos where we lift the Chunk and try some cool variations by adding weight to it…
Intro to the Chunk
Just taking a look at the Chunk to see its weight and features such as edges and surfaces.
Protected Training on the Chunk
With the sharp edges the Chunk has, we tried protecting our skin with a suede bending wrap and lifting it.
Throwing Chains on the Chunk
Adding chains makes it tougher to complete the lift because it gets heavier, the higher you pull it. It’s an excellent way to train your grip, borrowed from the world of Powerlifting (Louie Simmons introduced me to the concept).
Major Take-aways from Today’s Post
Here’s a few things to remember from today’s post for your training.
- Block Weights are beneficial because they target the thumb (often neglected in training) and develop the entire lower arm in a general sense.
- Block Weights come in nearly endless shapes and sizes and can be used for many different types of lifts.
- Don’t be afraid to pull from other established training protocols and try the concepts in your grip training in order to spice things up a bit and keep yourself progressing. Naturally, do so safely!
If you’d like to get started with Block Weight Training, but don’t know where to begin, then grab my Block Weight Training DVD today. It also comes in digital format so you don’t have to mess with shipping.
All the best in your training.
Discover New Levels of Hand Strength with Block Weight Training
Tags: block weight lifting, block weight training, block weights, grip strength, grip training
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To me, the greatest thing about lifting weights is the never ending ways to challenge yourself.
Just when you accomplish one goal, there’s any number of other things you can do to make yourself better.
In the Fall of 2014, I pushed myself to the limit with 20-Rep Squats.
I wanted to see how far I could go.
I started with 225-lbs, and over the course of about 10 weeks, I worked my way to 355-lbs. I only got 16 reps with that, however, as on my last rep I strained a hamstring/groin muscle.
But I had no regrets. Sometimes an injury happens when you’re trying to see what you limits truly are.
After a couple months of rehab, recovery, and rebuilding, I decided I was ready for another round of 20-Rep Squats, only this time i was gonna do it a little different.
Instead, this time, the goal would be to hit 20-reps of Goblet Squats with the Inch Dumbbell.
Here’s my best effort to date in max reps: 13 with the 176-lb Inch Dumbbell on loan from John Eaton:
Goblet Squats are a great exercise. While they are usually used as a precursor to Back Squatting by using lighter weights, they can also be used for heavy training as well. On top of using the Inch Dumbbell for Goblet Squats, I was also using the 200-lb Kettlebell for Goblet Squats for a time this year as well. You can see some videos of that here => 200-lb Kettlebell Goblet Squats.
What’s interesting about Heavy Goblet Squatting, especially with a circus-style dumbbell such as the Inch Dumbbell, is that a part of the bell lies on your stomach.
So, not only is breathing difficult due to the dumbbell being held at chest height, you’ve also got the additional challenge of breathing through the belly against the lower portion of the dumbbell at the same time.
I liken this challenge to performing multiple repetitions of Atlas Stone lifting. The difference is, you never drop the stone to re-grip or load it atop a platform. Instead, it’s like you just keep going from the lap to the chest-load position.
Stone Lifting Technique: The Chest-Load
Above, Steve Slater lifts a stone to the chest-load position. Going from lap to chest-load like this feels VERY similar to Inch Dumbbell Goblet Squats.
It makes for an awesome physical challenge, and that’s what it’s all about, for me, when it comes to strength training.
I’ll keep you updated on the 20-Rep Inch Dumbbell Goblet Squat Saga.
Speaking of the Inch Dumbbell, next week, I will be shooting a DVD on that very subject. If you’re training to lift the Inch Dumbbell, make sure you sign up for updates about it using the form below.
Lift the Inch Dumbbell – Sign up Below:
All the best in your training.
Tags: atlas stone lifting, atlas stones, inch, inch dumbbell, stone lifting, stones, strongman, strongman stones, thomas inch dumbbell, thomas inch replica dumbbell
Posted in feats of strength, inch dumbbell, stone lifting, strongman | No Comments »
In September, my friend from Finland, Juha Harju put up a video of himself lifting the Inch Dumbbell in one hand while doing a #3.5 Silver Bullet Hold at the same time.
I have written about this type of training many times in the past, and it is called Bi-Polar Training.
Here are a couple of examples of past articles on Bi-Polar Training:
This feat was called “Feat of the Year” by someone on Facebook, and the name stuck.
I tried the feat and couldn’t quite get it at first, but with time, I was able to get it.
I then challenged Juha to perform the feat both hands: the gripper in one hand and the Inch in the other, and then reversing the combination within 2 minutes of completing the first one.
This has been a crazy challenge for me, as it combines two of my poorest events, but it has been great seeing the progress come along, brotherrr.
First Attempt at Feat of the Year (Misses)
The FRUSTRATING Feat of the Year Challenge
First Successful Feat of the Year & First Attempt at Double Feat of the Year
First Official Double Feat of the Year
Training this feat has unfortunately slowed to an absolute HALT.
At some point along the lines of performing this feat, I strained something in both shoulders, either a triceps muscle, a lat muscle, or worst yet, a rotator cuff muscle.
At this point, deadlifting anything off the floor has become impossible to do without substantial pain, so I have shut down most one-handed grip lifts from the floor in order to give the injured tissues time to heal.
What this also means is that I can’t train most of the lifts in the King Kong of Grip Challenge taking place at the end of this month.
I was really looking forward to it, but I would rather write this one off in order to get back to 100%.
I will still be running the Pennsylvania Leg of the King Kong here at my place in Wyalusing though, and not competing will enable me to run a more organized contest and help out the new competitors.
So, if you have been kicking around the idea of competing here, by all means come over and go for it, brotherrr!
All the best in your training.
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