Which Feat Should You Start With First?
I’m often asked what is the best feat of strength to start with.
I think card tearing is the best way to get started with feats of strength.
Not bending nails, not tearing phone books, and not horseshoes.
There’s three reasons why I suggest you start out with tearing cards.
Why You Should Start With Card Tearing Before Anything Else
1) Cards are Cheap
Cheaper end cards, the kind that are perfect for beginners, cost only $1 at Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and similar stores. Sometimes they’re even cheaper than that!
2) No Other Gear Required
With nail bending and many other feats, you need wraps, cutters, rubber bands, etc. With card tearing, you don’t need any of that. You just take the card out of the box and start tearing.
3) Perfect for Hand Conditioning
Although made of paper, tearing cards still requires appreciable tension in the hands. Cards allow you to get used to straining and putting for sustained pressure, repeatedly in order to get the job done.
Once you’re used to this, you’ll be ready for the stresses associated with nail bending, horseshoes, and braced bends as well.
If you want to get started with feats of strength, Card Tearing is your ticket.
And I’ve got the perfect resource for you, to help you get started right: Card Tearing ebook.
All the best in your training.
(L to R) James Fuller, Jedd, Luke Raymond, John Stepien
A few Saturday’s ago, John Stepien from New Jersey, and James Fuller from Maine, swung up for a killer workout.
We got started about 10AM and everyone was gone by 3PM.
Yes, by the time the dust settled, we had been training for a solid 4.5+ hours.
While not the norm, every so often, I love hitting a GIANT session like that. It’s almost a guarantee that within a week, you’ll hit a MONSTER PR, and this time around was no different.
Here’s a look at many of the things that we did that day, although it was impossible to get everything on film.
The main movement for the day was Deadlifts, and we did several variations, but mainly we stuck with Double Overhand. Not everything got filmed, but most of it did.
Round Robin Deadlift
One particular Deadlift feat I wanted to isolate was the Round Robin Deadlift that James Fuller did. With 495lbs loaded, he hit the following reps in quick succession: 1 – Sumo Style, 2 – Jefferson Style, 3 – Hack Style, 4 – Conventional Style
Luke Raymond Curls a 62lb Anvil
The feats began early on, and continued throughout the day. Luke got the ball rolling by curling the 62lb anvil I borroed from my Dad’s place.
Double Anvil Clamp Lift
I was happy to complete this feat, so quickly after getting the new addition anvil in. This is a pretty darned tough feat with one 55lb anvil, let alone 2, and the 7 pound jump, plus the different shape, made it even tougher!
Double Anvil Key Pinch
Key Pinch is done with the thumb and the side of the first finger. As far as I know, no one ever lifted a 55-lb anvil with a Key Pinch prior to December 2015, when Eric Roussin and I did it. It took many tries, but I finally was able to Key Pinch 2 Anvils at the same time, during the Epic Grip Session.
James Fuller – 127lb Turkish Getup
The Turkish Get-up is an excellent test of full body strength. Here, James Fuller hits a new PR, lifting 127lbs on a nearly 2.5-inch handle, shot-loadable dumbbell.
100lb Plate Hub Key Pinch
An old challenge that got started, right here, at DieselCrew.com, is the 100lb Plate Hub Key Pinch. You should definitely give this a try when you cross paths with a 100lb Plate.
127lb Slater Bell Clean Attempts
Next, we had to try some Dumbbell Cleans with the Slater Bell, which weighs 127lbs with a nearly 2.5″ handle.
4 Inch Dumbbell Medley
Another thing we each did was take Medley runs with 4 Inch Dumbbells. Starting with the hardest, and working down in difficulty, we did our best to lift them as strictly as possible. The guys who aren’t Inch lifters yet stopped the rotation of the bells with a finger from their off-hand. Unfortunately, I didn’t get all of the dudes taking their runs.
Axle Clean Workout
With James Fuller being such a fan of the Olympic Lifts, we couldn’t go through the day without hitting some Axle Cleans. John Stepien handed me my ass in this lift, without a doubt. James Fuller had the absolute BEST technique though. I was pretty sore after this, due to the dynamic nature of the lifts.
Grip Rush #1
Next, it was time to finish the workout with some Grip Rushes, 60-second AMRAPS with various Grip Implements, usually lifting them to Lockout over and over.
Grip Rush #2
Grip Rush #3
Grip Rush #4
There’s more to come from the Epic Grip Session
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All the best in your training,
Learn the Secrets to Card Tearing with the Card Tearing eBook
After just about every contest, it’s a free-for-all of feats of grip strength.
Juha Harju, 1st Person to Pinch 2x25kg Plates
Lots of times, especially at Gripmas, people bring cool stuff for other people to try that others might not normally get the opportunity to get their hands on.
One such item is the 2x25kg Plate Pinch.
Up until this year, no one in the world had ever pinched 2x25kg plates.
Then, all of a sudden, Juha Harju did it (shown to the right).
Then Bob Sundin did it a short time later.
Funny how once you see something can be done, it becomes that much easier for others.
Bob was nice enough to bring his set of 25kg plates with him to Gripmas, and several of us took tries on them.
So, the list of people who have achieved the 2x25kg Plate Pinch has grown again, with Kody Burns becoming the 3rd person EVER!
And you can bet in 2016 the list will keep expanding. The only question is who will be NEXT?
Stay tuned for more awesome feats that went down at Gripmas. Sign up for my free email newsletter:
All the best in your training.
Turn Steel Bars into Strongman Works of Art
The Art of Scrolling Steel
I recently got a call from Dennis Rogers, inviting me to perform at the annual banquet/gala of the AOBS.
From their site: “The Association of Oldetime Barbell and Strongmen (AOBS) is the arm of WLO that focuses on education regarding Iron Game history and drug free sport, while the parent (WLO) concentrates on the development of the sport of weightlifting and amateur athletes, especially for national and international competition. The organization produces an quarterly newsletter and hosts an annual gala the educates, entertains and provides an opportunity to visit with legends of the Iron Game and old time friends.”
The WLO, or Weightlifting Org., Inc., is “… a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation. It was created to educate the public and public institutions regarding the nature, benefits and history of weightlifting and related activities; the hazards of drug use and benefits of drug free sport; and to develop amateur athletes for national and international weightlifting competition.”
You can learn more about WLO and AOBS here.
I am totally honored to be invited to perform this year. In the past, true legends of strength and strongmanism have performed at the AOBS dinner, including names like Slim “The Hammer Man” Farman, Dennis Rogers, Stanless Steel, “The Human Vise” Pat Povilaitis, and Steve Weiner, just to name a few.
I feel particularly privileged to be chosen to perform this year because I’ll be doing something a little different, in my presentation.
I’ll be performing feats of grip strength, with popular grip challenge items, like the Inch Dumbbell and 50-lb Blob.
50lb Blob (right-hand) Inch Dumbbell (left-hand)
Since finding out about this incredible opportunity, I’ve totally re-examined my training, and have taken some emphasis away from my Grip Sport competition preparation (the King Kong of Grip is taking place on October 24th), and more toward refining some of my specialty feats with the Blob and Inch Dumbbell.
As a result of keying in on the Blob and Inch Dumbbell, my performance has truly skyrocketed, and I’m breaking through barriers that have been in my way for several years.
Here’s a couple examples…
Blob Deadlift for Reps
In 2009, out of nowhere, I decided to go for 40 repetitions in the Blob Deadlift. I don’t remember why anymore, to be honest. Well, I ended up miss-counting and only got 39, but that’s not important.
What’s important is it took my 6 minutes. Here’s the video from 2009:
50lb Blob for 39 Reps (2009)
I had stumbled upon this video after not watching it for quite some time, and when I watched it and saw that it took me 6+ minutes to get to 40 reps, I honestly couldn’t believe it. I remember thinking back then that this was pretty much unbeatable.
What a fool I was. There have been times in my life where I have gotten complacent, and this, obviously, was one of them. As I watched myself struggle to get to 39 reps, like a man with concrete boots trudging uphill through a quagmire, I knew that I could beat this.
So, the next workout, I dragged the Blob back out and went for 40 reps again, as fast as I could. Here’s the video:
50lb Blob for 40 Reps
It’s like my Dad always said to me as a kid. “You can never rest on your laurels.” In other words, you can never feel that what you’ve done is enough. You’re always capable of more. You need to know that you can surpass what you’ve done in the past with the right training.
Inch Dumbbell Rows
Another feat I just recently FINALLY was able to reach, involves Inch Dumbbell Rows.
I have been able to perform a Side Dumbbell Row with the Inch Dumbbell since the mid-2000’s. I think I got my first one in 2007.
Here’s another case, where I was letting my mind get the best on me.
For nearly 8 years, I’ve been stuck at 1 Rep. In fact, I remember a few times thinking that I’d NEVER be able to get 2 reps, meaning 2 consecutive reps, without dropping and/or re-gripping the Inch Dumbbell.
Inch Dumbbell Rows (2011)
Again, what a fool I can be sometimes! Why would I ever think that something is impossible? Talk about mentally painting myself into a corner. Unbelievable.
Finally, for the first time I was able to perform 2 consecutive reps in the Inch Dumbbell Row. Here’s the video:
Inch Dumbbell Rows
I’m still not totally pleased with these, as there’s quite a tilt going on, but I’ll continue to work on them.
Here’s the thing guys, take a lesson from my mistakes, and get your head right with your training.
The mental side of training is HUGE. If you’re head isn’t right, it will keep you from attaining your goals.
And you can’t rest once you hit a certain mark. You can’t get complacent. You can’t hit a goal and just get comfortable. Keep pushing hard and keep growing.
Get your mindset locked in, starting today.
And if you need help with that, stay tuned for a message from me next week called Mental Muscle.
All the best in your training.
P.S. Wish me luck at the AOBS on 10/17/15!
Training to Lift the Inch? Get This:
Training to Lift the Blob? Get This:
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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