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Archive for the ‘feats of strength’ Category

Will Sledge Levering Help Bend Bigger Bars?

Monday, July 18th, 2016

When grip guys and strength aficionados get started in steel bending, they want to progress as quickly as possible up the various levels of steel as fast as possible. They often try many different training techniques in order to strengthen their wrists and lower arms for the many steel bending techniques that exist.

One of the time-honored traditions of steel benders is Levering Sledge Hammers, and I’m often asked by steel benders if Sledge Levering is a good option for building better bending strength.

In today’s video, I address this topic: Will Sledge Hammer Levering Help Me Bend Bigger Steel:

Does Hammer Levering Help Build Bending Strength?

This is honestly a pretty big change in my line of thinking. In fact, in both my Nail Bending eBook and Nail Bending DVD, I suggest Sledge Hammer Levering to bring up their bending.

However, I always try to learn and develop, both as a lifter and a coach. Since working with dozens of benders over the last few years, I’m convinced that Sledge Hammer Levering isn’t as necessary as I once thought.

Also, in talking with many big benders over the years, the consensus, by far is that BENDING is what you should focus on in order to get good at bending.

I still stand by the fact that Sledge Levering will help you in conditioning your wrists for bending. In fact, I suggest a minimum 4-week ramp-up period where the various wrist movement patterns are trained with gradually increasing intensity, prior to doing any bending.

I recommend Sledge Levering for beginners because it allows you to work so many beneficial ranges of motion and movement patterns that are needed with steel bending, including both non-braced and braced bending methods.

However, once you start actually bending full time, or at least making steel bending one of your primary goals in your training, I think it’s most important to focus on purposeful bending, working your way up the ladder, and continually working on perfecting your technique and force production on actual nails and bars. At that point, Sledge Work can take a back seat, and be used mainly as a recovery method between bending sessions, and for keeping things like Tennis Elbow and Golfers Elbow as far away as possible.

I hope today’s post has been helpful toward directing you down as straight and as short a path as possible to your ultimate bending goals.

If you’re interested in more Steel Bending information, please check out the resources that countless other steel slayers have tapped into. The links are below.

Nail Bending eBook: Since 2005, this digital manual has helped more people start out on the right track with their bending than any other resource on the planet. It includes pictorials of how to properly execute all the major and minor bending techniques, dozens of different exercises for building lower arm strength and preventing injuries, as well as a full 9-week lower arm conditioning program for beginner benders.

Nail Bending DVD: Released in 2011, this video picks up where the ebook left off, walking you through the process of becoming a great bender. It shows you the proper way to wrap your steel for powerful bending, and you can see bars bent right on your computer screen or TV. Grab you steel, get your wraps, and let’s do a couple bends together as you play this DVD right in your own living room or home gym.

All the best in your training.


Training to Bend the Red Nail?
Get the Go-to Resource for Nail Bending: The Nail Bending Ebook

The Basics of Grip Training and Strongmanism DVD Set

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

It’s the beginning of a brand new week and I’ve got an announcement I’m happy to be FINALLY making.

The DVD Sets of the Basics of Grip Training and Strongmanism Seminar ARE READY!

This seminar took place at the end of March, and the attendees had GREAT things to say about it.

This is a 2-Disk DVD Set covering the Fundamentals of Grip Training and performing Strongman Feats.

Here’s how the seminar flowed, and how the DVD set goes:

DVD #1

1. Welcome

Just a quick meet-and-greet where we do introductions and I cover how I got into Grip Training and Feats of Strength.

2. Warm-up (03:24)

I knew the rides in to the seminar would be pretty long, and the last thing the guys wanted to do was just sit there, so the first thing we covered was the importance of proper warm-up, and I put the guys through the exact Warm-up protocol I go through each training session.

If you’re not Warming Up prior to your Grip Training sessions, you’re leaving strength on the table!

In my experience 2 out of 3 lifters do NOTHING before hitting grippers, besides doing a few reps of light grippers.

That’s a surefire way to not only never progress in your training, but how to GET HURT, as well.

Start implementing this routine ASAP to start instantly seeing benefits.

3. Grippers (23:06)

When you watch the Warm-up section, I encourage you to jump right down on the floor and go through it yourself. Then, grab a gripper and enjoy the Gripper section.

This section covers the importance of the Gripper Set. If you don’t have your set technique established, no drill will be able to get you where you want to be with your Gripper Training.

You’ll want to have a gripper there with you when you go through this section, so you can make sure you’re doing everything correctly with your gripper placement.

Before this section wraps up, you’ll also get to see what I consider the best gripper training drills. Most of these I do every single week, because I know how big of an impact they’ve had.

4. Pinch (1:04:54)

Now it’s time to focus on my bread and butter – Pinch Grip! Easily my favorite form of training, I do more of this than anything else.

In this section of the Disk, we talk about all the different types of Pinch Grip Training, and how the techniques for each type is similar and different from the others.

You’ll also see he nuances of how to place your thumb and hand on what you’re trying to pinch. One size DOES NOT fit all and you HAVE to make subtle adjustments depending on what you’re trying to Pinch.


1. Thick Bar

If there is any form of Grip Training that is a MUST for a true Strongman, it is Thick Bar, and we cover the topic in detail in this section.

From the use of Axles, to Fat Grip instant thick bar handles, to the most challenging types of thick-handled dumbbells like the Inch and the Death Grip Bells, you’re gonna see a host of ways to train Thick Bar for open hand strength.

You might be surprised how similar the techniques are between some of the Pinch Grip training methods and Thick Bar lifts, but when you learn about the importance of the thumb adductor pollicis muscles, it will all make sense.

2. Hub Q&A (32:01)

Before we branched out into Strongman Feats, we did one last Q&A session on Hub Style training.

Hub training is one of the few types of Grip Training where smaller hands are an advantage, believe it or not.

3. Feats of Strength (38:18)

In this section, you’ll see a little primer that I covered regarding something that many new Strongman Featists aren’t familiar with – Tension.

Feats of Strength are all about Creating and Managing Tension. Until you know how to use tension to your advantage basic feats like Card Tearing, Nail Bending, will give you trouble. But, once you master tension, the more complex feats like straightening Horseshoes come more within your reach.

4. Card Tearing (49:26)

The first Strongman Feat we jumped into was Card Tearing, and for good reason, too.

Card Tearing is the perfect feat to learn the production and management of tension.

With the techniques you’ll learn in this section, you’ll be ready to take your first steps as a strongman. You’re gonna love what it feels like to destroy a deck of poker cards!

5. Steel Bending (1:05:20)

My products have produced more certified Red Nail Benders than any other source out there, and with the info included in this section, that number is going to go up once again.

Steel Bending is easily the most addictive type of strength feat out there. There is something about how it feels when steel buckles under your might.

You get hooked on it, and before you know it, you want more and more. This portion of the video will show you how to do it the right way to see great progress and stay injury free.

6. Programming (1:23:04)

The biggest challenges about Grip Training and Feats of Strength isn’t how to get started or understanding technique. I’ve got all that covered for you.

The hardest thing is actually how to mesh Grip and Feats with the rest of your training. In this section I lay out some ways you can go about doing this the best way possible, without disrupting the rest of the training your doing and the goals you’re working on.

7. Soft Tissue (1:37:46)

As a special bonus, one of the attendees of the seminar, Dr. Jim Wagner, put us through a quick demo of some instruments he uses with his clients, called Hawk Grips.

We captured everything on video, and now you’ll get to see exactly what Dr. Jim does with his clients to get them out of pain and recovered from injuries and surgeries.

In total, this 2-Disk DVD Set is almost 4 hours of awesome content.

Order Your Copy TODAY => Basics of Grip Training and Strongmanism DVD

All the best in your training.


Feedback from the Attendees

Left to Right: Dr. Jim Wagner, me, and Chris Fritz

Learned More in 5 Hours Than the Last 5 Years!

    “I got to spend the day at a seminar with the grip legend himself, Jedd Johnson. I learned more in 5 hours than I did in the last five years. It was an awesome day and Jedd is one of the nicest guys you could meet! I’ll be seeing you again Brother, hopefully at the next contest!”

    Chris Fritz

One of the Most Informational Courses I Have Taken!

    As a hand therapist and being in strength training for 28 plus years I found Jedd’s Essentials of Grip/Strongman Training Seminar one of the most informational courses I have taken! The information Jedd covered has made a huge impact on my training and how I look at treating my patients. Not only was the course informative, it was totally hands on!
    Jedd’s passion for the sport and approach to kinesthetic learning made the day!! Jedd laid the foundation for building diesel grip and forearm power! To anyone one who is considering getting into the arena of Grip sports or needs a change in training program Jedd’s course is a must have!
    Jedd Johnson CSCS is truly a national leader in the sport of Grip and Strongman competition!

    Jim Wagner OTD, OTR/L, CHT, CPAM, CSCS
    Doctor of Occupational Therapy
    Certified Hand Therapist
    Certified Strength and Conditions Specialist

MISSION COMPLETE: Basics of Grip Training and Strongmanism Seminar

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Man what an awesome time last week, DIESELS.

As you know, on Thursday, I help the Basics of Grip and Strongmanism seminar.

Here’s a pic, with Dr. Jim Wagner on the left, me, and Chris Fritz on the right.


I got this message posted on my wall on Facebook, after the event:

    I got to spend the day at a seminar with the grip legend himself,
    Jedd Johnson. I learned more in 5 hours than I did in the last
    five years
    . It was an awesome day and Jedd is one of the nicest
    guys you could meet! I’ll be seeing you again Brother, hopefully
    at the next contest!

    Chris Fritz

Here’s how the day’s content rolled out:

    9:00AM Start, meet and greet

    General to specific
    – General Full Body: Mobility / Activation / Light Stretching
    – Move to Weights
    – Move to Specific
    Magic Formula for Success

    – Placement
    – Gripper Angle
    – Wrist Angle
    – Tension
    – Set to Close
    – Skin Stretch
    – Hit
    – Thumb Strike
    – Roll the Dice
    High Impact Drills
    Other Considerations

    Chalking Considerations
    Plate Pinching
    Block Weights
    Odd Objects
    Euro Pinch
    High Impact Drills

    Thick Bar and other Open Hand Training
    What is Open Hand Training? Is Thick Bar “Support Grip”
    Support Specificity
    High Impact Drills

    Intro to Feats
    Beginner Conditioning

    Card Tearing

    Steel Bending

    Individual Based
    Setting up YOUR Program
    Formulating Workouts – Think Energy Economy
    Specificity of Grip Training

    Injury Prevention & Recovery Methods

    2:00 / 2:30PM Close

Man, I’ll tell you what, I absolutely love talking GRIP with people.

As an added bonus, before we called it a day, Dr. Jim Wagner got out his Hawk Grips, a special set of soft tissue massaging devices, and worked on us a little bit.

We got EVERYTHING on film, and I’ve already begun editing the footage, and will be making it available on DVD.

If you want to be the first to add this information to your library, add your information to the box below:

It will be ready as absolutely fast as I can get through all 5 hours!

In the meantime, Make it a Great Week.

All the best in your training.


P.S. Sign up for notification as soon as this seminar becomes available.

What Feat of Strength Should You Try First?

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

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.


The EPIC Grip Session

Friday, January 8th, 2016
(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, 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
Be Sure to Subscribe for Updates

All the best in your training,


Learn the Secrets to Card Tearing with the Card Tearing eBook