I played a bunch of sports in my youth, but I never did any that involved weight classes.
My winters involved Basketball, so I never ended up Wrestling. My summers were jam-packed with Baseball, and that was all I did, so no weight classes in the warm weather either.
The Fall, once I hit High School, was the only time of year I lifted weights, and I just did the same program every other person that lifted did, since there was next to no guidance at all in the High School’s weight room.
So, when Grip Sport instituted weight classes in 2012, I really had no idea what it meant to have to “cut weight” in order to “make a weight class.”
When the weight classes were instituted, I was weighing anywhere from 265 to 290-lbs. I was eating whatever I wanted and if you go through some of my early 2012 videos, you can tell I’m not lying by my bloated face and lack of muscular definition.
But this year I really cleaned up my diet and increased my running and was able to drop about 50-lbs from early March to late September.
So, when I held the Holdfast Gauntlet at my gym on September 28th, fitting into the 105-kg (about 231-kg) Weight Class was rather easy for me to do because I was walking around at 232lbs.
But since September, my weight has gone up about 8lbs. I am still eating super clean, but I have not been doing the cardio as religiously. And while that may have put a couple pounds of fat on me, honestly, I have been KILLING IT in the gym for the last 4 months, have added Squats back into my training, and am just plain feeling like a monster pretty much every day.
Throw on top of that the fact that I celebrated Thanksgiving on the day of, had another one the Saturday after, and then had my birthday a few days after that, plus a weekend with my two biggest High School buddies thrown in there, I was staring at a scale that read 242-lbs on Monday of last week.
Let’s re-wind a bit.
As I mentioned, I ran and competed in a contest at my gym on September 28th. I had no intentions of doing any more competitions the rest of the year, because I had only prepared for my competition up until that point.
But, less than a week after the Holdfast Gauntlet, my new Grip Training Partner, Luke Raymond, asked me with crazed, obsessed eyes and saliva coming out of his mouth, “When’s the Next Contest Brother???”
Yes, I’ve got him talking like me now…
So, what am I supposed to do? Just tell this grip-obsessed, talented, and 2.5-closing grip-up-and-comer, “The next contest is next weekend, go have fun…”???
No way. I told him I would go along with him despite the fact that I hadn’t trained for it so that he could get some more experience. This contest was the King Kong Grip Challenge and it was only 3 hours away. A drive-there-compete-and-drive-back-all-in-the-same-day kind of distance.
It was what we call a Mega Comp, because on one particular day, there are multiple locations all over the world contesting the same events and the results are compiled into one massive database.
Despite the fact that neither of us trained the specific events for this contest, we both did very well. I was able to secure a Top 10 finish and Luke got some outstanding experience.
Luke is an athlete. He has a decent understanding of how to do an event just by being shown and told how to do so one time. Some guys have been competing for 10 years now, and still don’t understand the right way to do the events.
He also loves competition, and I think it is something he misses, sort of like the Michael Jordans and Andy Pettittes who retire from their sport too soon and end up coming back a few years later. Only in this case, Luke isn’t trying to go back and re-live the glory days of High School sports. Instead, he is testing himself with something new and enjoying every minute of it.
Even though I had a good finish in the King Kong, I was overwheight for the 105-kg class. I weighed in above the limit for the 105-kg class because I was so stressed out from the Holdfast Gauntlet, I gave myself like 4 cheat days. I ended up being 234 or 236 at weigh-in time, and it was so cold, I just was not interested in trying to cut weight to make the 231 mark by running all over the place.
Kink Kong Videos:
On the way back home from the King Kong Challenge, we made plans to compete at Gripmas, which was held this past weekend. And we both committed to making weight for our respective weight classes – the 93-kg for Luke and the 105-kg for myself.
But, it’s not time to talk about that yet.
Almost right smack dab in the middle of the early October King Kong and the early December Gripmas was the mid-November Thanksgripping.
I dread long drives alone, so I checked with Luke about it and he had something going on that prevented him from making the trip to Columbus, Ohio for Thanksgripping. I needed something else to justify the trip, so I called up an old buddy, Paul Knight.
You might know that name, he is one of the best Gripper Closers in the world and when he is peaking, perhaps the absolute best in North America. I asked if he was available that weekend to work on a little project we had talked about off and on for over a year, and as it turned out, he was.
So, I made the trip to Columbus for the November 15th Thanksgripping contest, and on Sunday, Paul and I shot a complete DVD on Gripper Training, which will be coming out in early 2014.
JL Holdsworth, the promoter for Thanksgripping and the owner of the greatest Grip Sport surname in history, did not do a weigh-in, so I have no idea what I weighed that day. I am sure I was overweight, but not significantly, since I had dialed my diet back in and had been doing several 15-minute Jump Rope sessions per week. I was feeling awesome from the good eating and feeling strong from re-instating Squats, but hadn’t monitored my actual weight very closely, so I am not sure.
Once that contest was over and in the books, it was time to get serious. I knew I had to get “ahead of the game” by the time Thanksgiving rolled around, because if I packed on fat during that period, I would only have about a week to cut off the excess in time for Gripmas.
Despite my best efforts, when I scaled myself on Monday morning of last week, 242 was staring me in the face and I knew that I had my work cut out for me. That is what two Thanksgivings and a bunch of beer with buddies will do to you.
And like I said, I have no experience with regards to how to cut weight, so I just laid out a plan for eating, cardio, and training.
Eating & Cardio Plans
- Breakfast Plans: Each morning would be hard boiled eggs with a handful of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. This is actually what I eat 3 or 4 times per week anyway. The other days I make an omelet. But, I knew there would be fewer calories in total with the hard boiled eggs and veggies so I went with that.
- Breakfast Result: Total success. Between making extra eggs ahead of time and my wife helping me out a couple of days, my breakfasts could not have gotten any better in my eyes.
- Lunch and Dinner Plans: Each lunch and dinner would be chicken breast and steamed vegetables with yellow mustard for flavor. This is close to what I eat multiple times a week, except I usually put some kind of seasoning on the chicken that has a ton of salt on it and I usually use brown spicey mustard for a little added kick. Those condiments don’t add a lot of calories, but they are loaded with sodium, so I cut them out in order to reduce water retention.
- Lunch and Dinner Results: Unfortunately, my wife also made a huge container of Sloppy Joes for me and expected the entire container to be gone before I left. She made it with ground turkey meat, so that wa sbetter, but I am sure the Manwich Sauce was riddled with sodium. To try to even things up, I mixed the Sloppies with steamed Broccoli and Cauliflower to make them a bit better. This actually tasted amazing, and I am considering it for future meals when I do not need to watch my weight for a comp.
- Cardio Plans: On that Sunday morning, I looked out the window and noticed the Field I ran in all summer wasn’t overgrown anymore. I stopped doing my Field Running partially because the grass got super high and I was afraid I was going to have a Giant Spider crawling on me or a rapid raccoon would end up attacking me. I went out and did 20 straight minutes of jogging, so I planned on doing that on a daily basis. It was actually quite relaxing.
- Cardio Results: Never ran again, but I had good reason. First off, I forgot the time had changed, so by the time 6PM rolled around, the time when I was doing my runs in the summer, it was pitch black dark out, so I was afraid I’d end up stepping in a rabbit burrow and breaking a lower leg like Sid Vicious did off the top rope. Plus, it was now hunting season, and I would probably either spoil someone’s hunt or run the risk of getting shot, since I run so gracefully I resemble a deer now. Instead, I did a daily 5-minute Bike Sprint, a daily 3-song Jump Rope Stint, and three Cardio Circuits that week. I actually think the combination came pretty close to what the running would have produced and I was left with more energy at the end of the week due to the shorter duration cardio efforts.
At the beginning of the week, I was emailing with Chris Rice about my plans to cut weight to make the 105-kg mark and he also sent me an article that covers how the UFC Fighters can cut 20 to 30 lbs in one week in order to make weight for a fight. Here is the link: How UFC Fighters Cut 30 lbs in a Week.
So I read the article, which I thought was quite good, although I wouldn’t recommend it as a weekly approach to weight loss by any means.
And, I decided to take some before and after photos of myself as a way to document everything.
Here are the photos:
Left: Monday Morning. 242lbs. Right: Friday Night, pissing brown. 227 lbs, so I thought…
So, I embarked upon the uncharted territory of purposeful dehydration. After several years of pushing daily hydration and filling a gallon jug with water and not being done until it was gone, I would now set up a schedule to purposefully dehydrate myself.
Monday: 2 Gallons of Water
Tuesday: 1 Gallon of Water
Wednesday: .75 Gallon of Water
Thursday: .5 Gallon of Water
Friday: Only water I drank was in coffee or the food I ate.
I should also note that from Monday to Thursday, I also was taking three servings of generic Metamucil, in order to clear out my colon as much as possible of any clogs. I believe this to have been a complete waste of effort, as I have been eating so much fiber over the last 9 months that most of that junk is completely gone. I saw no change in my stool size or frequency at all.
For food, all I ate for protein all day long Friday was hard boiled eggs. For cards, all I ate all day long was broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. Honestly, I felt pretty darn good on this “diet.”
In the UFC article, the writer talks about feeling absolutely horrible. I did not. I felt some cramping in my neck which I thought was probably due to dehydration, but other than that I felt pretty good.
So, when we got to the hotel, I had packed my spot-calibrated scale that I used for the Hodlfast Gauntlet. Confident it was accurate, I placed it on the floor of the hotel room and weighed myself – 227-lbs. A 15-lb drop in weight from Monday across 5 days. I sat down and ate a few more pieces of broccoli and two more hard boiled eggs so that I could get some decent sleep.
Luke stepped on the scale and was weighing 206. I laughed at him and pointed while jumping up and down. Pissed off that he wouldn’t be able to eat or drink anything that night, he went to get a shower.
The Magic Shower
When he returned from the shower, he stepped back on the scale and this time, to our surprise, was 203 lbs!!!
“How could that be?”
I then remembered I had heard long ago that a scale won’t work right on a carpet. We had weighed ourselves on a carpet.
So, the complete geniuses that we are, we placed the scale atop the credenza beside the TV so that we had a more sturdy surface. Why we did not take it to the tile floor in the bathroom I have no idea.
What I do know though, is that I was now weighing 233-lbs. 2 Pounds over my 231 limit.
So, all the dehydration efforts, I only lost about 9-lbs. Looking back, my dehydration probably did work effectively due to the sloppy joe’s I ate or something. But regardless, I still had to cut off a couple more pounds.
But I did not rely upon a magic shower. Instead, I put my sneakers back on and bundled up and went to run around the hotel to burn off some calories and get rid of more water.
It was snowing out BIG TIME. As I ran, I remember wondering if all the snow I was inhaling through my nose and mouth was negating my dehydration tactics. I remember wondering whether the moisture in my beanie was sweat or just snow that had melted. Was I making progress, or shooting myself in the foot? I was already so dehydrated, my feet hurt and both achilles tendons were sore, and they just kept getting more sore with each stride on the pavement as I went around the hotel and convenience store complex. My only solace was the fact that it was snowing and the accumulation and slush were padding my strides somewhat.
The snow was both my enemy and my partner.
I made myself do 10 laps. Each time I passed by the South Door, two dudes speaking Spanish and smoking cigarettes stared at me. I was just waiting for them to make a reference to “el guero corriendo,” so that I could talk back to them in Spanish to surprise them, but it never happened.
When all was said and done, I finished my 10th lap and went back inside and I had been running for 40 minutes, twice as long as I had run in any of my Field Running jaunts from the Spring and Summer. So I was proud of myself in that regard.
I weighed in again, once more atop the credenza, as I tried to remember which Dr. Seuss book mentions a credenza, and I had gotten all the way down to 232 and a couple of ounces. I jumped in the shower and went to bed.
When I woke up the next morning, the first thing I did was weigh in. I was now 229 on my scale.
Luke and I jumped into the car with no food. Just black coffee and we made it to the Grip Comp location within about 20 minutes. I weighed in at 229 something. Luke was 203 something. We both made weight, and it was time to put the feedbag on! We started by consuming a Gatorade Gel Pack apiece and chugging an entire 32-ounce Gatorade. We then proceeded to eat about a half dozen eggs each, bacon, toast, and more goodies prepared for us by Chris Rice’s wife, Teresa, and amazing breakfast – thank you so much to the Rice’s.
And that is my story of my first ever cutting experience. All in all, it was not that bad of an experience. I lucked out and got no headaches and didn’t cramp up or collapse on the floor.
Going forward, I plan on continuing to train super hard with the goal of adding muscle and strength. I also plan on keeping the cardio in there and eating clean to continue to reduce bodyfat. I’d love to be able to pack on another 10lbs of muscle while also dropping 10 more lbs of fat. Since I am Squatting and Deadlifting again, I think the strength and muscle gains are easily fathomable. With the diet dialed in and the cardio, I think the fat will come off too.
This post has already gotten much longer than I ever would have intended, so I will not speak of my events at the contest, at least not right now. I will however, post the videos. Enjoy.
Thanks for reading (if you did) and all the best in your training.
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Grab the CRUSH DVD: Total Gripper Domination
The Blob: The Benchmark One Hand Pinch Feat
There is one Grip Strength Challenge Item out there that is parallel with closing the #3 Gripper, Lifting the Inch Dumbbell, and bending a 60D nail. It is the Blob.
This feat of Open hand / Pinching Strength was started by Richard Sorin, who when moving a bunch of broken dumbbells from one storage area to another tried pinch gripping a half 100-lb York Dumbbell. This lone half-100 was the only one of many that thwarted his efforts, and he set himself the goal to train his grip until he was able to not only lift it, but MASTER it.
This Grand-daddy of all Block Weights, which has been found in countless Grip Contest Medley, Grip Gauntlets and other Grip is called the Blob.
The story of how the first Blob came to be and the early history of it is an amazing one. Throughout the first few decades of its existence, it stopped the likes of Richard, John Brookfield, Wade Gillingham, and many others DEAD IN THEIR TRACKS at first, until they were all ready to re-group, re-strategize, and re-formulate their plan of attack.
Since then, thousands have tested themselves against the Blob in various venues across the Nation and around the World, only to have it laugh in their face like the bully at school.
But despite all of the valiant attempts that were colored by failure, there have been a few stories of dramatic inspiration that have spurred others to forge ahead with their training in order to tackle the beast…
Stories such as Rick Walker who at the time he first lifted it in 2003 was only about 200-lbs…
…like Chad Kovach who has successfully lifted the Blob with hands about 7-inches long…
…even Richard Sorin himself, Blob Pioneer, has average sized hands and can lift the Blob today, some 20+ years after first challenging himself to do so…
…and still, there are many other accounts of people putting in months or even years of dedicated time to finally accomplish the revered feat of lifting the Blob in a Pinch Grip, the true test of Open Hand and Thumb Strength.
Unfortunately, many people talk themselves out of lifting the Blob before they even try.
They think because the have small hands, they have no chance. The documented cases above prove this not to be so, in fact, as long as you can get one of two different finger and thumb combinations over the edges of the Blob, you will be able to lift it.
People think that because they do not own their own Blob, they are doomed to never develop the strength needed to lift it. Nothing could be further from the truth, as there are many suitable options that can be used in order to cultivate the wide-pinch strength needed to slay the Blob.
And many have been told that because they have little experience with Grip Training that they have two chances to lift the Blob: Slim and None. Absolute hogwash. Grip History is filled with accounts of average Gripsters accomplishing Blob Lifts and other Gigantic Feats with little training time under their belt.
The fact is, large hands, owning a Blob, specialty equipment, and years of training are indeed NOT prerequisites to becoming a Blob Lifter.
What is necessary is knowledge. Understanding key points about Blob Lifting such as technique (yes, there is technique; don’t let anyone fool you), chalk application, positioning and leverage, as well as the proper way to train on the Blob, are what you really need.
These factors will ease the frustration of the misses, the failures, and the heartache.
These intangibles will fill in the blanks between your desire to succeed and your ability to feel success.
These elements are the ones that will make you what you want to be – a Blob Lifter.
And now, all of these things are available to you in my brand new ebook, “Lift the Blob.”
If you want to Lift the Blob or any other goal Block Weight that is in your sights, then you need this ebook to help guide you.
If you want to find out more about what kind of information is in Lift the Blob < = click that link. Or if you just want to get started right away, click the button below.
All the best in your training.
Tags: blob, blob50, blobs, fatman blob, grip feats, grip training, how to lift the blob, how to train on the blob, lift the blob, the blob, York blob
Posted in athletic strength training lift odd objects, feats of strength, grip hand forearm training for sports, Grip Sport, grip strength blob, hand strength, how to build pinch strength | No Comments »
One of my favorite types of Grip Training is with Block Weights, especially the Blob.
When training to lift the Blob, the strength the strength you build is highly functional, meaning it creates general hand, thumb and wrist strength, which can carry over to increases in other Grip Lifts as well as Gym Lifts.
In recent months, I have heard of many people who have set their sights on lifting the Blob, so this year I set forth to complete a project I have worked on sporadically since April of 2012, and this project will be ready to be unleashed very soon.
I am also very excited to release this because I got someone else involved in the project as well. Watch the video below to see exactly who I mean.
Blob Lifting eBook Announcement
To say I am excited to have this person associated with this project would be an understatement.
This new eBook will be out soon. To get it as soon as it comes out, be sure to put your information in the box below.
Napalm’s Nightmare – The Sickest Home Made
Grip Training Device EVER???
As if the dozens and dozens of medieval Grip torture devices I already had in my collection were not enough, one day about 5 years ago, I was looking for a tool that I could use to take my thick bar training to another level of insanity.
Singles and doubles weren’t enough anymore. I wanted to be able to train thick bar dynamically for reps after reps after reps, by picking up a thick big-handled beast and swinging it around with speed and power.
What I had in mind would create not only tremendous thick bar lifting strength, but also hyper-gravity eccentric loading that would test my fingers to the maximum capacity.
And, I wanted to be able to train both hands at the same time.
Alas, I could not find what I was looking for anywhere on the market, so I reached out to my good friend, Chris Rice, who had a way of taking my crazy ideas and turning them into reality by using very simple tools and materials.
What he came up with is something that turned out to be one of the absolute most brutal ways to train not only the hands for incredible grip strength, but also the glutes, core, legs, arms and shoulders all at the same time.
This device is called Napalm’s Nightmare.
While my mind does not dream up the “nightmarish” acts that Patrick Bateman did
(movie: American Psycho), I am capable of thinking of some pretty
DASTARDLY Grip Training Devices, such as Napalm’s Nightmare
Napalm’s Nightmare is the realization of my truly sick and twisted mind. Napalm was the pyromaniac wrestling character I pitched to WWE back in 2001, who would celebrate victories by lighting his hands and arms on fire. While they did not think that was as good of an idea as I did, at least the name gets to live on with this device.
This grip training tool combines the rotating effect of the IronMind Rolling Thunder Handle with the dynamic swinging nature of the Kettlebell. It is attached to a loading pin with weight added, making it fully adjustable for trainees of any strength level. ANYONE can benefit from this device in the way of GRIP STRENGTH and full body strengthening.
Next Level Napalm’s Nightmare Lifting
As often is the case, when one insane individual meets another, things can go much further than what the first maniac intended. While I designed Napalm’s Nightmare to be used in one way, others have taken my brainchild and produced even more sinister ideas.
Darrin Shallman, a long-time member of The Grip Authority, took the premise of Napalm’s Nightmare and has pushed the envelope of what is possible to new heights. Not happy with submaximal weight lifted for long durations of time, Darrin has begun testing the limits of Napalm’s Nightmare lifting with maximal lifts.
Here is Darrin showing Napalm’s Nightmare who is boss.
Darrin Shallman – Napalm’s Nightmare Deadlift – 320lbs
Take note, in case your speakers are busted, Darrin is only 157-lbs and his hands are about 7.5″ in length. This is a tremendous lift that only a true Sick Grip monster would attain.
Mike Rinderle – Napalm’s Nightmare Deadlift – 328-lbs
My brother from another mother, Rindo, also has posted some tremendous lifts with the NN. Here is 328. His training with this tool of grip sickness is even more intense because lives in an apartment above two elderly folks, so he has to set everything down as quietly as possible so he doesn’t wake them up every day.
Napalm Jedd Lifting Napalm’s Nightmare
After watching these two Sicko’s going for their max, I had to try it as well. I worked up to 315 for a nearly full lift. It’s not counting the loading pin – who knows it might be 320 total. That kind of stuff doesn’t matter until we get to the platform. In training, i am all about feeling the BURN brotherrrrr.
As you can see, Napalm’s Nightmare is a lovely piece of home made equipment that has many benefits and many uses. To top it all off, for younger lifters or ladies who are just now beginning to get the Grip Fever, the rolling outside PVC handles can bee removed to expose smaller, yet still thick and Grip Power Producing handles.
Want to make your own Napalm’s Nightmare handle? It’s easy. Just check out my Home Made Strength 2 <=Click that link, brother. HMS2 - Grip Strength Edition will show you how to build a slew of Sick Grip Gear, plus you will learn how to use it to build Monster hand Strength.
“I Got a Fever. And the only cure is MORE THICK BAR.” – Rick Walker
All the best in your training,
Pick up Home Made Strength: Grip Strength Edition (Digital Video) Today
Tags: grip training equipment, kettlebell swing, napalms nightmare, rolling thunder, thick bar, thick handled implement
Posted in grip hand forearm training for sports, grip strength, grip training equipment gear, hand strength, home made strength equipment, how to build strength equipment, how to improve grip strength | 1 Comment »
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Be sure to sign up for further updates on Grip Strength Training.
Thanks for filling out the survey and Happy Memorial Day.
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Tags: grip strength, grip strength training, grip strength workouts
Posted in feats of strength, feats of strength bending, forearm injury prevention recovery healing, grip hand forearm training for sports, Grip Sport, grip strength, grip strength blob, grip strength competition contest, gripper training, hand strength, horseshoe bending, how to buid wrist strength, how to build pinch strength, how to improve grip strength, how to improve strength, how to rip cards, how to rip tear phone books, how to tear cards, improve grip strength crush, inch dumbbell, injury rehab recover from injury, old strongman feats of strength, steel bending, strongman feats, tearing cards, Vulcan Gripper, worlds strongest hands, wrist developer | 1 Comment »
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