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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

Are Grippers a Waste of Your Time

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

Grippers – Are You Wasting Your Time?

In many of my videos and DVD’s, I have said that Gripper Training is a waste of time.

This is a statement that catches many people by surprise when they hear me say it, since I do Gripper Training on a regular basis.

After about the 50th time getting asked what I mean by this, I decided to put together a quick video to explain.

Why Grippers are a Waste of Time

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Then You Want Grip Training for MMA Athletes:

As you can see, sometimes Grippers ARE a Waste of Your Time.

Naturally, if your objective is to close big grippers just for the sake of closing big grippers, then you NEED to train grippers, and you need to train them the right way.

If you want to maximize your Gripper Training, then you need these resources:

CRUSH – Total Gripper Domination: The Video Encyclopedia of Gripper Training Technique and Crushing Strength Development. If your gripper technique is lacking, there’s no drill that will help you get to your ultimate gripper goal. This video will make sure you’re doing everything right.

Cadence Based Training: This is an 8-week Gripper Training program that works by helping you strengthen the entire range of motion of the gripper sweep. The drills in the CBT program will help you strengthen your set, improve your sweep, and ensure that you’re strong enough to finish off your goal gripper.

My hope is that the information in this post will help you get the best results from your training, and maximize your training time as well as possible.

Thanks and all the best in your training.


Gripmas 2015

Monday, December 14th, 2015

On December 5th, Luke and I competed at Gripmas, the yearly December contest in Crooksville, Ohio, hosted by Chris and Teresa Rice.

This has quickly become the biggest and most prestigious single-location contest of the year, aside from the NAGS Championship. Many athletes from the Central United States and East Coast came this year, and over the years countless people from outside this region have made the trip, because of how important this contest has become.

There were 4 events for this contest. First was the Ivanko Super Gripper. The unit is held opposite the direction torsion spring grippers are held. There is a small flashlight mounted at the bottom of the gripper, and the objective is to close the handles together and make the flashlight button click, while changing the off/on status completely.

Ivanko Super Gripper – Various Competitors

Here are some of the attempts I got on film of the ISG event.

At this point, I sat in 3rd place behind Kody Burns and Andrew Durniat.

The next event was Two Hands Pinch, with the adjustable pinch apparatus. The first heat of lifters to go were the ones who used the thinnest setting, 52 millimeters. Next came 54mm, 56mm, and 58mm. The adjustable device is used so that lifters can match the width of the implement to their hand size, and produce their best lifts.

If you’re interested in buying an adjustable two hands pinch device, watch this video: Napalm Pinch Devices.

Here are some of the attempts from the contest.

Two Hands Pinch – Luke Raymond and Chris Rice

Luke has been competing and training at 58mm for several months, but switched to 56mm for the contest, and ended up getting a new contest PR!

Two Hands Pinch – Kody Burns Sets New All-Time World Record

Kody set a new All-Time World Record on the Two Hands Pinch, with 274lbs and change!

Two Hands Pinch – Kody Burns’ 3rd and 4th Attempts

Kody then bumped up to roughly 279lbs and got it off the ground each time.

Two Hands Pinch – Jake Sahlaney’s Attempts

Jake is one of my members at, and is showing improvement at every single competition he does. I’m very proud of him, and hope he continues to train hard and smart, and stay healthy.

Two Hands Pinch – Jedd Johnson’s Attempts

I was able to get my highest lift since 2011 at Gripmas this year, 261lbs. I’ve been in a slump for a very long time. I then made the decision to go to 276lbs and try to break the record, which proved to be foolish, because I barely broke it off the ground, BUT, I was hoping for a big adrenaline boost. I felt pumped, but it just wasn’t enough. I wish I would have just gone with something like 266lbs and then 271lbs, to go into the 2nd place ever, in competition. I think I would have had a good chance at completing 271, because I broke that off the ground in training, prior to the comp. Oh well, can’t go back in time!

he next event was the Double Overhand Axle Deadlift. My goal was to 1st come in second place in this event, behind Andrew, and 2nd, to pull 400lbs. Unfortunately, the 400lb pull didn’t happen, but I did tie for 2nd, so that helped me out with points, big time.

Double Overhand IronMind Axle – 325lbs and above

These are all the attempts I got. The weight starts out around 325 or so, and ends with Andrew’s HUGE attempt at like 460+!!! What a phenom that guy is!

Following the Axle, was the 4th and final event. There was a 4-minute time limit to lift as many items as possible. There was a series of light items and a series of heavy items. If you lifted the lighter item, you got 1 point. If you lifted the heavy item you got 2 points. If you lifted both, you only got 2 points.

Additionally, there were some implements with only one option, and if you lifted them, you got 2 points.

it might seem kind of confusion, but just think the maximum points available was 50.

Medley – Luke Raymond

Luke got 33 points in his Medley run.

The contest would come down to how Andrew, Kody, and I did in the Medley, just like Nationals this year. Going in, the points spread looked something like this: Kody – 38 points, Andrew – 37.5 points, Jedd – 37 points. As you can see, it was crazy close.

Medley – Jedd Johnson

I was the first to go out of the final 3, because I was in 3rd place. I got 46 points.

Medley – Andrew Durniat

Andrew got 36 points.

Medley – Kody Burns

Kody got 36 points as well.

By finishing 10 points ahead of the other two leaders, it enabled me to pull ahead by a very, very slim margin – INCREDIBLY CLOSE!

    1) Jedd Johnson – 37.704
    2) Kody Burns – 36.630
    3) Andrew Durniat – 36.223
    4) Jake Sahlaney – 32.322
    5) Lucas Raymond – 31.281
    6) Chris Rice – 29.461
    7) Josh Henze – 27.638
    8) Nathanial Brous – 24.645
    9) Andrew Pantke – 24.550
    10) Bob Sundin – 23.260
    11) Josh Koenig -23.064
    12) Jor-el Koenig – 19.291
    13) Anthony Clarino – 19.085
    14) Nick Applegate – 17.247
    15) Barrett Henze – 16.749
    16) Chris Andrade – 16.045
    17) Rich Cottrell – 14.047

Gripmas 2015 Placings and Prizes

I really want to send out my thanks to Chris and Teresa Rice for putting this competition together, as well as a huge digital high-five to Brent Barbe, Nick Rosendaul, and Sean Rice, who all helped with set-up, loading, and records keeping for the event. Guys like this are why contests run so smoothly.

Someone pointed out my victory is sort of a Triple Crown, in a way, as I won the NAGS Championship, King Kong International, and Gripmas all in the same year.

I never thought about it that way, but I’m happy to be the first one.

For now, it’s back to the drawing board. Despite the victories, I’m still not happy with the numbers I’ve put up. Luke and I have already begun making adjustments to match our goals.

Stay tuned for more posts coming later this week. Although I’ve posted all of the contest footage, that ain’t all that happened in that small garage in the little town of Crooksville.

I’ve got lots of other cool clips from the post-contest feats of strength.

If you’re not on my free email newsletter, be sure to sign up in the box below.

All the best in your training.


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Easy Grip Training Method for Kettlebell Lifters

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

Grip Training with Kettlebells

Juggling a 20kg Kettlebell
While Pinching the
50lb Blob Block Weight

For many kettlebell lifters I’ve talked to, Grip Strength can be a concern.

I’m sure everyone’s familiar with grippers and the occasional thick bar work for grip strength, but have you tried Block Weight Training for a well-rounded Grip?

Block Weight Training is much more effective than something like Grippers for developing full-hand strength. Block Weights tax the thumbs especially, but they also work the fingers, wrists, and forearms well too.

Block Weight Training is often done with heads of dumbbells which have either been cut or broken off the handle, but you can actually accomplish the same open-handed strength by using your own Kettlebells.

Here’s one simple example, a Kettlebell Pinch Deadlift.

Block Weight Grip Training with Kettlebells – 16kg

Block Weight Grip Training with Kettlebells – 20kg

I just hit a single here for an on-line feat list, but you can hit these for multiple reps or even holds if you’d like.

These are great for making your entire hand strong, plus they get your wrists and forearms as well.

I hope you like them.


Take Your Grip Strength to the Next Level with the Block Weight Training DVD

Strength Training and Injury Prevention for Throwing Athletes

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Strength Training and Injury Prevention for Throwing Athletes

Matt Ellis

Most athletes, whether you realize it or not, are throwers.

Think about it. The first throwing sports you may picture are the classics: Baseball, softball, the quarterback on the football team, the shot put, discus, and javelin throwers on the track and field team.

Those are the images that typically pop into your head when you think of a throwing athlete.

What you might not realize is that throwing motions are done in almost every sport. Think of a tennis player serving the ball, a volleyball player serving or spiking the ball, a basketball player making a big outlet pass

How about that same basketball player making a chest pass? Isn’t that a similar movement as a football lineman pushing his opponent?

What about the soccer player throwing the ball in from out of bounds?

Or the swimmer gliding through the water using the same repetitive motions with their shoulders?

These are all throwing motions!

When you participate in sports at the high rates athletes do today, you are bound to have shoulder, elbow, wrist, and finger injuries.

Tommy John surgeries are on the rise as are rotator cuff injuries, labrum tears, and elbow tendonitis. I won’t bore you with the numbers, but the studies are out there and it is shocking how frequently these major injuries are happening each year and that the age of the athletes experiencing these injuries gets younger and younger

Youth sports are more popular than ever. Town rec leagues, church leagues, AAU, All Star, travel leagues, sport specific coaching facilities, position specific coaching, and youth/college showcase events mean your athletes can play their sport 12 months a year without taking a true off-season.

The constant repetitive motions along with specializing at a younger age means the overuse injuries that we used to see in college and professional sports are starting to happen at the middle school and high school level.

You can’t stop younger athletes from falling in love with one sport and specializing early. It happens!

The youth sports movement will continue to grow and overuse injuries will continue to happen at the middle and high school level…

But that doesn’t mean you have to just sit around and weight for throwing injuries to come about.

You can start modifying your training NOW to head those injuries off at the pass.

It’s all about making simple, subtle changes in your strength training.

Watch the video below NOW to learn SIMPLE alternative exercises to prevent injuries in your shoulders, elbows, and hands for all your “throwing athletes.”

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