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The Effects of Age on Grip Strength

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

The Effects of Age on Grip Strength

By: Chris Rice


    Preface by Jedd Johnson: Is it true you lose strength as you grow older? Are you able to retain any of that strength, or is it all just a lost cause? And if strength diminishes, in general, over the years, are there any forms of strength that we can hope to hold onto? These are questions that are being more and more common all the time…
    Chris Rice, while one of the oldest Grip Sport competitors, is also an experience strength athlete – PERIOD, having participated in Powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, Strongman, and Kettlebell Sport, to name just a few of his endeavors over the years – and that’s just since I met him in 2003. He’s also an avid climber, going on several climbing expeditions every year.
    Chris is also a good writer, able to turn his thoughts into the written word with a distinct clarity, not always seen amongst all those in the iron game. It’s my pleasure to feature another piece from Chris. This time he answers the question, What effects does age have on grip strength? Take it away, Climber! -Jedd-

The Effects of Age on Grip Strength


Chris Rice, Grip Nationals 2010
4″ Wrist Roller

I’ve thought about writing this for a while now as I’m in a sort of unique position as I think I’m the oldest active Grip Sport competitor I know of at age 67. The decline in overall body strength with age seems fairly well accepted but the question of age on one’s hand and forearm strength seems much less clear. My overall body strength has certainly declined over the years in spite of my best efforts. I’m sorry about the fact I have to post numbers and this may come across as a bragging session but I don’t know how to talk about my progress since starting into the actual “sport” of grip without putting it into some kind of context that shows my gains were not what could be called “beginners gains”.

Some discussion of age related “peak” abilities should also be discussed. Our bodies seem to develop and then lose certain qualities in a certain order. Quickness and explosiveness seem to be a young man’s game – peaking in the early to mid-20s perhaps. Speed holds on a little longer but strength doesn’t seem to peak until later – perhaps mid to late 30s with a huge amount of variation on both sides of that number. But generally speaking by one’s middle 40s, some decline has started in overall body strength and all other physical attributes. This assumes of course that you have trained and continued to train and compete during the entire time period.

There are basically two kinds of “old” lifters – those who have trained hard consistently over their lifetime and those who started a good bit later in life. There are some considerable differences between the two. I started general weight training in 1959 so I have years of consistent training behind me. Starting training at a more advanced age is going to be considerable different in results – the so called “beginners gains” will occur at any age. It is never too late to start and expect significant increases in hand strength.

Another thing I have noticed is what might be called the accumulated loss of “resilience” – defined by Webster as “the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens” or “the ability of something to return to its original shape after it has been pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc.” Years of life’s accumulated tweaks and injuries can make or break one’s abilities – and the longer one lives the more they add up. Please read this paragraph again as I think it’s hugely important. The importance of avoiding injury in training cannot be overstated. I have a large assortment of old injuries that I have to deal with that do affect my training and require constant therapy work.

I started the actual “sport” of Grip in 2003 when I found the GripBoard. At that time I had already owned the COC # 1 – 2 – and 3 for several years – I had bought them to try and help my climbing grip strength. I was able to close both the #1 and #2 right out of the package but not the #3 – I believe that if the COC 2.5 had existed then I could have closed it at that time as well.

I trained with them but they were no help for my climbing so I pretty much forgot about them until I found the GripBoard. By the time I found the GripBoard I had been climbing for around 20 years (and lifting consistently since 1959) and had done quite a bit of training towards that end. Lots of wrist curls – reverse wrist curls – very heavy finger curls – and hangboard routines plus years of hanging by my fingers on rock faces around the world. I had also been doing construction ever since I was a kid as a second job. I brought years of hard work and training with my hands with me when I discovered Grip as a sport – my base strength was already fairly well developed. So basically I was 55 years old with a long background of more general grip training when I first started any specific training for the events and feats of strength involved in the “sport of Grip”.

To answer the question of what happens to grip strength as one ages I think it is important to not only be aware of the strength levels that I brought with me from my “life” but to look at the progress I was able to make (or not make) in the different lifts and feats of strength through training in what might be called my “senior citizen” years. During this time period my bodyweight probably fluctuated by maybe 10# up and down – so an increase in body size was not a factor in any increases in strength. My hand size is 7 5/8” and has not changed – my hands may have gotten a little thicker but that’s only a guess. I don’t see the point in listing all the lifts I have done but some discussion of the basics and my progress might be of value.

Grippers – Grippers have a huge skill component considering the “set” used. My early attempts used no set – I placed it in my hand and squeezed – I had no concept of a “set”. My later closes were done with a so called parallel set or similar so a real comparison of actual “strength” is difficult. Age 55 no set – I closed a COC #2 at 104# gripper but I feel I could have done more if it had been available to me. Best competition close was a 20 mm block set of 156# around age 60 to 62. Best Credit Card close was a 146# COC #3 (not in competition). Best no set close ever is 142# on a narrow spread gripper. My best competition close choked to parallel was 192.8# and a COC #4 of 195# in training. So gripper strength improved both due to skill of setting and also I feel the muscles became a good bit stronger. I probably need to mention that I dislike grippers and almost never trained them. I personally feel the choked closes show “strength” levels better than closes done with any of the various “sets” used that seem to involve a high level of “skill”.

Block Weights DL and Clean – L&R handed – The “test” for block weight is the “Blob” or half of a 100# York dumbbell – which will weigh around 50# obviously. At age 55 I lifted an “easy” Blob the first time I actually saw one (I had been training with other types of block weights for a short time previously). Later on I lifted it both left and right handed and cleaned it left and right hand. Even later I was able to lift a “Fatman Blob” right handed to full DL. I feel hand size and the way my thumb sits was (is) somewhat of a limitation for blocks but mostly I just never got strong enough to do more. I did make substantial progress with plate pinching though as hand size and spread didn’t seem as limiting. I went from 2 -25s and 2 -35s right hand in the beginning to 2 -45s, 5 – 10s, and 3-25s both R & L hand within the last couple years.

Axle DO DL – Fat bar was something that I did not bring good natural strength to in my mind. I don’t remember my early numbers but I’ll guess maybe 320#? I have done 356# several times in competition and 363# as an extra attempt once (not official). Best training lifts were around 375 to 380#. These lifts were done with a max regular bar DL of around 400# which I think limited me somewhat – making the lift take a longer time to complete. I could at one time lift and hold for several seconds 420# in a short range rack pull. Progress was difficult in this lift for me and took a lot of work.

David Horne Euro Pinch – Probably the lift I seem to have had the best natural inclination for. It is also the lift I spent the most time figuring out how to do better on. I like to think I have increased this lift with a combination of strength increases and learning to take advantage of my personal strengths and weaknesses better and better. Going from memory only I think I did 180 something my first comp with the device and pretty quickly went to 195 – 200#. From there I made the decision to “become good” on this lift. I was one of the early guys to do bodyweight on it and spent a good bit of time tweaking my technique. Even with the age increase I have steadily been able to get small increases in this one to 235.78# for the current #17 position on NAGS.

DO Bending – When bending really got started I tried it and simply sucked – I struggled to bend pretty much anything. Then Frankyboy from Germany came to visit me and showed me some technique – in a matter of an hour or so I went from doing an IM Blue nail to just failing to finish a Grade 8 Bolt. Skill and position are absolute keys. Over time I increased to IM Red Nails and a best ever of a 5/16” x 6” Cut Red Nail or FBBC bar. But I was tearing my shoulders to pieces and quickly decided the risk was too great for me.

Reverse Bending – This came fairly naturally for me. With some training and technique work I was able to go from a beginning best of ¼’ x 6” Grade 5 Bolts to doing Red Nails reverse and a best competition bend of a 6” piece of Drill Rod in competition (I don’t remember the poundage rating but it had been rated by Eric Milfield (the number 505# comes to mind but may be off). I think I had fairly good wrist strength from all the life work I had done and mostly needed better positions and technique.

Sledge Hammer Choke – relatively speaking a newer competition lift – I seemed to do well quickly on it with no training before that first contest. I did better in the second competition on it but I never trained it “directly” but did a lot of work with the “Wrist Thingy” in training that I feel had a very positive impact. I’ve also spent a considerable amount of time working with sledge hammers and axes.

The take-away, I guess, is that from the age of 55 to a current age of 66 – and with a long history of previous training – I increased every grip related lift or test number by either a small or fairly large margin. In some cases, I think much of those results were due to technique but I feel my “strength” actually got better as well in all areas.

Currently I am not training grip towards competition but am climbing quite a bit – but I do intend to do a few more contests over the next few years – it is my hope to compete at age 70 and set Masters age group records in that class.

At that point I will consider retirement.

Time will tell.

At least in this experiment of one – grip strength has not seemingly suffered the same decline as the rest of my body strength.

-Chris Rice-

Check out this other article from Chris Rice: Grip Training for Beginner Climbers

Build Bigger, Stronger Arms and Wrists: Scale Weight Curls

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Build Big Arms and Strong Wrists


Superstar Billy Graham

One of my overall goals is to build my arms up to 20″ cold (no pump).

The way I see it, if you are going to get big, you might as well build strength to go along with it.

And if you are going to be strong, then by all means get as big as you can.

With these things in mind, I give you Scale Weight Curls.

A Scale Weight is a block-shaped weight that is used in industrial settings where scales are used.

These weights are calibrated to specific measurements and have handles so that they can be placed on the scale quickly and easily in order to test that a scale is reading accurately.

scale-weights

How to Perform Scale Weight Curls

Scale Weight Curls can be done like any other curl. They can be done free-standing or braced, and can be done in alternating style or both at the same time.

For me, performing them standing has gotten too easy, so I have been doing them in more of a Preacher Curl style, off my Glute Ham Machine. This allows me to keep the movement more concentrated (although cheating is not completely eliminated).

Also, what I look for is to try to keep my wrist in a neutral position throughout the full range of motion. This strengthens the wrist a bit more.

I can usually get up to 3 extra reps per set if I let my wrist buckle, so once I feel that I am losing my neutral position and breaking into ulnar deviation, I generally just stop the set.

Here is a video showing some recent Scale Weight Curls.

Scale Weight Curls

Scale Weights are somewhat hard to come by, because they are a specialized tool, sort of like anvils, and they can be cheap, but I have been lucky enough to score a couple over the years.

Believe me, the collection of grip tools I have amassed has taken me literally years to develop, tons of time to research, and of course, big expenses in order to build.

If you can’t find Scale Weights, another alternative is to try and curl your Kettlebells. Since the kettlebell handle sits out away from the rest of the bell, they will actually be much tougher to curl, and the weights will drop, but you will still get the Leverage Curl effect.

Still, I like the Scale Weight Curl a little better than Kettlebell Curls, just because I can use a bit more weight to challenge the biceps more, while also challenging my wrists.

To take it even further, you can attempt to curl your Scale Weight or Kettlebll in a supinated position. When you do this, you will have to CRUSH DOWN on the handle BIG TIME, or else you won’t be very successful.

I hope you enjoy this variation of Curls.

For more sinister ideas on how to build crazy arm strength, check out Call to Arms.

call-to-arms-reduced

All the best in your training,

Jedd

Did a Lack of Grip Strength Break Joe Theisman’s Leg?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Grip Strength for Linemen

Did you know that a Lack of Grip Strength is heavily to blame for Joe Theisman’s career ending due to a blind tackle by Lawrence Taylor?

Don Warren, Tight End for the Washington Redskins, was the man with the assignment to keep Taylor at bay on that one, fateful play.

Had he been able to get a secure grip at the line of scrimmage, things could have gone much differently for Theisman,
but because Warren did not secure his grip in “the Fit,” Taylor came crashing down on the QB, and Theisman’s hopes for a lengthy career came crashing down as well.

This is one of the most often replayed video clips in sports, because it resulted in such a horrible injury.

Naturally, injuries like this don’t happen every time a Lineman or Tight End can’t control their opponent on the other team.

But until Grip Training is taken as seriously as footwork drills and conditioning in football, you can bet that many more Line Backers will be busting through the line, sacking Quarterbacks, and making tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

For the coaches and players who are ready to make a difference in the control they and their linemen have on the field, I present my latest product, Grip Strength Training for Linemen.

grip-linemen

The Grip Strength Training for Linemen ebook is available on Kindle for $9.99.

Training your Grip seriously is NOT just for Grip Enthusiasts looking to perform feats of strength or compete in contests.

Grip is serious for ALL Athletes.

Football players and Coaches – you can begin training your grip THE RIGHT WAY with this ebook: Grip Strength Training for Linemen

All the best in your training,

Jedd

Build Grip Strength Faster – Double Blob Carries

Monday, April 14th, 2014

It’s hard to argue with the Grip Strength enhancing capabilities of Block Weight training.

Block Weights make you lift with an Open Hand, so your fingers and thumbs work much harder than when training on regular-shaped barbells and dumbbells, plus they make your wrists and forearms work harder as well.

Most people train Block Weights with just one hand at a time, but if they are so beneficial, why not train with one in each hand (if you have them).

Last week, I posted some video on Blob Block Weight Holds for Time, even showing a cool weight-added variation with chains – SICK!!!

Today, I’ve got a couple more videos showing you how you can take your Blob and Block Weight Training to the next level.




On Sale $10 Off Right Now


Double Blob Farmer’s Walk

If you have a nice lawn or a big gym to train in, try picking up your Block Weights and then carrying them as far as you can go, Farmer’s Walk Style!

It has been a very long time since I tried this out.

In March of 2008, I completed this run across the road from the Arnold Classic at Goodale Park.

Double Blob Farmer’s Walk – 2008

Double Blob Farmer’s Walk – 2014 – Part 1

After seeing Juha Harju having some fun with this test of strength recently, I decided that I had to give it a try as well. Below, I for my best distance in a very wet and hilly back yard.

Double Blob Farmer’s Walk – 2014 – Part 2

As good as 83 feet is in this lift, I knew I had more in me. So, a few days later, we carried the Blobs back outside, only this time it was to the front yard, where it was a bit drier and a little flatter. I was very happy with the results, making it over 100-feet 3 separate times.

The carry of 121-feet, as far as I know, is a new “World Record,” insomuch that it can be considered one, since it was done during training and outside of a contest format. Naturally, the tape is not flat either, making the distance somewhat subject, but sometime soon, maybe I will take the Blobs to a track or some other spot where it is flatter and we can get a more accurate measurement of the true distance.

Either way, the main thing is developing more strength. I have no doubt the training that I have been doing has been helping me develop more Grip Strength, specifically better Pinching Strength, which I will need on May 3rd at the Bragging Rights Grip Contest.

For more info on on the May 3rd Contest, go here => Bragging Rights Contest.

All the best in your training,

Jedd



Making Weight – The Story of My First Time Sucking Weight

Friday, December 13th, 2013

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.

Holdfast Gauntlet

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.

ThanksGripping

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.

ThanksGripping Videos:

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:

JeddMonday JeddFriday2
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.

Dehydration Schedule:

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.

Gripmas Videos:

Thanks for reading (if you did) and all the best in your training.

Jedd


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