On 4/18/15, at the New York Grip Throwdown in Carmel, NY, I finally hit a lifetime Competition PR on the IronMind Double Overhand Axle Deadlift Axle Deadlift with 400 and 408 pounds.
This is the best lift I’ve had in competition since 2007, when I first lifted 396lbs.
It felt great to finally complete these lifts, and the fact that there was absolutely no doubt in either one of them puts even more icing on the cake, brotherrrr.
Jedd Johnson – 400lb IronMind Axle Deadlift
Jedd Johnson – 408lb IronMind Axle Deadlift
It’s been a long-time coming, and I’m pumped to be able to share this with you.
Keep hitting it hard in your workouts. It’s all gonna pay off.
All the best in your training.
Learn the Basics of Strongman Training with the Introduction to Strongman DVD
When you read the title of the post, you probably thought I was going to try to sell you some kind of new training equipment out on the market when.
That’s not it at all.
If you want a truly strong grip, there is one thing you need to have that you might not be doing in your training.
I know for a long time when I first started, I left this out, and because of it, my numbers suffered.
Since then, I no longer make that mistake, because I keep this in my training on a regular basis now.
No, it’s not a special piece of equipment.
It’s actually much more simple than that…
If you want a strong grip, you NEED strong wrists.
Think about it this way…
Many of the muscles that control your grip run through your wrist.
So, all the power is running right through that joint.
If you’ve got good wrist strength, that power will pass through well.
If you neglect your wrists, they’ll stay weak, and that means you’ll never reach your potential with your hand strength.
If you don’t have good stability there, you’re SCREWED.
So, the question is, how do you train for wrist strength?
One way is with Sledge Hammer Levering.
Sledge Hammer Levering involves gripping a sledge by the handle and then lifting the head up and down, under control, using wrist strength.
Chances are you already have a Sledge Hammer. If you don’t you can use any type of leverage device.
A mop or mop handle will work great.
Even a baseball bat can do the trick.
Remember, your objective is to work against leverage through a variety of angles, in order to make the wrists as strong as possible.
Because if you don’t have strong wrists, there’s virtually NO WAY you can have a strong grip.
If you want ideas on how to build wrist strength, check this out: Lever Bigger Hammers.
All the best in your training.
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The trip to the Arnold Classic was a ton of fun this year, probably the best time I’ve ever had there when I wasn’t competing.
Here’s some of the footage I got from the trip.
The one main place we wanted to be sure to hit was the Promera Booth so we could take the Con-Crete Challenge. Run by our new friend, James Stoppani, Sr, I’ve been hearing about this for over a year now and wanted to try it out.
First up was the Hub Lift challenge. They attach Hub Grips to Slater Stones and you must lift them to Lockout. I suck at Hubs, but Luke did really well.
Second, was the Fat Gripz row challenge. The guys have to Row a Vertical Bar with a Fat Gripz Extreme on it for as many reps as possible. I took this event. Nobody could touch my 67 reps, brotherrrr.
Lastly, there was a hold for time with 135lbs gripping onto Fat Gripz Extremes. The record was like 1:26. I was close, but the flexed position of my wrist was cutting off a nerve in my hand and it was burning like crazy, so I had to drop the bar at like 1:15. If not for that burning, I would have destroyed the record. Oh well, live to Grip another day.
Training at Durniat Strength
We got an awesome training session in at Durniat Strength on Friday. This first video shows you all kinds of stuff that we did. What a blast!
Luke also hit this awesome Concentric-Only 100-lb Preacher Curl. I tried it and couldn’t budge it. This dude is no joke, bro.
There you have it, some of the best footage from the Arnold 2015. It was an awesome time. I got to meet tons of people. Once again, I can’t wait until next year.
Finish the week strong, brother.
Need to Increase Your Hand Strength?
Check out the Benefits of Block Weight Training:
Grip Hogs Day 2015
In December, I decided to run a contest with the primary objective to help get new Grip Sport Athletes involved in the sport.
I chose 2/7/15 and since it was right after Groundhog’s Day, I decided to name it Grip Hogs Day.
There were two divisions: the Open Class and a Super Match between my partner, Luke and myself.
I am happy to say that the entire contest was quite a success, as 7 out of the 12 lifters were first-time competitors and ALL of them reported they loved the contest and can’t wait for the next one!
Before I get too far into this, I want to send out a thanks to Luke Raymond, my Dad, and my wife. With everything they did, it was the easiest contest I’ve ever run! Thanks everyone!
Grip Hogs Day
Here are videos of each of the events:
Silver Bullet Hold
This event involves holding the IronMind Silver Bullet between the handles of a #3 Captains of Crush for as long as possible. Everyone got one chance to get their best time on the #3, and if they could not do get a legal hold, they could try the #2.
I have been dancing very close to the World Record in this event for the last few months. I was close again this time, with 43 seconds, but just didn’t have enough to break the record.
Two Hands Pinch
The Adjustable Pinch Device was used, so each competitor could use the width that felt best in their hands. Each got 4 attempts to lift the biggest weight possible.
I broke a new World Record off the ground in December on this lift and I was hoping to complete it at GHD, but a rash of thumb tears really affected my training the last couple of months and I had to settle with 248.
Double Overhand Axle
This lift is like a regular deadlift, only a 1.9″ OD Axle is used with a double overhand grip, both of which tax the hands more than a regular deadlift. The highlight of this event for me was watching newcomer, John Stepien, pull 383lbs, matching my lift, in his first ever Grip competition.
I truly thought this would be the day I hit 400lbs in competition, as I hit it recently in training, but I couldn’t quite pull it to a legal height, or control it as needed to be legal.
This event is similar to the Sledge Choke, only instead of moving away from the head of the hammer in order to increase the difficulty, everyone grips in the same spot and weight is added to a loading pin at the front of the handle. To keep the lift strict, a shot is balanced on a nut on to the top ridge of the Pickaxe.
The record prior to the contest was something like 11.4lbs. I had broken this several times in training, as had my partner Luke Raymond. As we anticipated, the end of the event ended up being a shoot-out between Luke and me, as we both set new records of 11.77. I won the event, lifting 12.18 and 12.51lbs in my later attempts. Luke tried 12.51lbs on 2 separate attempts, but his wrist power just wasn’t there due to an injury he sustained in December.
The Bull Ring Extensor Lift
This is a brand new event that was introduced at GHD. You place your hand inside the ring and lift the weight with the strength of the extensors.
The Bull Rings are available now. Contact me for ordering details at jedddotdieselatgmaildotcom. Aside from effectively allowing the extensors to be worked heavy and progressively, the Bull Ring can also be used as a hub device.
Looking Back on Grip Hogs Day
I would say this is easily the most fun I’ve ever had at one of my own contests, despite failing to break the records on the Silver Bullet and Two Hands Pinch. The group was all great, and I was so happy to meet all of the new competitors!
As you can see, we started everything off with a Flexing Pic, and aaalllmost everybody took part. Eli Thomas couldn’t believe the size of the guns on Napalm.
Mike Chaffee, Jedd Johnson, John Stepien
Mike Chaffee, who won the Novice Class award (first time competitors), and John Stepien, who came in 2nd place in the Novice category, both said they were hooked! I can’t wait to see what else they are capable of down the road!
I wish you would have been there, brother. You GOTTA make it to the next one!
Until then, all the best in your training.
Learn to Bend Horseshoes With Monster Hand Strength:
The Next Grip Strength Competition will take place on February 7th, and I am designing it to be very welcoming to new competitors.
Grip Hogs Day
Silver Bullet Hold
DATE: February 7th, 2015
ENTRY FORM: Grip Hogs Day
Silver Bullet Hold
Two Hands Pinch
Two Hand Axle Deadlift
Bull Ring Lift
WEIGH-IN: Any time after 8:00am (scale will be spot-calibrated)
WEIGHT CLASSES: Your lifts will be logged per North American Grip Sport’s weight class system (59k, 66k, 74k, 83k, 93k, 105k, 120k, 120k+)
DIVISIONS: Beginner / Experienced / Expert
Places will be figured based on experience level…examples:
- **Beginners – Very limited grip experience
- **Experienced – 2 or more grip contests
- **Expert – Seasoned Veterans
LOCATION: Jedd Johnson’s Garage Gym
EMAIL FOR DIRECTIONS: jedd dot diesel at gmail dot com
ENTRY FEE: $20. POSSIBLE THROW-IN FOR PIZZA AFTERWARDS
DEADLINE: February 1st – Paying on contest day, add $10, unless otherwise notified.
Events subject to change without notice
Events order subject to change without notice
MAKE ALL CHECKS/ MONEY ORDERS PAYABLE TO: JEDD JOHNSON
MAIL ENTRY FORM AND FEE TO:
PO BOX 806
WYALUSING, PA 18853
Available upon request. Please contact me.
AIRPORTS (all three are about the same distance from Wyalusing, 1.5 hrs)
Scranton/Wilkes Barre PA
Event Explanations & Demonstrations
The IronMind Silver Bullet is placed between the handles of a #3 gripper. The #2 can be used by women and if the athlete can not get a proper attempt on the #3.
Two Hands Pinch
The adjustable pinch device is used, with steel outside plates and rubber inserts. It is adjustable from 12 to 64mm. With a two-hand, overhand grip, the athlete lifts the device until the loading pipe contacts a cross-bar 16.5 inches high, and then must return the implement to the floor without losing grip on it.
Two Hand Axle
A 1.9-inch thick barbell, called and Axle, is gripped with two hands in an overhand grip. The athlete must lift the axle to lockout. Once the referee gives the down signal, he must lower it back to the ground without losing his grip.
Pickaxe to Front (Max Weight)
The Pickaxe device is loaded at the front and gripped at the end. It must be lifted so the front crosses the height of 30 inches, without a steel shot falling off. The steel shot prevents excessive tilt. The Pickaxe can be lowered with two hands.
The Bull Ring
The Bull RIng is a brand new event testing extensor strength. The hand is placed palm-down inside the ring, contacting only the underside of the lifting surface, and at no time can come in contact with the V-shaped supports on the underside. The athlete must lift the Bull Ring to lockout, get a good call from the ref, and the return it to the floor without losing grip on the implement.
I hope to see you on February 7th. It’s gonna be a great time.
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CONTEST: Grip Hogs Day, Wyalusing PA
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