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Diesel Crew Grip Challenge Series 2016

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

I’ve been toying with the idea of starting up the Diesel Crew Grip Challenge for quite some time.

If you’re new to the site, you probably don’t realize I did a weekly challenge here on the site for most of 2011, but then got away from it and haven’t gotten back.

I want to make these something different from the normal cert lists and online stats for Gripboard.com and GripSport.com, things that we can all work on together in our own gyms.

These are also going to be feats that I feel are beneficial to training, things that will help you truly develop useful, functional grip strength, and not just silly stunts, or anything like that.

I also want to use this as a way to recognize people for their hard work. So, once you reach the top position, I’m more than happy to post your feat here on the site.

I’ll most likely add feats over time, and bring it to the front whenever there is something new.

If you want to take part, just let me know. Include DieselCrew.com Grip Challenge in the title, along with whatever feat it is, send me a link, and you’ll bee considered for posting, as long as your video is legit and you’ve followed the rules.

Here we go:

Block Weight Unbroken Reps

Rules: Can use either 1 or 2 Block Weights. Pairs can be made up of the same or different Block Weights, in order to get on multiple lists at once. Must apply your grip, lift to full lockout, return to the ground and then immediately pull back to lockout without resting or re-gripping. All reps pulled from the contact of the floor to lockout will be counted. This is where the term “unbroken” comes from.

Lists will include half 75 and up for Women and Half 90 and up for Men.

Double Half 100lb York / Blob 50

#1: Jedd Johnson (6 reps)
#2: Juha Harju (4 reps)
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Single Half 100lb York / Blob50

Rules: Can use either 1 or 2 Block Weights (the hand which gets more reps will be counted when using a pair of the same block weights). Pairs can be made up of the same or different Block Weights, in order to get on multiple lists at once. Must apply your grip, lift to full lockout, return to the ground and then immediately pull back to lockout without resting or re-gripping. All reps pulled from the contact of the floor to lockout will be counted. This is where the term “unbroken” comes from.

#1: Jedd Johnson (6 reps)
#2: Juha Harju (5 reps)
#3: Marco Buhl (5 reps – Gladiator Blob – 43lbs)
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More feats to come. Any questions, please let me know.

All the best in your training!

Jedd

Grip Rushes with Block Weights Grip Strength

Monday, April 25th, 2016

My grip training workouts are always changing, whether it be the main feats I’m emphasizing, the main events I’m training for contests, or the supplemental drills I’m doing to bring up individual aspects of Grip.

But, one thing that has been consistent over the last couple of years is my favorite way to finish my grip workouts: Grip Rushes.

Grip Rushes are 60-second blocks of as many reps as possible of a certain lift. By going for as many reps as possible, it enables you to train some very high volume, plus it brings about a level of conditioning, which is very important for Medley Training.

I really like using Block Weights and Thick Bar devices, because pulling them to lockout makes the quads, hamstrings, glutes and lower back really burn at the end of the 60-second period.

Recently, I tried a couple of new types of Grip Rushes.

Grip Rush: Blobzilla for Reps

Blobzilla, the half 125lb York Legacy Dumbbell Head, is starting to feel easier, so I’ve begun using it for Grip Rushes. My short term goal is 3 full lifts per hand during the 60-second period. You’ll see here, I get a couple full lifts, a partial or two, and then try a Cheat and Hold at the end.

I think by doing this, I will eventually be able to lift Blobzilla at will, and even begin adding significant weight this year as well.

Grip Rush: Blob Hula Training

I also recently gave Blob Hulas a try with my Winter Blob, a Blob I left outside for an entire winter trying to make it super rough, but when I brought it back in, it had actually become very, very smooth. Hulas are a great way to get more time under tension with your Blob, plus they force you to maintain your grip without setting it perfectly on the Blob each time you make a revolution.

If you’re stuck making only 1 rep on your Blob Deadlift, more time under tension might be what you need, so be sure to give this a try sometime soon, and let me know how it worked out for you.

All the best in your training.

Jedd


If you like these drills, but need more tactics to help you finally lift your Blob for the first time, there’s no better resource than Lift The Blob.


The Unliftable Manna-Nuff Block Weight

Friday, December 18th, 2015

One of my most favorite type of grip work is Block Weight training.

You can’t go wrong by including this kind of training in your routine.

Not only does it build your thumbs, but it increases your lumbrical strength, the fingers get worked, and your wrist and forearms get blown up.

At Gripmas, I was introduced to a new block weight challenge item, the “Unliftable” Manna-Nuff.

This was originated by John Manna and eventually another gripster, Nate Brous, ended up with it, and until Gripmas, it had supposedly never been fully lifted, although John Wojciechowski was successful in breaking it free from the ground…

The Manna Nuff is what’s called a “drop.” It’s essentially a left-over piece of steel or iron that didn’t get made into anything and was just left as scrap.

I’ve got a couple drops in my collection. Here’s one we call the “Chunk.”

The Chunk

The Chunk only weighs 56 lbs or so. The Manna Nuff is 88.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been presented with “unliftable” Block Weights.

At Nationals this year, Andrew Pantke introduced me to his “unliftable” Fatman Blob, half of a 100lb old-school York dumbbell. The original ones are quite a bit harder to lift because of their shape, and up until June of 2015, nobody had been able to do more than break it off the ground…

The Unliftable Pantke Blob

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So, there I was, faced with the challenge of another unliftable block weight.

Would having experience on the Chunk be enough to lift this “unliftable” block of metal?

When you’re presented with a challenge, you can’t just stand around analyzing things.

Sometimes, you just gotta go after it!

Never Say No To a New PR, BROTHERRRRR!

The Unliftable Manna Nuff

Like I said, Block Weights are an extremely valuable manner of Grip Training, with all the benefits they provide.

The strength I’ve developed from my years of Block Weight work has helped me out greatly in being able to tackle many other grip challenges.

I strongly suggest you make Block Weights an integral part of your grip training, if you’re serious about developing your hand strength.

All the best in your training.

Jedd


If You’re Serious About Lifting Block Weights,
Pick Up The 2 Best Resources Available:

Lift the Blob: Even If You Have Small Hands

High Impact Grip Training: Block Weight Training


The Road to the AOBS

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

I recently got a call from Dennis Rogers, inviting me to perform at the annual banquet/gala of the AOBS.

aobs

From their site: “The Association of Oldetime Barbell and Strongmen (AOBS) is the arm of WLO that focuses on education regarding Iron Game history and drug free sport, while the parent (WLO) concentrates on the development of the sport of weightlifting and amateur athletes, especially for national and international competition. The organization produces an quarterly newsletter and hosts an annual gala the educates, entertains and provides an opportunity to visit with legends of the Iron Game and old time friends.”

The WLO, or Weightlifting Org., Inc., is “… a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation. It was created to educate the public and public institutions regarding the nature, benefits and history of weightlifting and related activities; the hazards of drug use and benefits of drug free sport; and to develop amateur athletes for national and international weightlifting competition.”

You can learn more about WLO and AOBS here.

I am totally honored to be invited to perform this year. In the past, true legends of strength and strongmanism have performed at the AOBS dinner, including names like Slim “The Hammer Man” Farman, Dennis Rogers, Stanless Steel, “The Human Vise” Pat Povilaitis, and Steve Weiner, just to name a few.

I feel particularly privileged to be chosen to perform this year because I’ll be doing something a little different, in my presentation.

I’ll be performing feats of grip strength, with popular grip challenge items, like the Inch Dumbbell and 50-lb Blob.

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50lb Blob (right-hand) Inch Dumbbell (left-hand)

Since finding out about this incredible opportunity, I’ve totally re-examined my training, and have taken some emphasis away from my Grip Sport competition preparation (the King Kong of Grip is taking place on October 24th), and more toward refining some of my specialty feats with the Blob and Inch Dumbbell.

As a result of keying in on the Blob and Inch Dumbbell, my performance has truly skyrocketed, and I’m breaking through barriers that have been in my way for several years.

Here’s a couple examples…

Blob Deadlift for Reps

In 2009, out of nowhere, I decided to go for 40 repetitions in the Blob Deadlift. I don’t remember why anymore, to be honest. Well, I ended up miss-counting and only got 39, but that’s not important.

What’s important is it took my 6 minutes. Here’s the video from 2009:

50lb Blob for 39 Reps (2009)

I had stumbled upon this video after not watching it for quite some time, and when I watched it and saw that it took me 6+ minutes to get to 40 reps, I honestly couldn’t believe it. I remember thinking back then that this was pretty much unbeatable.

What a fool I was. There have been times in my life where I have gotten complacent, and this, obviously, was one of them. As I watched myself struggle to get to 39 reps, like a man with concrete boots trudging uphill through a quagmire, I knew that I could beat this.

So, the next workout, I dragged the Blob back out and went for 40 reps again, as fast as I could. Here’s the video:

50lb Blob for 40 Reps

It’s like my Dad always said to me as a kid. “You can never rest on your laurels.” In other words, you can never feel that what you’ve done is enough. You’re always capable of more. You need to know that you can surpass what you’ve done in the past with the right training.

Inch Dumbbell Rows

Another feat I just recently FINALLY was able to reach, involves Inch Dumbbell Rows.

I have been able to perform a Side Dumbbell Row with the Inch Dumbbell since the mid-2000’s. I think I got my first one in 2007.

Here’s another case, where I was letting my mind get the best on me.

For nearly 8 years, I’ve been stuck at 1 Rep. In fact, I remember a few times thinking that I’d NEVER be able to get 2 reps, meaning 2 consecutive reps, without dropping and/or re-gripping the Inch Dumbbell.

Inch Dumbbell Rows (2011)

Again, what a fool I can be sometimes! Why would I ever think that something is impossible? Talk about mentally painting myself into a corner. Unbelievable.

Finally, for the first time I was able to perform 2 consecutive reps in the Inch Dumbbell Row. Here’s the video:

Inch Dumbbell Rows

I’m still not totally pleased with these, as there’s quite a tilt going on, but I’ll continue to work on them.

Here’s the thing guys, take a lesson from my mistakes, and get your head right with your training.

The mental side of training is HUGE. If you’re head isn’t right, it will keep you from attaining your goals.

And you can’t rest once you hit a certain mark. You can’t get complacent. You can’t hit a goal and just get comfortable. Keep pushing hard and keep growing.

Get your mindset locked in, starting today.

And if you need help with that, stay tuned for a message from me next week called Mental Muscle.

All the best in your training.

Jedd

P.S. Wish me luck at the AOBS on 10/17/15!

Training to Lift the Inch? Get This:

Training to Lift the Blob? Get This:

Cool “New” Griplement – The Chunk

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

Grip Training with the “Chunk”

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The Chunk

My gym is filled to the brim with cool grip training gear I’ve accumulated over the years.

That’s what happens when you collect stuff for over 10 years!

Every so often, I like to dig one of the hidden gems out of the corner, dust it off, and give it a few pulls.

Recently, we pulled out the “Chunk.” This one isn’t really “new” to me, as I’ve had it since 2006, but I don’t think I’ve ever put anything out in the public about it until now. So, in that sense, I guess you could say it’s new…

The Chunk Block Weight

The Chunk is a 66-lb steel or iron drop, or scrap piece, essentially a piece that was cut off and never used. The Chunk is what’s considered a Block Weight. Even though Block Weights are usually one of the heads of a dumbbell, they can be any block-shaped implement that you lift with an open handed pinch grip.

Block Weights can be very beneficial for your training. They work the thumb very hard, and they make the entire lower arm work together in order to perform your lifts.

Block Weight Training is a great form of grip training to add into your routine.

Block Weights develop hand and grip strength in a general sense, which means it has the potential to improve strength in order types of grip training, and will carry over to other types of lifting because you’ll be stronger overall from doing Block Weight Training.

Here’s a few videos where we lift the Chunk and try some cool variations by adding weight to it…

Intro to the Chunk

Just taking a look at the Chunk to see its weight and features such as edges and surfaces.

Protected Training on the Chunk

With the sharp edges the Chunk has, we tried protecting our skin with a suede bending wrap and lifting it.

Throwing Chains on the Chunk

Adding chains makes it tougher to complete the lift because it gets heavier, the higher you pull it. It’s an excellent way to train your grip, borrowed from the world of Powerlifting (Louie Simmons introduced me to the concept).

Major Take-aways from Today’s Post

Here’s a few things to remember from today’s post for your training.

  • Block Weights are beneficial because they target the thumb (often neglected in training) and develop the entire lower arm in a general sense.
  • Block Weights come in nearly endless shapes and sizes and can be used for many different types of lifts.
  • Don’t be afraid to pull from other established training protocols and try the concepts in your grip training in order to spice things up a bit and keep yourself progressing. Naturally, do so safely!

If you’d like to get started with Block Weight Training, but don’t know where to begin, then grab my Block Weight Training DVD today. It also comes in digital format so you don’t have to mess with shipping.

All the best in your training.

Jedd

Discover New Levels of Hand Strength with Block Weight Training