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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.


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.

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.


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”

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.


Discover New Levels of Hand Strength with Block Weight Training

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,


P.S. My ebook, Lift the Blob is still on sale for $10 off. I will change it back to the regular price tonight. For now, click the image below to grab it at a discount:

Build Grip Strength Faster – Double Blob Holds

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Blobs and Block Weight Training are great for building hand strength.

Because you grip them with an open hand, they make your hands work harder than some other forms of training.

What’s even more awesome is having one in each hand!

Why have one hand just hanging out waiting for its chance to work, when you can have one Blob or Block Weight in each hand.

So, if you are looking for ways to bring up your hand strength, I definitely recommend Block Weight work, and the best resource available on it is Lift the Blob:

On Sale $10 Off Right Now

That ebook will tell you not only how you can work up to one of the classic feats of grip strength, but also dozens of drills that will take your grip strength to the next level, NO MATTER WHAT YOUR MAIN TRAINING GOALS ARE!

Related to Double Blob Training, on May 3rd, Juha Harju and I are going head-to-head on the Double Blob Hold for Time.

Here is some of the recent training I have done with Double Blob Holds:

Double Blob Hold for Time Training

That was cool and all, but I wanted to take it to the next level, so the next thing I did was loop a chain over top of the Blob. This made the Blobs heavier, the higher I pulled them, plus I couldn’t get the same bite on them with my hands, since the chain made my hand sit higher on them this way.

Double Blob Holds Plus Chains

The Blob Lift Plus Chains shows up at the 4-minute mark. The first portion of the video. I ask about whether people would be interested in challenges held here at the site.

My buddy Juha tried a similar challenge, adding chains to the Blobs, but he did it slightly differently, with magnets. I thought that was a great idea, so I gave it a try myself.

This was super challenging, and I loved it. That is what Training is all about: CHALLENGING YOURSELF!

Misses Are Just Warm-ups: Double Blob Lift Plus Chains

Never forget that Misses Are Just Warm-ups. Sometimes you don’t get a lift on the first try – you need to try it multiple times. Go for it brother.

BOOM! I love getting a PR or other hard lift completed and then grunting and growling. I love the Intensity and feeling like an all-out Animal or Machine.

I have been doing other training with Double Blobs lately. I will post it up soon.

For now, be sure to get Lift the Blob today on sale for $10 off!

All the best in your training.


Your Mindset – Is it Helping You or Hurting You?

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

About a year ago, the prospects of curling a 50-lb Blob were meek.

To put this into perspective, I had only done it once or twice prior to 2013, and I had a success rate of about 1 out of 20 attempts.

Last year about this time, curling the Blob came up so I decided to give it a try and I was successful.

First Curl of the Blob in a Loooong Time

If I remember correctly, I first lifted the Blob in July of 2003 and then curled it for the first time in 2005, but never did it again until 2013. Remember that for later on in this post.

The next feat that was discussed was curling the Blob with the back against the wall. This is how Curls are done in competition, so it made sense to give it a try, so I did.

Curling the Blob – Back Against the Wall

It is so much harder to not be able to shift the shoulders back or to twist with the Blob.

From that day until right now, I can’t think of anyone else who has completed the Blob Curl, whether with the Back Against the Wall or Free Standing. (If there has been, and I have forgotten, I am sorry and I am happy to edit this post. Also, if someone has completed the feat and I didn’t hear about it, please let me know.)

Fast forward to January 2014. Luke Raymond has been training intensely and regularly here at Diesel Gym since September, plus he has been putting in serious work in his other training sessions at other gyms when he is not down here.

Luke officially lifted the Blob to Lockout the first time in January.

Luke Raymond Blob Lift

What happens next is something I NEVER would have anticipated.

It’s not like I didn’t think he has the potential, but in my mind, I thought much more maturity and training age would have been required in order for it to take place.

This is what I am talking about…

Mental Strength = Physical Strength

Essentially, Luke Raymond has gone from zero specialized Grip Training to lifting the 50-lb Blob in 4 months. He has gone from Lifting the Blob to Curling the Blob in about 2 months, and from Curling the Blob Free-Standing to Curling it Against the Wall in about 2 minutes.

To reinforce how awesome this is, I put up a post on Facebook directly after these feats took place and people began guessing who it was that Curled the Blob. names like Brian Shaw, Mike Burke, and other top-level strength athletes began popping up. People whom I have almost NO CHANCE to interact with were guessed.

And NO ONE guessed it was Luke. This unassuming yet dedicated lifter was flying under the radar.

I don’t think that will be the case anymore though.

If you don’t train Grip, don’t think this doesn’t apply to you.

It does.

If you are holding yourself back due to limitations you’ve placed in your mind, it doesn’t matter what sport or activity you are training for.

Just like I said at the beginning of the video directly above, the things I have witnessed over the last few months have made me change the way I approach this feat and all my other training.

Have I been putting handcuffs on myself and limiting my progress in my lifts due to my own mentality?

Have you?

If so, break the cuffs – make the changes in your mind and bring about the progress in your training.

As an example of what is possible, on Sunday, March 23rd, I failed miserably to curl a 50-lb Blob.

After watching Luke manhandle the Blob, this took place on Tuesday, March 25.

Blob Curl Showdown

I hope you take a moment to think about your Mindset.

If you are holding yourself back, STOP.

All the best in your training,


You Can Lift the Blob.
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