One of my favorite types of Grip Training is with Block Weights, especially the Blob.
When training to lift the Blob, the strength the strength you build is highly functional, meaning it creates general hand, thumb and wrist strength, which can carry over to increases in other Grip Lifts as well as Gym Lifts.
In recent months, I have heard of many people who have set their sights on lifting the Blob, so this year I set forth to complete a project I have worked on sporadically since April of 2012, and this project will be ready to be unleashed very soon.
I am also very excited to release this because I got someone else involved in the project as well. Watch the video below to see exactly who I mean.
Blob Lifting eBook Announcement
To say I am excited to have this person associated with this project would be an understatement.
This new eBook will be out soon. To get it as soon as it comes out, be sure to put your information in the box below.
First named by Richard Sorin, the Blob is 1/2 of a 100-lb York Dumbbell.
Ever since Richard challenged himself to try to lift the Blob, grip enthusiasts have marveled at it and tried to obtain their own for their collection in order to test their strength and to develop the hand power to match one of the most well-known feats of grip strength.
Several years ago, we as a community discovered that there are actually more than one type of Blob, a fact that derived from Richard, himself. Soon we came to realize that the original style of Blobs, now known by the moniker “Fatman” due to its larger profile and wider slopes.
Of course, when something is rare, that means its price increases.
And of course, if the price on something increases, someone will be around to capitalize.
Over the years I have heard stories of people being told they were getting the rare Fatman original-style Blob, only to find out later they had a Next Generation, and overpaid severely.
I have also seen several videos where someone will lift a Blob and claim it is a Fatman, when in reality, they are making an incorrect claim, generally accidentally or due to lack of awareness.
With that in mind, I recently made a video showing all of the different types of Blobs and Blob-like implements that I have in my collection, as well as a couple of tools that are on the market for training to lift Blobs.
In the video below you will see a Fatman Blob, Next Generation Blob, Blob Clone, Blobzilla, Stronger Grip Blob, and a PDA Blobette. Unfortunately, I do not own a Blob50 or a Blue Blob, but I mention them in the video and cover them with pictorials in my The Different Types of Blobs Article.
I hope you enjoy the video and that it helps you discern what type of Blob you are buying if you seek one via an on-line purchase, or through an in-person encounter.
For many of you out there, finding a Blob, understanding the difference between them, and knowing how they all compare is of very little importance.
For many of you, all that stuff doesn’t matter because you already have a Blob and have no plans of getting another one.
Instead, the only thing you care about is lifting the damn thing!
And for you, I will be having something VERY SPECIAL coming your way. This Summer I will be releasing How to Lift the Blob, the Definitive Guide to Blob Domination.
Whether you’ve just attained a Blob and want to get on the Fast Track to lifting it, or if you’ve had one for years and have been slapping yourself in the head out of frustration with it still being stuck to the ground, this ebook will be for you.
If you want to stay up to date on developments surrounding the Blob ebook, make sure to add your best email address to the form below.
Being STRONGER will lead you to becoming more powerful, faster, help you become more resistant to injuries, and help you recover more quickly if an injury does take place.
We’ve established many times over that when your hands are stronger, all your lifts will go up. Bigger curls because you’ll be gripping the barbell harder. Bigger Bench Press because you will be able to control the barbell better. Bigger Squats because you will be more confident under the barbell.
For all these reasons and more, you must begin training your grip if you are not already.
If you have begun training your grip – AWESOME.
However, if you are not doing the right stuff, your gains will be limited.
If all you are doing is Gripper work, it’s time to step it up.
If you are hitting your grip from multiple angles, working many different facets or disciplines over the course of each week, then you are one step ahead of everyone else.
If you want to take another step ahead of everyone else, then I have a few movements for you to try with Block Weights.
Block Weight Training for Grip Strength
There should be no confusion as to how much I love Block Weight Training for developing Grip Strength. Ever since I read about it in John Brookfield’s manuals, I began implementing it. And any time my Block Weights are rolling strong, all my other lifts are going strong as well.
What is a Block Weight?
Block Weights are generally one head from a broken or cut dumbbell. However, they do not have to be dumbbell heads. They can be whole dumbbells that are stood on end (Inverted Dumbbells), scale weights, stones, throwing weights, shots, plates taped together – ANYTHING in a block-shape that forces you into a no-wrap, open hand position, is a Block Weight.
Don’t Limit Yourself
Here’s the problem with most people’s Block Weight Training when I work with them. Once they deadlift a Block Weight, they think they’re done.
No way, brotherrrrr.
Once you deadlift it, then you train to walk with it. Then you train to high pull it. Then you train to clean it. And then you Snatch it.
In an effort to push myself in my Block Weight Training, since anytime my block weight work is solid everything else is solid, I have been striving to push my Block Weight Training to the next level.
Below are some clips of some recent work with the Blob, a particularly special block weight that is cut from a 100-lb York Dumbbell. Not only hard to find because they are so rare, Blobs are hard to lift due to their sloping edges.
Double Blob Clean
This feat requires speed on the Blob with both hands. Often, people are strong enough to control the Blob with one hand, but are lacking in their off-hand, making this a rarely seen feat of strength.
The difference between a Clean and a Snatch is that the Blob is brought to the shoulder position for the Clean. It is then put overhead with some type of shoulder action, be it a press, jerk, or hybrid movement. With the Snatch, the Blob reaches the overhead lock-out position in one movement from the floor.
What you want to look for is no press-out for an absolute snatch. I had a bit too much arm action going on in this video, so I called it a Near Snatch. Call me the Feat Police. Who cares.
Recently, I saw my friend, Rick Geise, get into a One-Arm Handstand propped against the wall and lift a Blob in the inverted position. That is the kind of stuff I love to see – people thinking outside the box and taking their Grip Training to the next level.
The chances of you seeing me try a One-Arm Handstand are ZERO, so I grabbed my Inversion Boots and did some attempts with Blobs that way.
Just lifting the Blob or rowing it in this manner is pretty easy for me, so ultimately, what I would like to do is “clean” it while in the inverted position. This would be an extremely fast lift where I could essentially create enough momentum to flip it over and catch it. Some day. Stay tuned.
As I’ve said before, you don’t NEED a Blob in order to get the benefits of this training. Hex dumbbell heads work great, as do any other block-shaped implement that keeps your hand open.
If your hand strength is still like an old lady’s hands, then join The Grip Authority like so many others have.
Monthly new Articles, Instruction Videos, Q & A Sessions, and now Interviews from other Awesome Grip and Bending dudes – you can’t help but get better and stronger being exposed to this level of information.
The Blob, one head from a 100-lb Old-style York Dumbbell, is one of the most widely recognized challenge objects in all of Grip Sport.
The term “Blob” was coined by Richard Sorin, of Sorinex.com. As he related to me, he was finishing a gym install at a YMCA and the owner asked him to clear out the broken York Dumbbells that were laying all over. To do so, he bent over and picked each one of them up in a pinch grip until he came to the half 100 pounder. He couldn’t manage to lift it, so he dedicated himself to developing the grip strength to lift one with a pinch grip.
Isn’t that freaking awesome? Even though most likely NO ONE before him had ever tried to lift block weights like this, when the challenge presented itself, he took it on full team ahead. INSPIRING.
Recently, there was a challenge that was discussed that involved curling the Blob. Specifically, it involved first deadlifting the Blob and then curling it strictly with the back against the wall.
Like Richard Sorin many years before, I took this challenge on.
Now, I am no stranger to Blob Curling.
Many years ago, I had completed a very loose curl of the Blob. I stood up with it in my hand and with momentum, continued the curl up to the completed position.
However, there really is no comparison between that and a strict curl with your back against the wall. I knew I had my work cut out for me, but I went after it anyway, just to see what I had in me.
Here are the clips from the first workout where I went after the Blob Curl.
Blob Curl Against the Wall Attempt
Having tried strict curling in the past, I could remember the pain I would feel when trying to move the Blob through the sticking point, so i was kind of dreading it. Here was my attempt.
This feat felt so freakin’ hard, I could barely believe it. In the video, you saw where it was moving smoothly and then all of a sudden it just shut down and I couldn’t move it any further. Although I came nowhere near completing the lift, the good things was it really didn’t hurt that bad.
As I have said before, during that period of time in 2004-2005, I suffered a couple of cases of really bad upper forearm and wrist pain due to poor training choices, too much volume, etc. So, I am wondering maybe the pain I was feeling back then was no necessarily due to trying to curl the Blob, but rather, just from the injuries I was dealing with.
Blob Curl NOT Against Wall
After having such a hard time getting any real height on the Blob with the back against the wall, I decided I would try curling it free-standing.
Although the movement of the Blob was very slow, I didn’t really experience any pain here, either. This was the confidence booster I needed. I had no proven to myself that I had the strength to perform the curl. It would now just mean tightening up the form a bit.
Second Try – Blob Curl Against Wall
A few days later, I tried the Blob Curl Against Wall on more time. This time, not only did I have the confidence from being able to curl it out away from the wall, but I also had a partner that day. J.T. Straussner, one of the best benders in the entire world, has been living only 25 minutes away for about 5 months, but we never realized how close we were until a few weeks ago. He came up and I gave the Curl another go.
During the attempt, it felt like my shoulder came off the wall. I wasn’t sure if it would count or not, so I tried it again. That is why I hit it twice.
Jon Vance commented on the video, “Dude that has got to be one of the sickest feats ever with a blob.” I don’t know about all that, but it is definitely one of the hardest things I have done with the Blob. I literally have to put in an all-out effort on every attempt I make on it.
Now, this is really only the beginning. The next progression, should I attempt it, is to be able to perform the Strict Curl with each hand. At the time of the video, I was still very tentative to put in that kind of effort with my left hand, which is the one that was experiencing the Thoracic Outlet Syndrome symptoms. I haven’t tried this since then, so I am not sure what I have at this time.
Naturally, once I can curl a Blob with each hand, then I would try an Alternating Curl with one Blob in each hand. This would be attempted first free-standing, and then eventually up against the wall.
But before any of this can happen, I need to figure out why the eccentric portion of the lift is so damn hard! Right now, as the Blob nears my thigh on the eccentric portion of the lift, I lose total control of it.
Now, of course, to get the benefit of this training, you do NOT need to use a 50-lb Blob. Instead, just use any block weight that you have and just curl it.
The great thing about this lift is that the block weight will work the fingers and thumbs thoroughly, and when you curl it like this, the wrist and forearms are hit hard too.
Plug Block Weight Curls into your next training session and let me know what you got and how they felt. Come back and leave a comment.