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Arnold Classic Survival Guide

Friday, February 28th, 2014

This weekend is the Arnold Classic and counting this year, I will have gone 6 out of the last 7 years. I love the atmosphere and it always triggers a spike in my training.

There’s something for everybody at the Arnold Classic. Let me paint a picture for you.

The Arnold take place in a HUGE convention center covering I don’t know how many blocks in the city of Columbus Ohio. The event started out as mainly a bodybuilding deal, but it has expanded over the years to include Powerlifting, Olympic Lifting, and Strongman contests as well as Martial Arts, Fitness and other competitions.

This year, they are also including their first ever Grip Contest on the main stage, called Mighty Mitts. I was lucky enough to get an invite and I am honored. I have been training hard and am geared up to get on the stage.

Now, here’s the deal. If you’re not prepared for the Arnold Classic weekend, you won’t maximize your experience, so here’s a few points to consider to get the most out of the Classic.

Take Water

It is extremely dry in the event center. They do sell water there, but it is like $8 a bottle, so pack your own and bring it with you.

Take Snacks

There’s very few places to eat outside the event center in the hallways, and it’s kind of expensive. There’s tons of free samples of hundreds of different supplements like shakes and bars and powders, but you can only handle so much of that stuff and some of it tastes like a pencil eraser during the SAT’s. So pack some good stuff to take in with you.

Bring Your Camera

There are lots of photo opportunities at the Arnold. There are Bodybuilders, MMA Fighters, Pro Powerlifters and Strongmen, Pro Wrestlers and dozens of Fitness chicks. They will often let you get a picture with them for free, but sometimes they do charge. Either way you’ll have photos that will last you a lifetime.

Wear Comfortable Cargo Pants

Get yourself a pair of loose fitting cargo pants with lots of pockets. This way you can easily carry your water, snacks and camera among other things. Make sure they are loose fitting and not a set of butt huggers. There are plenty of feats of strength to try in the event center, and you don’t want the seam in your ass to tear while trying to do them.

Bring a Back Pack

You may get the opportunity to get some free shirts and other swag while you’re at the Arnold. You’ll turn around and see some fitness model throwing them all over. Fight for the free shirt and stuff it into your pack. Aside from free stuff, you may want to buy shirts and stuff at the seemingly thousands of tables that are there, and the last thing you want to do is carry that stuff around in your hands all day. Now, if your back pack has the Care Bears on it, leave it at home. Some booths will hand out free plastic bags if you need them.

Try the Grip Gauntlet

Each year I have gone, the GNC booth holds the GNC Grip Gauntlet featuring IronMind Grippers, IronMind Rolling Thunder, and the Blob. If you lift the Blob, 207 on the Rolling Thunder, and close the #3 Gripper, you get a real nice gift certificate – I think it’s like $50 or $100! What’s a Blob? Check out this article = = > What is the Blob?

Bring a Towel

A lot of greasy sons-of-guns get their hands on the Blob over the course of the weekend. I mean THOUSANDS of people try this thing. The Blob is hard enough with the ultra-slick stove paint they put on it. It will just be harder if it is covered in hand sweat, so bring your towel to wipe it and the Rolling Thunder off before you make your attempt. A trip through the Gauntlet is worth just the opportunity to meet and shake hands with the Gillingham brothers.

Bring Some Cash, but Take a Deep Breath

You will have opportunities to buy a lot of cool stuff at the Arnold, so bring some cash or a credit card, but take it easy. Don’t just buy on impulse, because you could end up going off the deep end. If you are going with a friend, tell them to monitor your spending. Know what you want to look for, but set your limits.

Bring Your Diesel Shirt

When you walk through the event center, if you see me make sure to give me a holler, and wear your Diesel shirt so I can spot you easier.

Check out Mighty Mitts

Mighty Mitts will be taking place between events at the Arnold Strongman Competition on Friday Afternoon and Saturday evening. I will be competing with 10 of the top dudes in the world. Many, I have competed against in standard Grip competitions. Others, I have met before, but never competed against, and still others I have never met and never competed against. Some of these guys have tremendous Grips on them and have done awesome things Grip-related in the past, just never competed in standard contests before. With this event being all thick bar, it is going to be something to behold!

Wear Comfortable Shoes

You spend a lot of time on your feet at the Arnold and there is almost nowhere to sit down except on the floor, so make sure your shoes are comfortable or else your feet will be screaming by the end of the weekend.

Steal a Seat

It is a cut-throat process getting a chair in front of the stage. You basically have to swoop down immediately once someone stands up. This may mean if you are traveling in a group that you might get split up. The seat is worth it to give your feet a break, so steal your buddy’s seat if you have to.

Cell Phone on Vibrate

If you get split up from your crew, it’s very hard to meet back up, and it is so loud that it is almost impossible to hear a cell phone ring, so set the thing on vibrate and put it in your hip pocket so you will feel it.

Wallet in Hip Pocket

Not sure what the crime rates are at the Arnold Classic, but there are pick-pockets everywhere. it is slightly harder for someone to pick your pocket if you stick your pocket in your front hip pocket than your back pocket or leg pocket. Don’t stick it in a zipper pocket in your book bag. They are too easy to unzip by someone else while you walk and you will never know it. It’s a shame this tip even has to appear here, but it is a sad truth. Awareness is preparedness.

Alright, my friends, it’s just about time for me to hit the road and be on my way to Columbus, Ohio. If you have any more tips for the better of the order, then please leave a comment in the comment box below!

Thanks a ton and have a great weekend, especially if you are at the Arnold.

And if you see me and I don’t see you, yell, shout, hit me with a rock, poke my eye or something to get my attention. It’ll be nice to meet everybody.

Read about last year’s Arnold Classic = = > Arnold 2009

Arnold Classic Weekend Special on the Card Tearing eBook = = > 33% off on Card Tearing eBook Just $19.97!.

How to Build Hand Strength: Blob Lifting

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Blob Training

Here in Wyalusing, PA, there has been some serious training going on.

This is the kind of stuff that will scare most people.

One point of focus for us has been working with the Blob. The Blob is a type of Block Weight, a weight or object shaped like a Block that you lift in a wide, open-handed, pinch grip.

Why Perform Block Weight Training?

Block Weight Training is an EXCEPTIONAL way to train the hands due to the wide open position it creates. This makes your whole lower arm work harder, especially the thumb, but the wide position also works the fingers and wrists thoroughly.

For more information on Block Weight Training, check out my ebook => Lift the Blob

Here are a few recent highlights from some of the Blob Training that has gone down.

50-lb Fatman Blob to 50cm with 60-second Time Limit

For the recently ended Grip Monsters Challenge, the challenge was to lift a 50-lb Blob to a 50-cm platform for as many repetitions as possible in 60 seconds. I did this a few times. I didn’t really hit my potential for what I can do in this though, because my left thumb had a nasty split in it for at least two of my sessions.

Luke Raymond Hits a Blob & 5-Tens Combo Feat

Luke has been challenging himself more and more with his grip training. Here, he takes a couple of solid attempts at lifting a 50-lb Fatman Blob, then he combines a 50-lb Next Generation Blob in one hand with 5-Tens loose pinch in the other hand.

Blob Lifting Terminology

In case you are not familiar with Blob Lifting terminology, here is a short list of key terms you should know:

Fatman Blob: The original style of York pill-shaped Blobs. These Blobs are a bit wider and have a more rounded edge than later models. Although seemingly a small detail, the additional slope makes lifting them quite a bit more difficult.

Next Generation Blob: The style of Blob York produced some time later, after the Blue Blob. The Blue Blob was slightly narrower and had less slope. The Next Gen had an even narrower profile and still less slope.

Loose Pinch: Pinching done with plates that are not supported in anyway, such as with a pipe. In the video above, 5-Tens Pinch (with smooth sides of outside plates facing outward) is an example of Loose Pinch.

Stay tuned for more clips on Blob Lifting.

If you are looking for tips on how to improve your Blob Lifting, be sure to check out my ebook, Lift the Blob.

All the best in your training.

Jedd

Afraid of Failure? Not This Guy…

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
vince1
Vince McMahon

I saw an awesome quote the other day {!firstname}, and I wanted to share it with you.

It comes from Vince McMahon, and it’s about Failure.

If you don’t know Vince McMahon, he is the Chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment, and has grown this company from a small regional business to a global powerhouse.

Regardless of whether you like or agree with his product, his vision has been what has helped make it become the juggernaut it is today.

Here’s the quote:

    “…I’m not afraid of failure. Don’t get me wrong – I hate failing. But I’m not afraid to take chances and fall on my ass, because if I live through it I’ll be better off, and I’ll win.”

I have read and heard many stories of this man’s will to succeed. From sleepless nights working in his basement on film footage, working men half his age into the ground, to breaking every rule in the book by expanding his promotion nation-wide, this guy has never let the possibility of Failure stand in his way.

And it’s not like he’s never failed.

Heck, some of his projects were absolute FLOPS.

He once started a Bodybuilding League called the World Bodybuilding Federation that folded about as quickly as it started. A supplement company lasted about a year, and the XFL lasted only one season.

But instead of letting each of these train-wrecks cripple his drive, he learned from them and pressed on.

And today, I have the same kind of story related to training for you, and it involves someone named Thomas Scibelli.

thomas
Thomas and I at Holdfast Gauntlet

Thomas was here in September for the Holdfast Gauntlet, the grip contest I ran that month.

He did a fine job in his first competition, and learned a lot, and I think he will be a great competitor in the near future, but one thing that stuck out about his first grip outing was that he actually was UNABLE to lift the half 75-lb Blob in the Medley.

Thomas was not the only one to miss this York Block Weight, so there is nothing to be ashamed of there. In fact, he didn’t dwell on his “Failure” at all.

Instead, he aimed to take care of this weakness in his armor.

Shortly after the contest, I released “Lift the Blob,” an ebook dedicated to training for one of the most well-known feats of grip strength, and lifting one of the most famous grip challenge items, the 50-lb Blob.

Thomas got the Lift the Blob Program, he followed it right straight through the 8 weeks, and look what he just did the other day with the Blob50, a replica of a Half 100….



In review, he could not lift a 37.5-lb Blob in September and in December, he is lifting one nearly to lockout that is 50-lbs.

Nice job brotherrrrrr!!!

I know that was an awesome feeling. I still remember the first time i picked up the Blob.

And while it’s hard to tell if Thomas got this one 100% locked out, I am sure that soon he will be lifting it with ease.

The main thing is, he put the consistent work in over the 8-week period covered in the Lift the Blob Training Program and made it happen.

So cool!

Each one of you has the potential to do the same thing.

I don’t care how big or tall you are, how big or small your hands are, or even if you own a Blob or not.

None of that really matters.

What matters is what’s going on in your head

what you’ve got in your heart

…and your ability to stay consistent with your training.

Lift the Blob will walk you through the same 8-week program that Thomas went through to guide you to your first Blob Lift as well.

Grab the program today.

All the best in your training.

Jedd



Darrin Shallman Lifts the Blob50

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

I want to give Darrin Shallman, one of my TGA members and someone I have known since at least 2011 some special recognition.

jedd-and-darrin
Me with Darrin Shallman at the
2013 North American Grip Sport Championships

Darrin lifted the Blob50, a replica version of the 50-lb Next generation Blob, for the first time yesterday.

I want to make it clear that in no way am I trying to take any of the credit for Darrin lifting the Blob50.

Darrin is one of the hardest working guys that I know. He is the one that has put in the work, and I want to credit him for his awesome accomplishment.

The road has not always been smooth for Darrin. He has had to deal with his share of injuries and other potholes in his journey, but instead of letting them hold him back, he has always done what he has needed to in order to recover from them.

And, instead of letting body size or hand size be something that limits him, he has kept his eye on his goals at all times. With hands just 7.25-inches long, he has done something that many have thought IMPOSSIBLE – lifting the Blob with small hands.

And so, he enters a limited group of people who have accomplished this feat and an even more exclusive group of those who have lifted the Blob with hands under 7.5-inches long.

If you have read it was impossible to do, or if someone along the way said you would never be able to Lift the Blob because you have small hands, let Darrin be the example that changes your mind about that.

And if you want the best tips available in the world for training to lift the Blob, then check out my latest ebook that covers that very subject: Lift the Blob.

All the best in your Blob Lifting journey!

Jedd



Throwback Thursday – Sorinex Summer Strong 2011

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Throwback Thursday

I have been meaning to do something a little bit different for you all in the Diesel Universe. I wanted to pull up something that was very cool and very special for you from the annals of the site, and I grabbed the videos from the Sorinex Summer Strong 2011 Get-Together.


Richard Sorin, owner of Sorinex and innovator of the Blob (left) and Me (right)

So many GREAT and HISTORIC Feats of Strength went down that day, I would be all day listing them. Some of the highlights include Rich Williams cleaning and pressing the Inch Dumbbell, Chad Woodall coming ever so close to nearly lifting 2 Old School York 45’s in each hand, a pull-up contest between Tex Henderson and Andrew Durniat, and much, much more.

See the original post here => Sorinex Summer Strong 2011

I hope you enjoyed today’s Throwback Thursday. If you want to see more, tell me by leaving a comment below. I can’t promise I will be able to do this every single week, but I can certainly do it from time to time.

Make sure you are subscribed to my newsletter to get future notifications whenever Throwback Thursday gets updated.

All the best in your training,

Jedd


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