This past weekend, Saturday, October 25th, 2014, I ran one leg of the International King Kong of Grip Challenge. Congratulations to Ari Siltaoja of Finland on his victory.
Below are the overall results.
As you look at the event scores, keep in mind that Event 1 was One Hand Pinch, Event 2 was One Hand Axle, Event 3 was the Hub and Event 4 was the Little Big Horn.
Sorry for the formatting, by the way. I took screen shots off the Gripboard, and the formatting can be really hard to manage some time.
International King Kong of Grip 2014 Results
Here are the video clips from my location in Wyalusing.
One Hand Pinch
For the One Hand Pinch, the adjustable pinch device was used, made of steel disks on the outside and either rubber or plastic inserts inside. The objective is to pinch the implement with one hand and pick it up until the loading pipe hits the cross-bar and control it to the ground.
One Hand Axle
For the One Hand Axle, you grip it with one hand and then lift it to above the middle of the knee. Both ends of the bar must be at that height as well, with the legs locked, but the hips and shoulders do not have to be.
The new version of the IronMind Hub was used at all the competition locations. The index and middle fingers had to be used. The ring and pinky fingers could be used if desired. The four fingers had to be in a claw position. The thumb could be in clay position or hooked, but no portion of the thumb pad or palm could be touching the hub surface. The implement was then lifted to lockout and controlled to the ground after the “Good” signal/call.
IronMind Little Big Horn
The IronMind Little Big Horn, anvil-style implement, was used. The lift was done to lockout and you had to control it to the ground.
The competition in Wyalusing went very well. Nobody had any serious injuries. We had someone come for their first contest and he enjoyed it. We had some come for their second contest, and we had some veterans.
I would have been much happier with some better lifts. Unfortunately, I wanted to be cautious with my right shoulder, as pulling things from the floor is what really lights it up. So, I went left-handed on all the lifts. My left hand is actually my better hand for the One Hand Pinch, so that worked out fine, but it absolutely pathetic for me on the Hub and Axle. I was pretty happy with my lifts on the Little Big Horn and actually PR’d by a good 10+ lbs.
Many great lifts took place across the globe. On top of winning the overall, Ari Siltaoja set a new World Record mark in the Hub Lift that is being recognized by IronMind. John McCarter set a new world record in the Hub that is actually heavier than Ari’s lift. IronMind has not acknowledged John’s lift at this time, and I do not know the reason why.
Any questions on the competition, please feel free to post a comment.
All the best in your training.
Want to Bring Up Your All-Around Grip Strength? Start Training with Block Weights, TODAY.
King Kong of Grip 2014
I will be holding a venue for the second annual International King Kong Grip Challenge, taking place on October 25th, 2014. Here are the general details:
- One Hand Pinch Deadlift (Euro Device)
- One Hand Axle Deadlift (Ironmind Apollon’s Axle)
- Ironmind Hub
- Ironmind Little Big Horn
- Extra Event (Wyalusing Only) Silver Bullet Hold
- Men: 59kg / 66kg / 74kg / 83kg / 93kg / 105kg / 120kg / 120+kg
- Women: Open
- Medals for the top three finishers in each class
- Medals for the top lift in each event
- Award for the overall champion plus the title of “The King Kong of Grip”
Confirmed venues and promoters so far:
- Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – Eric Roussin
- Detroit, MI – Andrew Pantke
- Wooster, OH – Brandon Gerber
- Westchester, NY – Cesare Ricchezza
- Moscow, Russia – Ivan Beritashvili
- Finland – Juha Harju
- Santa Cruz, CA – Clay Edgin
- Fort Worth, TX – Eric Milfeld
- Wyalusing, PA – Jedd Johnson
- Denton, TX – Adam Glass
- Boston, MA – Michael Sheehan
- Marthasville, MO – Luke Wicks
Additional venues are popping up all the time, and this could end up being the BIGGEST Mega-Comp of all time.
If you are a promoter who is interested in taking part, please contact Eric Roussin by email at email@example.com.
Entry Form: Download Here
How this contest will work:
As in any Grip Contest, the objective is to perform as well as possible on each event. Your best lift on each event will be sent in to the main promoter, Eric Roussin and will be added to the results for all the other events as well. So, you will be going up against lifters taking part in the overall contest in all corners of the United States, Canada, Russia, and Finland. Because there are multiple locations taking part in the same events on the same day, this sort of contest is called a Mega Comp.
You may use only one hand on each event. You may choose to use the Right hand on two events and the Left hand on two events, you can use your dominant hand on all the events, or in any combination you see fit. The only limitation is that once you take an official attempt with one of your hands, you may not change during that event.
All of the events being contest are Rising Bar events. This means that once weight is added to the loading pin, the overall weight is not reduced for later attempts. This means if you start out too high and miss your lift, you can not drop back down, so the best idea is to take a safe lift, to make sure you get on the board. You get four (4) attempts on each event to get your best score possible.
With the One Hand Pinch, the width of the implement is adjustable. Each competitor will be given time to test out the implement to see which width is best for them. Once you choose a width, you must stay with that width. We will begin with the narrowest width being used and then go up from there. The following widths are definitely attainable using the adjustable pinch device: 44mm, 48mm, 52mm, 56mm, 58mm, 64mm. Other widths may be attained as well as needed by lifters.
Individual Event Rules: (video demonstrations to come)
One Hand Pinch Deadlift: The lifter grips the plates in an overhand grip, with the thumb towards them and the fingers away. The lifter lifts the apparatus until the loading pipe touches a cross-bar sitting at 16.5″. The lifter must then return the implement back to the floor under control. 4 attempts
One Hand Axle Deadlift (Ironmind Apollon’s Axle): The lifter can use a straddle lift, where the bar runs between the legs, or a conventional lift, where the bar sits in front of the shins. The lifter must lift the bar off the ground so that the center of the bar and both ends are above the centerline of the knee caps and the legs lock out. Shorts must be worn. 4 attempts
Ironmind Hub: The lifter grips the Hub so that the finger tips of all 4 fingers and thumb contact the flat plate. They must then lift the Hub and loading pin to lockout and wait for a “Good” call from the judge. The lifter must then lower the implement back to the floor under control. 4 attempts
Ironmind Little Big Horn: The lifter grips the Horn and lifts the implement to the lockout position, waiting for a “Good” call from the judge and returns the implement to the floor under control. 4 attempts
In all of these lifts, the off-hand may be braced against the thigh in order to stabilize. The lifting hand, however, may not be assisted by bracing against the body and contact with the body is not permitted in the case of the Hub, Axle, or Horn. With the Pinch, it is very common and expected for the back of the loading pipe to contact the leg and does not disqualify a lift.
Additional Event at Wyalusing location:
Silver Bullet Hold: An optional fifth event will take place following the first four events, the Silver Bullet Hold. Men will crush down a #3 gripper onto an official IronMind Silver Bullet and hold it for time. The official IronMind Disk, weighing 2.5kg will be suspended from the Silver Bullet. Women will use a #1 Gripper.
Technical Demonstrations will be shot and posted here soon.
In the future, short clinics for the 5 events being held in the King Kong contest will be held in Wyalusing. Announcements will be made as they are scheduled.
Napalm Pinch Adjustable Pinch Devices can be order through my store:
- Napalm Pinch Pro: You receive the outside steel plates and 6mm (2) & 10mm (4) plastic inserts with tabs on the sides for quicker adjustments
- Napalm Pinch Basic: You will receive the outside steel plates and 1/4″ rubber inserts (9)
Looking forward to seeing you and many others on October 25th, 2014.
Who will be the 2014 King Kong of Grip???
Tags: grip contest, grip contests, grip sport events, international king kong of grip, king kong, king kong grip challenge, king kong grip contest, king kong of grip
Posted in Grip Sport, grip strength competition contest, how to improve grip strength | No Comments »
Who Would Win the 2014 NAGS Championship? Who Would Win the 2014 NAGS Championship?
On June 14th, 2014, I competed in the North American Grip Sport Championship at Durniat Strength Gym in Wooster, Ohio.
This is the 3rd year in a row it was held at Andrew Durniat’s gym. He has also been the reigning North American Champion every year since 2011. Andrew runs a nice demanding competition every single year, featuring a mix of the classic events (Grippers, Two Hands Pinch, and Axle Deadlift) plus other new challenge events as well (this year the Pinch Block Curl and the Sledgehammer Choke).
Recognition is in Order
Before I get too far, I absolutely must give credit where it is due. This year I am in the best shape of my grip career and I owe all the thanks to a handful of people.
First and foremost is my dietary coach, Joe Carabase. Without him, my diet would be a mess and I would most likely still be fat, in poor condition, and hurting all the time.
Next is Luke Raymond and Dan Ely – I began training with Luke in the Fall of last year and Dan Ely came on in the Winter of this year. Having these two guys around so we can all push one another has been HUGE for my training. I can only hope that they have gotten as much out of training with me as I have from training with them.
The list of competitors was quite a bit different this year from last. It seems like about half the group is truly a core group and shows up to throw down year in and year out, while the other half is more dynamic and changes from year to year. Either way, this year saw many hardcore veterans and first-time competitors who will be forces to reckon with for years to come.
Competitor & Bodyweight in Lbs
Brent Barbe (Pennsylvania) 204.5
Charles Chartan (Quebec, Canada) 144.6
Andrew Durniat (Ohio) 227.5
Brandon Gerber (Ohio) 211.2
Michael Hann (Texas) 162.7
Jermey Hartman (Ohio) 226.85
Jedd Johnson (Pennsylvania) 228.4
David Labbe (Virginia) 275
Malcolm Majesky (Ohio) 247.8
Eric Milfeld (Texas) 182.75
Robert Miller (North Carolina) 265
Lucas Raymond (Pennsylvania) 204.6
Nic Rosendaul (Ohio) 244.25
Eric Roussin (Ontario, Canada) 204.25
Tom Scibelli (Maryland) 220
Darrin Shallman (Michigan) 156.1
Yori Skutt (Texas) 129.75
Bob Sundin (North Carolina) 180
Jonathon Vance (Ohio) 196.65
John Wojciechowski (New Jersey) 273.15
First Event – Grippers
Grippers have been an event that have been known to give me trouble, as my crush generally lags behind my other events, especially in comparison to other top grip athletes. This year, my goal was to make up some ground. I began training grippers every 4 to 5 days, and many times more than once a week, and it paid off, as I was able to close a 175-rated gripper Right-handed. I also got a 155 shut lefty.
The grippers used were a set that was purchased from Cannon Power Works by a few members of the North American Grip Sport committee. They were all rated by Cannon, meaning the same device and practices were followed, making it the most valuable gripper set in the world, ranging from 80-lbs up to over 200, in 5-lb increments. I can only imagine the hundreds of grippers that would need to be rated in order to obtain these 30 or so grippers.
By the end of the first event, I found myself behind Andrew Durniat and David Labbe, both competitors in this year’s Mighty Mitts competition at the Arnold Classic, but the gap was not so far that it would be insurmountable.
Here are the videos of Luke Raymond’s and my attempts on Grippers.
NAGS Championship Right Hand Grippers
NAGS Championship Left Hand Grippers
Event Two – Two Hands Pinch
As much as I would love to hold the World Record in this lift again, this year it was just not in the cards. I tore the hell out of my right thumb and I had to modify my training through all of April, May and June. I was super stressed about it, because I had actually set some pretty lofty goals made some hard plans, but they went awry, so I had to do the best I could.
Since the implements used for NAGS were virgin plates – they had never been lifted on ever before that day – numbers were down across the board. I sealed the victory in the event on my first attempt with a lift of 224, which was enough to top Andrew’s 219 and 209 put up by David Labbe and Eric Milfeld. On my second attempt, I lifted 239.69, a lift of 105% of bodyweight.
Two Hands Pinch – NAGS Championship – Jedd Johnson
Two Hands Pinch – NAGS Championship – Luke Raymond
Event Three – IronMind Axle Deadlift
The third event was another one that is a classic thorn in my side. But, since my Two Hands Pinch training had to take a back seat leading up to NAGSC, it made room for more Axle work. In training, I actually worked up over 400-lbs for the first time since 2012, and I think if I would have switched to Sumo Technique a little sooner, I think I could have pushed my training numbers even higher, and perhaps even attained a lift over the 400-lb mark in competition at NAGSC.
As you will see, on my last attempt, I went for 402-lbs, and got it well over the knees, but couldn’t quite hold on until lockout.
IronMind Axle Deadlift – Jedd Johnson – NAGS Championship 2014
IronMind Axle Deadlift – Jedd Johnson – NAGS Championship 2014
Fourth Event – Pinch Block Curl
The Pinch Block Curl was a new event this year. The design of the implement is to replicate the act of performing a Plate Curl, without having to attach weight to the end of an actual plate. This tests the strength of the entire lower arm and hand at the same time.
Many of the competitors are experienced at training the Plate Curl, so no one really knew what to expect going into the event. I know I had no idea where my lifts would fall against the other competitors, so I made my training as hard as possible, loading my implement with as much of a leverage disadvantage as possible. Apparently, my preparation paid off, as I was able to finish with 44.66lbs with each hand, good enough for second place right behind David Labbe.
NAGS Pinch Block Curl – Right Hand
NAGS Pinch Block Curl – Right Hand
Final Event – Sledgehammer Choke
Still a fairly new event, the Sledgehammer Choke has only really been contested since about April of 2013. However, I think I have been at 4 of the 6 competitions where it has been held, so this has been a big advantage for me. The biggest advantage was seeing the way other people do the Choke at Gripmas 2013. Instead of trying to radially deviate the wrist, some were allowing the wrist to kick into ulnar deviation and then lock it there, allowing for a bigger tilt and bigger lifts.
Luke really took to this technique in training, working up to over 22 inches almost immediately, once we started training it heavily in May. This variation is MUCH more intense on the wrist though, and he found he could not recover from training it very quickly, so he actually stopped training it about half way through May. I was not getting the lingering soreness that he was, so I continued to work on it, with the main objective of catching up to him as much as I could.
Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t narrow the gap quickly enough, because Luke hit 23 inches righty and 27 inches lefty, to my 22 inches each hand. Despite the fact that 22 inches on a 14-lb hammer (308 inch pounds) actually beat the previous work record on the 12-lb hammer of 25 inches (300 inch pounds), it wasn’t nearly enough to catch up to Luke’s 322 righty and 378 lefty inch pounds. CRAZY!!!
Sledge Choke Right Hand
Sledge Choke Left Hand
I knew going into the last event that I was slightly ahead of Dave Labbe, by just tenths of a point. So I knew that the entire contest was mine to win or lose. But I really had no idea what Dave was capable of on the event – I wasn’t even sure if he had trained the event before, so I went for broke and tried an all-out PR on my second attempts, both right- and left-handed. Both of those lifts proved to be enough to beat out Dave, so I knew he had him beat.
2014 NAGS Champion
To hear my name called at the end as the Absolute Champion, winning the Overall, was amazing. Once I knew, I gave my parents a call to let them know, since they have been behind me every step of the way.
What was even more awesome about that is they were babysitting my daughter and I even got to tell her about the win and hear the excitement she had in her voice.
Naturally, there are dozens of people I can thank, but the biggest credit has to go to Luke and Dan. I can’t describe the impact it has had for me having them here in the gym.
I hope you have enjoyed the write-up, and I hope it inspires you to try your hand at Grip Sport sometime soon.
From what I hear, Dave Labbe is HOOKED.
All the best in your training,
Increase Your Two Hands Pinch – Get My Instructional DVD Today
Tags: grip sport, n.a.g.s., n.a.g.s.c., nags championship, north american grip sport, north american grip sport championship nagsc
Posted in Grip Sport, grip strength competition contest | 4 Comments »
This year at the NAGS Championship, the annual championship for North American Grip Sport, there will be a new event introduced, the Pinch Block Curl.
This event is a hybrid event, meaning it will test more than one discipline of Grip Strength.
It primarily tests wrist strength, just like a Plate Curl does.
It also tests thumb strength in having to pinch lift the Pinch Block Curl apparatus and keep it steady in the hand throughout the range of motion, and finger strength to support against the leverage.
On top of that, there is a requirement for a strong and mobile forearm.
With all of these facets of ability being tested, this event will be very interesting to watch indeed.
Diesel Power Products, my new equipment branch, is supplying the Pinch Block Curls for NAGS Championship, and they are now in production.
In fact, you can buy one here in my store: NAGS Pinch Block Curl.
This piece of equipment, while sure to become a hit within Grip Sport, just as the Sledge Hammer Choke has, will also prove to be useful in training for one of the most enigmatic feats of Grip Strength that is out there – The Plate Curl.
The Plate Curl is just like what it sounds – you pick a weight plate up by the rim and attempt to curl it, just like you would a dumbbell, with bicep strength. This lift, of course, demands tremendous wrist, finger and thumb strength in order to complete it, especially when moving beyond the 25lb/10kg plate to the 35lb/15kg and the 45lb/20kg plate.
For a quick demonstration of how the lift will be performed at NAGS, watch the video below.
Demonstration: How to Perform the Pinch Block Curl
For a quick video on how a Plate Curl is performed, watch the video below, a demonstration from the Grip Strength Challenge I used to hold here on the site.
How to Do Plate Curls
To get your Pinch Block Curl shipped to you as quickly as possible, order today => Pinch Block Curl (PBC)
All the best in your training,
Tags: finger strength, pinch block curl, pinch curl, plate curl, strong fingers, thumb strength, wrist strength
Posted in feats of strength, Grip Sport, grip strength, grip strength competition contest, grip training equipment gear, how to improve grip strength | No Comments »
Lift More in the Two Hands Pinch
“Napalm” Jedd, John Manna, & Lucas Raymond
“Going to the workshop was the best thing I could have done to improve my 2hp. I had no idea how technical, and how much of a full body lift it was. I added pounds to my personal best immediately after correcting small mistakes I was unaware of, and I added almost 30lbs to my best lift in just a few training sessions afterwards.
Two Hands Pinch Workshop – 2/22/14
It was a bitter cold day in February.
Snow covered the ground and you could hear the wind whipping around the garage.
But that did not stop one man, John Manna, from making the trip over the frozen terrains of Northern New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
After his 3-hour drive, John blew into his cupped hands, loosened up his sore back and got to work, while an electric space heater buzzed behind him and an occasional snow flake beat against the windows.
By the end of the day, the temperature didn’t matter much to John, nor did his sore back, because he had already exceeded his previous best in the Two Hands Pinch by nearly 20-lbs.
As he drove back home to Jersey, John had a look of confidence and an air of pride about him.
He was now armed with the knowledge to take his Two Hands Pinch even higher…
And you can be too, when you get this DVD.
Get Your Own Copy
Of the Workshop
The Two Hands Pinch is one of the most commonly contested, most popular, and highly regarded events in Grip Sport.
It is also, perhaps, the fairest of all Grip Sport lifts, because the device that is used in competition is fully adjustable to match the hand size of each athlete that lifts on it.
The Two Hands Pinch is also one of the most intensely tracked of Grip Sport events, with competitors readily gunning for the “Top 50 List” and always keeping an eye on “Weight Class Records” whenever a contest is held.
The execution of the Two Hands Pinch is very basic – you grip the plates, you lift them high enough so that the loading bar touches a cross-bar, and you set it back down.
But don’t let the simplicity of the lift fool you…
The Two Hands Pinch is also a very highly technical lift. There is much more to it than meets the eye.
There is more involved than just reaching down, pinching as hard as you can, and lifting it off the ground.
On February 22, 2014, I held a Grip Sport Workshop at my gym in Wyalusing, PA.
One lone person, John Manna, braved the February cold, but after 2+ hours of training and instruction he was PUMPED that he came.
By the end of the Workshop, he was no longer stuck in the 120’s on the 2HP.
He had now broken into the 140’s.
And now you can learn the same information that can help you increase your Two Hands Pinch by 20-lbs or more.
I am making the Two Hands Pinch portion of the February Workshop available to everyone.
All you have to do is click the order button below and I will ship it right out to you.
What is Covered in the Two Hands Pinch Workshop DVD?
In this DVD, you’re gonna learn the Two Hands Pinch in an easy 9-point checklist format.
Here is exactly what you will learn in this DVD:
Grip: In this section you’ll learn the ins and outs of getting your grip right on the implement as well as how to figure out your proper width.
This is HUGE for your pinch because the right width can not only help you lift more on the Two Hands Pinch, but it can also keep you from cutting your thumbs as much.
Placement: You’ll learn where to have the device in relationship to your body. This increases your leverage and allows you to put more force into your pinch.
Stance: Now it is time to think about how to position your body for best force production. While it may seem like a small detail, it can be something that helps your pinch blow up, or something that holds it back.
Footwear: Everyone knows I have featured strange choices for footwear in all the years I have been competing. But, there is actually a purpose behind why I choose to wear what I have on my feet, and I will tell you all about some of the best options I have found, so you can make the best choice for yourself as well.
Tilt: This is another aspect of the 2HP that is often overlooked and misunderstood. When to tilt the implement, and how much is enough or too much? When you get this right, you get a better lock on the implement and less slipping. When you get it wrong, your attempt can be doomed right from the instant you start to pull it off the floor.
Aside from why having an angle on the Pinch is so important, you’ll also learn how to keep this angle throughout your pull, so each attempt you take is smooth resulting in fewer thumb cuts.
Arm Angle: You will learn the best way I have found to transmit as much power from the torso and core into the Two Hands Pinch lift. The muscles of the back and chest are some of the biggest and post powerful in all the upper body, and when you figure out how to engage them, your current personal best in the 2HP will feel weightless.
Lower Body: Although the Two Hands Pinch is mostly a full body movement, your lower body has to move correctly to get a smooth pull. Do this wrong and the Pinch feels awkward and shaky. Do it right, and you’ll feel like a machine when you lift the plates. This also helps you return the implement to the floor under control, which is a must in Grip Sport competition for your lift to count.
Tension: This is the single biggest aspect of Two Hands Pinch technique that you will learn. Most people can put a minimum of 10 pounds on their Two Hands Pinch in less than 10 minutes just by understanding how to create tension in their upper body, how to transfer it through their arms, and into their grip.
Tension magnifies your ability to create Pinch Power, giving you command over the implement from the instant it breaks the ground, until you pull it through the stick, and return it to the platform.
Training: In this section, you will learn my time-tested strategies for training the Two Hands Pinch. This is where you put everything together and focus on all the aspects of the checklist to maximize your Pinch Strength.
You will also learn 3 of my Favorite Drills for building strength on the implement, drills which have helped me break the world record in the Two Hands Pinch 5 different times since 2009.
If you are frustrated with the lack of progress in your Two Hands Pinch, you need this DVD.
You’re going to learn things in this DVD that you haven’t thought of before.
I can’t wait to hear about your training once you get this DVD.
Be sure to hit me up through email or Facebook.
Order Yours Today.
All the best in your training,
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