Which Feat Should You Start With First?
I’m often asked what is the best feat of strength to start with.
I think card tearing is the best way to get started with feats of strength.
Not bending nails, not tearing phone books, and not horseshoes.
There’s three reasons why I suggest you start out with tearing cards.
Why You Should Start With Card Tearing Before Anything Else
1) Cards are Cheap
Cheaper end cards, the kind that are perfect for beginners, cost only $1 at Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and similar stores. Sometimes they’re even cheaper than that!
2) No Other Gear Required
With nail bending and many other feats, you need wraps, cutters, rubber bands, etc. With card tearing, you don’t need any of that. You just take the card out of the box and start tearing.
3) Perfect for Hand Conditioning
Although made of paper, tearing cards still requires appreciable tension in the hands. Cards allow you to get used to straining and putting for sustained pressure, repeatedly in order to get the job done.
Once you’re used to this, you’ll be ready for the stresses associated with nail bending, horseshoes, and braced bends as well.
If you want to get started with feats of strength, Card Tearing is your ticket.
And I’ve got the perfect resource for you, to help you get started right: Card Tearing ebook.
All the best in your training.
On August 24, 2014, I did a Strongman Show as part of the Mason’s Hope SuperHero 5K, a fundraiser for Mason Barto, a little boy with CDG (Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation).
Here is a short news video that talks about Mason’s story.
It was my pleasure to be a part of such an awesome cause. I was hoping to have Mason stand on my chest while I performed the Bend of Nails, but in the days leading up to the event Mason was visiting more specialists and ended up having to stay there longer than planned.
I look forward to meeting you, buddy!
On top of the great cause, I was particularly excited about being able to put on this show, because my parents, my grandmother, my wife and my daughter were all there. You see, I rarely do a local show – most of my stuff takes place in other states, so none of them have ever watched me perform live.
Below is the show I put together.
Watch each feat separately:
If you’ve ever wanted to do feats of strength like bending a wrench, a horseshoe, a hammer, or rolling a frying pan, this DVD can show you how to do it.
Braced Bending DVD
Make it a Great Day!
P.S. During the show, I pulled off a feat I have never been able to complete, if memory serves. I lifted a 55-lb anvil by the tail and then picked up a 50-lb Blob and curled it. It was quite a rush to do it during the show, although most of the audience probably had no idea how hard it was, ha ha ha.
If you are working on Lifting the Blob, here is the best resource for you:
Tags: feats of strength, oldtime strongman, strongman, strongman feats, strongman show, strongmanism
Posted in feats of strength, feats of strength bending, horseshoe bending, how to bend, how to tear cards, old strongman feats of strength, strongman feats | No Comments »
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.
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.
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!.
Tags: arnold classic, card tearing, grip contest, grip strength, hand strength, mighty mitts
Posted in card ripping, card tearing, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, grip strength, grip strength blob, grip strength competition contest, how to improve grip strength, how to rip cards, how to tear cards, improve grip strength crush, old strongman feats of strength, ripping cards, strongman feats, tearing cards | 8 Comments »
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Tags: grip strength, grip strength training, grip strength workouts
Posted in feats of strength, feats of strength bending, forearm injury prevention recovery healing, grip hand forearm training for sports, Grip Sport, grip strength, grip strength blob, grip strength competition contest, gripper training, hand strength, horseshoe bending, how to buid wrist strength, how to build pinch strength, how to improve grip strength, how to improve strength, how to rip cards, how to rip tear phone books, how to tear cards, improve grip strength crush, inch dumbbell, injury rehab recover from injury, old strongman feats of strength, steel bending, strongman feats, tearing cards, Vulcan Gripper, worlds strongest hands, wrist developer | 1 Comment »
A cool feat of strength that you can do is rolling up a frying pan. If you want to learn how to do this, pick up the November issue of Men’s Fitness and check out the short “How-to” piece I put together for them, on page 24, called Roll Up a Skillet.
Like many feats of grip strength, this is one where if you learn to engage the rest of your body with Radiant Tension, you will be able to perform the feat better.
What’s Radiant Tension?
Radiant Tension is a skill. It’s not as easy as clenching your teeth and squeezing the bar as hard as you can. That’s not what it is about. You have to be able to turn it on and off as you need to.
Here’s an example with a feat you might have a bit more experience with than rolling up a frying pan…card tearing.
When ripping a deck of cards, you want to use radiant tension when starting the tear to keep the cards tight together, to get the initial tear started, and to involve the larger muscles of the torso in the feat.
However, once the tear is started, if you are too tight, it can be tough to keep the tear going. What results is you get the initial break going and then stop. The. you throw another jolt of power into it and it tears a little more, and you essentially keep starting and stopping over and over until you tear the whole way through the deck.
Through practice, however, you can understand how much Radiant Tension is necessary to grip the cards and get the torso muscles involved, and also to keep the tear going fluidly.
If you need help learning how to tear cards, no resource on the planet will give you the level of detail my Card Tearing eBook gives you. From Techniques, to Progressions, to Exercises, I’ve got everything you need to know in order to start “cutting the deck” with extreme vengeance.
In a much more standard form of lifting, such as the Bench Press, Radiant Tension can instantly increase your bench by 10 to 20 pounds by learning to manage the tension. Like I said before, it is a skill that needs to be practiced.
Often when I see it discussed in other locations, Radiant Tension is described as “squeezing the bar as hard as you can.” While a new person who has never tried to employ Radiant Tension may indeed end up putting forth that kind of exertion in order to build a connection between the mind and the body, I think squeezing at that level of intensity all the time is actually a waste of energy and at the very least an unnecessary distraction.
I actually used to “squeeze as hard as possible” on many lifts when I performed them, but after playing around with this concept in the last year or so I’ve found that I get just as good if not better results by moderating the level of exertion and changing it depending on the movement I am doing and how much radiant tension I need on that day.
For instance, on the bench, if I squeeze too hard on the bar, it feels like I have trouble lowering the bar and my shoulders end up hurting. Whereas if I just tense my hands slightly, I can begin to feel that familiar sensation of tension radiating back and forth from my core and torso out to the bar and back in, feeling more stable, stronger in the movement, and having less stress in the shoulders.
Like I’ve said a couple of times, tension is a skill that needs to be practiced. This past summer, I was training a dude named Jim who would get on the bench and the bar would be all over the place. The first day I mentioned squeezing the bar, his form improved greatly and he was able to repeat the form much more easily. Gradually we worked outward away from the torso and began using systematic pulsing of the glutes in order get even more confident with the bar, perform more reps, and pack on more muscle.
Remember, tension is a skill you can practice to help you out in all of your strength endeavors, whether you are tearing cards, bending a frying pan, or powerlifting, there’s a place for it. You just have to use it and practice it in order to make it work best for you.
Incidentally, in this issue of the magazine, on page 20, there is another short piece by Ben Bruno called, “Curl More Weight, Increase Your Strength Immediately” that pretty much covers the same principle of Radiant Tension. I will let you check the magazine out yourself to see what I mean.
All the best in your training.
Tags: card tearing, kettlebell press, radiant tension, roll a frying pan, roll a skillet
Posted in card ripping, card tearing, feats, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, grip strength, how to bend, how to rip cards, how to tear cards, kettlebell training, tearing cards | 9 Comments »
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