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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

Top 10 Videos of 2013 Countdown

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

I feel like I am Carson Daily, counting down the Top Videos or something. Man, what a terrible feeling. Someone, please help me.

Anyway, here are numbers 6 through 10 of the 10 most popular videos I put out this year, based on the number of views each video got.


6. AB Wheel Basic Technique | Core Training | Core Strength – 1937 Views

I made this video for a friend of mine, Chris, who got back into strength training this year and got himself an Ab Wheel to work is core, but was using it totally wrong, and I was worried he was going to mess his back up big time. Since then, it’s been viewed about 2,000 times and I have been told by some that it is the best Ab Wheel Demo video they have ever seen, so that is pretty cool. You might be surprised to learn I do core training. Well, I surely don’t do crunches, but you’ve got to do some regular core work in order to be as strong as you can be, and I love my Ab Wheel.

Related Article: How to Use the Ab Wheel Correctly


7. Pat Poviliatis Breaks a Bat over Mike Bruce’s Throat – 1468 Views

Yes, this is for real. Pat “The Human Vise” Povilaitis is probably my best friend in the small community of performing strongman, having known him for nearly 10 years now. In this video, he breaks a legit baseball bat over the neck/throat area of Mike “The Machine” Bruce, another one of my good friends, and the man with the strongest neck in the world. This took place at the Arnold Classic this year, right on the center stage of the event center. Awesomeness. Be sure to check it out.

Want to watch the whole documentary? It’s 100% free – just add your email to the box below:


8. Build Bigger Traps – Horizontal Band Loaded Shrugs – 1396 Views

Earlier this year I was dealing with a slight back tweak (What else is new?) and I was trying to think of a way I could work my traps harder without having to load so much weight on the bar. Knowing that the Traps run down your spine, I thought about how I could get more than one section of the Traps to fire hard all during the same movement. That is when I came up with this Shrug variation that absolutely kicks your ass. Enjoy.

Related Article: Build Bigger Traps by Intensifying the Shrug


9. Strength Equipment Review – Globe Gripz – 1384 Views

Let me be 100% honest with you. I have enjoyed my training SO MUCH MORE this year because my joints are not hurting all the time anymore. Part of that is because I improved my diet so much this year, but another reason is because I have been extremely mindful of the exercises I am doing and the equipment I am using, so that there isn’t so much unnecessary wear and tear. One BIG PART of that has been the use of Globe Gripz for Barbell Curls. What used to KILL me is now essentially pain free and I love it.

Get your Globe Gripz here => Globe Gripz


10. My New Speed Bag Platform – 1273 Views

I used to hit speed bag all the time in the mid-2000′s. I did it as part of my warm-up to get my elbows and shoulders warm and get the blood flowing. And I did it at the end of the workout to constantly learn new combinations and techniques on the bag. Then, I change the gym location and put in a downstairs bathroom, and I lost my spot for the bag for several years. Earlier this year, I got a new one and have been digging it ever since.


We are well on our way to viewing the Top videos of the year, DIESELS. Check back tomorrow for numbers 1 through 5.

All the best in your training,

Jedd


If One of Your Main Goals This Year is to Close the #3,
Then Get CRUSH: Total Gripper Domination, and Learn EVERYTHING You Need to Know About Gripper Training



Top 10 Videos of 2013 Countdown

Saturday, December 28th, 2013
hulk side

It has become a tradition to do a run-down of the most popular videos I have uploaded each year.

For the next few days, I will be posting the Top Videos of the year, along with a little description of what is going on in each one.

One thing you are going to notice is that my Youtube Channel is pretty eclectic. It’s not just about one thing, like Grip Strength or Muscle Building, but rather about all kinds of different KILLER things you can do in the gym to not only get stronger but love the idea of training as well.

In short, I love training and love helping people with their training goals. So, without further ado, let’s look at videos 11 through 15 that were on the fringe of breaking into the top 10.


11. Bench Press Tips – Activate Lats for a Bigger Bench Press – 1266 Views

One part of the Bench Press Technique that is often overlooked is the engagement of the lats. Most lifters only think of the Bench Press as a lift for the chest, delts, and triceps, but if you can figure out how to get your lats more involved, you will no doubt see bigger lifts. This video shows a quick demonstration of how to do this as taught to me by Todd Hamer.

Related Article: Bench Press Tip – Activate Lats for Bigger Bench Press


12. Easy Way to Increase Pull-ups | How to Do More Pull-ups – 1139

Pull-ups are one of the best lifts for building strength and size in the upper back. The more you can do the better. Unfortunately, some people have trouble doing Pull-ups. This video will cover one way that you can train to perform more Pull-ups, and see better results for your back in your training.

If you like the Back Bull, here’s where to pick one up: Back Bull Equipment


13. Easy Tubing Warm-up Drill for Javelin Throwers – 1087

I was surprised this video ended up so high on the countdown. Earlier this year, I released a DVD called, Grip Training for Track and Field Throwers, and put this video out as a little sample of some of the stuff javelin throwers can do as part of their specific warm-up prior to throwing. Hopefully, this has helped out a few throwers in preventing injury and improving their performance in competition.

Check out our DVD: Grip Training for Throwers


14. How to Make Your Shoulders Feel Better with a Simple Stretch – 1034

This video shows an awesome stretch for the lats using bands. I have never felt a lat stretch that is as intense as this one. I love it.


15. Strongman Wrench Bend – 1000

I got a wild hair to bend a wrench earlier this year and ordered in about 25. Unfortunately, 20 or 3 of them stopped me dead in my tracks and a couple others snapped. This is the first one that finally bent. I am not by any means the best bender or braced bend specialist in the world, but I was happy to finally pull this off.

Learn feats of strength like wrench bending, bar bending, and rolling up frying pans, check out our Braced Bending DVD.


Stay tuned as I continue to update the list throughout the week.

Kick ass in your training,

Jedd


Gripper Training | Credit Card Sets | 20-mm Sets

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Gripper Training Update

I have not given up in my quest to re-certify on the IronMind #3 Gripper, which I originally wrote about here: Evolution of the #3 Certification and My Quest to Re-Certify

During August and September, my Gripper Training was primarily focused on 20-mm Block Set work though, because I was preparing for the Holdfast Gauntlet.

Credit Card Set Training: 10/15/13

Here are some clips from a recent session where I worked the Credit Card Set intensely:

I am actually continuing to work both the Credit Card Set and the 20-mm Set for both hands during this time. I will continue to do so until I stop seeing improvement.

Gripper Training with 20-mm Block

I recently was able to smash my Atom Gripz Quad Band for a solid Double and a near Triple with the 20-mm Block:

No doubt my crush is getting stronger this way, as I am getting doubles with that gripper every workout now.

Mash Monster Level 0 Qualification

And, it is not just my right hand that is seeing improvement. I recently attained my MM0 status for the Gripboard Mash Monster system with my left hand, something that took me three different tries in order to attain.

With the Mash Monster Cert, the requirement is to set it to visual parallel prior to closing it. The set and close must be captured clearly for the judges to make their pass/fail call.

The gripper I closed is a 139# rated #3 gripper. This is a light end #3. My plan, at this time, is to sign up for the MM#1 and see where I stand with it, and to be able to try to pin-point a gripper in my collection that rates similarly, so I can focus my left-handed 20-mm training on it.

I truly feel one of the biggest things I have going for me in my gripper training in the near future is that I
now have almost every single gripper I own rated.

What I mean is, I have run each gripper through my own gripper rating system using the same device under as strict
parameters as possible.

So, I essentially know the order all 50+ of my grippers go from weakest to hardest, and I know how all 10 or so of my #3′s compare with one another.

I will now be able to approach my gripper training like someone would build their Bench Press or Squat, gradually moving up in weight a couple of pounds at a time.

This is a HUGE advantage, because there is no more guess work for me.

I just move to the left or right 1 or 2 places on the gripper table and I know
I am squeezing a gripper just a touch harder or slightly weaker.

I feel that gripper rating is a key component to my gripper training, and it will soon create an explosion in the number of new Captains of Crush, similar to the one that took place in and around 2003.

People will know exactly where their grippers lie and be able to set better goals and outline better programs for themselves.

If you are interested in having your grippers rated by me, please let me know.

We can set it up so that you send them, I get them, and I have them rated for you and on their way back the next day.

I have a special going on right now where it will cost you only $5 per gripper to get them rated.

Just email me to set everything up, or contact me on Facebook.

I also have other things I am working on along these lines that will make it EVEN EASIER for you to accomplish your gripper training goals in the future.

More to come. Stay tuned.

All the best in your training.

Jedd


Take Your Crushing Grip to New Heights
Check out CRUSH: Total Gripper Domination