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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!.

Welcome to the Jungle – The Ultimate Form of Steel Bending

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

In November, Bud Jeffries and I met up for about 6 hours of some of the most intense training I have ever done.

We started a little after 11 AM and by 6PM, we had shot several hours of footage on one of the most challenging, and yet still most addicting forms of steel bending there is – Steel Scrolling.

As I got the gym ready to film and bend, I played some Pandora Radio on one of my favorite channels – Guns n’ Roses.

For once, a steady stream of songs from the band I actually wanted to listen to got played, and right before Bud arrived, Pandora kicked out the absolute classic Guns n’ Roses hit, “Welcome to the Jungle.”

And while Bud Jeffries was here, the one thing that kept going through my head was…

Welcome to the Jungle, We’ve Got Fun and Games,” the first two lines in the song.

At first thought, that’s a strange comparison – a Jungle and Fun & Games…

If you think of the literal words, you have to wonder how a deep, dark jungle could ever be considered fun and games at all…

Of course, figuratively, the song is describing the vices you can be exposed to, which can be so thrilling while you experience them, yet they also pose the risk of all-out addiction, some of them, you are hooked for life, the first time you try them.

Ironic, how that describes Steel Bending perfectly as well.

Now, obviously there’s very little risk of being bitten by a poisonous spider or snake, when bending steel like there is in a jungle…

But getting “bitten” by the bending bug and feeling the cold hard steel bar buckling from your strength…

That can be as intoxicating as any drug or drink you can possibly be given.

The pump you feel in your arms and shoulders as you craft a straight bar into a crazy design with no tools and no heat – just your strength.

And the glory you feel when your battle with the bar ends and you stand victorious.

Bending nails into U’s.

Twisting Horseshoes into S’s.

These kinds of “Fun and Games” make you tougher both mentally and physically.

But they leave you wanting more.

And for people like you, me, and Bud, the only sensible next step is Scrolling.

Scrolling Steel is the ULTIMATE form of Bending.

The ultimate Feat of Strength.

And if you want to find out why, then grab this free video:

Why Scrolling Steel is the ULTIMATE Form of Bending.

Welcome to the Jungle – Click the Link Above

Jedd Johnson & Bud Jeffries

The Art of Scrolling Steel – Almost Here

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

I am really getting pumped up.

The project that Bud Jeffries and I have been working on for a while now, our DVD on Scrolling Steel, is almost complete!

I have a pile of them in stock. They look awesome!


Now, we are down to the last few behind-the-scenes things and we will be ready to put this thing out for you all.

Don’t miss this. Grab it right when it comes out so you can get it at the best price possible.

Sign up for the update list today, so you get notification RIGHT when it is available.

Thanks and all the best.



The Importance of Double Compression in Bending

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Check out this pictorial of “Iron Tamer” Dave Whitley’s Red Nail Certification from over the weekend.


Notice how Dave starts high and then swings the arm into position for the bend.

The video shows there is NO WASTED MOTION as he begins the initial kink. There is no shaking of the hands, no energy leak, if you will. The force is all concentrated into the nail. That is the first compression – INWARDS on the nail or bar being bent.

The second compression takes place in the lower body and core. This allows you to continue the kink even further.

You can get stuck in “No Man’s Land” when you don’t kink the bar far enough. The bar freezes there as you try to re-group and get the bend going again, but often, that is where it stays.

This second compression allows for a longer kink, moving you past “No Man’s Land” and deeper into the sweep where you can exert more force.

I never knew about any of this, of course, back in 2004 through 2008 when I was doing more bending. In fact, I never learned it until 2010 when Pavel had me do a bending demo at the RKC Certification weekend. He saw what I was doing, mainly standing straight up while bending. This is something you may do too. If you’re just bending 60D’s all day, then that might work for you, but when you are crossing up into unventured territory in 7-inch long, 5/16-inches thick Cold Rolled Steel territory, otherwise known as the Red Nail, standing mainly straight up is only going to get you so far.

Pavel coached me to drop with the legs and core, and not just lean forward but to actually sink down and compress the core, and I couldn’t believe the difference.

I’ve told Dave a few times already, but one more won’t hurt – “Nice work, brotherrrr!”

If you want to learn more about this Double Compression technique to increase your DO Bending, be sure to grab my Nail Bending DVD. I cover it in there, along with many other technical enhancements you will pick up.

Many small things like this can equate to BIG improvements in your bending. Just like any physical endeavor, technique is SO IMPORTANT.

You must build your house on a strong foundation, otherwise, you might find your kitchen in a sink hole one day.

The same can be said regarding Nail Bending. Your strong foundation is your sound technique, and if you don’t have strong technique, then you are leaving bending power on the table.

All the best in your bending.


Interview with Eric Roussin, Arm Wrestler, Grip Competitor

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Interview with Eric Roussin

In this episode, Doc and I speak with Eric Roussin from Ottawa, Ontarrio, Canada. Eric has owned grippers for longer than most of us, but never got serious of developing his crushing Grip Strength or competing in Grip Sport until just a few years ago.

Since he was a teenager, Eric has been competing in Arm Wrestling, which anyone can tell you is a pretty good way to develop the lower arms and hands.

In today’s interview, we talk about Eric’s athletic background, what made him transition to more of a Grip Sport emphasis in his training, and what he thinks are some of the methods that work out well for developing strong arm for the arm wrestling table, and a strong hand for the Grip Sport platform. Also, we discuss Eric’s excellent performance at the Holdfast Gauntlet, finishing 2nd in the overall and winning the Trap Bar Hold for Time.

Download the show here.

All the best in your training,


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