When grip guys and strength aficionados get started in steel bending, they want to progress as quickly as possible up the various levels of steel as fast as possible. They often try many different training techniques in order to strengthen their wrists and lower arms for the many steel bending techniques that exist.
One of the time-honored traditions of steel benders is Levering Sledge Hammers, and I’m often asked by steel benders if Sledge Levering is a good option for building better bending strength.
In today’s video, I address this topic: Will Sledge Hammer Levering Help Me Bend Bigger Steel:
Does Hammer Levering Help Build Bending Strength?
This is honestly a pretty big change in my line of thinking. In fact, in both my Nail Bending eBook and Nail Bending DVD, I suggest Sledge Hammer Levering to bring up their bending.
However, I always try to learn and develop, both as a lifter and a coach. Since working with dozens of benders over the last few years, I’m convinced that Sledge Hammer Levering isn’t as necessary as I once thought.
Also, in talking with many big benders over the years, the consensus, by far is that BENDING is what you should focus on in order to get good at bending.
I still stand by the fact that Sledge Levering will help you in conditioning your wrists for bending. In fact, I suggest a minimum 4-week ramp-up period where the various wrist movement patterns are trained with gradually increasing intensity, prior to doing any bending.
I recommend Sledge Levering for beginners because it allows you to work so many beneficial ranges of motion and movement patterns that are needed with steel bending, including both non-braced and braced bending methods.
However, once you start actually bending full time, or at least making steel bending one of your primary goals in your training, I think it’s most important to focus on purposeful bending, working your way up the ladder, and continually working on perfecting your technique and force production on actual nails and bars. At that point, Sledge Work can take a back seat, and be used mainly as a recovery method between bending sessions, and for keeping things like Tennis Elbow and Golfers Elbow as far away as possible.
I hope today’s post has been helpful toward directing you down as straight and as short a path as possible to your ultimate bending goals.
If you’re interested in more Steel Bending information, please check out the resources that countless other steel slayers have tapped into. The links are below.
Nail Bending eBook: Since 2005, this digital manual has helped more people start out on the right track with their bending than any other resource on the planet. It includes pictorials of how to properly execute all the major and minor bending techniques, dozens of different exercises for building lower arm strength and preventing injuries, as well as a full 9-week lower arm conditioning program for beginner benders.
Nail Bending DVD: Released in 2011, this video picks up where the ebook left off, walking you through the process of becoming a great bender. It shows you the proper way to wrap your steel for powerful bending, and you can see bars bent right on your computer screen or TV. Grab you steel, get your wraps, and let’s do a couple bends together as you play this DVD right in your own living room or home gym.
All the best in your training.
Training to Bend the Red Nail?
Get the Go-to Resource for Nail Bending: The Nail Bending Ebook
Tags: bending nails, bending steel, nail bending, sledge hammer training, sledge levering, sledge lifting, steel bending
Posted in bending, braced bending, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, old strongman feats of strength, steel bending, strongman feats | No Comments »
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 »
One of the coolest feats of strength, in my opinion, is bending an adjustable steel wrench.
Nothing says “strong hands” and “brute strength,” like bending a perfectly good tool that someone could have easily used to work on their car, their house, or an appliance.
I got a wild hair to bend something the other day, so I grabbed a wrench and gave it a whirl, and was successful.
I thought I would share 5 things you might not know about bending steel wrenches.
1. Wearing Pants Makes a HUGE Difference
As demanding as wrench bending is, it may seem like you’d want to wear loose, non-restrictive clothing so you can get the most out of your body as possible, but not with braced-style bending. The denim material of your jeans gives you a much better grip than, say, mesh shorts or sweat pants. This is important for both safety reasons, and for the sake of efficiency, because with jeans, the wrench doesn’t slide all over the place, and jeans don’t shift on you or stretch like shorts and sweats do. Heavy twilled cargo shorts are also a nice option for bending wrenches and other braced feats.
2. Braced Bending is FULL BODY Bending
Bending a wrench over your thigh, like I do it, is called Braced Bending. This bracing is done on purpose. Other forms of bending, of the non-braced varieties, disallow or limit the amount of contact the object can have with the body. But not Braced Bending. With this form of bending, you kink the steel or wrench over your thigh, sweep it down as far as possible between your legs and then crush it down like a champ with chest strength. Because of this bracing, you end up in many different positions that non-braced bending does not put you in, so you actually have to be a bit more athletic and mobile for braced-style bending feats.
3. Be Prepared for Some Pain
Braced Bending is HARD. It hurts to press something like a wrench into your thigh. You have to break through mental barriers, just as much as physical barriers when you are bending wrenches. If your mental governor is on, then you won’t be successful with braced-style bending feats. You have to be able to shut that thing off and drive into the bar or wrench without hesitation or distraction. The reward is worth it though, because once you feel the steel buckle under your strength, you get hit with extra adrenaline to take the bend even further.
4. Get Your Wraps Tight
The biggest mistake people make, aside from trying to bend wrenches without knowing proper technique, is not having your wraps tight. It doesn’t matter whether you are using towels, cordura, or suede/leather, you’ve got to get them tight. If they are loose, the will move around when bending the wrench, and you will lose a degree of strength. You need all the strength you can generate, and don’t want to waste ANY effort. Get your wraps tight as possible, so you can drive into it MUCH harder and with more ferocity.
5. You BETTER HAVE a Strong Core
Believe it or not, even though bending wrenches is considered a feat of grip strength, there’s much more involved that just that. Above all, is you need to have a strong core. You don’t necessarily need a rock-hard set of washboard abs, but rather you need to be able to execute some powerful pressure into the wrench in order to get the bend started and keep it going for that matter.
How to Bend a Wrench
Here is the video of my wrench bend. I kink it over the thigh, which is a very common method for getting the kink started, I sweep it between the legs, and then finish the crush-down up high, like when bending a nail or bolt.
It feels great to bend a wrench. Definitely a cool feat to be able to do.
They also make cool pen holders, which is what this one is going to be used for!
If you would like to learn how to bend wrenches, as well as perform many other braced bending feats of strength, then you need to pick up the Braced Bending DVD.
For this weekend, the Braced Bending DVD is $10 off, so don’t delay in picking it up.
You’re gonna love braced bending,
Want a Cool Piece of Hand Bent Steel Artwork,
but DON’T Want to Have to Bend It Yourself?
No Problem. I’ll Do it For You:
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 »
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:
Welcome to the Jungle – Click the Link Above
Jedd Johnson & Bud Jeffries
Tags: bending, bending steel bars, scrolling, scrolling steel bars, steel scrolling, the art of scrolling
Posted in bending, braced bending, feats, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, how to bend, old strongman feats of strength, steel bending, steel scrolling, strongman feats | No Comments »
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