Steel Bending Resources
This past week, I released my latest steel bending product, the Less is More Steel Bending Workout.
One component of the product is the accompanying Workout PDF. I wanted to do something special for those who picked up the product, and I compiled a list of the videos about bending I’ve put up on YouTube and all the articles I’ve put up about bending here on the site.
Unfortunately, I can’t get the links to all of these videos to work, so I’m posting them here, and everyone will be able to check them out.
If you haven’t picked up your copy of the Less is More Steel Bending Workout, make sure you do it fast, while the introductory price is still available.
Steel Bending Videos
Steel Bending Articles
Tags: bending, bending steel, feats of strength, steel bending
Posted in bending, feats, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, old strongman feats of strength, steel bending, strongman, strongman feats | No Comments »
Steel Bending Workout
The latest Workout of the Month is ready to go!
Last month was a wrist and lower arm primer workout to get you ready for steel bending, call the Sledge Only Workout.
Now, with a few weeks of wrist training under your belt, it’s time to try your hands at bending, and I’ve got the workout program for you to get started the right way.
This month’s steel bending workout is called the Less is More Bending Workout.
When you click that link right above, you’ll learn EXACTLY why I called it that.
But here’s the short version: I think most benders do TOO MUCH bending, and end up setting their progress back, because of all the excess work they do.
The point of this month’s workout is to keep the volume under control, help you stay strong throughout your steel bending journey, and then you’ll be on your way to the big steel FASTER!
I can’t wait to hear your feedback on the Workout, after you go through it.
Grab your copy today here => Steel Bending Workout.
All the best in your training.
Sledge Hammer Feats
With my ongoing back issues, I’ve been working on some feats that I don’t normally take time to work on.
Here are some quick clips of some of the training I’ve been doing.
16lb Slim Farman Floor Lever
This is a feat originated by one of the most widely recognized performing Strongmen, Slim “The Hammer Man” Farman. The objective here is to start with the hammer parallel to the floor, with your hand on a towel or pad, and then to lever it up into a vertical position, so that it contacts one of your shoulders.
Below, I do the feat with a 16lb Sledge. I’d like to work up to a 20lb Sledge though, which I’ve done twice in the past. I don’t recall seeing anyone but Slim go beyond 20lbs, so it would be nice to work up to that point as well.
20lb Sledge Face Lever
Next is the Face Lever, a classic oldtime strongman feat, popularized, again, by Slim, and done by many other strongman performers over the years.
The objective here is to start with the sledge vertical, lower it to the face or head, and then return it back to the vertical position with the strength of your wrist.
This is one of the most elusive feats of strength, for me. I struggle with wrist mobility, so I have trouble getting the hammer to my head, and as a result I end up dropping my arm down. So the video below is a poor example of execution of the lift, but it felt cool to add weight to the hammer and then take it off to make the 20 feel lighter. This is a technique that I showed in my program, Lever Bigger Hammers, but haven’t done for a while.
I’ll have more updates on the Sledge Training, since picking things up off the ground is still a no-go.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your sledge hammer training, check out the programs below.
All the best in your training.
Tags: hammer lifting, hammer training, sledge hammer training, sledge lifting, sledge lifts, sledge training, sledgehammer training
Posted in feats, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, sledge hammer training, strongman feats | No Comments »
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 »
Man what an awesome time last week, DIESELS.
As you know, on Thursday, I help the Basics of Grip and Strongmanism seminar.
Here’s a pic, with Dr. Jim Wagner on the left, me, and Chris Fritz on the right.
I got this message posted on my wall on Facebook, after the event:
- “I got to spend the day at a seminar with the grip legend himself,
Jedd Johnson. I learned more in 5 hours than I did in the last
five years. It was an awesome day and Jedd is one of the nicest
guys you could meet! I’ll be seeing you again Brother, hopefully
at the next contest!”
Here’s how the day’s content rolled out:
- 9:00AM Start, meet and greet
General to specific
– General Full Body: Mobility / Activation / Light Stretching
– Move to Weights
– Move to Specific
Magic Formula for Success
– Gripper Angle
– Wrist Angle
– Set to Close
– Skin Stretch
– Thumb Strike
– Roll the Dice
High Impact Drills
High Impact Drills
Thick Bar and other Open Hand Training
What is Open Hand Training? Is Thick Bar “Support Grip”
High Impact Drills
Intro to Feats
Setting up YOUR Program
Formulating Workouts – Think Energy Economy
Specificity of Grip Training
Injury Prevention & Recovery Methods
2:00 / 2:30PM Close
Man, I’ll tell you what, I absolutely love talking GRIP with people.
As an added bonus, before we called it a day, Dr. Jim Wagner got out his Hawk Grips, a special set of soft tissue massaging devices, and worked on us a little bit.
We got EVERYTHING on film, and I’ve already begun editing the footage, and will be making it available on DVD.
If you want to be the first to add this information to your library, add your information to the box below:
It will be ready as absolutely fast as I can get through all 5 hours!
In the meantime, Make it a Great Week.
All the best in your training.
P.S. Sign up for notification as soon as this seminar becomes available.
Tags: grip, grip strength, grip training, strongman, strongman feats, strongmanism
Posted in feats of strength, feats of strength bending, Grip Contest, Grip Sport, grip strength, how to improve grip strength, steel bending, strongman, strongman feats, Uncategorized | No Comments »
By request of the Diesel Universe, I was asked to hold a 1-Day Intensive Grip Training Seminar.
I have set this up for Thursday, March 31st, starting at 9AM in Wyalusing, PA
We’re covering the 3 main areas of Grip Training: Grippers, Pinching, and Thick Bar.
These are the foundations of developing a Mighty Grip, and you’ve gotta train them right to build your Grip right.
The goal is make sure each person there is setting Grippers correctly, and knows the ins-and-outs of Plate Pinching, Thick Bar Training, and other Open Hand methods.
We’re also gonna get into the basics of Card Tearing and Steel Bending, because these feats make up the foundation of Strongman feats.
There’s going to be a BIG EMPHASIS on hands-on training.
After all, you learn by doing, not by hearing me talk.
This is going to be an AWESOME session for a small group of 5 individuals.
However, there’s already 2 slots filled.
Which means if you want to grab 1 of the 3 available slots, you’ve gotta act fast.
Click Here to Join the Seminar
It’s gonna be a sweet, comfortable and intense 5 hours of learning on March 31st.
Get ready to learn a ton, have a bunch of fun, and get your hands chalky.
All the best in your training.
P.S. I’m also looking to set up the cameras to capture everything on film. Gonna be awesome.
Grab Your Spot Now: Click Here to Join the Seminar
Tags: card tearing, feats of strength, grip instruction, grip seminar, grip workship, grippers, nail bending, pinch, thick bar
Posted in bending, Grip Sport, grip strength, grip strength competition contest, Grip Training, how to build pinch strength, strongman, strongman feats | No Comments »
Chuck Sipes: Old School bodybuilder,
lumber jack, and STEEL BENDER.
A couple weeks back, I participated in a benefit for a boy in the area to help raise money for his condition called Mason’s Hope 5K SuperHero Run/Walk.
During the show, I bent a couple of 60D Nails, and I think I struck a nerve.
No, I’m not saying I injured myself.
I think I may have re-lit a fire, deep down…
Feeling the steel bending as you pull, feeling it succumbing to your strength, peaceful destruction – it truly is an awesome feeling, and I may be addicted once again.
My first day “back at it,” I decided to test myself with one of the feats of bending strength for which I’m most well-known: Bending a Red Nail with the Reverse Technique.
At 5/16″ inches thick and 7″ long, the Red Nail is a piece of cold-rolled steel available from IronMind.
You can become a Red Nail certified bender if you successfully bend the Red Nail with the proper wraps in under 60 seconds.
Most people use what’s called the “Double Overhand” technique to certify on the Red Nail because it enables you to get a great deal of your upper body strength into the bend, and you don’t have to rely so much on grip and lower arm strength.
I didn’t bother with the Double Overhand technique.
Instead, I wanted to keep it more of a test of grip strength, so I went with the Reverse Technique.
When bending with Reverse technique in a grip contest, or when aiming for online certification lists, you have 30 seconds to acquire a 40-degree bend in the bar.
The first day I tried the bend, I didn’t take note of the time, and I quit too early, as I still had nearly 10 seconds to go.
Nevertheless, I was able to get about a 25-degree bend in about 20 seconds. You can see the video below:
Red Nail Reverse Bend Attempt 1
The second time trying this bend was a different story…
This time, I had a clock running on the wall to keep track of my time, and instead of only getting 2 hits, like my first attempt, I got 4 hits on the bar, and was able to bend it approximately 60 degrees.
Red Nail Reverse Bend Attempt 2
Yes, it’s safe to say that I’ve got a fire burning again, for steel bending.
I have no idea how far this will go.
I know I want to get my hands on more steel.
I want to wrap that steel with my suede wraps, and I want to hit it with all my power 3 or 4 times inside of 30 seconds until it buckles, folds, and succumbs to my might.
Oooohhhh, it feels so good.
If you want to feel one of the greatest feelings in the world of strength training – steel melting in your bare hands, get some light steel, get some wraps to protect your hands, and get one of my resources below that will steer you exactly where you need to go in order to be safe and successful in steel bending.
Nail Bending Ebook: The most complete steel bending reference in the world, loaded with instructional pics that show you all the major bending styles, how to wrap for high performance, and how to progress from the easiest bars around to some of the absolute hardest.
Nail Bending DVD: For those who like a more action-packed type of instruction, this DVD walks you through the wrap-up process, as well as each of the 3 big bending techniques: Double Overhand, Double Underhand, and my favorite, Reverse Bending, plus it shows you how to use strength training in order to bring up any weaknesses you might have in your technique.
All the best in your training.
There were Superheros all over the place, this past Sunday.
From little kids with their faces painted like the Ninja Turtles, Spider Man, and even characters from Frozen…
To the athletes who participated in the 5K Run/Walk…
To the entertainers who did their thing after the event was complete.
It was a day to celebrate the inspiration we get from one awesome little boy and his family.
Sunday, August 23rd, was the 2nd Annual Mason’s Hope 5k Run/Walk.
And I had the honor to be a part of it for the second year, perform classic oldetime strongman feats of strength.
Above, I’m blowing up a hot water bottle until it bursts…
The whole day of activities is dedicated to Mason Barto, a boy from Towanda, PA, who has CDG (Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation) and it keeps him from living the kind of life most youngsters enjoy.
However, despite the challenges he faces, physically, Mason and his family continue to be bright faces in the community and an inspiration for countless people.
I know that when I came home later on and did my August of Arms workout, thinking of Mason made me focus in and take things a little bit further than my body wanted to.
It truly is my privilege to be a part of this great day each year.
Below, you’ll see the video of the entire show I did, and after I finished up, local singer, Aaron Kelly, who was on season 9 of American Idol, gave a little concert as well.
A great day indeed. I hope you enjoy the videos.
Intro and Warm-up Bend – Bending a Horseshoe
A nod to Pat Povilaitis, “The Human Vise,” and first person I ever saw do this feat.
Bending a 60D with Aaron Kelly in my Arms
A nod to Dennis Rogers, Grandmaster Strongman, who made this feat famous.
Bending a Nail on the Bed of Nails
I invited Mason up to help me out with this one.
Kid Lifting with the Strongman Bench
The kids always have a lot of fun with this one. I got the idea from Strongman John Beatty, who was once on America’s Got Talent and performs strongman shows all over the country.
Breaking a Chain with Arm Strength
I wanted to do something cool involving Arm strength, so I decided to break a chain. Looking back, I wish I would have gone for a double chain break, because the single ended up being too light.
Ripping a Phone Book in Half
This was a Pittsburgh phone book, so I made a couple sports jokes before ripping this book in two.
Bending / Breaking a Hammer
This was a Pittsburgh steel hammer, so I worked the Pittsburgh sports joke in one more time. Somehow, the handle broke on this instead of the neck bending like it usually does, so it didn’t look as good as it usually does.
Bursting a Hot Water Bottle with Lung Power
The hardest challenge of the shoe, I always feel like I might pass out doing this one.
Dousing the Flaming Hammer
This is one of my signature feats, I guess, since I light it on fire and talk about my original interest in becoming a pro wrestler called Napalm Jedd. I also use it to salute Slim “The Hammer-Man” Farman, one of if not THE oldest living performing strongman.
Performing feats of strength is a fun and reward form of training, and I’d love to share my knowledge with you, via any of my various resources. Please check some of them out below and let me know if you have any questions as far as what can be the best fit for you.
All the best in your training.
Tags: feats of grip strength, strongman feats, strongman feats of strength, strongman show
Posted in bending, feats of strength, how to rip tear phone books, strongman, 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 »
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.
Tags: alexander zass, mighty atom, oldtime strongman, oldtime strongmen, slim the hammer man, strongman feats
Posted in bending, feats, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, old strongman feats of strength, steel bending, strongman feats | No Comments »
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.
Tags: do bending, double overhand bending, nail bending, oldtime strongman feats, steel bending
Posted in bending, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, old strongman feats of strength, steel bending, strongman feats | 1 Comment »
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,
Give a One-of-a-Kind Gift This Holiday Season.
Check out Diesel Designs: Forged by Fire, Bent by Hand
Items Bent by Jedd Johnson and Mike Rinderle
Tags: chad netherland, eric roussin
Posted in feats of strength, feats of strength bending, Grip Sport, grip strength, grip strength competition contest, old strongman feats of strength, strongman feats | No Comments »
I am going out of town this weekend to visit my sister, so I want to learn more about you so I can help you out more with your training in the future.
Be sure to sign up for further updates on Grip Strength Training.
Thanks for filling out the survey and Happy Memorial Day.
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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 »
Adjustable Crescent Wrench Bent by Hand,
Braced on Thigh (Pittsburgh Brand)
For more than a year, I have been trying off and on to bend a wrench. I must have tried about 10 different wrenches! I was beginning to wonder if I would ever be able to pull off this feat. I was getting pretty frustrated!!!
My constant efforts to bend a Wrench and then looking at it and seeing it was straighter than before I tried bending it reminded me that when we put together our Braced Bending DVD, I made sure that my partner, Mike Rinderle, covered the sections showing how to bend the wrenches, because I couldn’t even wobble them, let alone bend them into a U shape like he could.
This past week, I decided I was going to give it another shot. It had been several months since I tried, but I was feeling good and decided to give it a whirl.
I was pumped when i gave it the initial effort and felt it give a bit. I continued to give it all I had and little by little I was progressing in the bend.
Unfortunately, I only had 6 minutes left on my camera, and at one point, probably abut 8 minutes into the bend, I noticed the little red light was off.
So, I went through and deleted a couple minutes of other stuff off the camera and finished the bend.
Since the “officialness” of the video was gone once the camera went off, I went ahead and did some editing of the video to make it a bit shorter.
Also, the first thing you’re going to see is me showing the bent wrench. Something pretty cool happened that I wasn’t aware of, although it is possible that it happens every time you bend a wrench like this.
You’ll see what I mean when you start the video.
Lessons Learned from Wrench bending
I learned a few things from bending this wrench that I want to pass on to all of you in case wrench bending is something you are going to try.
1) Get Your Wraps Tight
I should have already known this from my years of nail bending, but I failed to remember it. All I did was wrap the suede around the ends of the wrench and go. As a result, they were shifting on me during the bend. Had I tightened them like a “Motorcycle Throttle” like Mike Rinderle says, and if I’d put some rubber bands on there, I think it would have been easier.
2) Keep the Steel Hot
When you bend something, the steel heats up and it gets a bit easier to bend. But if you mess around and take too much time between shots on the wrench or if you take too much time catching your breath, the steel cools down and it makes your job tougher. The problem with the poor wrap-job contributed to my slowness in working through the wrench.
3) This Stuff is Hard
Sometimes, I think that I should just be able to blow through every feat just because I have been doing this stuff so long. Seeing other people blow through wrenches, makes me think I should just be able to easily dominate them even more. However, those other guys who make short work of braced feats can do that because they have worked their asses off to be that good. Neither you, nor I, should expect to dominate feats like this if we aren’t honing our skills. I want to get better at it, which means I need to do it more.
And if I am going to do it more, I need to get me some more Wrenches!!!
All the best in your training.
Braced Bending DVD
Tags: bend wrench, bending wrenches, how to bend wrenches, wrench bending
Posted in bending, braced bending, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, old strongman feats of strength, strongman feats | 2 Comments »
When Will You Die: Host, Jake Porway and Jedd after doing some Frying Pan work
Set your DVR’s and VCR’s to record Nat Geo at 10 PM tomorrow night – Monday April 22.
That’s right, I am asking you to tear yourself away from the final hour of Monday Night Raw tomorrow night.
Maybe you’re wondering why…
Many of you remember from last September the Top Secret Grip Trip that I took to California.
This show is what that trip (and my second trip in December) were both for.
The Show is called “The Numbers Game” and the episode is called “When Will You Die.”
I have not seen the show, so I am not sure how it was edited all together. All I know is that I took two separate trips out there last Fall and Winter and bent about two dozen horseshoes, frying pans, nails and other pieces of steel.
Plus I ripped a whole pile of phone books and decks of cards, so they have plenty of footage to go through – HA HA!
It was a great time, I had a lot of fun, and I hope it carries over well to the show.
Also, feel free to post something on Facebook or another social network. Sometimes, with a “crazy” sport like Grip or doing Feats of Strength, it is good to get it in front of your friends’ and family’s eyes when it is on mainstream media like this, to show them that you are not the only “crazy” one out there.
Thanks everyone, for all the support, and all the best in your training.
Recently, a friend of mine, Nathaiel Brous, was successful in certifying on the IronMind Red Nail. I thought his progress was fantastic, so I asked him if he’d be interested in an interview.
If you love steel bending, I encourage you to check this out. In addition, I encourage you set your goals firmly for tackling the Red Nail. Set your date, lay out your training, and if you need assistance getting there, let me know.
Let’s get this done together in 2013!
And now, Nathaniel Brous:
Jedd: Nathaniel, Tell Us a Bit About Your Athletic Background
I was a pretty active kid and a competitive swimmer in my youth. While I was never really into weight lifting, working construction helped keep me pretty fit into my early twenties. Unfortunately at 23yo I found myself in heart failure and was diagnosed with Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy (with atrial fibrillation) which severely curtailed my activities. This basically meant I had a weakened, enlarged heart that no longer beat normally…and they had no idea how it happened. I felt I had been cut down, at the time many consider the prime of their lives.
Jedd: That is Something I Have Never Heard of. So, What Made You Get into Grip & Bending?
I have to credit my daughter Abigail with getting me into grip. Because my heart condition had forced me to be relatively stagnant, I lived vicariously through watching physical shows like World Strongest Man and Sasuke (Japan’s premier obstacle course program). In early 2011, we were watching American Ninja Warrior and she said, “You can do that Daddy!” The reality was that I couldn’t – not even close. But, I wondered what would happen if I trained for it. And so my little odyssey began.
I began researching Ninja Warrior and learned about the value of grip. I discovered the Captains of Crush Grippers and Ironmind. These led me to learn of sites like the Gripboard (anwnate) and Diesel Crew.
All successful athletes in Sasuke are slight in build but pound for pound the toughest around. I quite casually throw that in, but don’t really have any doubts of it. It would be a nice discussion in the future. A Urushihara Yuuji or Nagano Makoto interview would be an awesome addition to the Diesel files. Few people even know the insane things these guys do with their grip. Sorry, I digress.
I began my training with a focus with weight loss. I decided to drop 50lbs to get down to my high school weight of 195. I figured from there I could reevaluate. By the way, I’m 6′ 4″ so I wasn’t exactly obese at 245. It took about 6 months to shed the weight and while I felt ok – people were very worried about me. I actually appeared gaunt and sickly…but didn’t even realize it until I started seeing pictures of myself. I question the sanity of the people who created those BMI charts…
Anyway, as I trained, I found that my heart really was holding me back. Due to my intense swimming regimen in the past, I was keenly aware of how my body responded to exercise. Don’t get me wrong, I was making progress and improving, but I knew I was never going to become successful in Ninja Warrior because I couldn’t train as hard as was necessary to become competitive. However, since I had already “gotten off the couch”, I was happy enough to shift gears and my training entirely to “Grip Sport”. Over a period of a year, I built my weight back up, but it was a different (more muscle based) weight.
I can’t tell you how pleased I have been with training Grip. It is something you can get into for little financial cost and make solid gains…regardless of your age, weight or background. I had such a blast at my first event, World’s Strongest Hands 2012 (Wyalusing, PA location)…I didn’t mind getting my butt kicked in the events. I came home with a renewed sense of motivation and purpose. Over time, I have met a great network of people who are extremely supportive and helpful.
(Note from Jedd – Here is Some Footage of Nate at World’s Strongest Hands 2012 on the Wrist Developer)
One of those people, John “Wojo” Wojciechowski was kind enough to invite me to a grip training session at his place. Afterwards, he taught me how to reverse bend a nail. I managed to reverse IM Blue and put a kink in a G5 my first time out. I would say that after my first bend, I was hooked.
Jedd: What Made You Decide to Certify on the Red?
That night when I came home very pumped up about bending. I spoke with my wife Maureen about possibly going for the Red nail. She had been pretty supportive of all my grip work and in quite the Rocky-esque fashion…said “Go for it!” I decided then that I would bend on the “down low” and then do a “double cert.” like Hannes Kainzj. With her blessing, I immediately ordered a bunch of Blues, Reds, and IM Pads. There is a wealth of bending knowledge on the internet, but I would have to credit Jedd’s ebook for setting me on the correct and safe course. I think it should be standard issue for anyone just getting into bending. As it turned out, a pinky issue has really slowed my gripper progress. Just before Christmas, I decided to Cert. the Red by itself and kind of “get on board” if you will.
Jedd: As you Progressed Through the Levels of Bending, Was it Pretty Easy Progress for You, or Were There Struggles? And How Did You Get Through Them?
I was fairly lucky to start where I did with bending, but no matter where you start, there will always be your first wall. For me, that wall was the G8. I struggled with that bar week after week and had almost no visible results. It was quite disheartening. I figured (correctly) that I was missing something pretty basic…but really didn’t know what it was.
I finally decided to slap double IMP’s on the G8 and see what happened. I melted that sucker down to like 80deg (finished it later). This was the beginning of what I’ve named “Reduced Padding Progression.” I certainly didn’t invent the idea, but I may have coined “RPP” as an expression.
It’s a very similar idea to people who progress in grippers. Ideally, you have like 100 rated grippers that you can slowly move up the ranks with. But reality dictates that we don’t have the money, time or luck to collect such a comprehensive collection, so we make do with other means (Vulcan’s, forced closes etc.). In the same vein, an ideal bending situation would mean acquiring slightly harder steel (baby steps) that progresses you from one piece to the next.
RPP provides an alternative route to that. I cut down a pair of IMP’s to 2/3 and 1/3 total length and then a single pad in half. So then I had the opportunity to bend the same piece of steel in 2’s, 1 2/3s, 1 1/2, 1 1/3 and 1’s. While it’s true that bending in doubles and singles are very different beasts…there is not a tremendous difference in technique between any one of these steps from the one before or after it. And…all of them work the same muscles to some extent…particularly the sweep and crush. You could literally take this idea to the extreme and cut the pads down to any fraction that you thought would help.
I took this idea and ran with it. It turned out, I wasn’t bending the G8 because it was “uncomfortable” to hit it hard in the kink. I never (a long time anyway) would have realized this, if I hadn’t de-mystified the G8 by bending it in doubles. A week later I managed the G8 in singles. Right then, I immediately tried and succeeded in bending a Red in doubles.
Over a few weeks, I gradually worked my way down to singles and eventually without bands. I didn’t immediately stop using bigger pads…I took it slow. After a bunch of bends in doubles, 1 2/3 became my “big” pads and this went on until at the very end I was doing the majority of my bends in singles. The hands need time to condition to the stress, and I’m of the opinion that this allowed me to continue training when I otherwise would have bailed. My cert. day actually saw me bend my 100th Red nail.
Jedd: What Would You Recommend to Others Who Might be Interested in Bending Steel and Certifying on the Red Nail
If someone is interested in getting into bending, the first thing I’d recommend would be to learn as much as you can. Again, I must pimp Jedd’s book. It’s really required reading for the beginning nail bender and will save a ton of time, money and possibly doctor’s bills (bending steel carries it’s own risks)
Next, make use of the internet… Youtube, Gripboard, Benders Battlefield. There are a lot of good people out there, more than willing to lend a hand. All you have to do is reach out. Thirdly, don’t skimp on padding. It’s super cheap and (in my opinion) can to get you from point A. to point B.
Since I’ve got the pulpit…there are two more important things I’d like to impart. One I would like to borrow from the poker world. Leaning. When you “lean” on your opponent, you keep pressure on him and generally, the longer you do it, the more of an advantage you gain…until you have all his chips.
There will be times you will want to be more aggressive…there are time you’ll be less aggressive. It won’t be linear, and it won’t be stagnant, it’ll be like an ever-changing and ever-flowing river. But it will always be moving forward. Basically I advise that you “Lean” on your goals. Find out what it is that you want, how you are going to approach it…then start leaning. Any time you can adjust your strategy to exploit something, do so. Whether that be incorporating a new technique, or adding a workout, or subtracting a workout…keep the pressure on your goal. It will have no choice but to fall to your will.
The last thing is just a thought to keep in mind. You don’t get stronger by working out…you get stronger by recovering. Try and stay in tune with your body…call audibles if you have to. We don’t recover based on a chart or our peers, we recover at our own rate…a rate that changes as we age. Know your body and figure out what kind of rest it requires…then allow it to get stronger.
“The most productive and the most difficult thing about grip training is waiting until your body is ready to train again.” – me
Nathaniel’s Red Nail Certification (First 40 Seconds)
Jedd: Nate, thanks for the interview and for sharing that awesome wrapping progression with my readers. That is the first time I have heard anyone lay it out in that way. Very nice work and I wish you well in your pursuit of the Gold Nail. Please keep us posted!
Jedd: Diesels, if you are looking for guidance to get you to your Steel Bending goals, look no further than the resources below for all the information you need on conditioning, wrapping, technique, and progressing…
Nail Bending eBook | Nail Bending DVD
Free Report on Oldtime Strongman Feats = > Sign up for it Here
Tags: ironmind bending, nail bending, nathaniel brous, Red Nail, red nail cert, steel bending
Posted in bending, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, old strongman feats of strength, steel bending, strongman feats | 6 Comments »
IMPORTANT: My buddy, Iron Tamer Dave Whitley, is doing a benefit to help one of his good friends who was in a car accident: Bending for Burt. He is taking donations. If you would like to help, please check this out.
Chances are if you are going to try out steel bending, you are already doing some other form of training. While you want to bend steel and become a good steel bender, you also want to maintain the gains and results you have worked so hard for already.
That is exactly what Ty Byrum is doing – trying to find a way to work bending into his current program without upsetting it too much. Ty wrote in and wanted to know about the best way to add steel bending and other similar feats of strength training into his current training layout.
Here is what Ty is already doing at this time:
“I bought your bending ebook and
horseshoe bending video recently and
I am wanting to know how frequently
I can train those things. I’m currently
doing the RKC ladder program Tues and
Sat, Thursday I squat heavy and do some
strongman things (farmers walk, sandbag
loading/ walk, and rope climbing. I do
gripper/sledgehammer training on Monday
Wednesday Friday. I just wanted your idea
on when bending might be optimal and
when I might need to back off.
Any info would be appreciative. Thanks-Ty”
Steel Bending is a rewarding form of training that can compliment and support many other types of training as well, IF IT IS IMPLEMENTED CORRECTLY.
As you can tell, Ty is already a busy man who takes his training seriously, so he wants to get the most out of each aspect (Kettlebells, Strongman, Ropes, Bending).
Let’s take a look at some of the important variables to consider when adding nail bending and other forms of steel bending into your program. Mainly, when I help people place bending in their weekly routine, I look at three variables: (1) The type of bending they will be doing, (2) Current types and styles of training they are already doing, and (3) Their own personal recovery abilities.
The Type of Bending
The type of bending you are doing can make a huge difference in when you will be able to do it, how much, and how long you will take to recover.
For instance, if you are doing nail bending, that does not use nearly the amount of muscle mass and energy as horseshoe bending, for example.
I truly feel that Horseshoe Bending is one of the most athletic forms of bending, because it requires you to produce strength in many more positions than say Reverse Bending a Nail or Double Overhand Bending a steel bar.
Reverse Bending the Red Nail
In general, any type of non-braced bending will be “easier” on your body than braced bending, because you are not pressing steel against a part of your body.
Also, with Non-Braced styles of Bending, for the most part you stay standing up, while with braced bending, you must bend forward much more, in order to kink the bar or shoe against the thigh.
With non-braced bending, you are using your hands, wrists, arms, shoulders and torso to create the kink and work through the sweep.
As a result, Braced Bending wipes out your core much more because the lats, abdominals, lower back and glutes are stressed much more heavily.
So, as you can see, the type of bending plays a huge roll in deciding when to properly place it in your training week.
Now, let’s look at the next factor to use for deciding how often you can bend.
What You Are Already Doing in Your Training
This factor is very important in determining how much bending you can add into your training program, as well as how often you can add it in there.
For instance, if you are already training two hours per session and you are training 4 to 5 days per week, then chances are you are already producing a great deal of volume in your training.
It really doesn’t matter what kind of training you do, if you are putting in 6.5 to 8 training hours per week, you are doing a lot of Volume.
In Ty’s case, we know he focuses on body training Tues (RKC Ladder), Thurs (Squats/Strongman/Rope Climbs), and Sat (RKC Ladder again).
We also know that on Mon/Wed/Fri, Ty works on his grippers and sledgehammers.
The thing that jumps out at me, right away, is to stay away from Thursdays. That looks to be the most intense day of training, with Squats, Strongman Training and Rope Climbs. Adding in something strenuous like bending on that day is a recipe for CNS burnout, lack of results, and potential injury.
While there is something to be said about multi-joint training either before or paired with grip work and bending, Ty just has too much going on that day right now.
On Tuesdays & Saturdays, Ty is doing what he calls an RKC Ladder (Kettlebell Work). He doesn’t specify exactly what that it is, but I think it is safe to assume that he is doing presses and maybe even some snatches, along with swings and maybe even Turkish Get-ups. That sounds like a pretty good day for some bending!
The reason I say this is because Kettlebell work is great for getting the shoulders ready to do other work, and bending is one type of training that seems to benefit from Kettlebell work, because it is done overhead.
Bench Pressing, however, which is a horizontal push, wears out the pecs and makes it very hard to produce the force needed to bend steel.
One of his Kettlebell days, maybe Saturday, might be a good day to add in some bending…
However, also notice that Ty is doing three days of pretty much the same work: Grippers & Sledgehammer Training on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
We have just found the best days to add in some bending. Most people do not need 3 days of Grippers
to see progress, and most people do not need 3 days of Sledgehammer work. So my suggestion is to completely wipe out one of those days and make it the primary bending day.
So, looking at the schedule one more time, Ty’s training week looks like this:
Monday: Grippers / Sledge
Wednesday: Grippers / Sledge
Thursday: (Squats/Strongman/Rope Climbs),
Friday: Grippers / Sledge
Sunday: Dude finally gets a day off – LOL!
In looking at this schedule, my suggestion is for Ty to place his main Bending day on Wednesdays, and there are many reasons why.
1. Monday stays Gripper day. He can do Grippers hard on Monday and have several days over the course of the week to recover a bit and then hit them hard again on Friday.
2. Tuesday won’t work as a bending day because he is going to start bending on Wednesday.
3. I am willing to bet the Thursday sessions kicks his ass. We already said it would be too much to add bending on that day, and I bet he might feel like toast the next day as well, so both Thursday and Friday are out.
4. Friday remains a day of Grip, a fantastic day to do so because for most people the work week is over and you can relax and enjoy some Grippin’.
5. Saturday is another Kettlebell day. Like I said, overhead training does not affect bending too much, but it does some. I would not make either Kettlebell day the primary day of bending where Ty sets his goals on dominating steel.
So, that pretty much leaves with Wednesday. Wednesday is still very early in the training week, especially considering that at this point he will only have had one body training day and a grip day. He should have plenty left in the tank and not feel too beat up at this point.
Also, after he gets used to bending, he won’t feel too many effects of the bending on his big strongman day either. Maybe the first couple of weeks he will see a drop in his farmer walk hold times, but that will go away soon.
A couple of other things…
- 1. If he so desired, Ty could also add in a second day of bending that is lighter on either one of his Sledge days (Friday) or on his second Kettlebell days (Saturday).
This would not be necessary for a couple of weeks. It would mainly be used to work on form and technique, and not as a PR day by any means.
- 2. Ty might want to re-consider all the extra sledgehammer work now that he is bending. Sledgehammer training is mainly useful as a way to get conditioned for bending – injury prevention, if you will. It doesn’t do much for bringing up your bending. Bending improves bending. So, Ty might want to gradually phase out the Sledgehammer training for the most part.
The next main factor we will discuss is your personal ability to recover from your training.
This is the X-factor that makes it so hard for me to tell people how often to bend – how much time do they need in order to recover enough to hit it hard the next time.
It would be great if you could bend steel every day but most people can’t do that or they will end up with tendonitis or tennis elbow, or some other over-use injury that will hold them back.
Everybody has a natural “recovery ability.” For some, it might be 2 or 3 days and they are ready to slay dragons.
For others, they might need a little longer and can only hit the steel at a high level once per week.
The trick is figuring all of this out without having an injury.
Since I wrote my Nail Bending eBook, I have always suggested that people who have never done any grip training or steel bending before to do at least a 3 to 6 week ramp-up of just basic forearm training.
For instance, in my ebook, I talk about the 6 main functions of the wrist and forearm (FERUPS: Flexion, Extension, Radial Deviation, Ulnar Deviation, Pronation, Supination).
And I lay out an approach over several weeks where you focus in on each of these movement patterns in order to condition the muscles and connective tissues to direct training stress.
Gradually over the course of this training layout, you work the lower arms more intensely and more often. During this period, you can get a very good idea of how long it takes you to recover from an intense session. Also, as this program progresses, we gradually work Bending into the program and begin doing the direct forearm work less. Eventually, all you are doing is bending and you have a very good idea of what your recovery abilities are.
This is one way I have helped new benders get started on the right foot. They build the solid foundation first, and then the gains come quicker.
I encourage you to give yourself the time you need and work up slowly when you start bending.
Of course, there are many other things you can do to optimize your recovery, all of which are outlined in the ebook.
Applying This Process To Your Scenario
This is the process you can use for yourself when you want to find the best day(s) to bend for you. Think about the following:
- What Type of Bending Will I Be Doing: In general Braced Bending is harder on the overall body that Non-Braced.
- What Type of Training Am I Already Doing: The training you are doing and want to keep doing can dictate where Bending will be placed.
- How Well Do I Recover: This is a relative issue for all benders and must be considered on an individual basis. Not everyone can bend multiple days a week, nor does everyone need to.
For most people who have a full training schedule, one serious bending day is enough. A second day can be used for technical improvements, but multiple days per week are excess in most cases and truly not needed.
Most people that do a great deal of bending each week have either been doing it for a very, very long time and have worked up to it, they don’t do very much per session, or they are complete freaks.
So please do not think that you have to bend 3 or 4 days per week in order to progress.
If you want more information on getting started bending the right way, you need the Nail Bending eBook.
Remember, it’s all about YOUR SUCCESS. Nothing pleases me more than people who have read my ebook getting rectified for bending the Red Nail, and shooting right past me in the rankings.
I like it when my students surpass their teacher!
All the best with your bending.
P.S. Check out the Strongman Show my buddy, Iron Tamer Dave Whitley is doing to benefit one of his good friends who was in a car accident: Bending for Burt. He is taking donations. If you would like to help, please check this out.
Don’t Waste Your Time Fumbling Through Bending Techniques. That’s Busch League!
Use the Techniques That Have Helped Hundreds of Other Benders Learn Their Craft Right.
Get the Nail Bending eBook. Click the Image Above. Start Bending in the Big Leagues.
Tags: how to bend nails, nail bend training, nail bending
Posted in bending, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, old strongman feats of strength, steel bending, strongman feats | 3 Comments »
Over a year ago, my buddy Josh McIntyre and I were emailing and he suggested a name for a series to be featured here on the site called Tales from the Grip. It was to be stories of training written by all of you and posted here on the site.
The title is of course a play on words of Tales from the Crypt, which if you have never seen, was a horror story series shown on HBO, I believe, about 20 years ago and probably longer. I am probably showing my age by referencing it…LOL.
Tales from the Grip – Fayette Fair, Dunbar PA – July 2012
Today, I am going to start the series off by telling you of my experiences doing my first ever professional Strongman Performances, at the Fayette Fairgrounds, which started last night (July 26th) and will continue on until Tuesday July 31. If you are in the area of Dunbar, PA, you should come check it out.
How it Came to Be
I received an email from John Beatty well over a year ago asking if I’d ever be interested in doing Strongman Performances with him or for him. John was the owner of Fat Bastard Barbell Company for several years before recently selling it to his friend Jerry when he got to busy to keep it going. If that doesn’t ring a bell, then you may remember seeing him on TV back in 2010 on America’s Got Talent when he gave the big “In Your Face” to Piers Morgan.
Here’s the video:
John is an accomplished Strength Athlete himself. He was a professional strongman competitor from 2000 to 2010, and has also competed in many powerlifting and Grip Sport competitions, while also bending some awesome high-level steel.
After the initial emails, I didn’t hear much from John for quite some time, so I didn’t think much of it, but then, late last year, I got a call from John and he told me that he could use me for some shows coming up in the summer. I thought it sounded like an awesome and fun opportunity and I immediately told him I would love to try it.
In the months to come, I picked John’s brain about how to even set up a Strongman show. Considering my bending experience was limited to contests where you generally wrap and try to bend as big of steel as possible in 5 minutes time, the idea of putting together an entire 30-minute program seemed very daunting.
I have watched performing strongmen like John Brookfield, Dennis Rogers, Pat Povilaitis, Dave Whitley and Mike Bruce a handful of times over the years, but they mainly had performed single feats as part of other strength endeavors. John Brookfield did some of his bending feats during a larger expo in conjunction with other acts. Dennis, Pat, Mike, and David had all done their feats at Mighty Mitts between events. All of them were awesome performances, but they were shorter in duration.
However, with John’s guidance and coaching, I began to see some light at the end of the tunnel. He and I talked several times over the last 6 months and he would always share some knowledge about how to set up shows, some of the staple feats he did, and how to tie feats together to make the show run well. I soon began developing confidence in myself to be able to put a variety of feats together that would be entertaining for the crowd to watch.
Building the Equipment
About 6 months ago, John sent me the plans for some of the equipment that he uses in his shows. One was a deadlift platform that kids can sit on and then you lift them up. Another was a finger lift platform where someone lays on a board and you lift them with one finger. And the last one was a Bed of Nails.
In hindsight, the right thing to do would have been to get right on it and buy the lumber and build all of the equipment so that I could train on it and get to know it.
Unfortunately, what I did was I put it off and never built anything until last weekend. I am no carpenter. In fact, I make a poor carpenter’s assistant, so I enlisted my Dad to help me put this stuff together. I figured it would take us maybe 4 hours on a Sunday morning to build it all.
It took use two hole days of serious work to build just the kiddie deadlift platform and the bed of nails. It took me 4 hours just to pound all of the nails through the plywood for the bed of nails, so that was quite a wake-up call in itself. Nevertheless, with the help of my good old Dad, the two pieces got built and I even through some deck stain on the deadlift platform. John was impressed with the craftsmanship and said that mine looks better than his! I told him I wanted to make sure everything looked good since my show was going to be a reflection on him.
The Drive Down
Finally, the day to come to the fair arrived. I figured, again, that the drive would be about 4 hours. I dropped the baby off at the babysitter and turned on the GPS in order to get an estimate of how long it would take to get down here. I nearly laid an egg when it said 5.5 hours. I still had to go get the trailer and load everything on it in addition to packing everything up in the car…amazing.
Once loaded, I got out on the road. I have never pulled a trailer behind a vehicle on a 4-lane highway. Quite interesting! I was swerving a bit at first, but eventually got used to it. PennDot has construction projects going on, on just about every highway I drove on yesterday, including a section on Route 22 where the road is one lane and the barricades seem just about wide enough to afford like a foot of space on each side of the trailer. Lots of fun driving, I can assure you. Sweat was pouring down my brow into my eyes as I drove. Awesome.
The First Shows
It felt good to drive the Jeep onto the Fairgrounds and find my location for the shows. I was placed under a pavilion, which was a good thing because it was pouring buckets last night.
For the first day of the Fair, with such bad weather, the fair was nearly empty, but we got the two shows in that were scheduled. The small crowds were great to break the ice and get things rolling.
In the first show, John handled the PA system and narrated. He and I traded back and forth doing feats.
For the second show, I manned the PA and narrated and did 6 feats while John did 4. Everything went well, including my flaming hammer torch feat. Other feats that we did included the kiddie deadlift, phone book tearing, horseshoe bending, mace swinging, kettlebell juggling, and more. A rather diverse range of feats.
More to Come
As the rest of the shows progress, I will keep you posted. But I must say, I am pumped to be doing them.
I never thought I would ever get up on a stage and perform for a crowd. I always saw myself as more of the coach person who would help others enjoy the feats of strength by safely learning to do them themselves, but after just one day, I am excited to be given the opportunity to share what I know in this new way.
I really want to say thank you to John Beatty, “The Strongman,” for giving me this opportunity. Find out more about John here: John Beatty The Strongman.
Oh, and by the way, my favorite feat so far has been bending stuff while laying on the bed of nails. Surprisingly the pain from 600 nails digging into your butt and back fizzles away when the adrenaline rushes through the body.
If you are in the area, be sure to stop by. If not, keep coming by the site as I will be adding to this post as the shows go on.
All the best in your training,
Learn Everything You Need to Know about Gripper Training
Horseshoe Bending may sound crazy, but indeed, people all over the world are doing it. From shoes made to outfit small ponies to shoes designed for larger animals such as draft shoes, tough dudes around the globe are mangling them – twisting them from their characteristic U-shape and into a flattened S, or even completely around on themselves until they resemble a heart!
Bending Horseshoes may just be one of the most beneficial types of bending. Many of the benefits are listed below.
Why Bend Horseshoes?
Now, you may be wondering why the hell someone would want to bend a horseshoe. Well, if you are a student of the art of feats of strength, then it is a natural progression from regular steel bending such as bending nails and bolts.
However, if you have a more traditional strength training or muscle building background, then you may need some more reasons to try horseshoe bending. So here’s a few right now:
Benefits of Horseshoe Bending
Conquering the Impossible:
Horseshoes are made to be durable and resist wear, so to be able to straighten them and tie them into a knot, it’s as if you are defeating the undefeatable enemy! Nothing gives you a bigger rush than finally taking down the next level of shoe, especially if you’ve missed it a couple of times already!
Excellent Core Strength Builder:
While the hands, and arms are extremely important for horseshoe bending, the level of core strength needed to bend horseshoes is unparalleled by other strength feats. You must be able to send shock-waves into the shoe with explosive core power in order to make the shoe start moving in the sweep and crush and you have to be able to maintain longer durations of straining in order to keep the legs moving. NO other feat of strength matches this level of intensity.
Horseshoes Build Horseshoes on Your Arms:
The straining and dynamic effort associated with horseshoe bending can’t be beat, even by the most rigorous of conventional bench pressing programs or the most demanding bodybuilding routines. Your triceps blow up seriously blow up from this kind of work.
Builds Character and Mental Toughness:
Horseshoe Bending takes hard work, dedication, a strong will, and a remarkable heart. You have to be able to deal with struggle and with failure, but the feeling you get when you bend that next level of shoe for the first time is indescribable. This kind of tenacity carries over to other training as well, and bending horseshoes can revolutionize the way you approach the iron in the weight room.
Incredible Grip and Wrist Strength:
It was once an accepted belief that Bending would take away from your Grip Strength, but with the increase in benders participating in horseshoe bending, we are seeing more and more often that this is untrue. Your hands and wrist have to be strong in order to bend shoes and with the force required to excel, you end up building hand strength that carries over into many other types of Grip Training. And it goes without saying that stronger hands and wrists will be mean bigger lifts in the gym.
Chicks Dig It:
Just imagine how impressive it will be to the girls in your class or the ladies in the office when you wrap up a horseshoe and bend it right before their eyes. Horseshoes bent into a heart shape are second only to chocolate as a gift on Valentine’s Day! Screw tearing a deck of cards or a phone book! Who’s impressed with ripping paper? The ladies want to see you mess up the hard stuff, brother!
Horseshoe bending requires high tension throughout the body, and with this comes tendon strength, the kind of strength that will set you apart from others at the gym and will keep you injury-resistant in your workouts. This kind of strength can’t be produced with conventional lifting means. This is something that only comes about from battles with horseshoes.
Technique over Force Production:
This is actually reason number eight, and it is the most important reason of all. Horseshoe bending is heavily dependent on technique. In fact, some of the best horseshoe benders in the world are under 200-lbs and can’t lift much more than 300-lbs on the bench press. This is because while full body strength is important, technique is what sets the biggest horseshoe benders in the world apart from the rest of the pack. This is why horseshoe bending is one of the most skill-dependent feats that there is.
For more information on horseshoe bending, check out our DVD, Hammering Horseshoes. I worked on this with Mike “Rindo” Rinderle, the first ever US Steel Bending Champion, and crazed steel bender.
Hammering Horseshoes is by far the most detailed resource on horseshoe bending that exists today and we will show you everything you need to know to get started kinking, sweeping, crushing and hearting big horseshoes.
Get the Hammering Horseshoes DVD and get started bending horseshoes. Right away.
All the best in your training.
Happy Hammering Horseshoes Customers:
“I bought the hammering horseshoes dvd before I even had a shoe to bend,they give everything you need to know to get going no question about that. Well worth the money.”
Recreation Horseshoe Dominator
“The DVD is well worth it! I tried to bend some easy shoes before watching the DVD and didn’t do anything but bruise my leg up. After watching the DVD about halfway through, I tried the same shoe and finished it off with a lot less effort than the first try.”
Professional Strongman Competitor
“If you are really interested in progressing on shoes, use the money you would spend to buy some easier shoes to buy Hammering Horseshoes….watch that a couple times and you will bend your DC0. All bending is technique, but it’s almost impossible to just muscle a decent shoe, you HAVE to have some technique and strength too. Don’t waste a bunch of time like I did. The info wasn’t readily available when I started bending shoes but anyone wanting to start out today should watch Hammering Horseshoes. I am in no way associated with the DVD, and I paid full price for it. It will teach you an efficient way to bend shoes for sure.”
Competitive Steel Bender
Tags: bending hroseshoes, feats of strength, horseshoe bending, horseshoes, oldtime strongman, strongman feats, why bend horseshoes
Posted in bending, braced bending, feats, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, horseshoe bending, strongman feats | No Comments »
I was thinking about my training back in June and I realized that I have been bending nails for nearly 10 years. However, in all that time, I had never successfully done any nail breaking.
Nail breaking involves bending a nail back and forth over and over until it breaks. This is much harder than simply bending the nail into a U-shape, mainly because it takes so much longer to do it, requiring much more grip strength endurance and mental toughness and determination than simply bending it over. I’d tried several times in the past to break 60D nails, but after flipping it around and having it slip in my grip, I’d generally get frustrated and say, “Screw it,” and move on to the next thing.
This time, I really wanted to give it a solid effort and see if I could do it.
When I decided to take on the challenge of nail breaking, I immediately set my sites on the 60D nail, also often referred to as a spike.
If you are not entirely familiar with nails, I will explain. The term, 60D, means 60-penny, coming from England in the 15th Century.
- From Wikipedia.org: “Penny sizes originally referred to the price for a hundred nails in England in the 15th century: the larger the nail, the higher the cost per hundred. The system remained in use in England into the 20th century, but is obsolete there today. The d is an abbreviation for denarius, a Roman coin similar to a penny; this was the abbreviation for a penny in the UK before decimalisation.”
The 60D Nail is also kind of a benchmark nail of Strongmanism, the practice of being a performing Strongman. So if you successfully bend a 60D nail, you can consider it a comparable feat to what most performing Strongmen of the past and present have done as well.
My first attempt at breaking a nail was long and tedious. It took me upwards of 20 minutes because my bracing technique was very poor and my wraps kept slipping over and over. To top it all off, my conditioning was lacking and between running out of breathe, my hands were also cramping up on me big time.
I continued to do my nail breaking training one or two days a week. I didn’t want to go overboard with it and end up with some kind of forearm or elbow pain, so I spaced my nail breaking days out pretty far.
Each time I bent I was able to whittle away more time, with my ultimate goal to finish the nail break in less than three minutes. On the second session, I was able to cut my time by more than half, going from nearly 20 to less than 10 minutes. I actually did two nails that session.
Finally, earlier this week, I was able to reach my goal of under 3 minutes.
In fact, it was around 30 seconds.
But there was something about that break that just didn’t seem right. I talk about it the following video.
60D Nail Break Under 60 Seconds
I could tell right away on the initial kink double overhand that this nail, although it looked similar was no doubt a much weaker nail. In addition, the subsequent efforts to open the nail back up felt like I was twisting jello.
Below is the second 60D I broke in the workout. This one is one of two types of 60D’s that I was given in the past:
- Zavaco 60D – That may be miss-spelled, so I apologize if it is. Strongman Chris Rider, who penned this awesome article on Chain Breaking last year, gave me a stack of these in 2009. I had never heard of the Zavaco brand of nails/spikes before but he said they were much more difficult than regular 60D’s, and he is right.
- Canadian 60D – The other possibility is that these are some of the Canadian 60D that I got from Canadian Grip Competitor, Jonathan McMillan. He gave them to me in 2008. It is entirely possible that Zavaco nails are a Canadian brand, or that McMillan go this hands on some Zavaco’s up there and then brought them across the border, or just simply that 60D nails produced in Canada are the “real deal.”
Here is the second, more difficult 60D nail broken in under 3 minutes.
60D Nail Break Under 3 Minutes
You can see right away that this nail is just plain stronger than the other one as I had more difficulty with the initial kink, as well as the opening and the re-kink on every single effort. Plus, the lighter 60D never got to the same temperature as the harder one. With the harder one, I could feel the heat going through my pant-leg when I was bracing it on my thigh to open it up.
Comparing the Two Nails
- Coloring – The Zavacos are lighter and duller in color. The easier 60’s are much brighter, but that does not serve much meaning as to their difficulty in this case.
- Hatches – The Zavacos come with a much deeper series of hatch marks that are etched into the side of them near the head. My assumptions is that it helps keep the nail from working its way back out of wood, once pounded into the project.
- Size – Both nails are roughly the same length, but the Zavacos may be slightly thicker. I don’t own a micrometer, so I can’t get a perfect measurement, but by eyeball, they look a bit heftier.
In closing, I will say that the coolest thing about breaking nails is the way the steel heats up as you work it back and forth. Like I pointed out above, the heat was so intense it felt like it was going through my pants and burning my leg. I have also had my finger get off the wraps and get in contact with the nail and gotten a noticeable burning sensation.
Next, I plan on working on some longer nails/spikes but continue down the path of breaking, as I like the endurance factor that it trains as well as the mental toughness.
The Big Take-Away
The thing to learn from all of this is that nails will vary. Some are made to withstand more punishment than others.
How do you know if what you are bending is tough or not compared to other suppliers stock? You don’t. In fact, you will never know until you try other stock that is available. That is just part of the game that is Steel Bending. For more insight into the variation that can be seen between various nails, bolts, and bar stock, check out this post: Variation of Steel and Nail Strength.
More videos to come of Nail Breaking. Until then, all the best in your training.
Tags: breaking, breaking feats, breaking nails, breaking steel, feats of strength, nail breaking, strongman feats of strength, strongmanism
Posted in braced bending, feats, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, how to bend, steel bending, strongman feats | 2 Comments »
DIESELS, this kind of thing gets me PUMPED UP!
When an expert performing strongman like Mike Gillette takes a look at a product and not only gives it such a glowing review but also puts some of the instruction into action and improves his performance in some of the feats, I just want to spike a football.
When it comes down to it, Mike Rinderle and I put our DVD’s together so that you can enjoy these feats as much as we have. PERIOD.
And we like producing the kind of products that give you EVERYTHING you need to know.
Check out the kind words from Mike “Savage Strength” Gillette:
Again guys, another experienced strength athlete and coach relates how important it is to have the right information and technique when it comes to being a successful featist.
If you want to ROLL FRYING PANS, BEND STEEL BARS, BEND SPIKES, and DESTROY WRENCHES, then Braced Bending is for you.
We’ll show you how to prepare for a showdown with steel, the technique for vanquishing it, and the way to stay in tip-top battle form for years to come.
Pick up Braced bending today = > Braced Bending: How to Destroy Everything in Your Path.
All the best in your training,
Tags: braced bending feats, braced bending review, expert review, product review
Posted in bending, braced bending, feats, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, horseshoe bending, how to bend, steel bending, strongman feats | No Comments »
I recently had the opportunity to have some great email and phone conversations with a great American strength athlete, Jason Bergmann.
In case you are not familiar with Jason, here are some of the highlights from his Strongman competition career, which I pulled from Wikipedia:
- A 3rd place finish in the All-American Strongman Challenge 2007
- In 2008 came in 2nd in the America’s Strongest Man competition
- In the 2008 World’s Strongest Man he made the final ten (coming in 9th overall)
- In 2010 (after recovering form injuries) he made the top 10 of the 2010 World’s Strongest Man
As you can see, Jason has proven himself one of the best in the world, having made it to the finals on two occasions Of World’s Strongest Man.
Recently, he said he was looking for some different types of training he could do, as he was dealing with a pec tear. He also said he had begun doing some strongman performances and wanted to add some new feats to his repertoire, and eventually found our Hammering Horseshoes DVD.
Here is the first note I got from him:
- I came home from strongman training and saw the DVD arrived today! I was going to wait to watch it and maybe try some shoes tomorrow since I had already tried to bend a few before watching the DVD (didn’t even nudge a diamond classic #2). But after watching about half the dvd on wrapping technique and learning more about the kink I gave it a go.
- After giving it a few tries on the lightest shoe I had bought (St. Croix Forge polo #0) I knew something wasn’t right. Repositioned the shoe and followed the tips in the video and started to bend the shoe!
- I will admit that I used a towel on my leg to get it past 180 degrees and I’m sure I will have a bruise or two. After about 5 minutes I had to see if I could do it on my right side too (torn pec on that side) and after getting everything set up right that went as well.
- Without the tips and technique on your DVD it would of taken me a lot longer to figure it out if at all. I can say after bending my first shoes that it is not a trick. Getting the leverages right yes, but trick no!
- Thanks for putting the DVD together and putting so much information in it. Well worth the money and when I’m looking to try another feat of strength I will be checking out your other products. Thanks.”
- Jason Bergmann
Well, Jason wasn’t just blowing smoke. He also got the desire to try out short steel bending as well as Braced Bending, and picked up both the Nail Bending DVD and our Braced Bending DVD.
He says that while he enjoys Nail Bending and Braced Bending, Horseshoe Bending has been his main focus. He recently sent in some video clips of him bending some very impressive shoes he bent, the Kerckhaert SSP 10×22 #5 and the SCF Plain #3.
Sending the link to me bending the Kerckhaert SSP 10×22 #5. My
technique is getting better as this shoe I was only able to kink a
month ago. Thanks again for all the help. Now it’s time to get some
I was able to bend the SCF plain #3 last night. Just for kicks I tried
the AB#6. Needless to say that is going to take some work to move that
Now, if you are not familiar with Horseshoes and their level of difficulty, I grabbed the ending portion of the “Advanced Section” from our Horseshoe Strength Progression List and pasted it below.
As you will see, the first video above, the Kerckhaert SSP 10×22 #5 sits at number 29 out of 37 on the list. Pretty deep, but then in video, he wipes out the St. Croix Forge Plain Regular #3, which is number 30 on the list as well. And while these bends are not official certification bends for any competitions or lists, they are still extremely impressive. Given the fact that Jason has pretty much just started doing this, you can describe his progress as nothing less than meteoric.
Advanced Level Horseshoes
23. 5/16×7/8 healed
24. Wide sliding plate
25. Kerckhaert SSP 8×22 #1
26. st croix forge regular plain 000
27. Kerckhaert SN 8×25 #3
28. Diamond special 5
29. Kerckhaert SSP 10×22 #5
30. St. croix plain regular #3
31. SSP 8×18 #000
32. SN 8×20 #000
33. Kerckhaert SN 10×22 #3
34. Kerckhaert SSP extra 8×22 #0
35. Unmarked healed shoe 3/8×3/4
36. AB #6
37. Kerckhaert WH 10×28 #6
However, despite Jason’s progress, his strength levels, his determination, you HAVE TO KEEP ONE THING IN MIND – the most important part of Horseshoe Bending or any type of steel bending, is TECHNIQUE.
Jason said it himself, without the instruction, it would have taken him much longer to learn the proper technique or might not have gotten if at all. When a sheer Power House like Jason says something like that, you know it’s true.
And because he has started out in the right direction from the beginning, Jason has been able to consistently progress AND avoid injuries, allowing him to enjoy every single PR he establishes.
No matter what level of strength you have, when you combine that power with the right technique, you are able to take your bending to an even higher level. Once you dial that technique in, get ready to blow through shoes that previously seemed out of reach.
And for the absolute best instruction on technique for Horseshoe Bending, you have to pick up Hammering Horseshoes. You can get it by clicking on the banner below.
Write me a note when you start destroying shoes!
All the best in your training,
Tags: bend a horseshoe, horseshoe bending, how to bend horseshoes, strongman feats
Posted in feats of strength, feats of strength bending, horseshoe bending, steel bending, strongman feats | 3 Comments »
Inch Dumbbell Overhead (Photo by Joe Mugovero)
One of my main body strength goals for 2012 was improving my Overhead Pressing ability, so I really began to look at all the contributing factors to a big press. Things like a strong core, lockout strength and speed off the shoulders were some of the things I looked at most heavily, because when I was doing strongman training, those were the things I focused on most often for building the press.
However, one of the things I did not take a real close look at, at first, was my flexibility and mobility in my shoulders and torso. To my surprise, working stretching into the routine has proven to be the absolute biggest factor in my increase in pressing strength recently.
It’s kind of ironic that including the simple practice of stretching would have such a big effect. I remember watching Lee Haney videos on ESPN when I was a teenager, so it’s not like this is the first time I ever heard of the concept.
My absolute neglect for stretching and any kind of range of motion or mobility maintenance came when I started studying NSCA materials. The literature stated that if you performed exercises with a full range of motion, then there would be no worry for loss of it.
More recently, several proponents of Biofeedback/Gym Movement have even spoken of their lack of use of stretching and mobility work in their routines.
Well, here is the problem with all those organizations and belief systems, from Lee Haney, to the NSCA, to GM: they are only referring to lifting and NOT what is going on the other 22 hours in the day.
For me, and maybe some of you reading this, the most important factor for my flexibility and range of motion status (aside from sheer genetics), I feel, is my positioning during those 22 hours.
The amount of time I am in a seated position, whether it is working, driving, or just lounging around is staggering. Sometimes, it seems as though if I am not walking to or from my car, or if I am not training, then I am sitting on my ass, and getting more and more locked up.
In relationship to my pressing numbers, I posted a few weeks back how I was able to make incredible jumps in pressing strength with some stretching and soft tissue work prior to and during my pressing workout. That post is here: What’s Working Now – Improving Overhead Press.
Now, although the improvements I saw in that workout were impressive as far as the actual weight jumps from one workout to the next, the numbers were still not where I would want them because in the past I have been capable of much more.
So, I began going back through some old video clips of myself pressing, and one thing I noticed was that several years ago I looked much more fluid. These days in my videos, I walk like Frankenstein, as if my spine is fused and when I press, I have almost zero lean in the thoracic region of my back at all. In the past, my thoracic mobility was far greater and a real strength of mine, so I knew I had to do something to get back there. Once I began incorporating drills right into my workout, I began instantly seeing some good results, thus the post I mentioned above.
And once I started seeing progress, I began trying out even more movements to see what would work the best. I’ve come up with three movements that I have gotten continued good results from and I want to share them with you so you can try them.
Pipe Roll Thoracic Arch
Squat Cage Doorway Stretch
Squat Cage Shoulder Point
These three movements have proven to have the biggest benefit for me in my training, of the dozens I have tried. If you think you are lacking in the mobility department for your thoracic spine, or if you think your shoulders are inhibited in some other way, then you should give these a try.
If these drills don’t seem to do anything for you, then I encourage you to do some experimenting. We are all different and have different limitations, so in turn we will all need to do different things in order to address those limitations.
Results From 8 Weeks of Concentrated Mid Workout Stretching
Barbell Military Press – Recent PR
In recent memory, in the Barbell Press out of a cage, my best has been 215. I have gotten that number so many times I have lost count. That really irritates me, because it is about 40 lbs under my best strict press on a barbell.
Without stretching or soft tissue work, I was topping out at 215 whether I did overhead press first or if I did Bench Press first. And that little factoid irritates me because you would think that after benching the triceps would be too tired to match my best PR, but it has seemed to have no effect whatsoever.
So, here is a recent video of some new high water marks for the Barbell Press out of the cage.
Barbell Military Press – Old Working Set
I am not sure if you can tell in the video clips, but I am able to get a bit more extension in my thoracic spine in the new PR video (I could certainly feel the difference that day). In the working sets video from a few months back, I don’t get anything at all. The benefit to getting this fluidity in the thoracic portion of the spine is that each repetition feels better, and feel less like I have two baseball bats running from my shoulders to my glutes, restricting me. Being able to bend ever so slightly back near the shoulder area lets me press much easier.
Take note, I am not talking about bending the lumbar spine like a 1950’s Olympic Press, as shown above. That is something that you should try to avoid. I played Russian Roulette with that too often back in the day and have no desire to go back to it. What I am looking to improve is my thoracic spine, the mid to upper torso (shown below)
Dumbbell Military Press PR
My numbers in this had been so bad, that I was pretty much stuck at 50’s. Then with time working on my ROM and soft tissue, I was gradually able to work up to 70’s and now 85’s is becoming my new standard. Below, I hit a set of 6 with 85’s, a set which felt so easy up until the last set, it is hard to put it into words.
In the video above, I think it is a bit easier to see the extension I am getting in the thoracic spine. This video was shot two pressing workouts after the Barbell Press workout where I pressed 235.
To sum things up, although my upper back/torso issues are not so bad that I walk around with like Quasimodo or have scapular winging, I still have issues with tightness in the shoulders and lack of thoracic mobility. Like an addict with a gambling problem, it took my a long time to admit to having these issues, but now that I have owned up to them and begun addressing them, as well as seeing the results, I feel I will be able to continue to improve.
Look for more updates coming down the pike on this. Until then all the best in your training.
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Tags: military press, overhead press, shoulder training, strength training
Posted in strength training to improve athletic performance, strength training videos diesel tv, strength training workouts, strongman feats, Uncategorized | No Comments »
Although that thing looks like a toilet, the stamps says “Stone Lifting.”
The first time I touched Atlas Stones was in my first ever strongman competition in 2003 at Total Performance Sports. Prior to that we used Kegs in our training in order to assimilate the stone lifting technique.
Ever since that first competition, I have loved Stone Lifting. It became something I would do on a nearly weekly basis every year from the time the weather broke in April until the time the weather got too cold to train outside in the Fall every year. And then sometimes, we’d just train inside.
I was seeing some pretty good success both in training with the atlas stones and in competition, many times winning the event at the strongman contests I was competing in.
Then, around 2006, all my buddies seemed to have lost interest in doing strongman, so if I was going to train, I was going to be alone doing it. Training alone is cool and all, but it’s even cooler with buddies challenging one another and talking some serious trash.
If I remember right, I peaked on atlas stones with a lift of a 405-lb stone in the Summer of 2007, but then I didn’t really train them again until the Fall of 2009. And that was the last time I trained them…
Lately, the stones have been calling my name. Each time I walk past them, I would think to myself, “The next time it’s nice out during training time, I’m coming out here and lifting some stones.
I got down to the gym the other day – it was a day for Axle work, back, and some other stuff. I went through my normal routine of systematic warm-up, then on to Axle, and then my Grip Training.
But when it came time to train back, I was like, “SCREW IT – I’m going outside to lift those stones – that will be my back workout today.”
DIESELS, I can’t even describe in words how fun it was to get out on the stones again. It brought back so many memories of training with my friends, listening to loud music, talking smack to everyone, strongman comps, and barbecuing steaks.
I got the whole stone lifting session on film, so you will see it below.
I have no idea what the first three stones in the video weigh. They were marked at one time, but weather and the passing of time wore those chicken scratches off long ago. So, I arranged them by size and went to work.
Questions on Stone Lifting
In the comments section of the video, I received some questions, so what I thought I’d do is paste them below and answer them for you guys. Here are the first couple…
Do you ever shoulder the stones Jedd?
Sure – shouldering is a good drill to do with Atlas Stones. I like shouldering because it requires more hip explosion and is a faster movement. When you explode with hips, you are able to propel the stone upwards and create more momentum. Then, if you are quick and agile with your hands, you can usually place the stone up on top of your shoulder with just two or three quick movements of the hands.
We cover Atlas Stone Shouldering in our DVD, Stone Lifting Fundamentals, as a way to replicate the explosive qualities of the Olympic Lifts using an odd object instead of the regular bar.
I didn’t do any shouldering in this particular workout, simply because it had been so long since the last time I trained stones. I wanted to stick with the basic techniques on this occasion, but I definitely will do some shouldering soon.
Doesn’t stone lifting go against the rules of deadlifting when it comes to not rounding your back?
Yes, Stone lifting does differ from deadlifting as far as the back angle is concerned. In deadlifting, most people will tell you to avoid rounding, and I would agree with them when deadlifting. However, stone lifting is a bit different.
First off, it is almost impossible to lift a stone without modifying your back angle to a degree. This is because you have to reach your hands way down to the ground. In the deadlift, you are not reaching down that far, so it is much easier to avoid the rounding.
Second, the shape of the stone forces you to take a different grip on it. As you’ll see, the hands and forearms go down along the sides of the stone and you pick it up by both flexing the wrist to brace beneath the stone, and by clamping in with the chest, to compress with the upper arms onto the sides of the stone. This requires a forward torso angle in order to accomplish.
If you keep your torso upright while lifting stones, I think it would put a great deal of pressure on the bicep attachments, and could cause a tear.
Third, when lifting stones, most people incorporate a transitional phase in the lift where the stone is propped on the lap while a re-grip is taking place. The reason this is important to this discussion is because it may seem like a round back is being used from the point of lift-off to the point of loading (high chest), but this is slightly misleading, because while re-gripping the stone, you can also re-position your lumbar spine for a more straight to lordotic curve, which is safer on the back.
Everyone is always stressing good form and not rounding the back while deadlifting. How do you feel about that when stone lifting is the complete opposite?
Because Stone Lifting is, without a doubt, much different from deadlifting, I think it is best to work your way up slowly in stone weight, volume of stone work, and speed of stone work.
For instance, beginners at Stone Lifting should start out with very light stones, and perhaps even start with an abbreviated range of motion and then gradually work toward pulling the stone from the ground or floor. This will enable the beginner stone lifter to slowly get used to the forces and positions involved in stone lifting, which they most likely have never done with a great deal of resistance before. It will help them develop proper technique as well.
If there is any question as to proper stone lifting technique, then I suggest you pick up our DVD, Stone Lifting Fundamentals, which will show you exactly how to begin doing stone lifting with proper form.
It’s a good practice for beginners or people who have not lifted stones in quite some time to limit the volume of stone work they do. I, for instance, knew that I hadn’t done this in a long time, so I didn’t do a lot of volume with the lighter stones. I mainly used them to ready my body, mind, and CNS for the heavier stones. By limiting the volume, you are able to keep your form tight from the beginning to the end of the workout. Doing too much volume too soon in the stone lifting workout could wear out the postural muscles in the back, and then put you at risk for poor form near the end of the stone workout.
As far as the risk of hurting the back, sure, there is a chance. However, there is also a chance to hurt your back in the deadlift as well. I can tell you this, I have never hurt my back by lifting atlas stones. I have, however, hurt my back on many occasions performing the deadlift.
I did notice, while watching my footage after lifting the stones, that my hips are a bit tight to really get where I want to at the beginning of the stone pull. I like to get a little lower with the hips on the initial pull, which helps me to keep my lower back straighter.
I hope this has been helpful. There were some more questions in the comments section of the video – I have not forgotten about them – I just don’t want to overload anyone with new information, so expect another installment of questions to come along here soon.
If you like info on Strongman Training, make sure to subscribe for my Strongman Training Updates in the form below.
All the best in your training,
Start Your Journey in Stone Lifting Today.
Pick up the Stone Lifting Fundamentals DVD Below.
Tags: atlas stone training, atlas stones, stone lifting, stone training, strongman training
Posted in athletic strength training lift odd objects, stone lifting, strength training to improve athletic performance, strongman competition training, strongman feats, strongman training for athletes, strongman training log stone tire farmer | 5 Comments »
Today, I have a review on my Nail Bending DVD from EJ Livesey, a guy who has accomplished quite a bit in his short time bending, certifying on the IronMind Red Nail, among other elite-level bends.
As you read, you have to understand that to say that EJ Livesey is “intense,” would be a huge understatement. This guy is willing to look for, buy and put instruction into action, and he’s willing to put in the work to be great. EJ, like many others I have helped, (and maybe even like you) had the potential to be great at bending already – I just showed him how to turn all of his strength into being a nasty bending machine. Check it out…
My name is EJ Livesey, and I have been bending since 2010. When it comes to learning new things, I am a very visual person. My luck and progress in Bending came slowly until I got Jedd’s DVD NAIL BENDING: HOW TO MELT STEEL WITH YOUR BARE HANDS.
When I saw the DVD advertised, I knew right away this would skyrocket my success, so I had to have it. Now some of the information in the DVD, such as the different types of wrapping materials, I was already familiar with. Other things, such as the correct mechanics for the different styles of bending I was not so familiar with.
With the DVD playing in front of me, I was able to wrap up a piece of 9/32″ drill rod in a set of Ironmind Pads. At the time, this piece of metal I could only kink in these pads (IronMind Wraps make the bend much harder, due to the lack of padding). So I studied the DO (Double Overhand) section over and over.
For me, DO was always weak and painful, until the “circle of strength” was discussed and explained in the DVD. I finally saw the error of my ways, and right away my DO was strong.
Within a few weeks (as opposed to months), I was strong enough to bend the Red Nail in IronMind pads. I was amazed and a true believer.
There are tons of little secrets to be learned in all of the different styles of bending, and these secrets are explained by one of the best in the community, Jedd. These secrets need to be explained by an elite bender, or you are in for a long road of pain and disappointment.
Other very important aspects of this DVD, are the Recovery and Strength sections. There are tons or exercises out there and tons of products that claim to make your hands and arms stronger. However, all you need are a few simple exercises/movements. This is the information you could spend months trying to find and never get a credible answer. Jedd does all the work for you and his reputation speaks for itself.
The end of this August I will have been bending for 2 years. I have certified on the Red Nail, bent the King of All Bastards Bar in 1.25″ double wraps, Stainless Steel Hex Bar in IronMind Pads, and my favorite: an 8″ adjustable wrench unbraced Double Overhand. All those bends in less than 2 years, and your DVD helped, a lot.
Jedd knows what will work, and work fast. If your dream is to bend the Red, be the “freak at work” or bend some bastards, buy HOW TO MELT STEEL WITH YOUR BARE HANDS. You will be satisfied.
Certified Red Nail Bender
EJ – Thanks for the awesome words. Looking forward to more awesome bending exploits from you, dude!
All the best in your training,
Tags: bend steel, how to bend, nail bending, short bending, steel bending
Posted in feats, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, old strongman feats of strength, strongman feats | No Comments »
For a few months now, my friend Sean Dockery and I have been doing weekly to bi-weekly episodes of Grip Strength Radio, where we run down interesting happenings in the sport of Grip, as well as talk about effective ways we have found to train for Grip Strength, and many other cool topics.
GSR Episode 15
Our most recent interview was with The Iron Tamer Dave Whitley. Dave is a Senior RKC, meaning he is one of the top ranking instructors in all of the Dragondoor/Russian Kettlebell echelon. He also is enamored with the olde-time strongman legacy, performs the classic feats of strength, and is also a very entertaining guy.
I first learned about Dave back in 2007, but never got the chance to meet him until 2009. I was at a conference and I looked to my right and there he was. I introduced myself and we instantly went out into the lobby to chat.
We shot this video:
As it turns out, on top of holding jobs in the past as a massage therapist, a rock star, and now as a top performer of strongman feats and instructor in the area of kettlebells, Dave was also, for a time, a professional wrestler.
As you will be able to tell, the content for the interview wrote itself, and I finally got my revenge on the Iron Tamer.
Check out the show here: Grip Strength Radio with the Iron Tamer Dave Whitley
Also, make sure you give a good listen to the song played during the second break. It’s called “Water” by the band Hands. Doc added it in and it’s awesome. He has reached out to many record companies and almost all of them have allowed us to use their music, so stay tuned to future shows because you may just hear a future hall of famer like Guns n’ Roses or someone who will try to deny entry to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, like Axel Rose.
Other Recent Grip Strength Radio Shows
In addition to the interview with Dave, Sean and I also have a bunch of other shows we have recorded in the last few weeks:
If you are familiar with iTunes, you can sign up for subscription updates for Grip Strength Radio through the iTunes store.
All the best in your training.
Learn Everything You Need to Know about Gripper Training,
with CRUSH: Total Gripper Domination.
Two Bent Shoes by Jason Bergmann
Bending your first horseshoe is one of the milestones you will never forget when you practice feats of strength. After all, these damn things are made to go on the feet of horses and ponies and to take a freakin’ beating.
Bending horseshoes is no joke.
I recently got an order from one of the members of the Diesel Universe, for the Hammering Horseshoes DVD. Shortly afterwards, I got an email from him as well. His name was Jason Bergmann, a Strongman Competitor who does strength demo’s for youngsters in his area, and he said he was looking to add Horseshoe Bending to his repertoire of grip strength feat.
Check out the email he sent me below:
I just ordered the Hammering Horseshoes DVD from your site. Since it will take a few days to get the DVD I really wanted to order some horseshoes as well. Since that info is in the DVD could you give me a few suggestions for beginners? I currently compete in Strongman and my brothers and I do demo’s for k-8 schools and I would like to add this in to my program along with a few other grip feats. So If I can order some shoes and get them around the same time as the DVD it would save me some time. Thanks, Jason Bergmann
Ordering horseshoes ahead of time actually seemed like a damn good idea, so I pointed him to this post, Horseshoe Progression List, and told him to check out Ken-Davis.com to pick up some shoes.
Well Jason Bergmann is a true action taker, because he jumped on the Ken-Davis site and had the shoes at his house before the DVD even got there! And I don’t wait when I send in these orders. I could see right now that this dude was serious!
Today, I got another email from Jason and this time, and this time I could tell he was excited. Check this out:
Jedd, I came home from strongman training and saw the DVD arrived today! I was going to wait to watch it and maybe try some shoes tomorrow since I had already tried to bend a few before watching the DVD (didn’t even nudge a diamond classic #2). But after watching about half the dvd on wrapping technique and learning more about the kink I gave it a go.
- After giving it a few tries on the lightest shoe I had bought (St. Croix Forge polo #0), I knew something wasn’t right. Repositioned the shoe and followed the tips in the video and started to bend the shoe! I will admit that I used a towel on my leg to get it past 180 degrees and I’m sure I will have a bruise or two. After about 5 minutes I had to see if I could do it on my right side as well (torn pec on that side) and after getting everything set up right that went as well.
- Without the tips and technique on your DVD it would have taken me a lot longer to figure it out if at all. I can say after bending my first shoes that it is not a trick. Getting the leverages right yes, but trick no! Thanks for putting the DVD together and putting so much information in it. Well worth the money and when I’m looking to try another feat of strength I will be checking out your other products. Thanks, Jason Bergmann
The Hammering Horseshoes DVD, Two Slain Shoes, and the Wraps Used to Slay Them
DIESELS, this kind of stuff gets me pumped up!!
I love hearing about success stories such as this one! Being a part of their success is even more awesome. That is why I put together these instructional videos – I know how cool this stuff is and I want you to experience it too.
That is also why I partnered up with my buddy, Mike Rinderle on Hammering Horseshoes and Braced Bending – he gets pumped up hearing about new benders’ success every bit as much as I do.
If you want to see what it feels like to have the crafted steel of a horseshoe bend to your will, make sure to get our DVD, Hammering Horseshoes. We’ll get you going on the right path, just like Jason Bergmann is doing now.
All the best in your training.
Tags: beginner horseshoe bending, feats of strength, horseshoe bending, how to bend horseshoes, strongman feats
Posted in bending, feats, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, horseshoe bending, how to bend, old strongman feats of strength, strongman feats | 2 Comments »
I am proud to announce that one of my coaching clients, Richard Giese, has succeeded in bending the IronMind Red Nail with IronMind Wraps and no rubber bands only.
Rick first contacted me at the beginning of last year and wanted coaching on Grip and Bending. He said he felt he had a good understanding of Grip and Bending, but he wanted some guidance to break through some plateaus. He told me his goals, sent me his list of Grip equipment (dude ricks nice collection of toys), and we scheduled our first coaching call.
We got started with a complete Grip and Bending program last February, and his progress immediately started exploding.
In less than a month, he was bending steel equivalent in size to the red nail in leather wraps here and there. Once he started dominating them, we then began the transition away from leather and towards IronMind cordura wraps, which make the feat much harder.
This journey to slaying the Red Nail did not come easy. Along the way, Rick experienced a couple of injuries. One of them, he was ripping a giant phone book with insufficient warm-up and jacked something in his forearm.
A few months later, he messed up a shoulder doing double digit repetitions in the Muscle-up.
These turned out to be significant injuries that required professional assistance in order to overcome. Some people, when they get injured, throw in the towel and they give up on their goals and dreams, but not Rick.
Rick contacted a very good chiropractor in his area and got the treatments he needed to bring his body back to 100%.
When his body needed the recovery time to battle the injuries, he deloaded, not allowing himself to get distracted by the injury but rather to give his limbs the time they needed to come back.
Rick came back stronger than before after both injuries and now he is still doing elite-level bodyweight feats like double-digit Muscle-ups, Human Flags, Dragon Flags, and now Bending Red Nails in authentic fashion, all while in his early 40’s.
It’s been my pleasure working with Rick over the course of the last year and I can’t wait to see what else he accomplishes. We just sat down for a re-alignment of goals via Skype last week, and he tells me that now he has his eyes set on the Inch Dumbbell.
I take no credit at all for Rick’s accomplishment. He is the one that fought the battles. He is the one that got stopped along the way, threw half bent Red Nails through dry wall. And he is the one that took the energy and refocused it where it needed to go, while also accomplishing some other awesome bodyweight and grip strength feats along the way.
Please feel free to leave a comment below for Rick. It’s been awesome being his coach through this journey and becoming good friends with him along the lines as well.
All the best in your training,
P.S. Want to bend the Red Nail one day? You can start out like Rick did with my renowned ebook on nail bending, so creatively named, The Nail Bending eBook. Click the image below.
Tags: bending, IronMind Red Nail, Red Nail, rick giese
Posted in feats of strength, feats of strength bending, how to bend, old strongman feats of strength, steel bending, strongman feats | 4 Comments »
These are some of the examples of questions I have gotten:
Which horseshoes are best for beginners to bend?
Are there any more shoes in my difficulty level I can bend to add to my collection?
I have hit a wall with my horseshoe bending – are there other shoes I can use to break through my plateau?
These are all perfectly valid questions, and I think today’s post is going to help a lot.
After all, when you are new at Bending Horseshoes, it’s nice to have some shoes that are on the easier side so you can work on technique on lighter shoes before progressing upwards.
And of course, once you hone your technique, you will want some reasonable jumps to make as you move up the ladder.
And, if you happen to be a gifted Horseshoe Bender and are aiming to be one of the best, then you’ll need to know which ones to choose in order to climb the mountain.
All levels of bending prowess need variety and that is what this post will give you.
Hammering Horseshoes DVD Progression List
In our DVD, Hammering Horseshoes, Mike and I laid out a nice progression of the most common shoes – the most widely available, and most often bent. We ended up with more than a dozen horseshoes for people to choose from.
However, as time has gone by, we found that people wanted even more shoes. We found that people are willing to put in the work to find some of the more rare shoes, just so that they can make smaller jumps without running into a wall on the track to Horseshoe Bending Heroism.
So, Mike and I reached out to one of the top horseshoe benders in the world, David Wigren. You see, David actually designed the progression for the current horseshoe certification list that is used by most benders on-line at Benders’ Battlefield.
One of the things David and I talked about was, why, if there are so many more shoes on the market, are they not included on the current horseshoe bending certification progression list?
This is what he had to say:
- “The #1 reason why there aren’t more shoes on the cert list is to avoid unintentional overlapping. As you know steel varies, and because of that my idea was just to have a “safety” distance between each shoe, so that the easiest level 10 shoe won’t be easier than any level 9 shoe.
- The 2nd reason is that not a whole lot of shoes meet the criteria. Some shoes vary a lot, so they won’t be added to the list. Clipped and healed shoes won’t be added, since it would be easy to manipulate a clipped shoe and get away with it.
- I also wanted all the shoes (with one or two exceptions) to be available in most parts of the world. However I’m only that picky when it comes to the cert list. I do have a list that is more “approximated” and contains more shoes. This list contains most of the shoes I’ve bent (or partially bent) and I’ve rated them by the difficulty I experienced while bending them.
- Unfortunately not all shoes are on there. But I think Rinderle could fill in with some other shoes he’s bent, and you’ll end up with a pretty good list.”
So, Mike and I put out heads together and placed a few more shoes on the list to help you guys out. What we came up with appears below.
Now, remember as you look at and utilize this list that shoes will vary, even within the same shoe. You may find weaker shoes in a given variety that could be easier than shoes that are ranked below them on the list. This is just the reality of the feat of strength of bending. Use this as your guideline to greatness with horseshoe bending.
Horseshoe Progression List
1. St. Croix Forge Ultralite #2
2. St. Croix Forge Ultralite #1
3. St. Croix Forge Polo #2
4. St. Croix Forge Polo #1
5. St. Croix Forge Polo #0
6. St. Croix Forge Polo #00
7. Diamond Classic 1
8. Diamond Classic 0
9. Diamond Classic 2
10. St. Croix Forge Lite Rim 0
11. Kerckhaert sx7
12. St croix Lite rim 2
13. Nordic Delux 2
14. St croix lite rim 3
15. Nordic Delux 3
16. St croix lite rim 1
17. Werkman 3
18. Kerckhaert SSP 8×22 #3
19. St croix Lite plain #3
20. Kerckhaert SN 8×25 #5
21. Kerckhaert SSP 8×22 #2
22. Diamond bronco PL 000
23. 5/16×7/8 healed
24. Wide sliding plate
25. Kerckhaert SSP 8×22 #1
26. st croix forge regular plain 000
27. Kerckhaert SN 8×25 #3
28. Diamond special 5
29. Kerckhaert SSP 10×22 #5
30. St. croix plain regular #3
31. SSP 8×18 #000
32. SN 8×20 #000
33. Kerckhaert SN 10×22 #3
34. Kerckhaert SSP extra 8×22 #0
35. Unmarked healed shoe 3/8×3/4
36. AB #6
37. Kerckhaert WH 10×28 #6
I hope this new Horseshoe Bending Progression List helps you all out. You now have a huge list of shoes to choose from. Take note, some of these shoes are much more common than others, and some can be nearly impossible to find.
What you should do right now is Bookmark this post, because I can assure you from time to time I will hear from more people who have bent lots of horseshoes over the years and I will add to this list from time to time.
Of course, just because you know which shoes are easy and which ones are hard, don’t be surprised if you can’t bend one of the easier shoes. Horseshoe Bending is extremely dependent upon technique. You can be strong as a son of a bitch and still get your ass handed to you by a shoe that is residing way over on the lighter side of the spectrum.
So, when you go on-line or to the local Farrier supply shop to order your shoes, add the Hammering Horseshoes DVD to your shopping list as well so you can learn the right techniques for horseshoe bending. Pick it up below:
All the best with your horseshoe bending,
P.S. HUGE thanks to David Wigren and Mike Rinderle for helping me put this together for everybody!
Tags: horseshoe certification, horseshoe list, horseshoe progression, horseshoes, list of horseshoes
Posted in bending, feats, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, horseshoe bending, old strongman feats of strength, steel bending, strongman feats | 10 Comments »
There’s nothing that bothers me more than when I buy something and it doesn’t meet my expectations.
To give you an idea of what I mean, I recently picked up one of those lights with the flexible bodies that you can hook around stuff and direct light where you want it.
Yeah, too bad when you hang it upside down, the light portion literally falls off the body part.
It is experiences like this one that have forged my approach to designing information products. My goal is always to exceed your expectations.
When you buy one of my DVD’s or eBooks, I want you to finish going through it and not only learn exactly what you wanted to when you picked up my DVD, but also many other things that will help you in your training.
To illustrate this, check out the feedback we recently received from Carlos Rodriguez about the Braced Bending DVD:
“I received the Braced dvd this past weekend. Jedd I was literally blown away by the dvd. I admire the fact that Mike and yourself take a no B.S. approach to giving instruction and demonstration. There is no fluff, no corny
soundtrack , and rock solid advice!!! Great job and congrats on a really awesome product Jedd.
There are a couple of things that I was doing wrong with my bending, but I believe the Braced dvd has helped me tremendously. Also the pics of Carl Ansara are pretty impressive, the Bazooka Joe tee was very cool. He is one strong dude.”
Thanks for the compliments, Carlos, and I am glad the DVD is helping you so much.
My partner on the Braced Bending DVD, Mike Rinderle, has the same approach I do – to provide you with the absolute best information about Feats of Strength.
We take a great deal of time planning our products and we even add things in as we go along to enhance them throughout the process, such as close-ups, voice-overs, slow-motion replays, and more.
We even added a a presentation that Carl Ansara, one of the best braced benders in the world, put together for us for the Bonus Section.
If you want the best information on Feats of Strength, you’ve come to the right place. Check out everything we cover in this DVD:
This is the cool collectible Chapter Card
that comes with your Braced Bending DVD.
Go get it here: Braced Bending DVD.
All the best in your bending.
Since Mike Rinderle and I released the Hammering Horseshoes DVD, we have continued to receive outstanding feedback, and Mike and I really appreciate it when you all write in to us. We truly tried to put out a video that would break away all the chains that could keep someone from performing this awesome feat of strength.
We recently received this note from David Mitti through Facebook:
- Hey Mike, Just bent my first horseshoe, a St. Croix Ultra Lite #2 the other day. A LOT harder than it looks, but I got it past 180. It was an awesome feeling. Just wanted to say thanks for all the info provided on the Hammering Horseshoes DVD. I now have the bug…LOL. Thanks again, David M. Peace – Out
Thanks a lot for the note, David – keep on slaying the shoes.
Occasionally, we not only get an email from the customers, but we also get a video – very cool!
This is performing strongman and missionary evangelist, Peter Mehl, bending his first horseshoe. Peter related to us that he had always wanted to include horseshoe bending in his act, but was unsure of how to go about doing it.
As you can see, Peter now has very good technique for horseshoe bending, to go along with his already present strength, so he was able to knock out his first shoe no problem.
From Peter’s YouTube video description:
- Peter Mehl Bends a Horseshoe past  degrees and then attempts to bend it into a shape of a heart. Peter is a Missionary Evangelist in Ukraine and Moldova where he oversees more than 150 crusades each year. In many of them he does feats of strength youth outreaches. He also has a team of Ukrainians he has raised up to do the same feats.
Peter, keep up the good work with the feats, and much respect for the work you are doing overseas – very awesome.
If you would like to get started bending horseshoes, now is the time. All you need to do is pick up our DVD and we will tell you everything you need to know!
Grab it today at this link: Hammering Horseshoes DVD
All the best in your training,
The Strength of Steel and Bending Stock
Over the years, lots of people have asked me questions about the strength of steel and bending stock. Because steel bending can be so obsessive, and the need to constantly bend more stuff can overtake an individual so intensely, it can be easy to understand why so many people are hungry for this knowledge.
Common Questions about Bending Stock Strength
Here are some of the types of questions I get most often:
“How Strong is my Steel?”
People will be bending a certain nail, bolt or piece of stock and want to know if it is a good bend or not. This is understandable, because people like to know where they stand.
“What nail/bolt/stock should I go to next if I am bending THIS and want to bend THAT?”
Most people want to ultimately be able to bend a certain bar, whether it is the Red Nail or some other high level bend like the Bastard from Fat Bastard Barbell or the Battle Bar from Benders Battlefield. Along the road to this goal it’s nice to know which bends to attempt along the way.
“How far am I from the Red Nail if I am bending this or that…”
Sometimes people are seeing progress by cutting what they can bend down to shorter lengths, or they have been moving up to harder graded bolts or slightly thicker stock, but they still want to know how far away they are from their goal.
And there are many, many more questions I receive about the strength of bending stock.
Comparing Strengths of Various Pieces of Bending Stock
There is a system that is used to rate the strength level of bars. This has proven to be quite useful in getting an idea of where different bars lie in relationship to one another, and it even works well for a variety of different stock, including Round Steel, Graded Bolts, Drill Rod, and even square and hex steel.
This system was innovated by Eric Milfeld and later Mike Krahling. These are just the guys that I am most aware of in the United States who are doing it. There may indeed be many more who are doing this.
This process involves special attachments that are put onto the bending stock being rated, followed by using the steel to pull against weight until it bends to the desired angle. Once the stock bends to that angle, it is assigned its strength level.
This process is often labeled “calibration,” although there has also been debate about whether that is the proper term. Perhaps a better term to describe it would be simply “rating the stock.”
Regardless of what you call this process, it has proven to be a fairly reliable method for a solid comparison tool, as well as something to base your progressions and purchases upon.
In the video below, Mike Krahling demonstrates the process of rating the strength of a steel bar.
Now, what you see here is just one bar being rated, but over the years, many bars have been rated and also logged for comparison at the AZ Grip website. You can see the strength comparison chart here: Steel Bending Progressions.
Now, there are limits to this process, and that needs to be understood from the beginning.
For instance, steel varies and it can vary quite a bit. Just because you bought a Red Nail back in 2004 does not mean that a Red Nail that you buy right now will rate out at the exact same number. New stock might have been selected to be used at some point. (Of course, the Red Nail is still a Beast to bend, so no disrespect to IronMind.)
Variance of Steel Strength
As I point out in this post, Strength Variations of Steel, it is possible to see strength variance within the same piece of steel. Remember that steel is created in long lengths and then cut down in order to bend in shorter lengths. There can be quite a bit of variation within one of those virgin bars pulled out at the factory. So in that regard, you have to understand that just because you buy a 7-inch by 5/16-inch length of Cold Rolled Steel, it does not guarantee that you are ready to certify on the Red Nail, even though the Red Nail, too, is 7 X 5/16 CRS.
Variance in Steel Strength & Differences by Length
Also, you have to remember that you must take the readings of bars of different lengths very carefully. For instance, if you look at that chart, it lists the Red Nail, 7 X 5/16 in length and diameter, at 420-lbs in order to bend. Also, that chart lists a Linear “S” Grade 5 Bolt 6 X 1/4 in length and diameter at 425. An assumption that has often been made is that if one can bend that Linear “S” Grade 5 Bolt, then they surely must be able to bend the Red Nail, which is rated at 5-lbs lighter.
Unfortunately, this assumption is completely wrong, because the Grade 5 bolt is only 6 inches long, meaning there is less leverage available to produce a bend using the testing device. In reality, if the Grade 5 in question were 7-inches long, it would feel like bending a coat-hanger.
Comparing Different Bars
So, as you utilize the chart, make sure that you remember that comparisons should be made between different pieces of stock of the same length only. Also remember that the way the calibrating set-up bends the bar is not completely the same as the way the bar bends when you bend it, so just because a piece of stock rates higher than another piece of stock using the device, does not necessarily mean it will feel harder to bend when you try it.
Even with this handful of limitations, the “Steel Progression Chart” is a very good resource for you in your bending training. It has been an extremely helpful tool for both new benders looking for ways to progress in their bending, as well as seasoned veterans who are looking for stepping stones to their ultimate bending goal.
In fact, I reference this chart quite often with my coaching clients who are looking for progressions in their steel bending programs. And now, it is a tool you can place in your toolbox to reference whenever you need it.
All the best in your bending,
The Braced Bending DVD is now available world-wide: Destroy Everything in Your Path.
I have had lots of questions from people wanting to know exactly what braced bending is and what is covered in the Braced Bending DVD, so I wanted to answer some of those questions right now.
Here is some information about the practice of Braced Bending and our DVD.
Braced Bending Information
There is a lot that is involved in Braced Bending. Below is a list of common questions about Braced Bending. The list of questions and answers about Braced Bending below is really just scratching the surface. Our DVD goes into much more detail than this and covers much more information as it gets into the instructional portions and technique demonstration within the DVD.
What is Braced Bending
Braced Bending is the act of bending steel, tools, or other odd objects through the use of your hands and the rest of your body, except your feet (the feet are used for what is called Scrolling).
In this DVD, we show you the basics of Braced Bending, as well as many specific Braced Bending techniques. This DVD is packed with instruction, running nearly 2 hours of solid information, and no fluff or filler.
What Feats are Included in Braced Bending?
Braced Bending includes but is not limited to bending all of the following types of objects:
- Short Bars: These are steel bars that usually 14-inches or shorter.
- Mid-length Bars: These are steel bars that are usually 14 to 30-inches in length.
- Long Bars: These are bars that are 30-inches or longer.
- Wrenches: There are a LOT of different kinds of wrenches available to bend, combination wrenches, tappet wrenches, and adjustable wrenches, just to name a few.
- Hammers: Framing hammers are the most commonly bent style of hammer, and many types are bendable.
- Spikes: There are many types of spikes out on the market, especially if you include bolts into this category, along with nails. Their difficulty can vary quite a bit depending on the manufacturer and other variables.
What are the Basics of Braced Bending?
- Wraps: The ends of the bars, tools, and other objects that are bent can often be very rough and possible cut you, so they are often wrapped as a means of protecting the skin. These are generally made out of suede, cordura, or towels.
- Gloves: For some feats, such as Hammer bending, it can be almost impossible to wrap the object with wraps. In these cases it is more common to wear gloves in order to protect the hands.
- Pads: Since these feats require you to press the object against a part of your body, padding is often used. Beginners will often use additional padding until the areas of the body toughen up.
- Materials to Bend: As you can see there are many things you can bend, once you know how. Being able to bend a variety of objects of varying lengths and thicknesses will make you a more well-rounded bending machine.
- Knowledge / Technique: Obviously brute strength will only get you so far. Knowing the proper techniques for Braced Bending makes an incredible difference in your bending success. That is especially where our Braced Bending DVD comes in.
On top of covering all of the above information in complete detail, Mike and I also take you through the proper Warm-up Techniques, Strength Training Movements, and other measures you can take to be a great bender, while remaining injury free.
Mike and I also have a little something special planned for those who pick up the DVD before January 26th, so make sure to check this out right now: How to Do Braced Bending.
Make sure your order your copy of Braced Bending today in order to take advantage of the special bonus offer and start your bending journey on the right foot!
All the best in your training,
Tags: bending, frying pan, hammer, spikes, steel bar, wrench
Posted in bending, feats, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, grip strength, hand strength, horseshoe bending, how to bend, old strongman feats of strength, steel bending, strongman feats | No Comments »
When I was a kid, maybe 8 years old, I was caught in a tornado.
It was one of the scariest moments of my life and to this day I still have nightmares about it.
You see, my family and I were fishing in a pond in our small boat. It was something we did quite routinely in the summer-time.
I remember the fish were biting, the sun was out, and it was an awesome day.
But then, all of a sudden, it was like the fish just shut down. The sun moved behind the clouds, and the breeze quit blowing.
It was really quiet, a strange and eery quiet – more like an absence of sound, where your ears start pumping as if they are desperately searching for something to hear…
Then, CRACK! There was an immense thunder-clap followed by a crack of thunder and instantly the rain started coming down.
My dad rushed us back to shore and we sprinted to our truck where we waited the storm out. I still remember the tornado shaking the truck.
Even as scary as the storm was, the thing that I remember most is that strange calmness that came about – the Calm Before the Storm, so they call it.
Well, right now is the Calm Before the Storm, because very soon the Tornado of craziness that is the Braced Bending DVD will come out.
I’ve worked very hard on this DVD to make it a winner for you.
I’ve edited and re-edited the video. I’ve added voice-overs, and put in slow-motion replays so that you can get the absolute best look at these amazing feats being done, so that you too can perform them.
Yes, this is the Calm Before the Storm, and just as that Tornado tore through the countryside shaking cars, ripping down branches, and knocking over old barns leaving a path of destruction behind it, when you get this DVD, you will be able to cut your own swath of damage as well.
After all, this DVD is called Braced Bending: How to Destroy EVERYTHING in Your Path.
As I put the final touches on everything that needs to be done, it is the Calm Before the Storm.
And the Tornado is this DVD.
More to come later. Keep your eyes open for more storm warnings from me, because this a storm you HAVE to see.
P.S. No DVD anywhere will show you the detail that Mike and I do. There is nothing that compares to it. Believe me – I’ve seen them all.
Tags: bending, how to bend steel, how to bend wrenches, how to roll frying pans, steel bending
Posted in bending, feats, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, old strongman feats of strength, steel bending, strongman feats | No Comments »
When it comes to Feats of Strength, people know where to go in order to get the proper technical instruction they need.
They come to me.
They know I most likely either have an ebook or DVD showing them the exact techniques for the feat of strength they want to accomplish, OR I have explained it at The Grip Authority.
Common Questions about Performing Feats of Strength
One of the topics you been asking about lately is “how do I get started with feats of strength?”
You want to know what wraps to get for bending. This is very important because there are many options out there and some are better than others.
You want to know what kind of protection to use on their body, especially when doing things like braced bending or horseshoe bending which requires you to press the object against your body.
You want to know what kind of steel to buy. This one REALLY varies, depending on what kind of feats you want to do – Braced? Unbraced? Log bars? Mid bars? Short bars? When you get into shapes, then it just gets even more confusing.
How to Get Started – The Essential Basics
To continue with this tradition of being the go-to guy for learning feats of strength, I asked my good friend, Mike Rinderle, to put together something that will cover EXACTLY these principal topics:
- What Kind of Wraps to Buy
- Where to Go to Buy Your Wraps
- What Steel to Buy for Bending
- What Kind of Steel to Avoid for Bending (Safety-Wise)
- What Kind of Odd Objects the Pro’s Bend
If you are into Feats of Strength and you want to learn the basics from one of the best all around benders in the world, then you need to check out the video that Rindo put together.
Why This Video is Awesome
The best thing about this video is that it is no fluff. I do a quick Intro, Mike covers everything in about 8 PowerPoint slides, and then I close it to give you an important message, and that’s it.
Once it is queued up, it will take you like 5 minutes to watch it and take notes, then it is just up to you to get the stuff.
Plus it costs you nothing – $0.
All the best in your Feat of Strength training,
Tags: feats of strength, oldtime strongman feats, strongman feats
Posted in feats, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, horseshoe bending, old strongman feats of strength, strongman feats | No Comments »
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- 1. If he so desired, Ty could also add in a second day of bending that is lighter on either one of his Sledge days (Friday) or on his second Kettlebell days (Saturday).