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The Gut Wrench Hold – This Week’s Grip Strength Challenge

Alexander Karelin – Gut Wrench Suplex

The winner in last week’s Grip Strength Challenge, in the Kettlebell Bottom’s Up Press was Andy Thomas! Fantastic job Andy! Thanks for your awesome submissions, each and every week, brother!

For this week, the challenge is the Gut Wrench Lift & Hold for Time.

The Gut Wrench involves elevating one end of a barbell and loading plates on the other end. The hands are wrapped around the plates and the plates are lifted off the ground.

I am calling this the Gut Wrench because it resembles the Grip used in the Gut Wrench Suplex in Wrestling. However, this exercise is also great because it mimics the Grip used in Strongman competitions, especially the Atlas Stones and the Fingal Fingers.

In the Gut Wrench Lift, the hands wrap around the plates and beneath them, but do not reach all the way.

As you can see, the grip on the Gut Wrench Lift is very similar to the grip applied to an atlas stone.

This picture doesn’t show it as well, but the grip on the Fingal Finger Apparatus is also very similar, especially at the start of the movement.

What the Gut Wrench Works

This week’s challenge will be to load up 180-lbs, grip it in the center, lift it off the ground, and hold for time.

This lift will test almost the entirety of the Grip musculature – the elbow flexors and stabilizers, the forearms, the wrist flexors and extensors, the fingers…

And most interestingly, this movement works the thumb statically in abduction. The movements that work the thumb in abduction are limited, and you will feel it right away, as the outside of each thumb will drive into the plates.

Even if you do not take part in the Grip Strength Challenge this week, I strongly suggest you give this lift, or a variation of it, a try. For instance, you can grip the plates in the same manner and perform rows. This lift feels almost identical to how it feels when you lift an atlas stone.

Above, I am rowing the plates from an arms-extended position to my belly, just as in the atlas stone lift. It is crazy how hard this lift hits the biceps.

The Gut Wrench in Action

Rules of the Challenge

1. You must clearly show the number of plates being used in the video. Using 45’s is suggested, but not necessary. You do not have to show the face of each plate, only one plate that will establish what it is, and then the number of similar plates being used.

2. The plates must be lifted from the ground with only the lower arm, hands, fingers and thumbs in contact with the plates. The plates or bar may not come in contact with any parts of the legs or belly.

3. This is a timed hold. I will start the stop watch once the plates leave the floor and stop it once they touch the floor again. Multiple attempts are allowed. The best effort will count. The person who holds the Gut Wrench longest, will win!

4. The Title, Description, and Tags must meet the guidelines as shown below.

Below are the rules and the process for submitting a video for the Weekly Diesel Grip Challenge:

1. Shoot a video of yourself by this FRIDAY performing the challenge.

2. The Information for your YouTube Video Must Be:
       Title: “ Grip Strength Challenge – Gut Wrench Lift and Hold”
       Description: Gut Wrench Lift and Hold
       Tags: Grip Strength, Grip Training, Hand Strength, Hand Strength Training, Strong Wrists

3. Email me at jedd dot diesel at gmail dot com with the link to the video. I must receive the email with the video link no later than 8PM EST on Friday.

4. I will post all of the videos that qualify here on the Diesel site. My goal will be to post all of the videos I receive by Saturday at 8PM, EST.

5. If a vote is required for the Grip Strength Challenge, viewers at the Diesel site will leave comments, deciding who has the best video and who should win a prize. Voting will continue until Sunday at 8PM, EST.

8. Whoever is voted “Best Video” for the Weekly Grip Strength Challenge, will receive a special Diesel Tee Shirt.

9. Videos can not contain anything that may be offensive to Diesel readers. Getting pumped up is fine, but you WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED if you use racial, ethnic, sexual slurs and things like this. We do reserve the right to disallow a video if we deem it inappropriate.

Good luck this week and enjoy all the Gut Wrench Lift and Hold has to offer!

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10 Responses to “The Gut Wrench Hold – This Week’s Grip Strength Challenge”

  1. Mike Rojas Says:

    Hell Yeah!
    Kevin Nee, Alexander Karelin and Big Bad Jedd…this challenge is a Must Do!

  2. Jedd Johnson Says:

    Awesome Mike!!

  3. Andy Thomas Says:

    Good luck to all!! I tried this lift and I am not strong enough to perform it safely. Looking forward to viewing the videos though!

  4. Richard Manchur Says:

    I followed Mike’s must do recommendation and gave it a try. I missed the Friday video posting deadline (I thought it was Saturday, like the KB BUP challenge), but I am not too worried as my 12 seconds wouldn’t have been very competitive. I am looking forward to seeing the winning time!

  5. Jedd Johnson Says:


    You should have submitted. I got ZERO submissions.


  6. Mike Rojas Says:

    You got one submission, it was just a day and a half late…

  7. Christopher Tellefsdal Says:

    I noticed this challenge a little too late to post a vid, but what do you think is a good time on this lift?

  8. Richard Manchur Says:

    That sucks! Zero submissions would have given me great odds at winning! The worst part is that I shot the video last Thursday with plenty of time to submit. I just figured after seeing the strength/size of previous winners, my 12 seconds wouldn’t have held up. I guess I should have looked at it like a rodeo…those guys only have to hold on for 8 seconds!

    It looks like there will be plenty of well rested competitors for this weeks challenge.

  9. Ben Edwards Says:

    Dang it Jedd! I had intended on doing this challenge but I tweaked my back again (slightly) on Friday when I was warming up for my official video. Held it a decent amount of time on the warmup though so I was disappointed that I didn’t at least film that for the challenge.

  10. Jedd Johnson Says:

    Sorry that happened bro. Hope you’re feeling better now… I’ve got a good one for you this week!

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