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International Pinch & Pull Grip Contest Videos

Good times were had over the weekend, at the International Pinch and Pull here in Wyalusing as well as something like 10 other locations around the world.

Here are the videos of the attempts.

Two Hands Pinch Lift

Attempts: Green = Good Lift; Red = Failed Lift

Axle Deadlift

Attempts: Green = Good Lift; Red = Failed Lift

Half Penny Lift

Attempts: Green = Good Lift; Red = Failed Lift

Instead of going over my lifts, I want to point out two important areas for any form of strength training, whether it be bench press and other powerlifting movements, or if it’s Grip Sport and Steel Bending.

These are two things that I’ve noticed at both of the competitions I have run this year. These are a couple of often over-looked factors that can have a huge effect on the numbers you put out. As you run down through them, think about whether or not you might be making these mistakes or missing these marks…

1. Managing Tension

Tension is necessary for optimized performance. If your body is too loose, there is no possible way you can produce the force that you need to lift properly, and that goes for any type of strength sport where heavy weights are used. There is a level of coordination between the various muscle groups and the joints of the body in order to create strength and express it.

In the contest, I saw several degrees of Tension management ability. For instance, Jim Storch, the man with the camouflage pants, was able to coordinate this tension much better than Brian, the youngest lifter in the competition. Jim is an experienced Olympic Weightlifting coach and competitor, as well as Powerlifting competitor, so he has been able to hone this ability. He is also able to better parlay this skill into the Grip Lifts that Brian. You can hear in the videos, I am cuing him to produce tension on several of his lifts, unless they got cut off when I edited everything. I think once he develops this skill to a further degree, he will see improvement in many of his lifts, not just Grip Sport Lifts.

I am not trying to pick on Brian. talked about these things with him while he was here, and with the way he walks around with that Razor Ramon bad-ass toothpick, I don’t think he will have a problem with me putting these out there.

2. Upper Back Strength / Torso Strength Balance

Upper Back Strength is very important as well. One of the things I talked about with Brian before he left, just as coaching points, was to bring up his upper back strength. One several of his lifts, you can tell that his upper back caves in at times, which hindered his ability to finish off some of his lifts.

This is something that I have to constantly be harping on toward myself. In any deadlift-type of movement, I almost always film myself to see if I am losing my tension in my upper back. Storchy is great at this. That is what I aspire for.

Up to this point I haven’t mentioned Parris Jannusek. I think Parris is going to kick a lot of ass in the coming years when it comes to Grip Sport. He has HUGE hands and is able to 180 his pinky and thumb very well. A 180 is when you open your hand as wide as you can, and then see how close you can come to drawing a straight line through your thumb and pinky. This is a huge asset to Gripping. But on top of all that, he is very strong. he told me he wanted to hit some squats and promptly threw on 225 for a set of 10. This was with no warm-up. he pretty much just walked in out of the car, hit 225, then loaded it up to 315. Once Parris refines his technique, brings up his ability to manage tension, and gets some more time on the implements, I think he is going to be a contender.

Most important of all is he recently quit smoking cold turkey. This is his most important feat of all those he has done, so I wanted to give him some recognition for that.

So, how’s your tension? Are you working to apply it and see how much is right for you? You don’t have to squeeze things until your knuckles pop and connective tissues fail, but tension is key, and when you learn to manage it, it will pay dividends.

Also, how is your upper back strength? Be honest with yourself, now. Are you doing too much pushing exercises and not enough pulls? Is your posture poor? If you answered yes to either of these, then a weak upper back might be holding your numbers back.

OK, that’s it for now. All the best for a killer week. Start it out strong, DIESELS!!


P.S. Been getting lots of questions about the Nail Bending eBook lately. This ebook covers Tension Management in great detail and will help you to understand Hydraulic Tension and apply it better, not only in steel bending but all your other lifts as well. Check it out below.

Nail Bending eBook

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