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Mighty Mitts Report

The Mighty Mitts grip competition, held this past weekend at the Arnold Sports Festival, was an outstanding experience for me. I thought I would put together a quick write-up here to let you all know how it went.

Before I get into the write-up though, I do most definitely want to send out my gratitude to Dr. Terry and Janice Todd, Richard and Bert Sorin and the rest of their colleagues, Dennis Rogers, Pat Povilaitis and anybody else involved in the organization of this endeavor for including me. This was a huge step for Grip and something I will never forget.


Here is the list of competitors in the Mighty Mitts competition:

Andrew Durniat: Grip and Kettlebell Practitioner
Mark Felix: Professional Strongman
Odd Haugen: Professional Strongman
Chad Woodall: Grip Specialist
Steve Gardener: Grip Specialist
Sergei _______: Not sure of his background
Tex Henderson: Powerlifter & Freak
Rich Williams: Powerlifter and Power Team Performer
Wade Gillingham: Grip Specialist
Jedd Johnson: Grip Specialist

Now, the labels I give each guy are not exhaustive. They are involved in many styles of training. I simply listed the types of training they are most widely known for.

The event took place over two days and we were paired up with the Strongman competition. We would start out the day with an event, the Strongmen would take over for two of theirs, and then finally we would finish things off.

On day one, the events were the Jowett Anvil Carry and the Sorin Monster Axle Deadlift.

Jowett Anvil Carry

We had to pick the 173-lb anvil up by its horn and carry it for distance. The horn was very smooth. I thought I had a pretty good grip on it, but I must have been mistaken because I took like two steps with the thing and it shot out of my hand like a greased goose turd. That stunk, because I expected way better of a performance.

Sorin Monster Axle Deadlift

Richard Sorin got a freakin’ huge monster axle deadlift apparatus designed that weighed 500-lbs and it had huge globes on it instead of weights. Having never fully deadlifted 400-lbs in the double overhand style on an axle, I was extremely happy with being able to pull the bar to just below knee height. Again, my best axle deadlift in competition (double overhand) is 396-lb, so pulling on 500-lb was crazy! Despite not being able to pull a 100-lb + PR, I did not finish last as I pulled it higher than another competitor.

On day two, the events were the Double Inch Replica Dumbbell Farmer’s Walk and the Mark Henry Challenge Dumbbell.

Double Inch Farmers Walk

For the DIFW, we had to pick up an Inch Dumbbell in each hand and carry them as far as possible. While I have lifted the inch dumbbell in each of my hands dozens of time in my life, I have never done it with one in each hand at the same time. However, I felt pretty damn good going into this event, despite having a weird finger injury on my right hand. Unfortunately, I could not get the dumbbells up to the lockout position in order to start walking them down the course, and had to settle for a zero in the event.

Mark Henry Challenge Dumbbell

Mark Henry, of WWE Wrestling fame, once had a huge dumbbell made in order to train for lifting, I believe, the Millennium Dumbbell. However, the dumbbell was made too big. Instead of 225-lbs on a 2 and 3/8 handle, it came out to 300-lbs. The dumbbell resides in a wooden box slightly larger than the dumbbell in all dimensions. The objective of the event was to pull the dumbbell out of the box and drop it to the floor without using the box to your advantage. This thing just spun and spun when I tried to pick it up, so again, no points for this event.

Regardless of my dismal performance, I was extremely excited to be part of the event. I trained extremely hard for Mighty Mitts but couldn’t catch up to the difficulty of the events in time.

I do have some video of the event, however, there is something wrong with my camera right now and I can’t get the pictures and clips off right now, but I promise I will get some stuff up on the site for everyone to see.

Thank You

I know a lot of people from the Diesel Universe came to wish me well because several of you came up and introduced yourselves and many others waved and cheered from the stands. I really appreciate the support you gave me. Hearing your cheers and chants up on the stage took a lot of the nerves away.

Big props to my man Steve Gardener, by the way. He experienced a very serious leg injury less than a week before the competition, but still toughed it out, flew across the ocean, and got up on the platform with us. That was big.

I also want to say thanks to my buds Brian Oberther and Joe Hashey for letting me blow off some steam on them about my frustrations with my performance.

And finally, a huge THANK YOU to Sean and Angela Dockery for inviting me to stay the entire weekend with them. You guys took me in and treated me like a member of the family. Much appreciated.

Back to Training tomorrow night. I did not hit it tonight because I had a basketball game. Tomorrow night it is back on to a complete Grip training approach as opposed to the thick bar emphasis of Mighty Mitts.

Keep up the good work in your training,


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4 Responses to “Mighty Mitts Report”

  1. Mike Rinderle Says:

    Great stuff buddy! Big props just for getting up there and competing with those monsters! Had pinch and crush been included, it might have been a different story alltogether. Congrats on giving it your all!

  2. Kevin C Says:

    Nice job Jedd, hope your camera works out but if not I have some photos I’ll be uploading to facebook soon. Haven’t had a chance to see how they came out as it’s been busy busy since coming back, but I’ll tag you when I upload em

  3. Jedd Says:

    Thanks Mike and Kevin. Yeah tag me up, Kevin. That’ll be great.

  4. ega278 Says:

    “What the hell is Purell?”

    -Jedd Johnson to the cheesy Mighty Mitts host.

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