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Big Stuff You Might Have Missed

June 30th, 2014

Making 2014 MY YEAR

jedd 80 curl

If you are not yet subscribed to my YouTube Channel, click that link in order to do so.

I hope you have been having a great year. I set out to make this year MINE from the get go, and I am loving it.

One of my initiatives going forward to make more posts here at the site to share more of what is going down in my training, but being a subscriber to my channel is the absolute best way to make sure you are not missing anything.

Here are some cool things I am pretty proud of that have taken place this year, but I haven’t had the chance to post here.

Inch Dumbbell Plus 10lbs

The Inch Dumbbell weighs 172-lbs and has a handle that is 2 & 3/8″ in diameter. There are many ways to add weight to an Inch Dumbbell, but perhaps the strictest way to do so is to actually set the plates on top of the globes. Any rotation of the dumbbell whatsoever and the plates will fall right off, so this method shows you have excellent control of the implement.

Earlier this year, I was able to hit a lift on Inch + 10lbs.

Robo Blob Lifts

Last last year, I partnered with a local steel company to get Fatman Blob Replicas made. Our replicas, currently called Robo Blobs, are machined directly from steel billets and carved to the perfect flawless shape of a Fatman Blob.

For the longest time, I could get NO AIR underneath my Robo Blob, until finally after several months I was able to break it free from gravity’s hold. One small break was all I needed.

Order your own Diesel Robo Blob Here

Shortly after, I was able to lift the Robo Blob with about 2.5pounds added, as well.

Monster Dumbbell Curls

Over the last couple of years, I have expanded my obsession from not just developing a strength in the lower arms in the form of tremendous grip strength, but big and strong arms OVERALL. This year I have decided to set myself a goal of 20″ arms COLD, meaning not with a pump, but just walking around, regular sized.

I have been told that this is an IMPOSSIBLE goal by some, at least impossible to do it without chemical assistance, but I am determined to do so with the use of a mix of training methods, including heavy training, high volume, and other extreme tactics.

So far, the strength improvements are coming along nicely, as this year I was able to set some new PR’s in the Dumbbell Curl. Below is a set of 80-lb Curls.

A few months later, I was also able to curl 85′s.

One objective I set out for is to keep the Dumbbell Curls strict. Often, when people post Dumbbell Curl videos, there is a substantial amount of throwing going on, and I try to avoid that as much as possible.

There’s still a lot to catch up on. Like I said before, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel, and be sure to sign up for my email newsletter as well.

All the best in your training.

Jedd

Want to Order a Robo Blob? Go here => Diesel Robo Blob

Want to Build Big Arms? Answer the Call to Arms today.

2014 North American Grip Sport Championship

June 18th, 2014

Who Would Win the 2014 NAGS Championship?

jedd johnson andrew durniat

Who Would Win the 2014 NAGS Championship?

On June 14th, 2014, I competed in the North American Grip Sport Championship at Durniat Strength Gym in Wooster, Ohio.

This is the 3rd year in a row it was held at Andrew Durniat’s gym. He has also been the reigning North American Champion every year since 2011. Andrew runs a nice demanding competition every single year, featuring a mix of the classic events (Grippers, Two Hands Pinch, and Axle Deadlift) plus other new challenge events as well (this year the Pinch Block Curl and the Sledgehammer Choke).

Recognition is in Order

Before I get too far, I absolutely must give credit where it is due. This year I am in the best shape of my grip career and I owe all the thanks to a handful of people.

First and foremost is my dietary coach, Joe Carabase. Without him, my diet would be a mess and I would most likely still be fat, in poor condition, and hurting all the time.

Next is Luke Raymond and Dan Ely – I began training with Luke in the Fall of last year and Dan Ely came on in the Winter of this year. Having these two guys around so we can all push one another has been HUGE for my training. I can only hope that they have gotten as much out of training with me as I have from training with them.

The Competitors

The list of competitors was quite a bit different this year from last. It seems like about half the group is truly a core group and shows up to throw down year in and year out, while the other half is more dynamic and changes from year to year. Either way, this year saw many hardcore veterans and first-time competitors who will be forces to reckon with for years to come.

Competitor & Bodyweight in Lbs

Brent Barbe (Pennsylvania) 204.5
Charles Chartan (Quebec, Canada) 144.6
Andrew Durniat (Ohio) 227.5
Brandon Gerber (Ohio) 211.2
Michael Hann (Texas) 162.7
Jermey Hartman (Ohio) 226.85
Jedd Johnson (Pennsylvania) 228.4
David Labbe (Virginia) 275
Malcolm Majesky (Ohio) 247.8
Eric Milfeld (Texas) 182.75
Robert Miller (North Carolina) 265
Lucas Raymond (Pennsylvania) 204.6
Nic Rosendaul (Ohio) 244.25
Eric Roussin (Ontario, Canada) 204.25
Tom Scibelli (Maryland) 220
Darrin Shallman (Michigan) 156.1
Yori Skutt (Texas) 129.75
Bob Sundin (North Carolina) 180
Jonathon Vance (Ohio) 196.65
John Wojciechowski (New Jersey) 273.15

First Event – Grippers

Grippers have been an event that have been known to give me trouble, as my crush generally lags behind my other events, especially in comparison to other top grip athletes. This year, my goal was to make up some ground. I began training grippers every 4 to 5 days, and many times more than once a week, and it paid off, as I was able to close a 175-rated gripper Right-handed. I also got a 155 shut lefty.

The grippers used were a set that was purchased from Cannon Power Works by a few members of the North American Grip Sport committee. They were all rated by Cannon, meaning the same device and practices were followed, making it the most valuable gripper set in the world, ranging from 80-lbs up to over 200, in 5-lb increments. I can only imagine the hundreds of grippers that would need to be rated in order to obtain these 30 or so grippers.

By the end of the first event, I found myself behind Andrew Durniat and David Labbe, both competitors in this year’s Mighty Mitts competition at the Arnold Classic, but the gap was not so far that it would be insurmountable.

Here are the videos of Luke Raymond’s and my attempts on Grippers.

NAGS Championship Right Hand Grippers

NAGS Championship Left Hand Grippers

Event Two – Two Hands Pinch

As much as I would love to hold the World Record in this lift again, this year it was just not in the cards. I tore the hell out of my right thumb and I had to modify my training through all of April, May and June. I was super stressed about it, because I had actually set some pretty lofty goals made some hard plans, but they went awry, so I had to do the best I could.

Since the implements used for NAGS were virgin plates – they had never been lifted on ever before that day – numbers were down across the board. I sealed the victory in the event on my first attempt with a lift of 224, which was enough to top Andrew’s 219 and 209 put up by David Labbe and Eric Milfeld. On my second attempt, I lifted 239.69, a lift of 105% of bodyweight.

Two Hands Pinch – NAGS Championship – Jedd Johnson

Two Hands Pinch – NAGS Championship – Luke Raymond

Event Three – IronMind Axle Deadlift

The third event was another one that is a classic thorn in my side. But, since my Two Hands Pinch training had to take a back seat leading up to NAGSC, it made room for more Axle work. In training, I actually worked up over 400-lbs for the first time since 2012, and I think if I would have switched to Sumo Technique a little sooner, I think I could have pushed my training numbers even higher, and perhaps even attained a lift over the 400-lb mark in competition at NAGSC.

As you will see, on my last attempt, I went for 402-lbs, and got it well over the knees, but couldn’t quite hold on until lockout.

IronMind Axle Deadlift – Jedd Johnson – NAGS Championship 2014

IronMind Axle Deadlift – Jedd Johnson – NAGS Championship 2014

Fourth Event – Pinch Block Curl

The Pinch Block Curl was a new event this year. The design of the implement is to replicate the act of performing a Plate Curl, without having to attach weight to the end of an actual plate. This tests the strength of the entire lower arm and hand at the same time.

Many of the competitors are experienced at training the Plate Curl, so no one really knew what to expect going into the event. I know I had no idea where my lifts would fall against the other competitors, so I made my training as hard as possible, loading my implement with as much of a leverage disadvantage as possible. Apparently, my preparation paid off, as I was able to finish with 44.66lbs with each hand, good enough for second place right behind David Labbe.

NAGS Pinch Block Curl – Right Hand

NAGS Pinch Block Curl – Right Hand

Final Event – Sledgehammer Choke

Still a fairly new event, the Sledgehammer Choke has only really been contested since about April of 2013. However, I think I have been at 4 of the 6 competitions where it has been held, so this has been a big advantage for me. The biggest advantage was seeing the way other people do the Choke at Gripmas 2013. Instead of trying to radially deviate the wrist, some were allowing the wrist to kick into ulnar deviation and then lock it there, allowing for a bigger tilt and bigger lifts.

Luke really took to this technique in training, working up to over 22 inches almost immediately, once we started training it heavily in May. This variation is MUCH more intense on the wrist though, and he found he could not recover from training it very quickly, so he actually stopped training it about half way through May. I was not getting the lingering soreness that he was, so I continued to work on it, with the main objective of catching up to him as much as I could.

Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t narrow the gap quickly enough, because Luke hit 23 inches righty and 27 inches lefty, to my 22 inches each hand. Despite the fact that 22 inches on a 14-lb hammer (308 inch pounds) actually beat the previous work record on the 12-lb hammer of 25 inches (300 inch pounds), it wasn’t nearly enough to catch up to Luke’s 322 righty and 378 lefty inch pounds. CRAZY!!!

Sledge Choke Right Hand

Sledge Choke Left Hand

I knew going into the last event that I was slightly ahead of Dave Labbe, by just tenths of a point. So I knew that the entire contest was mine to win or lose. But I really had no idea what Dave was capable of on the event – I wasn’t even sure if he had trained the event before, so I went for broke and tried an all-out PR on my second attempts, both right- and left-handed. Both of those lifts proved to be enough to beat out Dave, so I knew he had him beat.

johnson plaque
2014 NAGS Champion

To hear my name called at the end as the Absolute Champion, winning the Overall, was amazing. Once I knew, I gave my parents a call to let them know, since they have been behind me every step of the way.

What was even more awesome about that is they were babysitting my daughter and I even got to tell her about the win and hear the excitement she had in her voice.

Naturally, there are dozens of people I can thank, but the biggest credit has to go to Luke and Dan. I can’t describe the impact it has had for me having them here in the gym.

I hope you have enjoyed the write-up, and I hope it inspires you to try your hand at Grip Sport sometime soon.

From what I hear, Dave Labbe is HOOKED.

All the best in your training,

Jedd

Increase Your Two Hands Pinch – Get My Instructional DVD Today

Mace Swinging Benefits and Purposes

June 2nd, 2014

Today’s question comes from Norm, and it is about Mace Swinging.

    “Hi Jedd
    I picked up your Home Made Strength Online DVD. I’m very happy with the product. My only question is whether the exercise where you swing the mace around your head should be used as a warmup, main strength move, or finisher? -Norm-”

Thanks for the note, Norm. Mace Swinging is a lot of fun, plus is is very versatile, so I put together a quick article for you.

In addition, I just talked with Ryan Pitts, and he just set up a special discount code just for my subscribers.

From Ryan Pitts at Stronger Grip Enterprises:

    “I have been making the handles on some of the maces loadable at request of customer. I will give this upgrade to anyone who uses your diesel5 code. They get 5% off and a bonus $25 value of loadable handle, giving the mace an extra 10-16 lb capacity depending on what kind of media and length of mace they order. -Ryan Pitts-”

To get your own Mace with the custom adjustable-weight handle, use this link:

Special Diesel Crew Link for Custom Handle Maces

Be sure to use the code => diesel5 <= when you check out to get 5% off and get a cool adjustable handle.

The Benefits of Mace Swinging

Maces: Multi-Purpose Tools, Perfect for Warm-up, Strength Work, or Finishers

Is the Mace best used as a Warm-up device, a Strength Movement, or as a Finisher?

The Mace can actually be used for all three of these purposes. Allow me to detail each one…

Mace Training as a Warm-up

When done with a light weight, Mace Training can be a great warm-up for the upper body.

The shoulders, biceps, triceps, and the lower arms get used under light loads very fluidly with Mace Swinging, and this promotes blood flow to the area, lubricating the joints, making them feel good, especially after a long day where you are stuck in a chair or something like that.

In addition, the over the shoulder and behind the head movements of Mace Swinging open up the thoracic region of the torso, which can help you lift heavier later on in the workout.

Maces as a Strength Movement

You can also test your strength and coordination with heavy mace swinging.

I had a giant mace / club made several years ago that I call the Demolition Club.

Here’s a post on the Demolition Club.

It’s literally a giant artillery shell with a handle and it weighs 89lbs. The handle is super thick and there is no ball at the end of the handle, you not only must get your core, torso, and shoulders ready to go in order to swing this thing, but you grip must be ON too.

So, you can load a mace up heavy, especially shot-loadable ones like Ryan Pitts makes here, and keep the repetitions lower for a very challenging strength movement.

Maces as a Finisher

I, generally, use my mace training as a “finisher” of sorts the majority of the time.

During periods where I have no contests to train for, or if I am looking to burn some extra calories, I use Mace Swinging as “Upper Body Cardio,” at the end of the workout, doing a handful of sets for maximum repetitions.

Generally, I will wear some kind of gloves with these, in order to prevent blisters. Plus, my hands have to work a bit harder, so I get a good Grip Strength Challenge out of it.

I even like to do some “Sprint-Style” Mace Swinging, where I try to rip off 20 repetitions as fast as possible for 4 to 6 sets.

So, really, depending on what you want to go for, Mace Swinging can be a great multi-purpose form of training.

I like the shot-loadable Mace that I have, and you can also buy plate loadable ones too.

Good luck with your Mace Training, Norm.

Jedd

P.S. Don’t have a Mace? I gotcha covered:

You can buy a sweet shot-loadable mace here.<= Use code Diesel5 to get 5% off

Build Bigger, Stronger Arms and Wrists: Scale Weight Curls

May 20th, 2014

Build Big Arms and Strong Wrists


Superstar Billy Graham

One of my overall goals is to build my arms up to 20″ cold (no pump).

The way I see it, if you are going to get big, you might as well build strength to go along with it.

And if you are going to be strong, then by all means get as big as you can.

With these things in mind, I give you Scale Weight Curls.

A Scale Weight is a block-shaped weight that is used in industrial settings where scales are used.

These weights are calibrated to specific measurements and have handles so that they can be placed on the scale quickly and easily in order to test that a scale is reading accurately.

scale-weights

How to Perform Scale Weight Curls

Scale Weight Curls can be done like any other curl. They can be done free-standing or braced, and can be done in alternating style or both at the same time.

For me, performing them standing has gotten too easy, so I have been doing them in more of a Preacher Curl style, off my Glute Ham Machine. This allows me to keep the movement more concentrated (although cheating is not completely eliminated).

Also, what I look for is to try to keep my wrist in a neutral position throughout the full range of motion. This strengthens the wrist a bit more.

I can usually get up to 3 extra reps per set if I let my wrist buckle, so once I feel that I am losing my neutral position and breaking into ulnar deviation, I generally just stop the set.

Here is a video showing some recent Scale Weight Curls.

Scale Weight Curls

Scale Weights are somewhat hard to come by, because they are a specialized tool, sort of like anvils, and they can be cheap, but I have been lucky enough to score a couple over the years.

Believe me, the collection of grip tools I have amassed has taken me literally years to develop, tons of time to research, and of course, big expenses in order to build.

If you can’t find Scale Weights, another alternative is to try and curl your Kettlebells. Since the kettlebell handle sits out away from the rest of the bell, they will actually be much tougher to curl, and the weights will drop, but you will still get the Leverage Curl effect.

Still, I like the Scale Weight Curl a little better than Kettlebell Curls, just because I can use a bit more weight to challenge the biceps more, while also challenging my wrists.

To take it even further, you can attempt to curl your Scale Weight or Kettlebll in a supinated position. When you do this, you will have to CRUSH DOWN on the handle BIG TIME, or else you won’t be very successful.

I hope you enjoy this variation of Curls.

For more sinister ideas on how to build crazy arm strength, check out Call to Arms.

call-to-arms-reduced

All the best in your training,

Jedd

Beginner Grip Training and Feats of Strength Interview

May 14th, 2014

I was recently interviewed by Josh Hewitt in the Straight to the Bar Gym Chats.

The topic was Grip Strength and Feats of Strength.

In the video, we also talk a bit about how I got involved in strength training and what led me to loving Grip Strength and Feats.

If you are looking for information on Feats of Strength, you have come to the right place.

My collection of Feat of Strength information is the best that is available anywhere. My products leave you with a complete understanding of how to do the feats, how to train for them, and how to progress with them.

While I have a lot of respect for many of the other authors and producers out there, my products are simply better.

Check out my products below:


Braced Bending
Get ready to turn your hands and wrists into weapons of mass destruction. This DVD will show you how to destroy EVERYTHING in your path. From frying pans, to steel bars, to horseshoes, and wrenches, Jedd and Mike team up once again to bring you everything you need to know on how to do odd object bending like a champion. It’s fun to destroy things around the house – start today.

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Nail Bending eBook
Steel Bending is often called the gateway drug of Feats of Strength. You literally get hooked on the feeling of steel bars, nails and bolts, giving way to your ever increasing wrist, hand and upper body strength. This ebook has produced over a dozen of official IronMind Red Nail Certified Athletes as well as countless other Red Nail Benders who are yet to be certified. With information on technique for all the major bending styles, a conditioning program, a HUGE strength training library and a progression of nail, bolts and steel bar, you will have everything you need in this ebook.

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Hammering Horseshoes
Learn how to what was never meant to be done – Horseshoe Bending – just like the strongmen of yesterday and the modern-day Strongman Performers as well. Learn to do the feat of strength that has stood the test of time from the Leaders in Grip Strength Feat Instruction, Jedd Johnson and Mike Rinderle. Discover horseshoe progressions, how to wrap shoes for protection and how to kink, sweep and crush them into heart shapes. Why would anyone NOT want to bend horseshoes?

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Nail Bending: How to Melt Steel with Your Bare Hands
The Nail Bending DVD show you complete technical demonstrations of the three major bending techniques as well as information on strength building, injury prevention, and MORE. Get your bars, get your wraps, get warmed up and hit the play button. Soon, you’ll be able to wrap up your first bar and bend it right along with me. Soon, you’ll know the secrets of getting a tight, secure wrap, how to generate maximal strength, how to accomplish all your goals in steel bending.

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Phone Book Mass Destruction
Phone Book Tearing, a classic feat of strength done by performing strongmen and grip enthusiasts for over 100 years, can be just as exhilarating as bending steel once you know how to do it right, or it can be frustrating as hell if you don’t. This ebook will set you straight.

How to Tear Phone Books Like a Strongman


Card Tearing eBook
Card Tearing could be the best feat of strength for beginning strongmen to try, because it gets your fingers, hands, wrist and elbows used to producing the kind of tension that comes with doing feats of strength. The ebook shows you how to progress up to tearing your first full deck of cards, as well as how to strengthen your hands and wrists specifically for the feat of card tearing without having to buy endless decks of cards.

How to Tear Cards


The Art of Scrolling Steel
In this DVD, Bud Jeffries and I team up to bring you the ultimate resource on scrolling steel bars into abstract art and purposefully shaped objects. You’ll learn long bar feats, mid-bar feats, and how to progress through the many different types of scrolls. We also packed this DVD set with incredible ways you can train with barbells and bands to get stronger at steel bending without always having to bend steel.

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CRUSH: Total Gripper Domination
This product explores every aspect of Gripper Training you need to know in order to improve your crushing grip strength and even certify in the major gripper certifications. Learn how to maximize every facet of your technique in order to smash your target grippers and eliminate any possible weaknesses in your crushing grip. Be amongst the best in the world once you watch this awesome video. Normally an on-line DVD, but you can also upgrade to the hard copy as well.

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Napalm Pinch: How to Dominate the Two Hands Pinch
The Two Hands Pinch is contested in nearly 75% of all competitions. How well you do in it can make or break your overall performance in the entire contest. This DVD shows you everything you need to know to take your Two Hands Pinch training to the next level. With information on Technique, Hand and Device Prep, Drills, and Contest Programming, you’ll learn the ins and outs of Two Hands Pinch training.

New Low Price – Napalm Pinch DVD


EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Buy the Nail Bending DVD, Braced Bending DVD, and the Hammering Horseshoes DVD and get either the Card Tearing eBook or Phone Book Mass Destruction FREE!

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All the best in your training,

Jedd