Over the years I lost count how many times I neared the World Record in competition, only to miss it by a small margin.
In 2005, David Horne set the mark of 231 lbs. At the time, that number sounded incredible. I was able to lift 220 on it in competition after a bit of work, so I started to think about chasing the record. I was still nowhere near it, but I always thought about what it would be like to own the record.
In 2007, I was driven even further away from the record when Martin Arildsson, of Sweden, and Chad Woodall, of the US. set new records 243.
In 2008, Horne came back and set a new mark of 253 pounds.
All awhile the record was rising in the lift, I was driving and flying all over the country chasing it. I have been pursuing it for years, always coming up short.
In March of 2008, I had the record weight on the implement and lifted it all the way to the stick. Unfortunately the front collar was not put on securely and the weights slid off the front of the implement, ripping it out of my hands.
In December of 2008, I set a new United States Record of 246 pounds, but could only barely break the new record weight from the ground.
In January of 2009, the record taunted me again as I failed to pull it off the ground.
My thumb power waxed and waned during 2009 until September, when I hit a new US Record of 249 pounds and nearly set a new record of 255 at the US National Championship, but the implement slipped out of my hands about an inch from the stick.
After Nationals, I took a week off of training and planned my attack on the World Record. I sat down with my notepad and my pen and planned out the next dozen or so pinch workouts that I would have between the end of September and December 12, 2009.
December 12, 2009 would be the date of the Gripmas Carol - an annual contest put on by Chris Rice in Crooksville Ohio.
As I sat with my pad and pen, I resolved that I would work as hard as physically possible every 6 to 10 days, building my thumbs up to levels of strength I had never done before.
I also decided that in order to get stronger than I ever had been before in such a short time, I'd have to use tactics that I had never employed before.
In one of my first workouts on the Road to the Record, Smitty said to me,
"Man could you imagine if you taped all of your workouts from now until December. You could have a complete documentary if you actually break the record."
With that, I promptly looked him straight in the eye and told him,
"What do you mean IF I break the record?"
Over the course of the next two months, I commenced to go places with my training I never thought possible. I hit more reps, more sets, more auxiliary implements, and more advanced pinch training techniques than I have in my last 5 years of training for the Two Hands Pinch.
My dad, who had been by my side throughout all the years I played baseball, had come along for the ride to Ohio to see me break the record.
The Road to the Record had come to a dead end. Now it was up to me to put all the strength I had built into action and take the Record back home to the state of Pennsylvania.
It was time to leave it all on the platform.
Now, you can own the DVD that chronicles exactly how I captured the World Record in Two Hands Pinch.
All the workouts were taped. See the exact exercises I used and the Home Made Equipment I used in my training while on the Road to the Record.
The footage is complete with successes and misses, revealing some of the most complex Pinch training techniques ever shown.
Here's how to get your copy of the Road to the Record Documentary DVD.
1. Send Your Order in the Postal Mail. Fill out a check or money order for the introductory price of $27 + $5.95 shipping (within the United States) or $27 + $14.95 shipping (for international orders). You can send it to me at the following address:
I have competed in over a dozen Grip competitions. I have won many and
finished top 3 over 90% of the time. I have written two world renowned Grip Strength Feat instruction ebooks which are considered definitive resources on the subjects.
I am also a certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist or CSCS. I have been an
active member since 2001 and have spoken at many NSCA state clinics on athletic strength development.