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Posts Tagged ‘hand strength’

Build Grip Strength Faster – Double Blob Carries

Monday, April 14th, 2014

It’s hard to argue with the Grip Strength enhancing capabilities of Block Weight training.

Block Weights make you lift with an Open Hand, so your fingers and thumbs work much harder than when training on regular-shaped barbells and dumbbells, plus they make your wrists and forearms work harder as well.

Most people train Block Weights with just one hand at a time, but if they are so beneficial, why not train with one in each hand (if you have them).

Last week, I posted some video on Blob Block Weight Holds for Time, even showing a cool weight-added variation with chains – SICK!!!

Today, I’ve got a couple more videos showing you how you can take your Blob and Block Weight Training to the next level.

On Sale $10 Off Right Now

Double Blob Farmer’s Walk

If you have a nice lawn or a big gym to train in, try picking up your Block Weights and then carrying them as far as you can go, Farmer’s Walk Style!

It has been a very long time since I tried this out.

In March of 2008, I completed this run across the road from the Arnold Classic at Goodale Park.

Double Blob Farmer’s Walk – 2008

Double Blob Farmer’s Walk – 2014 – Part 1

After seeing Juha Harju having some fun with this test of strength recently, I decided that I had to give it a try as well. Below, I for my best distance in a very wet and hilly back yard.

Double Blob Farmer’s Walk – 2014 – Part 2

As good as 83 feet is in this lift, I knew I had more in me. So, a few days later, we carried the Blobs back outside, only this time it was to the front yard, where it was a bit drier and a little flatter. I was very happy with the results, making it over 100-feet 3 separate times.

The carry of 121-feet, as far as I know, is a new “World Record,” insomuch that it can be considered one, since it was done during training and outside of a contest format. Naturally, the tape is not flat either, making the distance somewhat subject, but sometime soon, maybe I will take the Blobs to a track or some other spot where it is flatter and we can get a more accurate measurement of the true distance.

Either way, the main thing is developing more strength. I have no doubt the training that I have been doing has been helping me develop more Grip Strength, specifically better Pinching Strength, which I will need on May 3rd at the Bragging Rights Grip Contest.

For more info on on the May 3rd Contest, go here => Bragging Rights Contest.

All the best in your training,


P.S. My ebook, Lift the Blob is still on sale for $10 off. I will change it back to the regular price tonight. For now, click the image below to grab it at a discount:

Arnold Classic Survival Guide

Friday, February 28th, 2014

This weekend is the Arnold Classic and counting this year, I will have gone 6 out of the last 7 years. I love the atmosphere and it always triggers a spike in my training.

There’s something for everybody at the Arnold Classic. Let me paint a picture for you.

The Arnold take place in a HUGE convention center covering I don’t know how many blocks in the city of Columbus Ohio. The event started out as mainly a bodybuilding deal, but it has expanded over the years to include Powerlifting, Olympic Lifting, and Strongman contests as well as Martial Arts, Fitness and other competitions.

This year, they are also including their first ever Grip Contest on the main stage, called Mighty Mitts. I was lucky enough to get an invite and I am honored. I have been training hard and am geared up to get on the stage.

Now, here’s the deal. If you’re not prepared for the Arnold Classic weekend, you won’t maximize your experience, so here’s a few points to consider to get the most out of the Classic.

Take Water

It is extremely dry in the event center. They do sell water there, but it is like $8 a bottle, so pack your own and bring it with you.

Take Snacks

There’s very few places to eat outside the event center in the hallways, and it’s kind of expensive. There’s tons of free samples of hundreds of different supplements like shakes and bars and powders, but you can only handle so much of that stuff and some of it tastes like a pencil eraser during the SAT’s. So pack some good stuff to take in with you.

Bring Your Camera

There are lots of photo opportunities at the Arnold. There are Bodybuilders, MMA Fighters, Pro Powerlifters and Strongmen, Pro Wrestlers and dozens of Fitness chicks. They will often let you get a picture with them for free, but sometimes they do charge. Either way you’ll have photos that will last you a lifetime.

Wear Comfortable Cargo Pants

Get yourself a pair of loose fitting cargo pants with lots of pockets. This way you can easily carry your water, snacks and camera among other things. Make sure they are loose fitting and not a set of butt huggers. There are plenty of feats of strength to try in the event center, and you don’t want the seam in your ass to tear while trying to do them.

Bring a Back Pack

You may get the opportunity to get some free shirts and other swag while you’re at the Arnold. You’ll turn around and see some fitness model throwing them all over. Fight for the free shirt and stuff it into your pack. Aside from free stuff, you may want to buy shirts and stuff at the seemingly thousands of tables that are there, and the last thing you want to do is carry that stuff around in your hands all day. Now, if your back pack has the Care Bears on it, leave it at home. Some booths will hand out free plastic bags if you need them.

Try the Grip Gauntlet

Each year I have gone, the GNC booth holds the GNC Grip Gauntlet featuring IronMind Grippers, IronMind Rolling Thunder, and the Blob. If you lift the Blob, 207 on the Rolling Thunder, and close the #3 Gripper, you get a real nice gift certificate – I think it’s like $50 or $100! What’s a Blob? Check out this article = = > What is the Blob?

Bring a Towel

A lot of greasy sons-of-guns get their hands on the Blob over the course of the weekend. I mean THOUSANDS of people try this thing. The Blob is hard enough with the ultra-slick stove paint they put on it. It will just be harder if it is covered in hand sweat, so bring your towel to wipe it and the Rolling Thunder off before you make your attempt. A trip through the Gauntlet is worth just the opportunity to meet and shake hands with the Gillingham brothers.

Bring Some Cash, but Take a Deep Breath

You will have opportunities to buy a lot of cool stuff at the Arnold, so bring some cash or a credit card, but take it easy. Don’t just buy on impulse, because you could end up going off the deep end. If you are going with a friend, tell them to monitor your spending. Know what you want to look for, but set your limits.

Bring Your Diesel Shirt

When you walk through the event center, if you see me make sure to give me a holler, and wear your Diesel shirt so I can spot you easier.

Check out Mighty Mitts

Mighty Mitts will be taking place between events at the Arnold Strongman Competition on Friday Afternoon and Saturday evening. I will be competing with 10 of the top dudes in the world. Many, I have competed against in standard Grip competitions. Others, I have met before, but never competed against, and still others I have never met and never competed against. Some of these guys have tremendous Grips on them and have done awesome things Grip-related in the past, just never competed in standard contests before. With this event being all thick bar, it is going to be something to behold!

Wear Comfortable Shoes

You spend a lot of time on your feet at the Arnold and there is almost nowhere to sit down except on the floor, so make sure your shoes are comfortable or else your feet will be screaming by the end of the weekend.

Steal a Seat

It is a cut-throat process getting a chair in front of the stage. You basically have to swoop down immediately once someone stands up. This may mean if you are traveling in a group that you might get split up. The seat is worth it to give your feet a break, so steal your buddy’s seat if you have to.

Cell Phone on Vibrate

If you get split up from your crew, it’s very hard to meet back up, and it is so loud that it is almost impossible to hear a cell phone ring, so set the thing on vibrate and put it in your hip pocket so you will feel it.

Wallet in Hip Pocket

Not sure what the crime rates are at the Arnold Classic, but there are pick-pockets everywhere. it is slightly harder for someone to pick your pocket if you stick your pocket in your front hip pocket than your back pocket or leg pocket. Don’t stick it in a zipper pocket in your book bag. They are too easy to unzip by someone else while you walk and you will never know it. It’s a shame this tip even has to appear here, but it is a sad truth. Awareness is preparedness.

Alright, my friends, it’s just about time for me to hit the road and be on my way to Columbus, Ohio. If you have any more tips for the better of the order, then please leave a comment in the comment box below!

Thanks a ton and have a great weekend, especially if you are at the Arnold.

And if you see me and I don’t see you, yell, shout, hit me with a rock, poke my eye or something to get my attention. It’ll be nice to meet everybody.

Read about last year’s Arnold Classic = = > Arnold 2009

Arnold Classic Weekend Special on the Card Tearing eBook = = > 33% off on Card Tearing eBook Just $19.97!.

Fat Gripz Experiment: How Much Do They Affect Your Lifts

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

This Spring I have begun adding a great deal more pulling movements into my training, especially types of Deadlifts.

In the past I would only perform Deadlifts or other pulls from the floor once a week in order to avoid a back injury, but these days I am trying to do more pulls from the floor, but from different heights.

Using the Farmer’s Walk handles has been great for this because there is not such a need to reach so far down to the ground in order to grip the weight and pull, as in a normal barbell deadlift.

In one recent video, I decided to see how much I could pull on the Farmer’s Handles.

Below is the video…

Max Effort Deadlift with Farmer’s Handles

I weighed the implements and they are 17-lbs. My max pull was with 310-lbs added per implement, so in total it was 327-lbs per hand.

After posting the video, my friend Nate Brous asked if I’d be willing to run a little experiment. How much would Fat Gripz affect the amount I’d be able to lift in a max effort pull?

I had never seen anything like that done, and I thought it was a pretty cool idea, so I decided to give it a try in my upcoming workouts. Here are the results…

Max Effort Farmer’s Handle Deadlift with Fat Gripz

In this workout, I pulled 257-lbs per hand with the basic, blue Fat Gripz handles. I was pretty surprised that I immediately lost 70-lbs on the deadlift, but given that Fat bar work is my absolute biggest struggle in Grip Training, it does make some sense.

Max Effort Farmer’s Handle Deadlift with Fat Gripz

In this session, we used the Fat Gripz Extreme Handles, and amazingly enough, my grip dropped nearly another 70-lbs! This time I got 197-lbs per hand.

How Do the Fat Gripz Models Compare in Size

Comparing the sizes of Fat Gripz Extreme (Orange, Left) and Fat Gripz Basic (Blue, Right)

Results of the Experiment

So, here is a rundown of the data:

Week 1 Regular Grips: 327 pounds per hand
Week 2 Fat Gripz: 257 pounds per hand (21.4% drop from Week 1)
Week 3 Fat Gripz Extreme: 197 pounds per hand (39.8% drop from Week 1, 23.3% drop from Week 2)

Naturally, I am not a Research Scientist, so there are some flaws to this “experiment.” First off, my Farmers Handles have duct tape over the gripping surface, because they are too heavily knurled for my liking. Over time, the duct tape has cracked and rolled and the adhesive residue has crept somewhat to the outside layer. So, they could have actually helped me on the Week 1 pulls, I suppose. It also could have hindered me though, because the tape is rolled up and seems to turn when in your grip.

Next, the training that took place on days prior to the days I shot these videos was not controlled. In other words, I may have not trained the day before shooting on some of the days so my hands would have been fresh, or I might have hit a killer grip workout the day before and my grip may have been a bit worn out.

Either way, despite these subtle inconsistencies, I think this experiment is still fairly accurate to show you what you can expect as far as reductions in pull numbers for lifts such as this.

It’s also important to note that in no way am I warning you NOT to buy Fat Gripz. I am not saying, “Oh No – don’t use Fat Gripz Handles because your numbers will go down.” Not at all.

Actually, this experiment just shows you that the two Fat Gripz handle will do their job – they will make your hands work harder and strengthen your grip.

Remember, Fat Gripz falls under the category of Open Hand Training because most people can not get a locking grip between their thumb and fingers. Open Hand Training is the BEST way to train your grip for increasing your general hand strength. In other words, if your hands are just plain weak, training with Fat Gripz can help you.

I plan to continue cycling through these three lift Farmer’s Deadlift variations in the coming months. It has been great getting more pulling in. My body responds well to pulls from the floor as far as muscle building and strength are concerned. So, you will see this topic revisited again in the coming months.

For now, get your Fat Gripz Handles here.

Any questions, leave a comment below.

All the best in your training.


Want to Build Your Own Grip Equipment?
Check out Home Made Strength Grip Edition

Block Weight Training – Taking It to the Next Level

Monday, March 25th, 2013
Straps? He was probably shrugging 950lbs

This site is about getting you STRONGER.

Being STRONGER will lead you to becoming more powerful, faster, help you become more resistant to injuries, and help you recover more quickly if an injury does take place.

We’ve established many times over that when your hands are stronger, all your lifts will go up. Bigger curls because you’ll be gripping the barbell harder. Bigger Bench Press because you will be able to control the barbell better. Bigger Squats because you will be more confident under the barbell.

For all these reasons and more, you must begin training your grip if you are not already.

If you have begun training your grip – AWESOME.

However, if you are not doing the right stuff, your gains will be limited.

If all you are doing is Gripper work, it’s time to step it up.

If you are hitting your grip from multiple angles, working many different facets or disciplines over the course of each week, then you are one step ahead of everyone else.

If you want to take another step ahead of everyone else, then I have a few movements for you to try with Block Weights.

Block Weight Training for Grip Strength

There should be no confusion as to how much I love Block Weight Training for developing Grip Strength. Ever since I read about it in John Brookfield’s manuals, I began implementing it. And any time my Block Weights are rolling strong, all my other lifts are going strong as well.

What is a Block Weight?

Block Weights are generally one head from a broken or cut dumbbell. However, they do not have to be dumbbell heads. They can be whole dumbbells that are stood on end (Inverted Dumbbells), scale weights, stones, throwing weights, shots, plates taped together – ANYTHING in a block-shape that forces you into a no-wrap, open hand position, is a Block Weight.

Don’t Limit Yourself

Here’s the problem with most people’s Block Weight Training when I work with them. Once they deadlift a Block Weight, they think they’re done.

No way, brotherrrrr.

Once you deadlift it, then you train to walk with it. Then you train to high pull it. Then you train to clean it. And then you Snatch it.

In an effort to push myself in my Block Weight Training, since anytime my block weight work is solid everything else is solid, I have been striving to push my Block Weight Training to the next level.

Below are some clips of some recent work with the Blob, a particularly special block weight that is cut from a 100-lb York Dumbbell. Not only hard to find because they are so rare, Blobs are hard to lift due to their sloping edges.

Double Blob Clean

This feat requires speed on the Blob with both hands. Often, people are strong enough to control the Blob with one hand, but are lacking in their off-hand, making this a rarely seen feat of strength.

Blob Snatching

The difference between a Clean and a Snatch is that the Blob is brought to the shoulder position for the Clean. It is then put overhead with some type of shoulder action, be it a press, jerk, or hybrid movement. With the Snatch, the Blob reaches the overhead lock-out position in one movement from the floor.

What you want to look for is no press-out for an absolute snatch. I had a bit too much arm action going on in this video, so I called it a Near Snatch. Call me the Feat Police. Who cares.

Get Crazy

Recently, I saw my friend, Rick Geise, get into a One-Arm Handstand propped against the wall and lift a Blob in the inverted position. That is the kind of stuff I love to see – people thinking outside the box and taking their Grip Training to the next level.

The chances of you seeing me try a One-Arm Handstand are ZERO, so I grabbed my Inversion Boots and did some attempts with Blobs that way.

Just lifting the Blob or rowing it in this manner is pretty easy for me, so ultimately, what I would like to do is “clean” it while in the inverted position. This would be an extremely fast lift where I could essentially create enough momentum to flip it over and catch it. Some day. Stay tuned.

As I’ve said before, you don’t NEED a Blob in order to get the benefits of this training. Hex dumbbell heads work great, as do any other block-shaped implement that keeps your hand open.

If your hand strength is still like an old lady’s hands, then join The Grip Authority like so many others have.

Monthly new Articles, Instruction Videos, Q & A Sessions, and now Interviews from other Awesome Grip and Bending dudes – you can’t help but get better and stronger being exposed to this level of information.

Join today: The Grip Authority Grip Strength Coaching Site – Just $1 for 30 Days <= Special Offer

See you on the INSIDE Diesels.


Getting Involved in Grip Sport

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

I’ve had some readers write in and ask for more information on Grip Sport, things such as how the sport of grip developed and how I got involved in grip sport. I answer these questions below.

Sorry for the small number of new posts here on the site lately. I have been rehabbing an injury and the therapy has been taking up a lot of my time. This has also cut into my time to shoot videos for the Challenges that I said would be coming. If you remember, in December, I posted a Diesel Crew Challenge called 21′s or Black Jacks. There were many impressive performances.

The originator of the challenge, Mike Rinderle, showed incredible improvement over the course of the month. He started out on December 1st with a time of 57:27 and managed to cut it all the way down to 21:30.

A really good friend of Mike Rinderle’s, Kris Hamilton, did Black Jack in 8:48, and posted a double Black Jack time of just under 29 minutes.

Bill Long did 11:27, Zach Counter did 13:29, Peter Hellman – 25:26; a fellow posting under the name Ric completed the challenge in 8:27. Matt C posted a time of 44:45.

In addition, Southern Maryland Cross Fit used Black Jacks as their Workout of the Day one day during December and an entire group gave it a shot. Posted below are the times:


It was a very popular challenge, so thanks Mike for introducing it to us!

I will be posting more challenges, but I don’t feel right calling the Diesel Universe to task when I am not capable of pushing myself. I guess I am looking for guidance from all of you as to whether you would like me to start them now while I am still in PT. I am just not the kind of guy to say, “Here do this,” over and over while I can not push my own limits to the same degree.

Thanks and all the best in your training.


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