Mighty Mitts 2012 – Part I
Preparing the Hands for Battle with the Inch Dumbbells (Photo: Bill Piche)
For my 2nd time in the last 3 years, I made the trip to Columbus Ohio and the Arnold Classic in order to compete in Mighty Mitts. Mighty Mitts was organized and held by Richard and Bert Sorin.
I can’t say enough about how well these gentleman, their company, and their crew supported us competitors this year. It was unbelievable. I felt like royalty. I can’t really put into words how nice everyone was.
Mighty Mitts is a huge opportunity for Grip Sport. The platform of the Arnold Classic and the chance to get events in front of so many people is amazing, and I hope it brings more people into the sport. I truly appreciate everything that Sorinex has done to help Grip grow.
Never a dull moment in my Grip life, the trip to Mighty Mitts started out an interesting one. I spent about 30 minutes on Wednesday cleaning out unnecessary junk, removing the baby seat, and loading it with everything I needed for the trip. All the while I was blasting the coolest Johnny Cash DVD that I bought recently at Dollar General, so it was an awesome time.
Unfortunately, I must have had the doors open, lights on, and music blaring for a little too long because when I tried to start up to get on the road, the battery was dead. Just my luck.
I called my fiancee and she came home from work to give me a jump start. While I was waiting for her, I figured I’d take a moment to check and fill the fluids, so I raised the hood up and got that done. I noticed there was some rust on the clamp-thing that holds the hood down, so I also grabbed some WD-40 and sprayed that to try to keep it moving right.
When I tried to clean of the excess oil, I activated the clamp and it closed down. I went back inside the vehicle and pulled the release to open it back up again, and I thought I saw it working, so I thought I was in good shape. Unfortunately, I was mistaken and after jumping my battery, I went to close the hood back down and I think I damaged the clamp-thing.
Unable to close the hood down, I was forced to move everything out of my car and into the fiancee’s car, forgetting my car charger, ibuprofen, and a bunch of other stuff that I had thrown into a plastic shopping bag (dramatic foreshadowing here)
Eventually I got on the road and 8 hours later, I was in Columbus and on the shuttle bus to go meet Arnold.
Yes, I said meet Arnold – the man himself. We actually got to site in a press-conference type of scenario and Arnold addressed us and the Strongman Crew. It was a crazy opportunity. I got a bunch of pics and there was even a big photo taken of our entire group with Arnold. Totally blew me away.
The next thing we did was check out the equipment and go over the rules for the Mighty Mitts events at the actual event center. It was good to see everything and get to put my hands on it to see how it felt and to have an idea of the difficulty. We were able to ask questions about the rules and then we were back to the hotel for nice dinner in the restaurant.
Left: Me with “The Iron Tamer” Dave Whitley. Right: Me with Mike “The Machine” Bruce
During dinner, I got to meet guys like Dave Whitley and Dennis Rogers again and even met Mike “The Machine” Bruce for the first time.
Day 1 Events
I knew going in that Day 1 was going to be the harder of the two days for me. With both of the events being thick bar, my nemesis, my work was cut out for me. At this point, I knew I had trained as absolutely hard as possible for these events and began focusing all of my thoughts on successful attempts.
Double Inch Dumbbell Farmer’s Walk
In my training, I had worked up to taking several steps with two Inch Dumbbells, but these were dumbbells with rather rough handles on them. Whenever I tried picking up my slicker-handled Inch, it gave me problems. In fact, I was only able to deadlift my slicker Inch dumbbell one time. That was several weeks prior to the contest, so at the time I thought I was seeing some gains, but it wasn’t meant to be as I failed to lift them on the Mighty Mitts stage.
I put a tremendous amount of effort into this event. Some would say that it was all a waste, since in 2010 I was not able to deadlift them either, but I don’t see it that way, exactly, because during the time I worked so hard on the inches, my Axle numbers improved greatly. I have some plans in mind for modifying my training in order to get some better results on the Inch Dumbbell, after speaking with my Mighty Mitts roommate, Chad Woodall, so I am looking ahead, and not looking back.
Sorinex Monster Bell Deadlift
Squeezing as hard as I could and my eyes are nearly popping out. (Photo: Sorinex Facebook Page)
The Sorinex Monster Bell is a 500-lb Axle Bar. The handle region is well knurled over the majority of the gripping surface, which helps with the grip a bit, but the sheer weight of 500-lbs combined with the fact that the globe heads of the dumbbell act very similarly to the Inch Dumbbell made the event very challenging for me.
Although this year I felt I had much better control of the Monster Bell, I still did not complete any full repetitions. Whereas two years ago, as soon as I began lifting up on the barbell it seemed to pop right out of my hand, this year, I was able to pull it to my knee height before dropping it to the floor again.
As you can see in the video above, I tried primarily the sumo stance, as this is the stance I used in training. I did try one repetition with the conventional stance, but that did not go so well, so I went back to the sumo position in order to try to muster up enough strength for a full repetition. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t meant to be.
At the end of Day 1, I found myself at the very bottom of the standings, with a lot of work ahead of me and a great distance to overcome in order to reach the leaders.
I was so upset, that even thought I had just met Mike Bruce, I slapped a sleeper on him and put him down for the count.
There’s no extinguishing the power of Napalm’s Sleeper Hold
In truth, the image above was staged by Mike himself and I was not upset either. Although I would have been happier with better performances on the day’s events, I knew that the Day 2 events were my events, and I looked forward to the challenge.
Stay tuned, because Part II will be up as soon as I can get it finished.
All the best in your training,
with my Definitive Gripper Training DVD, CRUSH: Total Gripper Domination.