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Mighty Mitts and Thick Bar Training

Diesels – I trust you are working your asses off and shooting for improvement in all areas of your training.

I have awesome news to pass on to you…

Mighty Mitts

I have been selected to compete at Mighty Mitts at the Arnold again this year, and I can’t be any more excited.

Mighty Mitts 2010: I’m not smiling for the camera, I am trying to lift a 500-lb Axle without crapping my pants…thanks to Kevin Cronin for cheering for me – I heard you the whole time…

Last year was the first year the Mighty Mitts Grip Strength Competition was held at the Arnold, and there was so much positive reaction that they have decided to run it again this year!

Mighty Mitts is LOADED
with thick bar events, so in preparation for all of the fun coming my way, I have been continuing to ramp up on it by including lots of Inch Dumbbell Training, Rolling Thunder Training, and Axle Deadlift Training almost every workout.

For the Axle, I have been going about this a bit differently than I have in the past. Whereas before I would try to just lift a heavier weight in the deadlift every time, I am using a variety of rep ranges to build as much strength as possible.

Part of my training changes have been to include a variety of high-rep work in the Axle and Regular Bar Deadlift. By high-rep, I am talking in the neighborhood of 50 repetitions.

If you remember a few months back, I shot a video trying a Crossfit Deadlift Challenge of 50 reps at 225. This hit my hands so well that I decided to dial it up few notches and hit it again for a set of 50 with 243.

50-Rep Deadlift – IronMind Axle – 243-lbs

If you try this, don’t plan on painting a masterpiece afterwards, because your hands will be wasted. They will also be stronger the next time you train the thick bar stuff.

Deadlift – Escalating Sets

Another thing that I recently did was instead of working with the axle, I decided to go for endurance using a Double Overhand Grip on a regular bar. This one was crazy – 1 X 495, 6 X 405, 11 X 315, 16 X 225, 21 X 135 – ALL DOUBLE OVERHAND!

Training Fat Bar and Double Overhand on Regular Bars is working well because my hands have been feeling great and I am setting lots of PR’s, even on the new-style Rolling Thunder Handle.

I am thinking this week, I will load up 225-lbs on a Regular Bar and see if I can hit 50 reps without having to drop the bar. I am pretty confident I can do this as long as I control the decent. Sometimes if I bang the bar on the ground too hard, it screws my grip on the bar up and I have to reset. Either way, I don’t see 225 as being any sort of problem to hit for 50-reps. We’ll see…

If you give any of these high-rep sets a try, come back and post a link so I can check them out!

Make it a GREAT Week!


P.S. Lots more stuff coming this week, so stay tuned.

P.P.S. Anybody going to the Arnold? If so, post here so I can look for you!!!

Fat Gripz

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19 Responses to “Mighty Mitts and Thick Bar Training”

  1. Tweets that mention Diesel Crew – Muscle Building, Athletic Development, Strength Training, Grip Strength » Blog Archive » Mighty Mitts and Thick Bar Training -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jackie, scottbird. scottbird said: DC: Mighty Mitts and Thick Bar Training […]

  2. Matt Hunt Says:

    you are an animal and where the hell is the Arnold being held??

  3. Rick Walker Says:

    No you didn’t…

  4. brent Says:

    interesting ideas. I’m about to start a thick bar training block and will be using some of these ideas.

  5. Jedd Johnson Says:

    Cool. Yes, give this a try. I wipes your hands OUT!

  6. Jedd Johnson Says:

    What do you mean? 🙂 🙂

  7. Jedd Johnson Says:

    Columbus Ohio, March 5 and 6.

  8. Eric St-Onge Says:

    I’ll be at the Arnolds on the 5th. Do you know what time the Mighty Mitts will be on the main stage?

  9. Todd Says:

    Jedd, that’s some crazy stuff–love it! Congrats on being selected again to compete at the Arnold. I’m hoping to be there this year… as a spectator.

  10. Jedd Johnson going to the Arnolds! « Mikethemachine's Blog Says:

    […] Here to learn more. Published […]

  11. Karsten Jensen Says:

    Good luck with the competition!

  12. Jedd Johnson Says:

    Thanks Karsten

  13. Jedd Johnson Says:

    Thanks bro!

  14. Jedd Johnson Says:

    I don’t think the schedule is made out yet. If I find out, i will post it up on Facebook.

  15. FrankD Says:

    Congrats Jedd. Good luck.

  16. Rick Walker Says:

    I got a fever too…just missed 325, still have a 320 PR.


    Certainly no Mighty Mitts, but not bad I guess.

    I am going to give the 225 x50 a try when I feel better. Maybe next weekend or later this week.

    MORE THICKBAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  17. Dustin M. Says:


    Seriously, these are some sick deadlifting videos. The escalating deadlifts—effing genius. I cannot believe I did not even think of something like that before. So simple, yet…I can imagine just how brutal it has to be.

    It has been a while since you posted these videos. How’s your progress?

    Personally, I just started an interesting experiement in the beginning of 2011. I am training with nothing but a 135lb barbell. Yeh, I know. Current goals are to squat 1×100 and deadlift 1×100 in all forms of deadlifting. I managed to pull 129 Partial deadlifts in a 10 minute time frame just last week.

    I am hoping to hit 500 reps by the end of the year. Not in one set, but just hit 500 deadlifts in less than an hr. Power Cleans are being worked on as well.Hell, Im working on everything, but this is about deadlifting. I am curious of the ‘power transfer’ to one lift max attempts. Clearly, I am working on endurance strength. I managed to pull 620 at a bodyweight of 200 and I had about 30lbs of flubber on at the time. We’ll see what my max deadlift is at the end of the year. I am definitely incoporating the ‘Deadlifting Escalator’ next year, man. Just….sick 🙂

  18. Jedd Johnson Says:

    Awesome man. Interesting experiment. I know by the time I got to 135, it felt like it weighed a ton.

    Keep us all posted on your progress. BTW, nice job getting 600 – that is way more than I have ever pulled.

  19. Dustin M. Says:

    Thanks, man, I will definitely keep you posted. I still owe you some videos. I am working on it.

    You know, just for the hell of it…you should try the escalating sets in reverse and see the difference. I mean, it won’t hurt to try. It’ll probably feel like a whole different ball game while at it. By the way, how’s your progress? You didn’t mention?

    Thanks. Truth be told, i grew up in the country. Most of the time, I spent my ‘chores’ picking up logs and stones (for either burning wood for the winter) or (just gathering stones to make a pretty yard design for our aunties) Jeez. I did not start deadlifting barbells until later. So, i gotta thank my family for making me do those ‘chores’, haha!

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