Archive for the ‘old strongman feats of strength’ Category
Steel Bending Resources
This past week, I released my latest steel bending product, the Less is More Steel Bending Workout.
One component of the product is the accompanying Workout PDF. I wanted to do something special for those who picked up the product, and I compiled a list of the videos about bending I’ve put up on YouTube and all the articles I’ve put up about bending here on the site.
Unfortunately, I can’t get the links to all of these videos to work, so I’m posting them here, and everyone will be able to check them out.
If you haven’t picked up your copy of the Less is More Steel Bending Workout, make sure you do it fast, while the introductory price is still available.
Steel Bending Videos
Steel Bending Articles
When grip guys and strength aficionados get started in steel bending, they want to progress as quickly as possible up the various levels of steel as fast as possible. They often try many different training techniques in order to strengthen their wrists and lower arms for the many steel bending techniques that exist.
One of the time-honored traditions of steel benders is Levering Sledge Hammers, and I’m often asked by steel benders if Sledge Levering is a good option for building better bending strength.
In today’s video, I address this topic: Will Sledge Hammer Levering Help Me Bend Bigger Steel:
Does Hammer Levering Help Build Bending Strength?
This is honestly a pretty big change in my line of thinking. In fact, in both my Nail Bending eBook and Nail Bending DVD, I suggest Sledge Hammer Levering to bring up their bending.
However, I always try to learn and develop, both as a lifter and a coach. Since working with dozens of benders over the last few years, I’m convinced that Sledge Hammer Levering isn’t as necessary as I once thought.
Also, in talking with many big benders over the years, the consensus, by far is that BENDING is what you should focus on in order to get good at bending.
I still stand by the fact that Sledge Levering will help you in conditioning your wrists for bending. In fact, I suggest a minimum 4-week ramp-up period where the various wrist movement patterns are trained with gradually increasing intensity, prior to doing any bending.
I recommend Sledge Levering for beginners because it allows you to work so many beneficial ranges of motion and movement patterns that are needed with steel bending, including both non-braced and braced bending methods.
However, once you start actually bending full time, or at least making steel bending one of your primary goals in your training, I think it’s most important to focus on purposeful bending, working your way up the ladder, and continually working on perfecting your technique and force production on actual nails and bars. At that point, Sledge Work can take a back seat, and be used mainly as a recovery method between bending sessions, and for keeping things like Tennis Elbow and Golfers Elbow as far away as possible.
I hope today’s post has been helpful toward directing you down as straight and as short a path as possible to your ultimate bending goals.
If you’re interested in more Steel Bending information, please check out the resources that countless other steel slayers have tapped into. The links are below.
Nail Bending eBook: Since 2005, this digital manual has helped more people start out on the right track with their bending than any other resource on the planet. It includes pictorials of how to properly execute all the major and minor bending techniques, dozens of different exercises for building lower arm strength and preventing injuries, as well as a full 9-week lower arm conditioning program for beginner benders.
Nail Bending DVD: Released in 2011, this video picks up where the ebook left off, walking you through the process of becoming a great bender. It shows you the proper way to wrap your steel for powerful bending, and you can see bars bent right on your computer screen or TV. Grab you steel, get your wraps, and let’s do a couple bends together as you play this DVD right in your own living room or home gym.
All the best in your training.
Get the Go-to Resource for Nail Bending: The Nail Bending Ebook
On August 24, 2014, I did a Strongman Show as part of the Mason’s Hope SuperHero 5K, a fundraiser for Mason Barto, a little boy with CDG (Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation).
Here is a short news video that talks about Mason’s story.
It was my pleasure to be a part of such an awesome cause. I was hoping to have Mason stand on my chest while I performed the Bend of Nails, but in the days leading up to the event Mason was visiting more specialists and ended up having to stay there longer than planned.
I look forward to meeting you, buddy!
On top of the great cause, I was particularly excited about being able to put on this show, because my parents, my grandmother, my wife and my daughter were all there. You see, I rarely do a local show – most of my stuff takes place in other states, so none of them have ever watched me perform live.
Below is the show I put together.
Watch each feat separately:
If you’ve ever wanted to do feats of strength like bending a wrench, a horseshoe, a hammer, or rolling a frying pan, this DVD can show you how to do it.
Make it a Great Day!
P.S. During the show, I pulled off a feat I have never been able to complete, if memory serves. I lifted a 55-lb anvil by the tail and then picked up a 50-lb Blob and curled it. It was quite a rush to do it during the show, although most of the audience probably had no idea how hard it was, ha ha ha.
If you are working on Lifting the Blob, here is the best resource for you:
One of the coolest feats of strength, in my opinion, is bending an adjustable steel wrench.
Nothing says “strong hands” and “brute strength,” like bending a perfectly good tool that someone could have easily used to work on their car, their house, or an appliance.
I got a wild hair to bend something the other day, so I grabbed a wrench and gave it a whirl, and was successful.
I thought I would share 5 things you might not know about bending steel wrenches.
1. Wearing Pants Makes a HUGE Difference
As demanding as wrench bending is, it may seem like you’d want to wear loose, non-restrictive clothing so you can get the most out of your body as possible, but not with braced-style bending. The denim material of your jeans gives you a much better grip than, say, mesh shorts or sweat pants. This is important for both safety reasons, and for the sake of efficiency, because with jeans, the wrench doesn’t slide all over the place, and jeans don’t shift on you or stretch like shorts and sweats do. Heavy twilled cargo shorts are also a nice option for bending wrenches and other braced feats.
2. Braced Bending is FULL BODY Bending
Bending a wrench over your thigh, like I do it, is called Braced Bending. This bracing is done on purpose. Other forms of bending, of the non-braced varieties, disallow or limit the amount of contact the object can have with the body. But not Braced Bending. With this form of bending, you kink the steel or wrench over your thigh, sweep it down as far as possible between your legs and then crush it down like a champ with chest strength. Because of this bracing, you end up in many different positions that non-braced bending does not put you in, so you actually have to be a bit more athletic and mobile for braced-style bending feats.
3. Be Prepared for Some Pain
Braced Bending is HARD. It hurts to press something like a wrench into your thigh. You have to break through mental barriers, just as much as physical barriers when you are bending wrenches. If your mental governor is on, then you won’t be successful with braced-style bending feats. You have to be able to shut that thing off and drive into the bar or wrench without hesitation or distraction. The reward is worth it though, because once you feel the steel buckle under your strength, you get hit with extra adrenaline to take the bend even further.
4. Get Your Wraps Tight
The biggest mistake people make, aside from trying to bend wrenches without knowing proper technique, is not having your wraps tight. It doesn’t matter whether you are using towels, cordura, or suede/leather, you’ve got to get them tight. If they are loose, the will move around when bending the wrench, and you will lose a degree of strength. You need all the strength you can generate, and don’t want to waste ANY effort. Get your wraps tight as possible, so you can drive into it MUCH harder and with more ferocity.
5. You BETTER HAVE a Strong Core
Believe it or not, even though bending wrenches is considered a feat of grip strength, there’s much more involved that just that. Above all, is you need to have a strong core. You don’t necessarily need a rock-hard set of washboard abs, but rather you need to be able to execute some powerful pressure into the wrench in order to get the bend started and keep it going for that matter.
How to Bend a Wrench
Here is the video of my wrench bend. I kink it over the thigh, which is a very common method for getting the kink started, I sweep it between the legs, and then finish the crush-down up high, like when bending a nail or bolt.
It feels great to bend a wrench. Definitely a cool feat to be able to do.
They also make cool pen holders, which is what this one is going to be used for!
If you would like to learn how to bend wrenches, as well as perform many other braced bending feats of strength, then you need to pick up the Braced Bending DVD.
For this weekend, the Braced Bending DVD is $10 off, so don’t delay in picking it up.
You’re gonna love braced bending,
but DON’T Want to Have to Bend It Yourself?
No Problem. I’ll Do it For You:
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.
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.
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!.
In November, Bud Jeffries and I met up for about 6 hours of some of the most intense training I have ever done.
We started a little after 11 AM and by 6PM, we had shot several hours of footage on one of the most challenging, and yet still most addicting forms of steel bending there is – Steel Scrolling.
As I got the gym ready to film and bend, I played some Pandora Radio on one of my favorite channels – Guns n’ Roses.
For once, a steady stream of songs from the band I actually wanted to listen to got played, and right before Bud arrived, Pandora kicked out the absolute classic Guns n’ Roses hit, “Welcome to the Jungle.”
And while Bud Jeffries was here, the one thing that kept going through my head was…
“Welcome to the Jungle, We’ve Got Fun and Games,” the first two lines in the song.
At first thought, that’s a strange comparison – a Jungle and Fun & Games…
If you think of the literal words, you have to wonder how a deep, dark jungle could ever be considered fun and games at all…
Of course, figuratively, the song is describing the vices you can be exposed to, which can be so thrilling while you experience them, yet they also pose the risk of all-out addiction, some of them, you are hooked for life, the first time you try them.
Ironic, how that describes Steel Bending perfectly as well.
Now, obviously there’s very little risk of being bitten by a poisonous spider or snake, when bending steel like there is in a jungle…
But getting “bitten” by the bending bug and feeling the cold hard steel bar buckling from your strength…
That can be as intoxicating as any drug or drink you can possibly be given.
The pump you feel in your arms and shoulders as you craft a straight bar into a crazy design with no tools and no heat – just your strength.
And the glory you feel when your battle with the bar ends and you stand victorious.
Bending nails into U’s.
Twisting Horseshoes into S’s.
These kinds of “Fun and Games” make you tougher both mentally and physically.
But they leave you wanting more.
And for people like you, me, and Bud, the only sensible next step is Scrolling.
Scrolling Steel is the ULTIMATE form of Bending.
The ultimate Feat of Strength.
And if you want to find out why, then grab this free video:
Welcome to the Jungle – Click the Link Above
Jedd Johnson & Bud Jeffries
I am really getting pumped up.
The project that Bud Jeffries and I have been working on for a while now, our DVD on Scrolling Steel, is almost complete!
I have a pile of them in stock. They look awesome!
Now, we are down to the last few behind-the-scenes things and we will be ready to put this thing out for you all.
Don’t miss this. Grab it right when it comes out so you can get it at the best price possible.
Sign up for the update list today, so you get notification RIGHT when it is available.
Thanks and all the best.
Check out this pictorial of “Iron Tamer” Dave Whitley’s Red Nail Certification from over the weekend.
Notice how Dave starts high and then swings the arm into position for the bend.
The video shows there is NO WASTED MOTION as he begins the initial kink. There is no shaking of the hands, no energy leak, if you will. The force is all concentrated into the nail. That is the first compression – INWARDS on the nail or bar being bent.
The second compression takes place in the lower body and core. This allows you to continue the kink even further.
You can get stuck in “No Man’s Land” when you don’t kink the bar far enough. The bar freezes there as you try to re-group and get the bend going again, but often, that is where it stays.
This second compression allows for a longer kink, moving you past “No Man’s Land” and deeper into the sweep where you can exert more force.
I never knew about any of this, of course, back in 2004 through 2008 when I was doing more bending. In fact, I never learned it until 2010 when Pavel had me do a bending demo at the RKC Certification weekend. He saw what I was doing, mainly standing straight up while bending. This is something you may do too. If you’re just bending 60D’s all day, then that might work for you, but when you are crossing up into unventured territory in 7-inch long, 5/16-inches thick Cold Rolled Steel territory, otherwise known as the Red Nail, standing mainly straight up is only going to get you so far.
Pavel coached me to drop with the legs and core, and not just lean forward but to actually sink down and compress the core, and I couldn’t believe the difference.
I’ve told Dave a few times already, but one more won’t hurt – “Nice work, brotherrrr!”
If you want to learn more about this Double Compression technique to increase your DO Bending, be sure to grab my Nail Bending DVD. I cover it in there, along with many other technical enhancements you will pick up.
Many small things like this can equate to BIG improvements in your bending. Just like any physical endeavor, technique is SO IMPORTANT.
You must build your house on a strong foundation, otherwise, you might find your kitchen in a sink hole one day.
The same can be said regarding Nail Bending. Your strong foundation is your sound technique, and if you don’t have strong technique, then you are leaving bending power on the table.
All the best in your bending.
Interview with Eric Roussin
In this episode, Doc and I speak with Eric Roussin from Ottawa, Ontarrio, Canada. Eric has owned grippers for longer than most of us, but never got serious of developing his crushing Grip Strength or competing in Grip Sport until just a few years ago.
Since he was a teenager, Eric has been competing in Arm Wrestling, which anyone can tell you is a pretty good way to develop the lower arms and hands.
In today’s interview, we talk about Eric’s athletic background, what made him transition to more of a Grip Sport emphasis in his training, and what he thinks are some of the methods that work out well for developing strong arm for the arm wrestling table, and a strong hand for the Grip Sport platform. Also, we discuss Eric’s excellent performance at the Holdfast Gauntlet, finishing 2nd in the overall and winning the Trap Bar Hold for Time.
Download the show here.
All the best in your training,
Check out Diesel Designs: Forged by Fire, Bent by Hand
Items Bent by Jedd Johnson and Mike Rinderle
Odd Object Training – Intense & Fun Strength Training
Odd Object training, lifting things like atlas stones, kegs, and sandbags is a very rewarding form of training. You get strong in ways that barbells and dumbbells can not provide and it is fun to pick things up that 99% of the population will never do.
Recently, I wanted to start working some odd object training into the routine. Optimally, I would have wanted to lift some atlas stones. But since it had been over a year since I last trained them, I wanted to work Odd Object Training back in slowly.
Instead of jumping right into stones, I opted to do some sandbag lifting and keg lifting. Both of these implements are shaped very similar to stones, and allow you to get used to the body positions of stone lifting and to somewhat practice the stone lifting technique.
The day I did this was also my Overhead Pressing day so I still wanted to do some overhead work. Since I was working with 110-lb Sandbag and a 127-lb Keg, I was able to get plenty of overhead lifting volume in.
For the sandbag, I decided I would do full cleans and presses. This would allow my back to get accustomed once again to the round-back position of odd object training, without going as heavy as my lightest stone, 230-lbs.
To stay conservative, I started with just 3 repetitions in my first set, and then added 1 repetition each set. All the while, I was trying to move faster and faster with the clean and the press in order to get a bit of an increase cardiovascular demand.
In the video you will see that I put a Timer in, just to show how quickly or slowly I was moving through the repetitions. Since there was a clean to the shoulder on each repetition, much more muscle was involved than just performing one clean and going for repetitions afterwards.
Here’s the video so you can see how it went.
With the Keg I decided to move to just one clean and multiple presses during the set. The clean is much tougher with my Keg because it is only half full of scrap steel and it shifts around quite a bit. I didn’t want to push my luck on my wrist, so 1 clean per set was good enough.
I also tried to perform a Keg Snatch, lifting it from between the legs overhead in one movement. I didn’t quite get it but I did come close. I think next workout I will be able to perform the snatch.
Check out the video:
As you watch the videos, you will see that I definitely have gotten a bit rusty with my Odd Object training. When you don’t do it for a while, you forget the challenge of controlling these implements, especially during the flip-over/catching portion of the Keg and Sandbag clean. After a couple of sets, I was able to knock most of the rust off.
For those who are new to this kind of training, you will want to approach it somewhat how I did. Even after the ow volume of work that I did, I was still sore in the middle back the next day. This is most likely due to the fact that I have been using so many conventional training implements (barbells, dumbbells) that my back is not used to stabilizing against such a dynamic load.
But that is actually the whole idea with Odd Object Training. It makes your body work harder than with regular equipment, so it helps you develop even more as an athlete or strength enthusiast.
Naturally, when you first start out with Odd Object Training, you’ll want to start out light and gradually move up as you get used to the demands of the Odd Objects. A good starter weight for most gals is about 50-lbs and for guys, about 80-lbs. That kind of weight with these bulky implements with give you a good introduction.
If you are interested in learning more about Odd Object Training, make sure you sign up for my newsletter, because more information will be coming your way.
If you have any questions on Odd Object Training, be sure to leave them below.
All the best in your training.
I am going out of town this weekend to visit my sister, so I want to learn more about you so I can help you out more with your training in the future.
Be sure to sign up for further updates on Grip Strength Training.
Thanks for filling out the survey and Happy Memorial Day.
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That may seem like an odd title when so many people spend all their time with new training plans and the hottest supplements to add muscle to their frame. But what can I say? I’m unconventional.
My goal is performance, that is what I can lift, rather then looking bigger. Although I’m tall I’m not a very big guy. At 6’2″ I tip the scales at about 185 right now. The biggest I’ve ever been was just over 190. Since a lot of what I do is bodyweight training adding mass doesn’t really help with those goals. Thus I choose to stay small. But I also like to lift heavy stuff.
It’s because of my size that I commonly hear the phrase, “You don’t look strong.”
But what does strength have to do with looks? For the average person the appearance of muscles means strength, but that’s only a piece of the puzzle if you want to become truly strong. In fact it’s not even near the top of the list of necessary things. And just because someone is muscular doesn’t necessarily mean they’re very strong either.
How do you get stronger without adding lots of muscle? There’s a few ways.
A muscle can learn to contract harder without the cells being any more in number or size.
Your skill and technique can be improved.
Use your mind to access more of the strength you already have.
And the main method I want to talk about today. The muscles are just one of the things that are used in lifting. Sure they get the spotlight and all the publicity, but for the super strong you’ll want to focus elsewhere. I’m talking about the tendons, ligaments and bones themselves. Supports and partials are two ways to train them.
Did you know that famous strongman Louis Cyr (whom a movie is being made about right now) back lifted more than 4000 lbs? If you don’t know what the back lift is, its a support where a platform is placed across the back. The legs and arms are straightened to lift the weight only about an inch or so. This was also a favorite of Steve Justa. This position is sometimes held or just done quickly.
Think about this for a second. If you tried to support that weight what would happen? I don’t know about you but it’s likely my bones would break under such a load. Perhaps your femur my snap or more than likely a joint would give out. Yet in working up to this feat Cyr was able to handle massive weights. I’m not sure if this made his bones any thicker in dimension but certainly denser and stronger.
There are several old-time lifts called supports because you support the weight rather then lifting it. Though often in order to hold a support you need to do a lift to get it in place which requires a short range lift. Here’s a list of a few of them besides the back lift:
Leg press support (like in a leg press machine but just supporting the weight. Some of the old-time strongmen would support a plan of wood on their legs which people would sit on while they laid on their backs)
Overhead support (This was a favorite of John Grimek and it is said he worked up to supported 1000lbs in this position. They would support a barbell from chains hanging off the rafters and then lift it up into the support position.)
Standing support (Think of the top position of a squat with the barbell across the shoulders. Just try this with a heavy weight and whatever you’re use to squatting will feel very light in comparison.)
Wrestler’s bridge support (This is a personal favorite of mine as a neck strengthener. Get in the wrestler’s bridge position and lift a barbell or have someone sit on you to add resistance.)
There’s many more possibilities. You could do a one arm overhead support or a zercher squat support. Use your creativity.
The bones are much stronger at supporting weight then the muscles are in lifting, especially through a full range of motion. Which brings me to the next subject…
Partials get their name from doing a partial range of motion instead of the full range done in most lifts. Depending on what range of motion you work these in, you’ll typically be stronger than the full range.
These are also great for people engaged in any sport or martial art. How many sports involve even parallel squats? Very few. Instead you can get stronger just in the top quarter range of motion which will translate over to more speed, bigger jumps, etc.
(As a side note the full range of a lift is quite arbitrary in some cases. A full range deadlift is only about half the available range of motions for the muscles involved. For a true full range of motion you’d have to be on a platform with your arms going down much lower than shin level.)
Look, full ranges of motion are great. I highly advise you to do them. But if that’s all you do then you’re missing out on some of the best training possible to strengthen your connective tissues and bones. If you only ever lift the comparably light weights that you need to for full ranges then you’re not going to build these areas to as great of a degree as you possibly could.
You can work different partials like a quarter, half or three quarter squat. You can make even smaller jumps doing progressive distance training. There are many benefits and different ways to use partials.
One of the simplest in my opinion is working the top quarter range of motion like in this rack pull here, a recent PR for myself. You can not only use really heavy weights but partials tend to be even safer than full ranges of motion.
This can be done with any exercise though they’re typically done with the big compound movements like squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press and sometimes rows.
Supports will not add muscle because the only work they’re doing is to support keeping the bones in place. I suppose for a completely untrained individual they’d get that effect, but not for your average trainer.
With partials it will depend on how you train them. More reps and volume could add muscle. But if you do them in my preferred way, working at high intensity, you’ll get stronger but without much size.
All of these lifts will strengthen your bones, tendons and ligaments. You don’t need to do them all. Just pick one or a few to start with. As with everything you’ll want to build up to this slowly. Don’t’ go too far too fast as you body may not be ready for it. But you may surprise yourself in a short time just how much you can handle.
For more information check out my newest book Deceptive Strength available here. Right now you can grab it along with a bunch of bonuses.
Braced on Thigh (Pittsburgh Brand)
For more than a year, I have been trying off and on to bend a wrench. I must have tried about 10 different wrenches! I was beginning to wonder if I would ever be able to pull off this feat. I was getting pretty frustrated!!!
My constant efforts to bend a Wrench and then looking at it and seeing it was straighter than before I tried bending it reminded me that when we put together our Braced Bending DVD, I made sure that my partner, Mike Rinderle, covered the sections showing how to bend the wrenches, because I couldn’t even wobble them, let alone bend them into a U shape like he could.
This past week, I decided I was going to give it another shot. It had been several months since I tried, but I was feeling good and decided to give it a whirl.
I was pumped when i gave it the initial effort and felt it give a bit. I continued to give it all I had and little by little I was progressing in the bend.
Unfortunately, I only had 6 minutes left on my camera, and at one point, probably abut 8 minutes into the bend, I noticed the little red light was off.
So, I went through and deleted a couple minutes of other stuff off the camera and finished the bend.
Since the “officialness” of the video was gone once the camera went off, I went ahead and did some editing of the video to make it a bit shorter.
Also, the first thing you’re going to see is me showing the bent wrench. Something pretty cool happened that I wasn’t aware of, although it is possible that it happens every time you bend a wrench like this.
You’ll see what I mean when you start the video.
Lessons Learned from Wrench bending
I learned a few things from bending this wrench that I want to pass on to all of you in case wrench bending is something you are going to try.
1) Get Your Wraps Tight
I should have already known this from my years of nail bending, but I failed to remember it. All I did was wrap the suede around the ends of the wrench and go. As a result, they were shifting on me during the bend. Had I tightened them like a “Motorcycle Throttle” like Mike Rinderle says, and if I’d put some rubber bands on there, I think it would have been easier.
2) Keep the Steel Hot
When you bend something, the steel heats up and it gets a bit easier to bend. But if you mess around and take too much time between shots on the wrench or if you take too much time catching your breath, the steel cools down and it makes your job tougher. The problem with the poor wrap-job contributed to my slowness in working through the wrench.
3) This Stuff is Hard
Sometimes, I think that I should just be able to blow through every feat just because I have been doing this stuff so long. Seeing other people blow through wrenches, makes me think I should just be able to easily dominate them even more. However, those other guys who make short work of braced feats can do that because they have worked their asses off to be that good. Neither you, nor I, should expect to dominate feats like this if we aren’t honing our skills. I want to get better at it, which means I need to do it more.
And if I am going to do it more, I need to get me some more Wrenches!!!
All the best in your training.
When Will You Die: Host, Jake Porway and Jedd after doing some Frying Pan work
Set your DVR’s and VCR’s to record Nat Geo at 10 PM tomorrow night – Monday April 22.
That’s right, I am asking you to tear yourself away from the final hour of Monday Night Raw tomorrow night.
Maybe you’re wondering why…
Many of you remember from last September the Top Secret Grip Trip that I took to California.
This show is what that trip (and my second trip in December) were both for.
The Show is called “The Numbers Game” and the episode is called “When Will You Die.”
I have not seen the show, so I am not sure how it was edited all together. All I know is that I took two separate trips out there last Fall and Winter and bent about two dozen horseshoes, frying pans, nails and other pieces of steel.
Plus I ripped a whole pile of phone books and decks of cards, so they have plenty of footage to go through – HA HA!
It was a great time, I had a lot of fun, and I hope it carries over well to the show.
Also, feel free to post something on Facebook or another social network. Sometimes, with a “crazy” sport like Grip or doing Feats of Strength, it is good to get it in front of your friends’ and family’s eyes when it is on mainstream media like this, to show them that you are not the only “crazy” one out there.
Thanks everyone, for all the support, and all the best in your training.
Recently, a friend of mine, Nathaiel Brous, was successful in certifying on the IronMind Red Nail. I thought his progress was fantastic, so I asked him if he’d be interested in an interview.
If you love steel bending, I encourage you to check this out. In addition, I encourage you set your goals firmly for tackling the Red Nail. Set your date, lay out your training, and if you need assistance getting there, let me know.
Let’s get this done together in 2013!
And now, Nathaniel Brous:
Jedd: Nathaniel, Tell Us a Bit About Your Athletic Background
I was a pretty active kid and a competitive swimmer in my youth. While I was never really into weight lifting, working construction helped keep me pretty fit into my early twenties. Unfortunately at 23yo I found myself in heart failure and was diagnosed with Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy (with atrial fibrillation) which severely curtailed my activities. This basically meant I had a weakened, enlarged heart that no longer beat normally…and they had no idea how it happened. I felt I had been cut down, at the time many consider the prime of their lives.
Jedd: That is Something I Have Never Heard of. So, What Made You Get into Grip & Bending?
I have to credit my daughter Abigail with getting me into grip. Because my heart condition had forced me to be relatively stagnant, I lived vicariously through watching physical shows like World Strongest Man and Sasuke (Japan’s premier obstacle course program). In early 2011, we were watching American Ninja Warrior and she said, “You can do that Daddy!” The reality was that I couldn’t – not even close. But, I wondered what would happen if I trained for it. And so my little odyssey began.
I began researching Ninja Warrior and learned about the value of grip. I discovered the Captains of Crush Grippers and Ironmind. These led me to learn of sites like the Gripboard (anwnate) and Diesel Crew.
All successful athletes in Sasuke are slight in build but pound for pound the toughest around. I quite casually throw that in, but don’t really have any doubts of it. It would be a nice discussion in the future. A Urushihara Yuuji or Nagano Makoto interview would be an awesome addition to the Diesel files. Few people even know the insane things these guys do with their grip. Sorry, I digress.
I began my training with a focus with weight loss. I decided to drop 50lbs to get down to my high school weight of 195. I figured from there I could reevaluate. By the way, I’m 6′ 4″ so I wasn’t exactly obese at 245. It took about 6 months to shed the weight and while I felt ok – people were very worried about me. I actually appeared gaunt and sickly…but didn’t even realize it until I started seeing pictures of myself. I question the sanity of the people who created those BMI charts…
Anyway, as I trained, I found that my heart really was holding me back. Due to my intense swimming regimen in the past, I was keenly aware of how my body responded to exercise. Don’t get me wrong, I was making progress and improving, but I knew I was never going to become successful in Ninja Warrior because I couldn’t train as hard as was necessary to become competitive. However, since I had already “gotten off the couch”, I was happy enough to shift gears and my training entirely to “Grip Sport”. Over a period of a year, I built my weight back up, but it was a different (more muscle based) weight.
I can’t tell you how pleased I have been with training Grip. It is something you can get into for little financial cost and make solid gains…regardless of your age, weight or background. I had such a blast at my first event, World’s Strongest Hands 2012 (Wyalusing, PA location)…I didn’t mind getting my butt kicked in the events. I came home with a renewed sense of motivation and purpose. Over time, I have met a great network of people who are extremely supportive and helpful.
(Note from Jedd – Here is Some Footage of Nate at World’s Strongest Hands 2012 on the Wrist Developer)
One of those people, John “Wojo” Wojciechowski was kind enough to invite me to a grip training session at his place. Afterwards, he taught me how to reverse bend a nail. I managed to reverse IM Blue and put a kink in a G5 my first time out. I would say that after my first bend, I was hooked.
Jedd: What Made You Decide to Certify on the Red?
That night when I came home very pumped up about bending. I spoke with my wife Maureen about possibly going for the Red nail. She had been pretty supportive of all my grip work and in quite the Rocky-esque fashion…said “Go for it!” I decided then that I would bend on the “down low” and then do a “double cert.” like Hannes Kainzj. With her blessing, I immediately ordered a bunch of Blues, Reds, and IM Pads. There is a wealth of bending knowledge on the internet, but I would have to credit Jedd’s ebook for setting me on the correct and safe course. I think it should be standard issue for anyone just getting into bending. As it turned out, a pinky issue has really slowed my gripper progress. Just before Christmas, I decided to Cert. the Red by itself and kind of “get on board” if you will.
Jedd: As you Progressed Through the Levels of Bending, Was it Pretty Easy Progress for You, or Were There Struggles? And How Did You Get Through Them?
I was fairly lucky to start where I did with bending, but no matter where you start, there will always be your first wall. For me, that wall was the G8. I struggled with that bar week after week and had almost no visible results. It was quite disheartening. I figured (correctly) that I was missing something pretty basic…but really didn’t know what it was.
I finally decided to slap double IMP’s on the G8 and see what happened. I melted that sucker down to like 80deg (finished it later). This was the beginning of what I’ve named “Reduced Padding Progression.” I certainly didn’t invent the idea, but I may have coined “RPP” as an expression.
It’s a very similar idea to people who progress in grippers. Ideally, you have like 100 rated grippers that you can slowly move up the ranks with. But reality dictates that we don’t have the money, time or luck to collect such a comprehensive collection, so we make do with other means (Vulcan’s, forced closes etc.). In the same vein, an ideal bending situation would mean acquiring slightly harder steel (baby steps) that progresses you from one piece to the next.
RPP provides an alternative route to that. I cut down a pair of IMP’s to 2/3 and 1/3 total length and then a single pad in half. So then I had the opportunity to bend the same piece of steel in 2’s, 1 2/3s, 1 1/2, 1 1/3 and 1’s. While it’s true that bending in doubles and singles are very different beasts…there is not a tremendous difference in technique between any one of these steps from the one before or after it. And…all of them work the same muscles to some extent…particularly the sweep and crush. You could literally take this idea to the extreme and cut the pads down to any fraction that you thought would help.
I took this idea and ran with it. It turned out, I wasn’t bending the G8 because it was “uncomfortable” to hit it hard in the kink. I never (a long time anyway) would have realized this, if I hadn’t de-mystified the G8 by bending it in doubles. A week later I managed the G8 in singles. Right then, I immediately tried and succeeded in bending a Red in doubles.
Over a few weeks, I gradually worked my way down to singles and eventually without bands. I didn’t immediately stop using bigger pads…I took it slow. After a bunch of bends in doubles, 1 2/3 became my “big” pads and this went on until at the very end I was doing the majority of my bends in singles. The hands need time to condition to the stress, and I’m of the opinion that this allowed me to continue training when I otherwise would have bailed. My cert. day actually saw me bend my 100th Red nail.
Jedd: What Would You Recommend to Others Who Might be Interested in Bending Steel and Certifying on the Red Nail
If someone is interested in getting into bending, the first thing I’d recommend would be to learn as much as you can. Again, I must pimp Jedd’s book. It’s really required reading for the beginning nail bender and will save a ton of time, money and possibly doctor’s bills (bending steel carries it’s own risks)
Next, make use of the internet… Youtube, Gripboard, Benders Battlefield. There are a lot of good people out there, more than willing to lend a hand. All you have to do is reach out. Thirdly, don’t skimp on padding. It’s super cheap and (in my opinion) can to get you from point A. to point B.
Since I’ve got the pulpit…there are two more important things I’d like to impart. One I would like to borrow from the poker world. Leaning. When you “lean” on your opponent, you keep pressure on him and generally, the longer you do it, the more of an advantage you gain…until you have all his chips.
There will be times you will want to be more aggressive…there are time you’ll be less aggressive. It won’t be linear, and it won’t be stagnant, it’ll be like an ever-changing and ever-flowing river. But it will always be moving forward. Basically I advise that you “Lean” on your goals. Find out what it is that you want, how you are going to approach it…then start leaning. Any time you can adjust your strategy to exploit something, do so. Whether that be incorporating a new technique, or adding a workout, or subtracting a workout…keep the pressure on your goal. It will have no choice but to fall to your will.
The last thing is just a thought to keep in mind. You don’t get stronger by working out…you get stronger by recovering. Try and stay in tune with your body…call audibles if you have to. We don’t recover based on a chart or our peers, we recover at our own rate…a rate that changes as we age. Know your body and figure out what kind of rest it requires…then allow it to get stronger.
“The most productive and the most difficult thing about grip training is waiting until your body is ready to train again.” – me
Nathaniel’s Red Nail Certification (First 40 Seconds)
Jedd: Nate, thanks for the interview and for sharing that awesome wrapping progression with my readers. That is the first time I have heard anyone lay it out in that way. Very nice work and I wish you well in your pursuit of the Gold Nail. Please keep us posted!
Jedd: Diesels, if you are looking for guidance to get you to your Steel Bending goals, look no further than the resources below for all the information you need on conditioning, wrapping, technique, and progressing…
Free Report on Oldtime Strongman Feats = > Sign up for it Here
IMPORTANT: My buddy, Iron Tamer Dave Whitley, is doing a benefit to help one of his good friends who was in a car accident: Bending for Burt. He is taking donations. If you would like to help, please check this out.
Chances are if you are going to try out steel bending, you are already doing some other form of training. While you want to bend steel and become a good steel bender, you also want to maintain the gains and results you have worked so hard for already.
That is exactly what Ty Byrum is doing – trying to find a way to work bending into his current program without upsetting it too much. Ty wrote in and wanted to know about the best way to add steel bending and other similar feats of strength training into his current training layout.
Here is what Ty is already doing at this time:
“I bought your bending ebook and
horseshoe bending video recently and
I am wanting to know how frequently
I can train those things. I’m currently
doing the RKC ladder program Tues and
Sat, Thursday I squat heavy and do some
strongman things (farmers walk, sandbag
loading/ walk, and rope climbing. I do
gripper/sledgehammer training on Monday
Wednesday Friday. I just wanted your idea
on when bending might be optimal and
when I might need to back off.
Any info would be appreciative. Thanks-Ty”
Steel Bending is a rewarding form of training that can compliment and support many other types of training as well, IF IT IS IMPLEMENTED CORRECTLY.
As you can tell, Ty is already a busy man who takes his training seriously, so he wants to get the most out of each aspect (Kettlebells, Strongman, Ropes, Bending).
Let’s take a look at some of the important variables to consider when adding nail bending and other forms of steel bending into your program. Mainly, when I help people place bending in their weekly routine, I look at three variables: (1) The type of bending they will be doing, (2) Current types and styles of training they are already doing, and (3) Their own personal recovery abilities.
The Type of Bending
The type of bending you are doing can make a huge difference in when you will be able to do it, how much, and how long you will take to recover.
For instance, if you are doing nail bending, that does not use nearly the amount of muscle mass and energy as horseshoe bending, for example.
I truly feel that Horseshoe Bending is one of the most athletic forms of bending, because it requires you to produce strength in many more positions than say Reverse Bending a Nail or Double Overhand Bending a steel bar.
Reverse Bending the Red Nail
In general, any type of non-braced bending will be “easier” on your body than braced bending, because you are not pressing steel against a part of your body.
Also, with Non-Braced styles of Bending, for the most part you stay standing up, while with braced bending, you must bend forward much more, in order to kink the bar or shoe against the thigh.
With non-braced bending, you are using your hands, wrists, arms, shoulders and torso to create the kink and work through the sweep.
As a result, Braced Bending wipes out your core much more because the lats, abdominals, lower back and glutes are stressed much more heavily.
So, as you can see, the type of bending plays a huge roll in deciding when to properly place it in your training week.
Now, let’s look at the next factor to use for deciding how often you can bend.
What You Are Already Doing in Your Training
This factor is very important in determining how much bending you can add into your training program, as well as how often you can add it in there.
For instance, if you are already training two hours per session and you are training 4 to 5 days per week, then chances are you are already producing a great deal of volume in your training.
It really doesn’t matter what kind of training you do, if you are putting in 6.5 to 8 training hours per week, you are doing a lot of Volume.
In Ty’s case, we know he focuses on body training Tues (RKC Ladder), Thurs (Squats/Strongman/Rope Climbs), and Sat (RKC Ladder again).
We also know that on Mon/Wed/Fri, Ty works on his grippers and sledgehammers.
The thing that jumps out at me, right away, is to stay away from Thursdays. That looks to be the most intense day of training, with Squats, Strongman Training and Rope Climbs. Adding in something strenuous like bending on that day is a recipe for CNS burnout, lack of results, and potential injury.
While there is something to be said about multi-joint training either before or paired with grip work and bending, Ty just has too much going on that day right now.
On Tuesdays & Saturdays, Ty is doing what he calls an RKC Ladder (Kettlebell Work). He doesn’t specify exactly what that it is, but I think it is safe to assume that he is doing presses and maybe even some snatches, along with swings and maybe even Turkish Get-ups. That sounds like a pretty good day for some bending!
The reason I say this is because Kettlebell work is great for getting the shoulders ready to do other work, and bending is one type of training that seems to benefit from Kettlebell work, because it is done overhead.
Bench Pressing, however, which is a horizontal push, wears out the pecs and makes it very hard to produce the force needed to bend steel.
One of his Kettlebell days, maybe Saturday, might be a good day to add in some bending…
However, also notice that Ty is doing three days of pretty much the same work: Grippers & Sledgehammer Training on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
We have just found the best days to add in some bending. Most people do not need 3 days of Grippers
to see progress, and most people do not need 3 days of Sledgehammer work. So my suggestion is to completely wipe out one of those days and make it the primary bending day.
So, looking at the schedule one more time, Ty’s training week looks like this:
Monday: Grippers / Sledge
Wednesday: Grippers / Sledge
Thursday: (Squats/Strongman/Rope Climbs),
Friday: Grippers / Sledge
Sunday: Dude finally gets a day off – LOL!
In looking at this schedule, my suggestion is for Ty to place his main Bending day on Wednesdays, and there are many reasons why.
1. Monday stays Gripper day. He can do Grippers hard on Monday and have several days over the course of the week to recover a bit and then hit them hard again on Friday.
2. Tuesday won’t work as a bending day because he is going to start bending on Wednesday.
3. I am willing to bet the Thursday sessions kicks his ass. We already said it would be too much to add bending on that day, and I bet he might feel like toast the next day as well, so both Thursday and Friday are out.
4. Friday remains a day of Grip, a fantastic day to do so because for most people the work week is over and you can relax and enjoy some Grippin’.
5. Saturday is another Kettlebell day. Like I said, overhead training does not affect bending too much, but it does some. I would not make either Kettlebell day the primary day of bending where Ty sets his goals on dominating steel.
So, that pretty much leaves with Wednesday. Wednesday is still very early in the training week, especially considering that at this point he will only have had one body training day and a grip day. He should have plenty left in the tank and not feel too beat up at this point.
Also, after he gets used to bending, he won’t feel too many effects of the bending on his big strongman day either. Maybe the first couple of weeks he will see a drop in his farmer walk hold times, but that will go away soon.
A couple of other things…
- 1. If he so desired, Ty could also add in a second day of bending that is lighter on either one of his Sledge days (Friday) or on his second Kettlebell days (Saturday).
This would not be necessary for a couple of weeks. It would mainly be used to work on form and technique, and not as a PR day by any means.
- 2. Ty might want to re-consider all the extra sledgehammer work now that he is bending. Sledgehammer training is mainly useful as a way to get conditioned for bending – injury prevention, if you will. It doesn’t do much for bringing up your bending. Bending improves bending. So, Ty might want to gradually phase out the Sledgehammer training for the most part.
The next main factor we will discuss is your personal ability to recover from your training.
This is the X-factor that makes it so hard for me to tell people how often to bend – how much time do they need in order to recover enough to hit it hard the next time.
It would be great if you could bend steel every day but most people can’t do that or they will end up with tendonitis or tennis elbow, or some other over-use injury that will hold them back.
Everybody has a natural “recovery ability.” For some, it might be 2 or 3 days and they are ready to slay dragons.
For others, they might need a little longer and can only hit the steel at a high level once per week.
The trick is figuring all of this out without having an injury.
Since I wrote my Nail Bending eBook, I have always suggested that people who have never done any grip training or steel bending before to do at least a 3 to 6 week ramp-up of just basic forearm training.
For instance, in my ebook, I talk about the 6 main functions of the wrist and forearm (FERUPS: Flexion, Extension, Radial Deviation, Ulnar Deviation, Pronation, Supination).
And I lay out an approach over several weeks where you focus in on each of these movement patterns in order to condition the muscles and connective tissues to direct training stress.
Gradually over the course of this training layout, you work the lower arms more intensely and more often. During this period, you can get a very good idea of how long it takes you to recover from an intense session. Also, as this program progresses, we gradually work Bending into the program and begin doing the direct forearm work less. Eventually, all you are doing is bending and you have a very good idea of what your recovery abilities are.
This is one way I have helped new benders get started on the right foot. They build the solid foundation first, and then the gains come quicker.
I encourage you to give yourself the time you need and work up slowly when you start bending.
Of course, there are many other things you can do to optimize your recovery, all of which are outlined in the ebook.
Applying This Process To Your Scenario
This is the process you can use for yourself when you want to find the best day(s) to bend for you. Think about the following:
- What Type of Bending Will I Be Doing: In general Braced Bending is harder on the overall body that Non-Braced.
- What Type of Training Am I Already Doing: The training you are doing and want to keep doing can dictate where Bending will be placed.
- How Well Do I Recover: This is a relative issue for all benders and must be considered on an individual basis. Not everyone can bend multiple days a week, nor does everyone need to.
For most people who have a full training schedule, one serious bending day is enough. A second day can be used for technical improvements, but multiple days per week are excess in most cases and truly not needed.
Most people that do a great deal of bending each week have either been doing it for a very, very long time and have worked up to it, they don’t do very much per session, or they are complete freaks.
So please do not think that you have to bend 3 or 4 days per week in order to progress.
If you want more information on getting started bending the right way, you need the Nail Bending eBook.
Remember, it’s all about YOUR SUCCESS. Nothing pleases me more than people who have read my ebook getting rectified for bending the Red Nail, and shooting right past me in the rankings.
I like it when my students surpass their teacher!
All the best with your bending.
P.S. Check out the Strongman Show my buddy, Iron Tamer Dave Whitley is doing to benefit one of his good friends who was in a car accident: Bending for Burt. He is taking donations. If you would like to help, please check this out.
Use the Techniques That Have Helped Hundreds of Other Benders Learn Their Craft Right.
Get the Nail Bending eBook. Click the Image Above. Start Bending in the Big Leagues.
Note from Jedd: Many people have wondered whether the Version 2.0 of the Definitive Guide to Kettlebell Juggling covers the basic of kettlebell juggling. It does indeed cover that. Also, several years ago, I put up the following article covering the technique I started with in kettlebell juggling, the Kettlebell forward flip and catch. Check it out below.
Don’t forget – Logan has extended the contest for the free iPad through this weekend, so make sure to try to attain at least Level 1 amongst the Kettlebell Juggling Progression List and Ranking System.
Photo Source: Niki DeSantis. Athlete: Mike Rankin
If you’ve been around the NET at all, you’ve seen a lot of video clips where people juggle kettlebells. There are tons of different ways to juggle kettlebells. I’ve seen guys do it behind their back, going between their legs, and even juggling more than one bell at a time.
While you may also have the goal of mastering the art of kettlebell juggling, it’s important to start out on the right foot or else you could get very frustrated and maybe even injured by improper technique. The way I started out was by performing what I call the Forward Flip and Catch.
In order to get started with kettlebell juggling, it’s important to understand a few simple points.
Juggling Starts With a Swing
In order to juggle a kettlebell, you have to be able to get the kettlebell up near the chest and neck area. Once the kettlebell is in this position, you have a window of opportunity to impart other forces upon it to make the juggling possible.
If you are dealing with a heavy kettlebell, I’m talking something over 50 lbs, then you need to get your whole body involved to get the kettlebell up high enough.
This should be done by performing a swing. If you are no good at kettlebell swings, then you should master that movement before moving on to juggling.
The swing looks like this.
The bell is projected to this height not just by lifting it with the shoulder and arm, but rather it is propelled to that position by the lower body, especially the power of the hips and glutes. After the kettlebell is pulled through the legs, the hips are snapped and the bell travels upward in its trajectory. This hip power is also responsible for getting the flip going.
Transition to a High Pull
In the standard Kettlebell Swing, the arm is kept straight. Unfortunately, it is difficult to express any power into the kettlebell if your arm is straight, so it is necessary to transition the swing into a high pull.
The High Pull is performed slightly different from a barbell high pull, however. Instead of pulling the bell up in a primarily straight line, the bell comes up in the arc and then is pulled backward for the high pull portion.
It is this slight back pull that brings the bell closer to your body where you can then exert other forces into it and make it flip around so that you can juggle it.
The Thumb Push
In this example, we will perform the Forward Flip. Once the bell reaches it’s highest point, it is time to make it flip.
Hand Radially Deviated as Thumb Pushes the Handle Away
For a Forward Flip, the thumb is the part of your hand that will actually make the kettlebell flip, because it is the last part of the hand that contacts the kettlebell handle. With this in mind, you can also slightly shift your hand into radial deviation so that you can optimize the positioning of the thumb and propel the bell forward to initiate the flip.
Catching the Bell
It is important to understand that when flipping and juggling kettlebells, the axis about which the kettlebell spins is within the bell and not the handle. Grasping this concept will allow you to better predict where the handle will be when you go to grab and catch it.
Kettlebell Spinning 180 Degrees on its Axis, Falling Only Inches
As you can see in the series above, the kettlebell spins on an axis near the center. The handle flies forward and down, moving into position for the catch.
If your technique is dialed in you will catch the bell in almost the same exact spot you flipped it. You can even get your other hand into position beneath the bell ahead of time, as pictured above.
After you try the Forward Flip a few times, you’ll be able to predict where the handle will be. Once you get the feel you will be able to move your hand to find the kettlebell handle and secure it again in your grasp.
Receiving and Returning the Bell
Once you figure out the tempo of the Swing / High Pull / Flip sequence, you will be able to rip off several Forward Flips in a row. However, just like any other kettlebell lift, efficiency is important in order to put together a string of Forward Flips.
Many beginner jugglers find it hard to put together Forward Flips in succession because once they catch the bell they fail to maintain an arc in the bell path. If they try to catch the bell and drop it straight down, they will lose a lot of momentum. Instead, you should try to catch the bell by the handle and then let the bell pass back down through the legs. By maintaining this arc, you can more easily explode back into another swing, high pull, and flip.
Putting it All Together
Here is everything put together in action. Notice the path of the bell upwards, the location of my hands, and the quick transition into the next repetition.
Hopefully, the sequences of still shots and the video help you understand the basics of kettlebell juggling.
Once you get that one down, then you can progress from there. Here’s the progression to work on for basic juggling.
- Same Hand Forward Flip and Catch (shown first in video)
- Hand to Hand Forward Flip and Catch (shown at end of video)
- Same Hand Sideways Forward Flip and Catch
- Hand to Hand Sideways Forward Flip and Catch
- Same Hand Backward Flip and Catch
- Hand to Hand Backward Flip and Catch
- Same Hand Sideways Backward Flip and Catch
- Hand to Hand Sideways Backward Flip and Catch
That should get you started! All the best with your juggling.
The Definitive Guide to Kettlebell Juggling 2.0, from Logan Christopher:
Over a year ago, my buddy Josh McIntyre and I were emailing and he suggested a name for a series to be featured here on the site called Tales from the Grip. It was to be stories of training written by all of you and posted here on the site.
The title is of course a play on words of Tales from the Crypt, which if you have never seen, was a horror story series shown on HBO, I believe, about 20 years ago and probably longer. I am probably showing my age by referencing it…LOL.
Tales from the Grip – Fayette Fair, Dunbar PA – July 2012
Today, I am going to start the series off by telling you of my experiences doing my first ever professional Strongman Performances, at the Fayette Fairgrounds, which started last night (July 26th) and will continue on until Tuesday July 31. If you are in the area of Dunbar, PA, you should come check it out.
How it Came to Be
I received an email from John Beatty well over a year ago asking if I’d ever be interested in doing Strongman Performances with him or for him. John was the owner of Fat Bastard Barbell Company for several years before recently selling it to his friend Jerry when he got to busy to keep it going. If that doesn’t ring a bell, then you may remember seeing him on TV back in 2010 on America’s Got Talent when he gave the big “In Your Face” to Piers Morgan.
Here’s the video:
John is an accomplished Strength Athlete himself. He was a professional strongman competitor from 2000 to 2010, and has also competed in many powerlifting and Grip Sport competitions, while also bending some awesome high-level steel.
After the initial emails, I didn’t hear much from John for quite some time, so I didn’t think much of it, but then, late last year, I got a call from John and he told me that he could use me for some shows coming up in the summer. I thought it sounded like an awesome and fun opportunity and I immediately told him I would love to try it.
In the months to come, I picked John’s brain about how to even set up a Strongman show. Considering my bending experience was limited to contests where you generally wrap and try to bend as big of steel as possible in 5 minutes time, the idea of putting together an entire 30-minute program seemed very daunting.
I have watched performing strongmen like John Brookfield, Dennis Rogers, Pat Povilaitis, Dave Whitley and Mike Bruce a handful of times over the years, but they mainly had performed single feats as part of other strength endeavors. John Brookfield did some of his bending feats during a larger expo in conjunction with other acts. Dennis, Pat, Mike, and David had all done their feats at Mighty Mitts between events. All of them were awesome performances, but they were shorter in duration.
However, with John’s guidance and coaching, I began to see some light at the end of the tunnel. He and I talked several times over the last 6 months and he would always share some knowledge about how to set up shows, some of the staple feats he did, and how to tie feats together to make the show run well. I soon began developing confidence in myself to be able to put a variety of feats together that would be entertaining for the crowd to watch.
Building the Equipment
About 6 months ago, John sent me the plans for some of the equipment that he uses in his shows. One was a deadlift platform that kids can sit on and then you lift them up. Another was a finger lift platform where someone lays on a board and you lift them with one finger. And the last one was a Bed of Nails.
In hindsight, the right thing to do would have been to get right on it and buy the lumber and build all of the equipment so that I could train on it and get to know it.
Unfortunately, what I did was I put it off and never built anything until last weekend. I am no carpenter. In fact, I make a poor carpenter’s assistant, so I enlisted my Dad to help me put this stuff together. I figured it would take us maybe 4 hours on a Sunday morning to build it all.
It took use two hole days of serious work to build just the kiddie deadlift platform and the bed of nails. It took me 4 hours just to pound all of the nails through the plywood for the bed of nails, so that was quite a wake-up call in itself. Nevertheless, with the help of my good old Dad, the two pieces got built and I even through some deck stain on the deadlift platform. John was impressed with the craftsmanship and said that mine looks better than his! I told him I wanted to make sure everything looked good since my show was going to be a reflection on him.
The Drive Down
Finally, the day to come to the fair arrived. I figured, again, that the drive would be about 4 hours. I dropped the baby off at the babysitter and turned on the GPS in order to get an estimate of how long it would take to get down here. I nearly laid an egg when it said 5.5 hours. I still had to go get the trailer and load everything on it in addition to packing everything up in the car…amazing.
Once loaded, I got out on the road. I have never pulled a trailer behind a vehicle on a 4-lane highway. Quite interesting! I was swerving a bit at first, but eventually got used to it. PennDot has construction projects going on, on just about every highway I drove on yesterday, including a section on Route 22 where the road is one lane and the barricades seem just about wide enough to afford like a foot of space on each side of the trailer. Lots of fun driving, I can assure you. Sweat was pouring down my brow into my eyes as I drove. Awesome.
The First Shows
It felt good to drive the Jeep onto the Fairgrounds and find my location for the shows. I was placed under a pavilion, which was a good thing because it was pouring buckets last night.
For the first day of the Fair, with such bad weather, the fair was nearly empty, but we got the two shows in that were scheduled. The small crowds were great to break the ice and get things rolling.
In the first show, John handled the PA system and narrated. He and I traded back and forth doing feats.
For the second show, I manned the PA and narrated and did 6 feats while John did 4. Everything went well, including my flaming hammer torch feat. Other feats that we did included the kiddie deadlift, phone book tearing, horseshoe bending, mace swinging, kettlebell juggling, and more. A rather diverse range of feats.
More to Come
As the rest of the shows progress, I will keep you posted. But I must say, I am pumped to be doing them.
I never thought I would ever get up on a stage and perform for a crowd. I always saw myself as more of the coach person who would help others enjoy the feats of strength by safely learning to do them themselves, but after just one day, I am excited to be given the opportunity to share what I know in this new way.
I really want to say thank you to John Beatty, “The Strongman,” for giving me this opportunity. Find out more about John here: John Beatty The Strongman.
Oh, and by the way, my favorite feat so far has been bending stuff while laying on the bed of nails. Surprisingly the pain from 600 nails digging into your butt and back fizzles away when the adrenaline rushes through the body.
If you are in the area, be sure to stop by. If not, keep coming by the site as I will be adding to this post as the shows go on.
All the best in your training,
Today, I have a review on my Nail Bending DVD from EJ Livesey, a guy who has accomplished quite a bit in his short time bending, certifying on the IronMind Red Nail, among other elite-level bends.
As you read, you have to understand that to say that EJ Livesey is “intense,” would be a huge understatement. This guy is willing to look for, buy and put instruction into action, and he’s willing to put in the work to be great. EJ, like many others I have helped, (and maybe even like you) had the potential to be great at bending already – I just showed him how to turn all of his strength into being a nasty bending machine. Check it out…
My name is EJ Livesey, and I have been bending since 2010. When it comes to learning new things, I am a very visual person. My luck and progress in Bending came slowly until I got Jedd’s DVD NAIL BENDING: HOW TO MELT STEEL WITH YOUR BARE HANDS.
When I saw the DVD advertised, I knew right away this would skyrocket my success, so I had to have it. Now some of the information in the DVD, such as the different types of wrapping materials, I was already familiar with. Other things, such as the correct mechanics for the different styles of bending I was not so familiar with.
With the DVD playing in front of me, I was able to wrap up a piece of 9/32″ drill rod in a set of Ironmind Pads. At the time, this piece of metal I could only kink in these pads (IronMind Wraps make the bend much harder, due to the lack of padding). So I studied the DO (Double Overhand) section over and over.
For me, DO was always weak and painful, until the “circle of strength” was discussed and explained in the DVD. I finally saw the error of my ways, and right away my DO was strong.
Within a few weeks (as opposed to months), I was strong enough to bend the Red Nail in IronMind pads. I was amazed and a true believer.
There are tons of little secrets to be learned in all of the different styles of bending, and these secrets are explained by one of the best in the community, Jedd. These secrets need to be explained by an elite bender, or you are in for a long road of pain and disappointment.
Other very important aspects of this DVD, are the Recovery and Strength sections. There are tons or exercises out there and tons of products that claim to make your hands and arms stronger. However, all you need are a few simple exercises/movements. This is the information you could spend months trying to find and never get a credible answer. Jedd does all the work for you and his reputation speaks for itself.
The end of this August I will have been bending for 2 years. I have certified on the Red Nail, bent the King of All Bastards Bar in 1.25″ double wraps, Stainless Steel Hex Bar in IronMind Pads, and my favorite: an 8″ adjustable wrench unbraced Double Overhand. All those bends in less than 2 years, and your DVD helped, a lot.
Jedd knows what will work, and work fast. If your dream is to bend the Red, be the “freak at work” or bend some bastards, buy HOW TO MELT STEEL WITH YOUR BARE HANDS. You will be satisfied.
Certified Red Nail Bender
EJ – Thanks for the awesome words. Looking forward to more awesome bending exploits from you, dude!
All the best in your training,
For a few months now, my friend Sean Dockery and I have been doing weekly to bi-weekly episodes of Grip Strength Radio, where we run down interesting happenings in the sport of Grip, as well as talk about effective ways we have found to train for Grip Strength, and many other cool topics.
GSR Episode 15
Our most recent interview was with The Iron Tamer Dave Whitley. Dave is a Senior RKC, meaning he is one of the top ranking instructors in all of the Dragondoor/Russian Kettlebell echelon. He also is enamored with the olde-time strongman legacy, performs the classic feats of strength, and is also a very entertaining guy.
I first learned about Dave back in 2007, but never got the chance to meet him until 2009. I was at a conference and I looked to my right and there he was. I introduced myself and we instantly went out into the lobby to chat.
We shot this video:
As it turns out, on top of holding jobs in the past as a massage therapist, a rock star, and now as a top performer of strongman feats and instructor in the area of kettlebells, Dave was also, for a time, a professional wrestler.
As you will be able to tell, the content for the interview wrote itself, and I finally got my revenge on the Iron Tamer.
Check out the show here: Grip Strength Radio with the Iron Tamer Dave Whitley
Also, make sure you give a good listen to the song played during the second break. It’s called “Water” by the band Hands. Doc added it in and it’s awesome. He has reached out to many record companies and almost all of them have allowed us to use their music, so stay tuned to future shows because you may just hear a future hall of famer like Guns n’ Roses or someone who will try to deny entry to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, like Axel Rose.
Other Recent Grip Strength Radio Shows
In addition to the interview with Dave, Sean and I also have a bunch of other shows we have recorded in the last few weeks:
If you are familiar with iTunes, you can sign up for subscription updates for Grip Strength Radio through the iTunes store.
All the best in your training.
with CRUSH: Total Gripper Domination.
Two Bent Shoes by Jason Bergmann
Bending your first horseshoe is one of the milestones you will never forget when you practice feats of strength. After all, these damn things are made to go on the feet of horses and ponies and to take a freakin’ beating.
Bending horseshoes is no joke.
I recently got an order from one of the members of the Diesel Universe, for the Hammering Horseshoes DVD. Shortly afterwards, I got an email from him as well. His name was Jason Bergmann, a Strongman Competitor who does strength demo’s for youngsters in his area, and he said he was looking to add Horseshoe Bending to his repertoire of grip strength feat.
Check out the email he sent me below:
I just ordered the Hammering Horseshoes DVD from your site. Since it will take a few days to get the DVD I really wanted to order some horseshoes as well. Since that info is in the DVD could you give me a few suggestions for beginners? I currently compete in Strongman and my brothers and I do demo’s for k-8 schools and I would like to add this in to my program along with a few other grip feats. So If I can order some shoes and get them around the same time as the DVD it would save me some time. Thanks, Jason Bergmann
Ordering horseshoes ahead of time actually seemed like a damn good idea, so I pointed him to this post, Horseshoe Progression List, and told him to check out Ken-Davis.com to pick up some shoes.
Well Jason Bergmann is a true action taker, because he jumped on the Ken-Davis site and had the shoes at his house before the DVD even got there! And I don’t wait when I send in these orders. I could see right now that this dude was serious!
Today, I got another email from Jason and this time, and this time I could tell he was excited. Check this out:
Jedd, I came home from strongman training and saw the DVD arrived today! I was going to wait to watch it and maybe try some shoes tomorrow since I had already tried to bend a few before watching the DVD (didn’t even nudge a diamond classic #2). But after watching about half the dvd on wrapping technique and learning more about the kink I gave it a go.
- After giving it a few tries on the lightest shoe I had bought (St. Croix Forge polo #0), I knew something wasn’t right. Repositioned the shoe and followed the tips in the video and started to bend the shoe! I will admit that I used a towel on my leg to get it past 180 degrees and I’m sure I will have a bruise or two. After about 5 minutes I had to see if I could do it on my right side as well (torn pec on that side) and after getting everything set up right that went as well.
- Without the tips and technique on your DVD it would have taken me a lot longer to figure it out if at all. I can say after bending my first shoes that it is not a trick. Getting the leverages right yes, but trick no! Thanks for putting the DVD together and putting so much information in it. Well worth the money and when I’m looking to try another feat of strength I will be checking out your other products. Thanks, Jason Bergmann
The Hammering Horseshoes DVD, Two Slain Shoes, and the Wraps Used to Slay Them
DIESELS, this kind of stuff gets me pumped up!!
I love hearing about success stories such as this one! Being a part of their success is even more awesome. That is why I put together these instructional videos – I know how cool this stuff is and I want you to experience it too.
That is also why I partnered up with my buddy, Mike Rinderle on Hammering Horseshoes and Braced Bending – he gets pumped up hearing about new benders’ success every bit as much as I do.
If you want to see what it feels like to have the crafted steel of a horseshoe bend to your will, make sure to get our DVD, Hammering Horseshoes. We’ll get you going on the right path, just like Jason Bergmann is doing now.
All the best in your training.
I am proud to announce that one of my coaching clients, Richard Giese, has succeeded in bending the IronMind Red Nail with IronMind Wraps and no rubber bands only.
Rick first contacted me at the beginning of last year and wanted coaching on Grip and Bending. He said he felt he had a good understanding of Grip and Bending, but he wanted some guidance to break through some plateaus. He told me his goals, sent me his list of Grip equipment (dude ricks nice collection of toys), and we scheduled our first coaching call.
We got started with a complete Grip and Bending program last February, and his progress immediately started exploding.
In less than a month, he was bending steel equivalent in size to the red nail in leather wraps here and there. Once he started dominating them, we then began the transition away from leather and towards IronMind cordura wraps, which make the feat much harder.
This journey to slaying the Red Nail did not come easy. Along the way, Rick experienced a couple of injuries. One of them, he was ripping a giant phone book with insufficient warm-up and jacked something in his forearm.
A few months later, he messed up a shoulder doing double digit repetitions in the Muscle-up.
These turned out to be significant injuries that required professional assistance in order to overcome. Some people, when they get injured, throw in the towel and they give up on their goals and dreams, but not Rick.
Rick contacted a very good chiropractor in his area and got the treatments he needed to bring his body back to 100%.
When his body needed the recovery time to battle the injuries, he deloaded, not allowing himself to get distracted by the injury but rather to give his limbs the time they needed to come back.
Rick came back stronger than before after both injuries and now he is still doing elite-level bodyweight feats like double-digit Muscle-ups, Human Flags, Dragon Flags, and now Bending Red Nails in authentic fashion, all while in his early 40’s.
It’s been my pleasure working with Rick over the course of the last year and I can’t wait to see what else he accomplishes. We just sat down for a re-alignment of goals via Skype last week, and he tells me that now he has his eyes set on the Inch Dumbbell.
I take no credit at all for Rick’s accomplishment. He is the one that fought the battles. He is the one that got stopped along the way, threw half bent Red Nails through dry wall. And he is the one that took the energy and refocused it where it needed to go, while also accomplishing some other awesome bodyweight and grip strength feats along the way.
Please feel free to leave a comment below for Rick. It’s been awesome being his coach through this journey and becoming good friends with him along the lines as well.
All the best in your training,
P.S. Want to bend the Red Nail one day? You can start out like Rick did with my renowned ebook on nail bending, so creatively named, The Nail Bending eBook. Click the image below.
These are some of the examples of questions I have gotten:
Which horseshoes are best for beginners to bend?
Are there any more shoes in my difficulty level I can bend to add to my collection?
I have hit a wall with my horseshoe bending – are there other shoes I can use to break through my plateau?
These are all perfectly valid questions, and I think today’s post is going to help a lot.
After all, when you are new at Bending Horseshoes, it’s nice to have some shoes that are on the easier side so you can work on technique on lighter shoes before progressing upwards.
And of course, once you hone your technique, you will want some reasonable jumps to make as you move up the ladder.
And, if you happen to be a gifted Horseshoe Bender and are aiming to be one of the best, then you’ll need to know which ones to choose in order to climb the mountain.
All levels of bending prowess need variety and that is what this post will give you.
Hammering Horseshoes DVD Progression List
In our DVD, Hammering Horseshoes, Mike and I laid out a nice progression of the most common shoes – the most widely available, and most often bent. We ended up with more than a dozen horseshoes for people to choose from.
However, as time has gone by, we found that people wanted even more shoes. We found that people are willing to put in the work to find some of the more rare shoes, just so that they can make smaller jumps without running into a wall on the track to Horseshoe Bending Heroism.
So, Mike and I reached out to one of the top horseshoe benders in the world, David Wigren. You see, David actually designed the progression for the current horseshoe certification list that is used by most benders on-line at Benders’ Battlefield.
One of the things David and I talked about was, why, if there are so many more shoes on the market, are they not included on the current horseshoe bending certification progression list?
This is what he had to say:
- “The #1 reason why there aren’t more shoes on the cert list is to avoid unintentional overlapping. As you know steel varies, and because of that my idea was just to have a “safety” distance between each shoe, so that the easiest level 10 shoe won’t be easier than any level 9 shoe.
- The 2nd reason is that not a whole lot of shoes meet the criteria. Some shoes vary a lot, so they won’t be added to the list. Clipped and healed shoes won’t be added, since it would be easy to manipulate a clipped shoe and get away with it.
- I also wanted all the shoes (with one or two exceptions) to be available in most parts of the world. However I’m only that picky when it comes to the cert list. I do have a list that is more “approximated” and contains more shoes. This list contains most of the shoes I’ve bent (or partially bent) and I’ve rated them by the difficulty I experienced while bending them.
- Unfortunately not all shoes are on there. But I think Rinderle could fill in with some other shoes he’s bent, and you’ll end up with a pretty good list.”
So, Mike and I put out heads together and placed a few more shoes on the list to help you guys out. What we came up with appears below.
Now, remember as you look at and utilize this list that shoes will vary, even within the same shoe. You may find weaker shoes in a given variety that could be easier than shoes that are ranked below them on the list. This is just the reality of the feat of strength of bending. Use this as your guideline to greatness with horseshoe bending.
Horseshoe Progression List
1. St. Croix Forge Ultralite #2
2. St. Croix Forge Ultralite #1
3. St. Croix Forge Polo #2
4. St. Croix Forge Polo #1
5. St. Croix Forge Polo #0
6. St. Croix Forge Polo #00
7. Diamond Classic 1
8. Diamond Classic 0
9. Diamond Classic 2
10. St. Croix Forge Lite Rim 0
11. Kerckhaert sx7
12. St croix Lite rim 2
13. Nordic Delux 2
14. St croix lite rim 3
15. Nordic Delux 3
16. St croix lite rim 1
17. Werkman 3
18. Kerckhaert SSP 8×22 #3
19. St croix Lite plain #3
20. Kerckhaert SN 8×25 #5
21. Kerckhaert SSP 8×22 #2
22. Diamond bronco PL 000
23. 5/16×7/8 healed
24. Wide sliding plate
25. Kerckhaert SSP 8×22 #1
26. st croix forge regular plain 000
27. Kerckhaert SN 8×25 #3
28. Diamond special 5
29. Kerckhaert SSP 10×22 #5
30. St. croix plain regular #3
31. SSP 8×18 #000
32. SN 8×20 #000
33. Kerckhaert SN 10×22 #3
34. Kerckhaert SSP extra 8×22 #0
35. Unmarked healed shoe 3/8×3/4
36. AB #6
37. Kerckhaert WH 10×28 #6
I hope this new Horseshoe Bending Progression List helps you all out. You now have a huge list of shoes to choose from. Take note, some of these shoes are much more common than others, and some can be nearly impossible to find.
What you should do right now is Bookmark this post, because I can assure you from time to time I will hear from more people who have bent lots of horseshoes over the years and I will add to this list from time to time.
Of course, just because you know which shoes are easy and which ones are hard, don’t be surprised if you can’t bend one of the easier shoes. Horseshoe Bending is extremely dependent upon technique. You can be strong as a son of a bitch and still get your ass handed to you by a shoe that is residing way over on the lighter side of the spectrum.
So, when you go on-line or to the local Farrier supply shop to order your shoes, add the Hammering Horseshoes DVD to your shopping list as well so you can learn the right techniques for horseshoe bending. Pick it up below:
All the best with your horseshoe bending,
P.S. HUGE thanks to David Wigren and Mike Rinderle for helping me put this together for everybody!
The Braced Bending DVD is now available world-wide: Destroy Everything in Your Path.
I have had lots of questions from people wanting to know exactly what braced bending is and what is covered in the Braced Bending DVD, so I wanted to answer some of those questions right now.
Here is some information about the practice of Braced Bending and our DVD.
Braced Bending Information
There is a lot that is involved in Braced Bending. Below is a list of common questions about Braced Bending. The list of questions and answers about Braced Bending below is really just scratching the surface. Our DVD goes into much more detail than this and covers much more information as it gets into the instructional portions and technique demonstration within the DVD.
What is Braced Bending
Braced Bending is the act of bending steel, tools, or other odd objects through the use of your hands and the rest of your body, except your feet (the feet are used for what is called Scrolling).
In this DVD, we show you the basics of Braced Bending, as well as many specific Braced Bending techniques. This DVD is packed with instruction, running nearly 2 hours of solid information, and no fluff or filler.
What Feats are Included in Braced Bending?
Braced Bending includes but is not limited to bending all of the following types of objects:
- Short Bars: These are steel bars that usually 14-inches or shorter.
- Mid-length Bars: These are steel bars that are usually 14 to 30-inches in length.
- Long Bars: These are bars that are 30-inches or longer.
- Wrenches: There are a LOT of different kinds of wrenches available to bend, combination wrenches, tappet wrenches, and adjustable wrenches, just to name a few.
- Hammers: Framing hammers are the most commonly bent style of hammer, and many types are bendable.
- Spikes: There are many types of spikes out on the market, especially if you include bolts into this category, along with nails. Their difficulty can vary quite a bit depending on the manufacturer and other variables.
What are the Basics of Braced Bending?
- Wraps: The ends of the bars, tools, and other objects that are bent can often be very rough and possible cut you, so they are often wrapped as a means of protecting the skin. These are generally made out of suede, cordura, or towels.
- Gloves: For some feats, such as Hammer bending, it can be almost impossible to wrap the object with wraps. In these cases it is more common to wear gloves in order to protect the hands.
- Pads: Since these feats require you to press the object against a part of your body, padding is often used. Beginners will often use additional padding until the areas of the body toughen up.
- Materials to Bend: As you can see there are many things you can bend, once you know how. Being able to bend a variety of objects of varying lengths and thicknesses will make you a more well-rounded bending machine.
- Knowledge / Technique: Obviously brute strength will only get you so far. Knowing the proper techniques for Braced Bending makes an incredible difference in your bending success. That is especially where our Braced Bending DVD comes in.
On top of covering all of the above information in complete detail, Mike and I also take you through the proper Warm-up Techniques, Strength Training Movements, and other measures you can take to be a great bender, while remaining injury free.
Mike and I also have a little something special planned for those who pick up the DVD before January 26th, so make sure to check this out right now: How to Do Braced Bending.
Make sure your order your copy of Braced Bending today in order to take advantage of the special bonus offer and start your bending journey on the right foot!
All the best in your training,
When I was a kid, maybe 8 years old, I was caught in a tornado.
It was one of the scariest moments of my life and to this day I still have nightmares about it.
You see, my family and I were fishing in a pond in our small boat. It was something we did quite routinely in the summer-time.
I remember the fish were biting, the sun was out, and it was an awesome day.
But then, all of a sudden, it was like the fish just shut down. The sun moved behind the clouds, and the breeze quit blowing.
It was really quiet, a strange and eery quiet – more like an absence of sound, where your ears start pumping as if they are desperately searching for something to hear…
Then, CRACK! There was an immense thunder-clap followed by a crack of thunder and instantly the rain started coming down.
My dad rushed us back to shore and we sprinted to our truck where we waited the storm out. I still remember the tornado shaking the truck.
Even as scary as the storm was, the thing that I remember most is that strange calmness that came about – the Calm Before the Storm, so they call it.
Well, right now is the Calm Before the Storm, because very soon the Tornado of craziness that is the Braced Bending DVD will come out.
I’ve worked very hard on this DVD to make it a winner for you.
I’ve edited and re-edited the video. I’ve added voice-overs, and put in slow-motion replays so that you can get the absolute best look at these amazing feats being done, so that you too can perform them.
Yes, this is the Calm Before the Storm, and just as that Tornado tore through the countryside shaking cars, ripping down branches, and knocking over old barns leaving a path of destruction behind it, when you get this DVD, you will be able to cut your own swath of damage as well.
After all, this DVD is called Braced Bending: How to Destroy EVERYTHING in Your Path.
As I put the final touches on everything that needs to be done, it is the Calm Before the Storm.
And the Tornado is this DVD.
More to come later. Keep your eyes open for more storm warnings from me, because this a storm you HAVE to see.
P.S. No DVD anywhere will show you the detail that Mike and I do. There is nothing that compares to it. Believe me – I’ve seen them all.
When it comes to Feats of Strength, people know where to go in order to get the proper technical instruction they need.
They come to me.
They know I most likely either have an ebook or DVD showing them the exact techniques for the feat of strength they want to accomplish, OR I have explained it at The Grip Authority.
Common Questions about Performing Feats of Strength
One of the topics you been asking about lately is “how do I get started with feats of strength?”
You want to know what wraps to get for bending. This is very important because there are many options out there and some are better than others.
You want to know what kind of protection to use on their body, especially when doing things like braced bending or horseshoe bending which requires you to press the object against your body.
You want to know what kind of steel to buy. This one REALLY varies, depending on what kind of feats you want to do – Braced? Unbraced? Log bars? Mid bars? Short bars? When you get into shapes, then it just gets even more confusing.
How to Get Started – The Essential Basics
To continue with this tradition of being the go-to guy for learning feats of strength, I asked my good friend, Mike Rinderle, to put together something that will cover EXACTLY these principal topics:
- What Kind of Wraps to Buy
- Where to Go to Buy Your Wraps
- What Steel to Buy for Bending
- What Kind of Steel to Avoid for Bending (Safety-Wise)
- What Kind of Odd Objects the Pro’s Bend
If you are into Feats of Strength and you want to learn the basics from one of the best all around benders in the world, then you need to check out the video that Rindo put together.
Why This Video is Awesome
The best thing about this video is that it is no fluff. I do a quick Intro, Mike covers everything in about 8 PowerPoint slides, and then I close it to give you an important message, and that’s it.
Once it is queued up, it will take you like 5 minutes to watch it and take notes, then it is just up to you to get the stuff.
Plus it costs you nothing – $0.
All the best in your Feat of Strength training,
This is a guest post by professional strongman Chris “Hairculese” Rider. Chris is a master strongman, and protege of Dennis Rogers, who performs internationally and is regarded as one of the top oldetime strongmen in the world. He is also a personal strength coach and co-star in the feature film “Bending Steel”. Standing at 6′ 04″ and weighing in at just over 300 #’s Chris has performed a wide range of world class strength feats such as bending 6″, 8″, & 10″ adjustable wrenches into “S” shapes, bending 3/8″ x 12″ steel spikes with just his hands while using an overhand grip, and even pulling airplanes & braking chains with his HAIR! Speaking of chain breaking, that brings us to Chris’ guest post.
How to Break a Chain, the Classic Feat of Strength
A lot of the strongman performers throughout history have incorporated the feat of breaking chains into their shows at one time or another. Not only is this a great visual feat but it also captivates the audience and furthers the strengthening and toughening of the performer.
Many styles of this feat have been deployed and adapted over the years. Strongmen like The Mighty Atom and his protege Slim the Hammerman Farman would use a belt and break the chain with expansion of the chest cavity.
Others like Dennis Rogers and Tommy Heslep would fasten the chain to the floor in some manner and break it with a one hand dead lift style motion. Steve “the Crusher” Weiner would attach the chain to the floor and break it with a head harness.
I generally perform the feat similar to this but I don’t use my hand or a head harness – I use my HAIR. Still others like Stanless Steel and Irish strongman John McGrath would simply grab the chain and pull it apart with just their hands. This is the style I am going to discus here.
The Type of Chain to Use for Chain Breaking
First off let’s talk about the chain to use. It is a non-welded link chain referred to as “jack chain” or “single jack chain”. I have seen jack chain made from aluminum, brass, steel, or stainless steel. Steel variations can be raw uncoated steel, galvanized, nickel plated, etc. The coatings generally do not affect the strength of the chain only the appearance and the ability to inhibit rust formation. The strength comes from the make up of the underlying steel. Steel is the most commonly available and more often than not has a coating on it.
Chain Size and Breaking Strength
Now let’s discus sizing. Jack chain is described by what is known as trade sizes. The larger the trade size number the smaller the chain. A good size to start with for breaking with the hands for someone who regularly trains their hands is #12. From there is #10 (a respectable feat), #8 (which can take around 300 pounds of pressure to fully separate), and finally the largest of the jack chains #6 (which fully separates at around 400 pounds of pressure).
Now these poundage numbers are not the same as chain working load limit numbers. In an industrial setting chain failure occurs when the link opens just enough for the interlocking link to pass through. This is a much different thing than fully parting the chain in a direct pull. These numbers will also differ from one manufacturer to another depending on the grade of steel wire used to form the link and the overall link design. If you decide that this is something you would like to pursue, get chains from different manufacturers of the same trade size and find what you like best – everyone will have different preferences.
Safety Precautions in Chain Breaking
Next let’s discus safety precautions. As with any feat of strength there are inherent risks associated. Since the hands are the contact point to the chain, they will need to be protected.
A heavy leather/canvas set of work gloves should satisfy this. There are sharp edges on the ends of every link, without gloves those edges will dig directly into the hands. When the chain parts it could easily cut or tear away the flesh of the hands. Quality heavy industrial style gloves are a must for this reason.
Both gloves and jack chain up to size #10 are widely available at most hardware and home improvement type stores.
How to Break a Chain with Your Hands
Now that the chain and gloves are covered let’s move into the feat itself. Start with a length of chain somewhere around 3 to 4 feet in length. Trial and error will soon let you know what length chain works best for you. Everyone will have a different preference with their hand width and thickness and how many times they are comfortable wrapping the chain around their hands.
With gloves on, grasp one end of the chain in each hand. The end should be near the pinky side of the palm. With the chain held in place with the finger tips, wrap the chain around the back of the hand and up the palm again over-lapping the end so it does not slip under tension. Repeat this as many times as desired.
When finished there should be one to three links visible between the thumbs of the clenched fists.
Now take the non-dominant hand and post it to the outside of the non-dominant leg about mid thigh. Squeeze the chain securely in your grip and pull with the dominant hand and break the chain. This motion is very similar to the one used for bending horseshoes.
Speaking of horseshoes, pulling on chain in this manner with a size you are unable to part or with a welded link chain has an isometric training effect that can help improve your horseshoe pulling power.
I am a firm believer in working directly with what it is you want to get better or stronger at, but this is one of the occasions where one feat has carryover into another. There are dynamics to both of these feats that can compliment each other and there are also elements that are unique to each feat.
Other Safety Precautions for Chain Breaking
Another aspect to be aware of with chain breaking with the hands in the manner described above is the possibility to hyper extend the non-dominant arm. If effort is being exerted in a downward motion with the posting hand and the chain gives way, there is no longer resistance to that force and the extension range is not substantial enough for proper deceleration to occur. Point being, post with the posting hand and limit the downward thrust – focus on pulling with the dominant hand instead. This will somewhat lessen the size of chain you will be breaking but in the long run I feel it will develop greater power and a more conditioned body for this feat while lowering the risk factor for injury.
With this introduction to chain breaking with the hands you will be able to build power to compliment your horseshoe bending, train isometrically for increased strength, join those who have gone before us in the realm of strongmanism, and add an impressive feat to your resume.
There you have it, what you need to get started with chain breaking. That is one of the many feats that are featured in the upcoming film “Bending Steel”. To learn more about that film, it’s story, release date, and cast go to http://www.bendingsteelmovie.com and watch the special teaser videos with clips from the film. There are even clips of the “Coney Island Strongman Spectacular” that Rider coordinated with Coney Islands Adam “The First Real Man” Rinn. The show that received “Time Out New York’s Critics Pick” and was given press by the New York Times & the New Yorker! At http://www.bendingsteelmovie.com there is also a way where YOU can be a part of this movie too!
Chris “Hairculese” Rider
Sign up for the Feats of Strength Newsletter Below!
Check out the results of the Classic Strongman Feats Tournament…
Week 5 Bracket Video
Ending Score Totals
David Wigren – 7 Points * WINNER – $100
Cameron Bailey / Darrin Shallman – 5 Points – * WINNERS – $50 Each
Mike Rinderle – 4 Points – * WINNER – $50 worth of Steel from SteelBenders.org
David Horne – 3 Points
Richard MacLean / Jason Steeves – 2 Points
Daniel Reinard – 1.5 Points
EJ Livesey – 1 Point
Christopher Smith – .5 Points
Winners, please send me your paypal addresses so I can get your prize payments to you!
Want to learn how to do Feats of Strength? Check out these trusted resources:
First off, I hope all of you are safe and sound after the hurricane on the East Coast on the United States. I know some friends in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey lost some power and saw damages from the storm, so please take care!
LOVING WWE PROGRAMMING!
Second, I just want to say that if you follow WWE Wrestling, like me, you know its been an exciting few weeks with the return of Kevin Nash and the drama between him, Triple H and CM Punk. What an awesome time!
However, if you are thinking that Stephanie McMahon sent the text message to Kevin Nash to come to Summer Slam and Jack-knife Power-Bomb CM Punk, I am sorry but you are mistaken. I am going to make the call right now, that the culprit who stole Triple H’s phone and requested Nash’s punishing appearance is actually Shane McMahon, making his return to the family business…
I am obviously SPOT ON, but if you have another guess, feel free to post in the comments.
Now, for more important matters – the Classic Strongman Feat Tournament…
Many have been pondering what the final feat in the tournament could be. Watch the video below and you will find out.
Since all of the rules are clearly stated in the video, I am only posting it right now and will add more information below in a few hours.
I do freelance work as a Spanish Interpreter and I have a large project that I have to work on for the company I used to work full time for, so I will be working on that for a bit and will return to the site later on.
However, once you watch the video, if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.
Thanks and all the best!
Usually, when you hear about a horseshoe tournament, you think of a bunch of old sun-burned dudes with beers in their hands wearing tank tops and wife beaters, throwing horseshoes into dirt or sand pits, trying to hit a stake for points.
Double Ringer – 6 Points – YEAH BUDDY!
There’s an old saying that mentions horseshoes that goes something like this: “Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”
What that means is that when you have a goal, you need to accomplish that goal, and not just settle for “almost got it.” You see, in normal horseshoes, if you almost hit the stake, then you still get partial points for your throw. Throwing grenades is kind of the same thing. You don’t have to hit your target spot on every time because the shrapnel will do the damage for you.
Well, almost doesn’t count in horseshoes when you’re bending them!
Last week was the fourth week in the Diesel Classic Strongman Tournament, and the feat of strength contested was Horseshoe Bending!
The great thing about last week’s tournament was that both master horseshoe benders and beginner horseshoe benders competed.
In case you are wondering, there is a near endless variety of horseshoes out there to try and bend. In our DVD, Hammering Horseshoes, Mike and I cover about a dozen types of shoes that are readily available and easily obtainable.
Mike and I are also working to extend this list in order to give more options for beginners as well as more steps in between established shoes. Look for this listing to come out sometime soon.
Now, let’s get back to the tournament.
Here are the standings after last week’s tournament:
- 1st – Cameron Bailey – 4.5 Points
- 2nd – David Horne / Mike Rinderle / Darrin Shallman – 3 Points
- 3rd – Richard MacLean / Jason Steeves – 2 Points
- 4th – Daniel Reinard – 1.5 Points
- 5th – David Wigren – 1 Point
Here is how the tournament panned out this week. Remember, a win is worth 1 point. A tie is .5 points, and a loss is worth zero. A lot of how the tournament works out each week depends on the luck of the draw and how many people submit entries into the tournament.
So, after this weeks bracket, we now have a new leader and the running score is looking very different. Here are the standings:
- Darrin Shallman – 5 Points
- Cameron Bailey – 4.5 Points
- David Wigren – 4 Points
- David Horne / Mike Rinderle – 3 Points
- Richard MacLean / Jason Steeves – 2 Points
- Daniel Reinard – 1.5
- EJ Livesey – 1 Point
- Christopher Smith – .5 Points
So, now we head into the final week of the Classic Strongman Feats Tournament.
The rules for the final showdown of the tournament will be posted tomorrow.
Believe me, you do not want to miss the final turn of this spectacle. There will be MANY points up for grabs.
Now, let’s check out the awesome shoe bends from the entrants this week:
David Wigren – Kerckheart SSP 8X18 #000
Mike Rinderle – St Croix Forge Plain Regular #3
EJ Livesey – St Croix Forge Lite Rim #1
Darren Shallman – Diamond Classic #1
Daniel Reinard – St Croix Forge Polo #1
Andy Thomas – St. Croix Forge Ultra Lite #2
Christopher Smith – St. Croix Forge Ultra Lite #2
Great week guys. Look for the next challenge very soon.
You know that a few weeks back Mike Rinderle and I released a new DVD called Hammering Horseshoes: How to Bend, Mangle and Destroy Horseshoes.
This title is not just some unfounded hype. What we put together will soon show hundreds of people how to cause severe damage to perfectly good horseshoes.
After the introductory sale of our DVD was over, a superb horseshoe bender from Florida, named Carl Ansara, offered to purchase an additional DVD to be given to a winner of an essay contest.
The rules of the contest were simple. Send in an essay of 250 words or less describing why you should win the free copy.
Horseshoe Bending DVD Contest Submissions
Below are the four entries Mike and I received. I wanted to post them here for everyone to see. Thanks to those who sent in submissions!
From: Kevin Greto
Over the past two years I have been getting more and more into grip training, and I couldn’t be happier. Strong forearms, hands that can bend steel and/or tear phonebooks/decks of cards in half; it really is the small (roughly 7inches from base of my palm to the tip of my middle finger) things in life that make you happy.
Jedd Johnson always puts out great products; I’ve been lucky enough to pick up both his steel bending DVD and his card tearing ebook, which have helped me greatly in becoming inspired and excelling with more odd training in the world of grip.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Mike Rinderle twice via the World Strongest Hands competitions, and it was very inspiring watching him coach another student new to horseshoe bending through his first 180 degree shoe bend. Both these men have exposed me to feats of strength in the grip world that I have never seen/imagined accomplishing before, and now I cannot wait to smash through them.
The simple answer for why I should be entered in to win the Hammering Horseshoes DVD: Because I will use it. The full body, explosive nature of bending horseshoes is extremely interesting to me. I love the idea of taking on horseshoes with my bare hands, man versus steel. I would love to win the DVD because I would love to cut my learning time in half to accomplishing the awesome feat of strength that is horseshoe bending.
Thank you for this opportunity, Carl Ansara.
From: Cameron Bailey
I think I need the Hammering Horse Shoes video because I think the Lord gave me a gift with strongman and he put people in the world like Mike and Jedd to give me enough knowledge to get better at these things.
I want to one day be one of the best benders in the world, all around benders not just one style. I am not very good at anything braced and since Horse Shoes are braced it would be a big help with the knowledge on this DVD. The DVD would help me a lot for the goals I am aiming for. I ask humbly as an amateur to consider giving me the DVD. Thanks for you time.
From: Matt Logan
First off, I have been a big fan of the Diesel Crew and I have been directing anyone that wants to know or needs to know about grip strength to you guys. Over the summer break, I bought a bundle of horseshoes at a tractor and farm store. I have been performing max effort isometrics on them with some contour wraps.
So far I cannot budge them; maybe it’s a flawed technique or insufficient levels of strength. I can bend a 60 penny nail so my wrists are decently strong [but can and definitely will improve], I’m not exactly sure where I’m lacking in strength because I know that bending horseshoes is almost a full body movement and there isn’t a lot of information out there about bending shoes.
I’m also a college student and am taking 18 hours [which is the maximum amount that you can take] of computer science and engineering classes. So needless to say, I have absolutely no time for a part time job and no income aside from student loans and various grants. Thus unfortunately I cannot afford the DVD. I know that this DVD is targeting someone that is new-intermediate at bending the shoes and it would be amazing to receive. I give my word that if I win the DVD then I will not only study and put this DVD to use, but I WILL bend horseshoes and in time bend BIG horseshoes.
P.S.- All I have in this world is my word and my balls. And I don’t break either of them.
From: Matt Cannon
A Poem Entitled “Horseshoe Have Nots”
half-hank a horseshoe?
I have not,
but would like to.
Why? Says you.
what used to dangle
upon equine ankle?
Fine query! Says I.
Have fists have I?
Have wrists have I?
Indeed I have the
apparati to try!
Vim I’ve got.
Vigor I’ve got.
Horseshoes I’ve bought.
I have not.
Again, thanks to everybody who sent in submissions for the contest.
In case you all have not heard, Carl has been kind enough to award each person who put in a submission to the contest with a copy of the Hammering Horseshoes DVD. Carl said, “I want to do what I can to promote the support.”
Thanks Carl for doing this!! This kind of generosity makes a huge difference in relatively small sports such as Grip and Bending.
In addition to this contest, I also want to show you all how big of a difference this DVD is making for those who have bought it.
Check out the video clip below, from Christopher Smith…
Christopher competed in his first Grip Contest on August 12 and afterwards bent his first horseshoe to completion. It was a siege that lasted nearly half an hour and afterwards Chris was battered but the horseshoe also lay beaten. Tonight, he took the same shoe and bent it just over one minute.
Here’s a note from Christopher:
“I started bending steel in 2009 when I got a beginner’s bundle of steel, which included a couple horseshoes. At the time, and until a few weeks ago, I had no idea how to bend a horseshoe. I watched videos of others doing it and picked up bits and pieces but I struggled to get shoes past 90 degrees. A few weeks ago (and with some instruction) I bent my first shoe in about 25-30 minutes. After watching the DVD a few times I bent the same type shoe in 70 seconds. Thank you Jedd and Mike for giving me this incredible resource.”
Christopher Smith, TrainBetterFitness.com
Mike and I worked hard to make this a special DVD and when you pick it up, you’ll see just what I mean!
Go get the Hammering Horseshoes DVD and learn how to bend horseshoes.
All the best in your training.
The Mighty Atom, One of the Best Strongmen Ever
We are three weeks into the Diesel Classic Strongman Feats Tournament.
Here is where we left off going into last week:
- Cameron Bailey / David Horne – 3 Points
- Richard McLean / Jason Steeves / Mike Rinderle – 2 Points
- Daniel Reinard – 1.5
- David Wigren – 1 Point
Here is how the tournament panned out last week for Phone Book Tearing:
So, the new scores in the Phone Book Tearing bracket:
- Darren Shallman – + 3
- Cameron Bailey – +1.5
- Mike Rinderle – +1
- Cameron Bailey – 4.5 Points
- David Horne / Mike Rinderle / Darren Shallman – 3 Points
- Richard McLean / Jason Steeves – 2 Points
- Daniel Reinard – 1.5
- David Wigren – 1 Point
BOOM!! – Darren Shallman steps right into second place in the tournament with Rindo and Horne! Nice work, brother!
This Week’s Challenge – Horseshoe Bending
The Challenge this week is Horseshoe Bending. Below are the rules you should follow.
1. The horseshoe bend must be completed within 3 minutes
2. The horseshoe must be bent past 180 degrees. To demonstrate this, the horseshoe must be placed on a flat surface and show that at least one of the two legs is free from the surface and pointing upwards. If needed you are allowed to push down on one end of the horseshoe to demonstrate that the horseshoe is past 180. However no tilting of the horseshoe is allowed during this demonstration, therefore the entire horseshoe must be visible during this part of the demonstration.
3. The horseshoe is not allowed to be bent under your feet. During the bend both feet must remain on the floor and you are not allowed to lean on any stationary object. Other than that you are free to use whatever technique suits you best.
4. You must wrap the shoe on the video. Only single wraps allowed. Rubber bands and chalk are allowed. Leg padding is allowed as long as it is of “soft material”, and must be demonstrated by folding the padding on camera. A rolled up hand towel is the best material to use.
5. Before the bend during the documentation of the horseshoe all numbers, markings and brands that might be on the shoe must be shown as clearly as possible. Used horseshoes are not allowed.
6. Only completed shoe bends according to rule #2 will be counted.
These are the shoes that will be used for the contest. The list goes from easiest to hardest. The further down you go on the list (higher the number) the harder the shoe and the better your placement.
1. St. Croix Ultra Lite #2
2. St. Croix Polo #1
3. Diamond Classic #1
4. St. Croix Lite rim #3
5. St. Croix Lite rim #1
6. St. Croix Lite plain #3 / Kerckhaert SSP 8×22 #3
7. Kerckhaert SSP 8×22 #2
8. Diamond Bronco PL #000
9. Kerckhaert SSP 8×22 #1
10. St. Croix Regular Plain #000
11. Diamond Special #5
12. St. Croix #5 XTRA / Kerckhaert SSP 10×22 #5
13. St. Croix Plain Regular #3
14. Kerckhaert SSP 8×18 #000
15. AB 1×3/8 Draft Keg #6**
Need to know how to get started bending horseshoes? Maybe you’ve already bent horseshoes and you want to improve your horseshoe bending technique? Click the banner below to get our Horseshoe Bending DVD, Hammering Horseshoes…
All the best in your training,
How I Felt This Morning BEFORE Checking My Email
Like a Zombie, I struggled to get out of bed this morning because my daughter woke up screaming for some reason, but when I got her back to bed, I decided I’d log onto the email.
I went from exhausted to excited to .8 seconds, because I got some awesome feedback on the Hammering Horseshoes DVD.
Check it out:
I just wanted to give you a little feedback on the DVD. I have been interested in horseshoes for a while but really had no direction. When I heard that the dvd was coming out I figured that I would kind of see where I was at right now with no training or technique work. At that time I wasn’t able to get a SCF Pony to 180, barely got it to 90. I didn’t think that it could be a strength issue since I am in no way a newbie when it comes to strength or grip training. So, Wednesday my copy came in the mail, I watched it and went outside literally right away and was able to blast through a SCF Ultra Lite 2 and a Pony 2 both past 180. I could tell that my strength wasn’t challenged really in either attempt but I didn’t want to over do it. I have no doubt that I will be doing some tougher shoes in the training sessions to come. I just wanted to say thanks to you and Mike for putting out an awesome product. The instruction and tips were incredible. I don’t see how someone could watch this video and not be able to bend at least a novice shoe right away. Every time you make a new product it always goes beyond my expectations.
Chase, thanks a lot brother! I passed this onto Rindo, and he is stoked as well.
DIESELS, if you want to learn horseshoe bending the right way, Mike and I lay it all out for you. If you’ve bought any of my products from me then you know I always strive to (over)deliver. With Mike’s unbelievable help I was able to to that once again with this DVD.
Even if you’ve never bent or torn anything in your life, you’ve got to start somewhere, and you might as well start with something AWESOME!
All the best,
Week 2 of the Classic Strongman Feats Challenge is in the books! Last week the challenge was to rip a deck of cards in half and then quarter one of the halves!
This week’s winner is Cameron Bailey.
Check out how the tournament rolled out for this past week:
Scores from This Week:
- Bailey – + 3
- Reinard – + 1.5
- David Wigren – + 1
- McLean – + 1
- Steeves – + .5
- Rinderle – + .5
Scores from Last Week:
- 1 – David Horne – 3 Points
- 2 – Mike Rinderle – 1.5 Points
- 2 – Jason Steeves – 1.5 Points
- 3 – Richard McLean – 1 Point
Standings after Two Weeks:
- Cameron Bailey / David Horne – 3 Points
- Richard McLean / Jason Steeves / Mike Rinderle – 2 Points
- Daniel Reinard
- David Wigren – 1 Point
As you can see, the standings are VERY CLOSE!
Even if you have not submitted a video yet this month, with three weeks left to go, it is not too late to start submitting!
Click the image below…
Check out last week’s submissions for quartering a deck of cards!
Next week’s challenge is Phone Book Tearing.
If you don’t know how to do this feat, then you should check out Phone Book Mass Destruction.
All the best in your training!
In May this year, my buddy Mike Rinderle came up to the Diesel Fortress and together we shot footage for about 5 hours covering the basics and advanced techniques of Horseshoe Bending.
Let me just say that these 5 hours were an education for me by Professor Rinderle. This dude has taken the art of horseshoe bending and broken it down to its most basic parts and nearly turned it into a science.
I learned more about bending horseshoes from one man in 5 hours than I have learned in the last nearly 10 years. I was blown away, to say the least!
Hammering Horseshoes: How to Bend, Mangle and Destroy Horseshoes
When it came time to edit the video footage, I knew no one would want five hours of us rambling about Horseshoe Bending and how to get strong enough to do it, so instead I put together only the most important points that would allow you to become great at horseshoes bending.
I still ended up with 90+ minutes of kick-ass content.
Now, it should be mentioned that David Wigren, of Sweden, helped us out tremendously with this DVD, covering some of the history of horseshoe bending as well as some of the clearest and most definitive still shots of horseshoe bending technique I have EVER seen.
Mike and I both knew it would be an absolute travesty to not include these stills in the DVD somehow, so I dusted off some software I had for audio recording and did a voice over of Wigren’s unbelievable technical break-down of horseshoe destruction and that is included on the DVD as well.
Now the DVD was 105 minutes.
I also went through my archives of Diesel Footage and found a gem of a horseshoe bend by The Human Vise, Pat Povilaitis, from a strength gathering called, Night of Strength, from 2004 and put that in. Back in the day, Diesel Crew was known as the guys with the video camera. I think we were the only ones that had a camera back then and we captured Pay absolutely mutilating a giant shoe with ease and with speed!
Then I thought, if I am going to stick footage on this disk, I need to include how much Mike has progressed over the last 1.5 to 2 years in horseshoe bending.
So I scoured YouTube and downloaded 5 or 6 of his bends, from the time he struggled for over 5 minutes to bend a minor league horseshoe, to the bend that won him the title of Beast in the East in the Spring of this year, to some of the shoe bends that only a handful of people in the world have ever bent
Now, these classic bends are on the end of the disk so you can see just how much Mike has improved his technique over the years.
Technique, by the way is the most important part of horseshoe bending.
You can be as strong as a bull, but if you are not lined up properly at the start, you will NOT successfully kink that shoe.
You might be as tough as nails, but if you do not set the shoe up properly on the thigh, you will NOT be able to open it beyond 75-degrees.
Technique is what hammers horseshoes, and this DVD is full of it.
We will be helping novices get started safely on the right track to bending big shoes and we will be taking seasoned veterans smoothing out their technique and they are going to start bending shows many levels higher than they are at now.
With all the bonus footage, this disk is 2 hours long and there is not one minute of the disk that you won’t be learning or observing something that is going to help your horseshoe bending.
Thanks to Mike for the outstanding job he did in his first DVD – you looked and sounded like a pro, brother.
Thanks to David Wigren for your assistance and direction with the DVD. Without your contributions, it would not be what it has become.
And thanks to two very good friends of mine who have inspired and helped me over the years in my pursuit of strength, Pat Povilaitis and Dave Whitley, both horseshoe manglers themselves.
Now, my fried, it’s up to you.
All the best in your training,
Did you see how the first week in the Classic Strongman Feats Tournament panned out? If not, here is the video:
Congrats to David on the First Round Win in this Five-Round competition!
The standings from Week 1:
- 1 – David Horne – 3 Points
- 2 – Mike Rinderle – 1.5 Points
- 2 – Jason Steeves – 1.5 Points
- 3 – Richard McLean – 1 Point
This week’s feat is Card Tearing.
According to David Horne, the earliest recorded Grip Competition was a Card Tearing contest featuring various styles of tearing a deck of cards.
After all, there are many ways to tear a deck of cards:
- Tearing a Deck in Half Vertically
- Tearing a Deck Lengthwise
- Tearing Multiple Decks in Half
- Cornering a Deck
- Quartering a Deck
- Tearing While Wearing Gloves
- And the list goes on and on
In fact all these techniques are explained in my Card Tearing eBook, and I can show you how to do all of that stuff.
Despite all of many ways to tear a deck of cards, we will focus on only two of them: Tearing a Deck in Half and then Quartering one of those Halves, as quickly as possible.
Now, there are many styles of Decks of Cards out there, and the difficulty of these different decks varies quite a bit.
With that in mind, the standard deck we are going to use this week is Bicycle Brand. If you tear a deck of Bicycles in half and then quarter one half, then you will beat anyone you face who does not complete this feat with bicycles or someone who completes it with non-Bicycles. However, if you do complete the full feat with a deck of non-Bicycle Brand cards, then you will beat someone you face who could only rip the Bicycles in half.
So, again, the Ultimate Goal here is to tear a deck of Bicycles in half and then rip one half into half again.
If you do not have access to Bicycles, just rip what you have.
Aside from this there are only a few other rules:
- The Full Tear Must be Non-Braced (no bracing the cards or the hands against your thigh or stomach
- The Deck must be a new deck, showing the plastic wrap and seal being broken on camera
- You may use chalk, but no adhesive on the fingers
- As much of the tear should be done on camera (to prevent someone potentially dropping the deck out of the screen and then picking up another doctored deck)
- Other rules will be added as they come to me – try to stick to the legitimate form of the challenge please!
I am currently on vacation and I have not had the opportunity to film a demonstration, but this will happen if/when I am able.
Otherwise, get me your video submissions by 8 PM on Saturday, August 13th, 2011.
Get to tearin’ and Get to filmin’!!!
P.S. Thanks to the Bender’s Battlefield for donating $50 of Drill Rod!!!
P.P.S. Need to learn how to get hands tough enough to rip decks of cards in half like sheets of paper? Then get the ebook that shows you everything you need to know, SON!