Just wanted to post a high level summary of what I did to go from the White Nail to the Red Nail cert, what worked for me, what didn't etc.
- Purchased the Ironmind bag of nails over a year ago and was able to bend the white and green nail from the start. I couldn't budge a yellow though no matter now much I tried.
- Purchased Jedd's nail benidng ebook and read up on a few posts and was now able to bend the Yellow, Blue and a 60D nail.
First Lesson Learned: Switched my hands to a pistol grip made a big difference to be able to bend 1/4" steel and the kink.
- Took a good number of Yellows and Blues before I was even able to get a Grade 5.
Second Lesson Learned: After more video research I started to wrap the nails 1.5" into the wraps. This in combination with the pistol grip made for some good kinks and went from a Grade 5 to my first Grade 8 bend.
- Took some time off to focus on other aspects of grip but eventually returned and was still able to bend a Grade 5. It was a struggle but not too bad for taking time off.
- Worked on Grade 5's and 60D's for a while before I was able to get a G8 again just under 2 inches.
- After I got the G8 I figured it's time to try for the Red. Having never bent anything 5/16 in thickness I was initially very intimidated. Tried for a Red but it lauged in my face. I would make several of these type of attempts before having a long convo with Nate about Double Wraps.
Third Lessons Learned: Stopped bending in between workouts. This was throwing me off my routine and causing me to get frustrated if I couldn't bend something and would ruin the workout. Started to leave bending at the end of workouts so I was warmed up.
Fourth Lesson learned: Double wraps really helped to show that the Red was just steel and nothing more.
Fifth Lesson Learned: The importance of big movements and the upper body. Initially I wasn't doing any type of upper body exercises at all because I felt I didn't need them for grip. I was struggling with my crushing power big time. Once I started back with a strong upper body routine I saw much more improvemenet.
- I was able to kink and partially sweep a Red Nail in doubles but could never finish them. Started going from Doubles to singles to finish but was still only able to get a few here and there.
- Ended up having to take another break from bending due to my health and being in the hopsital for my crohns.
Sixth lesson learned: Buying more IM Pads and more steel! Another talk with Nate and some of the benders here I cut up a few IM Pads to go from Doubles, 1 +2/3 and 1 +1/3 for progression. I also took a trip to Home Depot and Lowes and found 5/16 HRS steel in either a Dull or Shiny variety. These were weaker than a Red but it allowed me to train towards the Red easier than by cutting it to the same exact length.
- From this point on I would only bend 7" steel but was still doing it after my workouts. I started bending more frequent and for a bit had really good success but then it started to all fall apart and my hands were never consistant with being able to tolerate the pain in my palms and over my middle fingers.
Seventh Lesson Learned: Rest and putting Bending first in the workout. After another talk with Nate I would stop bending whenever I felt I could and only bend 2 days a week with 3-4 days of rest in between. I would also start doing a general warm up first and get right into bending so I was fresh each and every time. This made all the difference and what helped me to progress even faster and eventually certify on the Red.
The whole Red Nail Journey was one big roller coaster of ups, downs and lessons learned. Hopefully anybody else who is going after the Red can see some of the mistakes I made and the changes to help them in their journey.