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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/09/2018 in all areas

  1. 22 points
    The Last Gripmas Carol Not sure where to start really. It started out where it was just going to be a sort of Listmas Carol. No contest – no Arm Lifting – no Medley. I wanted it to run it short and simple and then have a long session of visiting and feats of strength. Hopefully a few people would arrange some certs through Iron Mind and the various companies who did those. But no – I had to go and shoot for the moon. I added this – then that – and so on until pretty much there wasn’t anything left to add. As it turned out I think I tried for too much. I knew (or at least hoped) Gripmas would attract more people than my garage gym would hold – which added a whole new level of complexity to things. Living in Crooksville only gave me one choice which was Underground Athletics Gym here in town, a really nice facility that just opened last year. Thankfully they were fully on board – Jamie and Brittney Brannon were wonderful hosts. I agonized over moving everything down but in the end it turned out to be nothing – several of the Gripmas guys showed up – Jamie and several HS football players showed up – one of my climbing buddies was there – moving was a non-issue. In years past Teresa and I had cooked breakfast for everyone but that wasn’t going to work this year so I arranged with Peaches place (the only restaurant in town) - for a catered breakfast and supper for competitors and workers – wives etc. I thought the meals were really good even though we had to order more supper as we went through in like staving wolves. I had visited the gym several times and measured the floor etc working on where to put everything - which fell apart as soon as the doors opened and people showed up with bags, coats, more equipment etc. Every plan looks good until you get hit in the face LOL. At this point I realized my “plan” was out the window. Thank god for Katie Leitheiser – who must have been born with some “organizing” gene. She asked me if she could “take over” and being pretty much overwhelmed I said yes. So please say Thank You next time you see her. People started arriving, weigh ins and breakfast went down smoothly and it was time for certs and then grippers. We had a Red nail cert by Gary Stuart which blew my mind – not one but 3 Reds destroyed in one minute – insane! Brian Hunsacker did an IM #3 cert which looked like a toy gripper in his hand. The Don Cummins was up for a David Horne cert (2 David Horn 6” nails pre wrapped (a whole table top covered with them) – bend as many as possible in 2 minutes) – he blew through 15 and then I started I getting ready to catch him if he went down – his breathing got pretty hard by then. But all was well and he fought for 2 more before time ran out – a total of 17 – WOW! We started Grippers then – 20 mm block set on the NAGS gripper set of calibrated grippers. Going two at a time really speed things up – grippers went nice and smooth – with my injured hand making me do even worse than I would normally have done. I got 125# and missed 130#. Not to make light of the injury but I wouldn’t have done much better anyway. Next up was the David Horne two hand pinch. We had three stations – one for warm ups and then one set for each width – seemed to be a good system except not allowing at least a couple warmups on the competition set ups hurt people with their choices I think – I know it did me. My 2 HP training leading up to the comp had been horrible – with a top out of only 190 – then the last week jumped to 210 just one time – so I set that as my goal weight. It just so happened I ended up on Jedd’s Euro setup – and it felt amazing to me. Goal coming in was 210#. I don’t remember my exact attempts but I ended up with around 217# for my fourth attempt – and it felt like nothing at all. So I ask for an extra attempt – and then another (one nice thing about being the meet director hehe) – ended up pulling 232# (didn’t count of course) – only 3# off my all-time best ever – and at 70 years old – big smile! The pinch also ran smooth with one seeming hiccup in weight I failed to address – my fault. Next up is the Iron Mind Axle – a 2” barbell that had to be deadlifted – held to a down signal – then lowered. Once again a warmup station – and two comp setups. My goal coming in was 325# - a weight I had gotten up in training but wasn’t able to hold – so my comp goal was 325#. Ended up with somewhere around 336# so quite happy here as well. This was lower than the big boys even started lifting at ! We had a bunch of darn strong guys here! The Axle results counted towards the Arm Lifting part of that comp so they had one down. Those interested went over to do their other Arm Lifting competition pieces. I was glad we could include this in Gripmas – there is a rift between NAGS and Arm Lifting that I would like to see mended somehow – maybe this would help? While this was going on some of us were setting up the Medley. I went first and got 30 points – Aaron got 31 and Andrew Durniant got 29. I beat Andrew in a Medley! After my Hercules hold at BBB one time maybe the high point of my Grip career. Not everyone chose to do the Medley – lots of people started doing feats – bending horseshoes etc etc. About that time the food came and a pack of wolves couldn’t have hit it any harder – I had to order more pizza and wings before a mutiny broke out. Not much went on after this so we started handing out awards – of which there were many – thanks to the tremendous generosity of all the competitors bringing items to add to the mix! I want to give Jedder a big Thank You as he gave me back his first place cash award – he’s one hell of a friend and such a positive to the sport of Grip. Seemed people were winding down and ready to leave but many stayed to help take all my equipment back up to my gym at home. A couple thousand pounds of muscle and a couple trucks made mighty short work of it. We all said good byes and all of a sudden Tee and I were on our own with sons Sean and Josh – the quiet was deafening! Once inside - a drink and several glasses of water – a bath and a bed. Slept in the next day – pancakes and eggs – then out to the gym to start putting things back in their proper place. Six or so hours for Teresa and I and it was pretty much back to normal. And The Last Gripmas Carol was done – a very bitter sweet day!
  2. 22 points
    Hello All, Did some revolving handle lifts last night. I will try the crusher next, then the Rolling Thunder. Hopefully I will be able to do some official lifts in the coming months. Good luck. Laine
  3. 17 points
    Wow. I am so lucky I fell into the grip crowd before Chris stopped doing Gripmas. This was a most excellent day, filled with good people and satisfying exercise. I did tire out sooner than I sometimes do, so I skipped the medley, which was something I was looking forward to but was just too spent to attempt. But, that was only because I pushed myself and did my best all day before then. So, at King Kong in October, I pulled something in my right arm. It hurt so much I was pretty sure I would be doing Gripmas left handed. Others were telling me to go to a doctor, and that I might need surgery. Even now, in December, it is not 100%. But it is much better. Much better. And today was a really good day. First, I was definitely interested in doing the comp part of Gripmas. So I ate carefully for a couple of days and made my weight by just about a kilogram - 82K on the scale, with light clothes on, got me into the 83K class. Then I chowed on the generous and yummy breakfast that Chris had arranged. Excellent start. Grippers - at Nationals in June I closed a 140 and failed on 145. Because of my injury, which has healed quite a bit, I have been avoiding max attempts. They have been hurting. So I decided to open with 135, which I have done pain-free at home recently, and to see what developed. It closed pretty easily, so attempt 2 was 140. I wouldn't say that was easy, but really not too bad. So I perked up and thought; 145 maybe? Even a little injured? Let's try it! Nope. Failed. But it didn't hurt! That was a win. So I did a 4th attempt and tried it again. Failed again! But another victory, because no pain. My MM0 was a 145 and I've done more in practice without passing a block through, so almost getting 145 today signaled to me that I may be ready for a full on gripper workout again now or soon. And the 140 for the books was the same as I've done before. Very pleased! Euro - at Nationals I pulled 182. So I opened at 172, having warmed up well and feeling like slightly lower weights were not close to my max. It went up fine, so I jumped to 182. FAIL! But someone remarked, I think it was Nate, "It looked like you had it and just decided to put it down before you got it all the way up!" Yeah, that must have been it ... lol. Well, I got 182 on the next try. Then for my last shot, 187 just wasn't willing to go the whole way. I'll take that 182! Axle - anyone who saw me do that knows that I don't know how to deadlift. And I don't deadlift. My axle is limited by what my legs and core can lift (with bad form), not by what my hands will stay on. I opened with 237, went to 250, then 263. Before my last attempt, I hemmed and hawed over whether to go 270 or 277. I chose 270, and it went up, so I held it for quite a while and set it down slowly and lightly like I was in someone's upper-floor apartment, because it was my last attempt. But then when they upped it to 277, I just needed to know if I should have tried that instead. They let me try it, not to count, and it went up! Very pleased, except for the strategy snafu; should have been a little greedier there, but that happens. My biggest impression from this event is the inclusion. Everyone is made to feel like this is a place we all belong. A year ago I had just met Anton and Anthony, and they were going to last year's gripmas and told me that week's workout was cancelled. A year later, I drove the two of them to Gripmas. And liked it, even the 8 hour drive. They made a newcomer feel welcome, and Chris made me feel welcome, and the sport makes me feel welcome. In return, I say welcome to all the newbies who want to jump on this expand your hands bandwagon! It's a great ride. That is all. Humor next time. I had a blast, and many thanks to Chris Rice, his wife, and all my many grip mentors and friends! Good night!
  4. 16 points
    I dropped my dog off at my friend's house Thursday night. The Wife and I woke up early on Friday morning to get around rush hour traffic, since New York City is unavoidable going basically anywhere from Long Island. After a 7-11 pit stop to pick up snacks and water, we hit the Southern State Parkway at about 3:20 AM for the long ride out. I'll spare you the details (PA turnpike west, 85-95 mph) and just tell you we checked into the hotel about 4 PM. We made three brewery stops and attempted to visit a distillery but were unsuccessful; the two good breweries were Wooly Pig in Coshocton (very high quality local brew, including a saison fermented on white wine must that was absolutely delish) and Weasel Boy in Zanesville (also served pretty good Italian-style flatbread, but as a Long Islander I can't in good conscience call it pizza). The stouts were the star of the show at Weasel Boy. After The Wife went to sleep, I headed out to TUMBL__EED [some of the lights were nonfunctioning] and grabbed some tacos and Sam Adams with everyone there (Nate, Anton, Vinnie, Anthony, Andrew P, his wife Katie, Rich, Tim, Don, and I'm certain a bunch of other people I've failed to mention) . I managed to nearly dump a chicken avocado taco in my lap despite not actually being drunk at the time. Afterward, we headed back to Nate's hotel room but quickly relocated to go see the Charlotte Pickup Artists. Everyone was generous with their booze and stories. The morning of the competition I was miraculously not hung over, despite having posted that I was going to miss weight and thinking it was hilarious. At the gym on Saturday morning, I had the pleasure of meeting Chris, Jedd, Joe Sullivan, and numerous others. The breakfast and coffee were ample; the cell signal, less so. I'd like to join the chorus of people shouting that Andrew's wife Katie was unbelievable in her self-appointed role as contest coordinator; she and Andrew Durniat's wife, whose name I regret I don't recall (and I'd rather not go by her nametag), ran the contest without a hitch. The Astoria crew showed up so late that I was certain that Anton was dead and Vinnie and Anthony were going to marionnette him Weekend at Bernies style through the contest. The pre-contest certs were incredible. Gary bent 3 red nails in under 1 minute, all while using a placement lower on his chest than I'd seen due to flexibility issues. Bryan Hunsaker closed the 3. Don Cummings bent 17 pairs of 6-inch nails in two minutes. Unbelievable! I also spent a lot of time talking two the two Rochester climbers - fun guys. Real dipsticks. I got to see them do some truly dizzying pullup variants, as well as watching Aaron do warmup shoulder presses with more weight than my 1RM and watching Nigel Blackburn pull a world record on the Euro. Grippers: My PR on grippers was about 118 or 119 from SJ4FF. I'd been practicing the set but not much else. I think I opened at either 105 or 110, then jumped to 115, failed by a credit card's width on 120, and closed 120 for my fourth attempt. Jedd did a great job judging this; running three flights to avoid downtime between attempts was very helpful, as was the presence of a squat rack downstairs. Euro: I was at 54mm. I had pulled 173 in training so, because of the available weights, I planned to open at 162.xx and make the 5-pound jumps to PR on the fourth attempt. Andrew Pantke was judging this and after I pulled 162 I asked for 167. Andrew raised his eyebrow and said he'd give it to me if I insisted, but was I sure I only wanted to make that jump? I took the bait and jumped straight to 172, then to 177, and made both attempts. 177 I made by a hair - I wasn't sure if I'd hit the bar, but apparently there was enough sound to convince Andrew and Joe Sullivan (who was observing, waiting to jump in). 182 stayed glued down - not sure I could have made it fresh, but it was difficult as it stood. The Armlifting contest started next. Since I didn't want to crush my hand for axle by doing Silver Bullet, I took a hike to the gas station. (Summer sausage: the fuel of champions.) I also rehydrated a bit with the Astoria guys and Will Gibson. Axle: Here we go. I'd done 303 in training and knew I had more left. I opened at 281, then jumped straight to 302. I believe the next jump was to 311 - another good pull. My last attempt was at 326.xx. I flung the chalk around, rosin-bag-style, and Wooed before my pull. I got the bar up, locked it out, and put it down - good lift for a 20+-pound PR on comp day! Woo! Pretty sure Joe opened a few pounds heavier than that. Grip is humbling. After the comp, the feats started. I won't bore you with all the impressive things I saw - I'll just tell you that I think everyone attempted the Goliath bar that I brought. The modal attempt began with someone stating their degree of confidence (ranged from "Come on, let me at that sucker" to "I haven't touched a braced bend in years, but what the heck"), frowning, trying to kink the bar, declaring that it had flexed, looking for the wobble they'd put in the bar, seeing no wobble, and declaring the bar for the birds. My plan had been to bend the whole thing myself in an impressive show of strength, or, failing that, to kink it and magnanimously hand it off to Anton to pass around and get as many benders on it as possible before offering the finished bar to Chris as a token of our appreciation. That, uh, didn't work out. I'll get it some day. I met some wonderful people this weekend. If I've forgotten or neglected to mention you, I'm sorry - I enjoyed talking and lifting with everyone this weekend. Thank you, Chris, for hosting, and thank you, Tank, for taking on the responsibilities next year. Epilogue: On the drive home, I bought a bottle of absinthe at 10:30 AM in Pittsburgh. We stopped at Troeg's for food and beer and Hershey Park for chocolate. It was a good ride home.
  5. 14 points
    Some extra stuff Before the contest Jedd gave Teresa and I a beautiful plaque for what we have done for the Grip community – sorry if I got a little teary eyed there guys – didn’t want to ruin my tough guy image (like I had one to start with). A little later we received another beautiful plaque – a milled out “A Gripmas Carol 2003 – 2018” done in steel – both will hang in a place of honor. As the contest was winding down Chris Andrede stood up and announced that the name The Gripmas Carol was not ending but that he was going to carry it on – except at his place! Lots of cheering and clapping! He and I had been in discussions about the move beforehand. I’m thrilled. Aaron came down early Friday and we had a great visit – got to know him a whole lot better – one smart fellow with more innovative grip toys in the oven than anyone I’ve heard of! Can’t wait until they are done. Gave me a key ring gripper also – thanks buddy! He also helped move everything down to the gym – thanks again! Met tons of new people and saw old friends again. This is what Tee and I are going to miss – the people. Tee and I look at all of you as our “kids” as you all are that age to us. We Love all of you!
  6. 13 points
    @Tommy J. had the maniacal idea to try an inch dumbbell hot potato style of pass. Check it out! Adam and I pulled this off AFTER a full competition.
  7. 10 points
    Do you wanna build a bend man?
  8. 10 points
    Gripmas 2018 was a great time. Always great to see old friends and make new ones. My body is beat up and sore today. My main goal was to top David Horne’s list for bending the most pairs of 6” nails taped together in 2 minutes. David was at the top with 16 pairs. I was able to do 17 pairs for the top spot. I was exhausted afterwards. Lots of bending in a short period of time. I was also happy I was able to pull an over 300lb axle with no spescific grip training. Chris Rice is a top notch guy and has put on so many great comps. I am glad I was able to go to the last 2. All in all a really good weekend. Here is the video of the bending.
  9. 9 points
    When (if) I find what's left of my body (not much) I'll try and write up a proper Thank You for the wonderful day I had today!
  10. 8 points
    Most unique thing? After years of working for a maximum security state prison and a school for kids with severe behavioral problems, I am 6 months away from graduating with my Masters in Exercise Science and Health Promotion with a dual concentration in Performance Enhancement, Injury Prevention, and Rehabilitation Sciences. I have been accepted into Concordia University Chicago to begin my PhD work in Health and Human Performance beginning in the fall 2019. This program will take me four years. I am doing this at the young age of 41...I will be around 46 when I have my PhD. It is never too late. There are no excuses.
  11. 7 points
    I'm older than dirt - nothing unique about that I guess but I have led a very interesting life.
  12. 7 points
    I help people grow and groom mustaches as a side job. It's not the most lucrative career but you get to meet lots of interesting people.
  13. 7 points
    3 hit reverse bend with a 6” x 1/4” gr8 bolt. I’ll futz along to the reds and beyond again. Figured I’d post it in here. Help keep this section busy.
  14. 7 points
    Quite a day full of awesomeness. You missed a spectacle if you didn't come to Gripmas 2018. Thank you to everyone involved in making it a success! There are too many to mention.
  15. 7 points
    He and Jedd both managed the feat. Eventually they did holds with additional implements. (Manna-Nuff, INCH etc.) Although no one else was able to complete a lift...there were a few hops here and there. Its definitely on my short list of things to accomplish. I love the blob. It accepts chalk and already has begun seasoning. It is very smooth and well machined. There is the tiniest edge on it that will diminish over time. At the moment its very sharp for a facelift. I don't know if anyone actually weighed it on camera as needed for the cert. Possibly Jedd did. I am very happy we have one in the USA. Thanks to our German grip brothers!
  16. 6 points
  17. 6 points
    Gonna attempt to log "something" each day the rest of this month. Bite sized goal. 12/11/2018 Heller Blob Tilt Squeezes(20sec) 1/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1 Since this is slightly harder than my Fatman...figured it'll be a great carryover for the blob medley. Bending Grade 5 (IMPs) Quick Complete. Ouch! Hands hurt from yesterday Black Grade 8 (IMPs) Quick to 82deg-ish...hands feel bruised. Stopped. Probably could have pushed through, but this probably would have slowed my overall progress. Time for some Tuff-foot.
  18. 6 points
    It was amazing! I am so glad I made the Right choice and went.
  19. 5 points
    Was a repo man, a marine, a drill sergeant in a state correctional boot camp for juvenile gang members,was a bouncer in a club, work in skilled nursing facility for physical therapy and most importantly, and this may get my comment deleted, as I have been deleted quite a few times for “religion”, is my work at spreading the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ to everyone I come in contact with, if given the chance. That is why I am here. Don’t care if I get deleted, arrested, lose my job or killed for it. That is my purpose. Everything else is just a filler. Every single persons soul means something to me, and where it is they will go. Love me or hate me, I do not care. Joe
  20. 5 points
  21. 5 points
    This is a Classic. Chris Rice, on the morning of the last Gripmas ever to be held, on the day he will be hosting approximately 157 guests, handling 5000 unique details, coordinating volunteers, overseeing zillions of individual lifts so that maybe 25 people can get their name on or have their name move upward on one or more of 33 different lists..., and last but not least, risks redlining the patience of his wife of close to 96 years...while 99.72% of people in America are still asleep, takes the time to answer a stranger’s question that none of the other 10,000 members of an Internet Forum would choose to do, especially when he is over 100 years old and has dozens of grandchildren and great grandchildren. SOMEONE needs to recognize him in a way that has never been done before. Chris, best to you today, and thank you for your efforts to deliver a memorable day and a good time for all.
  22. 4 points
    Will do. Thanks for the reminder! Peeps. I've decided to do some bending on a limited basis. Nothing harder than a Red mind you...but I lost some barehand bend vids I wanted to keep...so I decided to replicate them. And...a few more little things. I imagine it'll take 8-10 weeks to get my hands back to reasonable toughness. Definitely gonna take this slowly. To that end. Just went ahead and bent a few 60ds with reduced wraps.
  23. 4 points
    Well said Mike! I think once you get into heavy steel... like grade-5, 11/32, 3/8” and above for me anyways- it takes me a substantial amount of time to recover!! I used to do a heavy max bend roughly once per month on average... then recovery bend with lighter steel for 2-3 weeks. 👍🏻👍🏻 Its very similar to Armwrestling in regards to recovery... very hard to progress in anything else at the same time if yer training it at a high level! Cheers- Rob 😎
  24. 4 points
    Santa Thomas doing work at 3:30 A.M. - no coffee or rockstar so decided to wake up doing these- use judgement/caution if attempting - Thanks
  25. 4 points
    It was great to see you there, dude! Already looking forward to next time
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