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Kettlebells And Bending

Jedd Johnson

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A common question I get from athletes who are looking to start performing feats of strength, like nail and bolt bending, has to do with the work load and stresses of bending on their hands and forearms.

Many of those who write are already very active in strength training, bodybuilding, powerlifting, strongman training, and kettlebell lifting, such as the writer below...

Hey there Jedd.

I'm a kettlebell lifter (a few months now) and follow the RKC hardstyle. Big fan of Jordan Vezina, and just watched his steel bending intro videos on youtube. He praised your Bending E-book.

Just a quick question... can the training regimen prescribed in your E-Book fit in with my kettlebell training without overtraining? I'm currently doing the program minimum, which is mostly swings (500-600 per week) and turkish get-ups. The grip is taxed heavily as you may already know, during these workouts.

Thanks for the info.

Stephane Gouin

Ottawa, ON Canada

This a good question and I don’t blame you if you are unsure if bending will overwhelm your grip, and your body for that matter. When starting out, the volume and stress of bending nails and bolts under such high intensity can be enough to cause injury, especially if you go about it too much too fast.

I took this into consideration when I wrote the Nail Bending eBook. I knew that many people starting out were not already participating in a consistent training program, but I knew that far more would in fact already be devoting a great amount of time and effort into other training protocols.

I knew that these new benders would want to maintain their high levels in their already developed training programs. So, to allow them to keep up with their current training programs, I included a ramp-up program that would allow them to start out slowly and gradually work up in stresses and volume by slowly introducing volume of grip and wrist training into the program.

This short conditioning cycle lasts several weeks before any bending is even introduced.

I also included some other pointers for beginning benders:

Increase water intake – Water will help your muscles and connective tissues recover. Remember, the muscle in your body is made of a great deal of water. Drinking enough will help keep everything lubricated in the connective tissue, muscles, and joints. Of course, another thing to remember is that there is a tremendous amount of straining when bending, which can cause your blood pressure to increase, heart rate to increase, and sweating to increase. In short, push the fluids.

Increase your calories – Because more tissue will be broken down than what you are used to it is important to consume more calories when starting out bending so that you can avoid the affects of over-training and cumulative trauma injuries. Take it from me. I have had some of the worst pain possible in my elbows from bending too much too soon. This is NO FUN! I took this into consideration when writing the bending manual because I didn’t want the same thing to happen to you all.

Increase your preventive measures – Everyone knows that warming up, stretching to cool down, hand health, etc., is important for maximizing your performance and staying healthy. In the Bending eBook, I talk about many different ways to maintain hand health, including stretching, contrast baths, warm-up exercises, and more.

As you can see, I have covered a lot of preventive stuff in the Nail Bending eBook, aside from just multiple techniques to bend nails, bolts, and stock, how to wrap, and all that other bending-specific information. I included this because I have felt the pain of overuse from nail bending and I did not want that to happen to you all who are looking to get started in the sport of nail bending and grip strength.

Hopefully this has answered your questions, but if not, please feel free to leave me a comment here on the blog and I will get back to you.

Thanks and all the best in your training.


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