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Suggestions On How To Tear A Tennis Ball


Mephistopholes

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Mephistopholes

So I've been getting back into doing feats lately, because, let's face it, it's just addictive. One that I've always thought was really awesome, and obviously really hard, is tearing a tennis ball apart, and that is what I want to work toward.

I've been looking around the site and there isn't a whole lot of info on this, probably because not a lot of people do it, but what I have ascertained is this is going to require freak finger strength above everything. Someone on the site who actually did it (and quickly!) said he did fingertip pushups, which makes sense. But what about other methods? I used to do some one-finger lifts, but quit because the device I was using didn't really fit my fingers...

Also was thinking that the ironmind Twist Yo' Wrist device would be a good tool for this, as it seems to require the same motion used in tearing a tennis ball. And this is obviously going to require significant wrist strentgth.

Suggestions, anybody?

Bobby

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Next time I talk to him, I can ask John if he's got any training tips—I think Mike Dayton used to do this, too.

Ok Dayton did a lot of crazy stuff. http://youtu.be/wUU3Rqmajp0

You don't need any more ideas. Aren't you the guy who wants to bite through steel?

Funny you brought this up. I just saw a pic of "pawel r" tering one up posted in his gallery. I was impressed enough to send him a message.

I never knew it could be done!

Good candidates to be-able to do this is Tommy & Daniel, I'm guessing. Tommy because he seems to feel no pain and Daniel because he has a bionic thumb.

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Mephistopholes

Yeah thats who I saw do it!

And yes it seems impossible doesn't it? John Brookfield says it's one of the hardest things he does. And if it's hard, then damn.

But that's why I want to do it. It just seems like such a brutal test of both strength and toughness.

Plus, I want the word "claws" to be an accurate description of my hands. Haha. Seems to me that if you can drive your fingers into a tennis ball and rip it apart, you've got some claws.

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Six Barrel Shotgun

I know Mr. Brookfield talks about this in one of his books. Now I gotta check after it! I'll get back when I looked.

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Mephistopholes

It's in both "mastery of hand strength" and "grip master's manual", but he talks more about it in the latter. Not much about training for it though. Haha

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Actually trying to push your index and middle finger through the seam of the ball would be good training for this. Carefully and gradually increase the effort you put into it. I would do about 6-8 second isometric attempts, 5-10 singles 2-3 times a week. Don't start with maximal isometrics.

Also, find the weakest balls you can. :D

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Mephistopholes

Next time I talk to him, I can ask John if he's got any training tips—I think Mike Dayton used to do this, too.

Awesome! Thanks.

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Mephistopholes

Actually trying to push your index and middle finger through the seam of the ball would be good training for this. Carefully and gradually increase the effort you put into it. I would do about 6-8 second isometric attempts, 5-10 singles 2-3 times a week. Don't start with maximal isometrics.

Also, find the weakest balls you can. :D

Haha well of course I will be doing that too. I was thinking I would start actually by perforating the seam of some tennis balls with an exacto knife so I could get used to the feeling of punching my fingers through it and ripping it apart.

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Mephistopholes

So that's two references to Mike Dayton... Who I know nothing about. Haha. Pardon my ignorance.

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Randall Strossen

So that's two references to Mike Dayton... Who I know nothing about. Haha. Pardon my ignorance.

Nothing to be ashamed of—you'd have to be about my age to have seen him in person. I saw him hang himself (twice), among other things.

Mike wanted to prove he could jump off the Golden Gate Bridge and live, but in a practice jump off something a lot lower, he at least broke one leg as I recall.

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Mephistopholes

So that's two references to Mike Dayton... Who I know nothing about. Haha. Pardon my ignorance.

Nothing to be ashamed of—you'd have to be about my age to have seen him in person. I saw him hang himself (twice), among other things.

Mike wanted to prove he could jump off the Golden Gate Bridge and live, but in a practice jump off something a lot lower, he at least broke one leg as I recall.

Haha wow. That's awesome. And crazy.

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hellswindstaff

So that's two references to Mike Dayton... Who I know nothing about. Haha. Pardon my ignorance.

Nothing to be ashamed of—you'd have to be about my age to have seen him in person. I saw him hang himself (twice), among other things.

Mike wanted to prove he could jump off the Golden Gate Bridge and live, but in a practice jump off something a lot lower, he at least broke one leg as I recall.

He was before my time... I just found a book buy him once. The guy was insane, so I don't doubt it. I remember reading he brace bent a double barrel shotgun? Have any other stories of his insane feats that you can recall Randall?

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So that's two references to Mike Dayton... Who I know nothing about. Haha. Pardon my ignorance.

Nothing to be ashamed of—you'd have to be about my age to have seen him in person. I saw him hang himself (twice), among other things.

Mike wanted to prove he could jump off the Golden Gate Bridge and live, but in a practice jump off something a lot lower, he at least broke one leg as I recall.

Haha wow. That's awesome. And crazy.

You don't need any more ideas. Aren't you the guy who wants to bite through steel?
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Mephistopholes

So that's two references to Mike Dayton... Who I know nothing about. Haha. Pardon my ignorance.

Nothing to be ashamed of—you'd have to be about my age to have seen him in person. I saw him hang himself (twice), among other things.

Mike wanted to prove he could jump off the Golden Gate Bridge and live, but in a practice jump off something a lot lower, he at least broke one leg as I recall.

Haha wow. That's awesome. And crazy.

You don't need any more ideas. Aren't you the guy who wants to bite through steel?

...maybe... :)

Although that was really more of a... Demented curiosity than anything. I was interested in how one does it, not so much in doing it. Haha. Although, on the other hand, get a few drinks in me and enough people to show off for.... Nah.

But I do fully intend to tear apart a tennis ball.

Definitely not gonna hang myself though. Haha. Don't wanna end up like David Carradine.

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I really don't know about Randall's hanging comment. Did the guy hang himself with a rope? What is the point of hanging yourself? To show that you have a strong neck. I got to go Google this Mike guy

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Mephistopholes

Ok Dayton did a lot of crazy stuff.

http://youtu.be/wUU3Rqmajp0

Yowza.

Wonder if he trained his eyelids? Wouldn't that be wild, somebody who could bend a nail with their eyelid strength... I joke, but really, when the olympics were on this summer and they were talking about the gripping strength the gymnasts have to have in their FEET so they can stay on the balance beam better. It left me wondering if you could train your foot grip strength (between your big toe and the next toe down) to be strong enough to bend stuff with your feet...

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Wonder if practicing on hedgeapples would help...

OH! Absolutely!
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Mephistopholes

Wonder if practicing on hedgeapples would help...

OH! Absolutely!

I mean, they ARE free. And bountiful. Haha. And probably easier to puncture than a tennis ball.

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Randall Strossen

So that's two references to Mike Dayton... Who I know nothing about. Haha. Pardon my ignorance.

Nothing to be ashamed of—you'd have to be about my age to have seen him in person. I saw him hang himself (twice), among other things.

Mike wanted to prove he could jump off the Golden Gate Bridge and live, but in a practice jump off something a lot lower, he at least broke one leg as I recall.

He was before my time... I just found a book buy him once. The guy was insane, so I don't doubt it. I remember reading he brace bent a double barrel shotgun? Have any other stories of his insane feats that you can recall Randall?

The bridge thing was going to be a big deal because jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge is a favorite for people wanting to commit suicide, but the hanging thing was pretty dramatic—he'd pass out, be laid out on the floor and his sister would run up screaming "Mike, Mike . . ." or something like that. Frankly, I always thought his quarter bending was a magician's trick, but who knows.

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Randall Strossen

I talked to John Brookfield on Friday and asked about this—the first thing he did was emphasize how hard it is to do this. John also doesn't consider biting a hole to start the tear to be the right way to perform this feat of strength, although he said if you (carefully) puncture a tennis ball with, say, a chisel, and then try to tear it, you will quickly see how hard it still is to do.

As Teemu suggested, John said getting a finger stabbed through the seam is the really tough part and he suggested that training on a potato might be a good way to work up to this,

John told me some more good stuff about this feat of strength so I can circle back if there's interest in hearing more.

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