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Eric Roussin

2018 January – LA Fit Expo Visegrip Viking – Eric Roussin

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Eric Roussin

Another fun Odd Haugen Fit Expo armlifting contest is in the books. I’ve had the pleasure of competing in three of Odd's contests over the past five months, and all have been great. I was particularly looking forward to competing in this one because Riccardo Magni and Alexander Filimonov were going to be in my class. Riccardo has been making continual progress while losing weight, and Alexander is a young Russian phenom.

Not only were we competing together, but we also spent most of the weekend together (I roomed with Riccardo). Consequently, we had plenty of time to discuss our current training results and the weights we hoped to lift. Riccardo and I both love to talk about contest strategy, so we did a lot of that.

Day 1 featured my two strongest events: the Rolling Thunder and the Double Overhand Apollon’s Axle Deadlift. I was happy to record a lift of 105 kg with the RT. Not a PR for me, but my best contest result with it over the past couple of years. It was the weight I was hoping to lift. But this did not give me a huge lead in points, because Riccardo and Alexander managed respective lifts of 90 and 95 kg.

On the Axle, I was hoping to lift 190 kg and felt I had an outside chance of lifting 195 kg. This was not to be, as I maxed out at 187.5 kg. Unfortunately, both Riccardo and Alexander bombed out on this event, effectively handing me the overall contest title. I of course wanted to win the contest, but not in this manner.

Day 2 kicked off with the Silver Bullet. The .5 grippers were included in this event. Leading up to the contest, I was hit and miss with the 3.5. When I did manage to hold it in training, it was never more than for a couple of seconds. The conservative approach would have been to just do my SB attempt with the 3, but I wanted to see if I could do it with the 3.5. We were allowed to drop down to an easier gripper if we initially failed, so there wasn’t much to worry about. The problem is that I expended quite a bit of energy fiddling around with the 3.5. Competitors only had one minute to get their successful attempt started, and I felt rushed to get going with the 3. Consequently, I ended up settling on a less than perfect gripper set. If you’ve ever tried the Silver Bullet, you probably know how important a good set is. I paid the price, and only held the bullet for 5 seconds – my worst ever contest performance on this event. Still, it was a better result than bombing out.

Last up was the Saxon Bar. Odd’s saxon bar is different than most – the bar is off-center. This allows the competitor to get more wrist involvement by tilting the bar. I’ve done quite a bit of training on a regular saxon bar, but had never lifted Odd’s so I didn’t really know how much weight I could get off the ground with it. But I figured I should be able to lift at least as much. After getting my very conservative first lift of 81 kg in (to secure the contest win), I moved up to 96 kg for my second attempt. That also went up well, so I went for 106 kg for my last attempt. This represented 18 lbs more than my PR on a standard saxon bar. I almost lifted it to lockout before it slipped out of my hands.

There was also an armwrestling tournament being held at the LA Fit Expo over the weekend. I hadn’t planned on competing because I wanted to focus on the grip contest. But because after Day 1 it was all but guaranteed that I would win the contest, I decided to register to pull on the Sunday. I made it all the way to the finals, before losing twice to the same opponent in absolute wars. All in all, it was a great weekend in sunny California!

The next Fit Expo grip contest will be in Philadelphia the last weekend of April. I hope many east coast gripsters can make it out!

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Wannagrip

Thanks Eric for the write up! 

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WestSlope

Congratulations on the win Eric! Nice write-up as well.

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riccardomagni

Great job Eric!!  You are a true champion.

I had a super fun weekend. 

We will clash again, but not at 90kg!  😉

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