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Eric Roussin

2019 March - Arnold Armlifting Championships - Eric Roussin

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Eric Roussin

Wow! What a weekend! The Arnold Sports Festival is something else. The volume of events, athletes, and attendees is simply incredible. So much to see and do, but difficult to move! Split up from your friends for a moment and you might not see them again for a few hours!

I arrived at the convention center early on Friday morning and got to meet many grip athletes that I had only known through the GripBoard / Facebook. With so many talented gripsters in attendance, we all knew we would be involved in a fantastic contest.

The Friday event was the Rolling Thunder. My goal lift heading into the contest was 110 kg (242 lbs). I expected the stiffest competition in this event (in my class) to come from Andrew Durniat and Tanner Merkle. I opened at a lighter weight than both of them. My first lift was 95 kg, and then I proceeded to attempt the next three weights: 100, 105, and 110. I was thrilled to get the 110 up -- it equaled my personal record. It felt right at my limit. Andrew was also successful at 110, but at this point he still had one attempt left. 115 didn't go up for him. Tanner came very close at 115. He got it up, but then dropped it just before getting the down signal. So it was a three-way tie in the 100 kg and under class. I was the heaviest, so took third. But score-wise, I was in excellent shape heading into Day 2.

On Saturday morning, it was time for the Double Overhand Apollon's Axle Deadlift. I felt very confident in this event. Andrew Durniat had only registered for the Rolling Thunder, so in his absence, I felt I was the favourite to lift the most weight. My goal was 200 kg (440 lbs). I had lifted 195 in Lon Angeles in January, and knew I was close to the magic 200. I opened at 180, then lifted 190 and 195. With few competitors attempting 200, I had to make my final attempt just two minutes after my third lift. I got it up and almost locked out, but I couldn't quite get it done. Though I failed, the fact that I came so close reassured me that I'll soon be able to get it. My lift of 195 was enough to secure first place in the event.

All of this meant that I was heading into Day 3 with a perfect score. I had calculated that I didn't even need to get a hold with the CoC #4 in the Silver Bullet event to win the contest -- I just needed the best time with the 3.5. I could have attempted the 4, but I had never succeeded, even in training. I was pretty confident with the 3.5 though, having managed a hold of 16 seconds with it just 8 days earlier at the Canadian National Grip Sport Championships. But this time, I just really had trouble setting it. I also just didn't have the strength I expected. So after trying to set the gripper three different times and failing, I dropped to the 3 with just a few seconds to go. But by this time, I was drained, and couldn't even manage to get a bite. So I bombed the event. Needless to say, there's no way to maintain a competitive overall score when you bomb an event in a three-event contest. I went from believing I had a good shot at winning the contest, to not making the podium. Was I disappointed? Sure. But the fact that I did so well during the first two days helped a lot.

I got to see a lot of cool things at the Arnolds. I enjoyed watching many of the Arnold Strongman Classic events - especially the Elephant Bar deadlift where Hafthor came very close to breaking the overall deadlift record and $50,000! The Rogue Record Breaker Challenges were also fun. The Dinnie-Stones hold for time and the Inch Dumbbell walk were particularly fun to watch. I think Brad Ardrey may have even got the second best Dinne-Stones hold with a time of about 20 seconds. The Inch walk featured Jedd and Adam Glass, as well as Mark Felix. They all did very well.

Clay, Riccardo, and Odd did an excellent job running a very professional contest. Everything went very smoothly. I hope their success will lead to the contest returning in 2020. Bravo!

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Vinnie

I watched some of the vid.  Nice work, and geez, that must have been a stout 3.5!  Sorry about that, but you'll get it next year.  An honor even to BE at the Arnold!

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Anton.Torrella

Great Rolling Thunder and Axle Eric - sounds like a really amazing experience

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Fist of Fury

Great performance, too bad that you didn't get more rest before the axle attempt.

I just watched the silver bullet event on youtube. I think you need to get more power from your whole body when setting grippers. Looks like you're using just your hands, very difficult to set heavy grippers like that.

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Eric Roussin
3 minutes ago, Fist of Fury said:

Great performance, too bad that you didn't get more rest before the axle attempt.

I just watched the silver bullet event on youtube. I think you need to get more power from your whole body when setting grippers. Looks like you're using just your hands, very difficult to set heavy grippers like that.

Yes, this is my main takeaway. I really need to work on my setting technique.

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Vinnie
Just now, Eric Roussin said:

Yes, this is my main takeaway. I really need to work on my setting technique.

I share that need.

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