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AGP 2019

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Over the past 2 years, myself and the other Pickup Artists  talked about holding a sanctioned grip comp with our favorite events.  It's always been a topic, but nothing ever materialized.  Sometime in late spring, James started kicking around the idea of a fun get together at his house. We would invite a bunch of people and lift some things.  So, we talked about it, committed to the 21st of September and started coming up with ideas.   Naturally our ideas were outlandish and crazy, but that's how we roll.  We started saying, "well let's and this, and this and how about that."  It was out of control.  Highland games,  grip comp, armwrestling, atlas stones, other crazy feats...(hence Armhighland Gripstrongwrestling Powergames AGP).

Scott and Janelle White at the Used Gym Store in Statesville, NC offered to host us, as they did a few years ago.  They are incredible hosts and all around great people.

So we decided to have 20 mm grippers, 2HP Euro, 2.5 inch crusher, Ironmind hub and David Horne's lever top.  We tried to hit our favorite events in all categories.  To make it fun we decided it would be a record breaker event and just kill PRs.  Didnt figure we would have a huge turnout,  but we hoped.  Competitors could choose to contest 3 of the 5 events.  

The competition started to catch wind and we got some cool prize donations from both Josh Henze and Jedd Johnson, as well as sponsorship from Used Gym Store.  Very cool.  

The day before the event, Porkchop (Steven Samniego) Gary Stuart and James Retarides started dropping stuff off in our secluded wing of the UGS warehouse.  It was the perfect location for our own comp.  The next morning I lugged up three Euro apparatuses,  a 118 baby inch, a 141 baby inch, a 172 replica and a bunch of blobs, plus a boatload of grippers (I felt like Andrew Pantke). By the time we unloaded everything we were already tired, but everything was perfect. Plus I had plenty of coffee to hold me over.

We ended up with 22 entries (19 men and 3 women).  The group was made up of gripsters, armwrestlers, highland competitors, strongmen, wrestlers, body builders, power lifters and more.  Quite a diverse bunch.

We started with grippers. My goal was 167 pound 20 mm set. I tried and failed twice so then I jumped up to 168 and failed again. All three closes were within a millimeter but I couldn't seal the deal. So I ended up with a 160 on my fourth attempt. Gary Stuart hit a PR at 146 and Scott Johnson hit a PR at 120 to take second and third. There was also a bunch of guys who had just done grippers for the first time so we had fun teaching them how to set. In all, we had about seven guys who chose grippers.

Next was Lever top. We chose to put this event in our competition because James truly excels at it and he has trained it for years, but it is not contested anywhere in the US.  Only the PUA group knew his true potential on the lift.  I told him we were going to have the event, and he was going to break a record. To our amazement we had 17 people total enter the event! Lots of big numbers especially from the arm wrestlers. James broke the world record by about 8 lb hitting 111 pounds plus! Chase Griffin and Michael Bianchi both hit 90 + pounds.  Joe Rogers hit 87 lb and porkchop and Robert Miller were both over 80 lb.  All I know is judging the lever top is truly painful. My knees were shot after that event because I had to keep such a close eye on the competitor's forearm, wrist, and the height bar to make sure everything is on the up-and-up.  I told James I was just thankful that he didn't even leave anything up for speculation, his lips were also clean and strong  there was no doubt. In the women's class, Katrina Courtright pulled an amazing 43.6lb to place her at the top of her weight class in the World of Grip rankings!

The third event was the 2.5 Crusher. After the lever top a lot of guys decided to start out way too high and missed all four lifts in a row, since it was rising bar. I hit a PR at 165 which I was super proud of. Shawn Kapusta and Porkchop both were neck-and-neck up until their final left. They both hit 170 on their third left and went up to 175 on their fourth. Shawn got to just about all the way up but it slipped out of his hand. Porkchop managed to get a full lift and when the event. Both dudes are super strong.

Next was the euro two hand pinch. Wayne Taylor, a Highland games competitor hit 190 lb! James, Porkchop and myself, pulled 180 and then decided to jump up over 200 lb and we all missed tying us for second.  Wayne has only tested his pinch a few times so this was remarkable. With a bit more training he would really be turning some heads. Especially at about 200 lb body weight.

Finally we had the Hub. At this point a lot of people had started to tire out and venture into the field for Highlands throwing. With that being said, it was still competitive. Gary Stuart, Scott Johnson, and Robert Miller all hit 65 lb. Gary lifted 65 on his final lift and the other two still had one attempt left. But neither could decide what weight to go up to so I told them to jump to 70 and foolishly they listened. They both bottomed out and there was a three-way tie for first. After scoring, Robert decided to try it again and he pulled 70 easy. Meanwhile Clint moneymaker who was just there selling some of his implements gave 70 a pull and he wasn't even in the competition, yet he lifted it easy peasy.

After about seven hours we decided to forego the medley... Everybody was way too tired. We started cleaning up and then Porkchop realized he still had a 260 lb Atlas stone that needed to get loaded into his truck. Nobody could lift it at this point.  So Robert Miller came out of the woodwork threw on his weight lifting belt and hoisted the stone up into the air into the flatbed. Strong.

In all it was a very great day. Tons of cool people that we met and some very strong folks. The competition was great and there were some big numbers pulled. We all agree that next year will be bigger and better as this is going to be an annual event that will hopefully draw more of a crowd each year. Dcott and Janelle are eager to have us back! Thank you to everyone that came out, we look forward to seeing u all again next year.

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2 minutes ago, KapMan said:

I was gonna write mine up too! 

Looking forward to it!

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