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ChimpGrip

Learning to arm wrestle like Dave Chaffee

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ChimpGrip

What is the best way to learn to arm wrestle like him? I like his high-horsepower style of driving through opponents like he does. I have done exercises to help “arm wrestling strength” and have sparred a little bit with friends, but I am a beginner.

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Lucasraymond

Need to get with a group of people that actually know how to armwrestle; until then gym training can only get you so far. A good starting point for armwrestling knowledge and understanding is James Retarides book Strongarm Tactics. 

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David_wigren

I second what Lucas is saying. Gym training is not going to do you much good until you actually know how to armwrestle. I’d even venture to say that some armwrestling exercises may even be counter productive because you’ll be teachings yourself incorrect motor patterns. Your body will adapt and learn how to move in order to be strongand efficient  in the exercises, and it might translate poorly to the table.

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Tommy J.

I know this is gonna sound crazy... but I feel like getting to the top of the Armwrestling scene requires at least 1 big nasty injury, and then recovering from it, as sort of a rite of passage.

It seems that every single top puller, especially in the supers, has had either a torn bicep, torn pec, torn labrum, blown tendons off the elbow, or broken arm(s). And even the ones that didn’t have those specific injuries, like Devon, still required a surgery to give him his mobility back in the elbow due the the extra bone mass/growth he developed from the high level high strain pulling. I count this also as a nasty injury.

its an odd particular amongst top pullers worth noting. I can only speculate as to how or what they gain from those injuries.. maybe the body grows back that much stronger in the area it broke?.. maybe they gained a mental edge from a “been there done that” perspective?.. and they aren’t afraid to break themselves again?.. don’t know. But it’s a thing.

obviously it’s not like someone can’t make it to the top because 1 or more of those injuries didn’t happened... not at all saying it isn’t possible. but just know that to be on Chaffee’s level, you have to first endure the other monsters in the way of getting to that level. And those guys want to be like Chaffee more than you want to be like Chaffee. ...which means you’ll more than likely receive one of the injuries listed above at some point in your quest.

Also worth noting, is the level of sheer strength a guy like Chaffee has. He, MMT, Denis, Pushkar, Levan, Lupkes, are/were all like 500lb bench pressers. And all of them can curl 200lbs+ with relative ease. Etc.

so aside the well known factor that tons of table time is required to be good, yes, you also need to be strong AF.

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Climber028

The mental aspect is more important than any technical training advice you'll here. Most people aren't champions because they don't have the drive to put in the work that elite athletes do. I think anybody could become a top amateur or low level pro athlete, but not everybody can be the best. 

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Tommy J.
10 minutes ago, Climber028 said:

The mental aspect is more important than any technical training advice you'll here. Most people aren't champions because they don't have the drive to put in the work that elite athletes do. I think anybody could become a top amateur or low level pro athlete, but not everybody can be the best. 

I would say strength is the biggest factor amongst top level guys. That and maybe aggression/speed. You technically are in a fight when you arm wrestle.. and you have to make up your mind that your gonna fight hard. The technique in arm wrestling is pretty basic. When I first started out I thought it was all technique. ....says every new guy that just got his ass handed to him at a tournament or his first practice. 😜  because “no way these guys are stronger than me!”, right?.. right.

the table time is best served for growing strength in the unorthodox areas of the body where arm wrestling puts stress, and also to become familiar with recruiting the required muscle fibers. It’s very hard to duplicate in a gym. Can’t get the sudden shifts of resistance with weights like you do against an actual person on a table.

back to the mental aspect- a guy can “want” to win all day... he can even want it bad. but the mental game is not gonna provide him with extra power. Once a guy gets the basics down, it’s time to concentrate on strength again.

or you can do what I do and cheat like a mf’er. 😁

Brandon put a great video out a few years back on exactly that!

 

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Climber028

I think we're on the same page. Discipline is not gonna magically make you the best in the world, but you also can't get there without discipline. Strength, technique, table time whatever all come from you wanting to do those things, and wanting to be the best. So many people just want to magically get good at things without putting in the work, but that isn't how greatness is achieved. 

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Florian Kellersmann

Besides the general advice of table time... 

Devon has explained it well. There a five fundamental armwrestling moves:

1. Cupping

2. Pronation

3. Rising

4. Grip/fingers

5. Supination. 

My advice is, to choose one (or maybe two) exercises for each fundamental move and to train it as seriously as a powerlifter trains bench, squat and deadlift. All strength you gain in these fundamental moves are useful at the table. 

If you are preparing for a tournament: think about strategy/tactic. When should you apply which move? Should you go for straps? etc... 

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