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A Modest Training Log


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I figured I would start a log to keep a record of my progress and my goals.

I am going to start a new training routine that will have me training Crush on tuesday, pinch and thickbar on thursday, and scrollwork on saturday.

My goals for the three sections are to close my #3 with a minimal set, to clean my #40 hex weights for five reps with each hand, and to scroll my girlfriend's name in a piece of five foot 1/4 diameter steel stock.

These goals are modest for me because, well, I train a lot for the past couple of years with the block weights and am very close to that goal. For the grippers, I've almost closed the #3. But, that said, I am not a very big fan of the grippers but have decided to just get the #3 out of the way. TO me that feat seems like something that is an introductory level accomplishment into the real hard training of grip. I train pretty heavy with at NYBB grip machine and that will probably take the focus of my Crush training once this session is over.

For the scrollwork, something that I've never done but started recently and love, I will be training on the 1/4 stock for as tight as possible loops and circles, and the session will end with a 5/16 stock that I will try and maintain as many circles as possible. As well, with the 1/4 stock I will be trying out different techniques and methods for shaping the steel.

Any comments, as the days go by, would be appreciated!

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Oh yeah, my goals are to be throughly tested after nine sessions with each element are completed.

8 Jan 2005 Saturday

Today I train with and bent for about 45 minutes a 1/4 steel piece of stock. I tried all methods of gripping and pulling, pushing and twisting to see where my wrists are strong and where they are weak. As this stock is not too difficult, I am mainly training it for endurance and to patch up my weak spots.

The mangled result looked sort of like a face, very abstract as I had no goal or image in mind, but a friend commented that it looked like a woman's anatomy, you know, the tubes and stuff from anatomy texts, not the porno! :angry:

I then hit up the 5/16 stock for solid strength training and worked with that for about 15 minutes and ended up after being thourghly tired, having what looks like a this: & So I guess it went all right.

I wear heavy swede mitts to prevent injury.

I called the first one the Face of Womanhood.

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Tuesday 11 Jan 2005


Warm up:

Trainer for unspecified reps. Basically just passing it back and forth and warming my hands up. I usually use the #1 but I lent that one to my friend for his narrow #4.

#2 Three singles with a minimum set. I can close this one anytime and anywhere so I just focus on overcrushing it and holding for about 5 to 10 seconds.

Working Sets:

#3 One attempt with a slight set. Came about 1/8 of an inch from closing it in both hands. Held both for 5 seconds.

#3 in a hose clamp for six singles. Held for 5 seconds. Again, came about an 1/8 of an inch from closing it.

#4 Braced, held the spring with the other hand, and closed to max point then did a single. Held for 5 seconds and did this six times.

Same with the #3 as the braced #4 close.

My #4 close has been getting better. I'm consistently getting a bit beyond the parallel range and my sweeping strength is really taking off! I attribute this to my extensive use of block weights in the past half year. All together I used the heavier grippers for 22 reps

NYBB Grip Machine

Warm up: Single Hand

55 2 X 10

65 1 X 7

Working set: Double Hand

125 1 X 8, 1X 6

150 1 X 5 On the last rep I slowly let go with each hand and tried to keep the handles touching but it was darn hard!

Then an extensive contrast bath and some dexterity balls for awhile.


My girlfriend found a steel shop in the city that sells it by the twenty foot pole for way cheaper than the McDiarmid hardware shop. I am happy for this and will probably pick up a 1/4 and a 5/16 piece before the week end.

All in all a great workout with some progresson the NYBB and nothing with the COC, except that I didn't put another hole in my hand! :happy

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Thursday 13 Jan 2005

PinchFor my pinch workouts I am pretty much just going to be doing block weights with occassionally some other pinch devices but that won't be until I get my loading pin fixed.

Warm Up:

For my warmup I just grab and deadlift each weight twice going from easiest to hardest.

Rough 27 X 2

Smooth 27 X 2

Rough 35 X 2

Smooth 40 X 2

I hold them for a five count once I get to full lockout

The rough ones are my weights that have been taken outside and for many walks that involved many drops and even more throwing both up at the sky and down at the pavement. The rough ones are a little easier to lift as the friction helps with the holding of the weight.

Then I pinch both 27's with my pinky and ring, then ring and middle and then middle and index. I don't do the pinky and ring for the thirty five or the forty. Both two finger grabs on the forty are negatives where I lift the weigths with assistance from the other hand and then try to hold on as long as possible.


Smooth 40 1 X 3 1 X 1

For these I basically do one clean lower it trying to not let it slip and then do the otehr hand and back and forth.

For all others I do them straight through with only one hand.

Rough 35: 1 X 10

The last couple on the right, my weak pinching hand, were very gruesome and I though for sure I would be bleeding but... nope. However, I did have to grab them with the other hand to lower them down. The left was strong and great as usual.

Smooth 27: R 1 X 11 in forty seconds. L 1 X 13 in forty seconds


I think I may have invented this exercise but I don't know. Basically you take the hex block weight, which is all that I have, and you pinch it so that the number side is up, then you toss it slightly and catch it at the next section with the same hand and you continue this until you go all the way around to where you started! This is a great dexterity exercise, which is one of my focuses for training to have more carry over to martial arts. You can go both ways and I did that about three to four times each side trying to only move on once I had caught it. The difference in roughness and in a slight slope I noticed really made this hard. The left dominate this exercise.

Rough 35: Eight catches each hand. This took awhile for the right to catch up and fatigue was setting in but I preservered!

Oh yeah, I don't really rest but go from one exericse to the next pretty much one after another.

Then I tossed the rough 27 back and forth and did some swings where I let go at shoulder weight and try and catch the weight. I can't remember how many I did but I tossed this one around for about ten to fifteen minutes.

Then I just simply carry each one, one at a time to the spot where I store them and that is my cool down. Plus a contrast bath and some dexterity balls to get the thumb back in action!

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Saturday 16 Jan 05

Unfortunately I did not get down to the steel shop and so my workout just consisted of a bunch of things.


I had a three foot 5/16 piece so I bent this into something that looks like a circus tent exhibit with several curls that add some character to it. Not a very long bend, maybe ten minutes or fifteen. I also bent a bunch of old white nails to do a warmup and did some off center bends focusing on bending with one or two fingers to prepare myself for later intricacies in the scrollwork.


I grabbed a twenty-five pound plate and did probably thirty or forty 180 tosses and then practiced some 360's. I got about fifteen or twenty in each arm going one way and then about ten or fifteen tossing it in the other dirction. This is basically what Brookfield does in that Today Show video but with a fifty pound plate. This is an amazing exercise for hand conditioning, dexterity, and eye-hand coordination. IT also builds some awesome strength in the joints of the fingers from all the slamming of the plate.

Then I did some plate curls but I was so tired from the tossing that I managed:

1 X 1

1 X 3

1 X 1

Usually I do these in sets of three for warmup and then sets of five to ten bue the tossign really takes a number out of the finger stability.

Thick bar 3 inches:

Then I did some lifts with a thick bar which is duct tape exterior and very slippery, I assume that is the reason for very little weight.





All picked up a couple times for a five count.

Then I did about twenty- five snatches with 47. I really love these but damn that handle is slippery.

All in all it was an alright workout but my thumbs were still a bit sore from the volume training on thursday.

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Tuesday 18 Jan 2005

Today was supposed to be crush but I've kind of scrapped the whole gripper thing and decided to go with developing feats of strength and real worl applicable strength. Don't get me wrong, the grippers are fun and all but I don't find much carry over to my other training. That said I'm still going to train heavy on the NYBB machine but just not this workout.

I tore a one inch phonebook and a two inch phone book for a warmup. This was using the technique laid out by Clay Edgin in some tutorial a friend linked me to.

This was my first time and I must say that it is not only a great workout but an amazing feeling when that thick wad of paper splits! Props to Clay for that article!

Sledge Levering 8PDs

End of handle from stretched out to over my chin. COuldn't put it back. Gosh, I haven't done this in a looooong time.

Then I grabbed about a fist up and levered it to and from my chin many times.

Lifted it from ground at about eight inches up for stabilizing strength.

Plate Curls


1 X 5

2 X 6

3 X 3

I love doing these and they are going to become a staple in my routine.

Leverage bar over my knee, Standard bar length.

10 PDs

2 X 10

1 X 8

Again, another wrist exercise that I love doing.

THen I got my girlfriend to stand on the loading area of the NYBB and I mashed that for awhile. ;)

Then I just tossed my 120 pound sandbag around and had some fun!

Basically my goals are still the same minus the #3 close. But I am definately going to be training more in exercises that will carry over nicely to doing ballistic and feats of strength such as card tearing, phone book tearing, scrollwork, tossing and catching heavy things, etc.

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Thanks dannyboy and good job on your mash monster certification!

Thursday 20 Janurary 2005


Today I got some decks of cards from my sister for my birthday which was just a couple weeks ago. Anyway, I started with thirty cards. Didn't budge. Tried twenty-five. Didn't budge. Tried twenty! Nope. Then I tried one. Nope. What the Hell? Oh, they are 100% plastic. I could have torn through that one but it got really stretched out and messy. No, those cards were not designed to be bent. Oh well.

Warm up.

I started by lifting my 27 smooth and rough blocks a couple times and then my 35 and my 40. Just a 5 sec hold for a warmup.

Then I grabbed my 3/4 pinching plate with attached weights on a dumbbell, kind of like the thing that John Brookfield is using in that video resently posted of him. I tossed it back and forth with just a thumb and forefinger pinch, I will refer to this as the key pinch, like when you use a key. ;) I tossed it back from hand to hand with 25 pounds and then added ten more and did some holds for about 5 to 10 seconds each.

The Workout

My cleans with the right were pathetic today. I was very dissapointed and didn't get even one successful 40 pounder. The left on the other hand was just great and I did four or five successful cleans. I think my goal might be here already with this one hand but I'll test it out next week.

35 pounder was nothing special but I couldn't maintain decent reps with the right so I just did a couple then did the left a couple times and back and forth without resting till I hit 10 on each side. Nothing special.

The finger lifts were great. I did the pinky and ring on both 27s and they felt quite easy. I also did some extended middle finger holds with both of the 27s. Previously I could only do this with my rough block!

I managed to hold the 40 pounder with the middle, ring, and ring forefinger for some considerable time. Probably close to ten seconds but, as with last time, I could not budge the weight from the ground.

The 35 was nothing special but I held it for some good time with the same fingers as the 40.

Tossing: this is something I really enjoy.

Did 8 successful toss and grabs with the 35 on each hand. I need to work on getting the block in the air for a moment before I grab with the other hand. Although it isn't quite a pass, it's pretty damn close.

Then I tossed the rough 27 for about ten catches.

Then I did that exercise where I toss the block up and catch it in the same hand but on the next segment of the hex. I've decided to call these Spiders. I don't know why it just seems like a quick jerky spidering along the weight. Whatever...

I did three times in both directions with each hand on the rough 27 block.

Then I did some swings with the 27 block and got some great tossed and grabs. I don't remember the amount but I just did it till I was bored. These are not entirely easy but I am going for high volume and conditioning. I hope to move to the 35 block sometime in the next week or two. We'll see.

Cool down.

Just flipped a 25 pound standard weight for a ton of 360 tosses. I love this exercise.

THen I took the torn up phone book from my last workout and did some key pinches and tore it up so that now I have some nasty blisters. Oh well, I'm sure they'll pop soon enough and I'll be back to beating them up again.

All in all it was a good workout but the cleans were not what I wanted and the cards were garbage.

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Saturday 22 Jan 2005

Today was supposed to be bending but I have not gotten around to retreiving my bending stock so I had to make due with what was around.


I decided to do some strap holds on the trainer because I haven't got my #1 still. I did twenty, twenty five, thirty and thirty five. These were alright but not really all that hard. I used the #2 for some fifteen pound holds on the right but failed to move more than ten with the left. I hold all for about ten to fifteen seconds.

Did a couple attempts on the #3 and some severe straining overcrushes on the #2. Then a bunch of negatives with the #3.


I did some more 25# plate curls.

1 X 3

2 X 6

Then I took a standard sized dumbell handle, loaded on twenty pounds on one end so that I had a leverage bar and swung that and flipped it in the air for about thirty times on each side and then swung and levered it at a bunch of different angles. I also levered my 8# sledgehammer to my nose a bunch of times.


Pinched the belt with the weight on the end I was using for the strap holds when it had thirty five pounds on it and swung that around. Interesting angles and a pretty tight grip but was fun.

Grip machine Two hands:

100: 2 X 10 Plus letting go and doing mini reps with each hand.

150: 2 X 6 Plus the same as above and really focusing on crushing the hell out of the thing.

125: Same as 150 but as a cool down and then 100#'s for several more sets.

Later on I grabbed the #3 gripper for about five or six negatives and really focused on crushing them down and holding them as hard as I could.

THis was an interesting workout and it felt good to really be trying to destroy these tools as I squeeze. I'm thinking this mental approach is very necessary to successful gripping and will carry over nicely to some of the feats I am training to do.

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Tuesday 25 Jan 2005

Great workout tonight!


Plate Curls 2 X 3 (Warm-up, second set was a smooth plate which I've never tried this with. The usual plate I use has a tiny lip on both sides.)

2 X 6 (My reps are coming up in this one and I hope to see ten within two months.)

Plate flipping: Now a favorite and I am really getting the hang of it. I figure when I can hit twenty straight without dropping the weight on both sides I will start doing odd flips or something to mix it up and then start adding weight.

2 X 10 full 360 flips both ways on each hand so in total 4 X 10!

Towel Pullups ( I'd say about a 2.75 diameter in each hand when they were bunched up.)

3 X 5

Thick Bar Rows (2.75 to 3 inch handle. Somewhere in-between.)

52 Pounds 3 X 8 each side.

Nothing special but I really felt it was necessary to work my thumbs as they are the crucial element in the grip and I can't do block weights until, hopefully, thursday depending on a chunk of skin missing since my last block weight workout.

NYBB Grip Machine: Two Handed

125 PD's 1 X 8 plus letting go and holding for a couple seconds with each hand twice.

150 PD's 1 X 2 maybe 3 but the range of motion was sad. Did the same holding and letting go thing as well.

IT was a great workout done to some awesome classical music on piano on a new CD I got. Great stuff and really helps me concentrate.

I still don't have any cards or phonebooks or steel so I am just focusing on building up the requisite strength for when I get my act together and pick all of this stuff up.

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27 Jan 05

Today was supposed to be the pinch workout but I ended up doing some incredible wheelbarrow training.

First, we got the wheelbarrow and loaded up #430 but could not move it. So, after cutting the weight drastically and then pushing/pulling it through the snow, the damn thing felt soooo heavy. But we soon noticed the wheel was flat! :mellow

So we filled it up and then got the total #430 back in and it was great!

My friend also jumped in for awhile putting the weight up to #610! That was very difficult due to the shifting feel of the weight and the fact that we were doing this on snow covered roads with slick spots. Fortunately the government here has been putting the gravel salt stuff on the ground and the training wasn't too bad.

I must say that after switching on and off, and mulitiple reloading of the wheelbarrow due to tipping over, after two hours my hands were very sore and my forearms were screaming in agony!

I know this isn't very much weight but it was an endurance/supporting training session and next time I plan on adding a sandbag that will put the total to #550 and then getting my friend to jump in for a total of #730! That would be just savage but that won't be until the next time we get together.

I would suggest everyone hit the wheelbarrow training hard!

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Thank you Tspillio, you are truly a man among boys when you grip. Don't let anyoen tell you any differently.

29 Jan 2005


All blocks picked up and held for awhile.


After warming up with the 35 I managed four strict cleans with the #40 in each hand! The way I did it was once with the right then once with the left and back and forth till I was done. This was great!

I did my usual picking up of all the blocks with the two finger sets and managed to pick up the #40 with the middle and ring finger. I've done many negatives and can hold this for quite awhile but today I really felt strong and pulled it to full lockout several times! I still couldn't make it budge with the middle index combo bu that will come.

I got my loading pin back and loaded it up for some individual finger lifts. The weight was miniscule but the pain was brutal! I used each finger in each hand to do this exercise until my forearms felt rotten in certain places.

Did eight complete catches with the #35. These are definately getting better.

Then I did some Spiders, going two full rotations in each direction before moving on to swings with the #35.

I don't know how many of these I did but it hurt and when my form was compromised I grabbed my rough 27 and tossed that till I got bored then I tried something new. As I usually do the flips with a plate I decided to do this with the block weights. Did a whole bunch of 180's and tried but didn't manage any 360's. Oh well.

I cooled down with some plate flips. Twenty each side. Ten in each direction.

On the wheelbarrow workout I forgot to mention that I managed one 720 plate flip! That, to me, is monstrous!

A great day and I also hit some squat PR's at the gym!

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