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Wentzville, Mo Gripfest

Brad Manion

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Before I begin, I must say it was awesome to finally meet a bunch of fellow grip-maniacs in person. Josh Dale, thanks for hosting all of us today, especially for those post-training hamburgers. Those really hit the spot. I learned so much from everybody there and set PRs in most facets of my grip-game.

I started off doing a lot of 3-piece grip-and-rip phonebook tears of 2-1/8" thick phonebooks, some prettier than others. A little disappointed that I didn't get the 4-piece grip-and-rip on one of these, but oh well. I was well warmed-up by this point, and motivated to redeem myself.

Dan Sweeney taught me how to bend some horseshoes, and though I later learned they would be considered to be at a beginner level, they were still quite tough for me and being able to bend them on my first attempts ever was quite a rush.

Scott Harris, the "man of a million grippers" (and I am NOT kidding here, he has nearly that many), coached me on how to set properly, and I hit a PR, closing a CoC #2.5 with my right hand.

I then went on to some unbraced bending, and with some form-coaching by Scott H. and Ben Edwards, I absolutely destroyed my old PRs. Let's put it like this, if I were going to battle against the steel, it's as if I went from throwing rocks to shooting off some nukes :mosher My previous PR was 1/4" x 5" G8 x 1 DO, done New Years Eve last year, taking me 10 minutes. Today, Scott and Ben got me to pull the steel up high, under my chin, and lean over before I applied pressure. Finally, at long last, they got me to find the "power-line". I then went on to destroy the following, all of them well under 30 seconds each: FBBC-Bastard, Hexabastard, and Big Hexabastard. Josh got one of the hex bends on film, and I can't wait to see how it turned out.

Now, as in shock as I was, I still had more work to do. Ben got me to successfully attempt a bend at a FBBC 12" x 3/8" timber spike, and though I succeeded, that bend hurt like hell. Nonetheless, I kept going and ended breaking my Grip-Rite Bright Common record, going from an 11" x 3/8" timber spike to a 10-1/2" x 3/8" spike and a 10" spike.

After all this, I took a nice long rest and watched Dan Sweeney put the hurt on some steel, getting very close to getting a 1/4" x 6" G8 in DO style.

For my finale, I went for the Century Club of 60d nail bending. I made myself 4 point-wraps, while Ben, Dan, and Scott took turns preparing all the head-wraps. Now, my previous PR for 60d x 50 in DO style was 9 minutes 40 seconds. Needless to say, things took a bit longer today. But, I did it, bending all 100 nails in 39 minutes 39 seconds. Both my hands hurt like hell right now, with a decent-sized blood blister on my left hand and strained right thumb, but mentally, I am forever changed. Like Gazza has been saying for some time now, "There are no limits." :flame:rock

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Those are some nice bends there mate and a great bit of endurance bending as well congrats.

Once you find the right technique and get a bit of confidense and self belief then your well on your way you have just been helped to find those by a few people who know there stuff congrats again its great when it all starts comeing together.

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Great bending Brad! It was great to finally meet you and Dan there. It was awesome seeing the look of realization come over your face when you found the DO groove...worth the 10 hour drive right there.

I've written up a report and will post it in a few days probably.

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It was great meeting everyone! I don't want to steal anyone's thunder so I'll let board members who were there, post their own PRs but rest assured, plenty were set :mosher


My friend Chris, who doesn't train grip at all; closed a #2 with ease after I showed him how to set it. I think he closed a SM or came very close too? Scott Harris knows for sure on this. He also bent a 60d pretty easily. I think he's got the bug.

My step-dad watched me do a 35lb plate curl and then tried it with a 22 or 25 and knocked out 2 reps and was probably good for more. He also doesn't train grip and hasn't been to a gym forever.

Brad is a phonebook tearing machine! He makes it look very easy. He's got a TON of horsepower and as he dials in his DO form, look for him to be one of the TOP benders. He did 100 60ds and while I understand that they're only 60ds, he was bending them about nipple level and going through them like they were just pieces of coat hanger.

Dan was killing horseshoes left and right. He hit some big bending prs too but I don't remember the numbers so hopefully he'll post. It was also fun talking BJJ with him. I have a book but it was great to pick his brain and ask him questions about it. You guys should see him blow through decks of card, very fast and very clean.

Scott just missed my #3 and would have got it fresh no doubt. Ben hit some gripper PRs and him and Scott and Dan were bending a ton of stuff braced. I'm looking forward to reading the report on this.

As for my goals that I set

slick50 blob +5lbs: done

clean 2 35's: didn't even attempt it, they weren't exactly feeling great for a single, maybe next time, I'm spotty on these things

AA: at least 300; done, did 303# and stopped, probably had some more but had other stuff I wanted to do

2"vbar/IM loading pin: 209 to full lockout, stirred 250, easily doable by BBB. First time I"ve tried this and it is MUCH better than regular vbar, you can go full bore and not worry about tearing your skin. Now the tough guys can say skin tears are no big deal but the thing is that they interfere with your training while they're healing so while the pain may not be excruciating, you can't tell me it doesn't slow down your training any.

Grippers: closed the Heavy Elite and held it shut for some time. I don't know what this gripper is but we mic'ed it and it has a SE spring. The mount looked to be 3/16 but I measured it at 1/8". I think I was measuring it incorrectly though or couldn't get the ruler in there right because it really didn't look 1/8" to me. I also closed the brass handled RB300 that has Midget engraved on it. I got 7 clicks with it the second time I picked it up.

I had a BLAST and I'm really going to pour on the training for the 2" vbar and AA for BBB3.

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Great job guys :mosher

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What a day!!! First off it was great to meet everyone and the drive up with Ben was great! Thanks for having us Josh.

Many things were destroyed Saturday included PR's.

Brad destroyed some big phone books and closed my Filed #2.5 He moved up light years in his bending with very little coaching and killed some big steel. Great job on the indurance bending too.

Dan mangled some horse shoes and gave me some awesome tips. He also moved up his bending PR's after some coaching and the look on his face after he found the groove was priceless. Tons of intensity from him while bending!

Ben did a lot of great braced bends and tons of great lifts and gripper closes. Couldn't keep track of them all. Had a lot of fun on the way there and back.

Chris was a cool guy and was a strong gripster for not training it. He closed my #2 and almost got my BB Master(2.1) He didn't try a Super Master. He got a hard 60D after a bit of coaching and said " That Was Fun!" Definately got the bug

Josh did a lot of amazing things and put the hurt on my Brass RB300 & Heavy Elite. Gave me some great tips that I will definately be putting to use.

My highlights:

Got my RB240 (3.0) closed but missed Josh's #3 later after tons of gripping.

I was getting every gripper I touched to just outside parallel: 3.5, Super Elite, Even an older #4... WTF?

Got 180 very easy on the 2" v-bar, the next jump for the guys was to 209 and I stirred that.

213 with ease on the axel but the next jump was to like 280 something and it was just to much for me.

Bent a couple St. Croix Forge size #0 and #1, didn't try a #2 but bought some from Dan and will try them later in the week.

Hovered my Blob a paper width off the ground but it just kept slipping.

That's all I can think of right now. Had a GREAT time!!! :rock

Back to training tomorrow.

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Great Job Everyone sounds like it was a great fun day!!! :mosher:mosher:mosher


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First of all, I would like to thank Josh Dale for hosting this get together! And I second Brads comment on the burgers, they really hit the spot!

It was such a pleasure to finally meet Ben, Josh, Scott, and Brad. I had no idea all these guys had this much strength!

Ben with the DU bending, I can only say Im glad I witnessed this PR! His V-bar and AA lifts were VERY strong! :mosher

Brad with the phonebook tearing, bending like a machine, and the 100 60d’s, a bright future in bending for sure!

Josh closing the grippers and making every one look easy, and then “playing” with a BIG sledge. His AA lifts looked solid!

Scott closing his grippers easily and his blob lifting was nothing short of amazing for me, being a “small hand” guy myself.

On to my PRs

I had never bent anything better than a Timber Tie DO before this day, and after coaching from Ben and Scott(Thanks guys!), I easily bent a hard 60d. It was like in “over the top” when Stallone turned the ball cap around….. :whistel I had them wrap up a 5.5” Grade 5 and I got it pretty easily, off center and kinda weird(Pics are in my Gallery). I had them wrap up a 6” Grade 8, and gave it a go, but only got it to about 80 degrees. I have to say that NOTHING can come close to the energy you feel when training with other Gripsters, all hitting PR’s.

I got a St. Croix Ultralite #2 Right handed into a heart in under 30 seconds(I’m much stronger Left handed). Thanks Chris Rider!

I got a 10” 3/8” spike braced, but finished it “between the legs”. I think once I get this dialed in, I will really start progressing on the braced stuff.

I got 213 on the AA, but it seemed easy. I should have gone a little higher before Ben and Josh put the “Big stuff” on….

All in all the Best Grip experience I have ever had!


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Thanks again for all the congrats. Everybody there showed some SICK levels of strength, in one way or another. Now, I wasn't able to bring a camera with me, but do any of you other guys that were there have pics or videos?

I may be wrong, but I think Dan shot the video of my 3 piece phonebook tear, Josh shot a video from his camera of me doing the Big Hexabastard bend, and Ben got the picture of me holding a bar containing all 100 of the 60d nails I bent during my finale. I'm pretty sure more pics and videos were shot, but I'm not sure of which feats of strength.

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