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All Work And No Play Makes Bigtone Crazy


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Well I've been saying to myself I'm going to start my log for at least a week now and it hasn't happened. But, its a slow day at work with most of the company off, so... Its technically lunchtime. Lets do this.

A little bio of where I'm at right now. For whatever reason, I had dropped out of any type of training. Last year I'd have small ups and downs but nothing consistent. This year has been a reawakening spiritually, mentally, and physically. I want to do everything this year 100% and not get complacent or lazy.

This christmas I got my first lengths of steel along with some bolt cutters (Thanks Mrs. Claus!) I've definately caught the bending bug, and I'm working on setting up my grip workouts to give me a vice grip for the bigger steel down the road.

After really destroying 3/16" HRS from lowes I got brave and picked up some 1/4". I brought it home and after a few bends with 3/16" tried my hardest to hit it both DO and modified DU. What I ended up doing was screwing up my right hand, but its starting to feel better two weeks after. I'm assuming its a tendon thing, but when I do sledge twists or anything where I use my right hand and twist to the right or really heavy levers to my nose the pain is just too much. So, I've been taking it easy on the levering (I hit some levering saturday) and today my wrist is really feeling better.

My current PRS:

Currently I'm bending 5" 3/16" circular stock from lowes. (I'm planning on getting some timber ties and HRS from Home depot per Foxman's suggestion)

Crushing I can get my COC #2 with a MMS with my right hand and near close on my left

Pulling - Not sure, but generally I can get 325 without a problem even without training for a while. But I really want the 500 lb deadlift to raise up this year.


Bend alot this year, after my first attempt at 1/4" I'm humbled to say the least, and I know its going to take a lot of trips to the hardware store and countless nails to get my technique and strength to a good level. Good Technique definately breeds PRs in anything you do.

Deadlift 500 lbs

Get my hands on something inbetween my 20lb and 45lb hex weight so I can get the 45lb off the ground one handed.

Planning on getting my hands on KTA sometime this year so I would like to be able to easily crush the #2 in both hands and get a jump on the #3.

Last workout:

I did a modifed kettlebell workout from the encyclopedia of KB lifting. TGU's, windmills, etc, worked with my 20kg powermax bell that has a really thick handle and my 24kg one from DD that has a normal sized one. I love using these before my grip workouts because my forearms and grip is really pumped and ready to go.

My workout consisted of

sledge twist

3x of 5 twists. I would stop the hammer from going past paralell with the ground dude to the pain in my hand/wrist.

front lever


rear lever


Followed up with pinch work

3 sets of max time holds with the 45 lb hex using my first thing fingers with both hands

3 sets max time holding 20 lb hex with thumb and last two fingers

Didn't have anything left over for crushing, did a few overcrushes with my #1, but I hit the grippers hard several days before and after the sledge I didn't have much left in my hands.

Wound down with some dex balls and bands for the extensors.

I'm planning on hitting a workout tonight, I'll probably hit the grippers a bit and make sure I bend some steel as well.

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Sunday night I hit another kettlebell workout, worked more TGU's, bent presses, and then bottom up cleans with my heavy bell. Great warmup for the more grip focused stuff I did at the end.

More pinching

Three sets max time (about 15 seconds) 2h pinches with my 45 lb hex (first three fingers)

3 x 1h pinches with my 20 lb hex weights (pinky and ring finger)

Then I pulled out my grippers.

10 x Trainer both hands

5 reps each hand #1

#2 Was able to get 5 singles on my right, about 3 on my left.

I gave my hands about 5 minutes rest in between each close on the #2. I tend to get anxious and can't wait, but this workout I did, and could really tell a difference. Pretty solid closes using a MMS.

Last night I cut down my 3/16" HRS bar, had 11 pieces and bent them all. Really worked on form. Pretty easy, I'm gonna have to find someone in NW Indiana or the chicago area and bend with them though, I'd definately like someone to critique my form a bit (don't have a camera so that isn't an option yet). Friday I'm gonna head to the hardware store and see if I can find some square stock and probably pick up some timber ties and see if I can work on those.

Finished the workout with some sledge twists and levers to the front and back. My right wrist is still a little painful when I twist the weight over the right side, so I stopped it parallel and went from there. I have a new soreness in my forearms today. Not a bad one, but definately can tell muscles are being worked that I haven't hit in any particular workout before.

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Didn't have a whole lot of time yesterday so I hit the sledge and the grippers. I'm consistantly closing the #2 now with my right hand for heavy singles. Its all about getting that gripper position right! On lunch I'm going to head over to home depot and hopefully get some square stock and some timber ties. My plan is to do a "Starting Strength" cycle starting tomorrow, get my strength back up because I haven't picked up a weight (except for a kettlebell) in a while. Recondition my chest, legs, etc. Then I'll probably bend tomorrow. I'll keep you guys updated. I'm excited about the SS program. I'd really like to get over 300 on my bench and get a decent squat. I love deadlifting, but the other two lifts I've just had issues with in the past. Shoulders with the bench, and the squat has just been a mental thing I need to work through.

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thats true , the ticket to getting consistent on the bigger grippers is all about hand postition, that is key

great start!

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So I went to home depot at lunch today, picked up a 5lb box of timber ties and some 3/16" square rods. Wife wasn't home, so... what else was I gonna do?

Cranked up the music, cut some steel and had myself a bending session.

Warmed up with 5 5" HRS bars. Then I moved on to a 6" 3/16" square rod. Went down but I fought with it a bit. I had to slow myself down because I was going to start bending everything and run out of gas.

Hit another square bar, this time it went down easier.

I figured... what the hell, pulled out the timber ties. Turned on some War of Ages (Good recommendation from Foxman) and BAM. Fought it a bit, went moving and crushed it.

I hit another TT, then cut down a square rod to 5". This one went down with a fight too. Went back to a timber tie, fought a lot with that one, and called it day.

I'm stoked, felt really good to actually have a fight with the steel this time. The round stuff just felt too easy for me. Now I'll have to stick with square stock and timber ties. I'll probably still use the round stuff for light warmups. Probably bring some to work to have my coworkers try. They were pretty intrigued when I came back with the nails today!

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Did my first SS workout today. Weighed in this morning at about 235.


3x5 185 -> Weak I know, but made sure I went deep, and I'll probably go above 200 next session. Felt strong just wanted to make sure I had a good groove and everything.


3x5 185 -> Again this is a lift I know will get better fast, my chest is definately the sticking point. Once I get it halfway up my triceps take over and the bar flys up.


1x 5 275 WU Double overhand grip

1 x5 305 Double overhand <- Felt good, made sure I was in good form. Wife is great critic of my form and it only got better as I progressed through the set.

Came home and bent 5 more timber ties. Keep working hard, see the deadlift go up and hopefully that 1/4" HRS will go down soon enough.

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Brought some timber ties to work yesterday and showed the guys I work with short steel bending. They all got a kick out of it, a couple of them even fought with a timber tie and won. Pretty cool stuff. Probably did about 10 6" timber ties throughout the day.

Later that night -

Sledge work

Twists, levers to the front and rear

Lots of swings with my kettlebell mixed in with some cardio-esque stuff. Jumping jacks, squat thrusts, etc.

Probably should have used a lighter kettlebell because I was sore again after such a long layoff and felt like a puss when I got under the bar for squats.


3x 190

Overhead Press

3x 115


3x 135

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Had a good bending day yesterday. Worked about 10 bends, starting with 6.5" 3/16 square stock and moved down to 5" and then on to timber ties. Worked my weaker style, DU for about 8 bends and then reverse for the last couple. My right wrist felt great a little pain but nothing that I had felt earlier this month. Followed up with a good session with my sledgehammer, and then on to some pinch with my hex weights. Finished with some crushes with my #2. I need to get a bigger gripper for this, plus I hope that I'm killing that #2 one handed soon enough and I'll have to work on something better.

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Had a pretty decent weekend in the gym. Had my squat/bench/deadlift day on saturday.


Squats 3x5 205. Finally getting used to having some weight on my shoulders again...

Bench 3x5 195. These felt pretty good, hit all sets without an issue.

Deadlift 1x5 315 Last rep felt a bit of a rounding in my back. Need to work more on tighting up my abs. Probably throw in some weighted ab work this week after my workouts.

Yesterday I hit some hard bends. 2 bars of 6.5" 1/4" HRS with reverse style bending. 1 bar kinked reverse style and then finished DO.

Really seems to me like right now I'm stronger bending reverse style. My shoulder hurts a bit today. I'm planning on getting home from work and doing some rehab work with my kettlebells. Work on the RKC armbar, some windmills, and maybe some TGUs.

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Eh, haven't been keeping up. Well, this weeks gym workouts sucked, but my grip days were awesome.

Working with timber ties - Tuesday I hit about 10 DO bends

Thursday I went modified DU and felt really good and killed 8 that way.

Saturday - I had a kettlebell workout and then attacked grippers at the end up my workout. I dominated the #2 with both hands. It was unreal. I did about 6 singles, started setting real deep and then realizing it was feeling real easy, closed with the right hand with the CCS and then near CCS with the left. Seems like a little rest helped since the last time I did grippers was on the 29th. Ordered a #3 this weekend, I am probably going to need a 2.5 to bridge the gap, but my birthday is coming up so that is on the list.

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Had a awesome weekend of grip stuff.

Friday night - Grippers

10 x Trainer

1 x #1

5 singles each hand with the #2

5 crushdowns each hand 1.5

Sunday Night Bending

All DO bending

3 timber ties

1 6" 1/4" G2 nail

1 6" 1/4" CRS round bar

1 6" 1/4" G2 nail

Monday Morning Gym Workout

Chest stuff

3 x 8 195 lbs bench

3 x 8 55 lb flys

3 x 8 65 lb incline dumbells

2 x 8 135 lb incline press

Came home for Grippers

1 x #1

5 singles each hand with the #2

5 crushdowns each hand 1.5

Monday Night More Bending

Felt great and felt the need to bend again.

1 Timber Tie

1 G2 nail

1 5.5" HRS (I can really tell the different in the non-steelworks HRS) this stuff felt really easy.

1 5.5" 1/4" CRS.

Wow, I finished this but what a battle. I didn't time myself here but I ended up kinking it and then it just STOPPED. I always felt really strong in my crushdown but this bar was just laughing in my face. I didn't stop me though. I fought through it and managed to get in under 2". It felt like forever but I'm sure it wasn't. Just kept working on it and finally got it.


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Thanks Ben,

Everything seems to be coming together really well.

I decided to do 3 days on and then take some rest so I had a great session last night again.

3 Timber Tie

1 G2 bolt

2 5.5" HRS

1 6" 1/4" CRS.

All went down pretty fast. I kinked the G2 reverse style just for a change of pace, my DO definately feels strong now that I figured out the pressure and everything. Was a good session. Right index finger has what I would consider the start of a blister though, obviously from slippage/not gripping tight enough. A few days off and I should be good though.

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Another good weekend

Thursday night I hit the kettlebells and some grippers

1 x #1

5 singles each hand with the #2

5 crushdowns each hand 1.5

Sunday Night Bending

Sunday I had a pretty good volume bending workout, all double overhand.

5 timber ties

4 - 5 " 1/4" HRS

1 6" G2 1/4" bolt

1 6" 1/4" HRS (steelworks) The big bend of the workout

2 more timber ties to cool down.

Everything went pretty easy, felt real good, hands hurt a little bit later ont hat night, I need to start doing some contrast baths again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Havn't updated in a while, but that doesn't mean I haven't been training!

Had a good pre-birthday bender this weekend, did low volume and ended with a 5.5 " 1/4" CRS.

Last night I had a higher volume workout that went like this:

Everything 1/4"

3 timber ties

1 G2 Bolt

3 6" HRS steelworks

2 6" CRS steelworks

1 5" CRS Steelworks

Everything went down, and I have some much respect for you guys that bend BIG short steel. I didn't have that much of a problem on the kink but the crushdown was really tough. Got it down below 2" though.

I'm on the hunt for G5's and some 60d nails... the nails are impossible to find around me, I'm probably going to have to order some.

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