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2009 What A Great Grip Year!

Guest Bullitt

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Guest Bullitt

As the end of the year approaches, I took some time to look back at my log and reflect on the year that was.

When I joined the board in late February the hardest gripper I had ever closed was my HG250 and, other than ripping phonebooks, I had never done anything else grip related. What a difference a year makes. I hit most of my goals (missed a couple), made some incredible friends (too many to list here, but you know who you are), and got addicted to grip and grip contests in the process. Here were some of my highlights and PRs. Hopefully you guys can chime in with yours.

Competed in three contests (incredible fun)

Earned MM1 & MM2 (didn't get my CoC #3 cert, but early next year I hope)

Closed a 3.5 and an Elite (bit of a jump from my HG250 :D )

Closed 189# choked gripper (Gripmas)

2HP of 199.98# (Gripmas)

Pulled 345 on my pipe axle DO.

Lifted a 50lb york blob

Hubbed a 45 + 6.5#

pulled 334# on 1" vbar

Levered a 23# sledge (Gripmas)

FBBC Bastard cert.

Most importantly: got my family into grip! :D

A special thanks to some guys who really made all that possible. Jedd for driving me to be better and having me up for the training and contests. Goody, for introducing me to the world of grip outside of grippers and showing me how to actually set a gripper. Eaton, for the phone calls and technical advice. Brent Barbe for pretty much keeping a running conversation through PMs with me throughout the year. Brent really kept me motivated when I was feeling down and gave me some great training advice. Sam Solomi was always there with pointers and a damn good laugh when I needed it too. Ben Edwards for not only the great coaching, but the encouragement too. I never would have broken 275 on the vbar without him. Finally, Hammy for getting me motivated to start all this in the first place. This sport has really made a huge difference in my life this year. Thanks to all who helped me on my journey!

Now how did your year go? What were your biggest accomplishments / dissapointments in grip for 2009?

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Yours is truly an inspirational story Mike. Because of what you've accomplished in your time devoted to grip it's shown me what is possible with a little grit and determination.

Kudos to you Mike and may your next year be just as impressive.mosher.gif

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very impressive feats there!!! Mike :rock

ive had a decent year grip and lifting, nothing special though

got about 5 inches of air on the BLOB50 ( getting close! )

definately getting much stronger on thick bar work one handed and both hands as well axle rolling thunder etc..

bent my first shoe, a st crouix forge 2, an amazing feeling when you kink that first shoe... was a few days ago still have the bruises on my thigh to prove it, finished it all the way when i braced it over a bench but almost got my first shoe this year!

bottoms up press, got a 70 lb Kettlebell.

55 snatches lefty and righty with a 35 lbs kettlebell non stop

beat my friend in armwrestling 3 times in a row last week, this guy is really good, has been beating me for years..

3 " wrist roller x 85 lbs

coc # 2.5 x 4 right hand

Chest 90s x2 reg bench

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Mike, you've achieved elite status in one year. Amazing!

I also began grip training in Feb 2009 when I randomly dragged myself to AZCGSII. I had never done any focused grip training but owned a COC1 and COC2 (could then TNS the COC2 with either hand) and would crank on them intermittently. At that time I was picturing a "grip comp" as a bunch of beer-bellied guys standing around in a garage and grunting. While I was correct in some respects, the events were exhilarating and I was so impressed by the collegiality of the other competitors.

Milestones since then:

2HP 201

2" V-Bar 275

COC3 (147) CCS (RH)

BBGM (144) no set (RH)

Closed a filed COC3 (159) in a choker on several occasions (RH)

COC2.5 no set (LH)

351 axle double overhand

York blob 50

Hubbed two 45's simultaneously, one in each hand

5 dimes pinch

Best 1/4" bends: 5"G5, 5.5"G8, 6" FBBC square (12 seconds)

Best 5/16" bend: huge bastard

As far as what grip means to me now, it has filled a ten year void in my life after college football and track ended. For the last ten years I was constantly searching for hobbies, sources of passion, and outlets for stress. Now if I've had an awful day, I can go nuts in the garage for 20 minutes and then go inside and be a better husband and father. The discovery of grip was one of the best things to happen to me for a long time.

My thanks go to Acorn for keeping me motivated and giving me constant technique and equipment advice. Mike, looking forward to meeting you soon and comparing goals for next year.

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Guest Bullitt

Awesome stuff guys! Keep it coming!

Tim, it sounds like you and I were on the same strength curve there. :D 90% of my progress came after I met up with experienced guys on the board who taught me proper technique and pushed me. Sounds like Aaron did that for you too. For guys starting out, or those whose training has stagnated, I can't stress enough how important grip togethers and contests are for excellerating your progress. The Elite guys out there like Jedd, Ben, Paul Knight, Aaron, Andrew, Chad, Chris, Eric, etc. are always willing to help and it is invaluable.

In my post above I left out Frank, who has also given me a ton of help with all aspects of the grip and strength game. Dude is 18, and had no problem stepping up and helping out an old guy like me. Frank is going to rule this sport someday if he keeps at it. :rock

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Mike, I don't use the GB as much as some but every time I am on here you seem to have made improvements. Congrats indeed on the achievements for 2009. I believe your most impressive feat is the 23lb sledge lever as that is the only exercise that continually foxes me.

My most pleasing year in grip has probably been 2009.

Holding my own (to a degree) at the BHSA nationals having not had the oportunity to train for some of the events was excellent.

The biggest thing I have learned (that has finally stuck) is to not focus too much on what constitutes a "good lift" in terms of what anyone else does. Not knowing exactly what is perceived as "hard" really helps me as I just put all of my efforts into trying to complet the task without worrying if it ought to be hard for me or not.

As a result I have:

Shut a #3.5 and held it.

Lifted the inch

Done a 160kg one handed dead lift

Deadlifted 500lbs (first try ever using a belt and after the nationals with sore hands)

Hubbed a 45lb plate with weights added

Improved my bending pbs

Brought my damaged left hand closer to the strength of my right

Squashed a potato

Ripped a deck of cards

levered a 16lb sledge (makes 23lb all the more impressive)

Improved my overall strength a lot

Most of all I still enjoy training and want to get stronger.

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Seeing everyone's enthusiasm on the board got me fired up again! Let's face, this place was quite boring the last few years, so these new guys coming up have stoked my fires again. As a matter of fact, I am back at it today. Time to get those fatman blobs!

Who knows, maybe I will even compete in 2010...

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The ones I can think of:

MM3 close

182.1lb #3.5 (GGC)

#3.5 x 5 reps

204lb 2hp (GGC)

Easy 50lb blob lifts

5-10s + 27lb

384lb 2" axle (GGC)

304lb 2-3/8" axle

210lb RT

45 hub + weight

500lb deadlift (no belt)

331lb bench

Mike, not too shabby for someone who's only been into the game for under a year :rock

Edited by Magnus
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This was the year I stepped up and entered my first competitions, one grip related the other more strength based. I learnt from both the importance of tactics when it comes to final placings, especially with the rising bar in place.

I finally learnt how to set a gripper properly, closed my #2.5 consistently and made big strides towards closing the #3. Started playing with sledge levering, done a 16lber a few times.

An injury at one of the comps halted a lot of training and made me diversify my training to suit my physical capabilities as I recover, this has brought my weak left hand up towards the strength of my right.

I've learnt the value of keeping a training log, and hopefully the skill of knowing when to push and when to back off.

I made some good friends and collected a shed full of memories for when I'm past it, but more importantly increased my "love of the game" and have definite ambitions for next year.

First amongst these is to certify MM0, hopefully make the top 50 for the 2hp at competition and just keep improving my grip strength. Oh, and to drop 50 lbs or so :whistel

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This year has been kinda up and down for me, but I have achieved the following:

-1/2"x3' HRS braced bend: I don't do much braced bending, but I'm sure I can bend something shorter than this.

-#2.5 CCS close

-#3 MMS close: This was my second attempt on a #3. I was about 1/8" from closing it on my first attempt.

-Tore 56 cards in 4 seconds

-Bent a St Croix Forge Polo to 90 degrees

-Lifted a 40lb Blob: This was my first time attempting lift one

-Lifted a 40lb Blob + 10lbs: I think I can lift more

-Lifted a 40lb Blob with the left and closed a BBSM with the right: I'll be doing this with a #3 some time next year.

-Pinched 2 35s: I was trying to do that for a while.

-Lifted a 40lb Blob x 27 reps: I'm going to do 50 reps sometime next year.

While my pinch definitely improved my short bar bending regressed. I made a lot of bending improvements in 2008 and none this year. I'm hoping that in 2010 it all comes together.

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Pretty decent year for me.


Finally closed a #4 in competition

#3.5 x 6 reps

#3 x 22 reps

Pulled 400# on the axle in training

Pinched 239# in competition

Bent a 6"x5/16 FBBC square in competition

Pulled 225# on the RT in competition

Hubbed 45# plate + 32# in training - 77# total

Finally got hub transfers and Flips down

Hub lift with index finger and thumb

Hub front raise and snatch

Pulled the Inch DB


Blob Snatch

1HP - 106#

1H axle DL - 217#

1/8th'd a phone book

11"x1/2" braced bend

Squatted 225x35

Benched 365# with a couple months work

and most importantly - still continuing to have a good time!

- Aaron

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and most importantly - still continuing to have a good time!

- Aaron

Now that's the stuff!

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Good subject you've submited Mike !

Strong PR guys!! :mosher These are very challenging !

Personal achievements : MM1 cert, COC 2.5 TNS, 450lb DL, 165lb Rolling Thunder.

What I will remember most from 2009 is the good friendship and sharing on the Board.

Long life to the Gripboard !

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My 8 year old grandson and I (along with my wife and son) climbed a 14,000' mountain in Colorado, the little guy never quit - oh grip went OK too.

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I'm too damned lazy to check if I did more but I did well on the MM ladder (cheers to Twig for his help), won the British (setting a record during it), went to level 21 on a certain gripper, closed the hardest 4 ever closed in competition (MM rules @ 205lbs), competed in the US again (a feat in itself) coming second to Chad. At that event I did my first 2 x 45lb plates in competition, managed 3rd in what I thought would be a weak event - the medley and pulled well over 400 (440??) double over hand on the axle. I also raised my pinch to an official 110+ kilos and got major air under 117kilos.

Edited by mobsterone
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nice lol congrats, i only started in late september but i have managed to get up to the bbsm ,rb240 close so far but im hopin to have my BBE closed by next september:) just have to see how things go

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I finally closed my coc #2.5 and BB Super Master right handed in 2009..................It's a slow process when your a lazy beer drinking 40 year old! :blush

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I bought a complete set of Heavy Grips which should arrive soon, in time to crush 2010.

Starting on the road is good :)

i bet a lot of us started with the HG grippers, good luck with ur grip training!

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