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Elite Total For Grip


climber511

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As it stands now there is only one way to achieve an “Elite” status in grip sport. And while I think Jedd’s standards are right on – I see a problem with it as well. Parallel set grippers or greater, IronMind Axle DO Dead Lift, And Two Hand Pinch. All mainstay grip sport events – so far so good. Here’s my problem with it. Every contest does not include these events and it may be a long time between opportunities to do them in a competition setting even if you can fly around and get to every single contest. For example, I’m doing Nationals and Gripmas this year – and neither has the Axle DL (which accounts for roughly half of the total needed for Elite) – and Grippers at a parallel set or greater are also not at either Nationals or Gripmas – Two Hand Pinch is in both this time around. So the only way I might total Elite in 2011 is to Two Hand Pinch 800# which is unlikely. I would like to see those same high standards kept but see something like National Qualification numbers where if you achieve say the standards in 3 or so out of a possible 10 or whatever event choices – then you earn your Elite status. This would open up more opportunities at more competitions each year – if all 3 of the events needed were standard at every contest it wouldn’t matter but they are not. Something to think about anyway. I’ll probably never make it but I hate to see some people who might have the ability miss out on at least having the opportunity to do so.

Thoughts?

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What would suck even more, though, is for those who aren't elite to earn the Elite title because they are good at 3 obscure events for which there aren't proper standards in place. Other than RT I can't think of anything else that might count anyway. CCS grippers, maybe. It would look pretty bad if those who qualified with events other than the Big 3 were consistently beaten in competition by other Elite competitors who qualified on the Big 3. I predict that that would happen.

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Chris raises a flaw that I did not notice before. The Axle has a disproportionately high impact on the total.

May I give an example of how this can create a "flawed" system? Odd Haugen.

So, Haugen pulls in the high 400s or low 500s on the Axle, then pulls 200 on the Pinch, and 125 on a RGC gripper...does that deserve "elite" status? I don't think so.

And, I have to apologize to Josh Dale for some stupid argument we were in a couple of years ago about Odd Haugen having a good grip. He does, but it is mainly thickbar. He may be starting to work his pinch. But his crushing grip is modest. I didn't know that until the last year.

A couple of years later, Odd, who I consider a friend, becomes a poster child for why the "Elite" ranking is flawed for the purposes of which we are speaking. I still say the 3 events are fine but you could use some type of "factor" so that all three become equally weighted. Like the Decathlon, each event should have an equal impact on the total.

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The 20mm block set at Nationals is a parallel set, just with a block. No opinion on the topic, just thought I'd throw that out there. :inno

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Just a thought... the gripper close is a one handed affair where the other two events are with both hands. I think all three movements should be one handed and with the same hand or they should all be two handed lifts. Just my opinion.. which i'm sure doesn't mean much as i've never been to a grip contest. Also, just thinkin out loud, say the events were gripper, one hand pinch, and one hand thick bar(dumbell, rolling thunder, whatever..). You could take your total with each hand and average them and that number is your total. On another note what is the best total so far in a contest and by whom? and if you know what were the three individual weights?

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I'd like to know what is the toughest calibrated gripper David Horne has closed in competition with a parallel set as well as his best axle DL in comp. He basically pinched 257 so that would leave about 543. I don't recall him being thought of as a huge axle puller and or one of the top crush guys, although he did have a monsterous vulcan close on the WSH leg; but hey, I've been wrong before. It would be interesting to see where he's at vs. 800 since if he's not "elite" I don't know who is.

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Mike is right about the axle's "disproportionate effect on the total".

If the axle is to be used, it should be one-handed anyway if grip strength is what is being measured, it would make bodyweight/overall body strength less of a factor and be a more valid grip strength event. That would make the thickbar/axle numbers more in line with grippers and pinch without any division or math other than addition necessary (a 600 total would be elite). Also, there is less overall weight handled, which would reduce injury risk and perhaps help draw (and retain) more people to the sport.

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Mike is right about the axle's "disproportionate effect on the total".

If the axle is to be used, it should be one-handed anyway if grip strength is what is being measured, it would make bodyweight/overall body strength less of a factor and be a more valid grip strength event. That would make the thickbar/axle numbers more in line with grippers and pinch without any division or math other than addition necessary (a 600 total would be elite). Also, there is less overall weight handled, which would reduce injury risk and perhaps help draw (and retain) more people to the sport.

I am sure you guys are sick of this, but I like Odin's idea of 600. Just divide the Axle number by 2. 500 lbs becomes 250. Equally weighted as to impact. Done.

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Probably not a very popular idea, but would it be wrong to require all NAGS events to feature these three events? The promoter could then pick out a couple more events to add in with the "big three".

I'm not saying I like this idea, but it would solve the problem of people not getting the opportunity to achieve elite status.

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Probably not a very popular idea, but would it be wrong to require all NAGS events to feature these three events? The promoter could then pick out a couple more events to add in with the "big three".

I'm not saying I like this idea, but it would solve the problem of people not getting the opportunity to achieve elite status.

some guys will not go for that. also, I like the variety in the sport. also, it doesn't help out with the fact that there does seem to be a trend toward the vulcan away from grippers.

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Mike is right about the axle's "disproportionate effect on the total".

If the axle is to be used, it should be one-handed anyway if grip strength is what is being measured, it would make bodyweight/overall body strength less of a factor and be a more valid grip strength event. That would make the thickbar/axle numbers more in line with grippers and pinch without any division or math other than addition necessary (a 600 total would be elite). Also, there is less overall weight handled, which would reduce injury risk and perhaps help draw (and retain) more people to the sport.

I am sure you guys are sick of this, but I like Odin's idea of 600. Just divide the Axle number by 2. 500 lbs becomes 250. Equally weighted as to impact. Done.

To clarify, I am proposing a one-handed axle deadlift towards a 600 Elite total.

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I guess I dont understand... Not that Powerlifting is not completely flawed in a lot of ways, but there are guys that Total ELITE in PL'ing and have a shitty bench, but they have HUGE Squats and DL's.. To me if you can get the #800, then you can get #800. Obviously I have not been around the Grip Game as long as all of you gentlemen, but what do you think about that comparison?

Ofcourse your gonna have strengths and weaknesses... everyone does. Thats why Powerlifting has "best overall lifter". So maybe Grip Needs to have "Most Well Rounded Gripper".

Just a thought...

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I guess I dont understand... Not that Powerlifting is not completely flawed in a lot of ways, but there are guys that Total ELITE in PL'ing and have a shitty bench, but they have HUGE Squats and DL's.. To me if you can get the #800, then you can get #800. Obviously I have not been around the Grip Game as long as all of you gentlemen, but what do you think about that comparison?

Ofcourse your gonna have strengths and weaknesses... everyone does. Thats why Powerlifting has "best overall lifter". So maybe Grip Needs to have "Most Well Rounded Gripper".

Just a thought...

I guess I kind of view that as the reasoning behind having a "total." If my axle sucks I've got a chance to make up ground in the pinch. One man's strength is another man's weakness. I might get beaten in the stones, but I took the farmers. I may have missed my third attempt bench, but my squat boosted my total.

Who knows.

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Right... Am I the only one that sees it that way?

Seems to me that would be the ONLY way to do it?... Unless your trying to keep a short list.

Ex: Im a decent DOH Deadlifter... but Paul Knight is an exceptional crusher.. How would you penalize him?

Edited by Ross Love
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I must have not explained my thoughts well. This is why I brought it up. The advantage to sports like PL etc are that the events don't change - you will always be looking at the same lifts every PL contest you go to - that's the point I was trying to make. Many contests will not have the big 3 each time and have events other than those 3 so a guy like Ross or Matt might have the ability to make Elite but not the opportunity due to not finding those 3 lifts in the competitions you attend. It's not the lifts or the Total I have trouble with - it's the lack of opportunity to do so. As it is right now - you could attend several contests each year - be ABLE to total well over 800 on that particular 3 lifts and never get the chance to make an Elite Total. Clear as mud now?

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Fair enough. So, does the idea of standardizing the events (at least those 3) to each contests come up? Or maybe to a certain level of contest? Then, anyone that would theoretically be close to hitting Elite - would likely be attending "that level" of contest and thus have their shot... ?

Wait... what? Haha. Mud, indeed.

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Mike is right about the axle's "disproportionate effect on the total".

If the axle is to be used, it should be one-handed anyway if grip strength is what is being measured, it would make bodyweight/overall body strength less of a factor and be a more valid grip strength event. That would make the thickbar/axle numbers more in line with grippers and pinch without any division or math other than addition necessary (a 600 total would be elite). Also, there is less overall weight handled, which would reduce injury risk and perhaps help draw (and retain) more people to the sport.

I am sure you guys are sick of this, but I like Odin's idea of 600. Just divide the Axle number by 2. 500 lbs becomes 250. Equally weighted as to impact. Done.

To clarify, I am proposing a one-handed axle deadlift towards a 600 Elite total.

Yeah, I know. I figure just take the two hand and divide it by two for purposes of getting a qualifying number shooting for the 600 total.

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I think making it a 1 hand DL would be too easy. I don't know about everyone else, maybe I'm just weird but my 1 hand deadlift is way more than half my DO axle. I can lift 180 1 handed on the axle but my best DO is 315.

Im only about 30lbs away from a 600# total using the 1 hand but Im 95lbs away from the 800# total. The DO axle is only a training lift though, in the 8 Grip competitions I have competed in I have never had the opprutunity to do the DO axle.

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Everyone I have an idea for the elite status. Instead of having elite totals, why not have elite qualifying lifts? So take the qualification lifts for nationals and then simply bump up the numbers, then if you can do three of these lifts then you're considered elite. For example a nationals qualification lift for the two hand pinch is 200Lbs, so make an elite lift 220Lbs,then do the same for grippers having 150Lbs qualifying for nationals, then have a 180Lbs close an elite lift, then for the DO axle 325Lbs for nationals and 400Lbs for elite. Then if you don't do one or more of these events then you would do the same for other events such as the 2" Vbar, which is 200Lbs for qualifying for nationals, then you could make it 300Lbs for elite. Then do this process for other lifts. So if someone did 220Lbs for the two hand pinch, 180Lbs for grippers, and then 300lbs for Vbar then that person would be considered elite, because a person needs to do three lifts instead of totaling a certain weight from three lifts. Now the only problem I see is determining the elite weights for the different events. I will admit I'm new to the sport since I've been competing for less than a year and it's really late as I'm writing this. But I think this idea has potential and with some refining it could work.

Thanks,

Austin

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Everyone I have an idea for the elite status. Instead of having elite totals, why not have elite qualifying lifts? So take the qualification lifts for nationals and then simply bump up the numbers, then if you can do three of these lifts then you're considered elite. For example a nationals qualification lift for the two hand pinch is 200Lbs, so make an elite lift 220Lbs,then do the same for grippers having 150Lbs qualifying for nationals, then have a 180Lbs close an elite lift, then for the DO axle 325Lbs for nationals and 400Lbs for elite. Then if you don't do one or more of these events then you would do the same for other events such as the 2" Vbar, which is 200Lbs for qualifying for nationals, then you could make it 300Lbs for elite. Then do this process for other lifts. So if someone did 220Lbs for the two hand pinch, 180Lbs for grippers, and then 300lbs for Vbar then that person would be considered elite, because a person needs to do three lifts instead of totaling a certain weight from three lifts. Now the only problem I see is determining the elite weights for the different events. I will admit I'm new to the sport since I've been competing for less than a year and it's really late as I'm writing this. But I think this idea has potential and with some refining it could work.

Thanks,

Austin

Nice idea.

All systems will have some flaws and our debate will rage on.

I do believe that 2 of the Big 3 lifts need to be present at a contest to be sanctioned? or am I mistaken? I can see dividing the axle and 2hp numbers by 2 for the total. That way we maintain the Big 3 for crushing, pinch and support grip, but allow for single arm events on those same devices. Either way, the same guys will be totaling Elite.

I will also throw into the debate mix the thought of having poundage numbers for the Novice and Open classes. If Elite is 800#. Is Open class - 600# and Novice anything under that? I have hosted 2 competitions that were geared towards the novice athletes and I am seeing some tremendous numbers put up by 'Novices'. If we have a level, that if attained, qualifies you for Open and you then do not get a full year to remain Novice. Does this make sense?

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I will also throw into the debate mix the thought of having poundage numbers for the Novice and Open classes. If Elite is 800#. Is Open class - 600# and Novice anything under that? I have hosted 2 competitions that were geared towards the novice athletes and I am seeing some tremendous numbers put up by 'Novices'. If we have a level, that if attained, qualifies you for Open and you then do not get a full year to remain Novice. Does this make sense?

I like this idea a lot. It would definitely keep a level playing field within each class.

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Nice idea.

All systems will have some flaws and our debate will rage on.

I do believe that 2 of the Big 3 lifts need to be present at a contest to be sanctioned? or am I mistaken? I can see dividing the axle and 2hp numbers by 2 for the total. That way we maintain the Big 3 for crushing, pinch and support grip, but allow for single arm events on those same devices. Either way, the same guys will be totaling Elite.

I will also throw into the debate mix the thought of having poundage numbers for the Novice and Open classes. If Elite is 800#. Is Open class - 600# and Novice anything under that? I have hosted 2 competitions that were geared towards the novice athletes and I am seeing some tremendous numbers put up by 'Novices'. If we have a level, that if attained, qualifies you for Open and you then do not get a full year to remain Novice. Does this make sense?

Yes.

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Right... Am I the only one that sees it that way?

Seems to me that would be the ONLY way to do it?... Unless your trying to keep a short list.

Ex: Im a decent DOH Deadlifter... but Paul Knight is an exceptional crusher.. How would you penalize him?

For grip, my thought is you should not make any lift such that the limiting factor is the ability to deadlift the weight and not grip strength ability. That's not what is being tested. Just my 2 cents.

Dennis Rodgers comes to mind. Tommy Heslep is another that comes to mind who has a heck of a grip and the ability to deadlift a big weight as a test of grip strength is probably not a level playing field. Even with weight classes although that helps some IMO.

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Great discussion.

There are a few things I'd like to mention...

Parallel or wider Grippers, 2HP and Axle Deadlift were chosen because they were the most common standardized events. There are many, many contests done that include 2 or 3 of these events. Although not found in all contests, they are the most common (actually medleys are probably more common than Axle, but it is tough to standardize medleys...)

Are the events flawed? Possibly. But I don't think it is because some are one-handed and some are two-handed.

I also don't think you can get a good number by taking 2HP and dividing it by two. It doesn't work that way. There's no way I can one-hand pinch 131-lbs, half of my best 2HP. I think the lifts actually need to be lifted.

The issue I remember getting hung up on was the Axle, because it involved full body strength the most. However, my line of thinking was that the objective would be to lift 400 on the Axle, Pinch 220 and close a 180-Gripper. Slight variations above and below and you still get 800. A 400-lb Deadlift seems pretty light to me. I mean I did that 100 times in an hour one night on a regular bar. So as far as back strength, it didn't seem to be that far out of question. Not that 400 on an Axle is easy, since I myself have never done that.

Another thing to remember is the Elite class was proposed so that the same guys were not winning every contest. Off the top of my head, the Elite class is populated by a handful of guys who are top of their regions: Andrew Durniat and Me in the Northeast, Chad Woodall in the Southeast, Paul Night and Aaron Corcorran in the South, and then Dave Thornton in the Central. Adam Glass also recently qualified for Elite as well (there may be more i am forgetting and if so I am sorry)

So, now that these 7 or so guys are in their own class, it will leave them to compete against one another and allow others to battle it out in their own class, the Open class. It will be interesting to see if a big dog emerges that dominates many contests for years and does not total Elite, or if they qualify for Elite and open up another space.

Parallel Grippers are being contested at Nationals, by the way, they are simply being done with a block. I honestly think that we should go with a block as the standard, anyway, but that is another discussion.

Regarding Odd, if you ask me his poor showing on Grippers is probably related to lack of experience with them. If he took time to learn a set, I have no doubt he'd be smashing a hard 3 or 3.5. Winning contests is about bringing up your weaknesses and finishing near the top in all the events, not necessarily winning all of the events.

Just some thoughts. Hope these make sense.

Andrew, good points about the poundages for the Open class, too. What are some of the surpriing numbers you have seen using the Axle, 2HP and Grippers? I know Todd Coenen (IROC-Z) jumps to mind as a freak that is pretty high up there.

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I continue to go back and read and pick out points...

As far as the lack of events that have Axle, with the WSH Series coming up, it is not that hard to contest an extra event. For instance, we could keep a tally for David Horne's scoring purposes and also a tally for our purposes.

In other words, David has stated that he wants the WSH events to be run first and then extra events can be added. So you do the Vulcan, 2HP, Half Penny and Stub first, and then the Axle can be contested afterwards. The numbers of the 4-event contest could be used as its own qualifier and we can factor in the qualification process of top 3 or 7 for Nationals that way as well. Just a thought there that never ocurred to me before.

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