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2016 February - Canadian National Grip Sport Championships - Eric Roussin

Eric Roussin

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The 2nd Annual Canadian National Grip Sport Championships took place on Saturday. There were 11 competitors, up from 9 last year. I’m hoping participation will continue to grow. A few experienced grip guys were there, including Rob McMurren, Philippe Tremblay, and Charles-Antoine Chartrand-Lefebvre – all of whom have previously attended a NAGS Championship.


The 74 kg Class


This class had four competitors: Charles-Antoine Chartrand-Lefebvre, brothers Simon-Pierre and Sylvain Desjarlais, and my 9-year old son Mattéo (who decided to compete once I told him he would recognized as the under-10 world record holder in the two-hand pinch on David Horne’s World of Grip website J). I was surprised and happy to see Charles-Antoine, because he hadn’t competed or trained for grip since 2014. He put up good numbers, but the battle for first ended up being fought between Simon-Pierre and Sylvain. Both these guys have experience in armwrestling and are active climbers. Unsurprisingly, they’ve got strong hands! They were neck-and-neck through the first five events, but the medley is where Simon-Pierre really distanced himself, completing 23 of 30 feats in the medley. He won his second national title in a row.


The 93 kg Class


The 93 kg class also had four competitors: me, Keith Steffensen, Dan Fleming, and Philippe Tremblay. Phil was light enough to compete in the 74 kg class, but opted to compete in the heavier class. Keith Steffensen is one of my armwrestling practise partners, and this was his first grip contest. Dan Fleming was another first time grip competitor who travelled from Montreal to take part. I was excited to see how he would do in the competition. He had only recently started training his grip, and in one of the first grip videos he posted on Facebook he one-hand pinched 93 lbs – more than half his bodyweight! My initial through was “who is this guy?!” The answer turned out to be one heck of a strong man. He put up good numbers in all events, and matched my max dynamometer crush. The battle for third was tighter. Though Phil was giving up weight, his experience with the implements allowed him to finish ahead of Keith.


The 93+ kg Class


The heavyweight class had three competitors: returning champion Rob McMurren, and two of my armwrestling training partners Jamieson Lalande and Jeff Slater. Through three events, Rob and Jeff were jockeying for the top spot. Rob lifted slightly more in the two-hand pinch, Jeff lifted slightly more with the Wrist Wrench, and they tied with the Half Penny. But Rob would go on to edge out Jeff in each of the last three events, repeating as National Champion.


My Performance


Things went pretty much according to plan for me. I had set the following objectives going into the contest: lift 215 lbs on the Euro, 105 lbs with the Wrist Wrench, 40 lbs with the Half Penny, 215 lbs with the Little Big Horn, and register 200 lbs on the dynamometer. I ended up exceeding my Euro goal, setting a PR in the process (220 lbs). I also lifted more than I expected with the Wrist Wrench (a hair under 113 lbs). I didn’t quite hit 40 lbs on the Half Penny (a weight I’ve lifted twice before in contests). Training with the Little Big Horn had been going particularly well lately, so I had set a lofty goal. I didn’t quite reach it, but I did hit a contest PR lifting more than my bodyweight which I had come very close to doing in competition on two separate occasions. I registered 202 lbs on the dyno, which I don’t consider to be incredible, but I was very happy with. I felt great during the medley, but failed one the same two implements as last year – lifting a 45-lb plate by the hub (probably a tougher than average plate to hub) and the Blob50. Blobs have always been tough for me. I’ve lifted the Blob50 on a number of occasions, but not consistently. I really need to train it a lot in order to see minor improvements – work that I just don’t put in as I tend to get more bang for my buck working other aspects of grip.


Over the past couple of years I really feel I’ve gotten good at peaking for contests. It’s not rocket science – basically train hard in the weeks and months leading up to the contest and then allow your body to completely heal (a week to 10 days). You may start to “feel” week in the days just before the contest because you’re not training, but you’re actually becoming very strong.


All in all, it was a very fun contest and I look forward to organizing it again next year.


Next stop for me is the APL Armlifting World Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia in May!


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Thanks for the write-up.  Big congrats to Matteo!  Congrats also to that no-name that snuck in and won the overall. ;)

Good luck in Russia!  That is soooo cool you get to travel/participate like that.

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Thanks Again Eric for putting on this contest.  I was really happy with my results, considering my left elbow issues.  The medley was awesome, it was the closest I came to tying Eric in an event in the last 2 years.  That 45 hub is tough.  

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nice write-up great job everyone!

did anyone record the temperature and humidity at the area?

Edited by rico300zx
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24 minutes ago, rico300zx said:

did anyone record the temperature and humidity at the area?

No. Why do you ask?

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Great writeup and cool seeing a newcomer(fleming) do so well out of the gate. Lots of potential there. Curious how you train your wrist wrench. I havent moved at all on it and really want to bring it up. Great job winning a national title!

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What I do when I train with the Wrist Wrench is similar to what I do for most of the grip sport lifts. I do about five sets, progressively going up in weight and reducing the number of reps each set (maybe 8 reps for the first set and 2-3 reps for the last set). For the last couple of sets, I try to stop just before I feel I’m about to fail. A couple of minutes between each set. I don’t tend to do full lifts – I just lift a couple of inches off the floor. I only train with the Wrench once a week, but I also get in an armwrestling practice in between sessions with stress my wrists in a similar manner. The Wrist Wrench is a great tool for armwrestling training, if you make an effort to never let your wrist bend back (or as little as possible).

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Eric, sorry typo, I meant did you record the temp and humidity at the platform?

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40 minutes ago, rico300zx said:

Eric, sorry typo, I meant did you record the temp and humidity at the platform?

I didn't think to do this.

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13 hours ago, Eric Roussin said:

No. Why do you ask?


Just wondering if there is a correlatIon between pinch or other friction lifts and the temp and humidity.

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In case anyone was interested, these were the items in the medley. 3-minute time limit.

50-lb standard plate Pinch Lift

32.5-lb blob lift by the face

Reverse Rotation of a 6-lb Sledge

Slim Lever of an 8-lb Sledge

Rear Lever of a 10-lb Sledge (Coin on Head)

45-lb plate by the hub

35-lb plate by the hub

IM Tug #3 with Pinky Finger

CoC #1.5 (TNS)

132-lb clevis lift (one hand, by a rotating 3.3” pin)

49-lb anvil pinch lift by the face (one hand, with thumb and two fingers)

124-lb anvil pinch lift by the face (two hands)

Blob50 Pinch Lift

3” Axle DO Deadlift (135 lbs)

Rolling Thunder Lift (150 lbs)

One-Hand Deadlift using an Olympic Bar (225 lbs)

Saxon Bar Deadlift (135 lbs)

LeverTop Underhand Grip Lift (55 lbs)

2x4 Palm Pinch Lift (50 lbs)

Stirrup Lift (100 lbs)

8-lb Bomb Lift (120 lbs)

Tips Tester Lift (215 lbs)

Bull Ring Extensor Lift (15 lbs)

MoonTop Lift (30 lbs)

Sorinex Hub Lift (40 lbs)

Shallow Hub Key Pinch Lift (70 lbs)

Stub Lift (30 lbs)

Sorinex Anvil Trainer Lift (150 lbs)

FBBC Jug Lift (200 lbs)

Vulcan Level 6 (20mm block set)

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