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2012 February - Diablo Rock Grip Competition - Daniel Reinard

daniel reinard

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The comp was a first for everyone except myself, but it was my first promoted comp. Some of the people have a grip backround, some are climbers that dabbled in grip a bit around the gym, some had strength backrounds as well, one was an Elite climber, one is a natural beast, and one was a female with zero grip experience.

We only had one female competitor. She had planned to spectate her boyfriend at the comp but when no women showed up and we couldn't gather any from around the gym she was coaxed into grabbing her gym clothes and competing. She did well in all the events minus the medley, which is my fault. It was a big learning experience to set up a medley for generally non-specific grip athletes, and having never seen a female compete personally, I failed to set it up properly for the females. I also would like to have more low end grippers so it would be easier to get one on the board for those in the Sport range. I learned and now know how to make it better next time.

For the men the comp seemed set up appropriately. The medley was a little tougher on the field than anticipated. I wanted everyone to get around half the items but the majority was a little below that, but not too much. The average was right at 50% though. The time limit was appropriate. I felt everyone got to try something once or skip items to focus on the doable ones while still keeping people in a hurry which forces endurance and use of both hands. There were 9 ways to qualify for nationals throughout the comp, 6 being in the medley. That made it a little tougher than I first thought but then I upped the weights to qualifying size to enable that opportunity for those seeking it. One of the original purposes of the comp was to enable more west coast opportunities to experience grip and also get to Nationals. I believe 3 new people met at least 3 qualifying lifts!

I was extremely impressed by many competitors throughout the day. Maybe it sounded like I was blowing smoke telling everyone "Wow, good job!" but darn it I was serious. First off many people had gripper PRs. Only one closed a #1.5 while everyone else was at least a #2 and above. Keep in mind almost everyone learned how to set a gripper and use a block on the spot. We had 2 guys close a #3 for the first time, both being above average #3s. I was able to close my first #3.5 which was a great surprise considering recent poor gripper performance. The 2HP went fairly smooth. Competitors helped change weights quickly and get the lifter set up. It was the best contest help I've ever seen. Even spectators jumped in to help from time to time with other things. Lots of practice lifts were used in the event but it wasn't too bad. Most have never seen a 2HP so that is expected. My device is not yet seasoned so numbers are low compared to most contest numbers. An example is I've lifted 200+ on a couple different devices but mine I only tied my personal best with 177. Now take that ratio and use it on Mike and Taylor who got 206 and 196 respectively. That is very impressive for first time 2HP experiences. The axle event went great. I don't believe to see a single competitor fail body wise BEFORE grip. So having experienced that I don't get the "axle is too heavy" arguement. All but 2 of us have never seen an axle (same for 2HP). Taylor nailed all 4 attempts and finished with a 370. And to reiterate, everyone learned how to deadlift moments before we began the event. Demonstrations were given at the start. That is very impressive. The medley was fun. What stood out were 7 or so people that reversed a 60d in single leather. They literally learned last minute how to hold it for reverse then they just hit it. I'm a kick butt nail bending teacher I guess. Some people one hand deadlifted 250#, Mike and myself lifted "easy" 2x45s, first time for me. There were a few who levered a 12# sledge to the nose, and some got the 35# plate curl. 150# on Rice's 2" DB handle was tricky but got by a few to lockout. Taylor came 8" off the ground with the Rice Inch trainer with 172# total weight loaded. A few people lifted the intimidating 315# plateau buster. Taylor again got the 181# RT.

We had some special features at the comp, along with great prizes from sponsors. FRS Healthy Energy came out and set up a free snack booth. Natural energy drinks were given to competitors and spectators, along with their featured food products. This helped get other gym patrons over to our area to check out all the noise. Hans had a professional photographer come out and snap a million pics from start to finish. He has done Diablo Rock gym comps before and always seems to post amazing shots. These were two special features I didn't plan on that just happened. But now that it did I would like to have the same again. It created a professional buzz and really gave onlookers a reason to get close to the action.

I was truly amazed at the start of the generous sponsors that offered help in some form or another. I began by putting together a few prizes for competitors but couldn't go crazy with it since I wanted a cheap entry fee that barely covers trophy costs. Individuals such as Russ Farver, Matt Hunt, Rich MacLean, Chris Rice and Hans Florine really amazed me with their contributions. Hans also had the gym sponsor the event, along with some personaly contributions. Companies such as FarmStrength and DieselCrew also stepped up for the sport and made great prizes for all 10 competitors. I honestly don't know what kind of comp it would have been if the sponsors weren't there. I'd venture to say the success of this first time comp would have been quite the opposite. And because of the those involved many competitors not only said they had fun, but asked when the next one was. A bi-annual comp seemed like a popular vote.

Edited by daniel reinard
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