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2012 July - Odd Haugen - Grip Challenge - Hubgeezer


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Okay, I am home, and the contest is done.

The Fit Expo did not have nearly the attendance in San Jose as it did in Los Angeles, and I hear that the attendance was probably close to double on Saturday compared to Sunday. I would imagine that for an "inaugural" event, the Fit Expo in San Jose was considered a success. The "feel" was very different, not a Southern California-Hollywood-blond-fitness-babes-with-fake-boobs-and-fake-tans-and-fake-smiles-at the booths situation at all. The people there seemed to be much more into say "MMA" than image, and the demographics were a bit more latino/asian that the LA Expo, reflecting the demographics of Santa Clara County California. I liked that, as the folks seemed more "real" to me. The "real" part wasn't due to race, the people just weren't plastic looking, I don't another way to describe it.

Okay, enough editorializing, the Grip Contest...

Ten competitors, of which 7 entered all 5 independent events. Haugen only entered the Rolling Thunder and Axle deadlfit. Hubgeezer did not do Little Big Horn (and added the Axle at the last minute, was only planning on 3 events), and emcee/previous day's strongman 3rd place finisher/Captain of Crush 2003/MM5 Certified/former supergrip dude Clay Edgin only did the Silver Bullet, after everyone else was done.

Of the 7 guys in all of the events, I think 3 of them were in the Strongman contest, maybe 4. One guy was a veteran of the LA grip contest, an EMT from Southern California who used to train with Edgin, Jon Eklund. Then there was Adam Glass of course, leaving 5 guys who would be people here no one would know. One fellow, a guy who I hear placed 2nd in the Strongman contest on Saturday (ahead of Edgin), was from Tulsa Oklahoma by the name of Craig Ayer...could probably be a top grip guy if he felt like it. Hopefully the full results will get posted somewhere, either the IronMind Forum or News. I don't have the results, because I did not take any notes until after it was all over, and was not involved in the scoring or judging at all.

First, Rolling Thunder. It felt hard today. Not just for me, for everyone. Numbers were low. I am not sure that other than Odd Haugen, a single person lifted more than 217. After Haugen won (227?) he tried for the American RT record (it was 277 or 279) and had maybe one inch of air on it. It felt horrible for me, I tied for last with someone with a successful 184 or so, failing at 194. Not many got 205.

Hub. As bad as the RT felt today, the Hub felt that good. I was high pulling the weights from the first lift. There were 4 of us left at 64 lbs, which were me, Adam, I think Jon Eklund, and a really strong guy by the name of Martins Licis (Martins had an easy 205 on the bad-day-for-everyone-Rolling Thunder, but did not get 217, I don't think he did). I was last, and the only one to get it, and I high pulled it. Put another 2.5 lbs on it, and got decent air, but no go. New hub, I was happy.

Silver Bullet Hold. Oh man, bad day for most everyone. Half the guys didn't get it at all. The most impressive feat of the day, as far as I was concerned was EMT Jon Eklund holding it for 24 seconds, whereas in LA he only held it 15 seconds. When I say bad day for most everyone, how about Adam Glass getting just over 5 seconds? I had a paltry 3 seconds. Then Edgin, who tells me he had not touched a gripper in the last 6 months, held it for 29 seconds. Dr. Strossen does not want to hear that this was a "Hard 3", but it was, no question. Only people I spoke to who would know, were Adam and Clay. With me making it three, it is unanimous, tough gripper.

Little Big Horn. Seven competitors. Inaugural event. don't have much in the way of numbers on it, but in general, the numbers were very "modest". The weights included the device and the pin and the plates. Adam ran away with that event, by far. I think he had 220. That is a good weight, and his two inch vertical expertise shows on it. So that is the "world record" on it, and keep in mind the device has been changed in the last few years, and I believe it may be a bit harder (according to Haugen) than it used to be.

Axle. Opening weight was 330. I was the only one of the nine competitors who did not lift it. Got it past the knees, but, what can I say, I didn't train for it and my thumbs were shot. Not sure if anyone besides Adam successfully pulled over 400. I think Adam had 417-418-419, and missed at 440. Some very strong guys in it, guys not grip guys, pulling 396, very impressive. Haugen had an easy 440, then they cranked it up to 507 (5 plus pounds over the World Record). He had it PAST his knees, but could not quite lock it out.

That's about it. I liked the competitors, all low key good guys, solid performances. There was no one in there who "should not have been there".

For an inaugural meet at an inaugural event, produced by a nongrip guy, not attended by many grip specialists, I give it...an A. Audience enjoyed it, but the event was on the other side of the hall away from the MMA folks, so the audience size was pretty small. How small? Under 75 spectators by my count. But they really liked it!

End of Report

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