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2018 April - Philadelphia Fit Expo - Eric Roussin

Eric Roussin

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Already home from this weekend’s armlifting contest at the Philadelphia Fit Expo. Once again, Odd Haugen and the crew from Armlifting USA did a great job running a quality event. 

I was really looking forward to this event, because I expected the competition to be very tight. With six events — Rolling Thunder, Axle, Silver Bullet, Hub, Pinch Block, and 2” Country Crush — I felt a handful of competitors had the potential to finish at the top of the overall standings. 

The mix of events on Day 1 aligned with my strengths, so I expected to do well. My top lift with the Rolling Thunder was around 226 lbs and my top lift with the Axle was 407 lbs. Neither were PRs, but I was satisfied and the weights were high enough to win both events.

My goal with the Silver Bullet was to record a time with the CoC #3.5. I attempted it in LA in January, but couldn’t quite get it. But over the past couple of months I’ve been able to get holds of approximately a dozen seconds with it. So heading into Philly, I was confident that I could do. Unfortunately, I didn’t nail the set on my first try and wasted some precious energy. Luckily, my second attempt to set the gripper was successful (not great) and I was able to clamp down and hold the bullet for 5 seconds. Was I disappointed that I didn’t hold it longer? A bit, but I was happy that I had achieved my main objective.

At the end of Day 1 I had the overall lead, but I knew it would be difficult to maintain it on Day 2...

The first event on Sunday was the Hub. It was a brand new, but Lucas Raymond chalked it up so well that it felt great. I was not confident in my ability for this lift: in training I had been struggling with it. To my surprise, I lifted 62 or 63 with relative ease on my third attempt. For my final attempt I went for 68 lbs, which would have been a PR, but it was not to be. I got it off the ground, but couldn’t hold it.

The next event was the IronMind Pinch Block. I was more confident about this event, but I knew it would be hard to keep pace with the best guys. To my surprise I was able to lift 84 lbs, which was a huge PR. It was enough for third place in this event, behind Luke and Jedd. I actually tied Riccardo, but after the official lifts were complete, he went over and easily lifted the top weight (I think it was 90).

After the fifth event, I checked out the overall standings and noticed that I was sitting in 2nd place behind Jedd. Jedd had won the SB, and I think he won the Hub and the Pinch Block (I’m not 100% sure about this). For me to finish first overall, I’d need to lift 16% more than him with the Country Crush — not an easy task. I figured I’d do well in this event, but I also expected Jedd would do well. I gave it my all and managed a lift of 395 lbs... but it wasn’t enough. Jedd took the overall title in a great battle!

Riccardo Magni finished in third place overall. He performed well in every event and his dedication to his training is paying off. I got to room with him again and we had fun “talking shop” (i.e. discussing contest strategy).

All in all, it was another great weekend. I got to meet some gripsters face to face for the first time (guys like Joe Sullivan and Steve Nichols) and I enjoyed some great competition. Next up, the NAGS Championship!

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Congrats Eric- Wow, 395 on CC 2" is just crazy strong!!! Great job on the axle and RT as usual and the pinch block very nice 84lb pull

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Nice! Very strong Eric. Glad to hear you did so well and had fun. Hope to see you again soon.

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