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2019 June - NAGS Championship - Eric Roussin

Eric Roussin

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The North American Grip Sport Championships is a fixture on my annual grip sport calendar. I feel it's a contest that is uniquely positioned to attract many of the best grip athletes from both the USA and Canada. Last year, when both countries had several competitors taking part, the result was a very fun atmosphere. Once again, the country vs. country element was cool, although unfortunately both teams were smaller.

Four fifths of Team Canada (me, Justin Major, Adam Chappell, and Natasha Batt), left Ottawa at 5am Saturday morning and began driving due south until we reached Elmira a little past 10am. Nick Carignan, our fifth member, had already arrived (he was coming from the west). We knew our chances of successfully defending the team title were small, but we were ready try as hard as possible.

I was happy to see the contest start with the Silver Bullet. While I've historically done well in this event, I was a bit worried following my most recent "non"-performance on the SB at the Arnold Armlifting contest in March when I failed to get a hold. But this time, I held the 3.5 for almost 30 seconds (a contest PR). I felt I could have gone about 10 seconds longer, but my pinky started slipping off the end of the handle and I couldn't stop it... A handful of competitors managed holds with the 4, but having the best time with the 3.5, I was happy with my standing. I was also very happy for my friend Adam to manage a hold with the 3.5 -- he's only been training for grip sport for about two months!

Next up was the 2 3/8" Napalm's Nightmare. I expected to do well in this event, and I managed to get the heaviest lift. I even went for the overall world record on my fourth attempt, but it wasn't to be on this day. A lot of people lifted more weight than last year in this event, which was awesome to see.

At this point in the contest, I decided it would be a good time to attempt to lift Luke's new 207-lb challenge dumbbell. It has the same handle dimensions as the Inch, but is 35 lbs heavier. I lifted it, got both ends of the bell above my knees, but but wasn't able to lock it out. I wasn't successful, but feel I'll get it next time.

The Euro went up well. I lifted 217 lbs on my third attempt, and went for 227 for my fourth. A successful lift would have been a PR, but I wasn't able to get it.

I was most happy with my Jug performance. I have to say that the Jug is extremely well seasoned -- much more than mine. Consequently, I was able to get a huge 32-lb PR! I lifted 264 lbs, which tied for the second highest weight lifted with the device.

Going into the medley, I was in second place overall. I knew that if I could complete at least 20 feats, I would secure my placing. Going in I also knew I was able to do more than 20 of them, but there was no guarantee that I could do them all in 2 minutes at the end of a long day. Luckily, things went my way and I completed 21 feats in the allotted time.

The end result is that I finished in second place overall: my best finish at the NAGS Championship. As for the team title, Canada fell a bit short. Congratulations Team USA!

Thank you Jedd for hosting yet another great NAGS Championship! And thanks for designing a separate medley just for Natasha. She really enjoyed it!

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Always a pleasure Eric!!! Great job

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Always fun to compete with you Eric.  Super strong and a heck of a nice guy.  In fact, that pretty much sums up the whole crew from Canada.  Great performance and congrats on a great placing! 

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One of my favorite guys to compete against, and one of the most valuable to Grip Sport behind the scenes.  Thanks for all you do for us as a community, my man, and great job.  Your performance across the board just keeps getting better and better.  I was happiest of all to see you get your successful hold on the bullet.  My heart flattened for you, when what happened took place at the Arnold. To many more bro!

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