The Gripday Party on Saturday was a blast! Of all the contests (grip and other strength contests included) I’ve been to over the last 12 years, this is top 3 in terms of how well put together the entire contest experience was.
The competitors were treated like royalty. The gym owner was fantastic and the hosts – Colt Anstine and Luke Wicks – were equally great.
I have to wake up early, and I got started late on this entry. So it won’t be super detailed and probably won’t cover all the events on the first part of this write-up.
20mm GRIPPERS: 158lb #3 – 1st Place
I lost a good 4 weeks of training due to being sick the last month. Yeah, I got two or three gripper workouts on the books in the last four weeks, but they were pretty mediocre. So I was more than okay with my performance in the first event.
There was a Color Run in Springfield the morning of the contest.
What does this have to do with the gripper event, you’re asking yourself. Well, Scott Harris (my armwrestler buddy who rode up with me to the contest) and I were about a half mile from the contest location about 45 minutes before the weigh-in cutoff time of 10:00 a.m. The problem was that the run participants were so numerous (not complaining about them) that a large area surrounding the Strong Gym was cut off from traffic to allow the runners to get through the course. Not a problem normally. But it did mean that we barely got to the contest on time to allow me to get weighed in for the first event.
My bodyweight was 230lbs. And I had absolutely no time to get warmed up on grippers. Not the fault of anyone but myself for getting there that late. Unfortunately, my name was picked to go first in the lineup of events. So that meant I had to walk up to the gripper table and choose an opening attempt.
Without thinking, I chose a 150lb #3 from the vast lineup of grippers. Put the set block in my mouth and BARELY got a close on my first attempt. Looking back on this, I’m impressed with myself for getting it closed with no warmup. It usually takes me a number of easy warmup closes to get even close to my max strength on grippers. Guess I kind of pulled that strength out of my butt.
As soon as the attempt was judged good, I walked over to my duffel bag and pulled out a Trainer. Did a bunch of back-and-forth no set singles (left and right hand) and waited until I was a few minutes from going back for my 2nd attempt before stopping the easy gripper warmup.
The singles with the Trainer did the trick and my 2nd attempt was a lot more solid than my first. It was a small jump to a 152lb #3.
I didn’t do any more warmups after that. Just patiently waited until it was my turn again and then got another successful attempt on the books – a 156lb #3. Pretty solid close. If it was two years ago, closing a 156lb #3 would’ve depressed me – since I was closing my 179lb Elite back then - but it’s not two years ago. I’m getting better about not comparing myself with when I was at my strongest (grip-wise), but it’s hard not to do sometimes.
For my 4th attempt I chose a tactical jump to a 158lb #3. Turns out it was a wise choice since the next gripper above that – a 161lb Elite – seemed much harder than its rating (I tried it after my 4th attempt). Barely got the 158lb #3 shut with the block set.
I actually didn’t realize it until about 15 minutes after the gripper event was finished, but I had won the gripper event with my 158lb #3 close.
Next write-up will be on the 2 Hand Pinch event.