My Gripday Party Write-Up: Part 1 – GRIPPERS

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.




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2 Weeks Until The Gripday Party

Grippers are tasty.

Grippers are tasty.

Two weeks until the Gripday Party. 

I should be training hard for the contest.

But instead I’ve been fighting a myriad of sicknesses for the past few weeks.  It has run through my house a few times.  Wife and baby have both been sick.  We have managed to just continuously pass it back and forth. 

Even with the possibility of not getting any more training in the next two weeks before the contest, I’m still looking forward to meeting the guys I only know from the board – and seeing old friends that I haven’t seen for a while. 

The organizers of the Gripday Party have a great location and excellent sponsorship.  Should be a good turnout too.

My bodyweight is about 20lbs higher than I had as a goal for the contest.  Being sick has made me not care about dropping weight.  Plus, I had laryngitis (and the flu, an excellent combo) and have been eating ice cream like it’s going out of style, because it feels good on my throat. 

Don’t judge me.  Or do.

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Griperace witnessed a dominating 20mm #3 block set close

Griperace is happy to see me closing an average #3 with a 20mm block set again.

Griperace is happy to see me closing an average #3 with a 20mm block set again.

This 149lb #3 is my goal gripper for the Gripday Party on April 5th. I barely got it closed with a 20mm block set about 2 weeks ago.

On my Wednesday gripper workout, I smashed it shut and held it for 2 seconds. I am not going to get greedy though and set my goal gripper any higher than the 149lb #3. Things can change in the blink of an eye.  I got a good video of the close, just haven’t uploaded it to YouTube yet. 

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What’s The Plan For 2014?

Some things I don’t talk about on my blog.  Work is one of those.  So my work goals and what happens there are private.  Most everything else is an open book though. 

I’ll do sort of a Q&A format on this post.  I get lots of questions from coworkers, friends, family, and acquaintances (online) about my contest goals and plans. 

“Are you competing in any contests this year?”

Yes, I plan on doing one contest.  It is a grip contest in Springfield, Missouri on April 5th.  It’ll be three days after my daughter turns 1 year old. 

The guys putting it on are armwrestlers that my buddy Josh Dale knows.  Or at least one of the guys is someone Josh knows. 

The events are a mixture of standard and unique – like the two water bottle farmer’s walk.  It is a farmer’s walk gripping a 5-gallon water bottle in each hand by the neck.   

“Are you competing in the USAWA Grip Champs this year?” 

No.  In my opinion, the events are not as grip-centric as they could be for something titled the Grip Championships.

“What are your strength, fitness, and health goals?” 

These are hard to pin down exactly.  Notice I listed strength first?  That’s because it actually is the least “important” thing to me this year.  Health is the most important.  Regardless of strength development, maintenance, or loss.  I want to be healthy enough to enjoy my daughter through all her developmental milestones.  For as long as my body will have me. 

Fitness ties in to something possibly work-related, so for now, I’m not going to elaborate on it. 

To be continued…


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Great Christmas and Family Visiting

Carrie and I had a very enjoyable two days off with family over Christmas.  Well, she actually went to visit her brother and his family the day before I got to drive down there. 

Visiting the homestead of Tim and Kara is always entertaining.  They have horses, a goat, an alpaca, chickens, turkeys, dogs, cats, and guinea pigs.  All the fluffy loving you could possibly ask for on a vacation. 

I got to see my family in Stafford, at the museum.  Had a great time showing off Tiny Overlord (baby Josephine) since they hadn’t seen her in about 9 months. 

I don’t know exactly what the new year will bring.  Nobody does.  I only hope I thrive through it and ring in yet another new year in 12 months.  

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Anchorman Mate

Seems like something Ron Burgundy would do.

Seems like something Ron Burgundy would do.

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Welcome to

Welcome to

Carrie and I talked to J. Jenkins at Garry Gribble’s running store in downtown Lawrence a few days ago. We were both very impressed with how nice and helpful he was. I mentioned that I had been running again and he directed me to the above resource.

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How To Get Stronger? Add More Iron To Your Diet


Sheesh, even my 8-month old Josie knows this.

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Experienced my first “real” trail run on Friday

It was a training run. But it was a doozy. One simple mile. Done at my sister-and-brother-in-law’s house near Maize, KS. I ran it with my nephew, Isaac. He is 13 years old. And I am regaining some fat that I lost over the course of several months. Not good. So the day after Thanksgiving I decided to get back on the running wagon by testing the dirt trail that Tim finished “creating” over the past few months.

Ran it at a conversational pace. I abhor talking during even the slowest runs. But, since I was a guest at their house, the least I could do was keep up a friendly banter while we went on a leisurely jog. Since I dislike it so much, talking during a run is probably a very good training stimulus. Yeah, I get it.

The path started in the trees and then meanders its way along the periphery of a farmer’s field.  At the beginning, the path was hard-packed dirt and the occasional “anchored” root sticking up at toe-level along the path.  I tripped a few times, but didn’t fall.  We had ran about 1/2 mile and the surface switched to long tramped-down grass.  I don’t think it was actually “grass.”  But that’s the best description I can come up with.  The final 1/4 mile was nasty.  An ankle-breaker.  At least a half dozen times I thought – “Wow!  That could’ve been the pothole that broke my ankle…”  I managed to avoid breaking my ankle and kind of leapfrogged my way through the muddy potholes. 

When RunKeeper informed me I had gone 1.0 miles, I stopped and began walking back to the homestead with Isaac.  I think he was okay with walking too, which made me feel slightly better about having to quit at a measly one mile. 

The time was much slower than what I’m used to running on the concrete trail near my house.  I expected that.  Not a surprise at all.  The only thing that surprised me was the extent of how much harder it felt than my usual runs.  In terms of Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE), it felt about the same as running 2 minutes per mile faster on a flat concrete trail. 

I’ve been researching the Lawrence TrailHawks.  The next time I get some freetime and feel like running somewhere new, I’ll check out the trails at Clinton Lake State Park and near the levee.

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Inspire Me: Lei Liu (226kg@67.5kg) WR


Stunning Bench Press World Record! From Stand On The Shoulders Of Giants.

Originally posted on Stand on the shoulders of giants:

Probably the most comfortable World record I’ve ever seen. Easy peasy.



Strong Body. Strong Mind.

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