2021 King Kong Grip Contest

The 2021 King Kong grip contest in Lecompton, Kansas is in the books. I can’t list any of the performances until the other venues across the world do their contests next week.

I met two new friends, Josh and Brian. Both drove about 4.5 hours to attend the contest, so I’m glad they had such a good time. Both are climbers, which is always a good thing when it comes to grip strength. Both broke a lot of PRs during the contest.

Chad had a great overall contest performance and won it handily. See what I did there? 🙂

Ace has grown about a half foot since I saw him last year. He smashed his PRs like they were made out of styrofoam. I remarked during the contest that it must be nice to be at “that age” where coming back to a contest a year later should almost always mean an INCREASE in strength. I’m pretty much headed in the opposite direction, but still love the contests.

Elle beat Josie in most of the lifts and is a lot lighter in bodyweight. She seems much more focused when she gets on the platform than Josie.

Josie set 4 PRs during the contest and had a good time. She possibly enjoyed playing with the other kids between attempts more than competing, but I am proud of her all the same. We got home and she said, “I want to do that grip contest again next year!” Made me proud all over again.

Josie working on her farmer’s walk strength a few years ago.

Josie brought the same laser-like intensity to the King Kong grip competition on Saturday as she had in the above picture of her doing farmer’s walks out in our yard a few years ago. Nah, just kidding, lol! She is like any 8-year-old and had the attention span of a gnat. But she had a great time at the contest with Elle and Ace.

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Couch Potato Strong Interview

I was interviewed by the guys at Couch Potato Strong on Saturday.  I had a great time talking to Addam and Frank via Zoom. 

I talked about grippers and the training involved in my journey from starting to train with grippers in 2000 to certifying on the IronMind Captains of Crush #3 in 2005. 

The guys were knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and easy to talk to.  So much that I didn’t realize it was over 50 minutes. 

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King Kong of Grip 2020 grip contest

Yeah, it’s been a long time since I updated my blog.

In late October the King Kong of Grip 2020 contest is being held worldwide.  I’m going to be helping with a contest in Lawrence, KS.  More details soon to come on that.  As of now, my 7-year-old daughter Josephine says she’s going to compete.  So I’m excited about that and about once a week I’ve been having her do some grip work to familiarize herself with the implements, or the closest I have to some of them.

Hit me up in the comments here, or on social media, or by phone if you are interested in competing in the King Kong grip contest in October.

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Time to renew my USAWA membership


Happy New Year everybody!  It’s time for me to renew my USAWA membership.

The USAWA Grip Championships is coming up in February.  If you train grip or are even interested in training grip, I hope you sign up for the contest at Al Myers’s Dino Gym in Holland, KS.  It is a blast every year.

I’d love to see you there.  I may even be bringing my daughter Josie to compete with me if I can talk her into it.

And if anyone reading my blog signs up for this contest I’ll help you with specific contest prep.

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USAWA Record Day results over the weekend

I did the Lift For Leroy II Record Day at Eric Todd’s gym in Turney, Missouri on Saturday.  Enjoyed the drive in the Mustang (1.5 hours one-way) and got to spend time with some people that I really like for about 4 hours.

I volunteered to do loading duties and after the Postal Competition was concluded, a bunch of the lifters did their Record Day lifts.  I will do a write-up on some of the record day lifts I saw from the other lifters, because there was a lot of impressive lifting going on all around me.

I only had 2 modest goals for the Record Day.

  • Deadlift 300+lbs double overhand (sumo) on the axle.
  • Deadlift 304lbs on the Middle Fingers Deadlift.

Both are usually well within my capability.  I missed the MFDL because I decided not to do a warmup and instead attempt 315lbs.  It only came up about 2″ before I put it back down because I felt my left middle finger skin starting to rip.  I got it set down before it ripped though, so I wasn’t upset about missing the lift.  Especially considering the bar I chose was nowhere near as grippy and sharp as the one that the Dino Gym uses for its MFDL competition.

I warmed up on the axle, because until then I had only done loading duties and was feeling pretty stiff in the knees and lower back.  Eric’s monster solid axle weighs 75lbs empty.  So I had to keep that in mind when I was warming up.

My bodyweight was 237lbs clothed.  I knew I wasn’t going to be light enough for the 105kg (231lb) class, so I didn’t care to shed some clothes for the weigh-in.

Wore my awesome cat print Vans.  Pretty sure that’s why the weights felt so light on the axle.

  • 165×1
  • 255×1 felt empty
  • 305×1 went up at almost power clean speed
  • 325×1 fast pull and could’ve held it for a while
  • 335 to kneecaps and right hand

Decent lifting for me on the axle.  335 would’ve gone if I had given it another attempt, but I didn’t mind.  My right hand cramped right after starting the pull and I had to drop it from the kneecaps.

Considering I haven’t done much axle pulling this year (maybe 6 workouts with the thumb wrapped around, and 8 (?) without thumbs, this was a decent result.  I only needed 300lbs for the age 40 record in the 242lb weight class.  If I continue training axle next year regularly, I’ll go for the age 45 record in the double overhand axle deadlift near my normal weight class.

As I was saying goodbye and walking out the door, I passed the 2″ vertical bar and it called to me.  Eric encouraged me to make a few pulls on that.  So I took a quick warmup and then pulled 208 lefty for a record in that age and weight class.  Took 188 as a warmup and it felt very light.  208 felt pretty light lefty too.  I told Eric I probably had around 240lbs in me that day.  Righty I got the down call, but it slipped at the last second, so no lift.  I could’ve tried a few more lifts on both hands but I wanted to get home.

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WIDE pinching

This is a small hollow concrete block out in my yard.  I like how wide it was and you can see I was barely able to fit my middle and ring fingers over the edge to assist my thumb in pinching it.  Weight was only 14 pounds.  But obviously the width was the hardest thing about it.  Not really the weight.  The concrete edges were very sharp too.


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Charlie loves pi(e)

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Watch “Slo Mo 225lb Index Fingers Deadlift” on YouTube

This lift is from Saturday’s USAWA Grip Champs at the Dino Gym. I tore a big chunk of skin on this lift and super glued it back in place for the drive home. 

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Comparing Metabolic Response to Hard-Start VO2max Intervals — Spare Cycles

This week I want to look at VO2 and SmO2 response to one of my favourite VO2max workout protocol. We will see how systemic metabolism responds to hard-start VO2max intervals. The experiments were fascinating and I’ll try to give some recommendations to dial in your own individual workout prescription. Hard-Start Intervals The principle of the […]

via Comparing Metabolic Response to Hard-Start VO2max Intervals — Spare Cycles

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