Drove out and arrived at the Dino Gym around 9am. Even enjoyed the drive out – only about 2.5 hours – since I got to blast the radio and just concentrate on the task at hand.
I had a fantastic time at the first-ever USAWA National Grip Championships in Abilene, Kansas – at Al Myers’s Dino Gym. The group of competitors (and spectators and loaders) is wonderful and I enjoyed my time inbetween lifting just as much as the actual competition itself. Lots of strength history in this group. Highland Games competitors and powerlifters and old school all-round weight lifters.
I was the youngest male competitor. Didn’t even occur to me until after the contest because honestly I don’t look at the contest in terms of “competing” with the other guys. Sounds corny, but it’s more like competing with my past numbers and just enjoying everyone else’s performance and cheering them on to the best of my ability. Also giving advice and tips whenever I was able, or when I was asked for it, since I try not to be obnoxious about “helping” those who don’t necessarily want or need my help.
There were only 8 competitors today. But the 8 we had were superb and everyone had a great time. We started the contest around 10am and finished about 1pm. That’s much shorter than the 4pm that I was expecting, so a good deal for all of us since it meant most of us could drive to Abilene and eat at the La Fiesta and chat a while over lunch.
Next year I’d like to see 15-20 competitors and that’s possible with the right promotion of the contest. And “recruitment” of lifters throughout the year is something that I do anyway so it would be just a natural extension for them to compete in a grip contest if I’m helping people with their grip workouts.
There will be a more detailed report on my blog tomorrow or later in the week. For now I’ll make it pretty short since I’m now home and resting my back, hands, and mind.
Here are the goals that I listed for the contest. Then I’ll compare if I reached the goal or fell short. In the next post I’ll also lay out my scores in each event and list a few other performances.
PINCH GRIP: GOAL-165 Pounds……….ACTUAL-162 Pounds *Notes: Fell short by 3 pounds. Not bad since the plates were not even chalked until the competitors started warming up and putting their hands on the plates.
2″ VERTICAL BAR: 220 Pounds……….ACTUAL-222 Pounds *Notes: Beat my goal by 2 pounds. Tried 236 pounds on a 3rd attempt and don’t actually remember if I even budged it off the ground, but I think I did pull it a few inches.
MIDDLE FINGERS DEADLIFT: 300 Pounds……….ACTUAL-310 Pounds! *Notes: Very excited that I pulled 310 pounds since the 275 pounds felt terribly hard and painful. The only reason I managed to eke this lift out is because of the crowd cheering me on. Al Myers told me that if I pulled 308 pounds (or more) that I’d be on a Goerner List and that interested me greatly.
DOUBLE OVERHAND AXLE DEADLIFT: 315 Pounds……….ACTUAL-300 Pounds *Notes: 1st attempt was 300 pounds and by this event my back was definitely sending me signals that I’d better be careful with it or else risk another injury. Tried 325 pounds on my 2nd and 3rd attempt but could only get it to my knees on both of those attempts. Only due to my back not being able to haul the weight up since my hands felt plenty strong still.
DOUBLE OVERHAND 3″ BAR DEADLIFT: 315 Pounds……….ACTUAL-300 Pounds *Notes: Took my 1st attempt of 300 pounds and skipped the next two because even this 300 pounds was tender and my back was feeling extremely fatigued – which was enough warning for me to quit while I was ahead of the injury game.
Even though I only hit 2 of my stated goals – I’m still pleased with the grip contest and the last 2 goals weren’t hit only because I chose not to take 315 pounds as an attempt on both of them.