Sunday, July 17, 2011

2011 North American Grip Championships

I just returned from Crooksville, OH, home to the North American Grip Championships this year.  WOW! WOW!, WOW!  If you missed Nats this year, you should be thoroughly disappointed in yourself.  As usual the Rice family defined hospitality and made a centralized National Championships possible.  Holding Nats in Mid-America made a big difference and the turn-out was the best it had been in years.  Thank you so much to Chris, Theresa, Josh, and David!

Here's a teaser list
-The Farm Strong guys came in with an incredible level of sponsorship.  How about the fact they GAVE away a Fat man Blob (open market value several hundred dollars) to the Diesel Award winner.  How about the $500 they donated as prize money! Oh and how about the QUALITY t-shirts they GAVE away to all the competitors!  They are selling these now so head over to their website and pick one up.  These are nice shirts, these aren't hanes with cheap silkscreen.  Check out http://www.farmstrength.wordpress/

-Jedd Johnson DESTROYED his own WR in the two hand pinch deadlift and became the first man to pinch 120 Kilos/!!!  That's 264# with a pinch grip.

If you don't know what Grip or Grip Nationals are; allow me to explain.
What the heck is Grip?:  Grip is like World's Strongest Man, which you've probably seen on tv but each event is based on hand and wrist strength and as one of my friends likes to say, "it's the last strength sport for the common man".  Each grip contest essentially tests: crushing grip, pinch grip, support grip, wrist strength, and then has some type of medley which is a combination of everything and usually has a time limit.

So what are Grip Nationals?: As the title suggests, it is the National Championships of  Grip.  There was a series of qualifying events and/or wildcard challenges leading up to this.  Nats consisted of three classes; Novice, Open, and Elite.  I believe if it was your first Nats you could compete in the Novice but given the quality of the Novices, I think it was tits on a fish and I believe we'll see this class either  go away in the future or see the qualifying standards dropped for the Nat's novice class.  To clarify, they all could have competed in the opens and been in the money.  Open was the largest class and was for everybody that wasn't a novice or an elite.  You earn Elite status by totaling 800# between three lifts: parallel set on calibrated grippers, double overhand axle deadlift, and two hand pinch deadlift (eg 180# gripper, 220# 2HP, 400# axle DL).

I shot a ton of video footage at Nats and I'm going to do a series of entries on it.  If you feel like I'm leaving anything out, please stay tuned before you get too upset with me.  First up is the winners of the Diesel Duel.  Jedd Johnson of Diesel Crew (  and essentially the President of North American Grip Sport  ( gave out an award to the two competitors who had the fiercest rivalry of the day.  This went to Andrew Durniat and Adam Glass.  Andrew Durniat owns Durniat Strength and Adam owns The Movement Minneapolis.  Check out their sites respectively at and 

The device they're lifting on is called the Plateau Buster and it is brutal, hence the reason it helps you break through your rut.  It would be a support grip event and is similiar to a Dinnie Stone lift if you're familiar with that. It's essentially a high one hand deadlift without the hassle of the bar rotating on you.  It also has a long handle which enables you to use two hands for swings if that's your pleasure.  Adam made this device popular in grip and he was the favorite IMO.  Andrew and Adam didn't even start taking attempts until the weight was so high that there was nobody left. 

Enjoy this video of Andrew Durniat and Adam Glass going at 600# with one hand!

And for the anti-climatic finish here is my video of 470#.  I was happy considering I'd never touched the implement before. Tim Struse and I tied for 1st in this event in the open class

There are plenty more posts to come so please stay tuned!

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