Thursday, December 15, 2011

Curl War III Continues!

We had a GREAT practice at 314Armsports tonight! My main training partner/camera man was able to get away from his job in the retail madness that is December and pull and my right is healed up! It was glorious to get back on the table after about 8 weeks.  We were both amped to pull tonight and the videos and practice did not disappoint!

As you may recall we've been promoting the Rob Vigeant Jr. 100# dumbell curl challenge and in the process have started Curl War III with The Diesel Crew. Napalm Jedd Johnson and myself are about the same age and we're both big wrestling fans so tonight I thought I'd  pay tribute to the Man as well as stick it to the Diesel Crew in this latest segment.

The Late and Great Mr. Perfect: RIP Sir

TPD Channeling Mr. Perfect

And last but not least...John Klaus just continues to get stronger and stronger at 70kg!

After practice we closed with a 10 minutes cycle of Escalating Density Training. It looked like this:
-Straight arm pulldowns on the high pulley with 70#: sets of 5 for 10 min
-2.5" Db curls with 35#: sets of 5 for 10 min

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

TPD tackles EDT

Well as usual I have several irons in the fire. I'm looking to combine the escalating density training principles into my current workout mix.  My training regime is basically broken into 5 categories:

  • Table time: this is the most crucial part of becoming a better arm wrestler
  • Prehab: it's hard to get table time if you're injured
  • Grip and wrist work: " a hand that shuts like a vice and a wrist no one can take from you" is what separates the men from the boys in AW
  • Gym work: I'm always lookimg to add extra horsepower if I can do it without adding significant amounts of bodyweight as I have no desire to move out of the 90kg class
  • Concept 2 rower: I'm going to keep adding 500 meter blocks until I can do 10 sub-2 min ones in a row (eg sub-20 min 5K)
The grip stuff is based off of Tim Struse's program. I'm in week 3 for the crush and week 1 for the 2 hand pinch.

Here's a link to my first few workouts since Gripmas.

Let me know what you think!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Escalating Density Training

After the 2011 Gripmas Carol Andrew Durniat, of Durniat Strength gave an excellent presentation on Escalating Density Training.  He credited Charles Staley with the concept and went on to describe it as one of the ways he is able stay lean while continuously getting stronger. Andrew is a very lean 230# and strong; and by strong I mean 605# puller strong, 200 snatches with a 32kg kb in 10 min strong, and beat a strapped Nick Best's time on the frame hold without his own straps, strong.  I'm sure you get the point, so I was ready to listen.

The concept is surprisingly simple and breaks down something like this
  • Pick two antagonizing exercises (eg pull-ups and dips)
  • Week 1: You will perform alternating sets of 5, based on your 10 rep max, for a set time period (10-15 min)
  • Week 2: the same as week 1 except you increase the weight by 5# or so and drop the reps to 4
  • Week 3: the same as week 2 except you increase the weight another 5# or so and drop the reps to 3
  • Week 4: deload week: you go back to the weights and reps from week 1
  • Week 5: you start over and if you were able to get 50 reps per exercise in the time period then you would increase the weight
  • This system works great for those trying to get stronger without putting on additional weight
  • This system also lends itself to those wanting to lose fat/exercising for body composition
  • Everybody has 10-15 min/day. I repeat EVERYBODY has this much time and if you say you don't you're a liar.
  • It has a built-in deload week to avoid burn-out and injury. Do you have a scheduled deload week in your current program; it's a yes or no question.

The focus of my training is becoming the best arm wrestler that I can be and nothing and I mean nothing is more important than table time so how does EDT fit into my routine?
  • Prehab: you can't get on the table if you're injured so bulletproofing your weak areas is crucial. My injury-prone areas are my shoulders. I plan on combining my version of the Diesel Crew Shoulder Rehab Protocol with this concept. An example is listed below.
    • Overhead shrugs/serratus dips
    • Time will be 5 min instead of 10-15 as I want to do more than 2 prehab exercises per session
  • Gym: I don't even make it to the gym every week with the focus on table time but when I do, I'm always looking to add horsepower to my arm wrestling muscles. EDT would fit in like this
    • Neutral grip chins with Fat Gripz and Neutral grip incline DB presses with Fat Gripz
    • Time will be 10 min
    • Will follow the 4 week cycle as instructed
  • Buffering: Andrew mentioned that it is sometimes necessary to add a buffer exercise as a way to incorporate more rest. He used the example of adding an ab excercise when the trainee's ego is overriding reality regarding what weights should be used. At this point you add an exercise in between to indirectly increase rest time on the two targeted muscles. The purpose of the rest is to prevent further form break-down or more specifically, prevent injury. Now I suppose you could just use less weight but we males would never do that! I'm thinking I will use my crush routine as a buffer if needed as I get bored to tears resting anyways.  It would look something like this
    • Neutral grip chins with Fat Gripz and Neutral grip incline DB presses with Fat Gripz
    • Whoops! I bit off more than I can chew and need additional rest. I will pinch some triples on my 2 HP in between because Heaven knows I need the extra work.
    • Time will be 10 min
    • Will follow the 4 week cycle as instructed
Well I hope you enjoyed the quick tutorial on EDT and you can bet I'll be posting some workouts here on the blog.  As always, please leave me a comment if you have any questions.

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

2011 Gripmas

I was a little sad as I started the drive to OH this year as it was my understanding that this would be the last Gripmas.  Every December the strongest Gripsters in the country pile into tiny Crooksvile, OH and smash record after record in the Chris Rice Gym. This year was no exception.  If you've never been; you really missed something special. IMO, Gripmas has arguably been the toughest true Grip contest for the last several years and it will be interesting to see if any promoters can fill the gap left by this December classic.

Grippers in Chokers
I didn't get any video of the grippers because I think watching people close grippers on video is worse than DWTS; and I like grippers.  Here's all you need to know; Andrew hydraulically closed a 224#. I finally closed the 212# gripper that Chad set the record on 2 years ago and simultaneously lost 40# as monkeys leaped from my back and disappeared into the OH skyline. The backstory is that Chad ran out of grippers in 2009, we cranked my adjustable GE down, Chris calibrated it, and Chad closed it. I decided right then it would stay in the choker until I shut it and it did. After shutting the 212, I tried Andrew's 214 and got owned. The MORE impressive thing about Andrew's closes were that Andrew's bigger grippers were all outside of parallel! I wouldn't have closed the 214# either way but he DID close a 224 from NORTH of parallel!


I was the strongest I've ever been at home, my hands felt great going in, and the device felt great but it was a horrible day as I only pulled 196#. I'm pissed just typing it. I thought 220# for sure. I just missed it at Nats and I was pulling 10# more on my set-up than my best set last year and for 2 more reps. It's beyond me! The important thing is that Jedd broke his own WR....AGAIN and Brendan Gerber broke the LW WR!  That's 4 records that fell in two event (Elite/open and LW). Here's the glorious footage with commentary by that silver-tongued devil known as The Peoples' Dietitian

Jedd Johnson breaking his own 2 Hand Pinch Deadlift World Record

Jedd Johnson attempting to 2 Hand Pinch Deadlift 270#; read as INSANE

Brendan breaking the LW 2 Hand Pinch World Record (207ish) at a bw of something like 174#

Brendan Gerber attempting to 2 Hand Pinch Deadlift 210# at a BW of 174ish

Double Sledge Lever

Do you want to experience this lift for yourself? Go find the local BJJ blackbelt and tell him to crank on your wrist like he's gotta pair. Although this lift is painful, it's nowhere near as painful as it used to be because Chris Rice fabbed up a deluxe safety cage for it. The rails you see on the side prevent you from needing Tommy John surgery should the sledge get away from you and take a nosedive off the side of the platform. The padded stop over your head lets you safely drink and sledge.  This was a great event and I have to say I think the best sledge event in the history of Grip. I'd make that statement based off the consistency the dead stop gave judging, the concise and clear rules, and the fact that he took a dangerous event and made it pretty durn safe.  I have no idea how I missed Andrew's winning lift or the real show, Malcom Majesky.  Malcom would have went 52# or better but he went in too early.  He blistered 47.5#!

Jedd feelin' 50#

The Peoples' Dietitian sampling some epic fail
The living proof of "men of today are relatively weak"

The Mustacchioed Madman

The Peoples' Dietitian Winning the LW class with a lever of 47.5#!

Austin Acree, future Male Dietitian, getting under 47.5#

"Atrocious" would describe my medley run; again, I have no idea what happened. "Amazing" would describe Chris's.  Enjoy the footage of two of the best in the game, fighting and scratching for every point as they go balls to the wall on the 2011 Gripmas Medley

Andrew Durniat 2011 Gripmas Medley Run

Jedd Johnson 2011 Gripmas Medley WINNER!!!!

Hercules Hold

Again, Chris Rice takes a difficult event-and by difficult, I mean difficult to put on for your average Grip promoter and makes it dang near perfect. The biggest problem with any HH is getting the slack out and Chris accomplished this by having 4 spotters (2 per bar). Chris and Brent let off early because they said their triceps felt like they were going to tear. Andrew P's hawkeyed female friend commented that numerous competitors' left shoulder was higher which could mean the spotting teams weren't perfectly synched or it could mean a lot of of other things. I think we're splitting hairs at this point. Chris did a fantastic job building this set-up and again, this is the best HH I've done in a Grip contest. Appologies to Nick Rosendaul; I thought I got his run on video but I didn't. Nick put up a monster time and won the open class. I also should have filmed the 174ish Brendan Gerber put up the winning time in this event!

Andrew Durniat with 143kg per hand for over minute: still think Grip guys aren't strong?

Napalm Jedd Johnson multi-tasking during the HH

The Peoples' Dietitian with the 2nd place time in the LWs

Mary Ann, owner of the world's greatest apple crisp recipe, making a bunch of guys watching this feel insecure

Thank you Chris and Theresa for all of the hospitality over the years and I'll always cherish our wars Chris! I'm going to do a separate write-up on Andrew Durniat's presentation on Escalated Density Training. It was fantastic and I'm going to meld it into my accessory work for pulling. Jedd did a great presentation on growing the sport and on a side-note, he's an excellent public speaker but it's all stuff that we should be DOING, not writing about on blogs (ironic if you were there :) )

Thanks for reading!