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!



  1. Great write-up Josh! Sounds like your gripper strength was ON and congrats! Sorry to hear about 2HP but that's so finicky with me that I can't even get within 20lbs of my best pulls somedays and then I'll walk out a few days later and pull it like it was nothing. What. The. Hell.

    Ben Edwards

  2. Awesome write-up buddy! I know how hard that 190 something gripper felt, so hugemongous props for nailing the 212!!!