My First Grip Competition

In Strongman Mastery by admin2 Comments

Even though I’ve been doing grip training off and on for a number of years I’ve never competed in it. Part of the reason for this is I just didn’t want to travel the long distances that were often involved in order to be able to compete in this relatively small sport.

But when I heard a competition was right in town where I lived I signed up immediately.

This was put on by Clay Edgin and was at the same location, Santa Cruz Strength, that my recent first time strongman competition was as well.

There were five events.

  • Axle Deadlift
  • Sledgehammer Lift
  • Captains of Crush Silver Bullet Hold
  • Rolling Thunder
  • 100 lb. Plate Hold

Axle Deadlift

A classic test of grip strength, this one is lifted a two inch thick bar with an overhand grip, deadlift style. Each competitor got four attempts to lift a maximum weight.

I succeeded in 130 kg but missed my attempt at 140 kg.

Axle Deadlift

Lifting 130kg (286 lbs) on the axle

Sledgehammer Lift

A 12 lb. sledgehammer is placed on the floor. A quarter is balanced on its head. Your goal is to lift the sledge by the handle onto a nearby bench without the quarter sliding off. The further you grasp the handle away from the head the harder it becomes.

I managed 12”.

The fun part was one of the guys there Stephen, tied the current world record. Unfortunately he did this while warming up and couldn’t get it during his actual attempts.

Just barely making my last attempt.

Captains of Crush Silver Bullet Hold

I’ve never spent all that much time on grippers. And I’ve never done this one before. Those are my excuses for sucking at it.

You close a gripper over the “silver bullet” which is a round metal object on which a small weight plate hung. The goal is to hold for time with your arm extended out in front of you.

Typically this is done with the #3 gripper, but I opted for an easier #2.5 as did several others. I felt like it just slipped out after about a second and a half. Oh well!

CoC Silver Bullet Hold

My worst event of the bunch. Next time I’ll practice it more.

Rolling Thunder

The rolling thunder is another thick handle, this time lifted with a single hand. It is slightly bigger than the axle but it also rotates, making it harder.

I got 70kg and missed several attempts at 75kg.

70kg was an easy pull. 75 kg was not.

100 lb. Plate Hold

A 100 lb. plate is held in each hand. This tests the thumbs and the fingertip strength, as well as your toughness.

I managed a little bit over 40 seconds on this one. This happened to be one of my better events in comparison to many of the other competitors.

The Results

Overall I placed 5th our of 8 in my weight class. Somewhat similar to the strongman competition before. Seeing that I was smaller than many of the other guys, still in the same weight class, and hadn’t been training for the events, specifically or even generally (haven’t been doing much grip work lately), I figured it would be something like this.

A fun group to compete against and with.

Mas Wrestling

After the grip competition was another competition. Mas wrestling is a Russian sport where you fight over a stick. Its not well known and is quite fun.

I wish I had gotten some of my matches on film but I didn’t.

About to win a round in mas wrestling. (Unfortunately my opponent won the other 2 rounds for the match)

It was a double elimination tournament. Best 2 out of 3 for each round. In my first round I was paired up against the guy that eventually won the tournament. He smoked me.

In my second match it was a much more intense battle. My competitor took the first match, I got the second, and he won the third.

At least I won a single match. I have to say my lats are quite sore from doing it.

Like strongman, I’ll likely be competing again in the future. I just need to start actually training for the events!

Thanks to Clay Edgin and Jon Broenen for most of these pictures.


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