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Friday, November 02, 2012

Simple, Effective, and Cheap Bullet Proofing

Ever wonder what it takes to bullet-proof yourself?
That is what I am going to graze the surface of today.

But first, I want to thank you all for being my
subscribers.  In the past couple of weeks, we have
added many new names to the list of passionate
strength enthusiasts who have come on board.

To all of you, welcome aboard.

Now on to today's topic, bullet-proofing.

By bullet-proofing, I am talking about doing 
everything you can to avoid injury.

There are so many ways you can get hurt if you
train hard and play hard.  You have to always be
thinking ahead.

We have to stay flexible, mobile, stable, strong, 
elastic, reactive - and the "buzz words" go on and on.

One of the injuries that is most important to prevent
is wrist injuries.

They might not keep you from playing, but they
often just nag you at random times.  They're gone
long enough for you to forget them and then all of 
a sudden they come up to bite you.

Soon, they get into your mind and before you
know it, you are thinking about all the time, even
when you aren't even playing sports or training in 
the gym.

My specialty when it comes to injury prevention is
the lower arms.  In my experience, if you train them
from all angles in balance, your risk of injury and
accompanying worry is greatly reduced, so check 
out this post on how to prevent wrist injuries on
my other website,

This article contains 4 exercises that you can do with
the equipment you most likely already have to start
building your hardened exoskeleton and bullet-proofing
your lower arms and hands.

And if you don't have the stuff, you should get it, 
because they are all priceless pieces of training gear
for the grip and forearms.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

Hope you enjoy it.  Any questions, just leave a
comment at the site.

All the best in your training and bullet-proofing efforts.


P.S.  Like I said above, there are many things you need
to be aware of to stay at 100%.  Today's post will get
you started on one of them.  Implement these things
today so you can make yourself more injury-resistent.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

9 Tips on Injury Prevention

Over the summer, I was performing Strongman 
Shows at the Fayette County Fair in Dunbar, PA.
It was a great time and the kids
and parents alike seem to have enjoyed watching
me bend horseshoes, tear cards, and bend spikes
while lying on the bed of nails.
This was the first time I ever performed
Strongman Shows of this kind, so it 
was a bit of a learning experience.
One of the main things was having to go from
totally cold to being able to perform at a very 
quick rate, to avoid injury.
So, I am going to list a few of the things I am
doing to stay injury free while doing the shows.
I realize not all of you perform strongman 
exhibitions, but if you compete at Grip Sport,
Strongman, Powerlifting, or other sports where
you cycle bouts of activity and inactivity, then 
keep these tips in mind.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 
1.  Stay Hydrated
I have written several times about  the importance
of staying hydrated.  Your muscles just won't work
if you don't have enough fluid in your body, and 
a couple days have been in the 90's so fluid loss 
happens quickly.
To stay hydrated, I hit my regular two glasses of 
water when I wake up in the morning, and
continue to do so throughout the day.
This has kept away the dreaded full body cramping
that my buddy John Beatty warned me about due
to lack of hydration and salt.
2.  Get Enough Vitamins
After the first day, I was feeling run down and
realized I wasn't getting enough fruit and veggies.
I have still not found a booth selling this stuff
at the fair so I bought a bunch of oranges, bananas,
berries, nuts, and mixed veggies at Walmart.  
This made a huge difference for me.
3.   Get Enough Salt
I mentioned the nuts that I am eating throughout
the day.  I also have a back of sunflower seeds.
From my old baseball days, I can crack sun-
flower seeds like a champ.  I don't do it during
the shows of course, but they are helping me
keep some salt going into my body.
I also grab a few slices of bacon from the 
breakfast bar and stick those in a little baggie and
much on those between shows.  Some sea salt
would probably be better, but I am making good 
with these sources.
That's about it for me dietary approach. Now,
onto some more physical tips.
4.  Solid Warm-up
Starting 15 minutes before each show, I am 
running myself through a warm-up to get
my joints well-lubricated and ready to go.
I start out with some rolling on my cardboard
pipe (foam rollers are cool, but I like this better).
I hit my lower back, rib cage, lats, glutes and 
hamstrings to get rid of some adhesions, 
promote more blood flow, and adjust my
thoracic spine.
5.  Back Wrap
I have just a cheap-o Walmart Back Wrap that 
I use to keep my lower back warm.  It works as
well as anything else I have tried.  There are 
more expensive options on the market, but I 
bought this when I was on the road for a 
Strongman contest back in the day and have 
loved it ever since.
6.  Nettles Patch
On the inside of my back wrap I have two 
patches which also contribute to blood flow
into the lower back called "Netical Patch." 
While walking through Nettles  can make you
break out into an annoying rash, someone 
figured out how to turn them into an awesome
patch.  These come from Nettle Farms Inc., and 
their website is, if 
you are interested in checking them out.
7.  Don't Sit Down
I try to avoid sitting down during the time I am
at the fair like I am trying to avoid the black
plague.  If I need to rest, I generally try to lean
against a wall instead of sitting down.  I do
enough sitting down while working to last me 
the whole day, plus when I do, it makes me cool
down and makes my hips freeze back up.
8.  Layer Up
Believe it or not, once I get all sweaty during
a show, once I stop, if the breeze is going I
start to feel cold, so I immediately throw on
an extra tee shirt.  Rain has been hitting the
fair off and on, and keeping layers on between 
shows has helped to keep me from catching
a chill when it is storming and when the sun
goes down.
9.  Elbow Sleeves
I am susceptible to elbow pain, and I am doing
more bending over the course of these 6 days
than I have in the last year, so I am being extra 
cautious and wearing my elbow  sleeves during
the shows.
This is just one of the many ways you can keep
elbow pain like tennis elbow and golfer's elbow.
If you are susceptible to this as well, check out
our ebook, Fixing Elbow Pain.  In it I cover dozens
more practices you can do to prevent elbow injuries.
Well, DIESELS, there are 9 things you can do to 
prevent injuries, whether you are doing Strongman
performances, competing in Strongman, Powerlifitng,
or Grip competitions, or doing any other kind
of sport or activity that involves periodic lulls
of action over the course of several hours.
All the best in your training,

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Building the Better Mousetrap

I bet you have heard someone, some time in your life mention "building the better mousetrap."
Did you know that Ralph Waldo Emerson is credited with first making this statement about  innovation and ingenuity, but actually he said something completely different and was misquoted several years after he died.
It's true - I just read it on Wikipedia, so it has to be right?
Anyway, the mousetrap is something we can all identify with.  I bet most if not all of us have used mousetraps to catch a mouse or rat at one time or another.  And many of us have heard it snap in the next room, but when we go to check and see if we got the mouse, we sometimes find that it was able to steal the piece of cheese and get away before getting caught.
Thus the need for a "better mousetrap."
Well, I guess you could say that the Hand Grippers and Gripper Machines are the mousetraps of the Grip World.
We've all got some type of gripper or grip machine.  Maybe they are torsion spring grippers (like the Captains of Crush), adjustable spring grippers (like the Vulcan Gripper),  or maybe they are floor-model grip machines with moving parts that you add weights to in order to modify the resistance (there's LOTS of these).
Well, I am writing today to tell you about a training device that may just be "The Better Mousetrap" when it comes to Gripper Machines, Pop's Grip Machine from Sorinex <= = Click the link for a video review of it.
Here's what sets Pop's Grip Machine apart from other...
If you have experience with Torsion Spring Grippers like the Captains of Crush, you know that the hardest part about closing the gripper is the last little bit of space between the handles.  You might sweep your #3 gripper down to 1/8th of an inch, but then it might stop dead in its tracks.
Pop's Grip Machine mimics this increase in difficulty through the use of some special "attachments" you can use that come with it.  Watch my review video to see what I mean.
This is like no other device I have seen.  If you want to see something the Better Mousetrap of Grip Machines, then I suggest you check this link out:   Pop's Grip Machine from Sorinex  ( review - I receive no commission if you buy one)
I thought this was a really cool concept.  I am interested in what you think, too, so feel free to leave a comment.
All the best in your training.
P.S.  If you are frustrated with your gripper training, check out my DVD, CRUSH:  Total Gripper Domination.  It has helped many people break through their gripper training plateaus.  Check out what Richard Marby had to say:
"I've gone from 2-3 closes on a CoC 2 to 6 in about a month of work, and grip is not my primary goal right now. Thanks for a great DVD!"
Sometimes, all it takes is a little guidance to make huge gains in your training.  You provide the effort and hard work, and I can help you out with technique, and know-how.
You might say my CRUSH DVD is the Better Mousetrap when it comes to Gripper Training and Instruction.  Pick it up here


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What is the Modular Grip System?

Variety and Convenience.
These are two things I am always looking for
in my training.
Having Variety allows me to constantly be
challenging myself in the gym with new and
different pieces of equipment.  This keeps the
gains coming and the PR's piling up.
Convenience is very important to me because
I have limited space for training and don't want to
waste time setting stuff up and breaking stuff down. 
I want to get in, get the work done, and be able to
get out of the gym and enjoy my time with my family.
Maybe you are like that too?
Well, I've got a buddy named Ryan Pitts.  Maybe you
have heard of him.  He runs a company called
Stronger Grip Enterprises.
Last week Ryan contacted me and let me know
that has put out a brand new grip training equipment system.
He is calling it the Modular Grip System.
The Modular Grip System is a training equipment
kit with loading pins and interchangeable parts. 
This means that it will allow you to train various
aspects of grip strength with a small collection of tools.
The MGS, as it is called, comes with two loading
pins and various plug-in style handles which attach
to these loading pins.  Let's run down the handles
that come within the system:
1.  Two Hand Pinch (normally $59)
This is a steel implement that attaches to the loading
pin and allows you to train open hand strength and 
thumb strength, two very important aspects of grip
which have carryover to all sorts of athletic activities
and sports.
2.  Plateau Buster Handle (normally $149)
This is another steel implement that is used to train
true support strength.  The handle is about 1 inch in
diameter, meaning just about everybody will be able
to wrap their hand completely around it and strengthen
the grip for deadlifts and other pulling movements.
3.  A 2 3/8-inch Vertical Bar
This device allows you to train in an ulnar deviated
open hand position.  You've probably seen vertical bar
training before, but if not, think gripping a giant office
water bottle by the neck, or trying to pull a 2 and 3/8
inch thick horseshoe stake out of the ground.  This
joint orientation is also very similar to pulling on a
long rope.  Awesome for serious hand strength.
4.  Thick Burger Grip
This is pretty much a new device for me, but it is very
similar to block weight training.  The Burger Grip is
pill-shaped.  Imagine lifting a giant aspirin tablet. 
Sounds like fun, doesn't it?
You can see pictures of all the devices included in
the Modular Grip System here.
Check it out.  If you're looking for a good set of
equipment that is going to last you a long time,
then this could very well be perfect for you.
I own all kinds of Ryan Pitt's Stronger Grip
equipment and it is all top notch.
In terms of workmanship, much of Ryan's equipment
BLOWS AWAY his competitors in  terms of quality
and aesthetics, plus they are built to last.
Another thing I like about Ryan's equipment is his
loading pins.  You don't have to mess around with
carabiners, so you save even more time that way.
Looking at the new design, I think this version of the
Plateau Buster will be even better than the first version
for dynamic training such as swings, because the plates
will be loaded vertically instead of horizontally
I still use mine to this day for heavy two-handed swings
because I can actually get both hands on the handle fully,
something most people are unable to do with kettlebells.
I hope Ryan puts up records lists for this equipment
I know it is always fun to see how much you can pull on
new pieces of equipment, but when there are public
listings available on sites like his, it makes it even more
fun and allows you to challenge yourself for years down
the road as well.
So, make sure you check out the Modular Grip System
from Stronger Grip.  Right now it is just $199 for the
whole package.  That is the regular total for the Plateau
Buster and Two Hand Pinch handle. 
If you get the MGS right now, you will essentially
get the  Vertical Bar and Burger Grip handles for fr ee.
Enjoy and all the best in your training,
P.S.  Ryan has indicated that he is working on other
prototypes that will be coming out later as additional
plug-in handles for the Modular Grip System
So that means even more goodies to come!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tough Kettlebell Grip Shit

I’ve said for years that Grip Training is one of the
most important types of training that most people
are NOT doing.

A Strong Grip helps you perform better in sports
 by being able to hold onto the ball, bat, or your
opponent better.

A Strong Grip also helps you improve your
numbers on lifts where the hands are involved,
especially the all important Bench Press. By
having a firm grasp on the bar, it helps you engage
your upper body in the lift much better while also
 increasing your confidence in the lift, knowing
you are going to dominate it with no problem.

Finally, Strong Hands and Forearms are Safer
Hands and Forearms.

What I mean by that is when you have put in the
work to strengthen everything from the elbow
down in a balanced fashion, it makes you much
more injury-resistent. You are able to take more
bumps without having to worry about breaking
something and you’re able to give more bumps
without having to hold back.

The issue with all this is, how do you get started?

People make Grip Training out to be a lot tougher
 than it is. In fact, if you have a small kettlebell in
the 15- to 30-lb range, you’ve got exactly what
you need in order to start training your grip and
start reaping all the benefits.

Kettlebell Gut Pops (Full Hand Emphasis)

Forget the fact that the kettlebell has a perfectly
good handle on it. Instead, pick it up by the belly
or Gut. Next, pop it up into the air and try to grab
 it with the other hand.

In the pictures above, I am using a 30-lb Kettlebell.
However, take note that I am not as much of a
bad-ass as I may seem THIS TIME, because this
kettlebell has a rubber coating around it. If you have
 one that is bare iron it is going to be much tougher.

Kettlebell Front Raise (Thumb Emphasis)

Again, Grip the Kettlebell by its round gut with an
open hand. Next raise it up in front of you like a
front delt raise, making sure to keep the thumb
positioned on the bottom of the bell in order to
hit it the hardest way possible.

If you are a true tough guy, try holding it up for a
pause on each repetition.

Kettlebell Horn Deviations (Wrist Emphasis)

Grip the Kettlebell this time by the “horn,” which
is the part of the handle that is generally vertical.
From there, lower the bell down into ulnar
deviation and then back up into radial deviation.

 If you love the pain and torture of this variation,
you should also try supinating and pronating the
forearm. LOVELY!

There are thee Grip Training movements you can
start doing RIGHT NOW in your routine to get the
benefits of stronger lower arms and hands.

If you want more ideas on how to be a bad-ass by
lifting crazy shit and bending and tearing everything
in site, check out The Grip Authority. I’ll tell you how
to build the strength to be able to rip phone books,
 tear cards and bend steel.

Now, go Lift or Destroy something.

All the best in your training.

Jedd Johnson, CSCS, RKC

Captain of Crush | Red Nail Certified

See more on building ridiculous hand strength = >