Friday, 27 March 2009

Grip Documentary

Rex 'The Natural' Hubbard has started something with the idea of a documentary on grip. The idea of our very iron iconic grip version of Bodybuildings Pumping Iron (a must see for Iron Game fans) or Power Unlimited - the powerlifting documentary is very exciting indeed.

There are a bunch of suggestions floating around. That we need to include something of the history of the sport goes without saying. But looking back at Pumping Iron they kinda covered that in the title sequence. Images of Sandow flexing and old time lifters doing muscle control. We might need a little more but it's a 50-50 thing. One needs to show what we do but Joe Public - our hoped for grip newbies doesn't want an hour of Warren Tetting making grippers. Yet, as with others, Warren's roll is important. There is a balance to be struck and it will be a difficult one.

What else do we need to show? Perhaps a few feats of strength. In the last day or so Rex suggested showing how what was once the pinnacle of grip strength for many - the closing of a Ironmind Captains of Crush (still impossible for some) - is now no longer quite the task it once was. I know how disappointed I was, after a year of trying, to miss my first certification attempt at Pullum Sports. Yet I offered to send Rex a clip of me doing a close upside down - hanging from a power rack using inversion boots and smiling all the while at the camera. Another has me literally crush a credit card between the handles. So what was once a monstrous lift is no longer so.

Interviews, voice overs (I'd personally do this quite a bit if I was running the show so as to get as many videos and filmed segments on as possible) and the historical section will form, I think, most of the early part of the film. The later section is, it seems, going to consist of a little battle royal build up between myself and Chad Woodhall (ie: best current British and European champ vs the undefeated US guy) as well as other lifters at Chad's big money (for grip it is) event.

Now, as you'd imagine, this is a big deal for me. My oh so fragile (ahem) ego loves the idea of being a part of the video never mind a potentially BIG part. With this in mind and as part of the crazy three events training I am currently doing (7-10 times a week) Paul Savage has been taping some stuff for me. With good short sharp editing, loads of hard rock music and the usual wizardry of the digital age to our amateur efforts I'm hoping Rex and Eddie (his cohort in the video department) might be able to find some useful stuff from our feeble recordings and use them in the grip version of Arnold vs. Louis. So I've been pushing myself real hard to give Paul something he can film. The aim, if it's usable, will be to show that the grip guys (in Chad and myself representing everyone else) train as hard as any high level athlete and especially those in the iron game.

But more than anything if the film succeeds it wont be because I or anyone else in our sport did a rep with X weight on whatever grip gadgets we use (see Joe 'X' pinch, squeeze etc) it'll be the capturing of the essence. It needs to show the hard work and tenacity, the sweat, the skin and yes the blood lost. The occasional nausea and the borderline obsession (perhaps not so borderline). It can and I hope will raise the profile of the sport as a whole here, in Europe, in Australia and of course in the US of A. It can and I hope will make some of us into little stars.

The more of the grip troops involved and playing a part in what has the potential to be our iconic moment the better. I'll paraphrase a famous saying:

'Ask not how you'll be entertained by what's on your screen but what part you played in getting it there'.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

If it works... oh boy!

Let me start by saying there is very little that is new in strength training. From time to time someone will put a name to something they think they came up with but you can bet a few of your hard earned bucks that someone somewhere has done that very same idea for years - just never thought to call it 'New program X' or whatever.

So is what I did today with the 2 hand pinch new? Nope. Now before we get in too deep I will NOT be going into detail just yet. As the title says... if it works OH BOY will some big numbers be pulled over the next three or so months. Loz (Laurence Shahlaie) and I did our usual straight set working our way up the pyramid. Topping out, as is our way, at 111.7-kilos or 245.74lbs. Loz then suggested something (he he) which is well-known as a technique in powerlifting and it was one of those 'why the hell didn't I try this before' moments.

Trust me when I say it was nothing unusual, outstanding or even new and novel. Just an old trick applied to a grip movement and WHY DIDN'T I DO THIS BEFORE!Seriously!! Let's just say the poundage, when we were done, was as close to 120-kilos or 264lbs as you can get and if we get what we think we'll get from this technique we will be leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.

I'm hoping in the 4 and a bit weeks between now and the April 11th Peter Horne competition to see some progress using this technique (probably just once weekly as well). Man... if it works... I'll be as happy as you'll be blown away with the poundage we will be shifting.

Interested? You should be.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Let's get ready to rummbbbblllleeee!!!

It's competition season and so now is the time to get serious. For the average Joe or Jane they pick January 1st to think about knuckling down and doing something special. But for those of us that compete today will do.

Coming up in the next few months are, for me, 3 competitions. My warm-up event is the Peter Horne gig in April. Then I have the British Championships in May. I plan on doing very well in the first (1st or 2nd again), winning in the May comp and then there is what seems to be the grip event of 2009...

The Chad Woodhall event.

Chad has, for a while, been a full on competitor. I know, just from PM's and emails, that he wants to compete in his words 'against the best' but with David Horne's CoC event now off the cards his chance disappeared. He'd considered a super match against a few including ours truly. But with another little one on the way he changed tack.

So using business connections and not a little wedge of his own he set his own competition plans into action. First prize of $1000 has only been beaten once before at the 'Mike the Destroyers' somewhat strange event held a few years back (guess who won his own money back... oops). Unlike Mike, competing against his training partners (although at a fantastic venue - a very well attended (100000+) baloon festival) Chad has managed to invite and attract what is the current cream of the grip freaks.

One rather off putting aspect, coming of the back on what was a pedantic discussion on what is a blob (jeezus C!), was the pulling out of some Sorinex facility using athletes. FFS guys!! I'll put that BS to rest right now. The 'real' (ie: ld and hard to get a hold off) blobs cost a fucking fortune and most, inc me, don't have access to or the necessary cash to buy said blobs. So we make do. Now as to whether or not they are that much harder to pick up etc... seriously how much harder might they be? 5%, 10%? I've picked one up YEARS ago (at David Horne's) and I don't think they are all that. Now I'm picking up a York Legacy 25-kilo blob with weigh attached and others have done a original 50lb with 20+ attached. So should anyone be arguing about a 50lb 'original' being all that? Do the same people think that those who've put their names down to kick ass in the competition would struggle? No. They withdrew because of an off topic argument.

In my gym we have old school challenge boards and records list and on one it says 'man the fuck up'. Wanna see a picture to get the message? What is more daft is three of the guys were 330-350+lbs!! Seriously. 330+ and pulling out because of a 'old blob vs new blob' argument?? For real??

Right... I'll post more on this competition and who's gonna do what etc in time. But right now I'm off to the gym to kick some mo-fo ass (mine) on legs. I'll train under something goes twang, ruptures and bleeds, recover and do it again. Then come the day, money allowing, I'll do my best to make a name for myself.

Now all I need do is find someone to look after my cat for a few days... ;)