Plate Curls

Posted on Thursday, October 19th, 2017 by John Wood
One of the most effective exercises for developing grip and forearm strength can be done with a simple barbell plate. Just grab it by the lip and attempt to curl it — no swinging, slow and controlled all the way up and all the way down. You’re fairly strong if you can do a 25 lb. plate … really strong if you can do a 35 pounder under the same conditions … and if you can do this with a 45 lb plate, you’d be one of the strongest of all time. The steep strength curve from the leverage involved can impose quite a challenge — even when using a very light plate. You can also “cheat” the plate to the top position and then lower it under control to add a new wrinkle. You can progress incrementally by attaching smaller weights and then increasing or decreasing the leverage based on where they are positioned on the plate. You can expect some pretty sore wrists the morning after. Try it!
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Ron Lacy: Wrist Roller Training

Posted on Sunday, October 15th, 2017 by John Wood
How does Mr. America build forearm strength? The Wrist Roller, of course. It was a great method then and still a greta method now. If you could peek into the training log of just about every strength champion throughout history, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find the wrist roller as a part of their respective programs.

The wrist roller is also a very good choice because it is simple and very effective: Mr. Lacy’s choice here is just a sturdy tree branch with a cord tied to it. You can get more fancy than that if you like but when it all comes down to it, that is minimally all you need.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Vansittart’s Spike

Posted on Friday, October 30th, 2015 by John Wood

They used to call Charles Vansittart “The Man With The Iron Grip” for good reason — he could bend an Old English penny, rip a tennis ball in half and bend a spike like the one pictured above.

Bending bars, spikes and nails has always been a traditional Oldtime Strongman feat, not only do many people find it incredibly impressive but merely doing it will build tremendous strength throughout the entire body.

You can tell that rectangular stock (like the spike above) was actually hand bent by the shape. If a piece of steel was truly hand bent, it will bend on the angle, not the flat edge.

Bruce Lee’s Grip Machine

Posted on Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 by John Wood
Bruce Lee was described by many as a “forearm fanatic” which makes perfect sense when one is devoted to the martial science – stronger wrists and forearms translate to harder punches and better grappling. This style of gripper is a simple design and has been around for decades, well before Bruce Lee came along, yet many people still know and refer to it as “The Bruce Lee Grip Machine”

This particular piece was made for Bruce by his friend George Lee (no relation) and he used it often. We have our own version of this type of grip machine available from time to time. This device actually brings quite a bit to the table, most importantly in our opinion, is to be able to train the crushing movement in different ranges of motion, much like one could use a power rack to improve various exercises.

Sledge Hammer Training

Posted on Thursday, June 18th, 2015 by John Wood
Sledge hammer training has always been a very popular way of building forearm and wrist strength among many oldtime strongmen. Based on the leverage principle the sledge hammer makes a very efficient workout tool as it can provide a great deal of resistance without the need for a lot of weight. Here, Murl Mitchell of Los Angeles, tests his wrist strength with a pair of very interesting looking sledge hammers. Look closely and you’ll see that Mr. Mitchell is wearing glasses which he just slightly and gently tapped before levering the hammers back to the vertical position. It was said that these hammers weighed 25 lbs. apiece — Superb. Mitchell also placed second at the Sr. Nationals Weightlifting Championships in 1945 in the 123 lb class with a 470 lb. total.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

The Great Orlando

Posted on Thursday, February 12th, 2015 by John Wood
The Great Orlando was another excellent steel bending strongman from Florence, Italy. Unsurprisingly, a steady diet of long bar steel scrolling led to some big strong hands and a knotty pair of forearms.

Arthur Dandurand

Posted on Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by John Wood

To say that the French Canadian Strongman Arthur Dandurand was gifted in the forearm department would be an understatement. He not only was able to deadlift over 550 pounds with one arm but also achieved a rectangular fix with 177½ pounds – an all-time record! Keep in mind that Dandurand only weighed about 180 pounds.

The W. & H. Grip Machine

Posted on Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 by John Wood

Grip training has always been a very good idea. Back in 1901, if you wanted to train your grip, one of your options was the W & H Grip machine, which is claimed to cure insomnia, writer’s cramp, nervous trembling and all manner of other physical ills. Be that as it may, the fellow pictured above does certainly have a rather stout forearm.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Arthur Lancaster: The Man With The Grip of Iron

Posted on Monday, February 10th, 2014 by John Wood

Arthur Lancaster, of Brixton, England, desired to do something that had never been accomplished before, and on July, 4th, 1908, he accomplished his goal. It was on that date, at the Crystal Palace (London), that he swung an eight pound blacksmith’s hammer for twelve straight hours. It was supposed to be a contest of endurance against a Frenchman, but the latter did not keep his engagement, so the Englishman began his task alone (albeit, still in front of two judges.)

Lancaster swung the hammer with one hand during meal breaks and resumed two-handed swinging once finished. It was estimated that Lancaster “lifted” over 350 tons over the course of his hammer-swinging session. Unsurprisingly, Lancaster reported that his performance was as much a triumph mentally as physically. Thereafter, he was known as: “The Man With The Grip of Iron.”

John Grimek’s Wrist Roller Training

Posted on Thursday, August 29th, 2013 by John Wood

John Grimek trained in every way imaginable and he sure didn’t neglect his grip. One of his favorite pieces of training equipment for building grip and forearm strength was the simple wrist roller — and it’s still great choice.

Wrist rolling can be done as shown, or holding the arms downward with a heavier weight.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.