Al Berger

Posted on Wednesday, August 1st, 2018 by John Wood
Al Berger was a great strength athlete and classic bodybuilder during the 1940’s. Berger was a very good bodybuilder but was most well-known for his ability to perform incredible feats of strength while “pinch gripping” rafters in his basement. He could do 12 pinch-grip chins on rafters 30-inches apart, 6 with an additional 10-pounds and 1 with an incredible 43 additional pounds. In addition to his pinch-gripping feats, Berger could perform a reverse curl with 165 pounds.

The Baseball Grip

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2018 by John Wood
A very simple way to build your hand strength is with a simple baseball or softball. This one has been drilled and fitted with an eye-hook which allows weights to be hung from it. It’s a surprisingly effective challenge.
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.

Bruce White’s Custom Cricket Ball Dumbbell

Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2018 by John Wood
Like many grip masters, Australia’s Bruce White was very creative in finding new ways to strengthen his hands. In doing so, he came up with this unique challenge: a cricket ball attached to a dumbbell handle. His best performance on this piece of equipment was 190 pounds – performed while keeping the bar perfectly level throughout the entire lift. He was 49 years old and weighed less than 150 pounds at the time.
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.

Card Ripping in Oven Mitts

Posted on Sunday, December 10th, 2017 by John Wood
Ok, so you can rip a deck of cards … but can you rip a deck of cards while wearing oven mitts like Dennis Rogers? …And not only can Dennis Rogers do this, he makes it look easy.
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.

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.

Classic Grip Courses

Posted on Monday, October 16th, 2017 by John Wood
These 4 Classic Training Courses will teach you unusual exercises, training tips, workout ideas, feats of the oldtimers and the methods to build your own set of “mighty mitts”

Specific training to build an “iron grip and powerful forearms” was essential to the Oldtime Strongmen for what should be some very obvious reasons: you can’t bend a horseshoe, rip a deck of cards, or tear a phone book in half if you don’t have strong hands. This is also a big factor in why many of the Oldtime Strongmen were well known for their unbelievable grip strength – and why many of their records in that department still stand to this day.

Now you can learn exactly how to do it too, directly from the greatest strong men themselves with our collection of FOUR Classic Grip Courses. Each of these authors has the credentials and know-how to help you build some of the strongest hands around:

Developing The Grip and Forearm
by Thomas Inch

Thomas Inch was Britain’s strongest youth at 16, the first official Britain’s Strongest Man and at one time had the largest physical fitness correspondence school in Great Britain. He wrote an untold number of books, courses and training articles and was an excellent strand puller and all-around lifter but in Oldtime strength circles, the name Thomas Inch is recognized above all else for one thing: grip strength.

Inch’s “unliftable” Challenge Dumbbell has defied thousands of strong men over the last hundred years (and still does today). Many a strength athlete tried but failed to break it off the ground…

After many years and numerous requests, Inch finally decided to put in writing the methods by which he had developed his incredible levels of grip strength. So here it is, once again made available to the potential “grip masters” of the strength world Thomas Inch’s wonderful course: “Developing the Grip and Forearm” (originally published in 1930) and now available in high-quality modern reprint edition. Don’t let weak hands stand in the way of lifting limit poundages. This training course. will strengthen the weak link between you and record poundages. Fully illustrated, soft cover, 8 1/2″ x 11″ in size, also includes a list of historical grip feats

Iron Claws
Grip Development and Bench Press Course
by Mike Brown

Iron Claws is a rare and extremely hard-to-find training course, full of valuable and result producing information, and is now available once again. In the early 1970’s, Mike Brown set out to bench press maximum weights using a unique partial range of motion training program that he designed. The weights kept growing heavier and one day Brown sprained his wrist with over 600 pounds on the bar. He realized then and there that if his bench press was going to get any stronger, his wrists and forearms would need to follow suit. His research and subsequent experimentation became “Iron Claws: Grip Development and Bench Press Course“.

This extremely interesting training course first appeared in 1974 among the many unusual titles in The Madison Co. book catalog. Few copies were printed and even fewer were sold but now you can benefit from this course in the high-quality modern reprint version. You’ll learn about how the oldtimers developed 16″ forearms and enormous coin bending grip strength, the author’s special wrist roller, rack rebounders for heavy bench pressing, training in mud, and a variety of other unique training ideas.

How to Develop a Powerful Grip
by Edward Aston

Edward Aston is certainly qualified to teach you how to build a strong grip… he was The World’s Middle-weight Weightlifting Champion, British Heavy-weight Champion Weightlifter, and Britain’s Strongest Man from 1911-1934 (he retired undefeated.)

Aston knew full well that stronger hands meant greater strength everywhere else and in 1946 wrote “How to Build a Powerful Grip” teaching how he did so throughout his colorful strongman and stage career. Sit back and read about the pet feats of grip strength of such notable grip masters as: Caswell, Vansittart “The Man with the Iron Grip”, Breitbart, Marx, Topham, Samson, Tolson, Fox, Sandow, Inch, etc.

All in all, this publication is not only very informative but entertaining as well. It will provide you with exercises and techniques which can not be found anywhere else. Get a copy and add it to your grip training library, you’ll be glad you did! Fully illustrated, soft cover, and 8-l/2″ x 11″ in size.

Molding a Mighty Grip
by George F. Jowett

Molding a Mighty Grip was published as a part of George F. Jowett’s “Molding” library and features one of Jowett’s specialties: grip and forearm training. Formerly a blacksmith and chain maker by trade, Jowett developed powerful hands, 8 1/4″ wrists, 15 1/4″ muscular forearms, and 17-3/4″ upper arms making his incredible feats of grip strength legendary.

Jowett’s most famous feat was that of lifting a 168 lb. anvil by the horn to shoulder height and pressing it with one hand! Alan Calvert, founder of Milo Barbell Co., referred to Jowett as the most scientific weightlifter in America. This booklet describes Jowett’s unique exercises for developing each digit of the hands and turning them into “iron claws.”

In addition, Jowett reminisces about many of the famous old-time strongmen and their specialty feats of grip strength. A great book available once again for the truly serious student of grip strength. Get a copy today and start training your grip the way the great George F. Jowett trained his! Fully illustrated, soft cover, and 8-l/2″ x 11″ in size.

Order now!Classic Grip Course Collection (4 Booklets):
_________ $39.99 plus s/h

Joe Kinney’s Can Bustin’

Posted on Sunday, December 1st, 2013 by John Wood

THE Man when it comes to grip strength is Mr. Joe Kinney from Bean Station, Tennessee. In 1998, he became the first man to close the Ironmind #4 Gripper and did so in a manner that has never been duplicated before or since; it looked easier than a Trainer as he slammed the handles shut. Pictured above is how Joe likes to “open a beer”– by squeezing the can until explodes!
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.

Edward Aston’s Gripper

Posted on Sunday, October 27th, 2013 by John Wood

Aston Gripper

When you go through old training courses, sometimes you find something that even the most knowledgeable historians have never seen before. Here’s a bit of rare grip history from deep in some forgotten lore: The Edward Aston Spring Grip Machine. As you can see, it is essentially a combination of two gripper springs and two handles ~ a pretty unique design indeed.
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.

John Davis: Pinch Gripping

Posted on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 by John Wood

John Davis Pinch Grip

One of the classic tests of grip strength is to pinch two heavy weight plates together – something that legendary John Davis could do with ease with these York Deep-Dish 35-pound plates. Davis could perform three one-arm chins as well as lift the famed Apollon wheels which also had a very thick handle — needless to say, if you want to be a strongman, it pays to have strong hands…

The Victor Master Grip

Posted on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 by John Wood
Grip developers have always been popular and the “Victor Master Grip” is a good one from way back, about 1926 or so. It’s got progressive resistance through a full range of motion and you can adjust resistance by the number of springs. You’ll still see this design around today.