Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Unbraced Bending

Unbraced bending events in US Handstrength recognized contests will use Fat Bastard Barbell Co.'s rules. Those rules are presented below with the 3 techniques you could see at a US Handstrength contest. US Handstrength will not limit the amount of padding for it's contests unless otherwise specified by the contest promoter. If you want, you could wrap your steel with 6 layers of leather and a towel, or you could wrap it with tissue paper.

Double Overhand
You have 5 minutes to take the inside legs of the bar to 2" or less.

Double Underhand
You have 30 seconds to take the bar to 40 degrees from straight.

You have 30 seconds to take the bar to 40 degrees from straight.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Rolling Thunder

The Rolling Thunder Handle is sold by Ironmind Enterprises. It is basically a free-spinning piece of PVC that is over 2" in diameter. For competitions, ONLY IRONMIND ROLLING THUNDERS ARE ALLOWED. For that reason, the rules go by the Ironmind rules. You must fully and clearly lockout the weight.

Double Overhand Axle Deadlift

A US Handstrength recognized competition having the DO Axle Deadlift as an event, MUST have a bar that measures 2.0", 2.5" or 3.0" thick. Each category has it's own records. As it will be contested as a grip event, the athlete MUST use Double Overhand grip. NO MIXED GRIP ALLOWED. A full, competition legal lift on the Axle will be full Powerlfiting style. There will be a down command and the athlete MUST fully lockout. NO HOOK GRIP ALLOWED. Both Sumo and Conventional styles are allowed.

Vertical Bar Lifting (Vbar)

There are 2 types of Vbars that you will see in a US Handstrength recognized competition; the 1" and the 2" versions. The bottom of the Vbar must be raised AT LEAST 2" off the ground, though you can fully lockout if you want to. NO DROPS ALLOWED. NO HOOK GRIP ALLOWED.

1" Vbar

2" Vbar

Hand Size

Many people who are interested in grip soon become aware of the size of their hands. The proper way to measure your hand is from the crease in your wrist closest to your palm, all the way to the tip of your middle finger.

The average guy has hands starting at 7" and going to 7 3/4". 8"+ is a big hand and 9"+ is a HUGE hand.

Way too many people put emphasis on hand size. If you have bigger hands, you'll do better when you start out in grip. It's like height in a strongman competition, it's very useful to be tall, but only one factor in a million. There are guys like the 6'7" former World's Strongest Man champ Magnus Samuelsson, closing #4's and there are guys like sub-6ft Tommy Heslep closing #4's.

In the future, US Grip hopes to introduce Hand Size divisions, similar to weight classes, into it's contests. Since height and weight mean little in Grip Strength, Hand size is the only logical division of classes. Right now, there simply aren't enough competitors to separate them into hand size classes. SO GET OUT THERE AND COMPETE!!!


There are 3 US Handstrength recognized techniques used to close grippers. You could see one or all these techniques being used so be aware of the contest allowed set.

Mash Monster Set(MMS)
You use both hands to crank the gripper down until the handles are Parallel to eachother, then you start the close. The competition judge MUST see the set so make sure your free hand is out of the way when you start your close.

Credit Card Close(CCS)
BEFORE the start of a proper Credit Card Set Close, a credit card, or similarly sized card, MUST be PASSED THROUGH THE HANDLES. Do NOT hold the credit card over the handles and start the close or it could be disqualified.

No Set Close(NS/TNS)
A proper No Set Close is done completely with one hand. You are not allowed to use your free hand to "set" the gripper in a good position before the attempt. You simply pick up the gripper and close it.

Two Hand Pinch/Euro Pinch

All US Handstrength recognized competitions that have the Two Hand Pinch as an event will use a recognized Two Hand Pinch device. The device is adjustable from a few mm's to over 64mm's. The most popular of which is 54mm, or about 2 1/8" thick. The athlete must lift the implement until the LOADING BAR AND NOT THE PLATES touches a set marker 16.5" high. There is NO front loading and NO back loading allowed in any US Handstrength recognized contest. So train accordingly. NO DROPS ALLOWED.