Guest post by Jedd Johnson
Hi, my name is Jedd Johnson. I am a CSCS through the NSCA, an RKC through Dragondoor, and am co-founder of DieselCrew.com. Our website is dedicated to exploring the development of strength and conditioning for all athletes in all sports.
Over the years, my favorite facet of strength training has been Grip Strength and I compete in several competitions every year. Grip Competitions involve Crushing, Pinching, Support lifting and other forms
of hand and lower arm strength.
One of the coolest parts of the sport of Grip is Nail Bending. Bending nails, spikes, bolts, steel stock, drill rod, and other things is one of the most exciting and obsessive types of strength training you can do.
Up until now, Nail Bending might be one of the last things you would ever think of doing in your program, but there are actually a ton of benefits that you can get from Bending. Check these out…
1. Forearm size
Nothing has built my forearms over the years like Bending
Nail Bending involves a great deal of tension in the hands, wrists and forearms which leads to major forearm muscle development. Often, forearm work at the gym involves movements like wrist curls and other simple variations.
While wrist curls and similar classic forearm exercises bring about results, they pale in comparison to the bulk build by bending. The sustained tension of nail bending causes growth in both the flexor side of the forearm and the extensor side of the forearm, creating an impressive look of balance and control.
In short, your forearms will probably BLOW UP!
2. Mental and Physical Toughness
Bending nails, bolts and other items involves taking a perfectly good nail and twisting it into a shape that makes it completely useless for any of its normal industrial applications. You’re doing something that was never meant to be done, and to do this requires you to focus all of your strength and your mental power into the bend. A lack of commitment from either end of the spectrum will end up in your inability to finish up the bend.
In order to Bend Big Nails, you have to work hard and be mentally strong
When you become proficient in harnessing your mind’s and your body’s power in nail bending, imagine the results you will see in your other lifts or in the sport you play. You’ll be unstoppable compared to everyone else who has never truly tested themselves in the ways you have after taking on the challenge of bending.
3. Make an Impression!
Take Note: Nail bending is NOT some form of trickery or slight of hand like magic is
However, it DOES bring about much the same reaction from a crowd.
Imagine talking about this new sort of strength training you are doing and when they ask you to show them, you bust out a nail, wrap it in a towel and bend it right before their eyes.
How awesome will that be?!?!
You could use this classic feat of strength of Bending to set yourself from everybody else at school, at the gym, or at your place of work. Instead of just blending in with the rest of the people, you will automatically be set apart from everybody else.
Instead of just somebody in the crowd, you’ll become the Strong Guy/Gal (Yes, ladies bend too!!!), or The Nail Bender.
Every time people see you, even if it’s only occasionally, you’ll be burned in their mind as somebody with a strong grip – nobody to mess with, that is for sure.
4. Get Your Name “Up in Lights”
Nail bending has been growing in popularity exponentially. In fact, you can now get certified for Serious Nail Bending.
The first widely known certification system for Bending was the IronMind Red Nail, a 7-inch long, 5/16-inch thick round piece of steel bar. This bar takes over 450-lbs of strength in order to bend.
Other sites have come on board with certifications of other pieces of steel stock, including Fat Bastard Barbell and Bender’s Battlefield. The numbers of people bending challenge bars steadily increases each day
Isn’t one of the reasons you train in the first place to have fun? Well, the best thing about nail bending is that it is good pure fun. You are able to test yourself and see improvement in your technique and strength while seeing increases in confidence and mental edge.
You can crank up the music and go for a new personal best.
Over the course of time, all of the nails, bolts, and stock you bend can be saved for posterity. You can see how you progressed over the years.
One day, you’ll be able to tell your grand kids about when you first dominated the 60-penny nail or the grade-5 bolt. And maybe you can even log them onto one of the certification sites and show them the certifications you were able to acquire.
In short, nail bending is one of the most exciting parts of the sport of Grip Strength. For me, the physical and the mental benefits I have seen from nail bending are outstanding, not to mention the friendships I have made with some of the top nail benders in the United States and around the world. I
In fact, I love the challenge of Nail Bending so much I recently put together a DVD showing you everything you need to know in order to get started. This DVD contains info on Bending Techniques, Strength Building, and Hand Health so you can continue to bend and enjoy it for years to come.
Until then, all the best in your training, and get ready to bend some steel!!!
Jedd Johnson, CSCS, RKC
Red Nail Certified – 2007
The Diesel Crew
Strength coach and trainer Jim Smith says that he developed the Accelerated Muscular Development (AMD) program after becoming frustrated by his efforts to stop being the “98-pound weakling” and put on lean muscle. He also says that the AMD Program is a complete system designed not to just show you the workouts, but to provide you with the knowledge you need to be able to “make your own decisions based on your individual needs.”
That statement by itself is important because it shows that this isn’t a “one size fits all” kind of program. Each person is unique and his (or her) body has different needs in terms particular training approaches that are most effective. AMD is designed so that you can easily customize the program so that it best suits your particular needs. I also like the fact that in regards to getting started on the program, Jim offers an “express” option, which allows you to quickly dive right into the routines. This way, you can take start training immediately and take your time learning about the underlying principles of the program.
All of the AMD workouts are based on a single template, which has three columns (upper body, lower body and full body). Each of these columns is then divided into four sections—ACS, AMD, Core and then ACS again. I’ll explain what each of these means a little later. The system is built around a 16-week progression of workouts. The first four weeks is spent developing foundation strength, followed by eight weeks of strength/mass-building and then finally, four weeks focused on developing strength and power.
The first section of the AMD manual is focused on helping the reader to gain and understanding about muscle fibers and the how’s and why’s of muscle-building. This knowledge puts you on the road to understanding your body’s particular needs and sets the stage for customization of the AMD program. The next section is all about nutrition. Here, Jim talks about the basics of nutrition such as protein, carbs and fat. He also shows you how to calculate your body fat percentage and to determine your daily caloric needs based both on your body type and your activity level.
Next, Jim launches into an in-depth discussion of the AMD program. Accelerated Muscular Development incorporates both undulating periodization (UND) and escalated density training (EDT). With UND, your training program changes with every successive workout, varying volume, intensity and tempo. The purpose of this is to keep your muscles in a constant state of adaption and therefore, avoid training plateaus. EDT was originally developed by a guy named Charles Staley. It is designed to produce quick results in a short timeframe by incorporating training blocks of 15-20 minutes followed by rest periods. By incorporating both models into the program, AMD facilitates rapid muscle growth.
UND exercises are the “primary” exercises and EDT exercises are the “supplemental” ones. Other components of the workout sequence include Accelerated Corrective Strategies (ACS) and Combat Core Strength (CORE). ACS is designed to improve fluidity, prevent injuries and increase mobility. The CORE component is supposed to do just what it sounds like—focus on your core.
Your basic AMD workout will start with 5-10 minutes of ACS exercises before moving into a 5-minute warm-up period. Next up are the primary and supplementary (UND and EDT) exercises for 15-25 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of CORE exercises and wrapped up with 5-10 minutes more of ACS exercises. The 3-day-a-week workout sequence is done once for lower body, once for the upper body, followed by one full-body session. Each training session lasts about 40 minutes.
By now you’re probably thinking, “This sounds great, but how the hell am I supposed to keep track of all this?” Remember the template I mentioned earlier? That’s how you’re able to follow all of the sequences without getting confused. Once you have the basics down, following the template is easy. And, everything you need is included. AMD comes with companion guides that provide in-depth information about each of the sections—ACS, UND, EDT, CORE and warm-up. In addition to the Quick Reference Guide so you can dive right into the program, AMD also includes sample meal plans for fat loss.
To wrap it up, in looking over Jim’s AMD Program, I like what I see. It’s a challenging but effective program that doesn’t try to sell itself as an effort-free “magic bullet” like so many others. In my book, that makes it a winner, well worth checking out.
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