Diesel Crew ebook : Bending


A handful of bent nails, courtesy Terry Duty
A handful of bent nails, courtesy Terry Duty.
This is the fourth part of this month's series on books; a collaboration with Run to Win's Blaine Moore.

Diesel Crew Bending eBook
Jedd 'Napalm' Johnson

188 pages | Available from thegripauthority.com
Promo video [streaming, 3.33mb .flv download]


Ready to go
Ready to go.
Recently, courtesy of a shoulder injury (I got a little over-zealous in my quest for the One Armed Chin-up), I rediscovered grip training. For one reason or another, grip training - and the training of hand strength in general - was always left until last, and was anything but structured. Finally I had a bit of free time to address that.

Just as I started scouring the web for resources on all things hand strength, the Diesel Crew's Bending eBook appeared. As you'll see, this is a truly amazing work.

First up is the question 'Why in the hell would I want to bend nails?'
The answer - as Jedd details in the book - is more than just 'it's great fun'. There are a lot of specific strength benefits that will certainly help other areas of your lifting. This is far more than just training your hands.

The book details all of the areas vital to anyone new to the sport of bending, as well as a great deal of information that should keep even seasoned professionals off the streets. Covered are :

Types of Bending

Vertical Bending
Vertical Bending.
The type of bending is largely defined by the length of the item being bent, and whether or not it is braced in the process. This book focuses on the unbraced bending of short (less than 8-10") bars and nails. This is certainly a challenging (and fun) area.

Getting started

There are a couple of things that will make your life much, much easier if you are new to this uncommon pastime. After clarifying a number of the more opaque terms used in bending (such as CRS, DO and Driver Hand), the book addresses two key questions :

The answers to these are guaranteed to make your next visit to the hardware store a whole lot more fun.

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NB : For a complete list of everything we use and recommend, swing by the reviews area. And of course the Straight to the Bar Store. It's all in there.

To learn how to put it to work, swing by the Guides area.

Bending materials

Although any number of items are ready for the bending treatment (including wrenches and frying pans), perhaps the simplest (and cheapest) ones to start with are nails and bolts. There are also packages of bending stock available from companies such as Ironmind - think of these as particularly strong headless nails and bolts which are manufactured to high tolerances and ready for competition.

Jedd details the various types of nails, graded bolts and bending stock available. These come in a number of forms and are created for both common and specialist uses - you'll probably notice quite a difference between the larger chain and smaller 'mom and pop' stores. This chapter will help you get the most out of both.


Tom Black performing a Crushdown behind the neck
Tom Black performing a Crushdown behind the neck.
As with any area of strength training, understanding the preferred technique/s is vital. Not only will it assist you in lifting heavier weights (or, in this case, bending a stronger nail or bolt) and help you to minimise injuries; it will aid you in determining weaknesses and improving them accordingly.

For bending, there are two categories of techniques to be aware of. The first of these relates to the bending of the object itself (double overhand/underhand, braced/unbraced etc); the second refers to the act of wrapping (winding material about the ends of the nail/bolt in order to minimise injury to your hands).

This book extensively addresses each of these categories, leaving absolutely no uncertainty as to how to reshape an object.

Further chapters

74yo Sri Chinmoy wrist curling a staggering 270lb
74yo Sri Chinmoy wrist curling a staggering 270lb.
Once you have an idea of your starting point, further chapters discuss the conditioning of your hands, exercises that will greatly assist your bending skills (whether a beginner or professional strongman), injury prevention and numerous resources for purchasing the tools of the trade.

Everything you need to know in order to have some fun transforming otherwise ordinary nails and bolts.


All-in-all it's easily the most comprehensive manual on the subject I've ever seen. Whether you're just starting out or have been bending nails for years, this one is well worth getting. Superb.

Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 35) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

Find out what he's up to via Twitter, Google+, Facebook; and of course his online home. Enjoy.

Like this? Check out :

Why Bend Steel?.

Looking for a way to increase both strength and power? Great.

Unusual Goals Require Unusual Measures.

How do you train for something like that?

Progressions for Unbraced Short Steel Bending.Love bending and looking for progressive, injury-free training? Adam explains the sequence.
Kettlebell Training for Grip Strength.Looking to add a kettlebell to your grip-training arsenal? Here's how.
70 of the Best : 7 Years of Straight to the Bar.

This site - Straight to the Bar - has been around for an incredible 7 years (the first post was on Jan 17th, 2004), and to say I'm grateful is a gross understatement.

Thank you.

Jaw Lifting : What, Why and How.

How to do it the Right way.

Of course, if you enjoyed these, I'd highly recommend grabbing the Strength & Fitness Newsletter. Delivered weekly, and absolutely free.

(there's also a Daily Update, if you're looking for an even larger dose of training-related goodness.)

NB : If you'd like to write a guest post for Straight to the Bar, or if you'd like to join the team of Moderators here (I love hearing about everyone's training approaches) - get in touch. And if you've got a fitness competition or seminar coming up, add it to the calendar.

Look forward to hearing from you.

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