All Articles & Reviews by
Jedd 'Napalm' Johnson

(34 posts in total - only latest ones shown)

Jedd 'Napalm' Johnson is a name synonymous with grip strength, and he has been training, sharing and competing with these skills for many, many years.

To acquire some serious grip strength yourself, head over to The Grip Authority and check out his superb ebooks and DVDs.

One of our favourites - Fixing Elbow Pain - takes a very thorough look at banishing elbow injuries completely. If you've ever experienced something like Tennis Elbow or Golfer's Elbow, you'll understand just how incredible that is. Fantastic.

Jedd blogs over at The Diesel Crew, and can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Swing by.

NB : Like to write a guest post for Straight to the Bar? I love hearing about how other people are training. And if you've got a strength-related competition or seminar coming up, add it to the calendar. And if you'd love to be on one of the weekly Gymchats - get in touch. Look forward to hearing from you.

Why Bending Steel Could Be the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Your Kettlebell Snatch or Deadlift

A great way to train.

The Afghan and ISAF Friendship Powerlifting Exhibition
The Afghan and ISAF Friendship Powerlifting Exhibition. Photo via ISAF Media.
Hi, my name is Jedd Johnson, and I bend steel with my hands.

Five Reasons to Start Bending Nails

Ready to begin your nail bending journey?

Crushing it
Crushing it
Why on Earth would you want to start bending nails? Jedd explains.

Three Technique Corrections for Tearing Your First Deck of Cards

Ready to get tearing?

What I want to do today is let everyone know that it does take some time to adapt to the card tearing learning curve, but you can make that learning curve much shorter by employing a few easy technical tweaks. By making these few technique improvements, tearing a deck of cards can be "within your grasp".

Diesel Steel Bending Basics

Ready to get started? Great.

There are many benefits to bending steel.

Hammering Strength into the Wrists Part II

More great ways to pump some serious strength into the wrists.

Rugby Tackle
Rugby Tackle.
Jedd discusses several extremely creative sledgehammer exercises. Excellent.

Hammering Strength into the Wrists

The importance of wrist strength, and a great way to get it - with a sledgehammer.

The importance of wrist strength, and a great way to get it - with a sledgehammer.

Pinch Grip Training - Hub Lifting Implements

Hub-Style Pinch Gripper
Hub-Style Pinch Gripper.
Jedd takes a great look at hub lifting for training the pinch grip, including instructions for building your own hub. Excellent.

Hub Lifting

How, When & Why.

Hub Lift
Hub Lift.
Jedd takes a detailed look at a great area of grip training - the Hub Lift. Good fun.

Shot Tossing for Dynamic Grip Strength

Time to get creative.

20-lb Shot Put
This is a particularly innovative style of dynamic grip training - Shot Tossing. Enjoy.

Choked Gripper Training

Work on your crush from a variety of depths.

A Choked Gripper
Heavy hand grippers are great for building crush strength. This article will show you how to use hose clamps to choke the gripper, enabling you to work on your crush from a variety of depths.

Kettlebell Training for Grip Strength

Looking to add a kettlebell to your grip-training arsenal? Here's how.

Pinch Grip Training & Athletic Carryover

Love a little blob-work.

How does Pinch Grip training carry over to athletic performance? Jedd Johnson explores.

Getting the Most Out of Your TTK

Dynamic thumb training with the Titan's Telegraph Key.

Thumb training is very important for a well rounded grip, and can be broken up into at least four different types: Dynamic, Static, and Extensor, and Multi-Planar. This article explores the training of each of these aspects using IronMind's Titan's Telegraph Key.

The Many Types of Blobs

Ready for a challenge?

A Blob is simply the head cut from a 100 pound cast iron dumbbell. Though as Jedd shows, it's a whole lot more than that. Superb.

Advanced Nail Wrapping

The Dark Ages of Wrapping.
When you bend nails with sheer power, you need to know how to wrap them correctly to reduce the chance of injury, and to get the most out of each bend. This article series will give you the information you need!

7 Reasons to Start Bending Nails

Time for the crushdown.

Crushing down a nail at a Grip Contest
Crushing down a nail at a Grip Contest
If you are looking for something to spice up your training routine, nail bending might just be the thing for you. Let's take a look at several of the benefits nail bending can bring you.

5 Surprising Factors That Drive Training Results

Has your workout been stale lately?

Has your workout been stale lately? Does it seem like forever since you set a new PR (personal record)? Have you turned your training regimen inside and out to get it jump-started and still can't get the results you want? Many athletes feel that the quality of their workout is most dependent on the factors they see while doing their lifting and conditioning: proper warm-up, flexibility, and atmosphere like heat in the gym and the music playing. Sometimes it's not so simple. Sometimes we need to take a good hard look at our entire lifestyle to find what is holding our progress back. Here are several factors that I have found to have a big impact on how well my workouts go.

Last Two Finger Training - A Key to Success with Hand Grippers

The Grip Master's Manual
The Grip Master's Manual.
In The Grip Master's Manual, a book I think anyone interested in grip strength should read, John Brookfield mentions that one of the secrets to closing heavy grippers, especially the IronMind Captains of Crush grippers, is strength in the last two fingers, or the ring and pinky fingers. He says that strength in these two fingers is what finishes off the close when making a big attempt. I fully agree.

Grip Chronicles

Ready to start building your grip strength?

The emails are pouring in. It seems everyone is getting excited about building their grip strength these days - and why not? It's fun and it makes sense. The stronger your hands get, the stronger the rest of your lifts will get.

Grip Training on a Limited Budget - Softball Implement

Get an incredible grip without spending a fortune.

Softball with Tape
Softball with Tape.
There is some outstanding equipment out there to help you build your hand strength to inhuman levels. However, sometimes price tags can intimidate athletes who are just discovering the importance of specialized Grip training.

Grip Training - Lifting the Inch Replica Dumbbell V - Reducing Rotation

Fight it or Ride it down.

In the last part of this series, we looked at the pull path of the various implements we can use to mimic the Inch Dumbbell and ways to modify those pull paths for the most benefit towards increasing our thick bar strength.

Grip Training - Lifting the Inch Replica Dumbbell IV

Adjusting the distance.

Inch replica starting position
Inch replica starting position.
In the last article on Lifting the Inch Dumbbell, I looked at varying the percentage of 1-rep maximum, and the speed of the repetitions we executed. This variety will keep your grip workouts interesting, and keep the increases in strength coming.

Grip Training - Lifting the Inch Replica Dumbbell III


Now that we have an understanding of some of the quality implements out there that we can use to train to lift the Inch Replica Dumbbell, we need to think about how we can use them to make sure we get the most out of them in our time training with them. The following tactics can be used for a thick loadable dumbbell or a Rolling Thunder Revolving Deadlift Handle.

Grip Training - Lifting the Inch Replica Dumbbell II

Preparing to lift this strange beast.

In part one of this series, I introduced you to the Inch Replica Dumbbell, a 172-pound cast iron dumbbell with a 2.38-inch diameter handle that literally tries to rip your fingers out of their sockets when you try to pick it up. These Inch Dumbbells are lurking around the countryside, so you must begin preparing now so that when you are confronted with the challenge of lifting the Inch, you will be ready. Here are some of the ways I have prepared to lift the Inch in the past.

Grip Training - Lifting the Inch Replica Dumbbell

An introduction to this wonderful piece of equipment.

Inch Replica Dumbbell
Inch Replica Dumbbell.
The Inch Dumbbell is named after the inventor of the implement, an old-time performing strongman named Thomas Inch, from Scarborough England. He would travel about the country challenging bystanders to lift the globe dumbbell, offering prize money to anyone who could do so.

Backyard Bastard Bash 2007

Great competition.

Again this year, John Beatty out-did himself with the 2007 Backyard Bastard Bash Grip contest. John is the owner of Fat Bastard Barbell Company, and puts the contest on every year. John's facility is awesome for a Grip contest. Here's...

The Gripper Hierarchy

Where do my grippers lie?

Captains of Crush
Captains of Crush.
Have you wondered: What is the hardest gripper? Where do my grippers lie? What grippers can I get to bridge the gap between what I am closing now and my goal gripper?

Straight to the Grip Contest

When it comes to grip training, Jedd Johnson's a goldmine of information. Over on the Diesel Crew site they've just wrapped up his excellent Straight to the Grip Contest series into a single PDF document [392kb, .pdf].

Straight to the Grip Contest VI - Specialization with Grippers

We have covered the gamut of established set techniques for grippers that are currently used in certification systems and in grip contests. Now we need to talk about how to prepare for these certs and contests.

Straight to the Grip Contest Part V - The No-sets

What do you do when you're not allowed to pre-close the gripper?

No-Set Close
No-Set Close.
Up until now, we have covered the gripper setting techniques that are most widely known in Grip Sports. While these sets, allow for the athlete to pre-position the gripper before making the attempt to close the handles together, there are some other techniques that are practiced in which a pre-closing of the gripper is not permitted. These methods are called "no-sets".

Straight to the Grip Contest Part IV - Current IronMind Set

Say hello to the 'Credit Card Set'.

New IronMind Set
New IronMind Set.
In case you haven't seen my previous instalments in this series, let's recap. The one-inch-set rule eventually became a problem for both the Gripboard and IronMind itself. Like we covered last time, not everyone's definition of one-inch matched. With that, the Gripboard decided to change the legal set depth to parallel, leading to the current definition of the Mash Monster set. However, the inconsistency in setting the gripper for IronMind's certification also is what spawned what is referred to as the Credit Card set.

Straight to the Grip Contest Part III

Variance between grippers.

I certified as an IronMind Captain of Crush on the #3 Gripper at the end of 2003. In 2004, the IronMind certification was still the only one that existed. In order to get your name 'up in lights,' you had to do so through the IronMind certification. Click to go to IronMind's Captains of Crush Certification page. To this day, IronMind remains the gold standard in Grip Strength equipment.

Straight to the Grip Contest: Pt II

The grippers themselves.

Old IronMind Set
Old IronMind Set.
Thank you all for your interest in this series. Again, the idea behind this series is to give you information that will help you get ready for the next Grip Strength Contest in your area. Since Grippers are usually the first event in a Grip Contest, I am starting off with information on Grippers with this segment.

Straight to the Grip Contest

Grip Assault
Grip Assault.
Right now, Grip is still in the infancy of the sport, but I think with more information it will some day blow up, just as Strongman has done over the last few years.

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