Want to take your workouts up a notch? Throw in a bit of short steel bending. Love it.
If you're ready to give nail bending a bit of a run, you'll be pleased to know there are only three things you need. You'll be bending within hours.
I ventured in to the world of short-steel bending fairly recently (2007), following a shoulder injury that ruled out my usual lifts for a while. This is the book (review) that got me started; detailing everything from wrapping techniques to the many types of bending available.
A couple of years later, I still refer to it regularly.
When it comes to unbraced short-steel bending, this is the perfect place to start. Brilliant.
At first I tried using a couple of chamois car cloths from a local auto accessories place. Once I got my hands on the real thing, however, my bending abilities seemed to shoot up instantly.
It's worth getting a decent pair of wraps. Here are a few of my favourite online sources :
Alternatively (or while you're waiting for your online purchases to arrive), try one of these :
Although a set of good leather wraps will instantly make a huge difference, these alternatives will still protect your hands during the bend.
Finally, nails. There are essentially two sources of nails, bolts, screws and other fun things to bend - hardware stores and online suppliers.
The local hardware store is usually fine for those just starting out; it's pretty easy to get your hands on a few 60D nails or similar (Imperial -> Metric conversion).
When it comes to more challenging supplies, online suppliers such as IronMind are the first port of call. Here are a few others to check out :
The Bending eBook above details a number of techniques for short-steel bending. In my case, I found the best strategy was to learn a particular technique, try it out for myself (usually starting out with a 60D), and then return to the book for a spot of fine-tuning. Rinse and repeat.
It also helped to watch a lot of bending in action, using the various techniques available. Here's just one of the many clips that came in handy at various stages :
There's actually quite a bit of info (both online and offline) available on short steel bending, including :
Bending is one of the few strength-related activities that I perform at least once a day (and usually several). Once you try it, you'll understand why.
Incidentally, if you’d like to discuss any of the stuff above, come and join us on the Straight to the Bar Community over on Google+. Absolutely free.