Straight to the Bar

All Things Strength


Review : Card Tearing eBook
Written By : Scott Bird

This is a fantastic book. If you’ve ever considered learning this incredible strength feat, the Card Tearing eBook is the perfect place to start. Love it.


Before taking a closer look at the eBook, a quick word on my own training. Although I’ve been lifting heavy stuff for years, I didn’t begin doing dedicated grip work until 2007. Since then I’ve hit a wealth of PRs, and grip work has been a firm favourite.

Despite this, I haven’t devoted any serious time to tearing; primarily as I didn’t know how, or where to begin. Jedd has bridged that gap brilliantly, and my own card tearing has improved in leaps and bounds in just a few weeks. I have every confidence that full decks won’t be all that far away – a great feeling.

Now, back to the book itself. There are 5 key sections which get you tearing within hours :


As with any aspect of gaining strength, there are several ways to do it. Jedd examines a number of techniques for tearing cards, covering everything from the initial hand positions to the movement of the tear. Several common and challenging techniques are clearly described, illustrated and demonstrated.

The book also outlines the various factors that will determine your preferred technique, including everything from hand size to the strength of your own wrists in a particular direction.

Making it easier, making it harder

Once the basic techniques are covered, Jedd explains the many ways of making the exercise easier or more challenging. These methods will enable you to bridge the gap between one type of deck and the next (and yes, there’s a big difference). They will also allow for progressions within your own training; more on that in a minute.

On the other hand, if your first torn deck is still in the future (very few people can tear a deck on their first attempt), these adjustments will bring that goal one step closer. In the meantime, of course, there are many variations on the ‘partial deck‘ theme.


This section of the book alone is well worth the investment. Jedd outlines a number of exercises that will not only radically improve your card-tearing; they will aid you in a number of areas of hand and forearm strength.

Fortunately, all of these make use of training tools probably already found in your garage or home gym. These include :

  • a kettlebell
  • length of chain or rope
  • sledgehammer
  • timber offcuts
  • and of course, plenty of duct tape.

NB : the general idea is to choose a couple of these exercises (the ones most relevant to your own needs), in addition to your regular routines. A tiny bit of grip work can go a long, long way.

Where to begin

If you think ‘all decks are pretty much the same‘, you’re not alone. However, there are actually several differences between one brand and the next. These range from the materials the cards are made from, to how slippery the surface is. These small variations add up.

In reality, there’s a natural progression from brand to brand. Working through this progression will make your life much, much easier.

Who to watch

After you’ve been tearing for a while, one of the best ways to improve your technique is to watch a master in action. Jedd lists some of the world’s greatest card-tearers, and the best place to watch videos of them in action. Superb.

Final thoughts on the Card Tearing eBook

I love this book. Not only does it go into great detail on the many aspects of technique and training, it’s an incredible resource. As with the Bending eBook, I refer to this one each time I look to refine a particular approach or test out a different style.

If you thought tearing up your junk mail was fun, wait until you read the Card Tearing eBook. Highly recommended.

Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



NB : if you love talking about strength-training as much as I do, you might also like to check out the weekly newsletter (there's also a daily version available). A regular dose of fitness-focussed discussions, absolutely free.


Leave a Reply

What's This?

Straight to the Bar is the online home of fitness enthusiast Scott Bird, and looks at the many training approaches, essential techniques, uncommon exercises and superb equipment to help you become as strong as humanly possible. In short, this site is the home of all things strength.

images of strength

'Napalm' Jedd Johnson.
Want to see (and learn) more Feats of Strength like this? Dive in.

Just Joined Us? Try These.

There are some incredible writers on the team here. To give you an idea, check these out :

If you enjoyed these, check out the complete ‘Best Of Straight to the Bar‘ list. Fantastic.

setting up a home gym?

If you’re getting ready to put together a solid Home Gym (fantastic thing), here’s how.

For more, swing by the full guide. Absolutely free.

And of course, you’ll find everything you need over in the SttB Strength Store. Massive range.

Ever Tried Kettlebells?

If you’ve seen people using them but never taken the plunge yourself, here are the ones I use personally. You can also pick up a book/DVD/course if you want to learn how to put them to work.

Ready To Learn Even More?

I love learning new skills, and the many seminars & workshops available are a great way to do that. If you’re looking for a specific type of workshop nearby, check out the ones on Dragon Door. Great mix of kettlebell and calisthenics-based offerings.

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program.

If you’re a fitness professional and love the Precision Nutrition approach, check out their certification offering. To say it’s comprehensive is an understatement.

Wherever You Are, We Are.

In addition to the main site, you can share your strength-training passion with a like-minded community on :

Wherever you like to hang out, get your regular dose of strength. Straight to the Bar.

Written By Scott Bird
Scott is a long-time fitness enthusiast (Jan 2004!), writer and photographer living in Sydney, Australia. If you share the passion for spending a bit of time under a bar, welcome. Love hearing how everyone else trains. You can connect via X (Formerly Twitter), Facebook and the various networks listed in the sidebar.
Drawing of Scott Andrew Bird performing a deadlift. Artwork by Vince Palko.