Straight to the Bar

All Things Strength


Three Technique Corrections for Tearing Your First Deck of Cards
Filed In : Articles

071119 cards


Hello. My name is Jedd Johnson. I compete in grip strength competitions and enjoy performing feats of strength.

One of the misconceptions about feats of strength is the level of strength needed for these feats.

While it is true that feats of strength do require strength in order to complete them, there is also a great deal of technique that is involved as well.

There are many people out there who have tried tearing cards only to give up thinking they weren’t strong enough just because they could not do it the first time they tried it.
Because feats of strength like card tearing are so beneficial for building strength, getting mentally strong, having fun, and being healthier, it is a shame to have people lose interest after failing the first time.

I failed the first time I tried to tear a deck of cards. In fact, it took me many days of trying before I was ever able to finish off a deck. I talk about this in my Card Tearing eBook.
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“. Sorry for the bad pun…here are the technique tweaks.

Tweak #1 – Squeeze tight with the fingers

The number one thing that makes it difficult to tear a deck of cards is the outside cards splitting. Once they split it becomes even harder to tear the deck. To prevent this, squeeze as tight as you can with the fingers over the edge of the cards. This keeps the cards pressed together and formed in one unit. This way the outside cards you are gripping won’t end up sliding around, and the split on the side of the deck will break all the way through allowing you to attack the deck’s weakness.

Tweak #2 – Squeeze your thumb

Many people fail to realize the importance of the thumb in tearing a deck of cards and barely engage it. The thumb can be used to secure the deck of cards in your hands by pressing hard against the side of the deck. The thumb can also be used to wrap over a fingertip or two to increase your crimp grip power on the outside cards.

Tweak #3 – Engage the upper body

You don’t tear a deck of cards with just your hands and wrists. You tear a deck of cards with your whole upper body. Make sure when you go for a tear that you tighten all the muscles in your core, upper back, chest, shoulders, and arms. The combined firing of all this musculature will create what I call Radiant Tension. Essentially, you are squeezing the deck with the hands and the tension begins to travel from the hands up into the arms and into the body. When you engage the torso musculature first, this creates a complementary effect that will travel down to the hands and make your grip stronger.

These 3 little tweaks will make a huge difference the next time you try to tear a deck of cards. Print this article and take it with you the next time you pick up a deck of cards and try tearing it. Most people do not normally do these things, and they may be just what you need to be tearing your first deck of cards.
There is one more tweak that will make a huge difference in your card tearing. I cover it in my Card Tearing eBook. This is the most important part of Card Tearing Technique that most people have no idea about and once you get my eBook and employ this tweak, you will be tearing entire decks of cards in no time.
This is where you can get my Card Tearing eBook and start tearing decks of cards in no time =>

Remember, while all Feats of Strength are easier if you are stronger, technique is something you can’t ignore either, and I will show you multiple techniques you can use to start busting through decks of cards in no time.

All the best in your training and good luck with your card tearing.

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.

'Napalm' Jedd 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, check out his superb ebooks and DVDs. One of our favourites - The 'CRUSH' DVD - takes an incredibly thorough look at the world of Gripper Training. Fantastic. You'll also find him on Facebook and Twitter, and of course the Diesel Crew site. Swing by.
Drawing of Scott Andrew Bird performing a deadlift. Artwork by Vince Palko.