GNC Grip Gauntlet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
GNC Grip Gauntlet.jpg

The GNC Grip Gauntlet (officially the GNC Pro Performance Grip Gauntlet) is a strength athletics contest that tests the grip strength of competing individuals over three disciplines, each designed to test one of the three recognised facets of hand strength: crushing; pinching; and supporting. It was developed by Wade and Brad Gillingham and became an internationally recognised contest featured at some of the world's most prominent strength athletics events and expos, including the Arnold Strongman Classic and the various WSM Super Series Grand Prixs. The last time the GNC Grip Gauntlet was run in a competitive format was the 2010 Arnold Classic. Since that time the challenge has changed to an informal challenge with no official results maintained. Prizes are still awarded for successful completion of the challenge. A complete list of competition results can be found here.

History[edit]

In 2002 Wade and Brad Gillingham (GNC Pro Performance Sponsored Athletes) and General Nutrition Center (GNC) introduced The Blob Challenge in the GNC booth at the Mr. Olympia in Las Vegas, NV. The Blob Challenge was run in the GNC booth at 4 events from 2002 - 2003. Late in 2003 Wade and Brad Gillingham wanting to expand the challenge came up with the idea to test 3 main facets of grip strength: Crushing Strength, Pinching Strength, and Supporting Strength. Upon approval from GNC to expand the challenge Wade approached Randall Strossen from IronMind to get permission to use Captains of Crush grippers as part of the challenge. In conversation with Randall it was decided that Wade and Brad's original idea to use a Thomas Inch Dumbbell replica for the supporting grip challenge should be replaced with the IronMind Rolling Thunder. The GNC Pro Performance Grip Gauntlet debuted at the 2004 Arnold Expo Challenge. The three implements used were the No. 3 Captains of Crush gripper, the Rolling Thunder, and an implement called the Blob. Cash prizes were available for succeeding with all three elements of the challenge.[1] An estimated 20,000 competitors at Fitness Expos over a 7 year run from 2004-2010 tested their hands at the GNC Grip Gauntlet. A complete list of competition results can be found here.

As to the stature of the Gauntlet, Gillingham is quoted as saying in 2008: "If you think this challenge isn't world class, think again. Over the past four years, an estimated 10,000 attempts have been made to complete the three challenges on the GNC Grip Gauntlet stage and only two individuals have ever completed all three in the ‘heavy’ format."[2]

The Gauntlet eventually settled on three formats, Light, Medium and Heavy. In early 2009, the weight of the Rolling Thunder was dropped from 212 lbs to 207 lbs, to correspond with Ironmind's new version of the Rolling Thunder.[3] In 2010 due to changes in the Rolling Thunder and a change from Captain's of Crush grippers to the new GNC Pro Performance Hand Grippers, it was decided by Wade Gillingham that the historical integrity of the event was not longer sound enough to continue compiling a list of winners.

Disciplines[edit]

The disciplines of crushing, pinching and supporting are tested. Crushing, uses the IronMind Captains of Crush grippers. Supporting is tested using IronMind Rolling Thunder. Pinching (or pinch gripping) uses the Blob.

Implement Light Format Medium Format Heavy Format
Rolling Thunder 187 lbs 197 lbs 207 lbs
Blob 50 lbs 50 lbs 50 lbs
Crush Grippers #2 #2.5 #3

Rolling Thunder[edit]

Although often referred as a part of the GNC Grip Gauntlet, the Rolling Thunder's history goes back more than a decade before the Gauntlet first existed. IronMind developed the Rolling Thunder in 1993 and it is now known by strong men worldwide. One-hand deadlifts had long been a preferred means of testing and building grip strength and Rolling Thunder itself is a thick revolving deadlift handle to which can be attached weights. Such is the rise of its popularity that Rolling Thunder competitions are often held in conjunction with major strongman events including the Mohegun Sun Grand Prix 2008 and the Hawaii based Beauty and the Beast Strongman Contests. As part of the GNC Grip Gauntlet it is also seen around the world at expos. Early on in its history, in 1993, Ironmind issued a challenge to the world of strongmen to lift 300 lbs with Rolling Thunder, and it took 15 years for this challenge to be met when Mark Felix performed the feat at the Mohegan Sun Grand Prix 2008, in the process becoming Rolling Thunder World Champion. In May 2009 Felix defended his Mohegan Sun title, although this was not considered the world championships.[4] He defended the world title in June 2009 in Quebec as a lead-in event to the Fortissimus championships.

Mark Felix set a new Rolling Thunder world record on May 22, 2012 at the Bodypower Expo in Birmingham, England with a lift of 332 pounds (151 kg), more than 30 lbs. heavier than his previous world record of 301 pounds (137 kg).[5]


Men's World Record[edit]

Date Champion Weight Location
2012 (May 22) United Kingdom Mark Felix 332 lb England2012 Bodypower Expo, Birmingham[6]
2008 (January 18) United Kingdom Mark Felix 301 lb United States Mohegan Sun Grand Prix 2008Note 1 WCh
2006 (August 1) United Kingdom Laine Snook 274.2 lb EnglandPullum Sports, Luton[7]
2003 (June 16) Estonia Andrus Murumets 267 lb Canada IFSA All Strength Challenge, Winnipeg, Manitoba[8]
2003 (June) Sweden Magnus Samuelsson 262 lb United States IFSA/GNC Pro Performance Strongman Challenge, Palms Casino Resort Las Vegas
2001 (May 31) Czech Republic Jan Bartl 258.5 lbNote 2 United States 2001 Beauty and the Beast Strongman Contest[9] Honolulu, HawaiiNote 1 WCh
2000 (May) Czech Republic Jan Bartl 265.4 lb United States 2000 Beauty and the Beast Strongman Contest[9] Honolulu, HawaiiNote 1 WCh

Notes[edit]

  1. Considered a Rolling Thunder World Championship.
  2. The rules were changed after the first world record set by Bartl. Previously, they allowed a competitor to use a thumbless (false) grip. Because it was later felt that this was not in the spirit of the lift, since it allowed strong-wristed competitors to remove the grip element of the event by cocking their wrists, the following year the rule was changed, and thumbless grips are now no longer allowed.[10]

Men's World Championships[edit]

Date Champion Weight Location
2009 (June 26) United Kingdom Mark Felix[11] 123 kg (271 lb) Canada Fortissimus Montmagny, QuebecNote 1 WCh
2008 (January 18) United Kingdom Mark Felix 301 lb United States Mohegan Sun Grand Prix 2008Note 1 WCh
2001 (May 31) Czech Republic Jan Bartl 258.5 lbNote 2 United States 2001 Beauty and the Beast Strongman Contest[9] Honolulu, HawaiiNote 1 WCh
2000 (May) Czech Republic Jan Bartl 265.4 lb United States 2000 Beauty and the Beast Strongman Contest[9] Honolulu, HawaiiNote 1 WCh

Women's World Record[edit]

Date Champion Weight Location
2007 (April 7) Elizabeth Horne 144.4 lb/65.5 kg
2002 (July) Becca Swanson 135 lb

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ IronMind History
  2. ^ The two men to whom Gillingham was referring were former NFL linebacker and professional wrestler, Monte ‘Alpha Male’ Brown, and Wade Gillingham himself.
  3. ^ Wade Gillingham's Arnold Classic Recap
  4. ^ Mark Felix Wins Mohegan Sun Rolling_Thunder Championships II
  5. ^ http://www.ironmind.com/ironmind/opencms/Articles/2012/May/Mark_Felix_Demolishes_Rolling_Thunder_World_Record.html
  6. ^ http://www.ironmind.com/ironmind/opencms/Articles/2012/May/Mark_Felix_Demolishes_Rolling_Thunder_World_Record.html
  7. ^ Tuesday, August 1, 2006, Laine Snook Breaks Rolling Thunder World Record, by Randall J. Strossen, IronMind
  8. ^ Rolling Thunder: Andrus Murumets Sets a New World Record at the IFSA All Strength Challenge by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. - ©2008 IronMind[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ a b c d IronMind All About Grip Training, Hand Grippers, and Hand Strength
  10. ^ Magnus Samuelsson Breaks Rolling Thunder World Record by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2008 IronMind
  11. ^ Mark Felix Wins the 2009 IronMind Rolling Thunder World Championships