Anvil or Hammer


Tie one on

Posted in Grip by Mike on October 10, 2007

I bent 5 timber ties this evening, just something to get the bending started right. I videoed a bit of it. The one I posted up is the last one. I make a lame little attempt at a double overhand before quitting and just doing it the way I always do it. Should my biceps feel a huge strain when I try double overhand?

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7 Responses to 'Tie one on'

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  1. Chris Rice said,

    Ugh – you could use some technique work on your double overhand. Head over to the GripBoard and watch some videos etc, read the e-books. You are pushing your elbows down sort of like you are flapping your wings and they should be going more forward starting with your shoulders – hard to explain in words but that may be part of your biceps issue. The bicep pain is how I know I’ve reverted back to my old “improper” bending style. I’m not a very good bender so I’d learn from someone else. Brendon Dywer will be at Gripmas and he has excellent technique and I’m sure will be happy to work with you.

  2. Mike said,

    Yeah, I have never been able to get it. I’ve watched videos, I have Eric’s eBook. Bending has always been weak for me. I never double overhand bend, I was just trying for demonstration purpose. I’ll try to play with it over the coming weeks. I’ve never really been in love with the folding method.

    It’s all kinda like the phonebook thing. I’ve seen it on video, I’ve seen it in person but there is some terribly important link that I am just not getting.

  3. Scott Styles said,

    The road to the red will be much longer for you with double underhand.

    The key for me was understanding that most of the force comes from pushing into the ends of the nail with the pad of flesh on my thumbs, using the strength from my back and chest. Hand strength plays a relatively minor role.

    Initial positioning of the nail in the hands along with good pads make a big difference in getting this to work. The palms are almost facing each other, and the nail is kept very close to the body. Look at these two videos for examples:


    I found Eric’s ebook to be pretty good instruction.

  4. Mike said,

    Thanks Scott,
    I’ll watch the vids tonight. I just want to check, you said:
    “most of the force comes from pushing into the ends of the nail with the pad of flesh on my thumbs”
    Is that right? The pads of the thumbs? I must be way off.

    It’s weird, I swear when I started on gripboard a few years bad, folding was frowned upon,like phonebook popping. I have been checking them out a bit recently and it seems to be the standard now. Times change I guess.
    Thanks again for the links, I will check them out.

  5. Scott Styles said,

    Yep, the pads of the thumbs. Obviously your pads need to be wrapped tight and strong enough to prevent the bar from going through them. That’s why you’ll see the big benders using leather, though IM pads should be ok with a timber tie.

    They style you use depends on what your goal is. A lot of the purists stopped participating as much when “cheating folders” started bending way harder pieces of steel. The other big trick you’ll see is guys double or even triple wrapping the nail, forming a wrap so hard it effectively extends the length of the steel. It is well within the cert rules for FBBC, but would not work for the Ironmind cert, which has to be done with their pads. I’m less fond of that approach, but I don’t have the experience needed bending the big steel for my opinion to have any real weight.

    My shoulder prevents prolonged practice with the double overhand form. I have heard several guys say that moving beyond the red nail caused them to start experiencing shoulder problems with the double overhand style. It is probably worthwhile to take your time breaking into the form.

  6. Mike said,

    I watched some vids and did some practice.
    By thumb pad you mean the heal, right? Not the pad at the end of the finger.
    I got a couple to go. Strong but really slow. The “groove” does seem really important. Sometimes I find it and it all connects, most of the time I’m a wet noodle.

  7. Scott Styles said,

    Yes, by thumb pad I mean the muscle in the palm below the knuckle where the thumb meets the hand.


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