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7 vs. 8.8 - an important test

Last week I decided to make a test for myself:

Bend everyday a 8.8 bolt in doubles for a total amount of seven days!

There were mainly two reasons to start this test.

First one was that I was really pissed because of my last bending session where nothing goes. There are these days and in general it´s not a problem but on this day I was very angry. I warmed up as usual and tried a 8.8 bolt and there was literally no moving at all. Normally on a good day I can bend this one in under a minute and it´s part of my last warm up bend where I decide after that what to bend next. What pissed me off was not that the bend didn´t happen, this is part of the game, it was that the bending day was gone with a big fail and I have to wait several days for the next bending day. And that was the main reason to set up the test and after a succesfull one I would decide a major change in my bending training.

Here we come to the second reason:

I have a combat sports background since I was a child and here it´s absolute normal to train everyday the stuff that you love. There are no typical rest days or a whole week between sessions. It´s part of everyday and in a preperation even twice a day.

So it fucked me up that I had one or two bending days a week which I always had in mind and where I was looking for and then now or then there was a day where nothing goes. It´s of course very common to bend only one or two times a week, because it´s not easy to compensate for the whole body because it´s not a natural movement, hard to the skin and normally we go too hard on the sessions.

This was bad for me, not only for the training, but also for the mind. So I decided to test if I am able to bend this bolt which is an easy one on a good day, but also fucked me up in the last session, nearly everyday.

I had no idea if this was a good idea or if I was general able to do it as planned, but I had to try it!

These were the points I set for me for the test:

  • Everyday only the one bend

  • Bolt 8.8 JH 8mm x 7" (Black) (Cylinder Head) JH because JH and OF are the best and hardest quality on bolts in general. Cylinder Head because of style reasons.

  • In doubles (Iron Grip Wraps and own Leather). No Crush Pads. Last Crush with an IMP.

  • No special warm up. Just two or three iso hits to get everything in position

  • No chalk

  • Bend in the morning hours (usually between 8:30 and 11:00)

  • No food before the bend because of better focus for me

  • Note the time to see how dominant the bend was (goal was around one minute)

It was absolute succesfull. I could do every bend, felt great and learned a lot in this week. Was great to having no fails over the seven days.

The time details of the days were:

Day 1 - in 1:15 min - felt good Day 2 - in 1:00 min - felt better

Day 3 - in 0:48 min - best day

Day 4 - in 2:04 min - was hard and had to fight for it

Day 5 - in 0:51 min - felt good again with very nice hits

Day 6 - in 4:46 min - had to give everything to get it, hardest day

Day 7 - in 1:00 min - good again, the gold standard for me

Biggest learning for me was, that it doesn´t matter how I feel before the bend. For example after the fight in day 6 I had also a horrible night with less sleep and the feeling in the morning of day 7 was really not good. In the past I had passed the session and had wait for a better day, but in the test I had set it and I had to do the bend no matter what. In the end it was smooth and that was an absolute great feeling for the last day.

Also it was clear for me that I can nearly bend everyday and this was really important for my ongoing training journey. From now on there will be no special bending days in the week. Of course I won´t bend everyday, but i think to bend 4-5 times in the week should be perfect for me. The important factor is just to bend not to a maximum and try to bend something around 75% - 90% of the max. This is a hard task, because we can´t exactly know how much percentage the single bars or bolts are. and where our max is. It´s a complete other level to set this in a training journal than with standard weighttraining, but it´s ok, it hadn´t to be perfect.

Another thing is, that I don´t need all the preperation before the training bends. In the past I did a small overall warm up of the body in around 10 minutes, then I did two easy CRS 7mm IMP bends, then a CRS 8mm in doubles bend and then I was going for something harder. Without a question, this worked very well for the last couple years, but from now on I will switch it because it was very time consuming and not really good for the mind preperation and the focus before harder bends.

So it will look like this now: just 3-5 iso hits on a prebend 60° bar and a straight bar and then it´s already showtime for the mainbend! It worked perfect in the test and I will do it in the future for sure.

As double overhand is not a natural movement and not the healthiest one for the shoulders I always do two great movements after the bends: Gorilla Rows and Mace Swings (360°). This is a personal thing and I do it since years but I can really recommend it for bending.

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