APL Expands Armlifting

The IronMind Rolling Thunder—a universal test of grip strength that launched a sport called armlifting. IronMind® | ©Randall J. Strossen

It began with the IronMind Rolling Thunder, when IronMind was approached by a Russian colleague who wanted permission to launch a sport based on this well-known test of grip strength—IronMind said yes, and the sport of armlifting was born.

Other staples of the grip strength world were added: the double overhand deadlift on the Apollon’s Axle and the Captains of Crush (CoC) Silver Bullet Hold. Like the Rolling Thunder, these are well established tests of grip strength, widely available and with substantial performance records—nothing dodgy here about oddball implements that were scarcer than hens’ teeth and with little or no standardized performance history.

The sport grew, fed by a ready corp of arm wrestlers, with grip strength enthusiasts fanning the flames, although it was still overwhelmingly populated by Russian competitors.

Along the way, a Russian businessman, inspired by his success selling IronMind equipment, chose to make copycat products and then worked behind the scenes to replace the standardized armlifting events with things that featured his products.

“This man has no passion for grip,” a grip wag told IronMind. “He could just as easily be selling wigs to pygmies—it’s only about the money to him.”

These developments were not greeted with unqualified positive regard by the grip strength community and so the APL was formed to transcend these divisive forces, and continue the tradition of armlifting as a sport, rather than being a vehicle for someone’s business interests.

“This is about armlifting, not armlooting,” IronMind was told by someone close to the situation, “so we formed the APL, to advance the sport, and we have formed strategic alliances with multiple leaders and organizations that share our vision.

“The APL is for the sportsmen and sportswomen who want to prove themselves on the most prestigious tests of grip strength in the world. We have no interest in internet drama queens or people whose primary interest is feeding their business. We put our energy into building the sport and helping people progress within it.”


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