More than a dozen years ago, IronMind began publicizing the feats of a guy who had an uncanny ability to squeeze, pinch and crush things—the guy was Richard Sorin, and among the things Richard pinched was what he called the Blob.
Back in the mid-1980s, Richard's equipment company was switching out the dumbbells in a YMCA and among the old stuff were some broken and bent cast York dumbbells. Richard, being a grip guy, took one look at the end of a York 100-pound dumbbell and realized that anyone who could pinch grip it was doing something special.
"This thing is just not going anywhere," Richard said the first time he tried to lift the Blob, and he estimated that it ended up taking him 200 attempts before he finally succeeded in hoisting it off the ground. Although best known as the first person certified as closing a No. 3 Captains of Crush® gripper, IronMind has always pointed out that Richard's pinch gripping power was at least the equal of his crushing power, and he would later put lifting the Blob at the top of the list of his feats of grip strength (see the January 1995 issue of MILO: A Journal For Serious Strength Athletes, Volume 2 - Number 4).
John Ottarski, a very capable arm wrestler, brought performances in the Blob up another level when he got so proficient that he had to tape additional weight to it, and in the June 1997 issue of MILO: A Journal For Serious Strength Athletes (Volume 5 - Number 1), we reported that he had succeeded in lifting a Blob with an additional ten pounds on it.
No doubt about it, anyone who wants to claim Blob supremacy these days is going to have to walk through the gym of Wade Gillingham, who toys with the Blob as if it were just a fraction of its actual weight. A few days ago, Wade hauled up a Blob with an additional 20 pounds on it, and weighed the total pile of iron at 71 pounds—a prodigious feat of pinch gripping power.
Wonder if Richard ever thought that broken York dumbbell otherwise headed for the scrap heap would end up playing such an important role in hand strength history?