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Author: Brendan Downes

Brendan has been training now for several years out of Melbourne and has kindly turned his garage into a full blown armwrestling paradise with every training contraption under the sun for the benefit of the Melbourne Armbenders.
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Melbourne Equipment Review

Just a small sample of the training kit available to train on for Armwrestlers residing in the greater Melbourne area.



The first piece of equipment on the far left (see top photo) is a Thick Revolving Handle being sold on Ebay at the moment from a seller in Israel. They retail for around the $100 dollar mark. They come in 2 different styles with one being just a normal thick handle and the other being slightly offset. They are very smooth with no knurling and pin very well. This is the type of handle a Hook puller would cut his teeth on....great for working the wrist cupping movement and extremely taxing on the fingers as we all found out doing heavy static holds at our last training session.


Next in order (left to right) is a piece of equipment called an Orbigrip. It is a very solid well made object made by the grip master David Horne who lives in Stafford, England, and you can see it in action here .This is a great all round wrist strengthening tool as it will uncover any weakness in almost any angle that you have in your wrist. It pumps massive amounts of blood into the forearms so it is also a great recovery/prehab/rehab machine.





Moving on down the line we have the Heavy Handle Dumbell. This is a great dumbell to work off-set movements that are otherwise hard to mimic. You can load for example, 5 kg to the front arm and 8kg to the side arm and vice versa. The thick bar also works the open hand aspect which is obviously very beneficial to ArmWrestling. The only drawback is that I have been told they dont ship outside of the USA, so you need to arrange other ways to purchase it.



Last we have the Thick Handled leverage bar sold by the same company who make the Heavy Handle Dumbell. While I heavily endorse making your own equipment where possible, the sheer convenience of this thick bar sold me. Its so easy and quick to change eights and they are very secure and its got great knurling too. Rear levering is a real treat as the ring and pinky fingers get a blasting from the thick handle.

So there you have it, our first equipment review for the year, we hope you find some of it useful.

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An encounter with an Arm Wrestler

Arm Benders Victoria had its humble beginnings back in the middle of 2009, where its membership existed of 2 sole Arm Wrestlers who knew very little of the sport. We met, like we still do , every 2nd weekend and our primary internet exposure was limited to the Aussie strength forum. Not long after the birth of the club I received a PM on the strength forum by a person called Martins Lorencis expressing his interest in coming over and training. He mentioned he had experience in a few overseas comps etc and thought he could help us out with some guidance. Now all this was very exciting so I inquired of him what comps he had entered and he replied with a link to a series of photos he had stored online, so I clicked on the link....'Holy F87k' was my very first imprssion, here were pictures with this guy posing with the very greats of the sport! Voevoda, Brzenk, Bagent, Bath..they were all there. Needless to say all this got my mind racing so I invoked the mighty god of the internet lord Google to see what would come up of this guy, very little was his reply. So I decided to ask on Engin Terzi's forum as he knows a huge amount about Europeans pullers, and this is the reply that was finally given by Janis Amolins, himself an elite Arm Wrestler..

"Martins Lorencis is 3 times Latvian champion (2006, 2007, 2008) in 75kg class. Also has podium places from lot of international Europian tournaments such as Golden arm, Gladiator Nights, ArmWars, Riga Open... He is one of most talanted latvian light weight. If he will focuss one day on armwrestling trainings really hard, he could do great also in international level."

Engin Terzi

So probably for the very first time in Australian history, here was a very experienced  and high end European Arm Wrestler training in the suburbs of Melbourne!

The time came for training, it was winter, (so troubling for Goldcoast beach boys but rather refreshing for a kiwi boy) and 1pm rolled around and a white beaten up, seen better-days car pulls up my driveway and out jumps this thin smiling young man who introduces himself and this is how it all began. We probably had about 10 training sessions with Martins all up spread over 4-6 months and the biggest impression he left on me is the need for speed at the table and wrist strength! Martins was/is incredibly fast and his rotation strength and front wrist strength for a light guy is also very good. He was and probably still is, a person who is constantly changing/evolving, from the time we first met he went from being on an animal based diet, to a vegetarian to eventually becoming vegan. He also stopped smoking and gave up alcohol...so probably not a gout candidate!

All good things come to an end and we had to eventually say goodbye to the little maestro who went back to the UK and elsewhere for work and training. Since that time we have heard he was won the Latvian champs again in the 70kg class having to cut 3kg in a day to make weight! All in all, from an Arm Wrestlers point of view, besides the last Sydney meet up, meeting and Training with martins would have to be my highlight so far!

Brendan Downes

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Backpressure training

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