Devon ‘No Limits’ Larratt – A DebriefArticle by Jason Bishara
It’s been three weeks since arm wrestling icon Devon Larratt graced our shores with his presence. It was his second trip to Australia and he covered a lot of ground in this short visit. He was the head referee for a full day of arm wrestling at the Arnold classic in Melbourne, and then ran all over the country from Perth to Brisbane holding intense and lengthy seminars in which he was on the table non-stop.
To say the man has stamina is an understatement. He is the definition of stamina.
For those that managed to get to one of his seminars, you will undoubtedly have noticed there is a lot to think about when it comes to arm wrestling. Devon has managed to break down arm wrestling to a science that can at rare times border on the complexity of string theory.
For those didn’t get the chance to make it, here are some of the key take home notes:
1. More table time
Devon trains on the table 5 to 6 days a week. This makes up the core of his training. Also, he moves around to different clubs and trains with different people on two of those days. Constantly arm wrestling different people is a great way to build diversity on the table, and sometimes it takes someone whose style is completely different to yours or your regular teammates to highlight some of your weaknesses.
2. More volume
It’s not all about heavy weights. High repetitions (50 – 90 reps) are a great way to let the blood flow go where it needs to go, making recovery time faster, and all while building a good solid foundation for arm wrestling. Devon mentioned that high volume is particularly important to him at the beginning of his preparation for a tournament or a super match. As time progresses, he ups the weight a little bit and reduces his range of movement across all his training exercises.
3. Stick to the basics
It’s easy to get carried away in training. We know what it’s like, you just keep adding or adjusting exercises in the gym until eventually you find yourself doing something like this:
But really, arm wrestling strength generates from three primary movements: cupping, pronation, and rotation.
If you’re stronger than your opponent in all of these areas, you’re going to have a good time on the table.
4. The three rules of arm wrestling:
These are the guiding principles behind Devon's success as an arm wrestler, and although rule 2 is almost inevitable in any sport, it’s important to ensure that we be careful and avoid it as much as possible:
- Be strong
- Don’t get injured
- Never stop
In other good news, Devon had high praise for the development of the AAF. He said we’ve come a long way and all of us have improved a lot since his last visit. He also said we are leading the charge in our ranking system, and that other federations are looking to follow from our example. However, we are still behind a few levels in comparison to other countries.
This shouldn’t deter us though. Remember arm wrestling is still in its infancy in Australia, and given the head start that everyone else has had, our progress is tremendous.
And like Devon’s 3rd rule, we will never stop. We will only get stronger and stronger. Devon remains one of the great pioneers of arm wrestling. And on top of that, he is just an awesome dude. As a teacher he was patient, thoughtful, and showed as much humility as he did strength. We are all extremely grateful for yet another opportunity to learn from Devon, and like all good leaders, his impact remains well after he has gone.
Let’s make sure the next time he comes, we don’t disappoint.