My Favorite Unusual Workout And a Contest For Readers (ladies too!)

I’ve got a contest, a challenge, and a prize for anyone with some guts and as little sense as I do.

Boredom Can Be Sinister

Behind the scattershot nature of the varied topics I dicuss here on World’s Strongest Librarian is the fear of getting bored.  Too many people think that boredom is just one of the costs of living.  I say no!  Reject that and engage with your life, your training, your job, whatever, just engage!  This is slightly at odds with pieces I’ve wrote about focus being essential for reaching your physical goals.

Boredom is one of the reasons people jump from program to program without making real progress.  But not everyone is going to toil away with that sort of concentration and diligence.  They’re just not.  This doesn’t mean we should abandon them.  They just need a kick in the pants and some good times.

So for the sake of keeping you enthusiastic with your training, I’m going to recommend a workout I’ve come to love more than anything when I need variety.  This workout is only “unusual” in that you won’t see them in a gym.  I do not waver from the goals I set, but tossing in some fun now and then does not hinder me, provided that I don’t backslide on my long-term progress.

Tearing Cards

In the early days of my blog, I wrote a piece called How And Why To Tear Cards.  I was very new to card tearing at the time and mentioned what an exhaustive (and fun) feat it is.  That has not changed.  What has changed is that I love to tear cards even more now than I did before.  The reason?  I’m getting better and stronger at it.  I’m too the point where I need to find ways to make my tearing more difficult, not less.  Reading this book led me to study the odd history of grip training itself.

Here’s my entire pitch: tearing cards–and feats of strength in general–is fun.  Really fun!  It is a way to be stronger than you look.  If you see a guy with broad shoulders, you might assume that he’s strong.  But you won’t look at his hands and say “Hmmm….I wonder if he could tear cards or phonebooks?  His hands certainly look strong enough.”

Provided you don’t walk into a bar, pull out a deck, and yell, “Who wants to see how awesome I am because I spend all my time tearing cards?” it’s also a fun, benign way to show off occasionally.

Jedd Johnson, American grip champion, wrote this book on card tearing which is how I learned and how I continue to progress.  It is how I would recommend learning.  And you need to learn how to do it so we can talk about how super-heroic you feel after you tear that first deck!  I feel a little silly saying it, but have I mentioned that tearing things in half is really fun and a great way to spend your time!

The Contest

Next week I will be unveiling the rules for submitting and voting.  For now, here’s what you need to know:

  • After getting the card book, study and start practicing your tearing
  • When you are ready, film your best tearing efforts.  If you can’t tear a deck, film your best, most creative attempt.  Everyone will get to participate
  • The winner for the men will be the man who tears the most decks in 90 seconds
  • The winner for women will be she who either tears a complete deck, or she who tears the highest number of cards
  • There will be three winners: One man, one woman, and one winner for creativity which will be chosen by voters.  Remember, attempts count as well

For now, get that book and start practicing!  There’s no reason you won’t be able to tear a deck a couple of months from now, even if you’re starting cold.   It could happen much sooner than that.  It did for me.

I am so excited for this!  It’s going to be a blast!  If you have questions, please ask them in the comments section or send me an email through the contact form.


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