I’ve always thought I’d make a terrific addict at something, but my vices have always remained…mere vices.
But hold everything! Maybe it’s not too late!
On and off, I’ve mentioned the strange and wonderful hobby of bending steel. Jordan Vezina wrote a big fat guest post about this very thing. This week I took a step I’ve been thinking about for a long time and bought the Ironmind Bag Of Nails. Then I took some out and started trying to bend them.
I’m a sick man, a junkie, already addicted to bending nails.
Now, before you start laughing, crying, rolling your eyes, or unsubscribing to the RSS feed and Newsletter, hear me out. Hear me out, yo. There’s a reason I don’t say yo.
Bending is fun. No, it really is
People smarter, cooler, and handsomer than myself have said that not every workout can be fun. Not every workout can be extraordinary. You can’t always be hitting personal bests and you won’t always want to be pushing yourself.
I humbly submit those statement to be true for me–except for bending.
I’m only a few days into this strange trip, but I can’t imagine a day when I won’t want to get up and bend something in half. Does that sound strange to you? It sounds strange to me. Oh well. As Kurt Vonnegut might say, “so it goes.”
How to do it
About a year ago I bought Jedd Johnson’s Bending E-book. I was planning on getting started right away, but some things intervened, other goals formed…it didn’t happen. But I kept reading the book. I started doing the pre-conditioning routine so that when I finally bought those nails I’d be ready to start bending.
Now, I”m sure plenty of you have no idea what I’m talking about. This video below will serve as a brief introduction to this wonderful activity my good friend Adam Glass occasionally refers to as “Dumb and Dangerous.” (And Fun!)
See? Wasn’t that just exquisite?
You can see the effort it takes to do even the smaller nails. But hopefully you can also see how much I love to do it. And I’m not the only one. It is the evangelizing of Jedd, Adam, Jordan, and tons of people at Dragondoor who first peaked my interest. They talk about bending just as passionately as some people talk about donuts or alcohol or their sinister urges.
But what are the benefits?
One thing was immediately apparent even on the easy white nail: bending takes an amount of sustained effort that is not like anything else. The closest thing I could compare it to (that I’ve done, anyway) is a slow, heavy deadlift.
Your body has to be completely linked up from your feet grabbing the ground to your glutes squeezing the life out of you to your abdomen being pressurized to the white-knuckle pressure your hands have to putting out.
Isn’t this exciting!
Stop reading right now and tense up every single cell in your body. Clinch everything that can be clinched and now hold it for 30 seconds. That’s what bending that yellow nail felt like. Meaning it felt good, of course.
Like the one-legged squat and the one-armed pushup, bending will teach you tension. Tension equals strength and strength equals tension.
It’s a difficult thing to do. Most things that are difficult are good for you in some way. I am now looking forward to decades of destruction and I know that it will build my body, mind, and willpower every single time.
And it’s fun! It really is! It hurts and it’s exhausting but…are you still listening?
Good! I’d love some company. The only thing I’d say is to make sure you do it right. You don’t want to get injured because you prepared inadequately or because or went too far, too fast. If I’ve sold you on the joys of bending a piece of metal until your face turns purple, pick up Jedd’s book and you’ll be well on your way.
If you’re interested in bending, or if you are a bender already and can add to the discussion in the comments section, please do it! Let’s go!
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