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Animal Aid Christmas Fayre 2011

 Intro...

 Vulcan Gripper Challenge...

 Vulcan gripper challenge sponsors...

 The Challenge...

 Push-up contest...

 Sponsors...

 Women's contest...

  Men's contest...

 Winners...

 Finally...

Intro


Coach Gary mans the stall

This year Coach Gary wasn't snowed in so he made it along to the fayre, even though he had to take a train, bus, train, change trains etc...he was determined to get there! We were again upstairs so we had a little bit of room, downstairs was ram-packed with people all buying their Christmas goodies.

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 Vulcan gripper Challenge

Vulcan gripper
The Vulcan gripper

As we had some rumblings from the larger, stronger people we decided to include a new mini-contest that could be done on the stall.  The Vulcan gripper is the gripper that is used as part of the Worlds strongest hands contest (a worldwide grip contest). This wasn't designed to be an easy challenge as even on the lightest settings a person would have to have a very good grip to close this beast of a gripper!  The contest started out with the idea that the  top 3 males & females would get a prize (the three who closed it at the hardest setting), but we soon found we had to change the criteria as grip isn't the priority it should be within the vegan community...something we'll have to change I think!  Quite soon after the start we had to change the rules so any male who got a 3 (as scored by the World's Strongest hands criteria) & any female who closed it with the spring moved to the lowest possible setting got a prize as very few where getting it closed at all!  Any person closing the gripper at one setting got to try their luck at the next level.

 The sponsors of this event were:


Nature's Whey (yes they are a vegan product the company name is a word play)

&

Good hemp nutrition

Everyone closing the gripper got a sachet of their product

 The Challenge

Oak
Oak the first to give it a try

Oak (the Scots Beast) is guy who has been involved in the vegan strength scene for a long while.  Although he has recently taken a sabbatical from training, I'm sure he'll be back, hard at it, before too long!  Oak managed to work up to a score of 6 (as scored using the same system as the World's strongest Hands), which is well above average...but (sorry Oak) well below what he'd had managed a while ago as he's neglected his training.


The first lady of the day gives it a go

The ladies had a much harder job using the grippers.  I'm not sure why vegan females haven't considered their grip before, but I suspect we'll see some better results the next time we do this but they began to have problems right from the start

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In this case she's got the gripper round the wrong way,
it's easier the other way around (I blame Gary!)

So, woman after woman tried would they conquer the gripper by the end of the day?

It wasn't only the ladies who had troubles though.  A lot of guys, even strong guys just hadn't thought about grip as being important, but let's face it, if you are hanging off that cliff what is the one thing you definitely want strong?  That's right your grip!  In most real world lifts it is actually the grip that fails in many cases & for those who lift weights grip can be the limiting factor in how much they can hold, so grip is a vital asset that everyone should develop.

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I suspect that some people simply lacked the necessary technique to get it closed. The guy above has his thumb folded over & not pushed forward which would make the squeeze very tough, you should aim to get your thumb to 'grip' the first finger as you squeeze.  Keeping the thumb pad solid like a base & squeezing with the fingers is one 'secret' to getting a good squeeze.

As the day wore on we began to realise that this was a VERY tough challenge for the ladies.  I had got my partner to squeeze it, but maybe I should have field tested it a little bit more than on one female?

So far we only had Oak closing the gripper & he was an lifter of several years would anyone else even get the Vulcan to shut?

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At least one lady was VERY determined to close it...

very, VERY determined...

...more determined than me :-)...

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...some guys got awfully close, but the last squeeze eluded them (the last bit of a gripper is closed using more of the ring & pinkie than the rest of the squeeze, therefore if you have weak ring & pinkie you won't be able to shut a gripper just get it close).

Back for MORE...!

Our very own Maz may have arthritis, separated shoulders, M.E. & host of other ailments too numerous to mention, but he still has a decent grip as he closes the gripper for all to see (yes he hurt his shoulder holding it up like that, but he was excited!)

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Many tried...

Some got close...

even using chalk to help the grip it wouldn't quite close!

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Some came back for more again & again! (gluttons for punishment!)

Two hands are cheating :-)...

Can this guy do it while reading?!?

Nope...but he got very close to closing it!

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Maz is still pleased he can close it :-)

Back again for another go...close!  But not closed :-(

Is that a sort of shocked smile?

Her friend is forced to have a go (that'll teach them for laughing!).  STILL no women have closed it & only Oak & Maz for the men

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Even Elaine from the APA can't muscle up the power to get it closed! COME ON LADIES!!!!!

So here comes the Muscular powerhouse that is Arti to show everyone how it's done :-)

go on then, show us....

Well technically she did get it closed, but technically it's also called cheating :-) (two hands AND pushing it down on the table!)...I'm sure she'd claim that she is actually SO STRONG that to do it properly would break those flimsy grippers :-)

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It was starting to look like no one else would be able to close the gripper today!

even giving it all they got!

COME ON SQUEEZE! (notice the guy in the right, he's thinking..."Hmm, can I do that?")

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I don't think Kyle has come to our stall before, but he ambled over & CRUNCH he'd massacred the Vulcan on the 3 setting

Maz moves in close to confirm that Kyle mashed the Vulcan on the number 6 setting!

Could he get a number 9 setting.  That is pretty impressive for a guy who hasn't touched a gripper before...Not the first time, but VERY close...

Second attempt...OH YES!  Kyle mashes it!

Can he get the 12 setting...I think the last rep took it out of him, maybe fresh he'd have got it?

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after seeing the excitement we have several others give it a go, but they were surprised by how hard it was.

Not quite shut, but close enough that Maz needs to peep in to see if it touches.

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I did notice that the ladies tended to try harder than the guys in many cases

Is she saying "I'm going to do it punk!"?

Getting close!

Giving it 100%...so close!

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Looking slightly stunned about how hard this is!

Very near!

Coach Gary doesn't have any grippers at home so he took a few goes to get the hang of using them, but in the end he managed to crush a number 3 setting (don't worry Maz was doubly careful that Gary got those handles together!), see proof later.

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Seeing Gary toil convinced some others to have a go.

Another very near miss.  It is just the finishing that many people were failing at.

You can use two hands to set up.

but only one hand to do the squeeze.

Again close but the ring/pinkies need to be worked a bit more just so they can help finish it off!

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One lady gives it a valiant try while Matt appears (on the right)

I made the mistake of saying "Squeeze!" to Matt so he squeezed his abs instead of the gripper!

I think Matt should be used in anatomy lessons as all the muscles are there to see!

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Just when we thought we'd seen our final close of the day along comes Laurence who mashed the number 3 setting with ease.  Look he's even smiling!

Crushes the number 6 setting... no smile this time :-) ..but a very close fail to close the number 9

a guys tries the number 9 setting (I'm not sure it moved at all!)

If he hadn't wasted all that energy on the number 9 setting would he have closed the number 3?  He was close!

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Another close result, but no cigar (ok 'cigars' metaphorically, "close but no protein", but that doesn't sound right?) 

Back for another go at the number 9 setting...

SO CLOSE!!!

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Good attempt, but not quite shut!

Can this hand close the gripper?  Not quite :-(

If you can't do it yourself, get a friend!  Close, but still needs some work to finish it off.

Aniel, the man from Brighton, pops in to shock everyone by mashing the number 3 setting!

And just to prove it mashes it again!

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Good effort, but those handles have to touch (I'd hold it nearer the end next time you increase your leverage)

Two hand cheating!  You can't take your eyes off these vegan ladies for even a second! :-)

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Getting close

But not quite closed :-(

Smiling WAY too much to close it I reckon :-)

See!  You need a decent growly face to close grippers :-)

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Smiling again, that's the problem, vegans are just too damn chirpy!

He did get closer, but I missed the closest point (he'd have got it without the smile, that's my theory anyway :-)

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the hat upset his equilibrium simple as that :-)

The hat AND smiling.  A recipe for disaster!

ANOTHER smiling hat wearer, although she did get close, imagine how strong she'd be without the hat!

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People who wear Hunt sabs gear have strong grips...surely she can....NEARLY! Again just that end few mm to finish it off eluded her (see close-up a little bit later)

Veggies they are well known for their tea making abilities, but what about their squeezing..nope..maybe Patrick would have got it closed?

It's like Hunt Sabs Vs veggies!

very close to getting those handles together!

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Note the bent thumb , the hand position makes it very, very tough to finish the movement.

I think this was the point Coach Gary finally closed the gripper, note the REALLY bad finger positioning.  You can tell he's not experienced with grippers, he has basically completed the crush using only the first two fingers!  Notice the third finger is squashed up & the pinkie isn't really doing anything.  Also note the thumb is way off above the first finger.  He needs some work (don't worry I'll lend him a gripper next time he visits & we'll retest him at the next event we go to :-).

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This guy really worked on closing the gripper.

At first the form eluded him, he got it nearly there

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 While he rested up his friend got it shut!

Maz just needed to confirm that it definitely closed - it did!

Nearly, but not there :-(

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Not there :-(

DONE! :-)

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This guy just ambled up squeezed it shut if I remember rightly

He couldn't manage the number 6 setting on the Vulcan though

The secret society of vegans didn't get it shut :-(

& finally a mystery man pottered over & closed it with ease (OK I was rushed & cut the head off...nobodies perfect!)

So we ended with several males getting at least to the number 3 setting on the Vulcan gripper & one guy making a number 9 squeeze (well done Kyle), but the women have a bit of work to do to catch up as they failed to even close it at the lowest setting possible!  I expect you vegan ladies to work really hard & next year I want at least 1 woman squeezing a number 3, come on; if Maz & Gary can do it, you know you can!

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 Push-up contest

This year was the first year we tried out the ladies having the option to do full push-ups as well as on the knees.  To be honest I do have a goal with this, I want to slowly transition the ladies to doing full push-ups as well as the men as I believe that unless you have a medical condition then you should be able to do full push-ups whatever your gender.

The other big news was that the reining male champion, who has won the last few years was not attending the event so their will be a new champion, so the race was on for the crown!

The other excitement was that for the first time the reining female champion from the West Midlands contest earlier in the year was at the London show, she wasn't on best form having done a marathon the day before, but even so the contest was on.

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 Sponsors

Before we get to the event let's just remember that we wouldn't have any prizes if it was for the sponsors  who generously give us our prizes for the day.

The main sponsors of our event are:

Hemp Natural
Good Hemp Nutrition  protein powder is grown & produced in the UK

v-pure

 

 

V-pure Algae-based DHA/EPA pill

Vitashine vitamin D
Vitashine vitamin D3 spray (yes it's vegan!).


opti3
Opti3 - vegan DHA/EPA pill.

Natures Whey
Natures Whey Ultimate All-in-one protein (the name is word-play, it is a fully VEGAN product) Ignite Ultra V.

Viridian Vitamins
Viridian vitamins sells great supplements

Pro-10
Pro-10-This link leads you all their vegan bodybuilding & sport products

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As well as our main sponsors we also did our usual job of collecting prizes for the event from stalls around the event, as usual the stall holders did us proud (in no particular order):

Animal Aid (campaigning against all forms of animal abuse)

Vegetarian Shoes (shoes & accessories)

Earth Pure (cosmetics, gifts & other earth-friendly products)

Bourgeois Bohéme (clothing, shoes & accessories)

Hipo hyfryd (confectionaries)

Honesty (cosmetics)

Plamil (chocolate, soya milk, mayo & many other foods)

Viva! (campaigning against animal abuse everywhere)

Hempish  (everything hemp)

Vegan Society (the boss of vegans - only joking - get info about veganism why vegan & other vegan stuff :-)

Athene skincare (organic, vegan skincare range)

Vegan Store (get everything vegan delivered to your door)

If you need any of the things above then please try & support the companies above they are not only supporting our event, but are helping the vegan movement to grow, so showing them your support will help us all move the world towards a more caring, compassionate place!  Also if I missed any sponsors who gave us stuff on the day please contact me & I'll add your details straight away.

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 Women's event

This would be an interesting showdown as we'd have the best female from the Midlands (Tee) facing off against all-comers from the South of England, would Tee manage to beat the best of the south or had she made a tactical error by running a marathon the day before the event?  Only time would tell!

It seems Coach Gary & Maz had a little trouble sorting out a marking system - I'll try & give you the results here, but what they've written makes no sense to me?  There was a bit of confusion onstage as well.  It was a perfectly easy system, women could do a push-up on their knees, that would be worth one, or a full push-up that was worth 4 push-ups on the knees, simple enough you'd have thought, but no what I've got here to try & decipher is a mess, so if I put your score down incorrectly then I apologise & you have my full permission to go hit Gary & Maz for being so rubbish.  Hopefully we've got the problem licked as James Southwood who is an International Judge for martial arts has offered to aid with the judging next year, so as a math whiz (he's a clever guy), he'll soon whip those teo slackers into mathematical shape :-)

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So this is what I believe the totals to be for the ladies:


Kat pounded out 3 reps


Sophia got 25 reps on the knees


Thor forced out 12 on the knees


Xenia hammered out 28 full reps & 11 on the knees


Lily squeezed out 28 reps

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Next up came the ever powerful Arti McMuscle


who gave us a stunning display of muscular adventurism


"I am NUMBER ONE!" bellows Arti


"You might as well go home as once I'm done this contest is all over!"


She did manage a new record of ZERO reps
exactly one less than last year, well done Arti :-)

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Mauie ground out 12 full reps & 15 on the knees


Emma amassed 14 full reps & 4 on the knees


Jennifer muscled her way to 13 full reps & 9 on the knees


Alyson 4 reps on the knees

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Stacy hammered out 10 full reps & 43 on the knees


Tee pumped out an awesome 25 full reps & 15 on the knees

I think from next contest it will have to be a choice as this score sheet looked so confusing I'm sure I've got some scores wrong on here.  So, the ladies will have a choice of either knees or full reps & have to stick to that for all their reps, give poor Maz & Gary a chance as they aren't the maths whizzes they should be.

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 Men's contest

Next up came the men.  We knew there would be a new champion at this contest so there was some excitement as to who would win.  All the guys did full reps.


Graham started things off with 25 reps


Dennis did the best form of the contest & got 33 reps


Linus hammered out41 reps

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Luis got a hard fought 7 reps


Bruno squeezed out 28 reps


Mishal pumped out 20 reps

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Aniel rammed home 42 reps


Brian pushed out 14 reps


Jemel forced his way to 43 reps


David got a respectable 26 reps

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Gerard  got an impressive 38 reps
(going topless made him more aerodynamic)


Matt managed a heart-stopping 56 reps


Matt got a little bit hot after the event so HAD to take that shirt off :-)
(I think the ladies shouting for him to "Get 'em off!" may have helped!)

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Finally Shane closed the event with 18 reps

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 Winners

In second place for the guys we had Jemel

In first we had the the ripped physique of Matt lord of Abs

 

then we waited for the ladies result...

& waited......AND WAITED!  Finally when we were all going to pack up & get the result at next years show we had a result!

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Tee hadn't crush the southern upstarts, but had managed a very respectable second place

On the day it was Lily who brought the crown down down South

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 Finally

That was about the end of our day.  After that we led the rest of the contestants out to help themselves to the rest of the goodies on our stall & to make sure that everyone got a prize.  That's an important feature we try to maintain with our contests is that everyone gets a prize whether they do 100 reps or zero (yes, that means YOU Arti!), so next time let's see you on the stage competing whether you can do 1 or 100 reps.

Lastly I'll put in some pictures of a few of the entrants with some posters from our main sponsors along with all the sponsors again, as I said try & support them so they can support us & help move the vegan movement along, let's veganise the world in 2012!

 

Hemp Natural
Good Hemp Nutrition  protein powder is grown & produced in the UK

v-pure

 

 

V-pure Algae-based DHA/EPA pill

Vitashine vitamin D
Vitashine vitamin D3 spray (yes it's vegan!).


opti3
Opti3 - vegan DHA/EPA pill.

Natures Whey
Natures Whey Ultimate All-in-one protein (the name is word-play, it is a fully VEGAN product) Ignite Ultra V.

Viridian Vitamins
Viridian vitamins sells great supplements

Pro-10
Pro-10-This link leads you all their vegan bodybuilding & sport products

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Other sponsors:

Animal Aid (campaigning against all forms of animal abuse)

Vegetarian Shoes (shoes & accessories)

Earth Pure (cosmetics, gifts & other earth-friendly products)

Bourgeois Bohéme (clothing, shoes & accessories)

Hipo hyfryd (confectionaries)

Honesty (cosmetics)

Plamil (chocolate, soya milk, mayo & many other foods)

Viva! (campaigning against animal abuse everywhere)

Hempish  (everything hemp)

Vegan Society (the boss of vegans - only joking - get info about veganism why vegan & other vegan stuff :-)

Athene skincare (organic, vegan skincare range)

Vegan Store (get everything vegan delivered to your door)


The winners together


Just to prove how much you can get at the Animal Aid fayre
Matt heads home with way too many bags of goodies!

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