ISSA competition strands

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Vegan Bodybuilding

Mar 3, 2007, 4:36:35 AM3/3/07
to chest-expander group
Hi all,
I got my set of strands from the ISSA (International Steel Strandpullers
Association) VERY early this morning. To be honest they aren't swish like
say an Ironmind set. The handle is a welded 8 hoop with revolving handle,
I'd imagine they are fabricated by a local welder, but they seem strong &
good looks aren't that important as long as they do the business. Infact
the design looks based on some old, early 20th Century sets I've seen
pictures of. Each of the strands has the 'weight' (pulling force?) written
on a bit of card inside the spring. That was my first mistake, I stretched
out a spring to look at it's weight, then of course as it slackened off
PINCH!!! Ouch! Caught my fingers (OK I was tired, it was a Saturday, it
was early...alright I'm a bit stupid too :-). Think I'll copy the weights
down & attach then with a small bit of card to one end of each strand today.
When I ordered they asked for my 'wingspan' tip of middle finger to other
marked on a wall, & by the looks of the design of the handles they've been
made a specific length, so it might be the strands are set at a certain
distance so you pull the right 'weight'.
A nice surprise was the collect of photocopies that came with the handles.
"The Art of Expander pulling" by Thomas Inch
The strand pulling section from the Bodybuilders Bible
Some photocopies of people doing various pulls
& the ISSA Handbook which includes all the details of the organisation & the
20 pulls recognised by the ISSA for competition purposes
Oh yea, & a letter from the Honorary Secretary Jim Bartlett (he gives me the
'comforting' warning that it might be best to obtain kick boxing protection
head gear before trying the 'back press' as the handles pull back very
quickly (something to look forward to!!!).

Anyway, enough talk, you say, what do they feel like...well , I worked out
yesterday (I've only started recently but I'm aiming at trying to get a
bodyweight lift in the old fashioned one arm DB swing following the 1930's
BAWLA rules...If anyone's interested I've got all the rules for the 42
official BAWLA lifts), so I decided to just load up with two 50 pound
strands & see how that goes for a few moves. The handles are very long, you
notice that as soon as you start your pull, it feels like it effects how the
handles move in your hand. You seem to need much more wrist strength &
involvement than the ironmind set & even 100 pounds felt quite a challenging
pull. I mean you might adapt fast? But on the other hand it may give you
some extra wrist strength with regular use & make the newer design of
strands seem easier with the same poundage on them? I suppose only time can
answer that one.

If anyone is interested I could scan the 20 pulls of the association (the
photocopies of the moves aren't that clear on the original, but I can always
get my girlfriend to take a photo of me doing them, if worst comes to
worst), or if you'd like to see the strand set I could take a quick photo &
send a link in, so you can have a look.

I've yet to get the latest magazine which will hopefully include some
numbers they do on these pulls, when I do I'll pass on some numbers from the
weight/age classes of some of the pulls, so you can see what they are doing
(&, in comparison how you are doing). To get some ideas there are 'Poundage
clubs' from 200 pounds right up to 700 pounds (!!!!).

That's about it for now,


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Woz Bruv

Apr 12, 2007, 4:41:18 PM4/12/07
Can you give me the address for the ISSA please?



Apr 13, 2007, 2:42:35 PM4/13/07
International Steel Strandpulling Assoc.
C/O Jim Bartlett
88 Schofield Street
Hathershaw, Oldham OL8 1QT

Vegan Bodybuilding

Apr 27, 2007, 3:50:24 PM4/27/07

Sorry I didn’t reply a bit quicker to this one.  My computer blew up (well went ‘pop’ & started smoking!).

I’ve yet to receive any magazines from them or any other information.  Hopefully I haven’t been lost in the shuffle!

I’ve been in contact with David Gentle (old time strength collector & writer in bodybuilding magazines) & he sent me a picture of his Sandow collection.  It contained a nice Strand set (I tried to bid for one like it on eBay, but I got out-bid L - I was new at it & didn’t really understand the bidding system otherwise it’d be mine right now).

I must admit I haven’t been training as hard as I should these last few weeks.  Going to have to put that right starting next session in the gym.  Hopefully everyone’s training is going well?


All the best,



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