Durniat has a grip on ‘Mighty Mitts’ competition

Ohio resident Andrew Durniat will compete in the “Mighty Mitts” competition that’s part of the 2010 Arnold Sports Festival this Thursday through Saturday in Columbus.
If you’re into strength training, Durniat’s experiences as an old-school type strongman may interest you.
The 31-year-old Durniat’s series of events are new to the Arnold Festival as “Mighty Mitts” is slated to feature 10 men who are world-famous for the strength of their hands. The competitors will put their mitts to the test in four challenges, where they can win up to $1,000 per event. The events will be held on Friday between 2-5 p.m. and on Saturday from 1:30-4 in the Columbus Convention Center’s Main Expo Hall main stage.
“I will being competing in all events,” Durniat said. “The first event will be the 173-pound Jowett Anvil carry by the horn and second on Friday will be the 500-pound, two-inch diameter Sorin Monster barbell deadlift.
“On Saturday, I’ll take part in the Inch Dumbbell-replica farmer’s walk, carrying a 172-pound thick-handled dumbbell for distance. And finally, the Mark Henry bell, 2 1-2-inch handle, 300-pound lift.”
Since its creation in 1989 as a one-day professional men’s bodybuilding competition, the Arnold Festival has become the world’s largest multi-sport fitness weekend. There will be 44 combined sports and events, including 12 Olympic sports on display. This weekend more than 170,000 sports fans are expected to watch approximately 18,000 athletes compete in a huge array of sports.
The owner of Durniat strength in Wooster is among the best thick-bar lifters in the world.
“The Inch Dumbbell walk and Sorin monster barbell will be my best events,” he said. “I am a former world record-holder on the two-inch barbell — my 471 pounds was just recently surpassed (476) by World’s Strongest Man winner Janne Virtanen of Finland.”
Durniat has competed in Kettle Bell lifting competitions in the past at the Festival and can’t wait to return in this new event.
“The Arnold Classic is the world’s largest strength and fitness expo,” Durniat said. “Words do not describe it, it can only be experienced.
“I competed and won the kettlebell lifting championships last year. There is another kettlebell meet being held again this year, but I will only be lifting in demonstration. My main focus is on the main stage events of the Mighty Mitts.”
Durniat, a former College of Wooster lacrosse player, suggests people who want to improve their strength and grip look into alternative lifts such as kettle bells and the above-mentioned “Mighty Mitts” challenges. Although you aren’t likely to pick those monster dumbbells up right away, they might inspire you to focus on improving your grip in a new way. And maybe one day you’ll inch toward lifting the Inch Dumbbell.
For more information on the Arnold Festival and the “Mighty Mitts” on the Internet, go to: www.arnoldsportsfestival.com
To learn more about Durniat on the Internet, go to his Web site: www.durniatstrength.com or e-mail him at durniatstrength@gmail.com