John Brookfield's Grip Tips

Rolling Thunder® Revolving Deadlift Handle

Pull-up rules and world records

The Rolling Thunder deadlift is a marquee event in the grip strength world, but what about combining its grip challenges with a universal test of upper body strength? Meet Rolling Thunder pull-ups. And for those who walk on the wild side, how about one-arm pull-ups using a Rolling Thunder? Want one more to demonstrate total lower arm supremacy? How about a 1RM Rolling Thunder pull-up (weight of the competitor plus the added weight, highest total weight wins).

Rules follow. Comments, questions, suggestions? Want to hold a contest or submit potential records for review and evaluation? Please contact


Rolling Thunder Pull-up Rules

1.  An authentic current-model IronMind® Rolling Thunder® handle must be used, it cannot have been modified in any way, and it must be inspected to ensure that it revolves freely:  holding the handle, lift the triangular metal frame and rotate it until it is horizontal (parallel to the ground).  Release the metal frame to demonstrate that it rotates back to its original vertical position (pointing toward the ground) under its own weight. 

2.   The athlete grabs the Rolling Thunder handle at approximately its center and pulls with the handle remaining approximately parallel to the ground. The lifter's hand should not touch the non-revolving part of the handle, and a thumbless grip is not permitted. Pull-ups may be done with one arm or two.
3.  The athlete must not touch the ground at any time during the pull-up attempt.
4.  The athlete must start from a deadhang position, and not swing or kip at any time during the attempt. The athlete's chin must go higher than the top edge of the Rolling Thunder handle, and then he or she can return to the deadhang position with a controlled descent. The athlete does as many repetitions as he or she can—there is no time limit.
5.   For maximum weight attempts, both the athlete and the weights must be weighed on a demonstrably accurate scale.

6.   Videos must include a) demonstration that the Rolling Thunder handle(s) are legal and (b) footage of the athlete's complete performance.
See also IronMind's grip contest rules for extra attempts.
Print out a copy of the Rules and Referee Form and take it with you to your official attempt.  The referee will complete the form and return it to IronMind.

Please contact if you have any questions.

The Rolling Thunder is available from the IronMind store, which has a complete selection of grip strength and hand health tools.
rolling-thunder-pull-up Peter Mortensen, a rock climber from Denmark, does a one-arm pull-up on a Rolling Thunder® Revolving Deadlift Handle: “There seems to be a strong correlation between strength on revolving handles or dumbbells (especially thick handles) and climbing hand strength . . .,” Peter told us. Reprinted from the 2009 IronMind® catalog - Volume Eighteen, with permission. IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Peter Mortensen.
Rolling Thunder World Records

Men's One-Arm World Record - Max Weight

  Date BW + Attached Weight

Men's One-Arm World Record - Reps

  Date Reps
 Fitsz Dubova September 11, 2016  1

Men's Two-Arm World Record - Max Weight

  Date BW + Attached Weight
Thomas Larsen June 4, 2016 154.25 kg
Eirik Bruun Ingebretsen June 4, 2016 150.90 kg

Men's Two-Arm World Record - Reps

  Date Reps
 Fitsz Dubova September 11, 2016  18
IronMind Rolling Thunder-2-arm-pull-up Correct hand position for Rolling Thunder Pull-ups. Courtesy of Kimmo Kokko.