100 of the Top Arm Wrestlers of All Time

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Still, for a great many competitors, the money is hardly the point.

Armwrestlers Will Soon Be Paid Like Proper Sports Stars

Ayello , 39, said. It emasculates them.

I like doing that to people. Like Mr. Ayello, most pullers balance more traditional jobs with training and tournaments.

Stiff competition

But unlike Mr. Competing with the firefighters, police officers and gym owners are accountants like Steven Green , high school math teachers like Heidi Cordner , psychotherapists like Ron Klemba , musicians like Henry Bliley , organic farmers like Barbara Schlegel , programmers like Greg Arnold and stay-at-home mothers like Kristen Kent.

Not all arm wrestlers bear the honed physique of a typical athlete. And Kaue Teixeira, a construction worker with the lanky build of a fashion model, said his colleagues were stunned to discover his weekend avocation. Teixeira, With his cartoonishly hulking physique and swaggering machismo, Mr. Ayello has become something of an ambassador for arm wrestling, earning a Top 5 ranking nationally, according to the World Armwrestling League, and titles like King of Arms.

The event on Long Island, which was held in Farmingdale, was Mr. He brought in dozens of amateurs and pros from across the country and fashioned a set of medals emblazoned with a caricature of his upper body, shirtless and flexing.

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The marquee match pitted him against another firefighter: Casey Coley , a pounder from Alabama nicknamed King Kong. Falling behind in a best-of-five contest, Mr. Ayello grimaced but did not despair. Coley was able to take him down so quickly in the first round as a result of finer technique, not superior strength. Though brawnier pullers tend to fare well, success largely rests on strategy — the angle of the tug, the timing of a surge, the precise positioning of each finger.

In this bout, the difference between an advantageous grip and an unfavorable one came down to millimeters, prompting a negotiation between the pullers that rivaled the Yalta Conference.

He describes arm wrestling "like putting your max bench on the rack and holding it halfway between your chest and a full rep for as long as you possibly can. But we don't push, we pull. Lesson 2: Focus on your wrist.

Healdsburg hosts arm-wrestling royalty

The focal points of arm wrestling aren't in the biceps and shoulders; they're in the hand and wrist. As such, his workouts focus on three things: hands, wrists, and fat grips. On heavy days, Kindt leans over his knee while holding a pound dumbbell adorned with a three-inch fat grip on a rotating handle. The wrist is similar: Kindt straps on a heavy weight, lifts it up, and tries to move through his wrist's natural rotation. Lesson 3: Get the hook.

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Here's how to try out Kindt's signature move, the "hook.