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Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/24/2011 in Posts

  1. 33 points
    Last night I finally attained a goal I've been working towards since at least 2006. I cleaned the #InchDumbbell Thank you to @Lucasraymond and @JoeSullivan for being there to support me last night, as I knew I was close! And thanks to everyone who has behind me through the years. This one felt good. Please hit LIKE and feel free to share the video!
  2. 29 points
    I finally achieved the first grip goal I ever had, COC 3 certification. Thanks for reffing @Tommy J. http://ironmind.com/news/Tanner-Merkle-Certifies-on-the-Captains-of-Crush-No.-3-Gripper/
  3. 29 points
  4. 29 points
  5. 27 points
    Hey guys, I had this idea for an homemade inch Dumbbell. I really wanted to buy a cast replica but it would have costed me about 800 CAD. Being a father of three young kids that kind of expense is hard to fit in the budget. That is how i thought of doing my own. Yes, I know, the FBBC handle is still the cheapest way to go. But I wanted to have a real, one solid piece dumbbell. I found out that if you take two 88 pounds Kettlebells, cut the handles and weld a 2.5 inch CRS handle to them, you have a very realistic replica. I will have to weight it further with a proper scale, but i got a little over 170lbs on my bathroom scale with it. You can do the same thing with 32kg bells for a smaller replica. For smaller than that you might want to do this with competition kettlebells, it would do a better more rotational force with the larger globes. Be sure to do this with cast steel kettlebells and not cast iron. ( Cast iron is a pain in the ass to weld.) You will need close to 300 amps welder to weld that thick, so you might want to take it to a welding shop. I hope it helps someone, and most importantly that this wasn't talked about before. Thanks, David Hoffman Pics:
  6. 26 points
    In October of 2016, I experienced the worst back injury of my life. It was then that I decided that as soon as my back was ready again, I would make this feat my primary focus, and possibly become the first person to do it. I first pinched one pair of Old School York Deep Dish Plates in 2013, and since then I trained it sporadically, mainly during periods when I wasn't training for contests and certifications. Last week, on Tuesday, I was sure I was going to pull this feat off. So much so, I actually wrote down on a piece of paper that I would do it on that night. It ended up being the first time I ever broke both sets off the floor, which gave me some great mental momentum. On my 5th or 6th attempt, I nearly got them to lockout. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite pull them all the way, as the set in my left hand slipped out about 6 inches before Lockout. Finally, this past Tuesday, on 3/29/17, I focused in hard, took my time warming up and getting everything right, and was successful on my 2nd or 3rd attempt. I waited to hear confirmation from Richard Sorin that he hadn't heard of anyone else doing it yet, especially Chad Woodall, who I know was extremely close in 2011 at Summer Strong, and who has made other trips in recent years. Once Richard confirmed, I went ahead and uploaded the video. After years of trying, and failing literally hundreds of times, this feat is in the books. Thanks and all the best in your training.
  7. 26 points
    This is what I posted on 8/1/11. While one of my claims seems a bit far-fetched now, I feel like I can finally cross the other thing off the list. I've closed the #3 gripper at last! As you can tell, the set is a bit more narrow than MMS. I won't be submitting this to judging out of respect to the judges. It doesn't even pass my own standards. No worries... this will be a piece of cake with a block set eventually. It's been a long 4 years. I've trained grippers twice a week on average, which is much more frequent than most. What got me here is a combination of block set reps, max MMS closes, and many, many coin holds. My body responds well to them. While I'm tooting my own horn, here are a few more qualifications that I feel qualify me as having a good grip:BW ratio. 2xBW axle (NAGC 2014)147% BW pinch lift (AZCG 2014)110% BW block set (AZCG 2014)This is where I would throw a website if I had one. Or an instagram. Luckily, I don't have either.Buying my first gripper and finding this forum has positively influenced me in many ways. This is about way more than just squeezing stuff, guys! I've never been in better shape in my life. I'm pretty strong... even being the size of the kid who got sand kicked in his face. (Didn't even Charles Atlas.) I made many friends. Trained with a local armwrestling crew. I traveled and met fantastic people at all the comps I've been to. I've set records. I've found mentors. I've trained and taught others too. I even started lifting and doing gymnastics because it made me stronger in grip. This has been a great experience. I feel like part of my journey has come to an end, but I also feel like things are just beginning. Thanks everybody!
  8. 25 points
    HUGE Close! Congrats to Chez! He is now ONE of FOUR to close this monster gripper!
  9. 24 points
    3 whites He killed this. The metal is still hot from the power transfer! The MM8 is going down and he will be sitting at the top of the MashMonster Pyramid ALONE as KING of CRUSH!
  10. 24 points
    Once again, life has gotten in the way of Grip. In order to get these profiles back on track, Juha Lehtimäki has graciously consented to be profiled on the GripBoard. Today's profile features Juha from Finland. When people hear that...they immediately think of Juha Harju. However, another Juha has made his presence know in Grip/Bending/Strength world. In the last few years, Juha Lehtimäki has made steady progress in Grip Contests against world class opponents like Juha, Matti, and Eirik. He has lifted the INCH and "Millennium Trainer" Dumbbell. His one hand deadlift is nothing short of extraordinary. As you peruse his Youtube Channel, be sure to check out his deadlift and backflip video. This man is "all over" strong. When people think of the great "Double Overhand Unbraced Benders," names like Milfield, Hunt, Hadland, Edwards spring to mind. Names like Povilaitis, Corcorran, Knight, Straussner, Kainz, Jennings, Livesey and Kirilov are at times spoken with disbelief. "Did you see Alex's latest bend?" With the advent of the "Gold Nail Era," there is a very small group of benders who are capable of any Gold Nail Bend...and an even smaller list of those actively attempting to train for the Cert. Juha Lehtimäki has trained and earned himself a position in this elite field. The strength needed for this bend is literally brutal. A Gold Nail Bender was once quoted saying, "It felt like I was breaking my fingers off." Countless movies have been made about a character "overcoming impossible adversity"...enough to make it a cliche. Seldom do we actually see this in "real life." As impressive as Juha's bending prowess is, the story behind his climb to the Grip/Bending apex is even more so. Let's have Juha take it from here... 7 questions to get to know Juha. 1. What are your stats? Gripboard Name, Age, Height (inches/meters), Weight (lbs/kgs), R/L dominant hand size (cm/in), Country/City (or region … whatever you are comfortable with), Relationship Status, Kids?, Occupation ("international spy" is acceptable) Gripboard Name: @Juha Lehtimäki Age: 27 Height: 191cm (6' 3") Weight 98kg (216lbs) Dominant hand size: 20.5cm (8") Country: Finland Relationship Status: Married Children: Three beautiful children, Ida-Marie, Mikaela and Noel Occupation: Factory worker 2. Why did you start training grip (and how long is it now)? In 2008, I had an accident. After a long rehabilitation (almost 3 years), I wanted to start train again. The doctor said that my hand will never be the same as it was, but I wanted to prove him wrong. In 2012, I started to Google about grip and found Juha Harju's Youtube Channel and Kimmo Kokko’s Rautakoura website. In 2014 I found videos about steel bending on YouTube. I saw how Paul Knight bend a Red Nails and FBBC bars and just decided to be the first man in Finland to cert. the Red Nail. (In 2014, Juha was successful in this goal.) I've been train grip almost 4-5 years now. My motivation? Maybe this pic explains it best. 3. Before you die, what is your ULTIMATE grip goal/goals? My bending goals are cert the IronMind Gold Nail and ALL the biggest FBBC bars. In Gripsport, I would like to get an official 300kg one hand lift with 1″ handle, lift the Dinnie stones and also achieve a 500lb one hand deadlift with a hook grip. 4. How do you currently structure your overall training/how do you incorporate your grip training? This is always changing and it depends on what feats I'm working on. In the summer, I train outside lifting natural stones and concrete blocks. I love to do heavy lifts (one arm deadlift, one hand concrete block lift, ring lift, farmer's hold and walk). I do this about once a week. My deadlift workout includes different lifts variations (one per week): 1 hand deadlift, 1 hand concrete block lifts, dinnie-style lifts on rings and conventional deadlift. My current training includes: workout 1: Deadlift/back/sledge, workout 2: Bench/steel bending, workout 3: Front squat/shoulders/farmers walk workout 4: Armwrestling/triceps. 5. What hobbies (other than grip/bending/lifting) do you enjoy? Spending time with my family and friends, armwrestling and photography. 6. Do you have a personal anecdote, topic or thoughts you'd like to include in your profile? I always like to challenge myself. If I decided to do something, I usually will also do it. No matter how long it takes...months or even years. 7. Who's Grip profile would you like to see next? Ivan Beritashvili Thanks Juha. You have incredible fortitude. With a little luck...Ivan will be profiled in the near future.
  11. 24 points
    Today's profile features Bob Sundin. I've got to admit, I put off Bob's introduction as long as possible. I did this because Bob is a close friend of mine. I don't mean that we went to school together, or that we see each other for BBQ's every other Sunday…I mean it as two people with a similar understanding of life ended up connecting somehow. While Bob is a somewhat private person, he's someone you can count on to give a sincere feedback when engaged. Bob's a little bit of a mystery. Passing him on the street, you'd have no idea he has a world class grip…and the ability to do things only a handful of people can do on the planet. My very first introduction to Bob was seeing a picture of him pinching a set of 45's in each hand. At the time this single feat defied my belief in reality. I reached out to him online and found him amiable and helpful. Luckily, my brother-in-law live in N.C. so I was eventually able to make it down there for a training session. As it turns out…there is something in the water in Charlotte. I show up and it's pouring rain. Apparently this does not deter "The Pick Up Artists" (those who train in Bob's backyard). That day I watched a number of world class feats go down…including Bob lifting the INCH in the rain. I got to say…chalk doesn't help a heck of a lot underwater. At a 170lbs, Bob has the reputation for doing "Big Guy" stuff…including pinching Sorin's Original Blob, lifting the INCH, 20kg/25kg double plate pinch and the 2x25kg plate pinch. He is the 83kg weight class World Record Holder in the Two Hand Pinch Deadlift (Euro), One Hand Pinch Deadlift (Euro), 2.5"Crusher Deadlift, and tied for the FBBC 2" V-bar Deadlift. The thing is though…these records are nearly accidental. While he does like the challenge of competing, it's only because it coincides with his personal grip journey. If Gripsport competitions were to end today…this Saturday, you would still see Bob training in his backyard…pushing himself past the expectations of others…and himself. 7 questions to get to know Bob. 1. What are your stats? Gripboard Name, Age, height (inches/meters), weight (lbs/kgs), R/L dominant hand size (cm/in), country, city (or region…whatever you are comfortable with), married/single, kids, occupation ("international spy" is acceptable) Gripboard Name: "Odin" (after my cat who was a great friend for almost 16 years) Age: 56 Height: 5' 11” (180cm) (and shrinking) Weight: 170lbs (77kg) Hand: Right 7 5/8" (19.4 cm) Location: USA/Charlotte, North Carolina Relationship Status: Married Occupation: Drug testing and computer/job training for a substance abuse treatment program for homeless men. 2. Why did you start training grip (and how long is it now)? I started training grip because I happened to notice one day that I was having a harder time grasping and moving a couch around by the top part than I used to. That really bothered me, because I'd always prided myself on my grip. In 2004, I did some gripper work and got interested in blockweight (and other pinch training) for several months. I ended up getting pneumonia and lost interest in Grip for over three years. I started up again in the fall of 2007 and have trained since then (except when injured or taking a planned break from training). 3. Before you die, what is your ULTIMATE grip goal/goals? It WAS to lift the Inch, because it seemed like an incredible challenge. Now an "ultimate goal" has become a moving target and I hate to place limits on myself. I’ve achieved more than I could ever have imagined…and I hope to regain the relentlessness and fire I had in 2014-15. 4. How do you currently structure your overall training/how do you incorporate your grip training? I train instinctively. Since early November last year, I have only trained only once every 1-2 weeks. I accomplished so much in 2015 and had such a combination of good and bad stresses that it all became a bit overwhelming; it seems I need some time to back off from intense, regular training before making another run. I meditate one or more times daily and visualize myself overcoming obstacles and succeeding. I can quickly change my mental state from relaxation into hyperfocus right before a lift. I rarely use anger or negative thoughts, resentments, etc. as a fuel, except on the rare occasions when it seems to happen out of nowhere. I like training in darkness or with my eyes closed during lifts at times (pretty sure I did that in the Inch plus 50 lb. Blob combo lift). My best days are usually during "weather" (I train outdoors). Rain…snow…wind, they all seem to allow me to focus and feel connected with all things. I sometimes train with people who talk a lot and have learned to tune them out. It's gotten to the point I don't hear what they say and only find out later (if I was using video during training). At first I requested that they didn't talk, but eventually decided I'd use it to deepen my ability to concentrate. Also, it has been beneficial to train with people who are stronger than me in different areas. I do have goals, but training is mostly instinctive. I'll mentally review some lifts before a workout and something clicks when I think of the right ones to use that day. BTW…I PR way more at night. I think it's due to less sensory distraction, even more hyperfocus, more awake CNS (not a morning person) and higher humidity and cooler temps (always good). 5. What hobbies (other than grip/bending/lifting) do you enjoy? Clicker training animals (preferably cats), due to the challenge. I love to play pinball and would like to someday buy a pinball machine. I also enjoy ocean swimming, body surfing and kayaking. 6. Do you have a personal anecdote, topic or thoughts you'd like to include in your profile? I had asthma and Ulcerative Colitis (Colectomy in 1997) my whole life. I've also never had “glory days” in organized sports in my youth. Those may be the reasons I am so relentless in pursuing goals. 7. Who's Grip profile would you like to see? James Retarides Thanks Bob. James will be profiled in two weeks. This series will return next Wednesday with Bill "Wannagrip" Piche.
  12. 24 points
  13. 24 points
    Only two men before him have done it. And, that was FOUR years ago. Yesterday, Vano Sukhashvili made history with a precision MashMonster set and smoked the MM7. He only took one attempt because he has been battling an injury and actually did it with pain as well which makes it that much more impressive. The question is: Will he be the ONLY one to close the MM8 and sit atop the MashMonster pyramid ALONE? Congrats to Vano. Great video too making it a no-brainer for the judges! Video is up on the right.
  14. 24 points
    As a non-confrontational, peace-loving individual I've bit my tongue a lot over the years with respect to my involvement in this sport/hobby of ours. And even now I don't intend to shoot flaming arrows at anyone, but I feel the need to get some things off my chest. And beyond that, I'm hopeful that some will gain some insight, and perhaps even act on the insight to help make some positive changes. Grip is what it is through the tireless efforts of enthusiastic, self-motivated volunteers. Most of us have full time jobs, families, and all the other usual obligations that people have. We didn't sit around waiting for others to make changes, promote contests, develop implements, invent ways of rating grippers and steel, open websites, start and maintain lists and certs, etc. We saw a need and simply acted on it. The guys "in charge" and "making the rules" are actually the guys who have worked their asses off the most for the development of the sport. They are what your politicians should be, that is servants. So, I'd like to humbly submit some advice for your consideration. Before you start with your list of suggestions for the promoter of an upcoming meet, try hosting your own first. Buy the necessary equipment. Weigh all the plates and implements. Point-calibrate your bathroom scale. Select and/or make the trophies. Post the rules in details in advance. Good luck getting the entry fees in a timely manner. Decide what you want to do with the two guys who showed up the morning of the contest wanting to compete. Who are they? What about the scoresheet you already compiled with all the names neatly alphabetized? Do I tell them to get lost or do I stop everything else I'm in the middle of doing and delay the start of the contest to accommodate them? Oh, so and so and his brother forgot to bring their entry fee, by the way. Someone else just texted to let me know he's running late. Now what? And another competitor who was late getting in his entry and talked me into contesting his pet lift isn't answering his phone and it's already fifteen minutes past start time (he never shows or calls). Now my wife tells me someone has pissed all over the kid's bathroom toilet seat. Okay, so let's do a quick rules briefing. Okay, not so quick rules briefing. Most didn't bother reading the rules I posted for the event two and a half months ago. By the way, unless you know some guys interested in grip who are NOT competing, often times grip promoter is synonymous with loader, judge, scorekeeper, and when it's all over... maid, because most don't volunteer to help pick up. Oh, and keep your cool when someone screams an obscenity because you didn't pass his gripper attempt that was shaking so violently you thought he was suffering a seizure. And now you're $300 in the hole, after entry fees are accounted for. So, when you're done cleaning up the garage the following morning and you realize the $300 you're in the hole is actually double that figure for the lost day of work, go inside, log on the Gripboard and tell the promoter of the next contest how to best run things. Rule of thumb, it's probably been discussed before on the GripBoard... to death. Don't assume all your suggestions and ideas are original because they just came to you a minute ago. There has been a slow, often painful evolution of things which have led to much of how things are being run today. Hours and hours of discussion via e-mail and phone, arguments, hostilities, polls, more bickering, members quitting, and finally some compromising. Do a little research. Ask some of the veterans, before you play the ten million questions, or ten million suggestions game. Grip and all of it's history didn't start the minute you joined the board, or when I joined. There is no political or personal grip conspiracy involving NAGS guys, moderators, promoters, IGC guys, or the Gripboard to show favoritism to certain athletes and their strengths, or to be unduly strict when judging feats of any particular athletes who are not part of some fictitious "in" group. If you think someone in a place of "authority" or "influence" in the sport is intentionally unfair or out to get a certain individual or group, collect your facts and present them. I'm hyper sensitive to that kind of crap, and I am thrilled and proud to report I don't see any of that nonsense in any of the prominent guys: Jedd Johnson, Chris Rice, Brent Barbe, Andrew Durniat, Matt Cannon, Aaron Corcorran, etc. This is a small fish bowl we live in. Be good people. It takes not only one "bad person", but one good person acting badly once to breed a lot of resentment and negativity. I'm proud of the vast majority of people involved with this sport. You want to improve things? Simply do it. This isn't a government or some organization bogged down in red tape. No one is stopping you. Compete. Throw a contest (my depressing example above, while not fictitious, is a compilation of annoying events over many years, by the way). Create something cool. Load the bar at a contest. Don't pee on the toilet seat. I could go on, but I'm tired and have to go to bed. Maybe someone else who can relate to some of this can pick up the torch, or even correct me.
  15. 23 points
    Today was the Grand Opening of my Gym, PEAK Strength and Fitness. I was going to kick off the festivities by pulling a Fire Truck, but due to rain, I felt it would be unsafe to do so, so instead, I put on an impromptu Strongman Show, consisting of various feats of strength, including trying to Clean and Press (Push Press) the Thomas Inch Dumbbell Replica.
  16. 23 points
    I wasn't suppose to try grippers tonight because I trained them recently and even hit a little thick bar over the weekend so my hand wasn't fresh but I was feeling strong during a bench press workout tonight so I tried a #3.5 CCS close and I destroyed it. First time trying this since coming back from my injury. I haven't trained CCS in a long time so I fumbled the set a little. I CCS closed this gripper before the injury but never this easy. My crush is stronger than ever. I know fresh I can do even better. Not the best video because I used my phone so lots of motion blur and my buddy doesn't have much experience filming closes. I may try and cert at the gripmas comp this year in December. 4 more months to get even stronger. Crush is feeling dam strong!
  17. 23 points
    What an amazing experience this was. I realize now that I haven't been to a grip comp in FIVE years, and I will do what I can prevent a gap between events of that size from opening up again. I knew going in that the red cert was going to be early in the morning Saturday. My main concern with this was rest. I knew I had the strength to do this, but in the past, if I had broken, poor quality, or minimal sleep, my bending would suffer immensely. So, I left Boston at 7am Friday morning to get there as early as possible in order to get a nap in or at least early bedtime. I got there about 1pm, so 6 hours. I thought that was a lot of driving - until I talked to some of the guys on Saturday. I think Allen H. did 19 HOURS... with two kids and a DVD player that broke mid-trip. And then he drove right back Sunday! Incredible. Anyway, I needed food, so went to Moe's Southwest which my GPS said was like 2 miles away. It wasn't. I got all turned around and after looking for a gas station to stock up on bottled water and snacks for comp day, it was 3pm by time I got back to the hotel room. Once I finished eating, nap was out of the question, so I did what I could to get to bed early. I didn't end up falling asleep until about 1am. I woke up at 6am to do my best to really be "awake" for the cert, as I've never really bent before 4 or 5pm, except for a handful of times over two years. I went to Wawa, slammed a 24oz coffee - I only drink decaf usually - and headed back to weigh in and get ready. At first things were fine, but once I saw the group gather and the clocked ticked closer to 9am, I sort of panicked. I'd never bent in front of anyone, let alone 50+ gripsters. All I could think of was that one red I couldn't even kink a few weeks back. Every other bar I destroyed in around 10 seconds and had been for what seems like 6-8 weeks, but that one bar was lingering and I was positive I was going to unload during cert time and nothing would happen. That one bar, big crowd, no sleep... I was getting nervous. Soon after, the coffee kicked in and I was pacing around the space, and eventually found a tiny corner outside the comp room to warm up in. During this time, several people came up to me and offered encouragement, for which I cannot thank them enough. I was still super jittery, but I truly appreciated the sentiment. Anthony C, Josh H, Anton T, and many others that I had and had not "met" (virtually) before all stopped by to offer encouragement. Eventually it was time to go. Just after 9am, Nate handed me the three bars, and we didn't have a table to wrap them on with my pony clamps. Never done that before, either. Without time or the ability to dwell on that, I just squat down and wrapped the bar with my heel on the end of the wrap. I was so pumped I couldn't even see straight, let alone worry about what was happening with my wrap. Once I was wrapped, I took the bands off and there was no turning back. People started cheering and shouting which really helped. Nevertheless, given that I was simultaneously petrified and ready to kill someone, I couldn't look up to make eye contact with anyone. I had the bar in my hands, and was ready. I did my little "hitching" routine where I sort of pop the bar under my chin four times before starting the kink, and then hit it. The bar/pad slipped a little bit on the first hit, but I corrected and gave it absolutely everything I had. The bar melted instantly. That moment was something I'll never forget. I haven't seen video of the bend but I suspect it was under 10s. For all you benders out there, there is nothing like attempting a PR or big cert with a room full of like minded people screaming you on. Infinite thanks to Nate for being the judge, fitting in time for me during a very busy day with a lot of moving parts, and for perpetual encouragement here and elsewhere leading up to my cert. After that, I tried a 7" golden hex which didn't go well. I got it past 90, maybe to 4", but time ran out. Not my worst attempt on this bar, but definitely on the bottom end, and it took a lot out of me. Oh well. Thanks to Andrew P and the others in that area for watching and giving encouragement. Then the day really started. I hadn't trained grip seriously in years (I was here for the cert and bending comp), so had absolutely zero expectations. It was tough getting through everything as I couldn't really see the platforms to watch other competitors, so I just checked the monitor every 20 minutes or so to see where they were, and did my attempts. I think I did 113 gripper (failed 121 by just a bit), 66 on 1HP (was good for more, had chalk/grip issues), and about 109 or so on the crusher, I don't really remember. By time the crusher was up, I was pretty much out of gas. Poor sleep, little food, and the red cert + gold hex attempt had wiped me out pretty good. Thankfully we went to Nate's and filled up on great food and took advantage of their great hospitality. I passed on the medley, my neck, back, and knees were completely shot at this point (~7pm). Eventually it was time for the bending comp, at about 9:30pm. The highlight of the day for me was watching Andrew Dube completely dominate like 6-8 pieces of 9/32 CRS inside 3 minutes REVERSE. Let me tell you, doing anything at that point was an accomplishment. I did one bastard in about 15 or so seconds, and got locked up on a second one, then bent about 4 pieces of 9/32 DO, and my arms were complete Jello. Watching Andrew rip through those bars was unbelievable. I also see that he bent the 3/4" HRS braced in about a minute or less with minimal/no pads. Very impressive. I had a good chat with Andrew too; I expect big things from him. I was so beat and out of it, regrettably I drove back to the hotel at about 10pm or so, and missed a bunch more bending stuff and god knows what else, lol. I wished I'd had more in me, but I was totally and utterly cooked. I don't know how the guys that stayed around, not to mention Nate, did it. The theme of the day for me was great conversation with great people. Bending is a pretty solitary pursuit and being able to talk at the length I did with so many people was truly priceless to me. I spoke a lot to the people above as well as Bill and Neal from near Worcester (who I will be contacting shortly about holding a bending comp), Chez, Delmar, all of those who I'd never met before but despite that walked up to me and gave congrats on the cert, and many, many others who I'm unintentionally leaving out. Nate you are the man, that rocked, thank you a million. As I type this I'm still brutally sore in my glutes, upper back, and triceps. Hope everyone is recovering and that we get to hook up again soon.
  18. 23 points
    Today, young Oscar did a very remarkable feat. He is probably the youngest (?) ever who lift the Inch Dumbbell. The Dumbbell is made of steel by the wellknown Scottish Blacksmith Stan Pike. I bought this dumbbell from him in 2003.
  19. 23 points
    First, I'm sorry for my long absence from the board. I got it in my head to try out my strength on American Ninja Warrior. In October, right before I started my audition process, I read this thread from 7 years ago that motivated me to take a different approach to my audition video. Years ago, Rex H. was putting a lot of personal money into creating a documentary about grip. It resonated with me, and I decided to carry the torch in a smaller way. I wanted to talk about the history of our sport and how grip has changed me. It's been a process. I learned how to shoot video and edit. I even bought about $2k in equipment so I could share our message. My goal was to pick up where Rex left and show off our sport. I talked about the origins and filmed some footage of artifacts from the Stark museum here in Austin. The staff even cooperated with my filming and opened displays for me. Back to the audition for ANW... I gave up because they hadn't contacted me much since I submitted the video in January, but last week I got a call back from the producer confirming that I'll be an official competitor this year. I'm stoked! They plan on featuring me with a backstory and an interview, and the producer was interested in the grip community, specifically the Gripboard. Now, I have a chance to give back to our sport by speaking about it on national television. They'll mention the #3 gripper in my backstory, as well as the Gripboard and NAGS organization. I need some help with details, and if you guys could answer these questions in your own words it would be a great help: What is Grip Sport exactly? How many competitions a year etc how/why/when did it start? Thank you guys. Here is my final audition video. PS. I'll try not to fall in the water on the very first obstacle.
  20. 22 points
    The Last Gripmas Carol Not sure where to start really. It started out where it was just going to be a sort of Listmas Carol. No contest – no Arm Lifting – no Medley. I wanted it to run it short and simple and then have a long session of visiting and feats of strength. Hopefully a few people would arrange some certs through Iron Mind and the various companies who did those. But no – I had to go and shoot for the moon. I added this – then that – and so on until pretty much there wasn’t anything left to add. As it turned out I think I tried for too much. I knew (or at least hoped) Gripmas would attract more people than my garage gym would hold – which added a whole new level of complexity to things. Living in Crooksville only gave me one choice which was Underground Athletics Gym here in town, a really nice facility that just opened last year. Thankfully they were fully on board – Jamie and Brittney Brannon were wonderful hosts. I agonized over moving everything down but in the end it turned out to be nothing – several of the Gripmas guys showed up – Jamie and several HS football players showed up – one of my climbing buddies was there – moving was a non-issue. In years past Teresa and I had cooked breakfast for everyone but that wasn’t going to work this year so I arranged with Peaches place (the only restaurant in town) - for a catered breakfast and supper for competitors and workers – wives etc. I thought the meals were really good even though we had to order more supper as we went through in like staving wolves. I had visited the gym several times and measured the floor etc working on where to put everything - which fell apart as soon as the doors opened and people showed up with bags, coats, more equipment etc. Every plan looks good until you get hit in the face LOL. At this point I realized my “plan” was out the window. Thank god for Katie Leitheiser – who must have been born with some “organizing” gene. She asked me if she could “take over” and being pretty much overwhelmed I said yes. So please say Thank You next time you see her. People started arriving, weigh ins and breakfast went down smoothly and it was time for certs and then grippers. We had a Red nail cert by Gary Stuart which blew my mind – not one but 3 Reds destroyed in one minute – insane! Brian Hunsacker did an IM #3 cert which looked like a toy gripper in his hand. The Don Cummins was up for a David Horne cert (2 David Horn 6” nails pre wrapped (a whole table top covered with them) – bend as many as possible in 2 minutes) – he blew through 15 and then I started I getting ready to catch him if he went down – his breathing got pretty hard by then. But all was well and he fought for 2 more before time ran out – a total of 17 – WOW! We started Grippers then – 20 mm block set on the NAGS gripper set of calibrated grippers. Going two at a time really speed things up – grippers went nice and smooth – with my injured hand making me do even worse than I would normally have done. I got 125# and missed 130#. Not to make light of the injury but I wouldn’t have done much better anyway. Next up was the David Horne two hand pinch. We had three stations – one for warm ups and then one set for each width – seemed to be a good system except not allowing at least a couple warmups on the competition set ups hurt people with their choices I think – I know it did me. My 2 HP training leading up to the comp had been horrible – with a top out of only 190 – then the last week jumped to 210 just one time – so I set that as my goal weight. It just so happened I ended up on Jedd’s Euro setup – and it felt amazing to me. Goal coming in was 210#. I don’t remember my exact attempts but I ended up with around 217# for my fourth attempt – and it felt like nothing at all. So I ask for an extra attempt – and then another (one nice thing about being the meet director hehe) – ended up pulling 232# (didn’t count of course) – only 3# off my all-time best ever – and at 70 years old – big smile! The pinch also ran smooth with one seeming hiccup in weight I failed to address – my fault. Next up is the Iron Mind Axle – a 2” barbell that had to be deadlifted – held to a down signal – then lowered. Once again a warmup station – and two comp setups. My goal coming in was 325# - a weight I had gotten up in training but wasn’t able to hold – so my comp goal was 325#. Ended up with somewhere around 336# so quite happy here as well. This was lower than the big boys even started lifting at ! We had a bunch of darn strong guys here! The Axle results counted towards the Arm Lifting part of that comp so they had one down. Those interested went over to do their other Arm Lifting competition pieces. I was glad we could include this in Gripmas – there is a rift between NAGS and Arm Lifting that I would like to see mended somehow – maybe this would help? While this was going on some of us were setting up the Medley. I went first and got 30 points – Aaron got 31 and Andrew Durniant got 29. I beat Andrew in a Medley! After my Hercules hold at BBB one time maybe the high point of my Grip career. Not everyone chose to do the Medley – lots of people started doing feats – bending horseshoes etc etc. About that time the food came and a pack of wolves couldn’t have hit it any harder – I had to order more pizza and wings before a mutiny broke out. Not much went on after this so we started handing out awards – of which there were many – thanks to the tremendous generosity of all the competitors bringing items to add to the mix! I want to give Jedder a big Thank You as he gave me back his first place cash award – he’s one hell of a friend and such a positive to the sport of Grip. Seemed people were winding down and ready to leave but many stayed to help take all my equipment back up to my gym at home. A couple thousand pounds of muscle and a couple trucks made mighty short work of it. We all said good byes and all of a sudden Tee and I were on our own with sons Sean and Josh – the quiet was deafening! Once inside - a drink and several glasses of water – a bath and a bed. Slept in the next day – pancakes and eggs – then out to the gym to start putting things back in their proper place. Six or so hours for Teresa and I and it was pretty much back to normal. And The Last Gripmas Carol was done – a very bitter sweet day!
  21. 22 points
    Hello All, Did some revolving handle lifts last night. I will try the crusher next, then the Rolling Thunder. Hopefully I will be able to do some official lifts in the coming months. Good luck. Laine
  22. 22 points
    All I can say is i'm grateful to have found this sport. I began training grip last December and a year later Im totally obsessed . So far this sport has been nothing but good for me. Its helped me with discipline. It got me to take my first plane ride ever! (to NCGC II in maryland) and Ive met some really great people along the way. Just like in rock climbing and arm wrestling, Ive found that people involved in grip sport are usually always willing to help you with any questions, and everybody just wants to have a good time. I'm lucky enough to live a short drive away from Canada's main grip guy @Eric Roussin who's an amazing competitor and world record holder, and who hosts the most grip competitions in the country, which include 3 out of the 4 contests ive had the pleasure of competing in. I had no idea what to expect when I started training grip, but I'm the type of person to find a hobby and obsess over it and grip ended up being that next obsession. 2016 was a great year. I was able to hit many milestones that seemed ages away when I first began training, and I was able to compete a lot which was great because I'm super competitive! (next contest is in 9 days!) 2017 is going to be a even better. I'm going to train harder/smarter and most importantly I'm looking forward to traveling a lot more and meeting the rest of the grip community!! I just want to thank everyone for all the support. I take all of that into my training and it motivates me to train harder and harder. This is just the beginning. Many more years in grip sport to come! Thanks, Dan.
  23. 22 points
    Today's profile features Jared Goguen. Jared is another newcomer to grip. He recently acquired some competition experience at "The Southern Squeeze." The TSA decided to pull him in the back room during both legs of his flight due to his traveling with his traveling companions...grippers. It's a good thing he didn't have his profile picture with him at the time. They might not have let him board. Speaking of which, you'll be able to tell from his EPIC pic that he's got a great sense of humor. Going into this profile I knew very little of Jared except that Gil, Maria and Sharkey had given him a stamp of approval. I was very pleased to find that he's a kindred spirit of mine. Life can be pretty overwhelming, and Gripsport more than anything has helped keep me centered these last 4 years. I know I will not be the only one in Grip that will identify with Jared's experience. I'd like to thank him for being willing to share his story with us. 7 questions to get to know Jared. 1. What are your stats? Gripboard Name, Age, height (inches/meters), weight (lbs/kgs), R/L dominant hand size (cm/in), country, city (or region…whatever you are comfortable with), married/single, kids, occupation ("international spy" is acceptable) Gripboard Name: "Jared Goguen" Age: 33 Height: 5'9” (175cm) Weight: 185lbs (84kg) Hand: Ambidextrous 7" (18cm) Location: USA/Portland, Oregon Relationship Status: Single cat owner pretty much sums that up... Occupation: Self-Employed 2. Why did you start training grip (and how long is it now)? I think my path to find the world of grip is a little unique, back in April of 2014 I spent most of my time drunk, depressed, angry, lonely, and driving a massive amount for work, I had one those rubber donut squeeze things in my truck and squeezed it so many times that in cracked and broke. I started to look for a replacement and that's when I found Captains of Crush, I ordered the .5 and when it came I couldn't close it to save my life. Not knowing what to do with it really or how to get better with it, I started Googling and found the Gripboard. Finding the Gripboard was a very transformative for me. It opened my eyes to the world of strength training, powerlifting and Gripsport. Before that, I had never touched a weight my whole life. Once I started strength training and communicating with all the (amazing and supportive) people on the Gripboard, my life started to greatly improve. For the first time as an adult I didn't feel like crap anymore. 3. Before you die, what is your ULTIMATE grip goal/goals? I'm still very much so in the beginner / intermediate stage with my grip training but I would love nothing more than to lift the Inch, and get my name on the Mash Monster list. 4. How do you currently structure your overall training/how do you incorporate your grip training? In the past my training has kind of been all over the place…thickbar and deadlifts, pinch and bench, squats and gripper. In doing so I saw a lot of progress. Currently I want to focus on my grippers and see some "real" progress now that I have a good base of strength to work with. I really want to focus on my long-term health and strength. I'm not getting any younger and I started down my path of strength training rather late in life compared to most. 5. What hobbies (other than grip/bending/lifting) do you enjoy? I feel like there might be too many to list here. I love bird watching, wood working, welding, designing machines, gardening, permaculture, sustainable and primitive living skills, land works projects, fabricating, and firearms of all kinds. Every year I like to partake in the Audubon's Great Backyard Bird count. I also plan on doing more long distance hiking trips…like the 2600 mile Pacific Crest Trail. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Crest_Trail I know one of the most noticeable things about me would be the large amount of tattoo work I have. For me, it's a good experience to sit, for say… 6 hours, feel a large amount of pain, and walk away from it knowing that I can handle it. Currently I'm planning my left arm sleeve and to get my neck wrapped. 6. Do you have a personal anecdote, topic or thoughts you'd like to include in your profile? “Never miss a good opportunity to shut up.” I try my hardest to live by these words and sit back and listen. For me, the world of grip, and the Gripboard has been a huge help in dealing with my drinking, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. It has given me a health focus and pursuit in life. The friendships I have made here with people like Jedd, Gil, Maria, Mr. Sharkey, and Aaron (to name a few) mean more to me then what I have the vocabulary to convey. 7. Who's Grip profile would you like to see? I would really like to see Bob Sundin's profile. I think, pound for pound, he is one of the strongest guys in grip. The work he has done with his pinch and inch training is nothing short of amazing. It's great to see what can be accomplished…regardless of overall size. Thanks Jared. Bob will be profiled in two weeks. This series will return next Wednesday with Chad Woodall.
  24. 22 points
    Guys, When I arrived at Aaron's place early this past Saturday before the Griptoberfest contest, it was the first chance I had to really talk with the guy in all the years I've known him. He showed me some of the stuff he's working on in his little mad scientist grip workshop, and I must say I was blown away. He operates on a knowledge level far far far beyond most of us, and me especially! Aaron, for those of you who don't know, is also the guy that set up all of the Rankings lists. Well, he's never stopped making this thing better. Today, he expanded it so it's no longer just a Top 50 list anymore, it's a Top 100! And, he also modified the weight-class view screen so that it's no longer just 15 people listed per class, but 25! He also added a submission for North America, so you can view Canada and USA combined, plus, he recently added a report that combines all of the different gripper closes into one list. I've lost track of all the awesome stuff Aaron has done with this report. Plain and simple, Aaron is always thinking of ways to make things better, and this is just another example of how he supports our sport. So, I hope each and every one of you reading this who competes in Grip or uses these listings as a reference point can take a couple minutes and give Aaron a virtual high five! Thanks again Aaron, for all you've done in organizing this data. It's incredible! Jedd
  25. 21 points
    Tried the Silarukov handle tonight with 108kgs - I was lacking a bit in the thumb department - and I'd also run out of chalk...not the best way to test what I could do! I will try the Crusher with 106.5kgs next week and see if I can get a similar amount of reps?
  26. 21 points
  27. 21 points
    It's time to attempt the 3 cert again, I have closed it under cert conditions sick,tired,sore every time of the day. I got five good solid closes yesterday. So here we go everyone! Time to get that cert once and for all!
  28. 21 points
    Congrats bro. More people have given up on Grip in the 5 years that you trained your butt off to get this feat than will ever accomplish it.
  29. 21 points
    Thanks guys. here is the video: Have been waiting long for the cert. Everytime i'm on this gripper strength i get injured. During my preparation i injured my left middlefinger so i couldn't train grippers with my left hand. That was 2 month ago. Every Grip Session i was afraid that this happens to my right hand, too. few facts: I started an extra gripper Training. Road to Certification. start: 30.05.2015 end: 26.08.2015 I REALLY wanted to get the cert so i trained grippers ONLY. No pinch, no thickbar, nothing. Reducing the risk of fail, injuries and overtraining. 2 days per week. One TNS Day and one MMS Day. (CCS tests were freestyle...) 5 days before the cert i did nothing. I only went to the gym to coach my girlfriend. I had 5 Restdays :-) During the preparation i had ups and downs. I always have this. But you have to believe in yourself. Thats the fu.... secret of success. Ok, i know this is easy to say but hard to do. My girl has remind me often! My strength before the cert: 12 MMS reps #3 (145rgc cpw rating) 6 TNS reps #3 (145rgc cpw rating) 3 MMS reps MM2 (166rgc cpw rating) 1 MMS THOR E (170rgc cpw rating) 3 CCS #3 (155 i think. unrated) The night before the cert: SLEEPLESS Cert Day: Breakfast with 8 eggs and a few rice cakes. I was very nervous all the time. You can see the ironmind card shaking between the handles. The gripper has a wide spread. A bit more than my 155 #3. I cannot say if the gripper is harder. But it felt way more harder. I could easy set the gripper. The first half of the close was easy. Then i was shocked. There was a tremendous backpressure. (don't know the right words. The handles want to get back to the start position.) It felt a bit like my GHP Grippers. I think it's because the gripper is not seasoned? NO, i thought and crushed it down with a grinding at the end. And that feeling i cannot describe. Awesome!In the end i can say: 1. You really should be over prepared. You don't know what gripper beast you'll get. 2. Train with a good mindset. 15 minutes concentrated gripper training is better than 3 hours playing around. Thanks to all the guys here posting youtube videos. I'm not often on the board, but i'm watching your videos :-) Let's keep us motivating. I love this grip sport thing !!!
  30. 20 points
    Just like the title says 500 double over, no hook! I've been working my sumo again the last 10 weeks and my grip always feels stronger with my hands closer together. I think most recognize this on the axle especially. So I've been pushing what I can do DO. I pulled 450x3 DO two weeks ago and decided to go for the big 500 last night! And before anyone mentions it, yes this is not an olympic bar. Its the 1 inch diameter, 6 foot long bar that comes with most standard weight sets. I'm very curious at what point I'll have to upgrade to a stronger bar.
  31. 20 points
    Report following investigation into Crusher post King Kong. I'm not going to post the summary here. 5 years of experience working in a R&D center taught me that if I put the summary out, nobody will read the body of report. Crusher-investigation-11-5-2018-edits.pdf
  32. 20 points
    For any of my friends who wondered if I was still alive. I haven’t been very active on the board lately but I have still been working out. My health is doing better – was pretty messed up for a while. Started just the smallest amount of Grip sport training – a few pinch holds – some easy gripper holds for time and some Farmers walks around my house with Dumbbells with Fat Grips on the handles (70 yards). Some goals - At 50 I shaved all my fur off – got a little tan - and did a little photo shoot. I turn 70 in about a month. My plan is to do that again and see how kind Mother Nature has not been to me – we shall see. I also plan to go through what will be my 75 by 75 list and see what all I can still manage in the weeks just after my birthday – that too should be depressing I imagine. I am starting to train for an October climbing trip and will then train for Gripmas. I hope my last Gripmas contest brings out many of my old friends.
  33. 20 points
  34. 20 points
    FINALLY! Getting closer and closer every day. That first hit is extremely hard. Soon under 1 min?
  35. 20 points
    Sl-ghi Choi (Morgan) now sits alone at the top of the MashMonster ladder. He is the FIRST to close the level 8 gripper! Morgan began his ascension to the top of the ladder over one ago when he closed the MM1 in June of 2016. This meteoric rise is likely the fastest climb to the highest levels of crushing strength ever!
  36. 20 points
    https://youtu.be/bOZTmy-J9BI Had a double in me, but felt a sharp twinge in my right hip at the start of rep two, so I aborted. Need to stay healthy to set the MD 50-54 Raw State Record in September. It's 501. Also want to see if I can get back to 600 before I turn 51 next year.
  37. 20 points
    NAGSC: A humbling experience. On Saturday June 3, 2017 my bride and I made the perilous journey from Redneckville, Indiana to Nashville TN. 3 hours of interstate travel through God's country in our minivan. We had a little trouble finding the location because iphone maps did not have the right location. Thanks Siri (I never liked her anyway). But after arriving we were greeted by Gil, solid eye contact and a firm handshake. Maria's gym looks awesome and was just the right size for this venue. The first person I met was John McCarter. I've wanted to meet this guy in person for a while. Just as I suspected: all the seriousness of an elite grip athlete yet humble and nonchalant in demeanor. I met many others but I won't get into too much detail. First event was grippers - 20mm block set. I thought this would be my best event, after all - this is what I trained for.... I was unpleasantly surprised at the difficulty of the grippers. The ratings are what they are. I could tell others were surprised too. I won't make excuses. I closed a 135 righty. Last week I closed a CPW rated 145 at home. Thought I would be good for 150. But the strength wasn't there. The euro was also a little frustrating. Prior to Saturday I have never touched one. It's a bit nuanced to say the least. On my second attempt I went for 75 k and just missed the cross bar. 3rd and 4th attempts missed the mark. I was trying 58mm (?). I think this was a little too wide but I learned something too: I shouldn't expect to do well on things I haven't specifically trained for. Weight and width changes went surprisingly quick. I thought this would be a bit of a nightmare, and for those making all those changes I'm assured that it was. But from the perspective of a competitor it was rather painless. Enter the Axle dead lift. Once again I surprised myself at how weak and unprepared I was for this. No excuses, just another learning experience. I was humbled at how well others did. The power and intensity of competitors like: Gil, Eric, Mike, Pat, Tanner, Tim, Aaron, and many others was inspiring. Although I don't show emotion well I was inspired. The medley: I pretty much came just for the medley. I couldn't budge the anvil (although I tried very hard). Memory is kind of fuzzy on how many items I got but I was happy at the end. You have to strategize with a medley: I try to make the First 5-6 items things I know i can lift. Once again, humbled by those that lifted the 180# dumbell to the platform seemingly with ease. Tanner Merkle, in a rush to get one more item, placed a item intended for a 4" lift on the platform by mistake. A display of raw power even if not intended to be one. I really appreciated all of the competitors. Everyone was very supportive and offered numerous pro-tips along the way. I must have forgotten to remove the "Hello, my name is 'Complete Amateur' sticker from my shirt". Tanner Merkle received the well deserved "Best overall lifter" award. This was scored allometrically according to bodyweight and the amount he lifted. This guy is super strong, so strong you have to see it in person to appreciate it. Even Paul Knight seemed to be awestruck. My feelings were mixed between "I'm not worthy", and "maybe I should take off my shoes". Not to mention Eric, Jedd, and Tanner all performing multiple lifts of a new Inch replica and Gil's 180#. Even some double lifts and rowing. I'm pretty sure that I couldn't row 172 lbs if it were glued to my hand. I'm a little slow to socialize with others but it's a new community for me and everyone was very supportive. I know that I failed to mention numerous feats and lifts done by others and for that I apologize. There were so many world class people there doing world class things, it all just kind of runs together. I may have left with my tail between my legs but I had a great time and even my wife said that she was not bored. Congratulations to all those who placed: I can't say enough about how awesome the atmosphere was.
  38. 20 points
    Had a nice Birthday workout over the weekend and got a few PR's including these Pinch PRs on the Saxon that I actually bothered to video. Pretty proud of them and one step closer to long term training goals of 200# Pinch Clean and 300# Pinch DL. - Aaron
  39. 20 points
    Today I would like to introduce Christopher "Tank" Andrade. I've competed with Chris with a number of times and even managed to grab a quick lunch with him while driving through CT. He is a pleasure to be around. As might be able to tell by his profile picture, his passion for Gripsport is not equaled by many. His son has already started to train Grip and I expect great things from him in the future. Let's find out a little more about the man they call "Tank." Six questions to get to know Christopher. 1. What are your stats? Gripboard Name, Age, height (inches/meters), weight (lbs/kgs), left/right dominant hand size (cm/in), country, city (or region…whatever you are comfortable with), married/single, kids, occupation ("international spy" is acceptable) Gripboard Name : Tank Andrade Age : 38 Height : 5' 7" (1.70 mtr) Weight : 210lbs (90.7 kg) Dominant Hand size : 19.7 cm (7.75") Country/City : Derby, Connecticut (USA) Marital Status : I live with my gorgeous girlfriend Amber ( who holds the U.S record for IM hub ) and have a 9 year old son Anthony. Occupation : Plant Manager of a Firearms Manufacturer. 2. Why did you start training grip (and how long is it now)? I started training for strongman competition in 2011. After my first contest, I realized how much straps helped my deadlift. It was then I began my study of grip strength. Soon after, I discovered Jedd and the Diesel Crew. I joined "The Grip Authority" and quickly entered my first grip comp in 2013. 3. Before you die, what is your ULTIMATE grip goal/goals? I want to clean the INCH! It just seems like a superhuman feat. That said, Bending is my very favorite discipline. I would like to one day work my way up to the top of the Bastard List. 4. How do you currently structure your overall training/how do you incorporate your grip training? I'm currently running 5/3/1 four days a week. One day a week I do a heavy bending and (fun) feat day. My current split is bench/pinch, deads/ thickbar, push press/ wrists, squats/grippers. 5. What hobby (other than grip/bending/lifting) do you enjoy? Mountain biking and boxing when there is time. I mostly just spend time with my family, it helps that we all train together. My son Anthony has caught the grip-bug and plans on doing his first powerlifting meet next year. 6. Who's UTR Grip Profile would you like to see? I would like to see a profile of David Mitti. Thanks Chris, David will be profiled in two weeks. This series will return next Wednesday with Lucas Raymond.
  40. 20 points
    As I renewed my membership on the GripBoard, I was reminded that I've been here for 5 years. I'd like to take the time for 4 quick thank-you's. 1. Thanks to our tireless leader Bill Piche (Wannagrip) for spending his time and resources to maintain this excellent forum. This awesome upgrade just shows that Bill refuses to let time pass the GripBoard by, and highlights his desire to keep it the leading Grip-based forum in the world. If you haven't yet become a contributor, consider throwing something in, regardless of how small. Not only does it truly help...but having "skin in the game" seems to make a member a little more caring and concerned about our growing sport. 2. I'd like to thank the IGC (past and present) for helping set Grip Sport on the path it's set on now. Only as my time in the sport has grown, have I realized how much you guys have done and dealt with. 3. Thank you to the many friends I have gained through this forum. If you wonder if I'm talking about you...than it's likely I am. So many gripsters have helped me in this sport...with no thought of repayment or accolades. This truly is a great community. 4. Grip Sport itself (and the countless who've helped shape it). Oddly enough, I'm thanking a faceless entity. You see, Grip Sport has helped keep me centered over the years. As one who has dealt with both physical and mental trials...I can tell you that no one thing (other than my wifey) has helped me through a great many hurdles that were set in my path. That's it. Thanks for reading. - anwnate
  41. 20 points
    Today's profile features Jedd Johnson. A former Baseball player turned Strongman, this CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) co-founded http://www.dieselcrew.com/ in 1999. In 2003, he started turning an interest in Grip Strength into a passion…one that has carried on to the present. While a comprehensive list of his grip accomplishments would be impractical…this multiple Mighty Mitts Invitee, placed 1st (overall) at NAGSC (North American Gripsport Championship) in 2015. He also took top honors in 2005, 2010, and 2014. Additionally he placed 1st (overall) at Gripmas 2007, 2008, 2014, and 2015. While Jedd's feats are numerous, I think his greatest accomplishment is the proliferation and direction of Gripsport itself. Out of the first 14 Gripsters I've profiled, 11 of them sport either a Diesel Crew shirt, or made personal mention of Jedd himself. His impact on Gripsport can not be overstated. Whether from Diesel Crew, The Grip Authority ( http://thegripauthority.com/ ) or his Youtube channel, no person on "this side of the pond," has introduced more people to Grip. Speaking of his Youtube channel, he recently hit the milestone of 7000 subscribers. In 2012, still very much the grip newbie, I debated attended the WSH leg in Wyalusing, PA. I still remember Jedd's response to me. "Come and get the experience…Brotherrrrrr!" That was the exact nudge I needed to attend and start me on my own grip journey. My experience was not unique, as Jedd is responsible for a great many introductions to Grip. While his personality may be "bigger than life," he's quite down to earth, easily approachable and extremely helpful to gripsters everywhere. Let's find out a little more about the man they call "Napalm!" 7 questions to get to know Jedd. 1. What are your stats? Gripboard Name, Age, height (inches/meters), weight (lbs/kgs), R/L dominant hand size (cm/in), country, city (or region…whatever you are comfortable with), married/single, kids, occupation ("international spy" is acceptable) Gripboard Name: "Jedd Johnson" Age: 37 Height: 6'2.5” (189cm) Weight: 245-250lbs (and dropping) (111-113kg) Hand: Right 8.5" (21.6cm) Location: USA/Wyalusing, Pennsylvania Relationship Status: Married (Delraine) Kids: JayCee (5), Alyssa (16), and Todd (20) Occupation: Owner of Diesel Crew LLC, brotherrrrr. 2. Why did you start training grip (and how long is it now)? I first started training grip when I learned about John Brookfield. I saw a picture of him tearing a deck of cards, which I always assumed was just a "trick." I got obsessed with that feat and wanted to get strong enough to do it. This was probably the tail end of 2002. I really just wanted to be able to rip decks of cards whenever I wanted to as a party or bar trick, and that was the extent of my plan. I ended up finding Rick Walker on the old DrSquat.com forum, talking about grip and training to reach the #3 certification. He announced a Grip Contest in August of 2003. Once I found out there were feats to train for like 5x10's pinch, challenge items like the Inch Dumbbell, and actual Grip Contests, I was even more intrigued. Once I figured out I was actually pretty good at this stuff (I farmer's walked the Blob in the parking lot of the Olive Garden, real wholesome Italian Food, the first day I encountered it), I was HOOKED, brotherrrrr. 3. Before you die, what is your ULTIMATE grip goal/goals? Snatch the Inch Dumbbell is probably my ultimate goal. I would rather do that than certify on a #4, brotherrrr. 4. How do you currently structure your overall training/how do you incorporate your grip training? This is always changing. It depends on what feats I am working on and what contests I am training for, but here is what I am doing right now (for the most part)… I generally train 4 days per week. 3 of those days are Body + Grip. The 4th day is primarily just Grip. I combine Grip right into my Body Training. You might think of them as complexes or supersets. Pretty much every workout is a Thick Bar day. I have a heavier and higher volume Gripper Day and a lighter and lower volume Gripper Day, as I outline in CBT. I'm training Pinch twice per week as well. I am not currently bending right now, unless someone orders a Diesel Designs sculpture or something like that. I'm also not doing much tearing, unless it's part of a demo or appearance, brotherrrrr. 5. What hobbies (other than grip/bending/lifting) do you enjoy? Professional Wrestling is a big hobby of mine. I don't like the current state of the Internet Wrestling Community, so I don't do much discussion regarding the current product. I like to watch it with JayCee and use it as a stress reliever during the week. I like to approach it like it's a real sporting event. (Note: Although the endings are without a doubt pre-determined, I laugh when I hear people say it is fake.) I considered joining a wrestling school last year. I had to put off joining because I got my sinuses scraped and couldn't risk getting hit in the nose or I might die. Now that I am cleared to do it, we will just have to see. I'm torn because it would mean a lot of time away from the family (getting trained and qualified). There is so much involved in it that you have to learn, technically and choreographically speaking, it isn't even funny. Aside from that, my only real hobby is ice fishing. I get out a couple times a year on ponds. I usually go out with my dad, brotherrrrr. 6. Do you have a personal anecdote, topic or thoughts you'd like to include in your profile? Anecdotes: I have so many, it's crazy. I'll include a few, and hopefully they don't bore you. I drove to Rick Walker's house one time with my business partner at the time, Smitty. We had like a 4 hour workout. On the way back, my truck broke down, and while we waited for a wrecker to come pick us up, we trained for another couple of hours in the parking lot of a big truck stop. We did mainly Strongman at Rick's and mainly Block Weights along the side of the road, but it really showed me how much volume my body could handle. In the past, I would travel to a lot of competitions in Ohio, Illinois, and New England with John Eaton. Well, this one time (I think we were on the way back from Gripmas), he thought it would be wise to drive like 100mph on snowy roads. He began to pass a tractor trailer and just as we came even with the nose of the truck, a deer ran across the road. We were blinded by the truck so there was no chance to even hit the brakes. It was merely luck that we didn't smash that deer and have who knows what happen to us physically. That might have been our last trip together. I used to train with a group of 4 or 5 guys (the original Team Diesel) for Grip and Strongman. These were some of the best workouts of my life. I miss those days. I quit driving up there because I was cheap - gas hit $1.50 a gallon, and so I started gathering up my own equipment and starting my own gym. In a way, it was stupid to stop going up there when gas hit that price, because it would more than double that price eventually. At the same time, it helped me get to where I am now with one of the most unbelievable collections of grip-specific equipment in the world. Topics: One thing I'd like to discuss is the growth of Grip Sport. I'm one of the guys who's been in it the longest and I'd like to see it grow. I'm doing as much as I can (planning to hold several grip contests and challenges all over the country this year), but being a family man, I can't travel as much as I used to when I was younger, single, and didn't have my daughter. My suggestion or "Call to Action," if you will, would be to help get Grip Sport out in front of as many people as you can. Take some of your grip stuff out of your house/basement/garage and volunteer to take it to the gym for a couple hours and have people try stuff, or set up a booth at a local fair or bizarre. You never know who you might engage with Grip. Thoughts: The board just got a big upgrade, which costs money. I encourage members to donate to the board if they can to help support Wannagrip. I also encourage people to support the small companies that sponsor Grip Contests, brotherrrrrr. Acknowledgements: I want to thank Nate for spearheading this effort. This is awesome. Thank you for the time and effort you're putting into it. I am truly hoping your health stays strong and we continue to see you at Grip Comps. I also want to acknowledge Gil Goodman and Maria Bascetta for their efforts. It wasn't long ago that Gil emailed me to find out more about Grip Sport, having just learned about it. Shortly thereafter, he ends up kicking major butt at Nationals, which is where I met Maria and his entourage - how cool is that? - Gil had his own entourage! Now he and Maria have become successful contest promoters and have a company. Talk about taking the bull by the horns, brotherrrrrrr! 7. Who's Grip profile would you like to see next? I want to learn more about our faithful leader here at the Gripboard, Wannagrip/Bill Piche, brotherrrrr! Thanks Jedd. Bill will be profiled in two weeks. This series will return next Wednesday with Bob Sundin.
  42. 20 points
    Hey all, I finally did it! http://ironmind.com/news/Anthony-Clarino-Certifies-on-the-IronMind-Red-Nail/ Wanna give a huge thank you to all of you. I really could never have achieved this without all of your help. My heart is very full in this moment. Also, I wanted to do this thing a la Frank Pizzo style, where you cert the red and then bend something else afterward, so I certed the Big Hexabastard as well. Special thanks to Chez for being my ref, and John Manna for coming through to support!
  43. 20 points
    Today's profile covers Gil "Squeezus" Goodman. Only after coming back from my medical hiatus (May 15'), did I hear about Gil Goodman. He quickly (and impressively) certed the CoC #3, MM1+ MM2. Because I was catching up, I neglected to notice that in his very first NAGC's, he placed second in his weight class (to Kody) and fourth overall. So, when I got to meet him in person at the NCGC + CTD in Maryland, I had the erroneous impression he was just into grippers. While it's true he's a beast with grippers (CCS 169 at NCGC's), he quickly disabused me of any "gripper guy" notions. He simply dominated the contest...and I got to witness someone "fling" an INCH dumbbell for the first time. With his rapid rise in the world of grip, it makes you wonder how many other Gil Goodman's are out there training "under the radar." 7 questions to get to know Gil. 1. What are your stats? Gripboard Name, Age, height (inches/meters), weight (lbs/kgs), dominant hand size (cm/in), country, city (or region…whatever you are comfortable with), married/single, kids, occupation ("international spy" is acceptable) Gripboard Name: "Squeezus" Age: 29 Height: 5'9" (175cm) Weight: 210lbs (95kg) Dominant Hand size: Ambidextrous 8" (20.3cm) Country/City: USA/Nashville, Tennessee Marital Status: Single (1 dog) Occupation: Mechanical Engineer 2. Why did you start training grip (and how long is it now)? I bought my first gripper (CoC#1) in the summer of 2012, after watching the documentary “Pulling John”. I had read a little bit about John Brzenk in his Wikipedia article and it said that he was close to closing “The Captains of Crush #3 Gripper” so I wanted to see what that was all about. I figured that I had a pretty solid grip from rock climbing and bouldering for 7 years, so what the hell. I closed the #1 on the first try, then immediately ordered a #2 and closed it with each hand on the first try. I bought the #3 a few months later (couldn’t quite close it) and started sporadically training. I didn’t know anything about setting or the difference between TNS, MMS, or CCS. I was doing 5x5 with my #2 somewhere between CCS and MMS width. It wasn’t until I found reddit.com/r/griptraining and subsequently the Gripboard that I discovered the wide world of grip training. After some prodding from my girlfriend, I finally programmed my gripper work into my workout schedule, got comfortable closing the #3, and certified in May 2015. Just a couple weeks later, I attended my first competition at the North American Grip Sport Championship. I’ve been hooked ever since. 3. Before you die, what is your ULTIMATE grip goal/goals? Before I ascend to Valhalla, I would like break the 2” V-Bar record held by Adam Glass, certify on the CoC#3.5 and place FIRST at Nationals. 4. How do you currently structure your overall training/how do you incorporate your grip training? I do a powerlifting workout (Mon-Bench, Tues-Squat, Thurs-Overhead Press, Fri-Deadlift) with different variations of Wendler 5/3/1 depending on the lift. I work grippers on Monday and Thursday, pinch on Tuesday, and thick bar on Friday. I am experimenting with using Wendler for my pinch and thickbar. My grippers are on a high volume program that I developed for myself. 5. Do you have a personal anecdote, topic or thoughts you'd like to include in your profile? In Gripsport, we pick up lots of crazy stuff. We have implements of every imaginable form and the variety is fun and entertaining. There is always a new challenge or a new way to approach an existing one. These implements are all great, but the best thing I have picked up is the wonderful spirit of the community. From the first time I competed at Nationals, I was welcomed and treated with camaraderie by everyone, even the guys that I was competing directly against. Being a newbie, I had plenty to learn but nobody treated me like I didn’t deserve to be there. They were all happy to meet a new person in the sport and give me any tips or help they could. I could get strong in my garage alone and post videos to youtube and instagram. I’d probably save money on travel and hotels too, but I would be missing out on what I think is the coolest thing about the sport, the gripsters. Thank you all so much for being kind and fun. 6. What hobbies (other than grip/bending/lifting) do you enjoy? I enjoy tinkering and building stuff in my garage. I recently got into welding and have been building lots of fun grip tools. When I’m not making things, I like to play pool, go to stand up comedy shows and concerts, and hike around the Middle Tennessee area…all with my lovely girlfriend, Maria. 7. Who's Grip profile would you like to see? Amy Wattles. I really want to see female Gripsport get popular. I have a ton of respect for Amy. She has really pushed the boundaries of what women can do in Grip. Thanks Gil, Amy will be profiled in two weeks. The series will return next Wednesday with Joshua Henze. Note: On 1/16/16, Gil will be hosting the "2016 Southern Squeeze Grip Competition." If the current numbers are any indication, this may turn into one of the premier yearly grip comps.
  44. 20 points
    Have you ever wondered why you can close a gripper one day and can't another? It's not all that complicated…but let's lay some groundwork to begin with. Are you getting weaker? Are you regressing? Is your program wrong? No. Unless you take so much time off that you start to atrophy, you are not getting weaker or regressing. By definition, all gripper programs involve gripper work, therefore all programs are right. Some are very aggressive and some not-so much…but they all work. Could they be sub-optimal? Sure. Could the program be dangerous? Possibly with poor application. But "wrong"…no. Why do 95% of gripsters quit grippers before they reach their goal? (I simply picked that number) Lack of progression. Progression = Motivation. A simple concept…but in many respects, humans are guided by simple desires. In the beginning, most gripsters have unrealistic expectations due to "newbie gains." They go from a #1 to a #1.5 to a #2 in a matter of months (gripper variance aside), an expect that this type of progression will continue. I like to call these "newbie gains" something else…"achieving base camp strength". You can say that the first time you touch a gripper is your base…but most of us who start grippers, have lived a life without training that exact crushing motion. By training this for a short period of time, you actually achieve a different sort of base…your first "real" plateau. I picture this as establishing "base camp" on a very high and difficult mountain. As you bust through these plateau's, the distance to the next level of achievement becomes further and further away. Using the mountain analogy…the air gets thinner and thinner, making progression slower and more difficult. You must expend more energy and time to achieve gains. Whatever program you follow, to achieve success, you must do three things: Have faith in the program, follow through, avoid sabotage. Having faith in the program is incredibly important for motivation. I've said this innumerable times…Progress is not linear. Every time you train grippers won't be a PR. There are too many factors involved for you to always be "on" at the "whim" of a training program. The longer you have been training, the longer your outlook needs to be for judging it. For anyone at the #3 level, a month means very little…and 2-3 weeks means nothing at all…zilch, zero, diddly-squat. If you keep judging your progress on a weekly training session, you are not looking at things properly. There are numerous ways to progress…and not all of them are obvious. Follow through. If you are on a program…follow it. In general, they were all designed by trial and error. Meaning…most of the problems that you may run into, have already been accounted for and worked into the program. Whatever program you choose…follow it for a MINIMUM of 10 weeks before deciding to start "tweaking" things to your own thoughts. Additionally, afterwards, give your hands sufficient rest to recover, since most programs are designed to break down your hands…you may actually UNKNOWINGLY made significant gains that are currently hidden. Avoiding sabotage. What does this mean? If you are following the gripper program to the letter…but adding a ton of additional grip work with your general training…you have changed the parameters of the program. This could include something as simple as raking your backyard. While these things can't be avoided…you can account for them by adjusting your rest to accommodate for them. As pretty much all of you know, the reason you can close a gripper on one day and not the next…has to do with both your recovery and CNS. But…this bears repeating. If you are insufficiently recovered…you can't expect to perform at a maximum level. If your CNS isn't firing properly…you can't expect to perform at a maximum level. Can the CNS be manipulated or "turned on" by exercise (squatting, exercise, etc)…yes. Do you have full control of your CNS…hell no. When my back is "out", no matter what I try to do, I can't access my full power. Basically, I'm short circuited. But…that doesn't mean I can't get a gripper workout in. This is where "Faith" or "Trust" in your program comes in to play. Gripper gains come from "overload" and "recovery." It's extremely simple. You don't get stronger by working out…you get stronger by recovering from working out. Finding out just how much "overload" you can take…and how much "recovery" you need is really the only mystery to grippers. And it's a riddle that actually changes as you age. A twenty-something Nate needed much less time to recover than the forty-something Nate. Some people are naturally better at this than others. Some people "feel" when it's time to work grippers…particularly those who are at the top of the gripper echelon. In lieu of this natural or developed talent, we use a rote program that has been written to accommodate the average need for overload and recovery. Ok…that's pretty much my rant about progession. On a personal note… In mid-October, I set a new 20mm PR. What followed in the next 6 weeks were 4 shitty (far…far from PR) workouts. I didn't get stressed about it, because I have…wait for it "Trust in the program." I knew that by breaking down my hands…they would recover and get stronger. After about 10 days rest from my last gripper workout…I had Gripmas. Ten days from that was last night. I randomly grabbed a gripper from a pile (gym is a wreck right now) and set it (around 2") with my left hand…grinded it. At that point I looked at the tag. It was a #142CPW #3. Now that's pretty cool since that's my left hand and it was almost a CCS. Surprised and motivated…I went ahead and tried to TNS it with the right hand. Almost to my shock…it closed. More shockingly…I felt like I had more in me…so I kept squeezing and grinded it. Looking through the pile of grippers…it turned out that it was the very lightest one there. So luck of the draw created that surprise close. Additionally, it was a PR. While I've TNSd a GHP7…I've pretty much sucked at TNS'ing CoC's. Last night, not only did the knurling not matter…I grinded the close. I followed that up with a 1" set close on my 175CPW GHP8. No grind. After that I set up my video and attempted another TNS. I was so far away it was ridiculous. I guess I put in too much on the first one. Although I'm stoked about last night…the purpose of this personal story is much less of a "look at me" and much more of a "trust in the process." I had 4 very difficult, but crappy-ish gripper sessions as a prelude to this close…however, after a bit of rest, I ended up seeing the results of the work I put in.
  45. 20 points
  46. 20 points
    Wasn't quite as long as I wanted (that's why I sat on it for about six weeks), but need a break from intense Inch work until it cools down later in the year. Was thinking if I died in my sleep tonight I'd want this video public because I'm proud of it.
  47. 20 points
    Today a tall, athletic ,older gentleman showed up at our facility and although working with the power company was drawn to our new door. He asked for me and walked in my office. After a smile in a slow smooth southern drawl said" you remember me" I said " you do look familiar"" but the voice instantly reminded me of bygone days. Mr. Bill was in his young years a tenacious committee head of The Columbia YMCA and fought tooth and claw to improve the many small rooms and halls dedicated to the weight room. He knew I was a "black Iron "lifter in the first Y room and he trusted my work. In his first major buy after I entered the business in 1980 was to renovate the bench and dumbbell section. The bells were all round head sphere ,and first generation York aspirin head "Fatman "Dumbbells. Everyone liked the bells but each was cursed in one way or another. Broken, loose heads, stolen single( in gym bags) and most every thin 1 1/10" handle bent into a rainbow shape. I came up with a method of welding plate loading bells into a solid unit by including an integral compression ring that made the bells resilient to breakage and handles a bit thicker to resist bending. The deal was struck and I schlepped the new bells up stairs ,down corridors and literally over benches to get to their new resting place. As I was happily ready to retreat with my check I was stopped by a Bill and the Y Director " Jeep" and they said "aren't you going to take the other trashed bells away"? I thought they were cool but mostly junked and destroyed but, I agreed. Hand carrying those twisted bells and clumsy broken ends just wore me out. I brought them home and instead of scrapping or throwing them away they just sat collecting dust. One day in a "massive "cleanup effort in my shop garage I removed all the broken pieces and as I went to snatch up the last ones the broken pair of 100s I was stopped cold by lifting the 50 pound chunk one handed. Mad , I tried harder with no luck. Being interested and having some talent in grip I rethought the situation that if tried hard enough perhaps some man or I could lift it. I saved the 4 broken 50lb.ends . Sent one to Dr.Strossen, one to Dr.Ken Leistner, lost one in the river as a boat anchor, and kept one and finally lifted it. A lot of history followed. The first "brother " other end of the bell resided at Leistners gym for many years and a great friend Sreve Weiner returned it to me, and Dr. Strossen's was lost in transit to an expo for Wade Gillingham. Mr. Bill Yarbourough responsible for my first Blob smiled deeply when he asked 30 years later" remember that first job we did with you".? I deeply thanked him and said his gift of sorts has become a world wide standard of grip interest.
  48. 20 points
    You no me on this board as a bender and gripster, but there are alot of things I those to keep to myself.. I have recently been diagnosed with ptsd and bad depression/Anxiety. I finally maned up and started taking meds for it. I hope it helps the reason i am telling you this is becuase you the gripboard and my 15 years of lifting has really been my therapy, It helps me relax and have a sense of self Worth, for anyone who deals or has dealt with this i salute you for being strong Its the hardest thing i have come up against and im ready to fight back! Im not Looking for your attention i am not asking for help i simply want to thank you all for being the best dam group of people ever! And if any of you suffer like me pm Me anytime. GRIP ON BROTHERS! And SISTERS;)
  49. 19 points
    So I came out here to Las Vegas to compete in the amateur national championships with confidence knowing that with all my grip training I easily had the strongest wrist/hand in my class. I was super anxious before my first match but once we gripped up my first match I knew I had it! Went underfeated without much of a challenge!!! If anyone is interested in watching them jump on the World Armwrestling League facebook page and watch the recorded live feed!! image.tiff
  50. 19 points
    Today's profile features...William Piche (Pih-Shay). Bill's Grip journey began with weight lifting back in 1979. From 1981-1993 he competed in powerlifting (ADFPA), and in 1989 managed a 3x bodyweight deadlift (bw 193lbs). He is a recognized author of Drug-Free training, penning numerous articles for (but not limited to) Gainz, HardGainer, Hardtraining Newsletter, Master Trainer Newsletter, MILO, Monster Muscle, and Powerlifting USA. He also contributed the Chapter "Powerlifting HIT" in the book, "Maximize Your Training," by Matt Brzycki. Around 1999, Bill took over this very forum from "Solan" and named it "The GripPage," (later re-naming it "The GripBoard"). He has maintained and updated it, ever since. He is also the architect of the RRBT and KTA gripper training programs. Displeased with the variance in grippers, he created the MashMonster Gripper Certification Program (a truly fair measure of crush strength, in which all participants certify on the very same gripper). Bill is the creator/owner of the bodybuilding and strength training site, "Cyberpump!." He is also the author of the simplified bodyfat reduction program "Transform Your Physique." (BTW…all the mentioned programs (and more) can be found at http://www.cyberpump.com/. ) In 2001, by certifying on the Ironmind #3 Gripper, he earned the rank of "Captain of Crush," thus joining the ranks which included early luminaries like Sorin, Brookfield, Samuelson, Snook, Horne, Gillingham(s), Weiner and Sexton. In 2004, he pinch-lifted a pair of 45lb plates together (smooth side out), a feat only a few people had done at the time. He was also one of the early gripsters to pinch lift a York Blob (half of a 100 York Dumbbell). "Bill, in my opinion, is right up there with some of the most important people in all of Grip. If this board doesn't exist, I most likely never get involved in the sport." - Jedd Johnson This is high praise from our reigning North American Gripsport Champion. Although Bill wears several hats, his most important role is as a husband and father. Even so, he manages to keep the GripBoard moving forward and is still extremely accessible considering how busy he is. He will go down as one of the most influential people in Gripsport History. That said, let's turn the stage over to "Wannagrip"… Left: Iowa Strength coach Chris Doyle and I at my #3 cert in 2001. I am now about 50lbs lighter and definitely not as fat in the face! LOL! Right: With the most important people in my life at our favorite place on earth. (Disney Hollywood Studios) 7 questions to get to know Bill. 1. What are your stats? GripBoard Name, Age, height (inches/meters), weight (lbs/kgs), R/L dominant hand size (cm/in), country, city (or region…whatever you are comfortable with), married/single, kids, occupation ("international spy" is acceptable) GripBoard Name: "Wannagrip" Age: 52 Height: 5' 9” (175cm) Weight: 170lbs (77kg) (I used to be about 215 to 220 during the time I was obsessed with grip. This was also at the tail end of my competitive powerlifting as well.) Hand: Normal (not small, not large) Location: USA/Iowa - 30 years (I am originally from the upper peninsula of Michigan.) Relationship Status: Married (Kim and I will be married for 30 years this June.) Children: Ryan and Amanda, who are 24 and 22, respectively. Occupation: My day job is designing autopilot systems for business jets and regional airliners. I have been doing this for 30 years now. I went to school at Michigan Tech University where I graduated in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. I received my master’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 1989 from Iowa State University. My job actually got me onto the early Internet where the early browsers did not even have image capability and were text only. There was a startup at the time called GeoPages were anyone could have a free home page on the web. At that time, Yahoo was just starting and everyone had “link” pages. No one was providing any real content. So, I decided to start the Cyberpump! web site and actually provide content rather than a bunch of links. That was in 1995. The site took off and it was also the time period of what could be called “The HIT Wars” on the newsgroup misc.fitness. Basically, the early version of what could be called a discussion forum. Cyberpump! soon attracted a lot of traffic. It was actually featured in GQ magazine and mentioned in US News. Back then, you had to create a web site at the code level and program it yourself. My engineering background helped me dive right in at that time and be the programmer for Cyberpump!. An interesting fact is that one of the guys who started programming a version of the first generation forum software got on my radar. He was super talented and really a visionary too. He programmed it by himself. These first versions were freeware. I literally hitched myself to this guy and the GripBoard has been hitched ever since software wise. I am not sure how much his company is worth today but it is probably millions. I continue to be the tech guy for the forum but I now have a lower level admin for the server in which the software resides. His name is Len from Russia and we’ve been working as a team for many years now. The GripBoard software runs on a dedicated server with a multi-core processor and two solid state hard drives. It’s not by chance it is super-fast. 2. Why did you start training grip (and how long is it now)? I started training grip around 1999. I learned about the COC’s from Brooks Kubik in an article on grip he wrote for the High Intensity Training Newsletter. At first, the Ironmind #2 Gripper was a goal. After I closed the #2, I thought I might have a shot at the #3. At that time, there were not many COC’s(Captain of Crush). It took a completely different approach for me to close a #3 and something like 2 years of specialization to do it. Normal training did not work. I would like to thank Steve Weiner (3Crusher) for all the back and forth early dialogue via email we had about closing the #3 gripper way back then. 3. Before you die, what is your ULTIMATE grip goal/goals? To be honest, I really don’t have any more grip goals. Each time I met one of my goals, it literally took total focus and specialization to do them. The one goal that eluded me was lifting an Inch Dumbbell. In reality, due to the limitations of actually having an Inch Dumbbell, it is really not given it’s due (in my opinion) for how hard it is to lift it. 4. How do you currently structure your overall training/how do you incorporate your grip training? My focus right now and moving forward is to lift for health and wellness and not hurt myself doing it. I have abused my body enough lifting when I was younger that I am pretty much forced to do this now anyway. So, I am running with it. I am trying to maintain a very lean and fully developed physique. My diet is very strict with respect to eating healthy as well. I eat mostly organic now too. Grip training is just doing some fun stuff along with normal basic exercises. My real goal now is to get to 90 years old and still be in the gym every day! 5. What hobbies (other than grip/bending/lifting) do you enjoy? I enjoy the whole idea of training and eating for health. I spend a significant time each week in food prep for the upcoming week. Of course I work to run several web sites including Cyberpump! too. That takes up a considerable amount of time in itself. 6. Do you have a personal anecdote, topic or thoughts you'd like to include in your profile? When it comes to training, “Keep an Open Mind” is a key element of continued progress (even if small progress as you age). In addition, you cannot expect different results if you don’t make a quantifiable change by an action that is very much evident. I am very proud of the collaborative GripBoard community and the great members we have from around the world! 7. Who's Grip profile would you like to see? Heath Sexton A big thanks to Bill for all his continued work on this board and for this profile. Heath will be profiled in two weeks. This series will return next Wednesday with James Retarides.
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