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How Does John Brookfield Stack Up?


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Mikael Siversson

ever tried taking a slimy slippery fish from a net. takes more then endurance. takes lots of grip strength. and edurance.

Yes I have. How do you know it takes a lot of grip strength?

Do you have a lot of grip strength?

You should answer your own question. If the answer is yes, is it because a piece of paper says that you hold a certain certification?

Sure, yes I do have a fair bit of grip strength. And no, my answer is not based on a piece of paper.

Steve McGranahan, one of the best Americans, was outperformed by Nick McKinless in the Champion of Champions competition. I will compete against Nick and others on February 25 so by then we should know exactly how much grip strength I do have.

What about you?

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I agree with you Mikael. Isn't it funny that most posts about what John Brookfield can do start with the words "I've heard that John Brookfield did......." Only a handful of Grip Board members can a

Without John and a few others from the past - none of us would be doing this at all. I respect him as a pioneer who played a major role in what we call "our sport". Whether he is the strongest is no

ever tried taking a slimy slippery fish from a net. takes more then endurance. takes lots of grip strength. and edurance.

Yes I have. How do you know it takes a lot of grip strength?

Do you have a lot of grip strength?

we fish alot up north here. that is how some of my family members make a living. you really have to grip those sucker to get them out of the net. you use your hands alot in fishing.

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Bearcat 74

I think so, they are very slippery.

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I usually stick my thumb down their throat and snap their necks or whack their heads off the side of the boat, lol. Saves my grip for training later.

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ever tried taking a slimy slippery fish from a net. takes more then endurance. takes lots of grip strength. and edurance.

Yes I have. How do you know it takes a lot of grip strength?

Do you have a lot of grip strength?

You should answer your own question. If the answer is yes, is it because a piece of paper says that you hold a certain certification?

Sure, yes I do have a fair bit of grip strength. And no, my answer is not based on a piece of paper.

Steve McGranahan, one of the best Americans, was outperformed by Nick McKinless in the Champion of Champions competition. I will compete against Nick and others on February 25 so by then we should know exactly how much grip strength I do have.

What about you?

Plenty, actually. I've not actually competing formally, other than some local off-the-wall rep contests in squatting and arm wrestling events, yet have most importantly benefited from my overall strength in various physical encounters througout my career.

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Mikael Siversson

ever tried taking a slimy slippery fish from a net. takes more then endurance. takes lots of grip strength. and edurance.

Yes I have. How do you know it takes a lot of grip strength?

Do you have a lot of grip strength?

You should answer your own question. If the answer is yes, is it because a piece of paper says that you hold a certain certification?

Sure, yes I do have a fair bit of grip strength. And no, my answer is not based on a piece of paper.

Steve McGranahan, one of the best Americans, was outperformed by Nick McKinless in the Champion of Champions competition. I will compete against Nick and others on February 25 so by then we should know exactly how much grip strength I do have.

What about you?

Plenty, actually. I've not actually competing formally, other than some local off-the-wall rep contests in squatting and arm wrestling events, yet have most importantly benefited from my overall strength in various physical encounters througout my career.

You should. It is great fun but it also gives you a more accurate picture of where you stand in comparison to others, especially these days when we see more and more standardised lifts.

I (or anyone) can claim to have a strong grip, but "strong grip" has a different meaning depending on who you ask.

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I usually stick my thumb down their throat and snap their necks or whack their heads off the side of the boat, lol. Saves my grip for training later.

its kind of hard to do that when using fishing nets. they get all tangled in the net, so you really have squeeze and use a hook with the other hand to take them out. plus you have to grab them from different angles to prevent the fish from slipping.

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plus it is like minus 30 to 40 over here. and youhave to wear gloves, which makes it harder. some of my friends can't even open there hands the next day. cause they pull fish out of the nets. grab with one hand and a hook with the other. then you have to gut them, and fix them up. this is all done outside in cold weather. then you have to load up the tubs. these tubs weigh abut 80 pounds. so more workout for the forearms. i don't think you'll beable to workout with grippers after tough days work like this. i ofter wonder about deep sea fisher men, dangerous job, not to mention the damn hard work they have to do. lots of them must have good grips. cause there outfits are ten times bigger then ours.

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George Champlin

All I can say is I just watched two of Mr. Brookfield DVD's and they are very impressive! His bending style is different but the things he does IMO is top notch. And on top of that he does shows to show kids what determination can do for you in life. To me that just rasies his stsus even higher.

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You will probably never see Brookfield go up against allround grip champions like David Horne as he would have everything to loose.

Ludicrous to claim that someone who never competes has the strongest grip in the world (now that we have quite a few grip competitions every year). It is based largely on faith and not on cold facts.

I agree with you Mikael. Isn't it funny that most posts about what John Brookfield can do start with the words "I've heard that John Brookfield did......." Only a handful of Grip Board members can actually say that they have seen John Brookfield perform in person. I saw him perform at the 2004 AOBS, and he bent a couple of hefty steel bars, and since I did not personally test them, I can't say how hard they were to bend. As we all know, steel varies all over the map. Is Mr. Brookfield strong? Yes, very, but his legend grows as the stories are passed from person to person. John told me himself that he has a 150 pound kettlebell with a 2" thick handle that he flips from hand to hand for sets of 20. When I saw him perform at the 2004 AOBS, he did this using what he told the crowd was an 80 pound kettlebell. Impressive, yes, but he did not toy with it easily enough to make me believe that he can toy around with a 150 pound kettlebell with a 2 inch handle for sets of 20 reps.

Here is an interesting tidbit that is probably a little known fact about John Brookfield and Randy Strossen's relationship. From what Randy Strossen writes about John, you would think that Randy has seen John do so many things in person over the past 10-15 years. Randy Strossen told me himself that he met John for the first time in person at The Arnold Classic in March of 2004. In other words, Randy Strossen had to take John Brookfield at his word about all that he claims to have done. Interesting. He had never seen him bend a nail, or a horseshoe in person. Here is a fun fact. The first person that Randy Strossen ever saw bend a horseshoe in person was Pat Povilaitis at the 2003 AOBS dinner.

Anyway, this post is not to a knock on John, but it is intended to provide a reality check about strength feat documentation. If you can't test what is being lifted or bent personally, and the claim seems way off the charts, then you have to think about what is being claimed.

I would like to clarify something so all confusion is avoided about my opinion of John Brookfield and Randy Strossen. My post was not supposed to be a bash of John, or any of his accomplishments, or to bash Randy Strossen's reputation about his ability to judge John's (or anybody else for that matter) feats of strength. I will only be as strong as John is in my dreams. If it were not for John Brookfield, most of us on this discussion board would have never even heard of the vast array of grip exercises that we all take for granted today. John was one of the pioneers of the grip game, and my respect goes out to him 100%. His inventiveness and ability is tops in the game. I really enjoy his books as well, and Mastery of Hand Strength is a must have for all strength athletes, not just grip enthusiasts. Over the years, he has always been very giving of his time to me, whether on the phone or in person. It was my honor to be a warmup act for him at the 2005 AOBS dinner.

Randy Strossen's knowledge of the Iron Game is not easily surpassed by many people on this planet. He has probably witnessed more weightlifting in person by top caliber strength athletes than anybody else on the planet, so I have to emphatically state that he is very qualified to judge strength feats. His photos are awesome, and I would imagine that he probably has the best collection of lifting photos around. We have him to thank for keeping the tradition of selling heavy duty grippers alive and well. Ironmind sells some of the best equipment you will ever find. I should know, as I always seem to order something from them just about every year. My hats off to Randy for selling top notch equipment, publishing MILO, and for always having the time to chat with me about various aspects of the Iron Game.

In conclusion, my apologies if I have come off the wrong way about Randy and John. They have earned my respect for what they have started and for what they keep doing. Thanks guys!

Respectfully,

Steve Weiner

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All I can say is I just watched two of Mr. Brookfield DVD's and they are very impressive

Careful Gripperm - that looks like an "on-topic" post, what are we going to do without our ongoing slippery fish debate? :tongue

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Mikael Siversson

Well we can conclude that John Brookfield has very strong hands and that a fish is indeed a very slippery creature. We are making some progress here.

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Well we can conclude that John Brookfield has very strong hands and that a fish is indeed a very slippery creature. We are making some progress here.

LOL :D

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Well we can conclude that John Brookfield has very strong hands and that a fish is indeed a very slippery creature. We are making some progress here.

:laugh

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  • 1 year later...

Here's my take on this. I have met John a few times, talked to him, I have a picture with him on my gallery. He bent - and broke - a chisle for me and gave it too me and I still have it in my gym on display. I always looked at him as one of the top gripsters in the world. I still do. I don't know if I ever asked myself if I thought that he might be the best. Honestly, I don't think it ever entered my mind. I say, Give credit and respect where credit and respect is due. Don't don't raise it above that and don't drag it down either.

As far as John never competing, he is a showman and a trainer. Think of all the people he has reached with his shows and his books. A person does not have to compete to be one of the best. Maybe it's a personality thing. Maybe he just performs bettter in his enviroment. I have no idea. But maybe if you contacted him and made arrangements to go visit him and watch him do some things at his place, maybe he would show you some impressive things.

Guys, I'm the same way. I am not at John's level in anything, don't get me wrong. But I have made some claims on this board that, frankly, many have not believed. I know this! And, no, I do not travel or attend these get-togethers. But my gym is open for all who want to come out and train with me, or to watch me do something. Only one member of this board has ever taken me up on the offer. Another member was going to come with him, but did not come. The member came out to armwrestle. We did. He could not move me. But the thing is, when I went to crank on some of my DB's to show him some other things, he turned his back on me everytime and walked to another area of the gym. Now, I know he just came out to armwrestle, but with the DB's, Wrist-curl bar and EZ-curl bar just feet away, I don't know why he didn't want to see some of the things I had been posting about. But he made it clear that he did not want to see them without saying anything

I have two Powerlifters that I work with. One of them - Shawn Henderson - just benched 635 at 242. He's very strong and a great guy. I like him a lot. But he wants me to bring my curling bar, Wrist-curl bar and all my weights, either to work in the parking lot or to his house so he can see what I can do!! Why can't he make the 25 minute trip to my gym to see? Needless to say, I won't do it.

I'm just saying that to say, maybe if you make the trip to John's place where he is in his enviroment, he might treat you to an exciting show - and show you first hand just how high he can toss that K-bell. Maybe he'll break out the 150 pound K-bell, who knows. Besides, I'm sure traveling with that size of bell - along with everything else - just is not worth it. But by making the trip to his place, you might be very impressed.

John has done a lot to turn many on to this activity. And even at his age, I'm sure he can still bend and grip at a high level... Give credit and respect where credit and respect is due

Dave....

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Wow! I've read this whole post with much interest.

Several points to make. I've not been able to find any of John's DVDs in the USA. I'd love to see some of them and I think he's awesome.

Now, John doesn't compete it seems but does Dennis? If you notice, the more popular people become, then the more they have a tendency to avoid direct comparisons. Ever notice how it seems that when Dennis is doing a show with Pat, he doesn't seem to want to bend spikes or nails even though he says that he bends them? First, and I'm begining to understand that it would be hard to go after records all the time and still do 200 shows in a year. Is it more important for Dennis to please his audiences or bend XXXXX piece of steel for the gripboard? Now I understand that Dennis did armwrestle so please don't point that out to me. Thing is these guys have everything to lose and absolutely nothing to gain from the general public. When they needed a strongman for the show "science of superhuman strength" did they call Dennis or did they search the gripboard and pick one of us? Dennis makes good money doing shows so why risk it all? Same with John. Neither has certed with FBBC. Does that mean they can't bend any of the stuff? Does it mean they can? To me one can't draw a concrete conclusion by someone's absense.

Comparison point. Why shouldn't Steven Seagal compete in the UFC? Because it would be a lose-lose situation for him, Chuck Norris, Jan-Claude and any of the others.

I bet Pat never does another bending competition either now that it seems he's a bona-fide strongman. Let me say loud and clear I DO NOT BLAME THESE GUYS. I think they are making the best choice for themselves and their family. Because they do not compete, yes they cannot prove that they are the strongest but you know what, we can't prove that they're not.

John's never proved he was the first to close the #4 like he states but nobody here can claim he didn't and prove it. Heck I don't know but I guess I'm naive and like to take people at their word. Besides that I don't think he's made to many claims to the gripboard. We've searched them out and made them an issue. I've never heard him complaining about not being on the top 20 bending lists.

If you notice Pat doesn't come on this board near as much anymore. I bet that along with other reasons, Dennis probably tells him, why are you messing around with that? I bet you won't see anymore FBBC certs either. Why? Because Dennis and probably Pat too, both know that mystery gets people's attention better and let us guess what his records are now rather than have them in concrete. He's already proven he's mucho strong and built a tremendous base so now let it build from there.

Dennis is crazy, extremely strong and I take my hat off to him. He's a great people person and as anyone who gets his newsletters knows, he's also an obviously good businessman. I have upmost respect for all I've mentioned. Now let me say this about Dennis and this is a compliment to his savvy not a knock to his strength. Do we know how hard it is to stop 2 airplanes? Would it be as hard as deadlifting 1,100 lbs? I think we all know the answer to that. Does it draw more attention from people and media and is the perceived difficulty to 90% of onlookers harder? Yes. Smart man.

My point is this. John, Dennis, Pat in my view are all extremely strong in my opinion but they're also very smart as presenting themselves to go along with it. That doesn't take away from the strength but rather adds another element to it. To me they've achieved one of the greatest accomplishments one can achieve and that is to get paid to do what they love and just because they don't prove themselves to us doesn't mean they're cowering in fear of somebody finding out how weak they really are. Maybe it's just not a priority to them.

I mean none of this negative by the way. To me there are some people on this board who have the potential to be that too.

Now to the original question, I'd love to see some vids of John doing his thing to form some opinions. I really don't know how strong he is but it seems he's been on quite a few TV shows and documented feats of strength to his credit so I'd have to say he's got alot in the tank. He also seems to be very knowledgable about coming up with excellent training ideas.

I admire John, Dennis, Pat, Big Steve and others who make a living doing what they love. That's something not many people can say.

Just some points.

Tim

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Quick side note...

Why shouldn't Steven Seagal compete in the UFC? Because it would be a lose-lose situation for him, Chuck Norris, Jan-Claude and any of the others.

Norris was actually a tournament Karate champion prior to acting, and while I make no assertion that he was the best ever, he did pretty well. Once fame set in he stopped, and in a way this fits with what Tim T said (which I agree with) in terms of there being nothing wrong with people providing money for the family based off of something they are know for. Sorry for the off topic-ness of this (hmm, I don't think topic-ness is a word :whistel ) but my inner Norris fan made me :tongue . Very good post Tim T, well described

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Guest Bonzi

It also seems that if there is a better strongman at the feats performed by the above mentioned folks, then there would be competing shows and the strongest would prevail and get all the gigs.

Maybe for starters, hold the airplanes apart while holding an inch dumbbell in your teeth. :whistel

As an aside, I would pay big bucks to see Segal OR Norris against Wanderlei SIlva. Silva would destroy

both of 'em.

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When most people 1st joined this board it was for the love of there hobby,more information on there hobby etc etc,i bet there thoughts at the time were not on certs or competitions now its the other way around alot seem obsessed with certs and comps i to fell into the certs are the be all and end all thing but i had my own personal reasons for this it was/is great to be able to compare yourself to others useing similar stock but its not or should not be the be all and end all of this board.its nice to see how you stack up against others but i bet it puts a few people off thinking they have to measure up or meet a certain mark this is obviously a personal thing and up to the individual.

I have been accused in the past of chaseing certs etc which i admit to but am i any different than those people that do the same thing thing by doing countless shows throughout the year the only difference i see is that they get paid for it showing people what they can do,why should chaseing a p[articular cert be any different.

Brookfield used to be a god on here when the board was in its infancy then because he was seen as no longer putting it on the line people started questioning and bad mouthing him yet some of these same people used to see him as a god how times have changed as Tim said the man makes a living from it so he has alot to lose by putting it on the table the same for a few others does this mean they are not world class because they choose not to compete i dont think so else why do people buy all there dvds etc.

The Holles along time ago choose not to compete because of the negativety they got off of this board and others people yet i would put Nathan up against anyone in a gripper contest,Gavin against anyone in a bending contest and Craig against anyone in an all around but because they choose not to please us by going into comps does that make them not upto scratch or less worthy.

Did Apollon,Inch,Saxon,goerner etc ever compete against one another we all know the answer to that why not cause these men i feel like John,Pat,dennis,steve etc have nothing to prove and everything to loose they know what they are capable of and each have an abundance of strength and are indeed world class at what they do but because they choose not to compete are they less worthy its only in true meaningfull comparisons that this would be worth doing but this will never happen.

David Horne,Mobster,Chad etc etc all those that choose to compete are they really any stronger than those that choose not to compete in an allround grip comp or in individual events etc is David Horne stronger pincher than Richard Sorin,Is Jedd better on the blobs than brookfield or Sorin,is Mobster better on the grippers than Nathan,is aaron a better bender than Pat or Gavin etc etc lots on here will say yes because they choose to put it on the line but thats not the complete story :D

No disrespect to anyone mentioned just some of my thoughts on this subject.

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bowermdw@yahoo.com
Several points to make. I've not been able to find any of John's DVDs in the USA. I'd love to see some of them and I think he's awesome.

Tim

I bought the Blueprint for Gripstrength from Ironmind and it's John Brookfield doing all kinds of things.

To be honest I don't know the strength industry. I read tidbits and I see a videos, and I get all excited. I don't care that so and so hasn't competed in this or that because what I see or read is so awesome that I put them on a pedestal. Then some other guy does something that is awesome and then they are on that pedestal. In my eyes there's room for all kinds of awesome people on the pedestal because they bent this and lifted that. They don't have to compete and knock each other off the pedestal. They did those things once and I put them there.

Everyone knows that people change and their interests change. They focus their energy on different things. Negativity will make anyone turn away from certain activities.

Doug

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