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Brent Barbe - Level 1

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The GripBoard Proudly Certifies:

Brent Barbe


GripBoard Mash Monster Level 1

This certification is granted by The GripBoard as an independent third party with no ethical or commercial conflict of interest.

The Mash Monster Gripper is one of a limited number supplied and controlled by The GripBoard.

The gripper is closed with one hand under strict and uniformly ethical and authenticated conditions.

This momentous feat was demonstrated on video to assure it will be valid for posterity.


Brent mashes the GripBoard Mash Monster Gripper - Level 1

Official Mash Monster Video

Mash Monster Profile

Age: 37

Height: 6'

Weight: 217#

Date of Feat: 2/17/12

Witness: Mary Ann McKeague

How Long Grip Training

5 years

Current Grip Training Program

Almost everyday. brief and intense.

Other Training Info

I also do highland games and a very little bit of strongman.


Many many people have helped me out, given me advice, and given me encourage meant along the way. In no order at all: chris rice, jedd johnson, andrew durniat, ben edwards, matt cannon, mike rinderle, and my wife Mary Ann


Brent Barbe, the 75th man in the world to close the Mash Monster Gripper - Level 1.

Back to the Mash Monsters Main

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Could you tell us a little about your background in lifting?

In high school and college I was very involved in rock climbing.

after school there were several years where I was too busy to do much

but work.

How did you get into grip training?

Sean Rice and I competed at highland games together. he introduced me

to his father, Chris rice, who was having a grip event in a couple of

months. I showed up and that was it, I was hooked.

You are now a GripBoard Mash Monster, what would you recommend to those aspiring to close this gripper?

Develop a good warm up routine and stick to it. I've been training

harder and more than ever and I've managed to stay injury free.

avoiding injuries and overuse issues is the key to progress.

What does your current grip routine look like?

Currently I'm training for about 45 min every morning before work. I

go through my warm up, hit 2-3 exercises, and then I have to go.

Honestly I'm not sure if I recommend it since my last comp did not

produce the results I wanted. For the gripper portion of my training

I'm following the struse template and using a V2. that portion I have

been happy with as training grippers has always been an issue for me.

How has your grip routine changed since you first started training your grip?

I've done almost everything I could think of or read about. I think

the biggest chance has been that as my strength increased I was able

to use more axle for my traditional gym work.

There seems to be a significant variation in the frequency of grip workouts among trainees even with the common goal of ultimate grip strength. Have you experimented with workout frequency and it’s affect on your training?

Right now I'm using very high frequency. I've been having good luck

with my testing at the gym but, not in comps. it's still too early to

say. in the past I've gone from very high to very low frequency

training and had gains with both.

What are your favorite grip exercises?

2hp, thick bar pull ups, block weight tosses, and wrist roller.

What kind of starting routine would you recommend for a trainee new to grip training?

Variety. try to train in a bunch of different ways for a bunch of

different aspects/events. it'll keep you from getting weak areas and

help avoid injury.

Who do you most admire in gripdom?

I don't know. I've been lucky enough to travel to a bunch of comps

and get together with a lot of the big names in grip. probably I

admire the people who show up and compete whoever they are. I've

heard too many people talk about how they aren't strong enough to

compete. BS. everyone can learn something from stepping up and

seeing what happens under comp conditions.

If you were to start over again with your grip training, what would you do differently?

I wouldn't ignore my grippers as much as I have. I would have started

doing more extensors work sooner. I've been plagued by elbow issues

in the past and I think most of them could have been avoided.

What do you believe is the most difficult grip exercise?

The ones you suck at/don't like. they get avoided and don't improve.

What are some of your personal bests in grip exercises?

I pulled 363# on the axle a couple of weeks ago. truthfully I try to

concern myself more with where I am in the comp on any given day than

what my PR's are. although lately I have been after an elite total.

What do you believe is the most common mistake made by new grip trainees?

Focusing too much on grippers only and speculating about things that

have nothing to do with training. worrying about if anyone will ever

close a world class or how much kinney would do on item x is a waste

of time.

What do you consider to be the greatest grip feats of all time?

I always liked the hubbing video the guys in finland put up where they

were trying to hub a .5 kilo plate. sure, it was screwing around but,

I think it showed that sometimes the heaviest weight isn't the

hardest. also, funny.

Do you have any parting advice for readers?

Don't be afraid to ask questions and pm people for help. I've found

the gripboard to be an endless supply of advice and encouragement

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Congrats Brent! Thanks for the shout out too in the acknowledgements section. You'll go farther up the list I have no doubt.

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