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David Wigren, Level 1

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The GripBoard Proudly Certifies:

David Wigren


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.

Official Mash Monster Video

David mashes the GripBoard Mash Monster Gripper - Level 1

Name: David Wigren

Age: 29

Height: 188cm

Weight: 81kg

Date of Feat: 5/04/15


How Long Grip Training: Off and on since 2002

Current Grip Training Program: I do grippers in 1-2 times a week at the gym in conjunction with pressing exercises and squats. Two hand pinch and/or thickbar 1-2 times a week along with some wrist work.

Other Training Info: Powerlifting, calisthenics, and running

Other Info:

Acknowledgements: My friends and family. I wish to thank my buddies here at Gripboard and at my gym ÖKK for making grip and lifting fun.

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

I’ve been lifting in one way shape or form my entire life. I’m most known for my steel bending which was my great passion for many years until injury and a fading interest forced me to move on. I still bend steel on occasion but not with the intensity I did years ago. Now I’m more into bodyweight training, some powerlifting, and grip training.

How did you get into grip training?

My father bought me a #1 and #2 back in 2002 worked up to closing the #2 and then never really moved on. Bought a #3 after I got out the army in 2005 and started working on closing the #3. Found the Gripboard after some Google searching. Became a member and slowly worked up to closing the #3 in 2006. After that time I found steel bending, which became my no 1 priority so I never really moved progressed that much from that point until recently when I started focusing on grip strength.

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

Chris Rice mentioned something years ago that I took to the heart of my training. He said that the reason why most people don’t progress is because they are testing their strength rather than training it. While I believe Chris made that comment specifically in regards to steel bending I think this applies to grippers as well. To attempt and fail on the same gripper over and over is probably not going to give you good results. Sure, heavy attempts and negatives every once can be a good thing. But don’t let that be the only training you do! You would be much better off to set your ego aside and work on doing reps on easier grippers. Mix things up, do beyond range work, strap holds, TNS, deep sets, the whole 9.

What does your current grip routine look like?

I do grippers in 1-2 times a week at the gym in conjunction with pressing exercises and squats. Then I do 2HP and/or thickbar 1-2 times a week along with some wrist work.

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

Yes, very much! Lately I’ve been having great results by doing rep work instead of just doing heavy singles. I keep three goal-grippers. One gripper that I want to close for a single, another gripper that I shoot for 5 reps, and lastly one gripper I strive to do 10 reps on. As soon as I hit one of those goals, I move on to a harder gripper for that particular rep range.

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

My current frequency of doing grippers 1-2 days a week and 2hp/thickbars/wrist 1-2 days a week seems to work best for me. I have experimented with higher and lower frequencies. And though higher frequencies worked very well for me in regards to steel bending, it has not worked well for me with developing grip strength.

What are your favorite grip exercises?

Strict plate curls. I believe that when done strict with a straight wrist and no momentum, you strengthen your entire hand. Pinch is my absolute weakness and I almost hate doing them. But they are extremely important for a strong hand. Two hand pinching and pinch lifting plates will give you strong hands.

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

I think it’s best to keep things as simple as possible in the beginning. Start doing overhand deadlifts, pullups, and heavy rows without lifting straps. Do reverse curls, hammer curls and wrist curls to work your extensors and forearms. Do pinch lifting for your thumbs. After time the trainee can start to add more specific exercises such as grippers, thick bar, plate curls, hammer levers, and etc.

Who do you most admire in gripdom?

I would love to list a large number of people. So many people have been inspirational and influential to me; I would hate to leave any of them out. But if I was forced to narrow my list down to just a few. I would mention:

Eric Milfeld, David Horne, & Jedd Johnson

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

To train smarter and with greater variety. I would vary the exercises and rep-intervals. To train with the same intensity as I did but knowing when to back off and when to push through.

What do you believe is the most difficult grip exercise?

Grippers require a lot of technique. You’re not going to close big grippers unless you have good dexterity and control over the gripper.

What are some of your personal bests in grip exercises?

Strict plate curl with a 15kg plate for 10 reps.

Deadlifting an 11 lbs hammer.

TNS a #3.

Bent a full sized crowbar once.

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

I believe a common mistake is to not train all aspects of the grip.

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

Brian Shaw’s clean and press of the Blobzilla with the thumb on the rounded side.

Do you have any parting advice for readers?

Enjoy the grind! Train with intensity! Don’t be afraid to try different ideas, variety is your friend! Don’t neglect your weaknesses. And don’t be afraid to take some time off if your hands and body need to rest.

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Great write up David!


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That's my brother in grip right there!

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