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Under the Spotlight - Grip Profile - Bob Sundin

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anwnate

 

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.

 

Bob Sundin pic.png

 

 

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.

 

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MCrushetta

This was so great to read! I really wanted to know more about Bob Sundin too. I also can't use anger to lift and used to try,  until I realized it doesn't work for me and I have to be quiet and peaceful and focus on things if they are going to move. Great write up!!!!:)

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Squeezus

Awesome writeup, Bob. I'm so glad I got to meet you at The Southern Squeeze. You are certainly an inspiration, and a cool dude.

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climber511

Bob's strong obviously - but he's also a great human being and good friend!

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FJM

Great read! Keep pushing limits of mind and body Bob. 

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Jared Goguen

Another great write up.

I have to ask about the clicker training of cats. What are you getting them to do?

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Lucasraymond

Always a fierce concentration during contests...huge inspiration to all of us Bob. Keep up the great work!

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Jedd Johnson

Nice write-up my man.  Can't wait to have you here at my gym again competing sometime soon.

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tspinillo

A grip giant whose focus and strength is unrivaled.

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David Mitti

Excellent read!

Nice to get to know a bit more about Mr Sundin .

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jasonotto

Bob's focus is like no other.  He is constantly setting goals and working toward improving each week.  It is an awesome thing to witness every week!

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burkhardmacht

Great write up, Bob! Good to see You keep going after achieving so many goals!

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KRC

Love what Bob has done and his demeanor and attitude.  Thanks for doing this!

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austinslater

Great read. Bob is always willing to lend advice and help people.

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Josh Koenig

Bob got me into to this sport along with James Retarides. Very thankful to have been able to train with and spend time with Bob. Great guy and always willing to help out. 

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3Crusher

Great write up and amazing lift in your profile picture!

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