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Under the Spotlight - Steve Gardener

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anwnate

Today's profile features Steve Gardener.  When Ivan asked to see his profile, I was excited , but clueless...how to begin.  The best I could do was…uhhh…he's crazy strong…and looks like Jean Reno's character in "The Professional."  :D   Thank goodness David Horne was willing to come to my rescue and guest write Steve's introduction…

 

Steve Gardener…
I have known Steve since 2001 where he competed in that year’s British Grip Champs (coming in 3rd place).  Since then, he has competed in the sport of grip in the biggest contests around the world, such as World’s Strongest Hands, Champion of Champions, British Grip Champs, European Grip Champs (in Spain and Germany), and the Mighty Mitts and Woodall Grip Challenge contests in the USA.

For the last couple of years he has competed in the Grip Tour contest in Leeds winning both of these events.

Prior to this his title count is:
European Grip Champs – 2008, 2010
British Grip Champs – 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010
Britain’s Most Powerful Hands – 2012

Over these 16 years of grip activity his knowledge has grown, and although he trains very differently to me, we have a lot of similar understandings. Over the years, he has listened and put into practice many valuable ideas.  He also dropped his habit of tinkering with grip tools at a contest.  Don’t burn this important energy needlessly.  Steve knows this now and has mastered his contest preparation!

Over time, he has strengthened his weaknesses, and now has a very good all-round ability.  He has a strong wrist in leverage events, and of course has pulled 117.5kg(259lbs) on the Two Hands Pinch Lift for the 4th best lift EVER in comps.  He also holds the Adjustable Thick Bar world record with 161.98kg(357lbs) and nearly pulled 170.05k at this year’s Leeds contest.

Steve is known for his thick bar ability, whether with an Inch (normal or thumbless grip), Axle, or whatever.  In 2000, Steve along with Alan Radley designed the famous 228lb Millennium Dumbbell. A beautiful dumbbell (which he still owns) and 6 others were cast and these are owned by other people around the world.  Mark Henry (Powerlifter, Strongman, Olympic Weightlifter and WWE star), came over to meet Steve in London to attempt to lift the dumbbell, and both of them did.

Steve is also known for his great gripper ability. He is very strong in that 30mm range.  At his peak I have seen him dominate some big grippers with ease!

Finally, he is a lovely person and along with being a champion in grip, he is a champion in talking!

 

SGPAINT5.jpg

 

7 questions to get to know Steve.

 

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) 

GB name: Mobsterone

Height: 6' 3" (190cm)

Weight: 280lbs (127kg) typically

Hand Size:  8.25-inches (21cm), Right hand dominant

Lives: Wales, UK

Status: Single but one daughter and two grandkids

Occupation: too boring to mention

 

 

2.  Why did you start training grip (and how long is it now)? 

I started in 2000 and this followed seeing and reading Randall Strossen's ‘Captains of Grip’ profile of Richard Sorin and John Brookfield in Ironman Magazine.  So 17 years grip to date and 37 training.

 

 

3.  Before you die, what is your ULTIMATE grip goal/goals? 

I’m not sure I still have any. The time, dedication and focus I know I’ve given to feats and competing in the past… do I still have that? Wave a magic wand and I’d say a left-handed pick up of my Millennium dumbbell and a 4 close.

 

 

4.  How do you currently structure your overall training/how do you incorporate your grip training? 

My log is,I know, among the longest and most read of any GB topic so it’s there for all to see as far as structure is concerned.  I am, however, a BIG believer in the KISS principle and a low volume approach.  I do ONLY that which needs to be done.  Back when I worked to pick up an Inch I purchased a handle and spent a year doing 1 or two thick handled dumbbell sessions a week.  I’d add ¼-kilos at a time if need be and when I hit my rep target (say 8 x 1) up went the weight.  50 something sessions and 12 months later all those reps and lbs added up to a lift.  Other lifts, done for other reasons MAY have helped but were not included to make an Inch lift easier per se.

Grip training.  This applies more for competitions (I’ve an upcoming one this weekend as I type my replies).  There’s 4 lifts in the events this weekend so I’m doing two local gym sessions which include grip work.  One which is pure grip can be here at my home gym or there and then one more which is here only.  So two as parts of other workouts and two which are not. I also look at how much of an impact on my recovery ANY session has. So I KNOW that I’m not gonna pull, bend or squeeze big numbers the day after my leg workouts for example.

 

 

5.  What hobbies (other than grip/bending/lifting) do you enjoy?

Walking and taking my camera with me (I’ve a Nikon P900 – crazy zoom lens).  The countryside around me is awesome in places and I try to show how so with my efforts.  I’m a voracious reader given half a chance too.

 

 

6.  Do you have a personal anecdote, topic or thoughts you'd like to include in your profile?

I’ve probably travelled more (although a few are catching me up in the recent international tournaments) to grip than most for competitions.  Especially from here to Europe and the US. My favorite still to be the Chad Woodall completion in Georgia.  Rex’s parents’ house was amazing and there’s a memory of us grip guys in the Jacuzzi, me waving my $600 winnings, lots of beer and girls in bikinis.  There are others. Liz Horne putting me, Steve McGranahan (the strongest RedNeck) and David in our places – wiping her hands on her pinny (apron) and doing a 45lb plate hub lift having prepared Sunday dinner after a competition.  I can carry on with these all day ha ha

One thing I’ll add for the benefit of fellow gripsters – it’s easier for us to sometimes to analyze others and their training than it is ourselves.  I’ve made a TON of mistakes to get to know how to work myself now.  Others are still learning.  So I’ll see crazy levels of volume work by others and they wonder at a lack of progress… remember – I do the minimum I need to get the result I want.

 

 

7.  Who's Grip profile would you like to see next?

I’ll keep it on this side of the pond – Liz Horne

 

 

Thanks Steve.  Elizabeth Horne has agreed and will be profiled soon.

 

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KapMan

So damn cool. Its like reading about superheros 

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climber511

I got to meet (and compete against) Steve at Chad's contest in Georgia years ago.  I think I saw him close 3? different COC #4s while he was there and he did so many Inch lifts I quit watching.  He was also very helpful to other competitors with technique tips etc.  He and I talked quite a bit.  I still have the British Flag tee shirt he gave me. 

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Kashtan

Steve - true old british school. Im remember, when he lift 117.5 kilos on Euro Pinch, Lourence Shahlaei also pull this weight! Two great athletes. 

Also Steve on contest in Birmingam on Rolling Thunder lifted 118 kilos - Brian Shaw also 118 kilos!

Both 2-nd places.

But Steve - 125 kg BW, Brian - around 200 kg.

And Brian - top WSM, world grip also.

Steve Gardener - lifted 81 kg 1 hand sure on 3.5'' handle DB in contest.

Real strong man.

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mobsterone
9 hours ago, climber511 said:

I got to meet (and compete against) Steve at Chad's contest in Georgia years ago.  I think I saw him close 3? different COC #4s while he was there and he did so many Inch lifts I quit watching.  He was also very helpful to other competitors with technique tips etc.  He and I talked quite a bit.  I still have the British Flag tee shirt he gave me. 

Great comp. I closed a 4 to win the gripper portion then two more inc one rated at 205, after for the guys. My best 4 performance day I think. There's a video of me pulling an Inch from the dirt at the thing we all did after at Chad's place.

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mobsterone
9 hours ago, Kashtan said:

Steve - true old british school. Im remember, when he lift 117.5 kilos on Euro Pinch, Lourence Shahlaei also pull this weight! Two great athletes. 

Also Steve on contest in Birmingam on Rolling Thunder lifted 118 kilos - Brian Shaw also 118 kilos!

Both 2-nd places.

But Steve - 125 kg BW, Brian - around 200 kg.

And Brian - top WSM, world grip also.

Steve Gardener - lifted 81 kg 1 hand sure on 3.5'' handle DB in contest.

Real strong man.

I'm proud of the fact that not only did I compete with WSM level athletes I beat a few. I lifted against Mark Felix (who won the above event) 2x in a Rolling Thunder competition. Again that weekend I was closing a LOT of grippers and do other stuff because I was working on the Ultimate Grip stand. 

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Alawadhi

Nice read Steve and surely you are strong! 

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Wannagrip

A BIG thanks goes to Nate for bringing this series to the GripBoard!

Just phenomenal!! 

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mobsterone

It, along with the upcoming events Nate is putting together, is Nate's claim to fame. An inspiring idea. Well done Nate

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mobsterone
16 hours ago, Kashtan said:

Steve - true old british school. Im remember, when he lift 117.5 kilos on Euro Pinch, Lourence Shahlaei also pull this weight! Two great athletes. 

Also Steve on contest in Birmingam on Rolling Thunder lifted 118 kilos - Brian Shaw also 118 kilos!

Both 2-nd places.

But Steve - 125 kg BW, Brian - around 200 kg.

And Brian - top WSM, world grip also.

Steve Gardener - lifted 81 kg 1 hand sure on 3.5'' handle DB in contest.

Real strong man.

There's a photo on my FB athletes page of my nigh on getting 118kg two years prior. I've also had air under 121 a few years back.

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Kashtan
1 minute ago, mobsterone said:

There's a photo on my FB athletes page of my nigh on getting 118kg two years prior. I've also had air under 121 a few years back.

Steve  you are very strong in all 4 movements - grippers, vertical grip, thick bars, pinch.

What is your goal? I remember you could not certify at 3.5. Maybe you try again? And your's cert on GHP8 2 reps - you set not 1.5'' - much wider, as CCS. Maybe you try cert on GHP9? Nathan Holle probably bored as the only Britt on top tgis cert.

Also - what you say about King-Kong? This great contest ideal for you! All 4 event (V-Bar Cruscher stub flask) you awesome performance! I believe - you can make new world record on Crusher 2.5'', and V-Bar! And Flusk also. 

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mobsterone

It's hard to say. The more past 50 I get the less having a lot of events I wanna do becomes likely. However, as I've stated elsewhere having a training target focuses everything. Right now I wanna do 2 things:

1) I'm coaching two women with a view to see if I can get them to break some world records later this year.

2) I've an idea to do something that's not been done before with an Inch dumbbell.

I have thought about the GHP9. But right now I'm barely training grippers. I did do a few single reps with the GHP8 two weeks back for fun.

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boland magyar

a true legend. reading his log got me into using a 2 1/2 inch wrist roller and my forearms will be forever grateful. all the best for the future steve.

 

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Kluv#0

This man has lifted 356lbs on the adjustable thickbar(griptopz) amazing strength!!!!!

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mobsterone
2 hours ago, Kluv#0 said:

This man has lifted 356lbs on the adjustable thickbar(griptopz) amazing strength!!!!!

In the montage used for the profile I'm pulling 374lbs. I was a 1/4-inch short!!!

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Kluv#0
45 minutes ago, mobsterone said:

In the montage used for the profile I'm pulling 374lbs. I was a 1/4-inch short!!!

I love the adjustable thickbar just like all of the Griptopz and I truly appreciate the level of strength you have as I consider myself strong and Iam not even in the same universe with you.

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mobsterone

Not today but maybe one day?

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Kluv#0
30 minutes ago, mobsterone said:

Not today but maybe one day?

That would be amazing. I will continue to gain knowledge, try new implements, train diligently, with passion and enjoy the journey. Have a great weekend!

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Hubgeezer

Steve, I met you on my 53rd birthday, and I see your 53rd birthday is coming up soon.

FYI, the strongest I ever was on grippers was when I was 56. 

I suspect if you were to certify on the 3.5, no one would ever be able to duplicate that feat. 

Not that you care about such silliness, but I wanted to point it out to you.:cool

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Cannon

Great read. You're one of the guys who has always been there. 

I've always wondered if your screen name is meant to be "mobster 1" or pronounced as one word with Italian flair like "mobster-own"?

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Wannagrip

Steve has to be considered in my mind on the short list of the best grip guys of all time. Especially considering his long track record...

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