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Russ Farver, Level 1


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The GripBoard Proudly Certifies:

Russ Farver

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.


Russ mashes the GripBoard Mash Monster Gripper - Level 1

Official Mash Monster Video

Mash Monster Profile

Age: 38

Height: 6'0"

Weight: 240lbs

Date of Feat: September 17, 2011

How Long Grip Training

1 ½ years

Current Grip Training Program

I currently train crush, pinch, thick bar and wrist training every 3rd day. I do my weight training the day after grip training since deadlifts kill my grip strength if done before hand.

Other Training Info

I also train powerlifting 3-4 days a week. I feel that in order to optimize grip strength you need to strengthen and condition the whole body as well.

Other Info

I also train martial arts several times a week which helps greatly in conditioning, flexibility and dexterity.


Of course I’d like to thank the Gripboard and all the members who have been so helpful to me since I started grip training. Also a big thanks to Aaron Corcorran and Tim Struse for all their invaluable training tips and guidance. Thanks also to my training partner Dave Delgado for always being ready to put in some hard training. Last but not lease thanks to my wife Lisa for putting up with all the banging of dropped pinch lifts at 2am when I miss a lift and to my 4 year old daughter Megan who is my biggest cheerleader and is constantly pushing me harder by saying “One more daddy, one more!”


Russ Farver, the 71st 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?

I started lifting weights when I was 12 just messing around with a small weight set my dad had lying around. It got much more organized when I got into high school but now I realize our coaches didn’t really know much about getting strong. Now I train the 3 main lifts in powerlifting as well as some accessory work 3-4 days a week and plan on entering my first powerlifting meet in 2012.

How did you get into grip training?

I remembered seeing something about grippers in a lifting magazine and decided to try them out. Once I got my first couple I started researching about gripper training online and came across the Gripboard. The rest is history.

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

First of all, focus the bulk of your training with deep sets. I’ve found the best progress for closing big grippers (and make no mistake this IS a big gripper) is to train the close from about a parallel set. You will also get plenty of practice setting the gripper so that when cert time comes around it will already be second nature. Also, make sure to get plenty of recovery time.

What does your current grip routine look like?

I’m currently training crush, pinch, thick bar and wrists every third day. I also work any contest specific lifts starting a month or so before a contest.

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

When I started it was only grippers done two days on, one day off, two days on and two days off. This worked great and allowed great progress on grippers but once I started adding other grip training in I became overtrained quickly. Now I give myself plenty of recovery time between workouts and am making great progress on all aspects of grip strength.

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?

I have experimented a little bit. When I started I was training 2 days in a row before taking a day off. When I started adding in more grip events I tried every other day but found it wasn’t enough time for recovery. Now I take two days off between workouts.

What are your favorite grip exercises?

Grippers (of course), 2hp and blob.

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

I would recommend 2-3 days a week working on 2hp, grippers, thick bar and wrist training. Get a solid base before adding too many specific lifts.

Who do you most admire in gripdom?

Aaron Corcorran and Tim Struse (whom I know personally and are great inspiration), Paul Knight, Richard Sorin, Joe Kinney…there are many others but it would require a book to list them and the reasons.

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

I would focus on the basics and not only grippers for the first 6 months minimum .

What do you believe is the most difficult grip exercise?

Anything I can’t do…lol. Right now solid lifts with both hands on an Inch db and wide pinch.

What are some of your personal bests in grip exercises?

340 lbs. DO axle deadlift

Double blob farmers carry

Beef Builder Elite gripper

Double 45 lb. hub lift

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

Overtraining and tunnel vision on one specific area of grip strength.

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

Joe Kinney #4 gripper close

Jedd Johnson WR 2hp lift

Paul Knight’s grippers and bending

Do you have any parting advice for readers?

Train the whole body as well as grip, get plenty of recovery and overall have fun training. If you miss a lift or plateau it’s only temporary and not the end of the world. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions on the Gripboard because there are A LOT of knowledgeable people there who are more than willing to share their knowledge with you.

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Excellent profile Russ! Enjoyed reading that man. Nice to see that your DO Axle is 340lbs too by the way! Big improvement over last year.

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Thanks guys!

Excellent profile Russ! Enjoyed reading that man. Nice to see that your DO Axle is 340lbs too by the way! Big improvement over last year.

My best ever axle pull was 323 lbs. after leg 1 of WSH last year but I wasn't deadlifting then. I think this improvement came just from getting better at deadlifting itself as well as my overall grip getting stronger. I'm going to start adding some sets of axle deads to the end of every deadlift workout and start working it specifically.

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