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Michael Thomas - Level 1

Bill Piche

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The GripBoard Proudly Certifies:

Michael Thomas


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


Name: Mike Thomas
Age: 51
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 222lbs
Date of Feat: February 28, 2017

Witness: N/A
How Long Grip Training: 17 months
Current Grip Training Program: Variety of grip lifts, 4-5x weekly
Other Training Info: Be open to try various training methods and grip implements
Other Info: 
Acknowledgements:  Gripboard for having this Mash Monster certification pyramid and all those involved in making it happen. Chez(Gripboard)- who has always been helpful, polite and has a great gripper training video and My wonderful wife and son for their unconditional love and encouragement.



Michael Thomas the 109th man in the world to close the Mash Monster Gripper - Level 1.

Interview with Michael Thomas

Could you tell us a little about your background in lifting?
I have been lifting weights since 13 years old.

How did you get into grip training?
I stumbled upon a grip youtube video and it looked interesting.

You are now a GripBoard Mash Monster, what would you recommend to those aspiring to close this gripper?
Train with purpose, proper recovery and keep a journal.

What does your current grip routine look like? 
Random/unconventional and much is done by how I feel- I might do thickbar 2-3 days in a row along with grippers and pinch then next week only 1x each on separate days- just depends on how I feel.

How has your grip routine changed since you first started training your grip?
When I first started I did not train grippers- that went on for about 4-5 months before I figured I better do it.

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?
I enjoy working on my grip on a daily basis but I do my best with 4-5 days training a week.

What are your favorite grip exercises?
IM Axle, Pickaxe, 2 hands key pinch, HEAVY 1 arm DB rows w/o straps and greshamgripper rows(1 arm barbell/axle rows w/o using straps or collars).

What kind of starting routine would you recommend for a trainee new to grip training?
Buy some Metolius rock rings and sledgehammer- ASAP, Pinch and thick bar 1-2x week, some form of rowing w/o straps 2x week, wrist work and grippers 1x week.

Who do you most admire in gripdom?
David Horne, Aaron Corcorran, Thomas Larsen, Riccardo Magni, Eric Roussin, Mike Rinderle, Steve Millard, Gil Goodman, Tim Butler, Cesare Ricchezza, Chris Rice, Odd Haugen, Bob Sundin, Jedd Johnson, Jerome Bloom, Marco Buhl,  Big Joe Sullivan - all quality and outstanding men to represent Grip.

If you were to start over again with your grip training, what would you do differently?
Obviously, I would not start 4 months shy of my 50th Birthday:), Focus/train and APPRECIATE grippers more!!! I enjoy grippers now- it took some time:)

What do you believe is the most difficult grip exercise?
Plate pinching and plate curls

What are some of your personal bests in grip exercises?
380 lb.IM axle, 200lb 1 arm axle DL, 315lb.Tips Tester, 224 lb.2" FBBC crusher, 112 lb.2 hands shallow hub(Griptopz)Key pinch, 202 lb.Rolling Thunder, 74 lb.IM hub, 19 lb.rear pickaxe

What do you believe is the most common mistake made by new grip trainees?
Thinking there is some magical shortcut to get to the elite or even national level of grip- You have to pay your dues(hard work, research, diligent training, recovery) 

What do you consider to be the greatest grip feats of all time?
Morgan(Gripboard) MM8 close and Vilho Grenfors at age 72 pulling 286.7 lb. on adjustable thickbar(Griptopz)

Do you have any parting advice for readers?
Keep grip strength and subsequent accolades in perspective- nobody outside of grip really cares if you can close a #3, keypinch World class level,RT 200lbs,etc- they care if you are helpful and considerate of others.



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Thanks Bill for having this great certification process and Gripboard. I noticed that under my other info it says captain of crush #3 - I wish that was the case but only in a MMS,20,30MM set:)

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On 3/1/2018 at 7:25 PM, Kluv#0 said:

Thanks Bill for having this great certification process and Gripboard. I noticed that under my other info it says captain of crush #3 - I wish that was the case but only in a MMS,20,30MM set:)

Thanks. I found one other error too.

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