Name: Chris Mathison
Weight: 282 lbs
Date of Feat: 03-03-08
[ Q ] Could you tell us a little about your background in lifting (age, when started lifting, why you started, what you do now as far as lifts)?
I started lifting weights 4 years ago. 1 Year ago I found grip and strongman and my outlook on training did a 180. I've accomplished more in the last year than the other 3 of lifting weights.
[ Q ] How did you get into grip training?
While training for strongman events for the first time at a friends house he handed me a #2 and I crushed it for 5 reps. I was hooked.
[ Q ] You are now a GripBoard Mash Monster, what would you recommend to those aspiring to close this gripper?
Train your goal gripper. Heavy singles until your hands hurt. Then do one more. Don't use a little pain in your hands as an excuse not to train grip. Your tendons will accommodate. Remember your not just training muscles so forget everything you think you know and hit grip 3-5 times a week.
[ Q ] You are also a Certified Captain of Crush©. How long did it take you from when you first started working on the grippers to closing the #3?
About a year.
[ Q ] What does your current grip routine look like?
- Bodyweight static hangs on 1" and 2" bars.
- Plate pinching
- Block weight and Blob50
- 2" VBAR
[ Q ] How has your grip routine changed since you first started training your grip?
This first year I did nothing but grippers for grip. Now I am switching focus to thick handle and pinching for the strongman carryover.
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?
At first I would hit some grippers once a week after Friday workout. I went nowhere! Then I just overloaded my hands with grippers for a few weeks.
I would take the #3 to work and hit it daily by using two hands to crush it and then try to keep it shut with one. A few weeks of that and I closed a #3 for the first time. Then I knew what would work for me and in a few short months I was doing parallel reps with the #3 and credit card closes.
Chris Mathison Closing The MMG.
[ Q ] What are your favorite grip exercises?
Grippers and I like double overhand 2" axle pulls.
[ Q ] What kind of starting routine would you recommend for a trainee new to grip training?
Build a good base to deal with the volume required by grippers.
[ Q ] Who do you most admire in gripdom?
Wade Gillingham. Watch his pinch demo video and you will know.
[ Q ] If you were to start over again with your grip training, what would you do differently?
Not much. Everything has its place and if I didn't get stronger from something I would at least gain knowledge from it.
[ Q ] What do you believe is the most difficult grip exercise?
The Rolling Thunder boggles my mind.
[ Q ] What are some of your personal bests in grip exercises?
8 short reps with the last 1" on a #3 and a 200 lb Rolling Thunder lift. Also, a 200 kg double-overhand deadlift on a 2" knurled axle.
[ Q ] What do you believe is the most common mistake made by new grip trainees?
Not doing enough. Don't use your crappy bicep routine on your hands. Forget everything you think you know and make your hands hurt 3-5 times weekly.
[ Q ] What do you consider to be the greatest grip feats of all time?
Mark Felix lifting 301 lbs with a Rolling Thunder is the greatest feat.
[ Q ] Do you have any parting advice for readers?
Whatever you're doing at the moment for grip do 50% more for a few weeks and see where it takes you. And, don't forget to visit the #1 place for grip strength information The GripBoard (www.gripboard.com).