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The Mash Monster: An Interview With European Mash Monster Jim Wylie!

Find all about who the newest and one of the first European Gripboard Mash Monster, Jim Wylie, is and view videos of his incredible feats of grip strength!

Mash Monster Number 4: Jim Wylie!

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In a previous article, I introduced you to the the first GripBoard Mash Monster Elite, Heath Saxton. This time I would like to introduce to you the fourth certified GripBoard Mash Monster and the first European Gripboard Mash Monster, Jim Wylie.

Jim Wylie Profile

[ 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'm 27 and I started training seriously in the summer of 2001. Up until this point I had been attending my local gym out of routine, and for general fitness. My current routine consists of grip work, squats, bench press and deadlifts.

[ Q ] How did you get into grip training?

    I discovered grip and the CoC grippers while browsing the cyberpump website. I saw the video of Steve Weiner closing the #3 and decided that this was something that I'd like to aspire to. I'd also heard that one of the trainers at my local gym was into grip strength so I decided to approach him and ask him if he'd heard of the CoC grippers.

    The person in question was David Horne. Dave happened to have some grippers with him and let me try the #1. It must have taken me about 20 tries before I finally shut it! After that I was hooked - I went home and ordered a #1 gripper. Two weeks later I ran into Dave again and shut his #2 gripper. He must have been impressed as he then invited me to start training at his gym. This was in June 2001.

    Attending Dave's gym for the first time was a little intimidating. The gym is located in David's cellar and I was initially confronted with a whole host of bizarre grip implements that where liberally strewn around the room.

    I wasn't too sure that I would fit in with the rest of the lads to start with, but I ended up making some really good friends. It wasn't until I started to learn more about the sport and David's reputation, that I realized that I'd been very lucky to get the opportunity to train with the master!

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

    Listen to people's ideas, experiment and find out what works best for you. Whatever approach you take, train with intensity and regularity. Stay focused and accept that you are probably in it for the long haul if you want to realize your true potential.

[ 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?

    I started training with the grippers in June 2001 for the strap hold event in the British grip championships. I started training for the #3 in September and closed it in mid-October the same year.

[ Q ] What does your current grip routine look like?

    Bending, various pinch lifts, one hand lift, vertical bar lift - all events in this years British and European Grip Championships. I tend to train the grippers when the mood takes me (I am not currently training them with any regularity - although I should be).

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

    I have always trained for all round grip rather than specific types of grip strength. Up to now I have not dedicated my training to just one aspect of grip as I'm usually preparing for the events in the British Grip Championships.

View The Video Of Jim Closing The MMG

Windows Media Player (2.5 MB)

[ Q ] 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?

    Not really, my training has always followed a Tuesday, Friday, Sunday format. There are some exercises that I only perform once per week such as bending (due to the pain!).

[ Q ] What are your favorite grip exercises?

    Currently - pinch lifting and bending. I'm not a huge fan of thick bar lifts as I believe hand size plays too much of a part.

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

    Try and build a good base by working crush, thick bar, pinch, and wrist strength. A couple of exercises to hit each of these areas two of times a week will be enough to build a good foundation and allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses before aspiring to specific goals.

[ Q ] Who do you most admire in gripdom?

    All of the people who are committed to sharing information and knowledge, and those who are working towards setting standards and introducing strict and fair certification processes for elite feats of grip strength.

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

    Start training my wrists from day one.

[ Q ] What do you believe is the most difficult grip exercise?

    The one hand plate curl. I can't imagine being able to curl a 20kg plate. I've seen Nick McKinless doing plates curls and it was an inspiration, he has very strong wrists.

[ Q ] What are some of your personal bests in grip exercises?

    Deadlifting an inch replica, cleaning the blob, deadlifting the blob with two fingers, one hand pinch of 2 x 20kg plates, one hand pinch of 3 x 10kg plates, 243kg vertical bar lift (1" bar), 135kg vertical bar lift (2" bar), Table top wrist curl 240kg, bending of 240kg challenge bar.

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

    Only training the grippers. I don't believe that crushing strength has much carry over into other areas of grip strength. A grip trainee who has only ever trained the grippers can be back to square one six months down the line when they try, and fail, to pinch two 25lb plates. Train all round grip strength regularly from day one.

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

    I think that we'll see the greatest grip feat of all time when the best international grip athletes get together and compete in an all-round grip strength competition. The overall winner of that competition will have achieved something pretty special.

[ Q ] Do you have any parting advice for readers?

    Find people to train with that share your passion for the sport. Don't get too caught up in comparing yourself to other people. Above all enjoy it!

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