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The Mash Monster: An Interview With Mash Monster John Hicks!

Find all about who the newest Gripboard Mash Monster, John Hicks, is and view videos of his incredible feats of grip strength!

Mash Monster Number 13: John Hicks!

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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 thirteenth certified GripBoard Mash Monster, John Hicks.

John Hicks 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.

    It's not much. I really got into it about three years ago. I've always wanted to weightlift but somehow never got around to doing it. As far as what I do now, I dabble in everything; squats, deadlifting, benching, strongman stuff, and of course grip training.

[ Q ] How did you get into grip training?

    Late at night sitting in front of the T.V. doing a billion reps with a store-bought gripper. I said that there had to be more than this! I remembered an ad from IronMind in a bodybuilding magazine I had. I called them up and they sent me a catalog. From that, I ordered all the grippers. The rest is history: I got hooked on the grippers and grip strength.

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

    Train HARD! (no... harder than that!)

[ 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?

    From the time it took me to close the #2 till the time it took me to close the #3 was about two years. That's because I took my dear sweet time and didn't rush it.

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

    I love doing work on my NYB grip machine. I've got 200 pounds on it now. Also, my SW (Secret Weapon). Lots of negatives and timed holds. I'm also doing some wrist roller work on the NYB Power Wrist Roller; again 200 pounds on that.

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

    I don't use the grippers as much as I did in the beginning. I do mostly grip machine work now.

View The Video Of John Closing The MMG

Windows Media Player (890 KB)

[ 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?

    Of course. I tried numerous methods and came down to this conclusion: train your grip twice a week. Some guys have found out that they can do more than that - good for them. You have to find out what's best for you. I've told people that if I trained my grip everyday, my hands would fall off. Twice a week works best for me.

[ Q ] What are your favorite grip exercises?

    Anything involving training my crush grip!

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

    First of all, go to Ironmind and get the grippers. The Trainer and the #1 to start with - you don't know what you have until you can guage what you've got. Second, ask yourself what kind of goals do you want to achieve? Third, ask someone who is into grip training to help you as to what routine would best fit you.

[ Q ] Who do you most admire in gripdom?

    The guys that help other guys. I look at the grip world kind of like a "brotherhood". I know that sounds corny, but I've known people like Richard Sorin, Joe Kinney, John Brookfield, etc., that go out of their way to give advice and to help guys who want to get into grip strength and training your grip. I myself have done a lot helping others. That's what it's all about!

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

    Get and use a grip machine earlier than what I did. I firmly believe things started happening for me when I started doing that.

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

    Pinching anything. Pinch lifts. It's the worst part of my grip, I really have to work on it.

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

    Again, anything crushing.
    • 175# Rolling Thunder
    • 200# NYB Power Wrist Roller
    • 200# NYB Grip Machine
    • 150# Secret Weapon
    • 150# Little Big Horn
    • 40# blob
    • Two 35# plate pinch
    • 35# hub lift with three 5# plates

    I'm sure I've left a bunch of other things out.

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

    That's simple: overtraining. Going too fast and wanting to do it all at the same time.

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

    I can name three right off the bat. Joe Kinney's ungodly domination of the #4. Hermann Goerner's one-handed lift of 727 pounds, and Mark Henry cleaning and pressing the Inch dumbbell overhead at the 2002 AOBS.

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

    Yes. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Never give up and keep your eyes on the prize! Go for the gold, reach for the stars..... ah, enough of that!

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