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The Mash Monster: An Interview With Mash Monster Eli Thomas!

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

Mash Monster Number 16: Eli Thomas!

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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 sixteenth certified GripBoard Mash Monster, Florian Kellersmann.

Eli Thomas 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 started lifting, seriously, when I was 19 years old. There was this guy at the gym who kept asking me to lift with him and he kept saying I had a lot of potential. I kept doing my own thing (which was the typical Bodybuilding routine) and I was very inconsistent.

    Then one day, I took that guy up on his offer - and I never looked back. That guy was Jim "Smitty" Smith of the Diesel Crew.

[ Q ] How did you get into grip training?

    Jedd Johnson and Jim Smith were doing some crazy grip stuff, and incorporating grip into all of their training. I was hooked from the start when I was able to almost close the IM #2 first time I ever touched a gripper.

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

    Find out what you like to do, and work hard to get your goals.

[ 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?

    3 months - I can mash the IM#3 but have not certified under the new conditions yet.

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

    Grippers and Blockweights 3 days a week and bending 1 day a week. But I incorporate thick bar lifting and 2 hand pinch in between lifts too.

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

    Less volume and smarter, more focused training. You can develop overall hand strength or you can do focused, direct grip training to reach specific goals.

View The Video Of Eli Closing The MMG

Windows Media Player (276 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?

    Too much grip training will definitely affect your other lifting. Grip must be cycled into your normal routine, in a way, that produces the best results for both.

[ Q ] What are your favorite grip exercises?

    Grippers, Bending, BLOB training, 2 Hand Pinch….

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

    High volume, low intensity to develop a good foundation - otherwise you'll try to do too much and end up hurting yourself.

[ Q ] Who do you most admire in gripdom?

    Jim Smith.

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

    Start at an earlier age.

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

    Rolling Thunder.

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

    6" IM RED nail (IM RED certified)

    600 pound eagle claw Deadlift

    Beef Builder Elite (BBE, harder than an IM#3)

    Double Overhand Dead - 455 lbs

    Rack Pull 800 lbs - no straps

    Double BLOB Full Deadlift

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

    Too much volume, not educated enough.

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

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

    Read as much as you can and always continue to learn. What works for others might not work for you.

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