Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Chad Woodall interview

Chad (L) with gracious host Florian during Chad's visit.

Q: Hi Chad. Can I start by asking you to introduce yourself, where you’re from, how old, etc?
My name is Chad Woodall and I am from Athens, Georgia. I am 34 years of age and I am married to my wonderful wife Vonda and I have three step sons (Eddie, Eric, Alec) and one little girl Marley. I’ve worked at a Wellness Center as the Fitness Coordinator for the past 10 years.

Q: You’re well known in the grip world as a top level guy in that arena but have you competed in other strength sports to a similar level?
I started out in Bench Press competitions in 1996. I competed in 5 BP comps and placed 1st in 3, and then a 4th and a 5th. I then started competing in North American Strongman in 2003. I was the overall heavy weight winner in my first strongman competition…the Music City Showdown in Tennessee. I also set a new farmer’s walk national record in that show and it is still standing today. I competed in NAS Strongman Nationals that year and finished 5th in my weight class and 17th overall among the heavy weights. I also competed this past season in my home states Georgia’s Strongest Man and I came in 2nd place overall in the HW class. I then started competing in the Grip Arena in 2005 and my first contest was the Global Grip Challenge where I placed 3rd. I told myself then that this is the sport for me and I loved the competitiveness of the athletes. I’ve worked real hard over the last few years to improve on that 3rd place finish at the 2005 GGC and I have been lucky enough to win all my grip comps since that competition. I have been the US Champ for the past three years and all my hard work has paid off for me greatly.

At one time or another I have held or currently hold these grip records:
* Dynamometer WR – right hand
* 1” Vertical Bar WR – right hand* 2 hand Pinch WR* 2” Vertical Bar WR – right hand
* European Hand Gripper Record – right 3.81 / Left 3.60 ratings
* NAS Farmer’s Walk National Record – 240 per hand / 160ft. course

Image: Chad with his 385lb V bar lift

Q: As Grip World Magazine is aimed at all things grip - what does grip mean to you? What’s its place in training and so on?
At this point in my life I get enjoyment in training grip. It gives me an outlet on a stressful day and I am highly motivated to improve in grip so that it will help me be more successful in grip competitions. I train total body ALWAYS and I train grip at least 4 to 5 days a week. If I have to miss a workout…it will be something besides grip.

Q: Of all of the feats, guys and gals doing them and so on what stands out in your mind? Feel free to name names or lifts and records - be they grip or from other Iron Game arenas.
I would have to say men like Richard Sorin here in the US to be the first Captains of Crush and introducing the BLOB to the arena. Richard has done some impressive feats with the BLOB over the years and other feats with York 45 hubs, Anvils, and anything wide one hand pinch wise.

I have always been a fan of Bill Kazmier and John Brzenk as they dominated their sports respectively for years and their mental approach was off the charts. What stands out about these two: John Brzenk arm wrestling 100 men in one day and winning all but one I think? Also, Bill Kazmier winning the Worlds Strongest Man “3” years in a row…is very incredible.

Image: Chad at Richard Sorin's Sorinex compound.

Q: You are one of the few Americans that have traveled to compete. Tell us what that was like? Was there stuff you liked, disliked, would have changed and so on.
I traveled to Germany in 2007 in hopes to compete against David Horne…well known grip legend in England. He instead competed and won his 10th British Championship and I cannot blame him for that.

I competed in the Munsterland Grip Challenge and up against a VERY tough field of competitors like Florian Kellersman, Theo, Jim Wylie, and Franky H. There were 6 events and I placed 1st in 4 events and 2nd in 2 events and that was good enough to give me the overall win…but this was a hard fight the entire 10 hour competition. The one thing that stands out in my mind that I liked the most was the hospitality shown to me by ALL the competitors and especially Florian for taking me and my family all around the beautiful country of Germany, and letting me stay in his home. That makes for a trip that I will never forget.

I have to add that Florian and his partner also looked after Sam and I very well too. Steve

Q: Other than the records you currently hold what aspirations in grip do you have for the future? You can talk about them from a purely personal point of view or from the sport as a whole.
I hope grip friends do not take this the wrong way…but I would like to be known as one of the best of all time in the grip sport and as someone who displayed a drive and determination to improve each day and to push others to do their best. I would also like the opportunity before he retires to compete against David Horne…and hopefully this will happen in the 2009 Champion of Champions. He is a great proven champion and I would like to know how I stack up against him in the grip arena.

Q: Before we sign of have your say – if there’s anything you’d like to add be it a message to the guys or what-have-you here’s your chance!
I would like to encourage each athlete involved in the grip world to help keep the sport moving forward…because this is a great sport and I have met a lot of life long friends along the way.

Stay Strong, Chad Woodall

No comments: