Thursday, 20 November 2008

Q & A with Tommy Heslep

Tommy Heslep is, it must be said, one of the lighter freaks in our sport. Under 200lbs, under six feet tall and yet, for all intents and purposes, as strong a grip strength athlete as anyone. Making no excuses he remains one of, if not the best, under 200lbs strength athletes in the grip world. Here's the Grip World Magazine interview with Tommy:
Photo: Tommy pinching 2 45lb plates with two fingers and a thumb.

Q: Hi Tommy, Can I start by asking you to introduce yourself, where you’re from, how old, etc?
Hey whats up. My name is Tommy Heslep. I'm from Front Royal,Va. USA I'm 34 years old & weigh about 175lbs. My wife Mary Jo had our twin boys on June 8th 2008. Thomas Edward Heslep III & Micah Edward Heslep.

Q: You’re well known in the grip world. Have you competed in other strength sports and to what level?
I had no interest in sports when I was younger. I did do what was called "Freestyle" or BMX tricks on a bike.

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?
I had no idea about grip strength untill 1995 when I saw Dennis Rogers perform. He blew me away! b"4" see'n Dennis I couldnt believe that a person his size could have so much strength. I found out that with a little training I could do things guys twice my size couldnt do.

As if to prove that point here he is with two planes.

Q: As per my comment at the head of this interview you stand out as outstanding because you’re are under 200lbs and under six feet tall in a world of 300 lb and six feet plus strength athletes. With so many bemoaning their lack of stature, hand size, bone structure and so on what is it that makes you, as a lightweight etc, different? A lack of accepting limitations??
When it comes to strength, NEVER SET LIMITS! Most people stop at the ceiling when it come to their thinking. Mine keeps on going. They say "The Sky's the limit". Why stop there? Keep on going.

Q: What would you like to see happen, via associations and so on with events etc?
So far everything is going ok, I guess. Maybe some more unusual events.

Q: do you have any more plans for grip strength, feats and or competitions?
Right now I'm try'n to come up with new feats or new twists on the classics
Q: You’re well known for your faith and religious beliefs. What part does it play in training in general and more specifically in getting you ready for some of the feats you’ve done?
My relationship with God is #1 in my life. He sent his only son to die "4" me, the least I can do is live my life "4" him. I give God all the credit "4" my strength. It's just like any gift. You have to practice to get better. I wasnt born this strong,I had to work my butt off to get where I'm at today. Ive had some setbacks & injuries & lost a lot of strength. I'll get it back & then some!

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?
Just about everybody on the Grip board is doing something worldclass. Chris Rider is becoming a legend. You with the #4. Liz Talbot-Horne makes most guys look like little boy

Q: Before we sign off 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!
Train smart.All things are possible with God.
And to finish here's a great backdrop for any event.
Check out Tommy's website for photos, video and to book him for events:

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