Special Guests

Here you will find a list of special guests who have visited with us and shared their knowledge with Couch Potato Strong. Several are guests who have visited the Couch Potato Garage in person, others are top-level athletes from around the world. All have links to interviews with vast amounts of valuable knowledge.

64. Friday 10/6/2023 – Jason Matkowski – On this episode we sit down and chat with fellow Gripster Jason Matkowski. Jason is a beast on grip, only a few years into the sport and he has lifted the Inch dumbbell, surpassed 350lbs on the Axle, and took 2nd place at Heaviest Hands. Here Jason tells his story, some training tips, and his goals in gripsport. Thanks for joining us Jason. We hope you all enjoy the episode.

               Full Video – Jason Matkowski Interview

63. Friday 5/5/2023 – Ryan Grabarczyk – Ryan is an all around athlete. A former competitive curler who recently began training in gripsport. Within just a couple of years Ryan has competed in several grip contests, and performed some impressive feats. He has deep set closed the COC3, and he has hit 365lbs on the Apollon’s Axle. Ryan has his sights set on hitting 400+lbs on the axle while competing in the 90kg class. Ryan recently move from Saskatchewan to Cambodia, where he discovered exactly how much humidity affects grip. In this chat we talk about his training in Cambodia, his journey in strength sport, some tips for success, and some lessons he has learned along the way. Thanks for joining us Ryan. We hope you all enjoy the episode.

               Full Video – Ryan Grabarczyk Interview

62. Friday 4/21/2023 – William Reed – William has been setting some serious grip lifting marks in the 80kg class as of late. In just a few short years, William has charged up the grip ranks to become ranked at the very top of the 80kg class. In this episode we sit down with William to discuss his journey in grip sport. We were honored to have William share his grip training advice, some lessons learned, and his future goals in gripsport. Thanks for joining us William. We hope you all enjoy the show!

               Full Video – William Reed Interview

61. Friday 4/14/2023 – Jermiah Merciconah – In this chat we are joined by Australian Strongman and Gripster Jermiah Merciconah. Jermiah has his sites set on Iromind Certification of the COC 3 and COC 3.5. In this chat we discuss what it is like training grip in Australia, Jermiah’s strength background, some lessons he has learned on his journey, and some tips for success at grip and strength sport. Thanks for joining us Jermiah. We hope you all enjoy the episode.

               Full Video – Jermiah Merciconah Interview

60. Monday 3/7/2023 – 2023 Armlifting USA Arnold Classic Recap with Riccardo Magni – What an amazing event! World Records smashed in both the Men’s and Women’s events! New Kings and Queens were crowned, over 30 competitors showed up for the open class! This was an awesome weekend for Armlifting, and; the President of Armlifting USA himself (Riccardo Magni) joined us to share some of his favorite moments from this very memorable competition.

               Full Video – 2023 Armlifting USA Arnold Classic Recap

59. Thursday 2/23/2023 – Joel Dirks – Joel is a former elite level strongman and an absolute monster when it comes to power and strength. After retiring from Strongman, Joel found gripsport. He now competes in and hosts several grip comps each year. Joel has held the top spot on the Golden Potato Deadlift for over a year. Though many have tried, not a single person has come within 10% of his record. Here Joel shares a bit about himself, his goals, lessons learned, and, some tips for success. Thanks for chatting with us Joel. We hope you all enjoy the episode.

               Full Interview – Joel Dirks Interview

58. Friday 1/13/2023 – Jay Ripley – Here Frank sits down to chat with Grip Monster Jay Ripley. Jay has been involved with strength sports for over a decade, and has achieved some incredible grip feats. He is capable of doing 20+ potato pullups, and, a deadhang from two hubs! In this chat Jay tells his story, some great tips for success, and, even asks couchpotatostrong a few questions. Thanks for joining us Jay! We hope you all enjoy the episode.

               Full Interview – Jay RIpley Interview

57. Monday 1/9/2023 – Chad Clark – We were honored to sit down and chat with Chad Clark. Chad is the Vice President of Armlifting USA. Chad has been involved with strength sports for 3 decades. He has competed for nearly 2 decades in strongman, powerlifting, highland games, and, gripsport. He has coached strength athletes at the top level of international competition. In this chat Chad shares his story, strength goals, and, tips for newcomers. We hope you all enjoy the episode. Thanks for chatting with us Chad!

               Full Interview – Chad Clark Interview

56. Tuesday 1/3/2023 – Armlifting USA 2023 Preview – Armlifting USA President Riccardo Magni joins us to share a sneak peak at the upcoming 2023 Armlifting USA Season. The comps, the specific lifts, and the schedule is all detailed in this preview. Get a head start on your training with this awesome news brief. Thanks for sharing all the details Riccardo. We hope all of you fellow gripsters enjoy this preview of the 2023 season. 

               Full Video – 2023 Armlifting USA Preview!

55. Tuesday 11/1/2022 – Jason Dingey and Mike Saffell -In this episode we chat with two awesome gripsters from the Ohio grip crew. Mike Saffell who runs all of the grip comps in the Ohio area. Mike is grip monster. He competes both in gripsport and armlifting, and he has completed the crushed to dust challenge! We also chat with Jason Dingey who is the current overall National Gripsport Champion! Jason’s grip is truly top level! Thanks for joining us Mike and Jason. We hope all of you fellow gripsters enjoy the episode. 

               Full Interview – Jason Dingey and Mike Saffell Interview

54. Saturday 9/24/2022 – Derek Palmeri – In this chat we sit down with Derek Palmeri. Derek is a powerlifter turned gripster who is smashing some big grippers. Derek discovered the world of grip training about a year ago, and, in one year’s time he has certified on the GHP 7 and MM0. More recently Derek began closing the COC 3.5 and GG6. Here he shares his journey, and, some tips for success. We hope you all enjoy the episode.

               Full Interview – Derek Palmeri Interview

53. Tuesday 5/24/2022 – Will Guiliani – Will is an International level Armlifting USA athlete. He is known for his explosive lifts, and explosive energy. Will recently competed at the Arnold Classic alongside many other elite armlifters from across the globe. Here Will shares some lessons he has learned, training tips, challenges faced, and, some sound advice for those looking to enter gripsport. Thanks for chatting with us Will. We hope you all enjoy the episode. 

               Full Interview – Will Guiliani Interview Part 1

               Full Interview – Will Guiliani Interview Part 2

52. Wednesday 5/18/2022 – Micheal Dalton – Dalton is a well experienced strength athlete. He has competed in strongman, powerlifting, bodybuilding, and, now gripsport. He coaches fellow athletes, and, he runs a highschool powerlifting team! How awesome is that?!! Dalton is also an ANBF Judge. In this chat Dalton shares his story, lessons learned, challenges faced, and, some excellent tips for success in health and fitness. Thanks for chatting with us Dalton. We hope you all enjoy the episode.

               Full Interview – Michael Dalton Interview

51. Friday 5/13/2022 – Delan Halmat – Delan is an Armlifting USA athlete, and an overall strength badass. Delan is a low vision athlete who hasn’t allowed that to stop him from competing against all comers. Here Delan shares his story, lessons learned, and, tips for success in gripsport. Thanks for chatting with us Delan, it was an honor. We hope you all enjoy the episode.

               Full Interview – Delan Halmat Interview Part 1 of 2

               Full Interview – Delan Halmat Interview Part 2 of 2

50. Thursday 4/28/2022 – Michael Rogowski – Michael Rogowski is a King Kong of Grip at 83kg. He is one of the very best in the world, if not, the best at 80-83kg in gripsport. In this chat Michael shares a great deal of excellent advice on grip training, strength, and, competition in gripsport. This is a chat you surely don’t want to miss. Thanks for joining us Michael! We hope you all enjoy the episode.

              Full Interview – Michael Rogowski Interview

49. Wednesday 4/27/2022 – Ali Madani – Ali is an excellent all around strength athlete. He has been training for over 15 years, and, is a national coach of Zurkhaneh. Ali has swung some of the heaviest meels outside of Iran, his wrists no doubt have some monstrous tendons. With only a few weeks of training he has already closed the COC2 gripper, and, is very close to shutting the 2.5. At 140lbs, Ali could be quite a competitor in lightweight gripsport. Thanks for chatting with us Ali, we hope you all enjoy the episode.

               Full Interview – Ali Madani Interview

48. Thursday 4/14/2022 – Rusty Hoover – Rusty is an up and coming gripster who is training with some of the best. He has smashed a COC2 and hoisted 150lb on the Saxon bar with just a few months of training. Keep an eye on Rusty, it won’t be long before he is making waves in the 90kg class. In this chat Rusty shares what his experience has been like getting into grip, some tips for newcomers, and, his current grip goals. Thanks for joining us Rusty! We hope you all enjoy the chat!

               Full Interview – Rusty Hoover Interview

47. Thursday 3/17/2022 – Odd Haugen – Odd Haugen is a living legend in the world of strength and athletics. From bodybuilding champion to professional football player, strongman, and, gripsport champion, Odd has done it all. His accomplishments are far too long to list. At 72 years young, Odd recently set an all time personal record on the Saxon bar. This lift took place only two weeks ago at the Arnold Classic. In this chat Odd shares his secret to longevity and strength, his favorite moments from his 50+ year career, his current goals, and, where he sees the future of Armlifting. It was an honor to chat with Odd, and, we hope you all enjoy this episode with The Viking.

               Full Interview – Odd Haugen Interview

46. Thursday 2/17/2022 – Armlifting USA – 2022 News Update W/Riccardo Magni – Armlifting USA is going to have it’s own stage at the Arnold Classic! Super Series 2022 – Details on Stages, Events, Prizes, and the finals at Mr. Olympia!!!! Tips straight from Riccardo on training for the MM0! This is a jam packed episode! Thanks for sharing this news with us first Riccardo! Stay tuned to Couch Potato Strong for everything Gripsport!

               Full Interview – Armlifting USA 2022 News! 

45. Wednesday 1/26/2022 – Lukas Valatka – Lukas is an avid gripster. He began his journey into grip in 2019, and, he has already deadlifted 160kg DO. Lukas has set a goal of closing the COC 3.5 someday. Like many of us gripsters, he is learning by watching content from the top guys in the sport. Here we chat about grip, strength, Lithuania, Big Z, and, Lukas’ journey. 

               Full Interview – Lukas Valatka Interview

44. Tuesday 1/11/2022 – Jeff Bach – Jeff Bach has been involved with weight lifting and strength sports for 40 years. We were honored to sit down and chat with Jeff. In this chat he shares his journey, some awesome achievements, like being the 82nd person to officially lift the world famous Dinnie Stones, and some tips for those new to strength training. Thanks for joining us Jeff. We hope you all enjoy the chat.

               Full Interview – Jeff Bach Interview

43. Friday 10/29/2021 – Dali Zheng – Dali Zheng has been in athletics and human performance for his entire life. He was born into the lifestyle. Today he is a grip athlete who competes in Armlifting USA. Dali has been training in grip for 8 years. In addition to grip training, Dali runs a fitness program for elderly! We are proud to have Dali join us. Here he shares his journey, some tips for success, and, a few lessons learned. Thanks for the Chat Dali. We hope you all enjoy the episode.

               Full Interview – Dali Zheng Interview

42. Wednesday 10/20/2021 – Devin Hoover – Devin Hoover is a badass gripster and steelbender. He does silver bullet holds with 3.5’s and melts bastards! He has bent a ton of steel during the pandemic, and, started a website for steel supplies to help the sport grow. Devin is a great source of info for new steel benders, and, he is on track to melt some serious bars! Here Devin shares his story, some tips for success, and lessons learned. Thanks for joining us Devin!

               Full Interview – Devin Hoover Interview

41. Thursday 9/2/2021 – Harold Lowry – Harold is an avid steel bender, who, after having back surgery invented apparatuses to aid in his recovery. Today you’ll see Harold melting steel in loose non-banded wraps, in the old school chest height manner. Harold is primarily self-taught in strength, he is well researched, but does not train with a coach. That, in addition to working through back adversity has helped Harold become somewhat of an awareness expert. Here Harold shares his journey, lessons learned, and tips for success. Thanks for chatting with us Harold. We hope you all enjoy this episode!

               Full Interview – Harold Lowry Interview

40. Tuesday 8/31/2021 – Tom Flesher – Tom is an FBBC Big Bastard Certified Bender. Tom has competed with some of the legends in grip, his knowledge of the sport is quite extensive. Tom has trained in all areas of grip and steel bending. The year he took home third place at the famous Michigan Steel Bending and Breaking championship! 

               Full Interview – Tom “Crusher” Flesher Interview

39. Saturday 8/28/2021 – Ivan Cuk – Ivan has certified on the Captains of Crush 3.5 and he has Credit Card Closed a Grip Genie GG6 rated at 187lbs by Cannon Powerworks. Ivan has the potential to become on of the most powerful gripper closers of all time. He has accomplished these feats, and, he is not yet 20 years old!

               Full Interview – Ivan Cuk Interview

38. Monday 7/12/2021 – London Schuirmann – London is a commercial mover. He works an occupation that not only requires strength, but, tests his capacity every single day. Some of the strongest men have come from hardworking backgrounds. Real world, functional strength, that is London’s focus. 

               Full Interview – London Schuirmann Interview

37. Thursday 7/8/2021 – Cortez Wallace – One of the most prolific health advisors publishing content on social media. Wholistic health expert covering topics of physical, mental, nutritional, and, spiritual fitness. Tez is also a top-level athlete, coach, and, avid cook. Lessons to improve quality of life is the focus of Tez Fitness.

               Full Interview – Cortez Wallace Interview

36. Tuesday 7/6/2021 – Matt Sahlfeld – Avid gripster, steel bender, and powerlifter presently training for armwrestling. Matt focuses his training on the wrists, grip, and, forearms. Matt is also in a battle with cancer, and, he continues to train daily! 

               Full Interview – Matt Sahlfeld Interview

35. Monday 6/28/2021 – Benjamin Cossey – Lightweight Grip Monster! Record Holder of Golden Potato Pullups, Weighted Pullup, Deadlift, and, Inventor of the Golden Potato Thumbless Lift! He also climbs stuff!

               Full Interview – Benjamin Cossey Interview

34. Thursday 6/24/2021 – Andrew Algarin – Grip athlete, Coach, and Father. Andrew makes time in a busy life to find the means to stay at the top of his grip game while Coaching others to become their very best in grip as well! 

               Full Interview – Andrew Algarin Interview

33. Tuesday 6/22/2021 – Tim Butler – Fitness aficionado, life changing journey from fat to fit! Tim is also a grip monster, capable of curling a blob while simultaneously lifting the Thomas Inch. Highly dedicated and driven, Tim is on track to be a one of the very best in grip. 

               Full Interview – Tim Butler Interview

32. Saturday 5/29/2021 – Joe Hodgson – Expert climber and monster grip athlete. Joe holds several grip world records, and, at the time of this interview, he has the heaviest Golden Potato Deadlift ever pulled! – 206.4lbs! 

               Full Interview – Joe Hodgson Interview

31. Sunday 5/23/2021 – Trey Abbot – Novice competition powerlifter and champion strongman! Avid Steel bender, ambassador for shortsteelbending.com. 

               Full Interview – Trey Abbot Interview

30. Tuesday 5/4/2021 – Jon Fluharty – Master of card tearing. Avid steel scroller, and winner of Beyond the Bend shortest bar steel bending contest (.25 category). 

               Full Interview – Jon Fluharty Interview

29. Wednesday 4/21/2021 – Gil Goodman – Grip Legend! All around elite level gripster and steel bender. Founder and operator of Barrel Strength Systems. Gil has invented grip equipment that is used at the biggest contests of grip sport. He is ranked among the very best in the sport. 

               Full Interview – Gil Goodman Interview

28. Tuesday 4/20/2021 – Daniel Strauss – Roger Gracie Black Belt, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Instructor, Certified Red Nail Bender, Strongman, grip enthusiast, practitioner of spirit training and mental toughness. Very strong well respected athlete! 

               Full Interview – Daniel Strauss Interview

27. Sunday 4/11/2021 – Riccardo Magni – Grip Master, Certified MM1 Closer, Multiple World Record Holder on Shallow Hub and 5″ Bull Ring.

               Full Interview – Riccardo Magni Interview

26. Monday 4/5/2021 – William Maddox – Lifelong Martial artist, grip enthusiast, practitioner of wholistic and creative fitness. 

               Full Interview – William Maddox Interview

25. Wednesday 3/24/2021 – Clay Edgin – Powerlifter, strongman, and, legend of bending and gripsport!

               Full Interview – Clay Edgin Interview

24. Monday 3/22/2021 – Travis Krebs – Grip Enthusiast, steel bender, card deck shredder, business owner and operator, husband, father of a toddler, busy man with great time management. 

               Full Interview – Travis Krebs Interview

23. Saturday 3/20/2021 – Albie Mushaney – World’s Strongest Santa! Professional Strongman and Powerlifter. 

               Full Interview – Albie Mushaney Interview

22. Thursday 3/18/2021 – Jenn Tibbenham – World Record Holding Strongwoman!

               Full Interview – Jenn Tibbenham Interview

21. Monday 3/15/2021 – Crossover Event with Beyond the Bend Podcast! Cody Christensen from Beyond the Bend has taken great effort to fully engross himself into the sport of steel bending. Not only has he accomplished many bending feats himself, he has reached out to, and, showcased the best benders in the sport. There is currently a boom in the sport of steel bending, and, Cody is in large part responsible for this boom. We are honored to be a part of this historical moment in steel bending!

               Full Interview – Beyond the Bend Podcast Crossover Interview

20. Thursday 3/11/2021 – Dave Nisbet – Strongman, powerlifter, and, barehanded horseshoe snapper! 

               Full Interview – Dave Nisbet Interview

19. Friday 2/26/2021 – Don Cummings – Master Steel Bender!

               Full Interview – Don Cummings Interview

18. Thursday 2/25/2021 – Jason Gillen – Record holding strongman and powerlifter!

               Full Interview – Jason Gillen Interview

17. Saturday 2/20/2021 – Derek Graybill – Master Steel Bender!

               Full Interview – Derek Graybill Interview

16. Saturday 2/13/2021 – Adam T. Glass – Titan of Gripsport!

               Full Interview – Adam T. Glass Interview

15. Monday – 2/8/2021 – Tod Becraft – Foremost authority on neck and trap strength, strength athlete, 20 years of gripsport!

               Full Interview – Tod Becraft Interview

14. Saturday – 2/6/2021 – Ben Glasscock – Competition powerlifter, strength coach, nutritionist, and gym expert!

               Full Interview – Ben Glasscock Interview

13. Wednesday – 1/27/2021 – Kitty Bates – Competitive Strongwoman!

               Full Interview – Kitty Bates Interview

12. Saturday – 1/23/2021 – Ben Edwards – Grip Sport Legend!

               Full Interview – Ben Edwards Interview

11. Saturday – 1/16/2021 – Mike Buck – Former competition powerlifter, top-level gripster, collector, and, creator. 

               Full Interview – Mike Buck Interview

10. Wednesday – 1/6/2021 – Joy Brown – Longevity expert, 73 years young, powerlifter and grip athlete. 

               Full Interview – Joy Brown Interview

9. Saturday – 12/19/2020 – Jacob Zarris – Competitive Tournament Chess Player. 

               Full Interview – Jake Zarris Interview part 1

                                             Jake Zarris Interview Part 2

8. Sunday – 11/1/2020 – Imam Elahi – USPA Powerlifter, Record Holder, and Referee. 

               Full Interview – Imam Elahi Interview

7. Sunday – 9/27/2020 – Mike Wilfong – Powerlifter, Strongman, Grip Athlete and Timberline Stone lifter!

               Full Interview – Mike Wilfong Interview

6. Sunday – 9/6/2020 – Myra King – Local Hero – Health Care worker.

               Full Interview – Myra King (aka Moo) Interview 

5. Sunday – 8/16/2020 – Chrish Newell and Fontaine Kaufmann – local obstacle course racers, grip sport world record holder, and, overall incredible athletes.

               Full Interview – Chrish Newell and Fontaine Kaufmann Interview

4. Sunday – 8/2/2020 – Jeremy Kaufmann – International level obstacle course racer, ultra marathoner, and, personal trainer. 

               Full Interview – Jeremy Kaufmann Interview

3. Tuesday – 7/21/2020 – Ryan Polin – Personal Trainer, and, Owner of Proprioception.

               Full Interview – Ryan Polin Interview

2. Saturday – 7/4/2020 – Christopher Daigle – Local Hero – SWAT Officer. 

               Videos from this visit – Couch Potato Youtube Channel

1. Wednesday – 6/24/2020 – Taylor Overmiller – Multiple time obstacle course racing winner. 

               Full interview – Taylor Overmiller Interview