Interview With Eric Roussin | Canada Grip Sport | King Kong Grip Challenge
About Grip Strength Elite, Eric Roussin:
Hi, Eric. For those who may not know you, will you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Eric Roussin. I live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I’ve been involved in competitive arm wrestling since 1996, Grip Sport since 2011, and have won national titles in both sports.
What got you into Grip Sport?
I first started training my hands for arm wrestling. But I eventually came to discover that there was such a thing as grip strength contests. I considered myself to be decent in some of the lifts, so I decided to see how I would do in an actual grip contest. I loved the experience and decided to start regularly competing.
Was there a time you realized you were naturally strong or was it something you trained towards?
I knew from a young age that I was naturally good at arm wrestling. I discovered that my hands were strong when I realized the weights I could lift were heavier than many other pullers. (For example, using a device like a Rolling Thunder.)
What do you feel is your greatest grip strength accomplishment?
It’s hard to pinpoint any specific lift. I’m thrilled whenever I’m able to mix things up in a Grip Sport contest with guys who have some of the strongest hands in the world. In terms of contest victories, I’m proud to have won the overall Canadian National title five years in a row, and to have won gold medals with the Rolling Thunder at the World Armlifting Championships in Russia in back-to-back years.
What is the next grip goal you have your sights set on?
My sights are always set on the next Grip Sport contest on the calendar. Contests have been pretty sparse this year (2020), but the International King Kong Grip Challenge is coming up on October 24th. I always aim to set personal records in contest settings.
About Grip Sport - GripSport Tests Grip Strength, Wrist, Forearm, and Hand Strength:
What is Grip Sport?
Grip Sport is a relatively new and growing sport in which competitors’ wrist, hand, and forearm strength is tested against each other. While grip strength is often thought of as crushing strength (e.g. closing a hand gripper or shaking someone’s hand), grip strength can be assessed in several ways, many of which may be tested in a Grip Sport contest.
Are there specific lifts that you do at an event or are they always changing?
One of the fun and challenging aspects of Grip Sport is that the specific events typically vary from competition to competition. This makes training both demanding and intriguing, as you are faced with new events and challenges. This said, most contests feature four or five events. Events that test crushing strength, pinching strength, and open hand support strength are quite common, but there can be many other types.
How does a newcomer get into the sport?
I would suggest joining the Grip Board (www.gripboard.com). It is by far the biggest message board in the world pertaining to grip strength. Most North American Grip Sport contests get posted on this site. Grip Sport is still very small – not every state/province has contests, but it is slowly growing.
Can anyone come to one of your events or do they need to qualify?
The vast majority of Grip Sport contests are available to anyone, there is no need to qualify. The current exceptions would be the US National Championships and the North American Championships. Competitors can qualify through performances in contests during the preceding year, or by demonstrating a certain level of strength via video submission. Full qualification details can be found in the Grip Contests section of the Grip Board.
How important is technique compared to raw strength in Grip Sport?
Technique plays a role in most lifts, but I would say strength is by far the most important factor.
How important is hand size in Grip Sport?
Hand size can certainly help for certain events, but not all. It’s also important to note that hand length (distance from wrist to tip of middle finger) can help in certain events, while hand span (distance between tip of thumb and tip of pinky when the fingers are spread out) can help in others. But hand size is far from being the biggest determining factor of how well someone can do in a balanced Grip Sport contest.
What is an easy program a beginner can do to increase their grip strength?
I like this one, developed by David Horne (a pioneer of the sport):
Do you want to give us a little info on Canada Grip Sport?
I was the first person in Canada to start hosting Grip Sport contests. To help other potential promoters and encourage people to join the sport, I established Canada Grip Sport (www.canadagripsport.com) as an information resource. It lists upcoming contests, contest results, and Canadian Grip Sport records, among other things.
Thanks so much for your time. Hopefully we’ll be seeing you crushing in person at an upcoming contest or two!
Are there any upcoming events you’d like to let us know about?
The International King Kong Grip ChallengeHere’s a link to information on the upcoming competition: