Let me present you an interview with Don Cummings.
If you are an active steel bender you can´t overlook Don. He is on every cert list out there, he makes a lot of challenges, has done the greatest endurance feats, is always on the top places at the steel shredder competition, is one of the best allaround benders out there and he is running a steel bending competition at his place every year, called Michigan Steel Bending and Breaking Championship.
He represent the steel bending projects very well in every situation.
Don and I started steel bending nearly at the same time and we are following our journeys since day one. So it´s great to see Don´s progress and all the stuff he as done till now and I am looking forward to see more amazing stuff from him and I am sure that more things will happen.
I can´t list alle the numbers he has done, because there are too many. Normal cert bends, minimal padding, braced, enormous endurance bending and so on. You can look into his acoounts to get inspired:
Don Cummings. Great Bender. Nice Guy.
Here is the Interview!
This picture is from me bending 725 60d nails,
the most ever done, for Bud Jeffries‘ charity
Year of birth:
6' 1" (185cm)
Weight: 240lbs (108kg)
USA - Birmingham, MI
Married to Kelly for 17 years. We have 3 daughters.
What does steel bending mean to you?
Steel bending means so much to me. It is my passion and is on my mind all the time. I have always had some activity that I was obsessed with and it has been steel bending for the past 5 years. I love pushing myself to see how far I can go. The battle with yourself and the steel is very rewarding. Also, steel bending is a blast and I have a lot of fun doing it.
When and why did you start steel bending and what does or did your active time look like?
I started steel bending at the begining of 2016. I was training for grip competitions. I saw steel bending and thought it looked bad ass. I tried it out and have been hooked ever since.
What do you love about steel bending?
One thing I love is the variety. There are so many styles and types of steel that you can keep it interesting and challenging for as long as you want. There is double overhand, double underhand, reverse, spike braced bends, mid-bar braced bends, long bar braced bends, horseshoes, wrenches, hammers, snapping, scrolling, single pad bends, double pad bends, pad touching bends, one IMP bends, barehand bends, etc., etc.
What do you hate about steel bending?
I would like for there to be more oppourtunites to meet and bend with other benders. Everytime I have met other benders they have been great people and we have had a lot of fun. That is one of the reasons that I started my steel bending competition, so there would be a good reason for people to travel and all get together.
How does your training for steel bending look like?
I bend steel 2 days a week, Wednesday and Saturday. My training can vary greatly depending on what the current goal is. I always make a plan of attack if I have specific goals I am going after and focus on them first. I try to hit the 3 unbraced styles and braced bending every week. Sessions are 1.5 to 2 hours most of the time. I foucs on max effort or near max effort bends. Volume bending is good when you first start training. At this point for me, high intensity bends work the best.
How does your other training look like (strength or other)?
I do general strength training on Monday and Thursday right now. Since last June, I have focused mainly on full body isometrics and have had good increases in strength. I feel like the strength it builds carries over to bending greatly. I do some sort of squat, dead lift, press, curl and pulling movement every workout.
What goals have you set for yourself?
Right now, I am focusing on braced bending. I want to bend bigger and shorter bars than I have already done. Trying to push my levels in spike, mid-length and long bars.
What was the most impressive bend you ever saw (live or on video)?
There are so many diffrent types of bends it is hard to say. Braced bending is my favorite. I think the 2 braced bends that most impress me are: Carl-August Mertz bending Leviathan (1/2 x 2 3/8 x 47 ¼). I rently bent Colossus and it was a beast. Leviathan is another big step up. Also, Reuben Hughes bending a 32 inch Goliath bar.
Rapid stuff – choose one
Bolts or steel?
Unbraced or braced?
Braced Singles or doubles?
I like both, but singles for unbraced is my favorite and the minimal pad bends
Chalk or not?
Beer or water?
Water while I bend and beer after, most of the time.
Cordura or leather or both?
I like leather for braced. I use both for unbraced.
Short bars or long bars?
Horseshoes or flat bars?
Chips or chocolate?
The last words belong to you. What do you want the reader take away? Let us know your poems of steel!
Steel benders should find what bends interest them the most, set big goals, make a game plan and then attack their goals and push themselves as far as they can. You can build crazy amounts of mental and physical strength and pain tolerance if you just stick with it and keep pushing. Also, have fun with this and try to get together with other people that bend.