Interview - 007 - Josh Goldthorp
Josh is seven months in the steel bending game. Keep this first sentence in mind and read it again and again. Seven Months!
He came, saw and conquered!
In this very short time in our world he could bend mostly every great goal in a steel benders journey and this is truely extraordinary. Normally he is a highland games athlete and for this reason a strong guy for sure. But to be only strong is not enough in this journey, you also have to be smart and intelligent. Josh combined these factors very well and is now one of the best steel benders out there with really good bends in several styles. No matter if singles or doubles, he bent it.
For me personally there are some highlights but be sure to check out his bends in the past and look out for the future ones!
Thanks Josh for stepping in the steel bending world and staying here. Your work to supporting steel bending is exemplary.
Here is the Interview, which is a great one. Enjoy:
Year of birth:
Weight: 305lbs (138kg)
Canada - British Columbia
Federal Peace Officer
What does steel bending mean to you?
Steel bending has become a very rewarding mental process for me. It's one of the hardest sports/activities that I've ever done but I keep coming back to it because of the challenge. I love being responsible for my own results. If I slack off and don't train or don't push myself enough then the steel will tell all. At this point in time steel bending is my sport obsession!
When and why did you start steel bending and what does or did your active time look like?
All of my Highland Games competitions had been cancelled due to the pandemic for the 2020 season so I was looking for something else to physically challenge me. While browsing social media one day I came across some videos of old time strongmen bending nails so I drove to the local hardware store and picked some up. I realised quickly how hard it was and I couldn't believe how easy they were making it look. So I dove in hard and did A LOT of research. I learned proper technique and got in touch with other steel benders. From then on I just started progressing from one material to another. I went from my first 60 penny nail to a Horrido 10.9 bolt in 7 months. A quick but careful climb up the bending ladder. I wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to end up injured with my new activity.
What do you love about steel bending?
I love the fact that it is not easy and very personal to a degree. It's just you and this piece of material. How it is shaped is based on how you attack it and whether or not your bones, muscles, ligaments and mind are ready. I love that it turns most people away because it is VERY difficult. Feeling a tough piece of steel fold because of your effort is an unreal experience. A lot of pieces I looked at as near impossible have become regular bends for me and I'm still not used to that.
What do you hate about steel bending?
I hate that rest and recovery is an EXTREMELY important aspect of it. Now that I am moving into bigger bends and more difficult feats this has become even more important. I would love to be out in the garage bending steel every day but this isn't possible if I'm looking at a longer career in this activity. This isn't a test of only muscular strength, it is now testing the ligaments and tendons which require far more recovery time.
How does your training for steel bending look like?
If I'm doing unsupported bending I will start with some lighter bench press to activate the muscles in the upper body and get the blood flowing to that area. This is very important in my mind as the muscles require a lot of oxygen and blood flow during difficult bends. It also allows me to assess joints and address any tight areas that may need attention. Sometimes things aren't moving well and the bending workout needs to be thrown out all together. Then for braced bending I'll usually do it after a workout as I'm already warmed up and ready to go. I don't really have a set number of pieces that I'll bend in a workout. I usually just go with what I think will push me that day.
How does your other training look like (strength or other)?
I follow a conjugate program that is more geared towards heavy deadlifts. It also includes very heavy overhead pressing and A LOT of back strengthening. This has been a very effective program for being a strong and explosive athlete in the Highland games. I also throw in some Olympic lifting and throw specific training.
What goals have you set for yourself?
My goal right now is to introduce as many people to steel bending as I can. I don't think people realize how amazing this sport/activity really is. Right now we are close to getting our own steel bending certification page up and running in Canada and I am really excited to get that going. Steel bending has been kind of kept as an Old time strongman secret for a while and there's no "secret" to it at all. Like any other sport it requires practice and time. There are enough materials and techniques out there now that almost anyone can be doing this stuff.
As far as bending goals go I'd like to climb up the Grip and Bend Italia ladder a little further and hopefully one day be able to cert on the huge Horrido 12.9. (A guy can dream can't he?)
What was the most impressive bend you ever saw (live or on video)?
Watching Juha Lehtimäki bend an Ironmind Gold nail in IMPs was crazy to watch.
Rapid stuff – choose one
Bolts or steel?
Unbraced or braced?
Unbraced Singles or doubles?
Chalk or not?
Beer or water?
Cordura or leather or both?
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!
I'm fairly new to the steel bending world but I've already met some great people that have helped me along the way (Particularly the class of 2020). Jan you have done some tremendous work with your bending certification and you have motivated a lot of people. Thank you for the time you put into this crazy sport. If anyone is reading this: get out to the garage, gym, basement or whatever your bending battleground is and melt some major steel you savage! I believe you can do it and so should you. Also keep an eye out for our new certification page. It will hopefully be up and running in the next few weeks!