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Interview - 036 - Devin Hoover

Our Doctor in the small bending bubble is Devin Hoover.


He is not only bending steel, he is well known for rating nearly every piece of steel he can find and documenting all of this for us.Most can´t imagine how much work and dedication is needed to do all of that stuff.


He also sells steel, bolts, wraps and packs and is managing cert lists for steel bending.So please check out Devin´s work via his website with all the informations:



Thanks Devin for the interview and all the work you are doing for steel bending:








Name:

Devin Hoover


Year of birth:

1993

Height:

6’2” (1.88m)


Weight

195 lbs (88.5 kg)


Location:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 


Occupation:

Emergency medicine physician

Relationship Status:

Long term partner



Question 01:

What does steel bending mean to you?

Steel bending is a mental and physical challenge. Physically it’s you versus the steel, but mentally it’s you versus you. Challenging yourself to do something “impossible” and succeeding is a tremendous rush. Steel bars, bolts, and nails are purpose made not to bend, and yet that’s what we do with them. It requires a paradigm shift, especially when starting out. You’re stronger than you think, and bending a steel bar helps demonstrate that. But if you don’t believe you can bend the bar, you’ve already lost.



Question 02:

When and why did you start steel bending and what does or did your active time look like?


I started bending in 2020 during early quarantine. The gyms had just shut down, and i gave myself a minor injury with grippers. I reached out to Tom Flesher about what I needed to get started with steel bending and he responded with an incredibly detailed Reddit post that I still point people towards as a reference. 

Over that first year I became fast friends with Josh Goldthorp, Cody Christensen, Dave Nesbit, and Dan Dring as the “steel bending class of 2020”. We still keep a pretty active group chat, even if the five of us don’t bend as often as we did during lockdown. When Cody started Beyond The Bend Podcast things really took off, and a weird hobby quickly blossomed into a community. As pandemic restrictions lessened I bent less often and went to the gym more. Now that I’m in residency I have a lot less time to workout, and balancing bending and lifting has become more delicate. I’m not quite as good at either as I used to be, but I still give it my all. 




Question 03:

What do you love about steel bending?


I love that feeling when the bar first starts to move. It’s so satisfying, and is definitely what got me hooked. When you lift a weight, you put it back down after. When you close a gripper, it opens again when you let go. But when you bend a piece of steel you have forever left your mark on that bar. When you put the initial kink in a bar and it goes from being straight to being bent you have immediate feedback, and you can feel it through any wraps. It’s very difficult to explain to someone who has never bent a piece of steel, but it’s a very addicting feeling.


Question 04:

What do you hate about steel bending?


How long the setup to bend is; I’m very methodical in the way I wrap my steel, and it ends up being a lot of setup. That being said, the more care and patience you put into getting the steel ready, the smoother the workout will go. Sloppy prep and loose wraps lead to off center bends and put you at risk for injuries. 


Question 05:

How does your training for steel bending look like?


I bend about every other week depending on how I’m feeling. I usually warm up with either a couple 60d’s or a polycarbonate trainer to work on getting the bar up under my chin and my shoulders engaged. After that I usually do one moderate effort bend, often a 70d or something similar at 7”, and then whatever the main bend of the day is going to be. I rarely do more than two really hard bends in the same session. I would rather leave a little more in the tank than fight with a bar for half an hour and risk injury from fatigue. 


Question 06:

How does your other training look like (strength or other)?


With my work schedule I can’t get to the gym as often as I would like. I try to alternate gym workouts and steel bending when I can, but that doesn’t always happen in the same week. 

However I still try and workout somehow or another at least once a week. I vaguely follow 5/3/1 Building The Monolith, but it sometimes takes me a month to get through each “week’s”workouts. I’m not as strict with the powerlifting movements because I don’t compete in powerlifting, and try to mix in as many strongman movement equivalents with the basic squat/bench/deadlifts. 


Question 07:

What goals have you set for yourself?


The 8.8 certification. The jump from the A2 to the 8.8 reminds me a lot of the Mash Monster 3 gripper, a sort of line in the sand when it comes to grip. I’m not there yet, but I’ve gotten close. Having the BESTIES group (London Schuirmann, Alex Guiha, Kyle Mertz, Chaz Strange, and Phil McMahon) pushing me forward has been really helpful because those guys are constantly melting steel. It’s easy to get amped up for a bend when you have a crew of folks urging you on.



Question 08:

What was the most impressive bend you ever saw (live or on video)?


Josh Goldthorp’s bend of a 5/16” x 6”  grade 5 in a single IMP still blows my mind. That’s an impressive bend in any wraps, but to do it in a single piece of cordura is next level.




Question 09:

Rapid stuff – choose one


Bolts or steel?

Steel


Unbraced or braced?

Unbraced


Singles or doubles?

Doubles


Chalk or not?

Chalk


Beer or water?

Water


Cordura or leather or both?

Leather


Short bars or long bars?

Short bars


Horseshoes or flat bars?

Horseshoes


Chips or chocolate?

Chips



Question 10:

The last words belong to you. What do you want the reader take away? Let us know your poems of steel!


I love this sport, and I am so grateful for the community and all the people I have met through this niche hobby. I give back to the community as much as I can because of the kindness and friendship that others have shown me. I try to pay it forward in steel, knowledge, and wisdom.

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