Arm wrestler Craig “The Disciple” Soubliere is 42 years old, 5’10”, 270 lbs. and a resident of Ormond Beach, Florida. He has been weight training for 32 years and was a personal trainer and nutritional consultant for 20 years, but recently returned to school to get a degree in Human Services with the goal of becoming an addictions counselor.
Q: Where do you train?
A: I train at Jim Arthurs Body Exchange Gym here in town it’s the best gym around for one who is looking to really excel in his or her sport.
Q: How did you discover arm wrestling?
A: This is kind of a funny story. I started training when I was eleven. My story is just like the movie Bigger Stronger Faster*. I wanted to be big and strong like the wrestlers I would admire on TV. In middle school we would have a winter carnival and there was Arm Wrestling. So each year I would train and compete in this event which would take place on a cafeteria table. It was a battle of the local strong kids.
A few years later I saw Pumping Iron and that started a 25-year journey into bodybuilding. In November of 2012 I decided to retire from bodybuilding and I needed a new sport to fill the void and Arm Wrestling was the perfect fit.
I competed in my first Arm Wrestling event on Dec 7th, 2012 and won my first state title as an amateur. I competed as an amateur for a year winning numerous events, one being a National title at my first Nationals. I’m a UAL contracted athlete and have won three events with them.
In December I started to pull in the Open/Pro class and on May 24th I won my first Pro event at Souls 14 here in Lakeland, Florida. I also won my first super match. I love this sport so much; I eat, sleep and train arm wrestling. It’s the most amazing sport and the people that you meet are awesome.
Q: And do you say arm wrestling or armwestling? (I’m OCDish like that.)
A: It’s Arm Wrestling.
Q: Did anyone influence you or serve as a mentor?
A: My lord and Savior Jesus Christ has been my mentor through my life.
Since I started Arm Wrestling, there have been so many people that have helped me. When I first got involved in the sport of arm wrestling, Chuck Westberry was a huge influence in getting me started training with him and Team Jacksonville was awesome. I have been blessed to train with some great people here in Florida including World Champion Christian Binnie, John Wilson, Danial Worley, Team Orlando… those guys are amazing.
Over the past 6 months I have become great friends with Chris Chandler and since he’s moved to Florida my Arm Wrestling has improved dramatically. Chris has really been my Arm Wrestling mentor, for sure. It’s been a blessing to train and learn from someone at Chris’s level.
Q: What motivates you?
A: To be the best. To show people that no matter what, if you work hard you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. I want to be known as the guy who gave his all into this sport, the guy that worked harder than anyone else, to grind it out more times than I have fallen down. That’s what motivates me.
Q: What activities do you do outside of arm wrestling?
A: There are activities outside of Arm Wrestling? Really, I mean I eat, sleep, breathe this sport every day. lol
All joking aside, I’m a simple man and I love to just spend time with my wife, Sara. She’s my life and a true blessing.
Q: How do you train now?
A: I train two times a day. My first workout at the Body Exchange Gym is for building muscle, strength and condition. Depending on how sore I am from practice will dictate how heavy I go.
My second training session is at night. This session is all for Arm Wrestling, lots of Arm Wrestling specifically exercises to get stronger for the table, lots of wrist curls, curls, static holds, band work, and grip work. I have a home gym called the Room of Pain and I have all kinds of Arm Wrestling training equipment. A training table with the ARM and a weight pulley machine attached to the table.
I use all types of different handles all different sizes the gulley grip, rolling thunder, fat grips and the wrist wrench, just to name a few pieces of equipment that I use. I practice once every week or two depending on how sore I am. Table time is the most important training you can do for Arm Wrestling.
Q: What kind of advice would you give to beginners who are looking to get bigger and stronger?
A: Stick to the basics, lift heavy, eat the right food and lots of it, and learn as much as you can about training and nutrition. Train smart and don’t lift with your ego.
Q: What about nutrition? Is it a factor in arm wrestling?
A: I feel nutrition is very important. For me it’s all about recovery and building strength, so I still follow a high protein diet like I did when I was bodybuilding… just a few extra carbs added in (cookies, pasta and cheeseburgers. lol)
Q: Do you use any supplements as part of your regimen?
A: Supplementation is very important for me I’m very blessed to be sponsored by DNC Supplements www.dncsupplements.com
Q: If you supplement, do you recommend any particular brand or specific supplements?
A: I love the ALLMAX and RSP Nutrition line. I use Allmax’s Isoflex Whey, Muscle Prime, Aminocore, AllFlex, RSP Nutrition’s Agma Gen, Re Gen, Gluta Gen, MuscleMaxx Muscle K and Juice Plus are some of the supplements I use and I recommend them all.
Q: How much sleep do you get each day?
A: Eight to 10 hours.
Q: Do you do anything specific for injury prevention or rehab?
A: In Arm Wrestling you always have some kind of nagging injuries. So far mine have only been minor, so I rest, ice and heat. I also do some TENS therapy. When I’m sore from practice or from an event I do a rehab type of training were I do light weights or band training with high reps, pumping fresh blood into the muscle getting nutrition to the muscle cells.
Q: What have been some of your favorite competitions?
A: My favorite events have been UAL 5 and 6. Robert Drenk really puts on huge events. You really feel like you’re a part of something big. Also the Europa Show of Champions is another awesome event. I love the expo type of environment.
Q: What is your overall training philosophy?
A: Train hard, push your limits and work harder than the competition. Some days I will train all day long doing up to 100 sets on an exercise or 5000 reps of wrist curls in a day cause I know my competition isn’t doing this. I train when I drive. I have bands in my truck so I’m constantly doing something. My goal is to someday be the best and I know the only way to achieve this is train harder each day.
Q: How long have you been training seriously for arm wrestling?
A: I competed in my first Arm Wrestling tournament December 7, 2012, so I have been pulling for 18 months and have competed in 12 events.
Q: What are three tips for people trying to build arm wrestling ability?
A: Table Time, Table Time, Table Time.
Practice with a good team and learn from experienced pullers.
Q: What is the worst competitive experience you’ve had (injury, etc.)?
A: 2014 Europa. I just didn’t perform and wasn’t on my game that day.
Q: Any shout-outs?
A: My sponsors, DNC Supplements, Harmony H20, my boy Chris Chandler for all his support and help and my most important shout out… my amazing wife and best friend for all her support and love.
Q: How can people contact you (email, social media, etc.)?
A: You can contact me on Facebook at Craigand Sara Soubliere; follow me on Instagram Armwarrior and on Twitter Craig Soubliere. Also, I do a weekly online Arm Wrestling radio show every Monday night at 8pm EST called Arm Wrestling Nation Radio you can check it out at www.awnr.us
Thanks, Curt, and RX Muscle for this opportunity.
Thank you for participating. My goal as editor of Strength Central is to promote the sport in all its forms and the athletes who compete in those sports. Appreciate your time and wish you continued success in arm wrestling, Craig.