"No one in arm wrestling is more well-traveled than gourmet chef Andrew “Cobra” Rhodes, a 35-year veteran of the sport who’s been to six continents, appeared in Over the Top with Sylvester Stallone, and is notorious for winning David vs. Goliath matches at a compact 176 lb.
Q: Let’s get the obvious question out of the way. Why “Cobra”?
A: It came from guys I trained with when I was 14 years old. Before [Michael] Jordan was wagging his tongue, I did that in competition. It would just come out during a match. And then my buddy said to me, “You’re quick like a cobra.”
A: But now you wear a mouth guard, which is unusual for arm wrestlers.
A: I once read when your jaw is relaxed, you get better performance. When your bite is set properly, you get more speed, more power, more flexibility. I’m not a spring chicken, so I’m always looking for natural ways to do better. In this sport, there’s no wind that’s going to blow a field goal to the left of a goal post.
Q: You worked as a chef for years. How did you acquire those skills?
A: I’ve trained with the most talented chefs you’ve ever met, but there’s no degree on paper. I’ve been all over the world and to the good restaurants so I could spend time with the chefs there and take recipes back home. You go to Eastern Europe or Russia and get down with the Babushkas — the old ladies who do the real deal. I’ve got a cookbook waiting to be published. But I got out of it because the cooking business will kill you. It’s high stress, man. Banging out those hours was not healthy..."
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