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 What I'm gripping right now

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Pete
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PostSubject: What I'm gripping right now   Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:00 am

Here's what I'm using for my crushing grip right now:



It's the vulcan gripper made by David Horne the grip guy. I've found it more adjustable than a Ironmind CoC & much less bulky than an Ivanko super gripper. It has no knurling, so squeezing can be an issue. It's the #1 version of the gripper, I tend to go low rep, not to failure, just during the day, I don't add it into the routine.
I've not got the best grip in the world, but I do know that grip strength has an effect on muscular & CNS (central nervous system) activation, infact a great way to check for CNS exhaustion is a 'gripper check'. Simply pick up a gripper you can get for a few reps. If you fail to get a rep or it feels much harder than usual, then your CNS is fried & maybe a lighter session is in order that day as you could well be over-trained.
If you look at how the brain is wired to the body, then you'll see that the hand is more connected to the brain than the rest of the arm combined. Getting a strong grip will 'tell' the CNS that you're strong & gripping hard allows for better muscle activation.

It was actually guys like Grey Cooke & Pavel that got me to realise this with some easy methods (simply do an exercise with a slack grip, then squeeze like hell & just see the difference for yourself). People who don't actually train grip will find it harder to demonstrate strength as a rule (not always, but generally) & building the grip will affect the amount of strength you can display (assuming you don't stop other training just to build grip).
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:48 pm

I use a low-tech, spring-loaded Hand Grip Exerciser. Not as nice as the Vulcan Gripper, but very inexpensive. The rubber or foam on the handles doesn't hold up very well so I wrap mine in gym tape. I keep these in the glove box of the car, when I'm on empty stretches of highway I do sets of thirty, passing the gripper from hand to hand.
Granting that one-handed driving may not be the safest thing do, it's way safer than talking on a cell phone in the car.
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:19 am

Those sports shop grippers are kind of rubbish, if you're after that style of gripper I'd suggest Captains of Crush (CoC) grippers - they are the top of the gripper pile. I'd probably start, if you're doing high reps on a sports shop gripper, with a "CoC #trainer" (for some reason you always put "#" before the number) as that's probably quite a bit harder than the sports shop one you've got. You'd also have no problem with foam or whatever failing as they are knurled Twisted Evil
When I train at it regularly I can get a CoC #1, but never made a #2 (or indeed a #1.5 which I thought I might have a chance at getting). Still one day I get that beast shut!
You can check out CoC grippers here
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:41 am

Okay, Thanks, I'll give the CoC a shot.
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:26 am

Bear in mind these are hardcore bits of kit. A trainer will just about be doable for the average trained male, a #1 is above average grip strength, doing a #2 will be a grip buffs level, getting a #3 is elite level & is truly world class. I've known one guy (as far as I know the only vegan) who's done a #3, that's it, no other vegans have done it I don't think (although there may be one out there that I don't know of), but we're talking only 100 or so people in the world getting a #3 closed!
To use an analogy the gripping you've been doing is like an aerobic jog round the block, the CoC grippers are more like suddenly moving over to powerlifting for that poor jogger...they'll be in for a drastic change in training intensity, so I would start with a #trainer then work up from there.
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:04 pm

Okay, Pete, I have a Trainer in the pipeline coming to me.
(I have a premonition that this is going to be like shaking hands with a bear trap...)
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:45 am

If you're not used to squeezing with the knurling it can get....um...interesting!
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:29 pm

Like a kid on Christmas Eve I could hardly wait for United Parcel Service to deliver the Crunch-toy I’d ordered. It came today just as I was about to leave the house. The real challenge is to open the very secure packaging in which it was sent, but having mastered that I was impressed with the construction of this gizmo.
Then the Moment of Truth, had I really ordered the appropriate model, and could I really squeeze (never mind Crush) the damned thing…?
YES! (but I’d be embarrassed to tell you how few reps I can pull before blood spurts from my bodily orifices.).
Thanks, Pete, your suggestion that I begin with the Trainer model was correct, I’ll keep you informed regarding my progress with this thing.

The knurled handles are not a problem since several pieces of equipment in my gym have knurling…
It’s sort of like the salt on a hard boiled egg…oh, sorry, not exactly vegan, huh?
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:23 am

I think most of had the same issue...I actually ordered a sale package of a #1,2 & 3 that were going cheap for the set (I quite rated my grip at the time as I was the guy they asked to open stuff etc)...couldn't quite get a #1 closed on the first try...in the end had to swallow my pride, get a #trainer & work up. Nowadays I get get a #1 with a few days work (if I've not trained for a while I slip below, but I try & keep a #1 as the bare minimum!), I've never done a #1.5, I have got close, but not quite closed the sucker Crying or Very sad I've got tiny hands, which doesn't help, but then so did the legendary lifter John Davies & he lifted the Apollon axle - you can check out that famous lift here (the Apollon axle was nearly 2" in diameter- a normal bar is 1" in diameter - for a small fingered guy that is pretty hefty thing to grip!)
You have to bear in mind most people wouldn't get a trainer closed, a #1 is above average grip strength, a #2 is big league gripping & a #3 is world class, they aren't your average grip tool.
Looking forward to your updates Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:17 pm

Grip is critical... particularly when bench pressing with free weights. I've never dropped a barbell and I never intend to, but I've been pinned under once or twice. Being able to control the bar as I rolled out from under was good in an embarrassing situation...
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:44 am

Recently I've begun to think of grip in a different way. If you think of the hand, it has a very high percentage of the nerves that control body movement & control, so the brain has more information about the hand & the muscles of the hand than another other region of the body. Often we fail a lift not because we can't lift it, but because we believe we can't lift it (take the people who do crazy lifts when their child is trapped under a car, ask them to lift half that & you'll see them fail). Having feedback from a weak hand might well be giving your brain a whole lot of messages saying "I'm weak" & bear in mind the hand gives the brain much more feedback than any other part of the body. So, I think developing grip should probably be a higher priority. Looking at the old time greats, most of the strong men & women had amazing grips, even more modern guys like Bill Pearl could bend horse shoes at will & most Strongman competitors have amazing grip strength, as do many top Olympic & Powerlifters. I should I suppose add a grip goal into my 2010 goal schedule (2x B/W squat & B/W strict shoulder press), maybe a grip goal to get a #2 by the end of '10. That'd mean 3 goals that are related enough I should be able to get them all by the close of '10...I'm not sure how fast I can improve strength on grip, but...ok I'll give it a go & try to close the #2 by the end of '10.
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:24 pm

I had somewhat similar thoughts this afternoon while working on a combination on the heavy body-bag...there is a relationship between striking force and grip-strength. I was taught to clench at the instant before impact Sensi said that there was less chance of breaking our own metatarsals* that way. But in line with what you suggest, it appears that there is less hesitation with a strong grip, and thereby greater force to the striking blow.

For the record, I was never particularly good as a karate kah, and I no longer pursue the sport, but it is fun to re-live the training.

* I meant metacarpals... they're the bones in the hand,
"metatarsals" are the bones in the foot... I never learned how to clench my feet.


Last edited by Grayfox on Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:34 am

Yea, I did boxing & a hint of kung-fu when younger. I was never any good at either really Embarassed Moved over to distance running for many years after that (well a bit of running, but plenty of partying!). I didn't really get into weights until years afterwards (all centred around a joke a pysch-student friend did on me-that back fired didn't it Very Happy !)
Anyway, nice to know a stronger grip might affect punching, I've never really thought about that before.
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:12 pm

Strangely enough I just stumbled on this The new version of an older DVD by Joe Kinney - the first guy to close a CoC #4
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:16 pm

Very inpressive to see him burst beer cans with a one hand grip.
...Probably a good idea to mention to the other guys in the pub that you were about to do that...

...Or maybe if you had that great a grip you don't have to care about what the other guys in the pub think.
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:09 pm

Can't say that I've Mastered the Trainer model CoC, but I'm getting to the point that I can "click" the handles through ten reps on each side, and enjoy flexing it while driving.
After New Year I'll order the Number One model and start from kindergarden again.
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:28 pm

I may have posted this elsewhere, but if not...

The CoC #1 arrived last week.
One thing about a progressive training system is that it never gets easier.
I'm working this with a day-on and a day-off system. This seems to permit time for muscle development, and provides time for callouses to compensate for the knurled handles.

Did I mention that this is fun?
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:06 am

Nice one - you'll have to keep us updated on how it's going. I've closed a #1, but got stuck closing a #1.5...I think I needed to work more on the #1, then gradually move up to negative reps, then finally a full close, but I got impatient (usual trouble trying to hurry!)
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:49 pm

Yep.
And you were right about the knurled handles.
I can dig with a shovel, or swing a pickaxe all day without a problem, but the knurling on a CoC is like petting a cheese cutter.
A day on and a day off seems to work for development, and for calluses too.
For folks who aren't prone to develop calluses I would suggest applying chalk dust or corn starch before working with knurled equipment.

Good thing this is fun.[i]


Last edited by Grayfox on Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:47 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I let the Spell-checker do my thinking for me... the spelling is "calluses")
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:45 am

Another option I tried, but didn't work for me (but does for a few guys) is to put insulating tape on the finger side of the gripper. That makes it more slick, so you don't do so much damage - it might work for some, but a I said it didn't work for me really.
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Thu May 06, 2010 7:43 am

I just ordered the CoC #2
This took some soul-searching since I imagine that the 195-pound closure is going to be quite a bit like shaking hands with a cast iron fireplug.
...And yes, I know that Iron Mind recommends their CoC #1.5 as an intermediate step between the #1 and the #2, but I'm doing okay with the #1, and just feel like jumping in with all four feet.

Wish me luck...
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Thu May 06, 2010 1:47 pm

I did that....I later bought a #1.5 mind you (but that was me before the #1.5 everyone went from a #1 to a #2 as there wasn't anything in-between)
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Thu May 06, 2010 8:09 pm

Pete wrote:
I did that....I later bought a #1.5 mind you (but that was me before the #1.5 everyone went from a #1 to a #2 as there wasn't anything in-between)

Oh heck... I was hoping that you weren't going to say, "...I later bought a #1.5..."
It would have sounded better if you said that you bought the #1.5 just for amusement, or perhaps to entertain the neighbor's children...
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Fri May 07, 2010 4:40 am

I've actually never closed the #2...but I never put the time in being honest.
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PostSubject: Re: What I'm gripping right now   Wed May 12, 2010 1:19 pm

The CoC #2 just arrived.
I unwrapped it and just looked at it for a while.
Then I took a deep breath and squeezed it.
...Well... it's not as bad as I thought it would be (I've been assuming that I would have to drive my car over it to flex the thing),
but it's not a joke, and will take a lot of practice to really close it.
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