T Nation

Captain of Crush Question


Hey does anyone here have a Captain of Crush and what do they think of it? I'm thinking of buying one to help with grip strength but don't know which one to buy. It comes in 4 levels

supposedly only around 5 people can close the 4th one-worlds strongest man magnus samuelson is one of them-

I'm thinking of getting the 2nd level I can dl over 400lbs without my grip going out, but would like to know of any people here who have experience with them can give me an idea of which one to get.


I've been using the CoC grippers for years. There is so much to say about these fine tools for grip training that I don't know where to even begin. The CoC grippers will build certain areas of grip strength (crushing) while other ahtletes such as martial artists would need to work on tools that strengthens the fingers especially the thumbs.

I'm sure you've been to the Ironmind website (www.ironmind.com) that carries all of these grip tools. I've got most of them and they are all great.

If you can deadlift 400 then I'd say you could probably handle the #2 gripper. Most gym rats can close a #1 but sometimes they can't. I have a friend who is a cowboy and does rodeos. He also has a ranch and is a truck driver. I gave him the CoC Trainer and he couldn't close it. I was shocked.

A lot of guys that have great grip strength are ones that have never touched a weight in their life and I thought this would be him but it wasn't so you never know.

If you train with the CoC grippers properly you can build great grip strength. One advice I would give is to not do very many reps with these. If you can rep out 12 closes on anyone gripper then buy the next one up. It's also a good idea to have the next highest one that you can't close so you can do negatives.

There is a grip program that was put out a while back called the KTA program. This program is very good to help one achieve closing the #3 for certification. The training is brutal and would work contradictory to your other training.

I've always done competitive powerlifting and used the grippers for grip strength. It's also fun and challenging. My brother-in-law doesn't powerlift and only does grip training exclusively. It's fun to watch him tear a deck of cards in half and then in quarters along with other grip feats.

There is a whole group of athletes that are just grip specialits. Anyway, I never set aside powerlifting to focus on getting the #3 certification. Just keep in mind that if you decide to do the KTA program that your other lifting will probably suffer. I never have had a grip problem when it came to deadlifting. If you are not using straps for most of your training then you are already building the grip strength needed to hold the bar.

There is another company that makes grippers that fall in between the grip strength ratings of the CoC gripper that make it easy to move up to the next gripper in the CoC arsenal. You will find that there is a big difference between the #2 and the #3 gripper by Ironmind. The Beef Builder makes grippers that fall in between those such as a 2.5.

As I said earlier, there is a lot to say about grip training and the use of the CoC grippers. The best resource I know of online that covers this speciality is:


You'll need to sign up as a member to get in there just like here on T-Nation. It's not a big deal and will be worth your time to check it out.

Have fun!


I've got the 1,2 and 3. If you've never worked with them, or any crushing strength before I'd suggest getting the 1 or maybe 1 and 2.

Don't underestimate the strength it takes to close these grippers. Support grip strength (as is needed in heavy pulling exercises like deads) may not have all that much carry over to crushing grip strength (which is required to close the gripper).

I've seen guys who could deadlift way over 400 lbs raw not be able to close the 2. Most guys, even if they are weight lifters, have a hard time closing the 1. I only know 1 person (on a personal basis) who can close the 3 and I've only actually seen maybe 3-4 people close the 2 (besides myself).

Even if you end up getting the 1 and can close it, you'll still be able to get a heck of a grip workout with it. And if it's really easy (which I doubt it will be) you can always buy the 2 and use the 1 to do warm up sets with.

Good training,



I can only repeat what's already been said, but your grip as far as deadlifting goes has very little carryover to crushing grip. I can deadlift 485 lbs completely raw, and grip strength is not the limiting factor, but I could barely close the #1 the first time I tried.

Once I practiced with it a little bit I was able to close it 3-4 times just by improving my technique. According to the ironmind website once you are able to do 10-12 full reps with the #1, you are ready to move up to the #2. I bought the trainer and #1 with my first order and I think that is probably your best bet.

The trainer should be good for warmups and such and the #1 will probably be pretty challenging to close at first.

On a side note, ironmind also makes "in between" grippers now. They have a 1.5, 2.5 and 3.5.


I might do 1 I feel as though I have good grip strength and could only think of dl as example-My dl isn't as great because I'm tall and form is bad- I have large hands not sure if it helps or anything, the comments have helped a lot though I'm now definitely going to prob buy a 1 and see how it goes.

I'm mainly looking to help my grip get stronger for strongman-which I hope to do amature meets in 2 years- and to help with various pl exercises. Thanks for all the help.


I haven't tried CoC, but I've got Heavy Grips. They're awesome. Same concept, just different increments (100 lbs, 150, 200, etc). So far I can only close up to the 200. I like to do kind of drop sets. As many as I can with the biggest one I can close, then the next down, then the last. Beats the hell out of the regular strength grippers which I can do all day.


Try an ivanko supergripper, they use springs and supposedly go from 45-345 pounds, with 50 total settings. Its about 30 dollars you can look at it at functionalhandstrength.comd


I suspect that a #2 will be quite the eye opener. DL numbers don't mean a whole lot with respect to the CoC. Whatever you decide, get two grippers, and I'd start with the Trainer and #1. If you really think you can do #2, get the #1 and #2.


I'd get the trainer and the #1 unless you have very good grip strength.

I bought the trainer, #1 and #2, figuring the trainer would be a waste of money, but everyone said to get it. It's worth getting, and even when you get stronger it will still be good for warmups.

These grippers are a real eye opener. My #2 is still in mint condition and in its original unopened package. I probably won't even try it until I get 10-12 good closes on the #1.

Deadlift numbers don't translate into crush grip strength.


I've got the number 1. I can't actually make the handles touch, but I can rep it to nearly touching around 10 times. It really pisses me off. Am I doing something wrong? Any special techniques to make it touch? I only deadlift 410, so my grip is probably just weak.


Close it with two hands, hold it closed with one as long as you can. That should strengthen the last few millimeters to closing.

As stated above, good deadlift (supporting grip) doesn't necessarily translate into a strong active crushing grip.


I agree with everything Modi said, I train farmers, deadlifts, heavy rack pulls, etc all the time and I can barely get 1-3 reps with the #1 on a good day. That is after doing work with the trainer for awhile. I do also have small hands which doesn't help.


I agree that hand size plays a big part in the ability of a person to close a high number gripper. I have a #2,#2.5,and #3. Personally I don't know anyone who can close the #3. I train with the #2, and can close the#2.5, but it is tough. I have descent strength in my hands but I also have large hands.

Other powerlifters that I train with are of equal stength but with smaller hands can't even close the #2. I think the #2 is rated at 185lbs and the #3 is rated at 265lbs. Can anyone tell me what the #2.5 is rated at? I can't find it anywhere, not even on the website.


From what everyone is saying it seems DL grip strength doesn't carry over. However did anyone find that their DL went up as they got strong on the CoC grippers?


Not me. Well, my deadlift has gone up since I started grip training but not as a direct result. And just for the record, I have an average-at-best deadlift and am on my way to closing the COC 2.5.

Edit: And just for the record, I have small hands.


I must be the opposite from the majority. I can close a 200 lb grip, but I have trouble with my grip on deads with anything over 315 for reps (been getting much better lately). Guess my endurance just sucks.


This would only happen if grip is your weak point and is failing on your DL. Crushing strength and supportive strength are different but there is some carry over. For supportive strength I think thick bar work, farmers walks, rolling thunder, barbell holds would have better carry over.


Thats pretty cool, gives me hope, is there any way you have found that helps holding the gripper with smaller hands?


Find a damn rock and squeeze the hell out of it.


Here's my 2 cents about which gripper to get:

If your on a budget, the 150 heavy gripper works great. Downside is they are easier to close as the handles are closer together than other grip products.

If you want quality I would get the captains of crush #1 or a beef builder gripper of a similar poundage. Both grippers are made very well, but I would give a slight edge to beef builder because they are harder to close than captains of crush.

And don't forget to train your pinch grip with weight plates as well. Crush grip strength is great, but including support grip and pinch grip training will make you stronger all around.