T Nation

Captains of Crush


I know there have been a couple threads on these, but I wanted to see if there was any new insight...

I'm thinking about getting a couple of these to work on my grip strength, but am unsure of what resistances to order. I'm looking for one to rep-out on (8-10), as well as one I can only close a couple of times.

I'm 6'4", 240 lbs. I like to think I have decent grip strength - grip has never been a limiting factor for me on deadlifts, for instance. My max is a roughly 3x 455lbs, and my grip has never given out. I do a lot of chins/pull-ups which also has helped my grip.

What two models would you guys recommend?


I just recently got the COC #1 which is 140 lbs i think and it is decently tough. I think that would be ok for you to rep 10 times given your deadlift and apparent grip strength. Im assuming the # 2 or 3 would be good for you to close a couple times


It's always hard to guess what level gripper someone can close solely based on deadlift numbers. But you ought to be able to rep the Trainer for 8-10 with that level of deadlift strength. And I'd buy the #2 even if you could only close it once or twice. The Trainer is always a nice warmup - I use it for my warmups still and I can close the #3.5.


Thanks for the input. Thinking I'm going to go with the Trainer and #2 (don't think I'm anywhere near the 3+ stage yet)


3 is beast... let us know how you do with #2


I deadlift 140 kilos and use the Coc # 1, it is pretty hard, but i can do 2 reps with a lot of effort


Trainer and #1 would be my advice. There's a lot less correlation between support grip and crushing grip than most people seem to think.


I started with the #1 and #2 years back when I was a lot weaker and they both served me well then and still both serve well. They also seem not to have deteriorated in quality in the 8 or so years I've owned them. They are fantastically well made. I got to the point where I could close the #1 right away, the #2 took longer but I could finally do it so I got the #3. I have never been able to use the #3 as anything other than a curiosity piece and something to bring to the gym to show to friends so we can all go "WTF?" "Iknowright?" and such.



Get the number 1s and the number 2s, they will be just right. I was lucky enough to have a mate with the trainers and tried them before I bought mine. The trainers would be good for someone who really hasn't trained before, so go the 1s and 2s.


I suggest a 2.5 before a 3 s I can crush the 2 with ease (did 10 reps once to see if I could)

  • still have not completely touched the 3, got crazy close last week but no cigar

I think i need to order a 2.5 & take my own advice

a strong grip is cool


Just train more with #2 and the #3 will come. Master it! :stuck_out_tongue:

I can do 9 reps with #1 with my left and couple more with the right and I know I can still get stronger with this gripper. #2 feels tough but not impossible. Closest try was under 10 millimeters (a guess).


they're cheap....get the set


There is a big step up from one level to the next. For example I can do 50 reps on the level 1 and only 6 on the level 2. Level 3 is going to be extremely tough. One thing to bear in mind is that the grip you may have built up already is not going to directly translate to closing these but it will help. I say get the 1 and the 2 or if you think your grip is going to be good on these then you can start on the 1.5 (which you should be able to get almost half the reps on that you can get on the level 1.)


I might eventually get a hold of a 1.5. I do a lot of sledge-hammer and maul work(a lot of levering too) so I am interested to see if I will be able to close it. My wrist/crushing strength is really good. I can deadlift about 400, but again I realize that has little connection to the captains of crush.

(you need to use some good "crush" grip on a sledge or maul to make sure that thing even stays in your hands on a good swing into something solid). I also spend a lot of time training grip in other ways, trying to crush things, etc. grip strength training is awesome/dynamic. (the "IronClaws" moniker being a reference to John Y Smith, who had inspirational grip strength)

I also try to train on the thick-grip bars/dbs. hopefully some-thing translates over!
(I hope to close it effortlessly)

We'll see how it goes! Everyone should have one, though!


I'll throw in my 2 cents on the subject...

Forget about reps on the grippers, you want grip strength, go for negatives and timed holds. Reps are for show IMO.

I'm glad that you've had the mindset not to neglect training your grip. A lot of lifters don't.

This usually tells me nothing. Do you use straps on any of your lifts? If so, don't. That would be a start.

The #1 and the #2.



Listen to any and all advice given by Sybersnott regarding grip strength.

He is a Grip Expert... a CERTIFIED Captains of Crush; Gripboard Mash Monster; and Heavy Grips Gripper King plus he has completed the Emerson Knife Grip Challenge.

Like Syber said don't mess with reps, rather focus on quality holds and negatives.

Myself... I can close a CoC No. 2 and 2.5 however... it has been more than ten (10) years since I received my CoC No. 3 and I am still unable to close it... pathetic I know! That last 10mm is a bitch. I deadlift 250+kg without straps and the No. 3 still has me beat.

Cheers and respects.


ya it true thanks for the post.


Used them, not great crossover.


In my opinion, grippers are a waste of time for practical grip strength. Just last week, I carried 340/Hand on farmers for 60 feet. I've literally never missed a deadlift because of my grip, and I can't close a #1. To train my grip, I do overhand axle holds for time, v-bar deadlifts, and other lifts that are closer to the kind of grip strength I'm interested in having. I'm sure others have had success with grippers, but I don't think they're a good use of time for me.