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Fatbar/Fatgripz question

Question first: How should I grip the bar when using fatgripz during pressing movements? Do I continue to use the open grip (thumb NOT wrapped around the bar)? Or will that negate the positive effects of using a thicker bar?

After reading many articles here on T-Nation about forearms and noticing how the fatbar is often used in many of the videos CT is in, I decided to buy a pair of FatGripz.

Today was the first time I used them. I put them on while I was push pressing. Like normal, I used the open grip. I always use the open grip now. Personally, I’ve found that I can push the weight harder. Much harder.

It makes push pressing 115lbs (which is about 92% of my current 3-rep max) 4 times a week feel more like a medicine ball throw than a military press! This isn’t to say that I’m not actively pressing the weight though (as opposed to jerking it).

But during one of my sets, I wondered if I should wrap my thumb around the FatGripz to recruit more forearms and have an overall tighter grip. I had NO trouble holding the bar, but I did have the thought. Because I had already done all of my sets with the open grip using the FatGripz, I continued to do it that way because I figured I’d experiment in a different workout - as not to disrupt the “groove” which I find myself in when I workout.

Thanks in advanced.

Colby

One thing about using fat gripz for pressing, when you start to push weights that are challenging to you, they can move on the bar.

I really noticed this when doing clusters for bench. For a friend of mine, they would move almost an inch after a few reps.

Fat bar feels way more solid, if you have access to one, maybe use that instead.

[quote]StateOfPsychosis wrote:
One thing about using fat gripz for pressing, when you start to push weights that are challenging to you, they can move on the bar.

I really noticed this when doing clusters for bench. For a friend of mine, they would move almost an inch after a few reps.

Fat bar feels way more solid, if you have access to one, maybe use that instead.

[/quote]
My gym doesn’t carry fat bars of any kind.

Nonetheless, I will keep this in mind. In fact, I think just knowing this fact will help me stay focused to really grip the bar - regardless of the grip that I use.

I use them for curls, pull ups and close grip bench. And with regular bench, you get a deeper stretch with a bigger ROM.

I love them. Make a big difference.

What about regarding my original grip question? Do either of you use an open grip for presses or the standard grip? Thoughts?

For the blue fat gripz I used a false grip (thumbless) for overhead press and loved how it felt. My shoulders don’t like higher reps with a barbell and the gripz made it a lot better. I used a full grip for bench press and my shoulders felt way better. Almost like I could bench more often without getting achy.

I never used a false grip for the red fat gripz, pretty dangerous. Roommate was a few inches from either needing new teeth or crushing his throat when the bar slipped.

Not really sure about forearm recruitment either way, my triceps always get hit more when I use fat gripz for bench.

[quote]Colbstar wrote:
What about regarding my original grip question? Do either of you use an open grip for presses or the standard grip? Thoughts?[/quote]

Since I use them for improving my grip strength and the size of my forearms, I tend to use the standard grip. This grip is more of a “grab” that hits the forearm flexors in my opinion.


When doing pressing exercises with the fat grip I use a false grip (no thumb wrapping) I actually feel stronger that way and it puts less strain on my shoulders. My guess is that with a false grip you can avoid going into an internally rotated shoulder prosition.

I noticed years ago that bench pressing with a thick bar was less stressful on my shoulders. It took me a while to understand why, and I asked many experts about it never receiving a totally satisfactory answer. Today I can say that the reason is likely that the thick bar forced me to use a thumbless grip.

One thing I noticed is that when you take a regular grip your hands are turned in slightly this automatically goes into an internal shoulder rotation position. This means that the “natural” path when lowering the bar will have you with the elbows pointed outward/flared out.

This obviously puts a lot of stress on the shoulder joint. And if you make an effort to tuck the elbows in despite the natural inclination to have the elbows out, you create a lot of torque at elbow joint. So you either increase the stress on the shoulders or elbows: not good.

By using a thumbless grip you can easily keep a more neutral hand position which makes it much more natural to lower the bar while staying tucked. This reduces shoulder stress without increasing torque at the elbows, making for a less stressful bench press.

Now, some people will say that this grip is unsafe, that you can drop the bar on yourself. Honestly I’ve been doing it for years, for several workouts a week and I have fairly small hands. I use it with thick bars (2"), very thick bars (3") and regular bars and never once came even close to losing control. Same with all of the clients and athletes I trained.

I’m not saying that it can’t happen. Maybe bench pressing with a bench shirt increases the risk since it’s harder to adjust. But honestly, anybody who is not a total motor moron can become very safe and comfortable with that grip. And any any potential accident would likely happen because of bad form with weights that you have no business trying in the first place.

3 Likes

damn! I’ve been using the regular grip on the heavy benches and a thin bar. I felt like I had better grip that way.
P.S. My shoulders and elbows got toasted. And, my elbows were flared out to almost 90 degrees.
(dumb me. I had always thought they were supposed to be out, and that elbows at 45-60 degrees was “cheating/incorrect”)
dumb, dumb, dumb! Damn!

I came to the same conclusion, I use fatz grip, and all the movements of press seems natural to me with a false grip, everything falls into place without forcing.

it’s + 1 year, the bar has never escaped my hands.

I think the purchase of a real thick bar

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
When doing pressing exercises with the fat grip I use a false grip (no thumb wrapping) I actually feel stronger that way and it puts less strain on my shoulders. My guess is that with a false grip you can avoid going into an internally rotated shoulder prosition.

I noticed years ago that bench pressing with a thick bar was less stressful on my shoulders. It took me a while to understand why, and I asked many experts about it never receiving a totally satisfactory answer. Today I can say that the reason is likely that the thick bar forced me to use a thumbless grip.

One thing I noticed is that when you take a regular grip your hands are turned in slightly this automatically goes into an internal shoulder rotation position. This means that the “natural” path when lowering the bar will have you with the elbows pointed outward/flared out.

This obviously puts a lot of stress on the shoulder joint. And if you make an effort to tuck the elbows in despite the natural inclination to have the elbows out, you create a lot of torque at elbow joint. So you either increase the stress on the shoulders or elbows: not good.

By using a thumbless grip you can easily keep a more neutral hand position which makes it much more natural to lower the bar while staying tucked. This reduces shoulder stress without increasing torque at the elbows, making for a less stressful bench press.

Now, some people will say that this grip is unsafe, that you can drop the bar on yourself. Honestly I’ve been doing it for years, for several workouts a week and I have fairly small hands. I use it with thick bars (2"), very thick bars (3") and regular bars and never once came even close to losing control. Same with all of the clients and athletes I trained.

I’m not saying that it can’t happen. Maybe bench pressing with a bench shirt increases the risk since it’s harder to adjust. But honestly, anybody who is not a total motor moron can become very safe and comfortable with that grip. And any any potential accident would likely happen because of bad form with weights that you have no business trying in the first place.
[/quote]

I noticed this when doing the military press. I tried it with a false grip and with a natural grip. I realized that when using a false grip my shoulders felt much better and were not “achy” in that “my form was not right” type of way. And bench pressing with a false grip just feels more natural to me. I’ve tried that is well with a natural grip and I could never get my shoulders to stop internally rotating.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
When doing pressing exercises with the fat grip I use a false grip (no thumb wrapping) I actually feel stronger that way and it puts less strain on my shoulders. My guess is that with a false grip you can avoid going into an internally rotated shoulder prosition.
[/quote]

Do you recommend the false grip when pressing with a swissbar (either with or without Fat Grips)?

[quote]mstorm wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
When doing pressing exercises with the fat grip I use a false grip (no thumb wrapping) I actually feel stronger that way and it puts less strain on my shoulders. My guess is that with a false grip you can avoid going into an internally rotated shoulder prosition.
[/quote]

Do you recommend the false grip when pressing with a swissbar (either with or without Fat Grips)?[/quote]

No, the main benefit of the false grip is being able to avoid excessive internal roation, with the swiss bar you are in a neutral position so it doesn’t apply.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
One thing I noticed is that when you take a regular grip your hands are turned in slightly this automatically goes into an internal shoulder rotation position. This means that the “natural” path when lowering the bar will have you with the elbows pointed outward/flared out.
[/quote]
I noticed this as well! ON MY 1ST TRY!

Thanks for the input.

And I think those who advocate not using the false grip because they’re gonna drop the bar have never actually tried the false grip.

Colby

[quote]Colbstar wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
One thing I noticed is that when you take a regular grip your hands are turned in slightly this automatically goes into an internal shoulder rotation position. This means that the “natural” path when lowering the bar will have you with the elbows pointed outward/flared out.
[/quote]
I noticed this as well! ON MY 1ST TRY!

Thanks for the input.

And I think those who advocate not using the false grip because they’re gonna drop the bar have never actually tried the false grip.

Colby[/quote]

Very true

CT, do you still use a false grip when using a regular bar?

[quote]StateOfPsychosis wrote:
CT, do you still use a false grip when using a regular bar? [/quote]

Yes for both the bench press and military press

ct. I must thank you once again.
Started back on the bench program using the False Grip.(been focusing real hard on form with this)
Shoulders and elbows feel soooo much better… !!!

Yes same thing here, i start using the thumbless grip after seeing Arnold using it in the bodybuilding encyclopedia and i really feel less stress on the shoulder. I wouldn’t o back.

Whenever I try using a false grip I feel extra stress on the wrists. How can I safely use the grip without the added stress?