T Nation

Grip and Abs on Off Days

Im having trouble getting my sessions under an hour and Im considering putting the grip and ab training on my off days. Any reason not to do this? I figure the neural load is low enough to not interfere with recovery. Aside from being aware of putting grip training before heavy pulling can anyone tell me if this is a bad idea?

Interesting question. I frequently do abs and light cardio on my ``off’’ days. no problems there. Not sure about the grip work, I would think that would require a bit more exertion on the nervous system.

I’d be careful about doing too much grip work and not giving it sufficent time to recover. I always overtrained my grip pretty quickly when I’m doing alot for it.

Im the reverse of Hanley, so give it a try and if it doesnt work out go back to what you are doing now.

dont know about the effect.

but i seem to have read alot of coaches outlinning off day ab programs for their athletes.

You can try it, but make sure you don’t do this stuff a day before a heavy lower body or upper body pulling session.

Any specific reason why your sessions need to be under an hour?

I think peple are getting a little crazy with the whole neural recovery thing. You’re talking about abs and forearms? May as well not walk on days in between heavy lifts. Just stay in bed all day. Try it out, don’t kill yourself with it and let your body adapt and increase its work capacity.

I’m with Hanley. The stronger you get and the heavier you lift the less grip training you can and need to do. Each body is different of course. But you will totally see and feel when you over do the grip. I have heavy grips set from 100 to 300. When I first got them I could barely close the 200 and not close the 250. Now the 200 is my warm up and I can rep out the 250, that 300 is still a challenge with my hands.

Of course hand grips do NOT equal grip strength on a bar per se. Rowing, Shrugs and Deadlifting were always better indicators. 20 reps on a 150lb DB row is a better grip training experience than any hand grippers. As are 405lb shrugs for reps again without straps.
Equally true taxing your forearms and hand like this requires more rest. The Ying and Yang of the universe requires less work and more rest when lifting heavier weights.

See for yourself.

[quote]Doug Adams wrote:
Any specific reason why your sessions need to be under an hour?[/quote]

It always just kinda been my rule of thumb, I thought that was a pretty common time to limit your workouts. Do you guys commonly train much more than an hour at a time? I have this problem in particular on lower body ME days, I just cant seem to get under 75-90 minutes.

I train twice a week, 1.5 & 2 hrs, its working OK

[quote]AlexM wrote:
I think peple are getting a little crazy with the whole neural recovery thing. You’re talking about abs and forearms? May as well not walk on days in between heavy lifts. Just stay in bed all day. Try it out, don’t kill yourself with it and let your body adapt and increase its work capacity.[/quote]

He said grip. Not foreams. I don’t know about you but when I train deadlfits and rack pulls in the same session, and follow them up with dumbbell rows or other heavily intensive grip work my hands start to ache after a few weeks of it.

Can’t you just do deadlifts? You’ll work abs and your grip. Seems like a waste of a perfectly good recovery day to do that.

I like the way you think

I’m nowhere near as advanced as most of these guys but I agree with what they’re saying. I dabbled with grip training on my off days for nearly a month and if anything it made things worse.

My grip has steadily improved simply by doing as much of my heavy pulling with a double overhand grip as possible. If its a major weakness for you, maybe you could just tweak your exercises accordingly. Towel pull ups instead of regular pull ups for a few weeks, reverse curls or hammer curls instead of regular curls, fat bar work if you’ve got the equipment.

Also, this is probably achingly obvious for most people, but simply concentrating on squeezing the shit out of the bar on all my pulls, even warm ups, has made a big difference.

Hanley
That’s a lot of probably pretty heavy movement. I mean, with those three exercises, that might be 10-15 working sets. Keeping that up for a few weeks I could see as overdoing the grip. When he said grip training on an off day, I wasn’t imagining him doing any movements like the ones you mentioed. I immediately thought plate pinches or bar hangs or wrist curls, which aren’t very “taxing.”

But how much plate pinching and bar hanging can you do the day after deads and shrugs? Me, not much.

[quote]Waitingforcoyote wrote:
Im having trouble getting my sessions under an hour and Im considering putting the grip and ab training on my off days. Any reason not to do this? I figure the neural load is low enough to not interfere with recovery. Aside from being aware of putting grip training before heavy pulling can anyone tell me if this is a bad idea?[/quote]

I guess this answer depends on what level your at, and work more for beginner / intermediate lifters (like myself).

Anyway, you could just modify your current program so that it does basically the same thing but hits your grip more.

For example, heavy sets of one arm DB rows, do your single leg stuff heavier and with DB’s instead of a bar and do them after DL’s - that’s if you do single leg work. I know if i’ve been dead lifting, followed by, for example, walking DB lunges, my grip is almost the limiting factor. Changing your pull ups to towel pullups. Using thick bars (or making the bars thicker). So you can do what you normally do but tax your grip more than usual.

Again, the effectiveness of this is more than likely down to your level of experience. Anyone who’s been power lifting for a while might not get any improvement for this. For me, i’m a newbie, still to compete. My grips improved big time, despite not doing any direct grip work i.e. setting time aside for it.

KPj

[quote]AlexM wrote:
Hanley
That’s a lot of probably pretty heavy movement. I mean, with those three exercises, that might be 10-15 working sets. Keeping that up for a few weeks I could see as overdoing the grip. When he said grip training on an off day, I wasn’t imagining him doing any movements like the ones you mentioed. I immediately thought plate pinches or bar hangs or wrist curls, which aren’t very “taxing.”[/quote]

As sapasion said, what are they going to do for improving your grip tho…? Like I imagine the reason the OP’s planning on doing grip work is because simply deadlifting isn’t enough for it. He needs to create some signficant overload, and I doubt hangs, pinch gripping etc will do much to improve it.

i don’t know if I’ve mentioned it in this thread already, but kroc rows and farmers walks have been the best thing I’ve ever done for my grip.

…wow take me to your guys dealer! man i am a pot head and still i know that your body has to have stimulation to grow…hmmm… ya neways your forearms and calves and abs are all body parts and need to be trained with the same intensity of your chest and biceps even if they aint pretty!

[quote]wrath wrote:
…wow take me to your guys dealer! man i am a pot head and still i know that your body has to have stimulation to grow…hmmm… ya neways your forearms and calves and abs are all body parts and need to be trained with the same intensity of your chest and biceps even if they aint pretty![/quote]

wow.

wow.