T Nation

Grip Stength - Want To Improve

Folks,

I’m looking to improve my grip strenth and need some help here. I’m considering purchasing the Captains of Crush hand grippers, but at $20.00 each I have no idea which one I should start with.

I have what I consider moderate hand strenth currently so I’m not sure if I should start ‘small’ and go with the 60 lb grippers or higher.

I travel a lot for business so the portability of the product nice for me. Nothing like a two hour conference call to strengthen your grip! :slight_smile:

Here’s the link:
http://www6.mailordercentral.com/ironmind/products.asp?dept=8

If there’s an entirely different product you’d recommend instead please let me know.

Thanks in advance.

[quote]alextaylor29 wrote:
Folks,

I’m looking to improve my grip strenth and need some help here. I’m considering purchasing the Captains of Crush hand grippers, but at $20.00 each I have no idea which one I should start with.

I have what I consider moderate hand strenth currently so I’m not sure if I should start ‘small’ and go with the 60 lb grippers or higher.

I travel a lot for business so the portability of the product nice for me. Nothing like a two hour conference call to strengthen your grip! :slight_smile:

Here’s the link:
http://www6.mailordercentral.com/ironmind/products.asp?dept=8

If there’s an entirely different product you’d recommend instead please let me know.

Thanks in advance.[/quote]

I honestly don’t know about grippers, but for when you’re training at your regular place avoid straps like the plague imho. My last go round with weight training I got dependent on lifting straps early on and never could get away from em on excercises that demanded grip strength without reducing the weight and thus rendering it much less effective and in some cases useless. If you already knew this please disregard the preceding.

–Tiribulus->

If you’ve got the money, go for the trainer, the #1, and the #2. Those will keep you busy for a while. Otherwise, pick two of them and that should do. I wouldn’t imagine you’d need anything easier than the trainer.

I wouldn’t bet on strengthening your grip during a conference call. These grippers are tough. I like to devote a separate session or two per week to grip when I’m really focusing on grip strength. Otherwise, I just tack it on at the end of a workout.

Do farmer’s walks, timed BB holds with heavy weight, pinch gripping, etc. in addition to using the grippers. You’ll make better progress by using a variety of tools.

Also, pick up Mastery of Hand Strength by John Brookfield (also available from Ironmind). It’s the bible of grip strength, and it’s quite affordable.

Get the “T” and “1.” When you can close the #1 8 times, buy the #2.

CoC grippers last for years. I’ve had mine since 1999.

[quote]alextaylor29 wrote:
Folks,

I’m looking to improve my grip strenth and need some help here. I’m considering purchasing the Captains of Crush hand grippers, but at $20.00 each I have no idea which one I should start with.

I have what I consider moderate hand strenth currently so I’m not sure if I should start ‘small’ and go with the 60 lb grippers or higher.

I travel a lot for business so the portability of the product nice for me. Nothing like a two hour conference call to strengthen your grip! :slight_smile:

Here’s the link:
http://www6.mailordercentral.com/ironmind/products.asp?dept=8

If there’s an entirely different product you’d recommend instead please let me know.

Thanks in advance.[/quote]

Awesome thanks guys. I’ll buy the number 1 and number 2. I have pretty good grip strenght now and rarely use straps even with heavy lifts. This will supplement my existing weight regimine and allow me to target hand and forearms specifically.

Appreciate the advice!

Just FYI… Even strong guys have difficultly closing the #1 at first. It’s a different type of strength.

Of course, do what you want… But I really think you should start off with the T.

[quote]alextaylor29 wrote:
Awesome thanks guys. I’ll buy the number 1 and number 2. I have pretty good grip strenght now and rarely use straps even with heavy lifts. This will supplement my existing weight regimine and allow me to target hand and forearms specifically.

Appreciate the advice![/quote]

I know I’m a few days late here, but I would suggest the T and the 1.

I consider my grip to be a weakness (it fails at ~405 on the deadlift), and the T and 1 give me all I can handle.

Just for comparison’s sake.

[quote]tGunslinger wrote:
I know I’m a few days late here, but I would suggest the T and the 1.

I consider my grip to be a weakness (it fails at ~405 on the deadlift), and the T and 1 give me all I can handle.

Just for comparison’s sake.[/quote]

Grippers will carry over very little to the kind of grip required to hold onto a big deadlift. That kind of grip is called supporting strength. The grip required to close a gripper is crushing.

If you want to build your grip to hold a deadlift;

  1. Put a barbell on the top of a powerrack, and hang from it for time. It will freely revolve, making it hard. When you get stronger, tie some weight to yourself. Eventually do this with a thick barbell.

  2. You can also deadlift with a thick barbell (2" in diameter)

  3. Deadlift with a double overhand grip until you can no longer hang on, then switch to an alternate grip.

  4. Get a rolling thunder from ironmind

  5. Try some strongman events like farmers walk, hercules hold, timber carry etc…

Stick with the T and the 1. Not the 1 and 2. 1 is more difficult than you think.

I agree about the T & 1. Even when your strength gets great, you’re still going to want the T to warm up with. I’ll also say that even though I personally use the CoC’s, I’ve heard Heavy Grips are very good as well, and they’re a little cheaper.

I’d also steer you toward Dieselcrew.com They have a lot of exercise ideas and videos to go along with them. They do pinch grip curls, blob holds, and even one hand dead more than 400 lbs.

I have the T, the #1, and the #2. Although I can close the two (only with my right hand so far), I use all of them. Don’t think that the Trainer will be useless once you pass to the #1. They are great as a set for warm-ups.

Also, as other have mentioned, don’t use straps until your grip is toast but you still need more work for the back, traps, etc. Add some direct forearm work with wrist curls, hammers, rolls, etc as well.

OneEye: I can’t tell from the pic… Is that you closing a #3? If so, that’s awesome!

[quote]OneEye wrote:
If you’ve got the money, go for the trainer, the #1, and the #2. Those will keep you busy for a while. Otherwise, pick two of them and that should do. I wouldn’t imagine you’d need anything easier than the trainer.

I wouldn’t bet on strengthening your grip during a conference call. These grippers are tough. I like to devote a separate session or two per week to grip when I’m really focusing on grip strength. Otherwise, I just tack it on at the end of a workout.

Do farmer’s walks, timed BB holds with heavy weight, pinch gripping, etc. in addition to using the grippers. You’ll make better progress by using a variety of tools.

Also, pick up Mastery of Hand Strength by John Brookfield (also available from Ironmind). It’s the bible of grip strength, and it’s quite affordable.[/quote]

My grip is already holding me back from completing exercises with as much weight as I could, but I’m female and have a small frame - 5’4, 113 lbs. Would the trainer be too difficult?

[quote]CLewis wrote:
Would the trainer be too difficult?[/quote]

Probably. They have a “sport” model, which should set you up.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
OneEye: I can’t tell from the pic… Is that you closing a #3? If so, that’s awesome![/quote]

I wish! It’s the #2, a while back. I’m getting close to the #3, but it’s still a good way off for now, because I’m not currently focusing on grip strength as much as I do sometimes.

I currently do wrist-curls and hammers for my forearm work, but my forearm size is definitely a weakness. Will using the COC hand grippers increase my forearm size?

I currently do not have a problem with grip strength, but there is always room for improvement. Are the COC hand grippers, a good quality gripper?

I checked out the link provided and they appear to be all metal, which would be great. I have used the hand grippers from sporting goods stores and they seem cheap and too easy to squeeze. Not much of a workout.

I don’t recommend the CofCrush instead go for an Ivanko or Ironwoody gripper it is very adjustable and will be good from when you are very weak to quite strong. If you find the max. strength of it too much, then do it one finger at a time.

www.ironwoody.com

For forearms one good trick is buy some pvc pipe and a screw lock dumbell. Cut the pipe to cover nearly the whole length of the dumbell. Put a screw lock on one side and on the other, one plate and screw it down to the pvc. Makes a good hammer tool you can easily adjust for rotational work.

I have the COC grippers (trainer, 1 & 2)and can close them (only 1 rep for the no. 2). Personally I don’t rate them for building grip strengh, I think they are more of a display of grip strengh. However if you do buy one don’t bother with the trainer, even though its alot harder to close than a commercial gripper I think its still too easy (I closed it for 15 reps when I got it out of the packaging!) it I wouldn’t say I’m a grip freak or anything.

In my humble opinion static holds seem to work better for me than squeezing excercises. E.g. heavy barbell rack holds, farmers walk, and thick handle work as these really help build up the tendons and ligaments. Buy a 6" piece of 2" dia. steel tubing and some strong rope and you could make a rolling thunder for almost nothing.

[quote]Maccer101 wrote:
I have the COC grippers (trainer, 1 & 2)and can close them (only 1 rep for the no. 2). Personally I don’t rate them for building grip strengh, I think they are more of a display of grip strengh. [/quote]

How can you display strength unless said strength is present? And if someone progresses from the T to #2, hasn’t he gotten stronger?

I used to have a 8 pound sledge, and I cut the handle in half, and I would lever it back and forth. I think that helped a bit, but not with supporting strength, just wrist strength.

So, what is the consensus, will the COC’s hypertrophy the forearm?