T Nation

Your thoughts on my grip strength routine

I just wanted to run this idea by the forum and see what you think. My girlfriend and I will be starting a new routine soon that I designed to prioritize grip strength. On Mondays we’ll be working on grip strength (barbell hold, 1-arm hang, plate pinch, ect) followed by back training. Thursday will focus on forearm hypertrophy (wrist curls and wrist extensions, slow tempo, both low reps and high reps) followed by arm training. Everything other than forearms/grip will be worked only once each week. Your thoughts?

Do your back work first. Lifts such as deads,rows, pullups etc. wil work your grip(assuming you are not using straps or hooks).Doing grip work before will hurt your ability to do your back work.

The best advice that I have ever read concerning grip strength is to use oversized handles or bars in your exercises that stress the grip.The old-time strength men used thick-handled dumbells in their workouts and they had awesome grip strength.
It is hard to find these dumbells today…so what I have thought about doing is either taking pipe insulation like you can buy at home depot and then duct-taping it around the handells…or…going to a metal business and buying some 2 or 3 inch steel tubing and having them cut it so it will fit just right over the handles of a set of regular adjustable dumbells from Wal-Mart.

I promise if you try rowing or deadlifting with your hands around a 2 to 3 inch bar…it will stress your forearms much more than a 1 inch bar ever will.
Bill Kazmaier had incredible grip strength and is the only man I know of that has pressed the Thomas Inch Dumbell.He is said to be only the fifth man to lift it to his knees.The dumbell weighs 173 pounds so you would think that many people could lift it to their knees.But the problemm is that it has a 2 1/2 inch handle!!!
Check out this link and read about Kaz and the Thomas Inch Dumbell.


When doing grip/hand stuff, you only really need to work on 2 or 3 lifts & you get some carryover to other kinds of hand strength. Grip is one of the few things most people can do often & I think 1x/week isn’t enough. Not for me anyway. + when doing wrist curls, use a thumbless grip & forget about that slow-motion stuff. Use as much weight as possible. Big weight + as fast as possible = more tension & more size/strength.

i agree with ko 100%. also people seem to forget that the most often hit of areas is the forearm. If anything additional to my regular routine i would just add your wrist curls and extensions to build some mass after my deadlift/back workout. laters pk

Thanks for the comments. Jeff: thanks for reminding me, I’d forgotten about that aspect of grip training. I used to do chin ups wearing winter gloves and I’ve never felt such a forearm burn. I may have to incorporate that. Say: that sounds like a great idea, using the thumbless grip on wrist curls and maybe wrist extensions. I’ve never tried it, but it sounds brutal. What are your thoughts on unrolling the fingers on a wrist curl? I usually don’t do it because it seems like the rotational momentum takes away from the wrist curl’s effectiveness.