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Grip Fiends, I need some Advice on a complete grip program

Ideal Paradigm

New member
I read in another thread, that grippers are not the only part of a good grip program? What exactly would consist of a good grip program?

I would like to tear a deck of cards (with ease), will normal training with Kettlebells (VWC, ETK, etc.) and using grippers be enough to learn how to rip a deck of cards? Or will I need something else to further supplement? What about pinch training, how does that play into grip training? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

androushka

New member
I'm not a grip-guy, so take this for what it's worth, but i researched it once, for when I'm getting in to grip-training more seriously:

You shoud train different aspects of ypur grip:
Crush-grip: is when you use all the fingers and thumb to squeeze things (grippers)
Pinch-grip: is when you pinch between finger-tips and thumb (more dependent on thumb-strength than crush if I remember correctly.
Support-grip: is hooking things with your fingers and statically holding on to them, like farmers-walks (not much, if any thumb involved)
Then there is extending your fingers agains resistance (not everyone cares about that one), and wrist strength. I might have forgotten something, I'm sure the grip-peeps on here will make the picture clearer
 

inferno

New member
androushka is correct except he forgot wrist work.
From my limited understanding about grip I think you should begin with the basics for a strong foundation. David Horne years ago posted on the gripboard a very fine routine for beginers that consist of:
1st - 2 hands plate pinch (3 sets 10-15 sec)
2nd - finger rolls (curls) ( 3 sets 15-20 reps)
3 th - wrist curls ( 3 sets 15-20 reps)
4 th reverse wrist curls ( 3 sets 15-20 reps)

And thats it! Do the exercises in that order, 2/3 times per week for a few months is all you need to build strong base.
Later on, you should then specialize on what your looking for (bending, rip cards, rip phone books, etc).
I think i'm on the same boat as you. I want to rip cards and books and later i will try bending but till then its a long work ahead. Im working on the PM and that very grip routine but with a few adds. Its something like this:

day1 and day4: tgu, 2 hands pinch, finger rolls and fat bar holds
day2 and day5: swings, wrist curls, reverse wrist curls and levering

hope it helped
 

inferno

New member
actually grippers work is only a tiny fraction of the grip universe and is only need if you are looking for the goal of closing a harder gripper for example the coc3. Grippers work will only get you good at crushing and does little for pinching, support grip, etc.
 

Zach Coulter

New member
The basics of any grip program are Pinch, thickbar, grippers and wrist work.

Pinch:
2 hand pinch
1 hand pinch
Multiple plate pinching(5's, 10's, 25's, 35's, 45's, etc)
Thin pinch(pinching surface less than 1" thick)
Odd pinching(random objects that present unique challenges, can be found ANYWHERE)

Thickbar:
Axle lifts(deadlifts, cleans, presses, rows, etc)
Thick DB lifts
Rolling Thunder
FBBC Crusher(better made than the RT I might add)

Grippers: Self explanatory

Wrist Work:
SLEDGE LEVERS
Formulator(or one of it's similar brethren)
SLEDGE LEVERS
Wrist Roller(2" or thicker)
SLEDGE LEVERS
Bending in all techniques
SLEDGE LEVERS
and finally
SLEDGE LEVERS

The beauty of grip is that you can almost hold a contest with what's in most athletic fellow's gyms. Weight plates, random bars, odd objects, etc. You just have to be a bit more creative when on a budget.
 
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ARODRNSN

New member
For grip endurance give this a try-3 minute sets hanging from a pull up bar. I had a college coach who was a grad assistant at Penn State and the players were supposed to be able to max out at 3 minutes x 3 sets. Best players at it-those who grew up on a farm.
 

xafier

New member
For grip endurance give this a try-3 minute sets hanging from a pull up bar. I had a college coach who was a grad assistant at Penn State and the players were supposed to be able to max out at 3 minutes x 3 sets. Best players at it-those who grew up on a farm.

Dead hangs? Yeah I've done those in the past, was recommended it by several rock climbers. Absolutely kills your arms towards the end, think the max I ever did was about 1min 30s, and I was practically swearing near the end before my grip died and I dropped.

Not done them in ages though, might give them another go as I'm working on my grip a bit more recently.
 

YanV

New member
I would like to tear a deck of cards (with ease), will normal training with Kettlebells (VWC, ETK, etc.) and using grippers be enough to learn how to rip a deck of cards? Or will I need something else to further supplement?
Not sure how it translates into ripping a deck of cards, but Bottom Up Presses work the grip very well, you may want to give it a try.
 

boozeyslick

New member
My grip rocketed after i started using my macebell again. COC #2 went from 2 closes to 5 easy closes 2.5 is almost nailed.
 

Ideal Paradigm

New member
The basics of any grip program are Pinch, thickbar, grippers and wrist work.

Pinch:
2 hand pinch
1 hand pinch
Multiple plate pinching(5's, 10's, 25's, 35's, 45's, etc)
Thin pinch(pinching surface less than 1" thick)
Odd pinching(random objects that present unique challenges, can be found ANYWHERE)

Thickbar:
Axle lifts(deadlifts, cleans, presses, rows, etc)
Thick DB lifts
Rolling Thunder
FBBC Crusher(better made than the RT I might add)

Grippers: Self explanatory

Wrist Work:
SLEDGE LEVERS
Formulator(or one of it's similar brethren)
SLEDGE LEVERS
Wrist Roller(2" or thicker)
SLEDGE LEVERS
Bending in all techniques
SLEDGE LEVERS
and finally
SLEDGE LEVERS

The beauty of grip is that you can almost hold a contest with what's in most athletic fellow's gyms. Weight plates, random bars, odd objects, etc. You just have to be a bit more creative when on a budget.

Wow, thank you so much for the detailed post. I would give you some more reputation, but apparently I need to give others before I can give more to you, haha.

What would you say would be the most efficient way to work grip without spending the most money? I'm generally a minimalist when it comes to working out, and I like purchasing tools that have the most carryover and I can do the most with.

For the pinching, it's easy to find plates, and for the thick bars, I was thinking of buying one of those thick barbells. And for gripping, I was thinking about getting the Vulcan Gripper, or that other Gripper Superstore Gripper that someone suggested in my other grip thread. And since sledge levers are such a large part of wrist work, I figure that getting a sledgehammer (used or something for cheap) would be good enough. I'm not really looking to specialize, just get a really strong grip, pinch, and wrist all around.

What do you think, Mr. Coulter?
 

Beev

New member
What would you say would be the most efficient way to work grip without spending the most money? I'm generally a minimalist when it comes to working out, and I like purchasing tools that have the most carryover and I can do the most with.

Id say the minimalist for increased grip strength, you can do finger curls with your kettlebells. This will build the finger strength and thus increase crushing strength. For a big bang for the buck I took a plank of wood, nailed a shorter piece of wood to one end, then hammered a 6 inch nail through the other end, this basically gives me a wooden version of the Pinch Lever block over at www.strongergrip.com. Adam Glass swore by this piece of equipment on the diesel crew forum, and since I live in the UK it ould cost a small fortune to have one shipped over here, so I made a wooden alternative. Its like a plate curl on steroids! Im currently struggling with 5lbs! The length of mine is about 16 inches. It truly is a killer piece of kit. It hits the Thumb and pinch, the wrist and forearm like nothing else I have ever used!

Pretty minimalist id say!

Yours,
Beev
 
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Beev

New member
Another cheap option, I saw a video on youtube by a guy called Paul Zaichik who specialises in bodyweight training, and picked up a great exercise from him. Basically, You get a pair of pushup stands and grip them so that your palms are on the sides and your fingers are wrapped around. Basically your knuckles are pointing directly at the floor, your thumbs are not used so it is purely the finger strength holding you up, from there do pushups as normal, if your grip fails your hand slips and you bang your knuckles on the floor. Hope that makes sense.

Yours,
Beev
 

Ideal Paradigm

New member
Id say the minimalist for increased grip strength, you can do finger curls with your kettlebells. This will build the finger strength and thus increase crushing strength. For a big bang for the buck I took a plank of wood, nailed a shorter piece of wood to one end, then hammered a 6 inch nail through the other end, this basically gives me a wooden version of the Pinch Lever block over at www.strongergrip.com. Adam Glass swore by this piece of equipment on the diesel crew forum, and since I live in the UK it ould cost a small fortune to have one shipped over here, so I made a wooden alternative. Its like a plate curl on steroids! Im currently struggling with 5lbs! The length of mine is about 16 inches. It truly is a killer piece of kit. It hits the Thumb and pinch, the wrist and forearm like nothing else I have ever used!

Pretty minimalist id say!

Yours,
Beev

That sounds like a great cheap alternative. Thanks for letting me know about it.

Another cheap option, I saw a video on youtube by a guy called Paul Zaichik who specialises in bodyweight training, and picked up a great exercise from him. Basically, You get a pair of pushup stands and grip them so that your palms are on the sides and your fingers are wrapped around. Basically your knuckles are pointing directly at the floor, your thumbs are not used so it is purely the finger strength holding you up, from there do pushups as normal, if your grip fails your hand slips and you bang your knuckles on the floor. Hope that makes sense.

Yours,
Beev

I get what you're saying here, thanks for the recommendation.
 

recon42

Banned
what Zach said

After all he's world class. Fat bars are easy to make. Sledges are cheap and bending is fun.
Wish Zach well on his knee rehab too.

Doug
 

eltorrente

New member
Some of the strongest grip specialists in the world hang out at www.gripboard.com. Check out that message board for some great advice.

I have lots of items from Ironmind. They have excellent, high quality grip tools - though they are somewhat expensive. If you are on a budget you could find other sites out there that have better prices. I like Ironmind though, since their stuff really is high quality.

From Ironmind.com, I own a Rolling Thunder (support grip), Various CoC grippers (crush), Pinch Block (pinch), Hub (pinch), IMTUG (crush/pinch), Eagle loops (support), Wrist Roller (Forearm/wrist), Twist Yo Wrist (Forearm/wrist), Extensor Bands (extensor work (IMPORTANT)), and an olympic loading pin.

Every six weeks I change my weight routine around, and end each routine with a few of these grip/forearm tools.

The Wrist Roller and Twist Yo Wrist are just ridiculous - they are turning me into Popeye.. they are just awesome.

It's important to not focus on any one aspect of grip, or you could easily get tendinitis. Make sure you work extensors after your workout (just use rubber bands if you don't want to buy the fancy ones).
 

Zach Coulter

New member
Wow, thank you so much for the detailed post. I would give you some more reputation, but apparently I need to give others before I can give more to you, haha.

What would you say would be the most efficient way to work grip without spending the most money? I'm generally a minimalist when it comes to working out, and I like purchasing tools that have the most carryover and I can do the most with.

For the pinching, it's easy to find plates, and for the thick bars, I was thinking of buying one of those thick barbells. And for gripping, I was thinking about getting the Vulcan Gripper, or that other Gripper Superstore Gripper that someone suggested in my other grip thread. And since sledge levers are such a large part of wrist work, I figure that getting a sledgehammer (used or something for cheap) would be good enough. I'm not really looking to specialize, just get a really strong grip, pinch, and wrist all around.

What do you think, Mr. Coulter?

If you have a set of steel plates with a pair of 45's, a pair of 35's, and a few pairs of 25's and several 10's and 5's, you're good practically forever with pinch. You can do all kinds of multiple plate pinches, 3-6 10's, 2 25's and so on. And when you get bored of 1 hand pinch, you can slap those two 45's together, put a bar through them and add weight to the bar for 2 hand pinch.

I already outlined how to make a thickbar in that PM, but I'll say it here as well. It's too easy to give in and spend several hundred on a pretty thickbar, and there are dozens of very very nice thickbar manufacturers out there. I personally like the "feel" of a solid thickbar over that of a hollow one like the IM Axle and most other commercial bars. All things being equal, a solid bar will always "feel" heavier and want to torque out of your hand more than a hollow one. You can pretty much go to Fastenal or Machine shop and order up a 1 15/16" thick CRS(or HRS, doesn't matter and the prices are very close) bar for around $100-150. What I did was drilled out the bar where the plate-stopping collars would be, 52" apart, and screwed on a piece of PVC. 2" O.D. PVC will not fit tight, so when you screw it down, it will become an oval under the pressure and the plates wont wobble at the sides. I've also seen people just use 2 screw-type collars as the inside collars and one guy actually built up weld with a TIG welder(sounds too time-consuming to me).

I would prefer the Vulcan myself, but I cannot say anything bad about the RB version from Gripper Superstore. I wont buy it because Baraban himself is a slimeball of a man, but he makes good grippers and I don't want to cut down on Gillingham's business either. Having used both, they are very comparable and can both be used the same way.

Quite a bit can be done with a simple 8lb sledgehammer. I can lever a good bit over 20lbs nowadays and I still use my 6 and 8lb hammers a good bit. Supination and Pronation exercises, levers to face, front lever deadlifts, and rear levers are what I mainly do with my hammers. I usually throw in some Climber Curl work too(it's basically a formulator with a few tweaks).
 

wizbit

New member
What are peoples take on the powerballs? NSD Powerball - which flavour will I choose.. there are so many options!
I got addicted to the basic one until it was nicked by my step mother when I visited :D she loved it & I never saw it again. I just ordered the metal one, and am looking forward to getting back into it.
I found they really smoke your forearms & grip, but I'm just starting to work on grip strength, so I have a long road ahead.

I'd be interested in hearing of others opinions as I personallly find them addictive and effective.

As a side note I bought an 8lb sledgehammer yesterday - when someone says "sledge levers" THAT many times I listen. Got a long way to go before I can lever it from the end of the handle tho.

Oh and I have synovitus in my left wrist currently. Has anyone found good rehab exercises for this? Im doing Z-Health from the R-Phase DVD/book & am again hoping the powerball is a help. But any other thoughts would be welcome.

cheers
 
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Zach Coulter

New member
What are peoples take on the powerballs? NSD Powerball - which flavour will I choose.. there are so many options!
I got addicted to the basic one until it was nicked by my step mother when I visited :D she loved it & I never saw it again. I just ordered the metal one, and am looking forward to getting back into it.
I found they really smoke your forearms & grip, but I'm just starting to work on grip strength, so I have a long road ahead.

I'd be interested in hearing of others opinions as I personallly find them addictive and effective.

As a side note I bought an 8lb sledgehammer yesterday - when someone says "sledge levers" THAT many times I listen. Got a long way to go before I can lever it from the end of the handle tho.

Oh and I have synovitus in my left wrist currently. Has anyone found good rehab exercises for this? Im doing Z-Health from the R-Phase DVD/book & am again hoping the powerball is a help. But any other thoughts would be welcome.

cheers
I've used the powerball on occasion, I never really liked it personally but others have said it's a great grip workout finisher. Some of those "others" are avid grip competitors too.

Good luck with the levers!!! Mark the handle in inches(or every 2.5cm if you like metric) starting at 12" from the head and going to the bottom of the handle. Put a mark next to a short-term goal length and just keep working down the handle that way. Don't forget to do front levers, rear levers, pronation and supination levers :)

I do not know enough about arm rehab or synovitus to comment.
 
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