Get a Grip

Some of you may have noticed that yesterday’s post, Mind Games, was originally published under the title “Get a Grip.” I originally meant for it just to be a segue into this post about grip strength, but it got so meaty I decided to unleash it on its own.

Superman Batman Handshake

Superheroes obviously have grip strength in spades, and so do a lot of action stars. For most folks, grip strength means being able to open a pickle jar. For weightlifters, it means going heavier on pulling motions like deadlifts, rows, and pull-ups.

I am unique among my workout partners in that my leg lifts are relatively stronger than my arm lifts, and I think a part of that is due to my smaller than proportionate (in my opinion) forearms, which limits my grip strength.

I looked into how to correct this imbalance, and got a couple of different suggestions. One was to simply change the way I was gripping the bar to get a better hold. Another was to start using chalk while lifting. I feel like these are crutches, though, that work around instead of addressing the problem.

Then I heard about some products designed to build your grip strength, and decided to go with Fat Gripz:

Fat Gripz

They are silicone tubes that fit over a standard bar to make it thicker and harder to hold, so you are constantly working your grip as you perform your normal lifting routine. I bought these because it was a cheap option and it did not add more work to my schedule. They have been in use for about two months now, and I definitely feel like they are making a difference in my lifts – I just set a deadlift PR every week this month.

The other option I had been considering, though, were the Captains of Crush:

Captains of Crush

I am sure you have all seen handgrippers, but these are specifically calibrated to different resistances so I can apply smart programming, and they also get a lot more difficult than competitors’ handgrippers. In fact, the manufacturers keep a list of lifters who are able to completely close the highest rated unit. Well, Joe got me a set of these, so looks like I will be improving my grip at an even faster pace now!

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