Time to get caught up a little bit on This Week in Grip.
Incidentally, I created a Playlist for the Podcast, so if you’re new to the show, you can start right from the beginning and get caught up: This Week in Grip Complete Playlist
Episode 66 – Hand Shake Power & Rich Williams’ 560 Axle
Episode 67 – Joe Sullivan and the Cross Canada Grip Challenge
Episode 68 – Follow Up on Rich W & What’s the Deal with Plate Flipping?
Episode 69 – Jujimufu & Tom Visit
Episode 70 – What is the Inch Dumbbell???
All the best in your training.
Tags: grip, grip sport, grip strength
Posted in Grip Contest, grip hand forearm training for sports, Grip Sport, grip strength, grip strength blob, grip strength competition contest, grip task force, Grip Training, grip training equipment gear, gripper training, hand strength | No Comments »
How Jedd Got Started in Grip Start
Lately lots of viewers on my YouTube Channel have been asking lots of great questions in the comments section of my videos.
I love it!
I have a whole list that continues to grow and I plan on answering all of them.
Here’s the first of many…
Question: Jedd, how did you get involved in Grip Training?
Check Out My Complete Diesel Crew Product Catalog
Join My Grip Instructional Site
Become a Member of My Grip Coaching Program
Tags: grip strength, jedd johnson
Posted in Grip Contest, grip hand forearm training for sports, Grip Sport, grip strength, grip strength blob, grip strength competition contest, grip task force, Grip Training, grip training equipment gear, gripper training, how to improve grip strength, Pinch Grip | No Comments »
This Week in Grip Podcast
This Week in Grip – Episode 60 – Grip Feats From July
This Week in Grip – Episode 59 – Northeastern Grip Challenge
This Week in Grip – Episode 58 – A Legend, Lifts & a Lighter
Get Started with Grip Training and Feats of Strength Today
Grab This DVD Set and Go Full Steam Ahead!
Tags: grip, grip sport, grip training, grip workout, grip workouts, ironmind, plate pinching, rolling thunder, thick bar
Posted in feats of strength, Grip Contest, grip hand forearm training for sports, Grip Sport, grip strength, grip strength blob, grip strength competition contest, Grip Training, grip training equipment gear, gripper training, hand strength | No Comments »
This Week in Grip
Still playing catch-up on the episodes of This Week in Grip that I’m behind on.
This Week in Grip – Episode 30
This Week in Grip – Episode 31 – Part 1
This Week in Grip – Episode 31 – Part 2
This Week in Grip – Episode 32 – Part A
This Week in Grip – Episode 32 – Part B
I hope you enjoy them.
All the best in your training,
Tags: grip, grip sport, grip strength, grip training, grip workout, gripper, grippers, this week in grip
Posted in feats of strength, Grip Contest, grip hand forearm training for sports, Grip Sport, grip strength, grip strength blob, grip strength competition contest, Grip Training, grip training equipment gear, gripper training | No Comments »
2017 North American Grip Sport Championship
Grippers Right and Left Hands
Two Hands Pinch
NAGS Championship Medley Runs
Aaron Corcorran Medley Run
Tanner Merkle Medley Run
Jedd Johnson Medley Run
Gil Goodman Medley Run
Post Contest Feating – Sahlaney Bell Combo Lifts
Jedd Johnson 180/172 Sahlaney Bell Attempt
Tanner Merkley 180/172 Sahlaney Bell Attempt
Jedd Johnson – First Try at 180/172 Sahlaney Bells
Eric Roussin 180/172 Sahlaney Bell Lift
Post Contest Feating – 180lb Sahlaney Bell + Fatman Blob
Jedd Johnson – 180lb Sahlaney Bell + Fatman Blob
Tanner Merkle – 180lb Sahlaney Bell + Fatman Blob
Jedd Johnson – 180lb Sahlaney Bell + Fatman Blob
Tags: grip, grip sport, grip strength, grip training, hand strength, NAGS, north american grip sport
Posted in feats of strength, Grip Contest, grip hand forearm training for sports, Grip Sport, grip strength, grip strength blob, grip strength competition contest, Grip Training | No Comments »
Beginner Grip Training Series
The last few weeks, I’ve posted many installments in the Beginner Grip Training Series, including Beginner Pinch Grip Training, Beginner Gripper Training, Beginner Thick Bar Training in Any Gym, and Beginner Wrist Training with Sledge Hammers. Hopefully, you’ve been trying these methods out a bit and you’re ready to move on!
Now, it’s time to progress a little bit further by incorporating grip-intensive training into training that emphasizes more of your body. Pull-up training is great for this, as we move away from Grip Isolation (from the 4 previous videos, to Grip Integration.
Beginner Grip Training: Modified Pull-up Training
I hope you have enjoyed this series. If you try out what I’ve shown you, you’ll be well on your way toward improving your grip strength.
If you’re looking for more information on how to build your grip strength, there’s no better resource than my instructional site, TheGripAuthority.com.
When you join me at The Grip Authority, you’ll have 3 payment options: Monthly ($17), Annually ($169 – 2 months free), and Lifetime ($297).
Thanks and all the best in your training.
This Week in Grip
Allen Heineck and I talk about the latest events in Grip Sport, Grip Training, Grip Strength, Hand Strength, Modern Day Oldtime Strongman, and other Feats of Strength.
Tags: feats of strength, grip sport, grip strength, grip training, hand strength, Modern Day Oldtime Strongman
Posted in feats, feats of strength, feats of strength bending, forearm injury prevention recovery healing, forearm training, Grip Contest, grip hand forearm training for sports, Grip Sport, grip strength, grip strength blob, grip strength competition contest, Grip Training, grip training equipment gear, gripper training, hand strength, how to improve grip strength, North American Grip Sport, old strongman feats of strength, Pinch Grip, This Week in Grip | No Comments »
Beginner Plate Pinch Training
I’ve got a new series of posts coming out to help beginners get started with Grip Training.
In today’s video, I show you some of the beginner level plate pinch combinations you can start with, as well, as ways you can progress on to harder plate pinching combinations.
If you’d like more beginner-level information on grip training, grab a copy of Basics of Grip Training DVD Set.
Thanks and all the best in your training.
This video talks about the most important factors in preventing skin tears when pinching: what you’re lifting, the edge of what you’re pinching, the placement you use with your thumb. The video also will help you make some modifications so that you experience fewer tears.
For additional resources and information on reducing skin tears when training pinch grip, check out the links below:
All the best in your Pinch Grip Training.
Allen Heineck and I have been chugging along like a steaming locomotive with This Week in Grip.
Unfortunately, I fell behind in posting them on the site.
So, let’s get caught back up! Here’s episodes 9 & 10.
This Week in Grip – Episode 9
This Week in Grip – Episode 10
We will most likely be taking a week off this weekend, as I will be traveling back from FitCon 2017. I’ll be trying to get as much video as possible, so be sure you subscribe to my YouTube Channel <= Click That Link and Subscribe Today.
Grab Your Tickets for Big J’s FitCon 2017:
All the best in your training.
Tags: feats of strength, grip sport, grip training
Posted in Grip Contest, grip hand forearm training for sports, Grip Sport, grip strength, grip strength blob, grip strength competition contest, Grip Training, grip training equipment gear, gripper training | No Comments »
This Week in Grip – Episode #5 – Best Feats of 2016
All the best in your training!
Gripper Training | The Blob | The Inch Dumbbell | Horseshoe Bending | Nail Bending | Card Tearing
Posted in Grip Contest, grip hand forearm training for sports, Grip Sport, grip strength, grip strength blob, grip strength competition contest, grip task force, Grip Training, gripper training, hand strength, This Week in Grip | No Comments »
My friend owns a cool little company, and one of the things they do is produce these adhesive decals that can be placed on building windows, car windows, table tops, and even cornhole boards.
I’ve teamed up with him to make a few decals, as well, and right now they are all Grip-based.
I think they’re going to be awesome decorations for your car, your work station, storage devices, tool boxes, hard hats, etc, and they will make good conversation pieces and help spread the word about our little sport and hobby of Grip.
You can order yours here: Grippin’ Window Decals
Here are the three current designs, with a little explanation about how I came up with each one:
My Gripper’s Bigger Than Yours
Nothing wrong with a little bragging and smack-talk, every once in a while.
I took the massive arm crushing the gripper from the “Crushin’ Grippers Like It’s My Job” shirt, and re-purposed it for this one.
Are you the king of grippers in your crew? Then you need this shirt to brag about your Grip Glory.
How Man Inches Can You Handle?
A little edgy, this one was thought up by my old artwork guy from years ago.
We became good friends and used to talk all the time, even when we weren’t working on artwork projects, but I haven’t heard a peep out of him since July of 2012.
Fearing the worst, this one is kind of in memory to Rory Hickman.
Pinchin’ Ain’t Easy
Back in the late 1990’s, it was the “Attitude Era” in the WWF, and both the characters and the storylines were edgier back then.
There was a wrestler called the Godfather who was essentially a pimp, and brought prostitutes to the ring. One of his catch-phrases were, “Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy.”
I borrowed that from him and massaged it a fit the theme of Grip, but the little dude is still a Pimp when it comes to Plate Pinching.
Again, these decals are supposed to be fun ways to get our sport out there a little bit more. I hope you choose to support this effort by making a purchase today. You can get yours here => Diesel Grippin’ Window Decals.
Thanks and all the best in your training.
It’s the beginning of a brand new week and I’ve got an announcement I’m happy to be FINALLY making.
The DVD Sets of the Basics of Grip Training and Strongmanism Seminar ARE READY!
This seminar took place at the end of March, and the attendees had GREAT things to say about it.
This is a 2-Disk DVD Set covering the Fundamentals of Grip Training and performing Strongman Feats.
Here’s how the seminar flowed, and how the DVD set goes:
Just a quick meet-and-greet where we do introductions and I cover how I got into Grip Training and Feats of Strength.
2. Warm-up (03:24)
I knew the rides in to the seminar would be pretty long, and the last thing the guys wanted to do was just sit there, so the first thing we covered was the importance of proper warm-up, and I put the guys through the exact Warm-up protocol I go through each training session.
If you’re not Warming Up prior to your Grip Training sessions, you’re leaving strength on the table!
In my experience 2 out of 3 lifters do NOTHING before hitting grippers, besides doing a few reps of light grippers.
That’s a surefire way to not only never progress in your training, but how to GET HURT, as well.
Start implementing this routine ASAP to start instantly seeing benefits.
3. Grippers (23:06)
When you watch the Warm-up section, I encourage you to jump right down on the floor and go through it yourself. Then, grab a gripper and enjoy the Gripper section.
This section covers the importance of the Gripper Set. If you don’t have your set technique established, no drill will be able to get you where you want to be with your Gripper Training.
You’ll want to have a gripper there with you when you go through this section, so you can make sure you’re doing everything correctly with your gripper placement.
Before this section wraps up, you’ll also get to see what I consider the best gripper training drills. Most of these I do every single week, because I know how big of an impact they’ve had.
4. Pinch (1:04:54)
Now it’s time to focus on my bread and butter – Pinch Grip! Easily my favorite form of training, I do more of this than anything else.
In this section of the Disk, we talk about all the different types of Pinch Grip Training, and how the techniques for each type is similar and different from the others.
You’ll also see he nuances of how to place your thumb and hand on what you’re trying to pinch. One size DOES NOT fit all and you HAVE to make subtle adjustments depending on what you’re trying to Pinch.
1. Thick Bar
If there is any form of Grip Training that is a MUST for a true Strongman, it is Thick Bar, and we cover the topic in detail in this section.
From the use of Axles, to Fat Grip instant thick bar handles, to the most challenging types of thick-handled dumbbells like the Inch and the Death Grip Bells, you’re gonna see a host of ways to train Thick Bar for open hand strength.
You might be surprised how similar the techniques are between some of the Pinch Grip training methods and Thick Bar lifts, but when you learn about the importance of the thumb adductor pollicis muscles, it will all make sense.
2. Hub Q&A (32:01)
Before we branched out into Strongman Feats, we did one last Q&A session on Hub Style training.
Hub training is one of the few types of Grip Training where smaller hands are an advantage, believe it or not.
3. Feats of Strength (38:18)
In this section, you’ll see a little primer that I covered regarding something that many new Strongman Featists aren’t familiar with – Tension.
Feats of Strength are all about Creating and Managing Tension. Until you know how to use tension to your advantage basic feats like Card Tearing, Nail Bending, will give you trouble. But, once you master tension, the more complex feats like straightening Horseshoes come more within your reach.
4. Card Tearing (49:26)
The first Strongman Feat we jumped into was Card Tearing, and for good reason, too.
Card Tearing is the perfect feat to learn the production and management of tension.
With the techniques you’ll learn in this section, you’ll be ready to take your first steps as a strongman. You’re gonna love what it feels like to destroy a deck of poker cards!
5. Steel Bending (1:05:20)
My products have produced more certified Red Nail Benders than any other source out there, and with the info included in this section, that number is going to go up once again.
Steel Bending is easily the most addictive type of strength feat out there. There is something about how it feels when steel buckles under your might.
You get hooked on it, and before you know it, you want more and more. This portion of the video will show you how to do it the right way to see great progress and stay injury free.
6. Programming (1:23:04)
The biggest challenges about Grip Training and Feats of Strength isn’t how to get started or understanding technique. I’ve got all that covered for you.
The hardest thing is actually how to mesh Grip and Feats with the rest of your training. In this section I lay out some ways you can go about doing this the best way possible, without disrupting the rest of the training your doing and the goals you’re working on.
7. Soft Tissue (1:37:46)
As a special bonus, one of the attendees of the seminar, Dr. Jim Wagner, put us through a quick demo of some instruments he uses with his clients, called Hawk Grips.
We captured everything on video, and now you’ll get to see exactly what Dr. Jim does with his clients to get them out of pain and recovered from injuries and surgeries.
In total, this 2-Disk DVD Set is almost 4 hours of awesome content.
Order Your Copy TODAY => Basics of Grip Training and Strongmanism DVD
All the best in your training.
Feedback from the Attendees
Left to Right: Dr. Jim Wagner, me, and Chris Fritz
Learned More in 5 Hours Than the Last 5 Years!
- “I got to spend the day at a seminar with the grip legend himself, Jedd Johnson. I learned more in 5 hours than I did in the last five years. It was an awesome day and Jedd is one of the nicest guys you could meet! I’ll be seeing you again Brother, hopefully at the next contest!”
One of the Most Informational Courses I Have Taken!
- As a hand therapist and being in strength training for 28 plus years I found Jedd’s Essentials of Grip/Strongman Training Seminar one of the most informational courses I have taken! The information Jedd covered has made a huge impact on my training and how I look at treating my patients. Not only was the course informative, it was totally hands on!
- Jedd’s passion for the sport and approach to kinesthetic learning made the day!! Jedd laid the foundation for building diesel grip and forearm power! To anyone one who is considering getting into the arena of Grip sports or needs a change in training program Jedd’s course is a must have!
- Jedd Johnson CSCS is truly a national leader in the sport of Grip and Strongman competition!
Jim Wagner OTD, OTR/L, CHT, CPAM, CSCS
Doctor of Occupational Therapy
Certified Hand Therapist
Certified Strength and Conditions Specialist
Tags: crush, crushing, grip strength, grip trining, pinch, pinch grip, pinching, support
Posted in feats of strength, feats of strength bending, grip hand forearm training for sports, grip strength, Grip Training, how to buid wrist strength, how to improve grip strength | No Comments »
Grippers – Are You Wasting Your Time?
In many of my videos and DVD’s, I have said that Gripper Training is a waste of time.
This is a statement that catches many people by surprise when they hear me say it, since I do Gripper Training on a regular basis.
After about the 50th time getting asked what I mean by this, I decided to put together a quick video to explain.
Why Grippers are a Waste of Time
Want the BEST Grip Training Methods for MMA?
Then You Want Grip Training for MMA Athletes:
As you can see, sometimes Grippers ARE a Waste of Your Time.
Naturally, if your objective is to close big grippers just for the sake of closing big grippers, then you NEED to train grippers, and you need to train them the right way.
If you want to maximize your Gripper Training, then you need these resources:
CRUSH – Total Gripper Domination: The Video Encyclopedia of Gripper Training Technique and Crushing Strength Development. If your gripper technique is lacking, there’s no drill that will help you get to your ultimate gripper goal. This video will make sure you’re doing everything right.
Cadence Based Training: This is an 8-week Gripper Training program that works by helping you strengthen the entire range of motion of the gripper sweep. The drills in the CBT program will help you strengthen your set, improve your sweep, and ensure that you’re strong enough to finish off your goal gripper.
My hope is that the information in this post will help you get the best results from your training, and maximize your training time as well as possible.
Thanks and all the best in your training.
Tags: grip, grip strength, gripper, gripper training, grippers
Posted in grip hand forearm training for sports, Grip Sport, grip strength, Grip Training, gripper training, improve grip strength crush | No Comments »
On December 5th, Luke and I competed at Gripmas, the yearly December contest in Crooksville, Ohio, hosted by Chris and Teresa Rice.
This has quickly become the biggest and most prestigious single-location contest of the year, aside from the NAGS Championship. Many athletes from the Central United States and East Coast came this year, and over the years countless people from outside this region have made the trip, because of how important this contest has become.
There were 4 events for this contest. First was the Ivanko Super Gripper. The unit is held opposite the direction torsion spring grippers are held. There is a small flashlight mounted at the bottom of the gripper, and the objective is to close the handles together and make the flashlight button click, while changing the off/on status completely.
Ivanko Super Gripper – Various Competitors
Here are some of the attempts I got on film of the ISG event.
At this point, I sat in 3rd place behind Kody Burns and Andrew Durniat.
The next event was Two Hands Pinch, with the adjustable pinch apparatus. The first heat of lifters to go were the ones who used the thinnest setting, 52 millimeters. Next came 54mm, 56mm, and 58mm. The adjustable device is used so that lifters can match the width of the implement to their hand size, and produce their best lifts.
If you’re interested in buying an adjustable two hands pinch device, watch this video: Napalm Pinch Devices.
Here are some of the attempts from the contest.
Two Hands Pinch – Luke Raymond and Chris Rice
Luke has been competing and training at 58mm for several months, but switched to 56mm for the contest, and ended up getting a new contest PR!
Two Hands Pinch – Kody Burns Sets New All-Time World Record
Kody set a new All-Time World Record on the Two Hands Pinch, with 274lbs and change!
Two Hands Pinch – Kody Burns’ 3rd and 4th Attempts
Kody then bumped up to roughly 279lbs and got it off the ground each time.
Two Hands Pinch – Jake Sahlaney’s Attempts
Jake is one of my members at TheGripAuthority.com, and is showing improvement at every single competition he does. I’m very proud of him, and hope he continues to train hard and smart, and stay healthy.
Two Hands Pinch – Jedd Johnson’s Attempts
I was able to get my highest lift since 2011 at Gripmas this year, 261lbs. I’ve been in a slump for a very long time. I then made the decision to go to 276lbs and try to break the record, which proved to be foolish, because I barely broke it off the ground, BUT, I was hoping for a big adrenaline boost. I felt pumped, but it just wasn’t enough. I wish I would have just gone with something like 266lbs and then 271lbs, to go into the 2nd place ever, in competition. I think I would have had a good chance at completing 271, because I broke that off the ground in training, prior to the comp. Oh well, can’t go back in time!
he next event was the Double Overhand Axle Deadlift. My goal was to 1st come in second place in this event, behind Andrew, and 2nd, to pull 400lbs. Unfortunately, the 400lb pull didn’t happen, but I did tie for 2nd, so that helped me out with points, big time.
Double Overhand IronMind Axle – 325lbs and above
These are all the attempts I got. The weight starts out around 325 or so, and ends with Andrew’s HUGE attempt at like 460+!!! What a phenom that guy is!
Following the Axle, was the 4th and final event. There was a 4-minute time limit to lift as many items as possible. There was a series of light items and a series of heavy items. If you lifted the lighter item, you got 1 point. If you lifted the heavy item you got 2 points. If you lifted both, you only got 2 points.
Additionally, there were some implements with only one option, and if you lifted them, you got 2 points.
it might seem kind of confusion, but just think the maximum points available was 50.
Medley – Luke Raymond
Luke got 33 points in his Medley run.
The contest would come down to how Andrew, Kody, and I did in the Medley, just like Nationals this year. Going in, the points spread looked something like this: Kody – 38 points, Andrew – 37.5 points, Jedd – 37 points. As you can see, it was crazy close.
Medley – Jedd Johnson
I was the first to go out of the final 3, because I was in 3rd place. I got 46 points.
Medley – Andrew Durniat
Andrew got 36 points.
Medley – Kody Burns
Kody got 36 points as well.
By finishing 10 points ahead of the other two leaders, it enabled me to pull ahead by a very, very slim margin – INCREDIBLY CLOSE!
- 1) Jedd Johnson – 37.704
2) Kody Burns – 36.630
3) Andrew Durniat – 36.223
4) Jake Sahlaney – 32.322
5) Lucas Raymond – 31.281
6) Chris Rice – 29.461
7) Josh Henze – 27.638
8) Nathanial Brous – 24.645
9) Andrew Pantke – 24.550
10) Bob Sundin – 23.260
11) Josh Koenig -23.064
12) Jor-el Koenig – 19.291
13) Anthony Clarino – 19.085
14) Nick Applegate – 17.247
15) Barrett Henze – 16.749
16) Chris Andrade – 16.045
17) Rich Cottrell – 14.047
Gripmas 2015 Placings and Prizes
I really want to send out my thanks to Chris and Teresa Rice for putting this competition together, as well as a huge digital high-five to Brent Barbe, Nick Rosendaul, and Sean Rice, who all helped with set-up, loading, and records keeping for the event. Guys like this are why contests run so smoothly.
Someone pointed out my victory is sort of a Triple Crown, in a way, as I won the NAGS Championship, King Kong International, and Gripmas all in the same year.
I never thought about it that way, but I’m happy to be the first one.
For now, it’s back to the drawing board. Despite the victories, I’m still not happy with the numbers I’ve put up. Luke and I have already begun making adjustments to match our goals.
Stay tuned for more posts coming later this week. Although I’ve posted all of the contest footage, that ain’t all that happened in that small garage in the little town of Crooksville.
I’ve got lots of other cool clips from the post-contest feats of strength.
If you’re not on my free email newsletter, be sure to sign up in the box below.
All the best in your training.
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Grip Training with Kettlebells
Juggling a 20kg Kettlebell
While Pinching the
50lb Blob Block Weight
For many kettlebell lifters I’ve talked to, Grip Strength can be a concern.
I’m sure everyone’s familiar with grippers and the occasional thick bar work for grip strength, but have you tried Block Weight Training for a well-rounded Grip?
Block Weight Training is much more effective than something like Grippers for developing full-hand strength. Block Weights tax the thumbs especially, but they also work the fingers, wrists, and forearms well too.
Block Weight Training is often done with heads of dumbbells which have either been cut or broken off the handle, but you can actually accomplish the same open-handed strength by using your own Kettlebells.
Here’s one simple example, a Kettlebell Pinch Deadlift.
Block Weight Grip Training with Kettlebells – 16kg
Block Weight Grip Training with Kettlebells – 20kg
I just hit a single here for an on-line feat list, but you can hit these for multiple reps or even holds if you’d like.
These are great for making your entire hand strong, plus they get your wrists and forearms as well.
I hope you like them.
Take Your Grip Strength to the Next Level with the Block Weight Training DVD
Tags: grip training with kettlebells, kettlebells for grip, kettlebells to build grip strength, stronger hands with kettlebells
Posted in blob lifting training workouts, block weights blob, grip hand forearm training for sports, grip strength, hand strength, kettlebell training | No Comments »
Strength Training and Injury Prevention for Throwing Athletes
Most athletes, whether you realize it or not, are throwers.
Think about it. The first throwing sports you may picture are the classics: Baseball, softball, the quarterback on the football team, the shot put, discus, and javelin throwers on the track and field team.
Those are the images that typically pop into your head when you think of a throwing athlete.
What you might not realize is that throwing motions are done in almost every sport. Think of a tennis player serving the ball, a volleyball player serving or spiking the ball, a basketball player making a big outlet pass…
How about that same basketball player making a chest pass? Isn’t that a similar movement as a football lineman pushing his opponent?
What about the soccer player throwing the ball in from out of bounds?
Or the swimmer gliding through the water using the same repetitive motions with their shoulders?
These are all throwing motions!
When you participate in sports at the high rates athletes do today, you are bound to have shoulder, elbow, wrist, and finger injuries.
Tommy John surgeries are on the rise as are rotator cuff injuries, labrum tears, and elbow tendonitis. I won’t bore you with the numbers, but the studies are out there and it is shocking how frequently these major injuries are happening each year and that the age of the athletes experiencing these injuries gets younger and younger…
Youth sports are more popular than ever. Town rec leagues, church leagues, AAU, All Star, travel leagues, sport specific coaching facilities, position specific coaching, and youth/college showcase events mean your athletes can play their sport 12 months a year without taking a true off-season.
The constant repetitive motions along with specializing at a younger age means the overuse injuries that we used to see in college and professional sports are starting to happen at the middle school and high school level.
You can’t stop younger athletes from falling in love with one sport and specializing early. It happens!
The youth sports movement will continue to grow and overuse injuries will continue to happen at the middle and high school level…
But that doesn’t mean you have to just sit around and weight for throwing injuries to come about.
You can start modifying your training NOW to head those injuries off at the pass.
It’s all about making simple, subtle changes in your strength training.
Watch the video below NOW to learn SIMPLE alternative exercises to prevent injuries in your shoulders, elbows, and hands for all your “throwing athletes.”
In Addition to The Free Video Above,
Right Now You Can Save $20+ on Our Video,
Grip Training for Track and Field Throwers
Special Price Lasts Just 4 Days – Click Here to Get Your Copy Today!
Tags: grip training for throwers, grip training for track, injury prevention for throwers, prevent injuries for throwers
Posted in athletic strength training lift odd objects, elbow pain tennis elbow golfers elbow, forearm training, grip hand forearm training for sports, Grip Training, injury rehab recover from injury | No Comments »
The Effects of Age on Grip Strength
By: Chris Rice
- Preface by Jedd Johnson: Is it true you lose strength as you grow older? Are you able to retain any of that strength, or is it all just a lost cause? And if strength diminishes, in general, over the years, are there any forms of strength that we can hope to hold onto? These are questions that are being more and more common all the time…
- Chris Rice, while one of the oldest Grip Sport competitors, is also an experience strength athlete – PERIOD, having participated in Powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, Strongman, and Kettlebell Sport, to name just a few of his endeavors over the years – and that’s just since I met him in 2003. He’s also an avid climber, going on several climbing expeditions every year.
- Chris is also a good writer, able to turn his thoughts into the written word with a distinct clarity, not always seen amongst all those in the iron game. It’s my pleasure to feature another piece from Chris. This time he answers the question, What effects does age have on grip strength? Take it away, Climber! -Jedd-
The Effects of Age on Grip Strength
Chris Rice, Grip Nationals 2010
4″ Wrist Roller
I’ve thought about writing this for a while now as I’m in a sort of unique position as I think I’m the oldest active Grip Sport competitor I know of at age 67. The decline in overall body strength with age seems fairly well accepted but the question of age on one’s hand and forearm strength seems much less clear. My overall body strength has certainly declined over the years in spite of my best efforts. I’m sorry about the fact I have to post numbers and this may come across as a bragging session but I don’t know how to talk about my progress since starting into the actual “sport” of grip without putting it into some kind of context that shows my gains were not what could be called “beginners gains”.
Some discussion of age related “peak” abilities should also be discussed. Our bodies seem to develop and then lose certain qualities in a certain order. Quickness and explosiveness seem to be a young man’s game – peaking in the early to mid-20s perhaps. Speed holds on a little longer but strength doesn’t seem to peak until later – perhaps mid to late 30s with a huge amount of variation on both sides of that number. But generally speaking by one’s middle 40s, some decline has started in overall body strength and all other physical attributes. This assumes of course that you have trained and continued to train and compete during the entire time period.
There are basically two kinds of “old” lifters – those who have trained hard consistently over their lifetime and those who started a good bit later in life. There are some considerable differences between the two. I started general weight training in 1959 so I have years of consistent training behind me. Starting training at a more advanced age is going to be considerable different in results – the so called “beginners gains” will occur at any age. It is never too late to start and expect significant increases in hand strength.
Another thing I have noticed is what might be called the accumulated loss of “resilience” – defined by Webster as “the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens” or “the ability of something to return to its original shape after it has been pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc.” Years of life’s accumulated tweaks and injuries can make or break one’s abilities – and the longer one lives the more they add up. Please read this paragraph again as I think it’s hugely important. The importance of avoiding injury in training cannot be overstated. I have a large assortment of old injuries that I have to deal with that do affect my training and require constant therapy work.
I started the actual “sport” of Grip in 2003 when I found the GripBoard. At that time I had already owned the COC # 1 – 2 – and 3 for several years – I had bought them to try and help my climbing grip strength. I was able to close both the #1 and #2 right out of the package but not the #3 – I believe that if the COC 2.5 had existed then I could have closed it at that time as well.
I trained with them but they were no help for my climbing so I pretty much forgot about them until I found the GripBoard. By the time I found the GripBoard I had been climbing for around 20 years (and lifting consistently since 1959) and had done quite a bit of training towards that end. Lots of wrist curls – reverse wrist curls – very heavy finger curls – and hangboard routines plus years of hanging by my fingers on rock faces around the world. I had also been doing construction ever since I was a kid as a second job. I brought years of hard work and training with my hands with me when I discovered Grip as a sport – my base strength was already fairly well developed. So basically I was 55 years old with a long background of more general grip training when I first started any specific training for the events and feats of strength involved in the “sport of Grip”.
To answer the question of what happens to grip strength as one ages I think it is important to not only be aware of the strength levels that I brought with me from my “life” but to look at the progress I was able to make (or not make) in the different lifts and feats of strength through training in what might be called my “senior citizen” years. During this time period my bodyweight probably fluctuated by maybe 10# up and down – so an increase in body size was not a factor in any increases in strength. My hand size is 7 5/8” and has not changed – my hands may have gotten a little thicker but that’s only a guess. I don’t see the point in listing all the lifts I have done but some discussion of the basics and my progress might be of value.
Grippers – Grippers have a huge skill component considering the “set” used. My early attempts used no set – I placed it in my hand and squeezed – I had no concept of a “set”. My later closes were done with a so called parallel set or similar so a real comparison of actual “strength” is difficult. Age 55 no set – I closed a COC #2 at 104# gripper but I feel I could have done more if it had been available to me. Best competition close was a 20 mm block set of 156# around age 60 to 62. Best Credit Card close was a 146# COC #3 (not in competition). Best no set close ever is 142# on a narrow spread gripper. My best competition close choked to parallel was 192.8# and a COC #4 of 195# in training. So gripper strength improved both due to skill of setting and also I feel the muscles became a good bit stronger. I probably need to mention that I dislike grippers and almost never trained them. I personally feel the choked closes show “strength” levels better than closes done with any of the various “sets” used that seem to involve a high level of “skill”.
Block Weights DL and Clean – L&R handed – The “test” for block weight is the “Blob” or half of a 100# York dumbbell – which will weigh around 50# obviously. At age 55 I lifted an “easy” Blob the first time I actually saw one (I had been training with other types of block weights for a short time previously). Later on I lifted it both left and right handed and cleaned it left and right hand. Even later I was able to lift a “Fatman Blob” right handed to full DL. I feel hand size and the way my thumb sits was (is) somewhat of a limitation for blocks but mostly I just never got strong enough to do more. I did make substantial progress with plate pinching though as hand size and spread didn’t seem as limiting. I went from 2 -25s and 2 -35s right hand in the beginning to 2 -45s, 5 – 10s, and 3-25s both R & L hand within the last couple years.
Axle DO DL – Fat bar was something that I did not bring good natural strength to in my mind. I don’t remember my early numbers but I’ll guess maybe 320#? I have done 356# several times in competition and 363# as an extra attempt once (not official). Best training lifts were around 375 to 380#. These lifts were done with a max regular bar DL of around 400# which I think limited me somewhat – making the lift take a longer time to complete. I could at one time lift and hold for several seconds 420# in a short range rack pull. Progress was difficult in this lift for me and took a lot of work.
David Horne Euro Pinch – Probably the lift I seem to have had the best natural inclination for. It is also the lift I spent the most time figuring out how to do better on. I like to think I have increased this lift with a combination of strength increases and learning to take advantage of my personal strengths and weaknesses better and better. Going from memory only I think I did 180 something my first comp with the device and pretty quickly went to 195 – 200#. From there I made the decision to “become good” on this lift. I was one of the early guys to do bodyweight on it and spent a good bit of time tweaking my technique. Even with the age increase I have steadily been able to get small increases in this one to 235.78# for the current #17 position on NAGS.
DO Bending – When bending really got started I tried it and simply sucked – I struggled to bend pretty much anything. Then Frankyboy from Germany came to visit me and showed me some technique – in a matter of an hour or so I went from doing an IM Blue nail to just failing to finish a Grade 8 Bolt. Skill and position are absolute keys. Over time I increased to IM Red Nails and a best ever of a 5/16” x 6” Cut Red Nail or FBBC bar. But I was tearing my shoulders to pieces and quickly decided the risk was too great for me.
Reverse Bending – This came fairly naturally for me. With some training and technique work I was able to go from a beginning best of ¼’ x 6” Grade 5 Bolts to doing Red Nails reverse and a best competition bend of a 6” piece of Drill Rod in competition (I don’t remember the poundage rating but it had been rated by Eric Milfield (the number 505# comes to mind but may be off). I think I had fairly good wrist strength from all the life work I had done and mostly needed better positions and technique.
Sledge Hammer Choke – relatively speaking a newer competition lift – I seemed to do well quickly on it with no training before that first contest. I did better in the second competition on it but I never trained it “directly” but did a lot of work with the “Wrist Thingy” in training that I feel had a very positive impact. I’ve also spent a considerable amount of time working with sledge hammers and axes.
The take-away, I guess, is that from the age of 55 to a current age of 66 – and with a long history of previous training – I increased every grip related lift or test number by either a small or fairly large margin. In some cases, I think much of those results were due to technique but I feel my “strength” actually got better as well in all areas.
Currently I am not training grip towards competition but am climbing quite a bit – but I do intend to do a few more contests over the next few years – it is my hope to compete at age 70 and set Masters age group records in that class.
At that point I will consider retirement.
Time will tell.
At least in this experiment of one – grip strength has not seemingly suffered the same decline as the rest of my body strength.
Check out this other article from Chris Rice: Grip Training for Beginner Climbers
Tags: effects of age on grip strength, effects of age on hand strength, grip strength after 50, grip strength after 60, hand strength after 50
Posted in grip hand forearm training for sports, grip strength, hand strength | No Comments »
Build Big Arms and Strong Wrists
Superstar Billy Graham
One of my overall goals is to build my arms up to 20″ cold (no pump).
The way I see it, if you are going to get big, you might as well build strength to go along with it.
And if you are going to be strong, then by all means get as big as you can.
With these things in mind, I give you Scale Weight Curls.
A Scale Weight is a block-shaped weight that is used in industrial settings where scales are used.
These weights are calibrated to specific measurements and have handles so that they can be placed on the scale quickly and easily in order to test that a scale is reading accurately.
How to Perform Scale Weight Curls
Scale Weight Curls can be done like any other curl. They can be done free-standing or braced, and can be done in alternating style or both at the same time.
For me, performing them standing has gotten too easy, so I have been doing them in more of a Preacher Curl style, off my Glute Ham Machine. This allows me to keep the movement more concentrated (although cheating is not completely eliminated).
Also, what I look for is to try to keep my wrist in a neutral position throughout the full range of motion. This strengthens the wrist a bit more.
I can usually get up to 3 extra reps per set if I let my wrist buckle, so once I feel that I am losing my neutral position and breaking into ulnar deviation, I generally just stop the set.
Here is a video showing some recent Scale Weight Curls.
Scale Weight Curls
Scale Weights are somewhat hard to come by, because they are a specialized tool, sort of like anvils, and they can be cheap, but I have been lucky enough to score a couple over the years.
Believe me, the collection of grip tools I have amassed has taken me literally years to develop, tons of time to research, and of course, big expenses in order to build.
If you can’t find Scale Weights, another alternative is to try and curl your Kettlebells. Since the kettlebell handle sits out away from the rest of the bell, they will actually be much tougher to curl, and the weights will drop, but you will still get the Leverage Curl effect.
Still, I like the Scale Weight Curl a little better than Kettlebell Curls, just because I can use a bit more weight to challenge the biceps more, while also challenging my wrists.
To take it even further, you can attempt to curl your Scale Weight or Kettlebll in a supinated position. When you do this, you will have to CRUSH DOWN on the handle BIG TIME, or else you won’t be very successful.
I hope you enjoy this variation of Curls.
For more sinister ideas on how to build crazy arm strength, check out Call to Arms.
All the best in your training,
Tags: big arms, build bigger arms, get stronger wrists, get the arms bigger, strengthen wrists, strong arms, strong wrists
Posted in grip hand forearm training for sports, grip strength, how to buid wrist strength, how to build bigger arms, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve grip strength, how to improve strength, Uncategorized | No Comments »
Grip Strength for Linemen
Did you know that a Lack of Grip Strength is heavily to blame for Joe Theisman’s career ending due to a blind tackle by Lawrence Taylor?
Don Warren, Tight End for the Washington Redskins, was the man with the assignment to keep Taylor at bay on that one, fateful play.
Had he been able to get a secure grip at the line of scrimmage, things could have gone much differently for Theisman,
but because Warren did not secure his grip in “the Fit,” Taylor came crashing down on the QB, and Theisman’s hopes for a lengthy career came crashing down as well.
This is one of the most often replayed video clips in sports, because it resulted in such a horrible injury.
Naturally, injuries like this don’t happen every time a Lineman or Tight End can’t control their opponent on the other team.
But until Grip Training is taken as seriously as footwork drills and conditioning in football, you can bet that many more Line Backers will be busting through the line, sacking Quarterbacks, and making tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
For the coaches and players who are ready to make a difference in the control they and their linemen have on the field, I present my latest product, Grip Strength Training for Linemen.
The Grip Strength Training for Linemen ebook is available on Kindle for $9.99.
Training your Grip seriously is NOT just for Grip Enthusiasts looking to perform feats of strength or compete in contests.
Grip is serious for ALL Athletes.
Football players and Coaches – you can begin training your grip THE RIGHT WAY with this ebook: Grip Strength Training for Linemen
All the best in your training,
Tags: football grip, football grip training, football hand strength, grip strength, grip training for football, hand strength, train grip for football
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It’s hard to argue with the Grip Strength enhancing capabilities of Block Weight training.
Block Weights make you lift with an Open Hand, so your fingers and thumbs work much harder than when training on regular-shaped barbells and dumbbells, plus they make your wrists and forearms work harder as well.
Most people train Block Weights with just one hand at a time, but if they are so beneficial, why not train with one in each hand (if you have them).
Last week, I posted some video on Blob Block Weight Holds for Time, even showing a cool weight-added variation with chains – SICK!!!
Today, I’ve got a couple more videos showing you how you can take your Blob and Block Weight Training to the next level.
On Sale $10 Off Right Now
Double Blob Farmer’s Walk
If you have a nice lawn or a big gym to train in, try picking up your Block Weights and then carrying them as far as you can go, Farmer’s Walk Style!
It has been a very long time since I tried this out.
In March of 2008, I completed this run across the road from the Arnold Classic at Goodale Park.
Double Blob Farmer’s Walk – 2008
Double Blob Farmer’s Walk – 2014 – Part 1
After seeing Juha Harju having some fun with this test of strength recently, I decided that I had to give it a try as well. Below, I for my best distance in a very wet and hilly back yard.
Double Blob Farmer’s Walk – 2014 – Part 2
As good as 83 feet is in this lift, I knew I had more in me. So, a few days later, we carried the Blobs back outside, only this time it was to the front yard, where it was a bit drier and a little flatter. I was very happy with the results, making it over 100-feet 3 separate times.
The carry of 121-feet, as far as I know, is a new “World Record,” insomuch that it can be considered one, since it was done during training and outside of a contest format. Naturally, the tape is not flat either, making the distance somewhat subject, but sometime soon, maybe I will take the Blobs to a track or some other spot where it is flatter and we can get a more accurate measurement of the true distance.
Either way, the main thing is developing more strength. I have no doubt the training that I have been doing has been helping me develop more Grip Strength, specifically better Pinching Strength, which I will need on May 3rd at the Bragging Rights Grip Contest.
For more info on on the May 3rd Contest, go here => Bragging Rights Contest.
All the best in your training,
Tags: blob, blob lifting, blob training, grip strength, hand strength, lift the blob
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I played a bunch of sports in my youth, but I never did any that involved weight classes.
My winters involved Basketball, so I never ended up Wrestling. My summers were jam-packed with Baseball, and that was all I did, so no weight classes in the warm weather either.
The Fall, once I hit High School, was the only time of year I lifted weights, and I just did the same program every other person that lifted did, since there was next to no guidance at all in the High School’s weight room.
So, when Grip Sport instituted weight classes in 2012, I really had no idea what it meant to have to “cut weight” in order to “make a weight class.”
When the weight classes were instituted, I was weighing anywhere from 265 to 290-lbs. I was eating whatever I wanted and if you go through some of my early 2012 videos, you can tell I’m not lying by my bloated face and lack of muscular definition.
But this year I really cleaned up my diet and increased my running and was able to drop about 50-lbs from early March to late September.
So, when I held the Holdfast Gauntlet at my gym on September 28th, fitting into the 105-kg (about 231-kg) Weight Class was rather easy for me to do because I was walking around at 232lbs.
But since September, my weight has gone up about 8lbs. I am still eating super clean, but I have not been doing the cardio as religiously. And while that may have put a couple pounds of fat on me, honestly, I have been KILLING IT in the gym for the last 4 months, have added Squats back into my training, and am just plain feeling like a monster pretty much every day.
Throw on top of that the fact that I celebrated Thanksgiving on the day of, had another one the Saturday after, and then had my birthday a few days after that, plus a weekend with my two biggest High School buddies thrown in there, I was staring at a scale that read 242-lbs on Monday of last week.
Let’s re-wind a bit.
As I mentioned, I ran and competed in a contest at my gym on September 28th. I had no intentions of doing any more competitions the rest of the year, because I had only prepared for my competition up until that point.
But, less than a week after the Holdfast Gauntlet, my new Grip Training Partner, Luke Raymond, asked me with crazed, obsessed eyes and saliva coming out of his mouth, “When’s the Next Contest Brother???”
Yes, I’ve got him talking like me now…
So, what am I supposed to do? Just tell this grip-obsessed, talented, and 2.5-closing grip-up-and-comer, “The next contest is next weekend, go have fun…”???
No way. I told him I would go along with him despite the fact that I hadn’t trained for it so that he could get some more experience. This contest was the King Kong Grip Challenge and it was only 3 hours away. A drive-there-compete-and-drive-back-all-in-the-same-day kind of distance.
It was what we call a Mega Comp, because on one particular day, there are multiple locations all over the world contesting the same events and the results are compiled into one massive database.
Despite the fact that neither of us trained the specific events for this contest, we both did very well. I was able to secure a Top 10 finish and Luke got some outstanding experience.
Luke is an athlete. He has a decent understanding of how to do an event just by being shown and told how to do so one time. Some guys have been competing for 10 years now, and still don’t understand the right way to do the events.
He also loves competition, and I think it is something he misses, sort of like the Michael Jordans and Andy Pettittes who retire from their sport too soon and end up coming back a few years later. Only in this case, Luke isn’t trying to go back and re-live the glory days of High School sports. Instead, he is testing himself with something new and enjoying every minute of it.
Even though I had a good finish in the King Kong, I was overwheight for the 105-kg class. I weighed in above the limit for the 105-kg class because I was so stressed out from the Holdfast Gauntlet, I gave myself like 4 cheat days. I ended up being 234 or 236 at weigh-in time, and it was so cold, I just was not interested in trying to cut weight to make the 231 mark by running all over the place.
Kink Kong Videos:
On the way back home from the King Kong Challenge, we made plans to compete at Gripmas, which was held this past weekend. And we both committed to making weight for our respective weight classes – the 93-kg for Luke and the 105-kg for myself.
But, it’s not time to talk about that yet.
Almost right smack dab in the middle of the early October King Kong and the early December Gripmas was the mid-November Thanksgripping.
I dread long drives alone, so I checked with Luke about it and he had something going on that prevented him from making the trip to Columbus, Ohio for Thanksgripping. I needed something else to justify the trip, so I called up an old buddy, Paul Knight.
You might know that name, he is one of the best Gripper Closers in the world and when he is peaking, perhaps the absolute best in North America. I asked if he was available that weekend to work on a little project we had talked about off and on for over a year, and as it turned out, he was.
So, I made the trip to Columbus for the November 15th Thanksgripping contest, and on Sunday, Paul and I shot a complete DVD on Gripper Training, which will be coming out in early 2014.
JL Holdsworth, the promoter for Thanksgripping and the owner of the greatest Grip Sport surname in history, did not do a weigh-in, so I have no idea what I weighed that day. I am sure I was overweight, but not significantly, since I had dialed my diet back in and had been doing several 15-minute Jump Rope sessions per week. I was feeling awesome from the good eating and feeling strong from re-instating Squats, but hadn’t monitored my actual weight very closely, so I am not sure.
Once that contest was over and in the books, it was time to get serious. I knew I had to get “ahead of the game” by the time Thanksgiving rolled around, because if I packed on fat during that period, I would only have about a week to cut off the excess in time for Gripmas.
Despite my best efforts, when I scaled myself on Monday morning of last week, 242 was staring me in the face and I knew that I had my work cut out for me. That is what two Thanksgivings and a bunch of beer with buddies will do to you.
And like I said, I have no experience with regards to how to cut weight, so I just laid out a plan for eating, cardio, and training.
Eating & Cardio Plans
- Breakfast Plans: Each morning would be hard boiled eggs with a handful of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. This is actually what I eat 3 or 4 times per week anyway. The other days I make an omelet. But, I knew there would be fewer calories in total with the hard boiled eggs and veggies so I went with that.
- Breakfast Result: Total success. Between making extra eggs ahead of time and my wife helping me out a couple of days, my breakfasts could not have gotten any better in my eyes.
- Lunch and Dinner Plans: Each lunch and dinner would be chicken breast and steamed vegetables with yellow mustard for flavor. This is close to what I eat multiple times a week, except I usually put some kind of seasoning on the chicken that has a ton of salt on it and I usually use brown spicey mustard for a little added kick. Those condiments don’t add a lot of calories, but they are loaded with sodium, so I cut them out in order to reduce water retention.
- Lunch and Dinner Results: Unfortunately, my wife also made a huge container of Sloppy Joes for me and expected the entire container to be gone before I left. She made it with ground turkey meat, so that wa sbetter, but I am sure the Manwich Sauce was riddled with sodium. To try to even things up, I mixed the Sloppies with steamed Broccoli and Cauliflower to make them a bit better. This actually tasted amazing, and I am considering it for future meals when I do not need to watch my weight for a comp.
- Cardio Plans: On that Sunday morning, I looked out the window and noticed the Field I ran in all summer wasn’t overgrown anymore. I stopped doing my Field Running partially because the grass got super high and I was afraid I was going to have a Giant Spider crawling on me or a rapid raccoon would end up attacking me. I went out and did 20 straight minutes of jogging, so I planned on doing that on a daily basis. It was actually quite relaxing.
- Cardio Results: Never ran again, but I had good reason. First off, I forgot the time had changed, so by the time 6PM rolled around, the time when I was doing my runs in the summer, it was pitch black dark out, so I was afraid I’d end up stepping in a rabbit burrow and breaking a lower leg like Sid Vicious did off the top rope. Plus, it was now hunting season, and I would probably either spoil someone’s hunt or run the risk of getting shot, since I run so gracefully I resemble a deer now. Instead, I did a daily 5-minute Bike Sprint, a daily 3-song Jump Rope Stint, and three Cardio Circuits that week. I actually think the combination came pretty close to what the running would have produced and I was left with more energy at the end of the week due to the shorter duration cardio efforts.
At the beginning of the week, I was emailing with Chris Rice about my plans to cut weight to make the 105-kg mark and he also sent me an article that covers how the UFC Fighters can cut 20 to 30 lbs in one week in order to make weight for a fight. Here is the link: How UFC Fighters Cut 30 lbs in a Week.
So I read the article, which I thought was quite good, although I wouldn’t recommend it as a weekly approach to weight loss by any means.
And, I decided to take some before and after photos of myself as a way to document everything.
Here are the photos:
Left: Monday Morning. 242lbs. Right: Friday Night, pissing brown. 227 lbs, so I thought…
So, I embarked upon the uncharted territory of purposeful dehydration. After several years of pushing daily hydration and filling a gallon jug with water and not being done until it was gone, I would now set up a schedule to purposefully dehydrate myself.
Monday: 2 Gallons of Water
Tuesday: 1 Gallon of Water
Wednesday: .75 Gallon of Water
Thursday: .5 Gallon of Water
Friday: Only water I drank was in coffee or the food I ate.
I should also note that from Monday to Thursday, I also was taking three servings of generic Metamucil, in order to clear out my colon as much as possible of any clogs. I believe this to have been a complete waste of effort, as I have been eating so much fiber over the last 9 months that most of that junk is completely gone. I saw no change in my stool size or frequency at all.
For food, all I ate for protein all day long Friday was hard boiled eggs. For cards, all I ate all day long was broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. Honestly, I felt pretty darn good on this “diet.”
In the UFC article, the writer talks about feeling absolutely horrible. I did not. I felt some cramping in my neck which I thought was probably due to dehydration, but other than that I felt pretty good.
So, when we got to the hotel, I had packed my spot-calibrated scale that I used for the Hodlfast Gauntlet. Confident it was accurate, I placed it on the floor of the hotel room and weighed myself – 227-lbs. A 15-lb drop in weight from Monday across 5 days. I sat down and ate a few more pieces of broccoli and two more hard boiled eggs so that I could get some decent sleep.
Luke stepped on the scale and was weighing 206. I laughed at him and pointed while jumping up and down. Pissed off that he wouldn’t be able to eat or drink anything that night, he went to get a shower.
The Magic Shower
When he returned from the shower, he stepped back on the scale and this time, to our surprise, was 203 lbs!!!
“How could that be?”
I then remembered I had heard long ago that a scale won’t work right on a carpet. We had weighed ourselves on a carpet.
So, the complete geniuses that we are, we placed the scale atop the credenza beside the TV so that we had a more sturdy surface. Why we did not take it to the tile floor in the bathroom I have no idea.
What I do know though, is that I was now weighing 233-lbs. 2 Pounds over my 231 limit.
So, all the dehydration efforts, I only lost about 9-lbs. Looking back, my dehydration probably did work effectively due to the sloppy joe’s I ate or something. But regardless, I still had to cut off a couple more pounds.
But I did not rely upon a magic shower. Instead, I put my sneakers back on and bundled up and went to run around the hotel to burn off some calories and get rid of more water.
It was snowing out BIG TIME. As I ran, I remember wondering if all the snow I was inhaling through my nose and mouth was negating my dehydration tactics. I remember wondering whether the moisture in my beanie was sweat or just snow that had melted. Was I making progress, or shooting myself in the foot? I was already so dehydrated, my feet hurt and both achilles tendons were sore, and they just kept getting more sore with each stride on the pavement as I went around the hotel and convenience store complex. My only solace was the fact that it was snowing and the accumulation and slush were padding my strides somewhat.
The snow was both my enemy and my partner.
I made myself do 10 laps. Each time I passed by the South Door, two dudes speaking Spanish and smoking cigarettes stared at me. I was just waiting for them to make a reference to “el guero corriendo,” so that I could talk back to them in Spanish to surprise them, but it never happened.
When all was said and done, I finished my 10th lap and went back inside and I had been running for 40 minutes, twice as long as I had run in any of my Field Running jaunts from the Spring and Summer. So I was proud of myself in that regard.
I weighed in again, once more atop the credenza, as I tried to remember which Dr. Seuss book mentions a credenza, and I had gotten all the way down to 232 and a couple of ounces. I jumped in the shower and went to bed.
When I woke up the next morning, the first thing I did was weigh in. I was now 229 on my scale.
Luke and I jumped into the car with no food. Just black coffee and we made it to the Grip Comp location within about 20 minutes. I weighed in at 229 something. Luke was 203 something. We both made weight, and it was time to put the feedbag on! We started by consuming a Gatorade Gel Pack apiece and chugging an entire 32-ounce Gatorade. We then proceeded to eat about a half dozen eggs each, bacon, toast, and more goodies prepared for us by Chris Rice’s wife, Teresa, and amazing breakfast – thank you so much to the Rice’s.
And that is my story of my first ever cutting experience. All in all, it was not that bad of an experience. I lucked out and got no headaches and didn’t cramp up or collapse on the floor.
Going forward, I plan on continuing to train super hard with the goal of adding muscle and strength. I also plan on keeping the cardio in there and eating clean to continue to reduce bodyfat. I’d love to be able to pack on another 10lbs of muscle while also dropping 10 more lbs of fat. Since I am Squatting and Deadlifting again, I think the strength and muscle gains are easily fathomable. With the diet dialed in and the cardio, I think the fat will come off too.
This post has already gotten much longer than I ever would have intended, so I will not speak of my events at the contest, at least not right now. I will however, post the videos. Enjoy.
Thanks for reading (if you did) and all the best in your training.
Take the Guessing and Frustration Out of Gripper Training.
Grab the CRUSH DVD: Total Gripper Domination
The Blob: The Benchmark One Hand Pinch Feat
There is one Grip Strength Challenge Item out there that is parallel with closing the #3 Gripper, Lifting the Inch Dumbbell, and bending a 60D nail. It is the Blob.
This feat of Open hand / Pinching Strength was started by Richard Sorin, who when moving a bunch of broken dumbbells from one storage area to another tried pinch gripping a half 100-lb York Dumbbell. This lone half-100 was the only one of many that thwarted his efforts, and he set himself the goal to train his grip until he was able to not only lift it, but MASTER it.
This Grand-daddy of all Block Weights, which has been found in countless Grip Contest Medley, Grip Gauntlets and other Grip is called the Blob.
The story of how the first Blob came to be and the early history of it is an amazing one. Throughout the first few decades of its existence, it stopped the likes of Richard, John Brookfield, Wade Gillingham, and many others DEAD IN THEIR TRACKS at first, until they were all ready to re-group, re-strategize, and re-formulate their plan of attack.
Since then, thousands have tested themselves against the Blob in various venues across the Nation and around the World, only to have it laugh in their face like the bully at school.
But despite all of the valiant attempts that were colored by failure, there have been a few stories of dramatic inspiration that have spurred others to forge ahead with their training in order to tackle the beast…
Stories such as Rick Walker who at the time he first lifted it in 2003 was only about 200-lbs…
…like Chad Kovach who has successfully lifted the Blob with hands about 7-inches long…
…even Richard Sorin himself, Blob Pioneer, has average sized hands and can lift the Blob today, some 20+ years after first challenging himself to do so…
…and still, there are many other accounts of people putting in months or even years of dedicated time to finally accomplish the revered feat of lifting the Blob in a Pinch Grip, the true test of Open Hand and Thumb Strength.
Unfortunately, many people talk themselves out of lifting the Blob before they even try.
They think because the have small hands, they have no chance. The documented cases above prove this not to be so, in fact, as long as you can get one of two different finger and thumb combinations over the edges of the Blob, you will be able to lift it.
People think that because they do not own their own Blob, they are doomed to never develop the strength needed to lift it. Nothing could be further from the truth, as there are many suitable options that can be used in order to cultivate the wide-pinch strength needed to slay the Blob.
And many have been told that because they have little experience with Grip Training that they have two chances to lift the Blob: Slim and None. Absolute hogwash. Grip History is filled with accounts of average Gripsters accomplishing Blob Lifts and other Gigantic Feats with little training time under their belt.
The fact is, large hands, owning a Blob, specialty equipment, and years of training are indeed NOT prerequisites to becoming a Blob Lifter.
What is necessary is knowledge. Understanding key points about Blob Lifting such as technique (yes, there is technique; don’t let anyone fool you), chalk application, positioning and leverage, as well as the proper way to train on the Blob, are what you really need.
These factors will ease the frustration of the misses, the failures, and the heartache.
These intangibles will fill in the blanks between your desire to succeed and your ability to feel success.
These elements are the ones that will make you what you want to be – a Blob Lifter.
And now, all of these things are available to you in my brand new ebook, “Lift the Blob.”
If you want to Lift the Blob or any other goal Block Weight that is in your sights, then you need this ebook to help guide you.
If you want to find out more about what kind of information is in Lift the Blob < = click that link. Or if you just want to get started right away, click the button below.
All the best in your training.
Tags: blob, blob50, blobs, fatman blob, grip feats, grip training, how to lift the blob, how to train on the blob, lift the blob, the blob, York blob
Posted in athletic strength training lift odd objects, feats of strength, grip hand forearm training for sports, Grip Sport, grip strength blob, hand strength, how to build pinch strength | No Comments »
One of my favorite types of Grip Training is with Block Weights, especially the Blob.
When training to lift the Blob, the strength the strength you build is highly functional, meaning it creates general hand, thumb and wrist strength, which can carry over to increases in other Grip Lifts as well as Gym Lifts.
In recent months, I have heard of many people who have set their sights on lifting the Blob, so this year I set forth to complete a project I have worked on sporadically since April of 2012, and this project will be ready to be unleashed very soon.
I am also very excited to release this because I got someone else involved in the project as well. Watch the video below to see exactly who I mean.
Blob Lifting eBook Announcement
To say I am excited to have this person associated with this project would be an understatement.
This new eBook will be out soon. To get it as soon as it comes out, be sure to put your information in the box below.
Napalm’s Nightmare – The Sickest Home Made
Grip Training Device EVER???
As if the dozens and dozens of medieval Grip torture devices I already had in my collection were not enough, one day about 5 years ago, I was looking for a tool that I could use to take my thick bar training to another level of insanity.
Singles and doubles weren’t enough anymore. I wanted to be able to train thick bar dynamically for reps after reps after reps, by picking up a thick big-handled beast and swinging it around with speed and power.
What I had in mind would create not only tremendous thick bar lifting strength, but also hyper-gravity eccentric loading that would test my fingers to the maximum capacity.
And, I wanted to be able to train both hands at the same time.
Alas, I could not find what I was looking for anywhere on the market, so I reached out to my good friend, Chris Rice, who had a way of taking my crazy ideas and turning them into reality by using very simple tools and materials.
What he came up with is something that turned out to be one of the absolute most brutal ways to train not only the hands for incredible grip strength, but also the glutes, core, legs, arms and shoulders all at the same time.
This device is called Napalm’s Nightmare.
While my mind does not dream up the “nightmarish” acts that Patrick Bateman did
(movie: American Psycho), I am capable of thinking of some pretty
DASTARDLY Grip Training Devices, such as Napalm’s Nightmare
Napalm’s Nightmare is the realization of my truly sick and twisted mind. Napalm was the pyromaniac wrestling character I pitched to WWE back in 2001, who would celebrate victories by lighting his hands and arms on fire. While they did not think that was as good of an idea as I did, at least the name gets to live on with this device.
This grip training tool combines the rotating effect of the IronMind Rolling Thunder Handle with the dynamic swinging nature of the Kettlebell. It is attached to a loading pin with weight added, making it fully adjustable for trainees of any strength level. ANYONE can benefit from this device in the way of GRIP STRENGTH and full body strengthening.
Next Level Napalm’s Nightmare Lifting
As often is the case, when one insane individual meets another, things can go much further than what the first maniac intended. While I designed Napalm’s Nightmare to be used in one way, others have taken my brainchild and produced even more sinister ideas.
Darrin Shallman, a long-time member of The Grip Authority, took the premise of Napalm’s Nightmare and has pushed the envelope of what is possible to new heights. Not happy with submaximal weight lifted for long durations of time, Darrin has begun testing the limits of Napalm’s Nightmare lifting with maximal lifts.
Here is Darrin showing Napalm’s Nightmare who is boss.
Darrin Shallman – Napalm’s Nightmare Deadlift – 320lbs
Take note, in case your speakers are busted, Darrin is only 157-lbs and his hands are about 7.5″ in length. This is a tremendous lift that only a true Sick Grip monster would attain.
Mike Rinderle – Napalm’s Nightmare Deadlift – 328-lbs
My brother from another mother, Rindo, also has posted some tremendous lifts with the NN. Here is 328. His training with this tool of grip sickness is even more intense because lives in an apartment above two elderly folks, so he has to set everything down as quietly as possible so he doesn’t wake them up every day.
Napalm Jedd Lifting Napalm’s Nightmare
After watching these two Sicko’s going for their max, I had to try it as well. I worked up to 315 for a nearly full lift. It’s not counting the loading pin – who knows it might be 320 total. That kind of stuff doesn’t matter until we get to the platform. In training, i am all about feeling the BURN brotherrrrr.
As you can see, Napalm’s Nightmare is a lovely piece of home made equipment that has many benefits and many uses. To top it all off, for younger lifters or ladies who are just now beginning to get the Grip Fever, the rolling outside PVC handles can bee removed to expose smaller, yet still thick and Grip Power Producing handles.
Want to make your own Napalm’s Nightmare handle? It’s easy. Just check out my Home Made Strength 2 <=Click that link, brother. HMS2 - Grip Strength Edition will show you how to build a slew of Sick Grip Gear, plus you will learn how to use it to build Monster hand Strength.
“I Got a Fever. And the only cure is MORE THICK BAR.” – Rick Walker
All the best in your training,
Pick up Home Made Strength: Grip Strength Edition (Digital Video) Today
Tags: grip training equipment, kettlebell swing, napalms nightmare, rolling thunder, thick bar, thick handled implement
Posted in grip hand forearm training for sports, grip strength, grip training equipment gear, hand strength, home made strength equipment, how to build strength equipment, how to improve grip strength | 1 Comment »
I am going out of town this weekend to visit my sister, so I want to learn more about you so I can help you out more with your training in the future.
Be sure to sign up for further updates on Grip Strength Training.
Thanks for filling out the survey and Happy Memorial Day.
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Free Tank Top with a 24/48-month Digital Subscription
Tags: grip strength, grip strength training, grip strength workouts
Posted in feats of strength, feats of strength bending, forearm injury prevention recovery healing, grip hand forearm training for sports, Grip Sport, grip strength, grip strength blob, grip strength competition contest, gripper training, hand strength, horseshoe bending, how to buid wrist strength, how to build pinch strength, how to improve grip strength, how to improve strength, how to rip cards, how to rip tear phone books, how to tear cards, improve grip strength crush, inch dumbbell, injury rehab recover from injury, old strongman feats of strength, steel bending, strongman feats, tearing cards, Vulcan Gripper, worlds strongest hands, wrist developer | 1 Comment »
Earlier this year, Matt Ellis and I released our first DVD together, Grip Training for Track and Field Throwers.
Since then, our DVD has been helping Track and Field Coaches and Athletes understand how important the hands are to their throws, as well as how to train the hands effectively to improve performance and stay injury free.
Recently, I received the following feedback from Bill Piche. Bill, aside from being a pioneer in Grip Strength, is also a studied Track and Field scholar, having coached his two kids in Track all their lives. Both have put together impressive careers, and at least one of them is now competing at the collegiate level. Both Bill’s kids, Ryan and Amanda, are pictured to the right.
Here’s what Bill writes:
- “A missing link in the strength training program of many athletes is grip strength. In the throws in track and field, hand strength is of utmost importance. But, many coaches neglect training grip.
- Jedd Johnson is a grip training expert and he combines his expertise with throws coach Matt Ellis to provide a great resource for throwers on how to train their grip for the throws. Their new DVD entitled “Grip Training For Track and Field Throwers” covers the complete grip strength spectrum from crushing grip to wrist and forearm strength. A big bonus is they also cover common throwing injuries and prevention.
- One of my favorite parts is on the topic of Home Made equipment. There are no excuses for not training grip and this part of the DVD shows you how to do it on the cheap so there are no budget issues to worry about for implementing grip training into a strength program.
- Needless to say, I highly recommend “Grip Training For Track and Field Throwers.”
- Bill Piche
Thanks so much for the kind words, Bill!
To make this DVD even more accessible in the Digital Age, this video is available not only in hard copy DVD format, but we also provide streamable options as well, so you can watch the video on your smart phone, ipad, or your other preferred devices.
If you’d like to pick up a copy of Grip Training for Track and Field Throwers, you can do so by clicking the image of the DVD to the right.
All the best in your training.
Tags: discus, hammer, javelin, shot, shot put, track and field, track throwing, track throws
Posted in forearm injury prevention recovery healing, grip hand forearm training for sports, grip strength, hand strength, how to buid wrist strength | No Comments »
Christian Bale – American Psycho – 2000
Christian Bale is my favorite actor.
Ever since the movie, American Psycho, which came out in 2000, this has been true.
But of the last 10 years or so, my favorite movie with him in it is The Prestige. In this movie, Bale plays a magician who has an on-going rivalry with another magician. They are constantly trying to one-up each other, and both of them pay dearly for their desire to be seen as “the best.”
At the very beginning of the movie, we learn that each magic trick consist of 3 parts, or acts: (1) the Pledge, (2) the Turn, and (3) the Prestige.
In case you missed it, at the end the narration goes: “You’re not really looking. You don’t really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.”
Grip is no different than magic.
In developing a truly mighty grip, there are three parts, each building upon the other like the sequence of a magician’s magic trick. They are the Lift, the Hold and the Control.
Lift – This is the foundation of a strong grip. You are breaking something from of the ground and trying to bring it to lockout. Many times, it is something cumbersome, such as a Block Weight, or something unruly, such as a thick handled dumbbell. With Grippers, you are trying to squeeze the handles together.
Hold – The second part is more intense. It involves displaying the endurance to keep something off the ground, whether by holding the implement for time, such as a Farmer’s Hold, or over-crushing the handles of the gripper.
Control – But it is not enough just to lift something off the ground. The true skill is to dominate something and make it do whatever it is you want it to. Like in the post directly below where I go beyond Blob lifting, Control is a demonstration of all-out domination of the implement, pulling beyond normal deadlift ranges and making it succumb to your will.
All too often trainees forget about the aspect of Control. They stay within their comfort zone, within the parameters of regular “lifting” and “squeezing” in their training, and do not go far enough.
This is why I say “Control” is the forgotten aspect of Grip Training.
Control is what you need to fully apply the grip strength you build to the movements and sports you play.
As an example, you can have a strong grip and hold onto Farmer’s Implements that are loaded to incredible weights, but if you don’t have control, all you will be able to do is stand there and hold them. You won’t be able to walk with them because you won’t be able to handle their mass as they swing, sway and shift each time you take a stride.
I recently set out to attain a feat that is based entirely on the element of Control – Lifting a Giant Anvil to Shoulder Height.
In the lore of oldtime strength, there is a story of George Jowett cleaning to his shoulder a giant anvil. There is confusion about the validity of this feat, as the story changes depending upon who you ask, but that is not important to this article.
What is important is developing the strength to perform such a feat.
I decided to try this feat recently, using my 112-lb Anvil. Here is my first, of curely many, attempts…
Anvil Lift to Shoulder Height Attempt
I have been told, and I agree, that the term “Clean” is not correct for the movement I am attempting. A true Clean starts in front of your shins and moves upwards with no swing, as I am performing. With that, going forward I will not use the term “Clean” to describe this lift until I can actually do it without the swing. For now, it will be called the Anvil Lift to Shoulder Height.
It is important to remember that having ultimate grip strength means to be able to not only lift, and hold something, but to exhibit complete control over it, so that it follows your command and it moves in complete obedience to your will.
And to get this Control, you must be willing to go further in your training.
If you don’t take the next step, then in the pursuit of Control, “You’re not really looking. You don’t really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.”
All the best in your training.
Grip Training Resources:
Learn the basics and the advanced techniques of Gripper Training with CRUSH: Total Gripper Domination
Take your Grip to the next level at The Grip Authority. Click the banner below.
Tags: anvil lifting, grip strength, grip training, lift hold control
Posted in feats of strength, grip hand forearm training for sports, grip strength, hand strength, how to improve grip strength, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »
A few weeks back, I was contacted by a company about reviewing their equipment. It was called Globe Gripz, and at first I thought I would not be impressed, but reviewing equipment is fun, so I agreed.
Globe Gripz are very similar to other dense rubber, instant thick bar grip attachments that are on the market, with one major exception – they are round.
Aside from that, everything else is pretty much the same about the devices themselves.
Below, I have a video that covers my complete review of Globe Gripz.
Globe Gripz Equipment Review
Like many round-handled tools that are on the market, the Globe Gripz are too strong for my mutant hands, so I do not use the Globe Gripz that much. However, I have added them to straight-bar curls several times and they work perfectly. I have not done barbell curls in years due to the wrist pain and elbow stress that they cause, but with the Globe Gripz added, I don’t feel any of that.
Without a doubt, until they come out with a larger version, I think these would be best suited for smaller-handed individuals (less than 7.75 inches from wrist crease to tip of longest finger).
You can get your set here: GlobeGripz.com (non-affiliate link)
All the best in your training,
Tags: fat bar lifting, globe gripz, instant thick grip, open hand training, thick bar
Posted in forearm injury prevention recovery healing, grip hand forearm training for sports, grip strength, grip training equipment gear, hand strength | No Comments »
When Matt Ellis and I released Grip Training for Track and Field Throwers, we knew that the information was killer, but we also wanted to see what other experienced Throwers had to say about it, so we sent out some complimentary copies.
Now, the feedback is coming in and I am excited to share what a truly great multi-talented athlete had to say about it.
Adriane Wilson Reviews Grip Training for Track and Field Throwers
“The Track and Field Grip Training DVD is outstanding. It is a complete collection of simple and practical exercises for throwers, lifters, and any person concerned with their hand and lower arm health. The preventive and strength building exercises can be performed in or outside of a gym, which is useful for those unable to travel to the gym on a daily basis.
In addition to grip tools already found in the gym, Jedd and Matt present easy and inexpensive alternatives to top rated grip equipment to further strengthen your grip. Their inventive program can apply to the novice gripper and challenge the elite crusher. With nearly two hours of valuable demonstrations, your grip training will stay exciting and strength will continue to impress.
You have probably heard of Adriane before under her maiden name, Blewitt. She is a decorated Highland Games competitor, having won the Women’s World Championship on 3 separate occasions.
She also became the first woman to certify on the IronMind #2 Captains of Crush Gripper in the Fall of 2011.
Adriane also nearly became a member of the 2012 USA Olympic Team, as she competed for a spot in the Throws, but was ever so slightly edged out during the trials.
To get feedback like this from a truly gifted athlete such as Adriane is an unbelievable feeling. If you are a thrower, a coach, or an athlete, this DVD can help you get to the next level with your throws, as well as keep your hands, wrist, and elbows more resistant against injuries.
To pick up your copy, go here: GripTrainingForThrowers.com
All the best in your training,
Tags: discus, grip training, hammer, javelin, pole vault, shot put, throws coach, track and field, track throws
Posted in athletic strength training lift odd objects, forearm injury prevention recovery healing, grip hand forearm training for sports, grip strength, hand strength, how to buid wrist strength, how to build pinch strength, how to improve grip strength, strength training to improve athletic performance, strength training to prevent injury | No Comments »
I was recently interviewed by Mart Brooks of ArtOfBaseball.net regarding grip and forearm training to increase performance and prevent injuries. Check it out below:
Want to improve your grip and wrist strength in order to hit more home runs, get more hits, strike out less, and just plain hit the ball harder next season?
Then what are you waiting for? The time to put in the work is right now.
My Ultimate Forearm Training System will get you there.
Tags: baseball forearm training, baseball grip training, baseball wrist strength training
Posted in baseball strength and conditioning, grip hand forearm training for sports, grip strength, hand strength, how to improve grip strength | No Comments »
Grip Training for Track and Field Throwers
Last year, I met a great coach named Matt Ellis from Primal Athlete Training Center, at a seminar I attended. It was great meeting him.
We sat down for lunch one day between sessions at the workshop, and we started talking about a possible resource we could put out for track and field throwers to help them develop their hand strength in a way to both increase their performance AND to prevent injuries from taking place.
In the short video below, I talk about our project and what it covers for the throwing athletes of Track and Field.
The DVD Artwork features Adrian Wilson. Adrian is a highly respected strength athlete, as well as an Elite Track and Field Thrower, 3X Highland Games World Champion, and she became the first Woman Certified as Captain of Crush.
If you are thrower or are a coach that works with throwers, make sure to sign up for updates regarding this DVD. In it, we should dozens of way to strengthen and bullet-proof the hands. And don’t worry about having to take out a second mortgage on your house to buy all the equipment. Many of the drills we show involve using equipment you already have at your gym, or things you can easily make yourself.
Get ready for more coming soon.
Tags: discus, hammer, hammer throw, javelin, shot, shot put, shotput, throwers, track and field, track throwers
Posted in athletic strength training lift odd objects, grip hand forearm training for sports, grip strength, hand strength, how to improve grip strength, strength training to improve athletic performance, strength training to prevent injury | 1 Comment »
Grip Strength Training for Shooting Firearms
Shooting any gun requires careful precision in order to shoot accurately. It also requires you to have the strength to control the firearm, as well as the endurance to continue to exhibit this control throughout the full time shooting is done.
For someone who has never shot guns, they may not realize the level of strength that shooting a firearm requires. However, when you consider the overall weight of a rifle, shotgun, or muzzle loader, standing there shooting time after time can tired out the body if you are not used to it. After all, there is a reason a table is used to sight in a rifle for hunting season – this helps keep the gun still and takes strength and endurance out of the equation.
Although pistols are much lighter in comparison to rifles, shotguns, etc., the need for proper levels of strength in order to shoot accurately and maintain your accuracy for time is even more important because the pistol is held with the arms extended. This creates a lever through your upper body as you aim, so each joint from the core to the shoulder and out to the hand must maintain integrity, or else your shooting accuracy drops like a rock in a pond.
Without a doubt one of the biggest weak points when shooting a pistol will be the hands and wrists. Although many of the men and women who rely on pistols as part of their job are in excellent condition, often the training they do does not emphasis the grip very much, and can leave a whole in their physical strength that can hold back their shooting ability.
Here is a video I recently shot where I discuss how to strengthen the hands for shooting guns.
With this in mind, here are a few ways to improve your grip strength for shooting guns.
1. Increase Full Body Strength for Shooting a Gun
Some of you may already be doing some form of weight training, but if not, you should seek to bring up your overall body strength. Cardio is not enough. You need to hit the weights.
If you have never trained with weights, or if it has been a while, you are probably best off starting with some bodyweight work. Good Upper Body Bodyweight Exercises include Push-ups, Pull-ups, and Dips. For the Lower Body, you can’t beat Bodyweight Squat variations, lunges, and bridging.
After some time of this, you can move into some weight training. For general strength, you can stick with the basics. Always keep doing Pull-up and Chin-up variations, but also learn how to Bench Press, Overhead Press, Deadlift, Row, and Squat properly, and you will be well on your way to developing the full body strength that will keep your legs, core, and torso stable for handling a gun.
2. Increase Your Grip Strength for Shooting a Gun
There are hundreds of ways to increase your grip strength for shooting rifles, pistols and other firearms. This website has some great posts laying out some very good high-impact grip training exercises that will carry-over well for your shooting.
However, taking a “shotgun” approach (pardon the pun, but I couldn’t resist) when addressing your grip strength is a mistake. You should always have purpose in your training. With that, let’s outline each aspect of the grip that needs to be addressed in your training.
A. Hand Strength
When discussing grip training for firing a weapon, the important thing to remember is that you must include work where you actually hold and fire your weapon, for the sake of specificity. However, there are some ways you can use strength training tools at the gym to get your grip stronger in some degree of specificity, as well.
Crushing / Grippers: As one of my readers, Gary, wrote in, you must be able to squeeze a pistol with some appreciable force in order to control it. He says:
“I am an avid handgun shooter who trains grip using blobs, wrist movements etc, however the most important area to focus on is the crushing aspect for handguns, notably by using grippers. -Gary-”
When you train with your Grippers, don’t get stuck in the rut of just performing a bunch of repetitions when you train them. Remember, when you fire a gun, you must exert a longer, controlled squeeze for control, so make sure you duration of force with your grippers lines up well with the time that you will be shooting your firearm.
In other words, if it takes 8 seconds to empty all the rounds in your gun, then practice your holds for 8 seconds or even longer with your gripper. It is also not a bad idea to hold the gripper up and away from you, just as you would when you are aiming and firing a pistol.
Crush Grip Training for Pistol Shooting Hand Strength
Because the gripper is lighter than the pistol and entails less leverage, I’d also like to suggest some other drills that can help you build more well-rounded hand strength and to help to take your performance to an even higher level by working other areas of grip strength.
Pinch: The Grip used on the handle of a pistol is also a Pinch. When discussing Grip, Pinching is the type of grip where the thumb is the limiting factor. Usually the thumb works in opposition to the fingers, but in the case of shooting a pistol or other gun, the handle of the firearm is not really large enough for the thumb to work against the fingers and instead it works to secure the handle against the palm.
Plate Pinching is a fundamental way to train the hands with the thumb as the limiting factor. There are many combinations that can be used for Plate Pinching but some of these put the hand in a very wide open position. The grip on a pistol is fairly narrow, so Narrow Pinching is probably the best option.
Narrow Pinch for Pistol Grip Strength: Plate Pinch Plus Weight
For this drill you will need two 10-lb plates, a chain, carabiner, and loading pin. Put some weight on the loading pin and attach it to the chain. Pinch the plates and lift the extra weight off the ground.
This lift closely mimics the positioning of the thumb when gripping a pistol. Concentrate on 5- to 10-second holds and work both hands.
Open Hand Training: Of course, open hand training is always a good option for bringing up your general hand strength. Five years ago, this would have meant buying a thick handled dumbbell or an fat barbell (called an Axle), or wrapping something around the dumbbell to make it thicker, but these days, there is a much simpler option. Fat Gripz will pop right onto a dumbbell, barbell or other device (like a chin-up or pull-down bar). The investment is much less than a thick-handled dumbbell or fat axle, and much less cumbersome than wrapping a towel around the handle.
Fat Gripz Band Hold
Many people do not realize that Fat Gripz can be incorporated with bands, in addition to barbells and dumbbells. For this drill, choke a band of the appropriate strength level to a sturdy object. Attach the Fat Gripz handle to it and take a position as if holding a pistol. Be sure to cycle through all the grip positions used by both hands. The same type of drill can be done mimicking the position taken when shooting a rifle as well.
Please take note that I do not shoot pistols, so my technique may be somewhat off. Be sure to approach your resistance training the way you would your shooting by using the proper stance, body positioning, etc, when performing these drills.
Wrist Strength is important for shooting. The wrist needs to be strong in order to keep the gun steady, and it needs to have endurance in order to perform well over the duration of a shooting competition.
There are many great ways to train the wrists using leverage devices. Leverage devices can be just about anything where there is weight held out away from the hand. Hammers, sledgehammers, baseball bats, and even loadable dumbbell handles can be used to train the wrists.
Since the leverage experienced in shooting a pistol mostly takes place along the lines of deviation, these are the movement patterns that should be trained for pistol performance. From time to time, wrist flexion and extension exercises can also be peppered in for well-rounded development.
Leverage Bar Hold
This simple exercise can be done with any type of leverage device. Here, it is done with loadable dumbbell handles, which are a fairly common item at gyms and can be picked up for cheap at sporting goods stores.
Grip them by the end of one loading sleeve and hold them at your sides for time. This trains the muscles on the thumb-side of the wrist (the radial deviators), which can tire out when shooting a pistol, especially one-handed.
When you reach the point that an empty loadable is too light, feel free to add weight. If 2.5-lbs weights are too heavy for you, try balancing or hanging something across both handles for some extra resistance. Naturally, if the implements are too heavy, feel free to choke up on the handles.
Hybrid Grip Drill – PVC Banded Hold for Pistol Grip
I also came up with a pretty cool way to train the hands specifically for firing a pistol in an article I wrote a while back, called “Functional Grip Training for Law Enforcement.” This combines several of the disciplines we’ve already discussed.
“One of the challenges of aiming a gun, especially for those who are new to using a pistol, is the leverage of the heavier firearms in the out stretched arm. Their surprising weight causes new personnel to shake and become incapable of maintaining an accurate site picture, let alone an accurate shot. The following exercises will help strengthen the lower arms and wrists to be better prepared to aim and hold a gun.
For this exercise, you will need a length of PVC Pipe 1.5 to 2.5 inches in diameter about 5 inches long, a large carabiner, and some JumpStretch or other elastic training bands.
Run the band through the PVC Handle and clip the carabiner onto the bands. This will keep the bands from popping back out through the pipe. Next, choke the bands toward the bottom of a squat cage or other sturdy structure.
Stand several feet away from the squat cage, grasping the PVC pipe as if it were the handle of a firearm. Raise the handle upwards, attempting to keep it perfectly vertical. Once it reaches shoulder height, keep it there, performing holds for time, shooting for a solid 30 second hold.
Both hands can also be used on the device, allowing for more band tension to be used.”
To read the entire article, click here: Grip Training for Law Enforcement Personnel
There you have a few of the ways you can train your body and your lower arms for increased performance. Without a doubt, there are many, many more things you can do. Remember, shooting a pistol is very technical and requires physical strength throughout the body.
Also, as you can see, it is not necessary to always buy extremely expensive gear in order to train the grip. Sometimes all you need is already at the gym, or somewhere in your garage.
Any further questions, feel free to comment below, and do not be afraid to direct others who you shoot with you to this article and this site.
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All the best in your training.
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Tags: grip strength for pistols, grip strength for rifle, grip strength for shooting, law enforcement, sharp shooting
Posted in grip hand forearm training for sports, grip strength, hand strength, how to improve grip strength | 1 Comment »
In a short poll I did on Facebook, one of the most commonly mentioned exercises that causes wrist pain for my Facebook friends ended up being the Bench Press.
If the bench Press is a lift that bothers your wrists as well, then I hope you check out the video below.
In it, I talk about the alignment of the wrist bones and how these bones interact with the bones of the hand and forearm. In addition, I also talk about how to take care of the wrists to keep them feeling good so that they do not affect your Bench Press training.
So, in review, make sure to keep these three points in mind when you are Benching:
Warm-up: Get some blood flowing into your hands and wrists so that the tissues become more pliable and you can better exert force into the bar.
Stretch Between Sets: You would be surprised how much of a difference it makes for your wrists if you do some light stretching between sets. The Thumb + First Two Stretch that I show in the video above is a favorite of mine.
Use Proper Technique: Part of the correct bench press technique is to keep the wrist straight. Having the wrist bent way back can cause extreme pressure in the wrist. This change may feel weird at first, but over time you will grow used to it and enjoy the reduction of nagging pain in the wrist.
I think these slight changes in your technique, preparation, and approach will pay big dividends for you in your training, by helping you to avoid wrist pain.
If you are experiencing wrist pain, and you want to end it for good, you should check out Fix My Wrist Pain. Rick Kaselj and I worked together on this and it is helping people out already.
Special Introductory Price ($27) Ends Tonight – Grab FMWP Today!
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below and I will be glad to get back with you.
All the best in your training.
Tags: injured wrist, sore wrist, wrist pain, wrist pain from bench press, wrist pain on bench press, wrist strength
Posted in forearm injury prevention recovery healing, grip hand forearm training for sports, grip strength, hand strength, how to buid wrist strength, injury rehab recover from injury, strength training to prevent injury | No Comments »
I have a little saying that I coined about two years ago that goes like this:
Misses Are Just Warm-ups
Warrior Presses Savage
This is a mental approach that you have to take when your overall training goal is STRENGTH.
You missed a new PR Lift? So What? Try it again.
You didn’t break your previous best mark on your first try? So what? Try it again.
If you set up your lifts right, you should always have at least three good attempts in you to set a new PR. And in some cases, even more.
It doesn’t matter what kind of strength you are going for: Grip Strength, Powerlifting, Olympic Lifting, Strongman Training – all of them require certain factors to be right.
If any of these factors are not right, then you might not complete your lift, even though in reality you are strong enough to complete it.
Here are just a few things that can be “off” when you go for a max and keep you from setting a new PR:
Tags: bench press, deadlift, military press, overhead lifting, overhead press, PR, press, strength training
Posted in grip hand forearm training for sports, how to bench press, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve grip strength, strength training muscle building workouts, strength training powerlifting, strength training to improve athletic performance | No Comments »
Improve Hand Strength for Strength Training and Sports
The hands and lower arms are often a forgotten aspect of a well-rounded strength training program, and they also are something that can hold us back from attaining what we want to accomplish if we fail to train them properly.
Thick about it this way…
Don’t think hand strength is important in sports?
- Try tackling a player on the football field with weak hands.
- Try holding the basketball in the paint with weak hands or fingers.
- Try maintaining control over your opponent on the wrestling mat without a good grip.
All of these things involve a great deal of general body strength in order to be successful, but if you grip is weak, then you might as well forget about all of them.
The same can be said for pulling movements like the Pull-up and the Deadlift. While both of these movements are mostly limited by the strength of the back and arm muscles, a weak grip will also be a hindrance.
Even pushing movements like Overhead Lifting and the Bench Press can be very affected heavily if you have weak hands.
With all of this in mind, it is important to include Grip Training in your routine regularly.
When speaking of Grip Training, there are several common questions that often come up…
- How much training should I do?
- When does it become too much?
- Should I buy a bunch of equipment in order to train my grip?
These are questions I am asked all the time, but the answers truly come down to what exactly your training goals are. You can’t write one program and have it work for everyone.
Instead, when I work with my clients and coach the the members of my site, The Grip Authority, I try to offer examples of movements and exercises that are high impact, meaning that you get a lot of benefit out of them regardless of your individual training goals.
One High Impact Grip Training Movement is Plate Pinch Around the World’s.
This movement is often overlooked but it is actually a fantastic movement for ANYONE to include in their training.
1. Open Hand Movement – The best Grip Training movements for complete hand strength involve an open handed position. This is beneficial because since you can’t close your hand around the implement, you have to fire your first two fingers (the strongest ones), the last two fingers (the weakest ones) and the thumb very hard in order to complete the lift.
2. Full Body Engagement – Just as Muscle-ups, Hand Stands, and even Deadlifts require coordinated strength generation from very large portions of the body, so do Around the Worlds. At first glance, this lift may look like something that hits the hands only, but it actually will leave your wrists and forearms, biceps, shoulders, lats, back and glutes tired, if you do it the right way.
3. Endurance Based – Many Grip Training drills involve just picking something off the ground, but Around the World’s are different. With this drill, you have to be ready to put forth effort for anywhere from 5 to 30 seconds, depending on the intensity (% of 1 Rep Maximum) you are training.
4. Bonus! – You probably already have ALL THE EQUIPMENT YOU NEED to do this lift, which means you can save your money and put toward Detailed Grip Training Instruction.
I could go on about why you should do this movement, but instead, let’s look at How to do Around the World’s.
The movement is so named because you will be picking up two plates (from 25 to 45-lbs) positioned together smooth-sides-out in a Pinch Grip (thumb opposing the fingers) and working all the way around the plates.
Below is a video clip of myself and some people who traveled to my location to find out more about Grip Training for a day.
One of the main drills I put them through was Around the World’s, because it requires your whole body to work together as a unit. Observe:
Keys to Watch For:
Full Body Engagement: Notice as you watch the video how the legs and glutes are brought into play in order to transition grips placed on the plates. It is not an easy thing to control 90-lbs in your hands while keeping your body limp! You have to keep your core braced and fire the hips repeatedly in order to propel the plates upwards and shift them around…
Hand Speed: Take note that the movement involves a series of rapid firings of the body and the hands. Transitioning quickly around the circumference of the plates helps you keep moving steadily, while fumbling around will cause you to drop the plates and have to start over.
Concentration: Around the World’s also require hand-eye coordination. You’ve got to make sure you move far enough on the plates to make progress around them, but not too much, because you might miss and drop the plates. Take note that I continually cue the guys to involve the lower body. Newer trainees will become engrossed in executing strength with their hands and forget about keeping the rest of their body active. They will either relax their lower body and crumble or stiffen too much and not get the spring needed.
Loading: One plate combination may be too light for some trainees, while the next one up is too heavy. One easy way to load them further is with chains, as you can see done in the video. Chains are usually incorporated in lifts for the benefit of Accommodating Resistance, but in this case they are used as a way to increase the N-Planar Force demands of the lift, randomizing the movement of the implement.
Execution: Most trainees will be more comfortable executing this lift in just one direction, either clockwise or counter-clockwise. Don’t fall prey to this trap – make sure to work both directions.
As you can see, there is much more to this lift than you may have first thought. This is exactly why I consider it one of my High Impact Grip Training Movements.
Training of this nature no doubt will increase your performance in the Strength Game or with Sports.
If you are serious about strength and performance, then check out The Grip Authority. All aspects of lower arm strength are covered, in order to take your grip strength from being a liability you worry about to being an asset you are glad to have.
All the best in your training.
P.S. Have you checked out the Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales? If not take a look right here.
Just about every single product I’ve ever put out is discounted, with several other packages already set up for even further savings.
Don’t waste time though. These sale prices are only available until 10PM EST tonight.
Tags: around the world, grip drill, grip drills, pinch grip, pinch strength, pinching, plate pinch
Posted in grip hand forearm training for sports, grip strength, grip training equipment gear, hand strength, how to build pinch strength, how to improve grip strength, how to improve strength | No Comments »
Variety and Convenience.
These are two things I am always looking for in my training.
Having Variety allows me to constantly be challenging myself in the gym with new and different pieces of equipment. This keeps the gains coming and the PR’s piling up.
Convenience is very important to me because I have limited space for training and don’t want to waste time setting stuff up and breaking stuff down. I want to get in, get the work done, and be able to get out of the gym and enjoy my time with my family.
Maybe you are like that too?
Well, I’ve got a buddy named Ryan Pitts. Maybe you have heard of him. He runs a company called Stronger Grip Enterprises.
Ryan has put out a brand new grip training equipment system, called the Modular Grip System.
The Modular Grip System is a training equipment kit with loading pins and interchangeable parts.
This means that it will allow you to train various aspects of grip strength with a small collection of tools.
The MGS, as it is called, comes with two loading pins and various plug-in style handles which attach to these loading pins. Let’s run down the handles that come within the system:
1. Two Hand Pinch (normally $59)
This is a steel implement that attaches to the loading pin and allows you to train open hand strength and thumb strength, two very important aspects of grip which have carryover to all sorts of athletic activities and sports.
2. Plateau Buster Handle (normally $149)
This is another steel implement that is used to train true support strength. The handle is about 1 inch in diameter, meaning just about everybody will be able to wrap their hand completely around it and strengthen the grip for deadlifts and other pulling movements.
3. A 2 3/8-inch Vertical Bar
This device allows you to train in an ulnar deviated open hand position. You’ve probably seen vertical bar training before, but if not, think gripping a giant office
water bottle by the neck, or trying to pull a 2 and 3/8 inch thick horseshoe stake out of the ground. This joint orientation is also very similar to pulling on a long rope. Awesome for serious hand strength.
4. Thick Burger Grip
This is pretty much a new device for me, but it is very similar to block weight training. The Burger Grip is pill-shaped. Imagine lifting a giant aspirin tablet.
Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
If you’re looking for a good set of equipment that is going to last you a long time, then this could very well be perfect for you.
I own all kinds of Ryan Pitt’s Stronger Grip equipment and it is all top notch.
In terms of workmanship, much of Ryan’s equipment BLOWS AWAY his competitors in terms of quality and aesthetics, plus they are built to last.
Looking at the new design, I think this version of the Plateau Buster will be even better than the first version for dynamic training such as swings, because the plates will be loaded vertically instead of horizontally.
I still use mine to this day for heavy two-handed swings because I can actually get both hands on the handle fully, something most people are unable to do with kettlebells.
I hope Ryan puts up records lists for this equipment. I know it is always fun to see how much you can pull on new pieces of equipment, but when there are public listings available on sites like his, it makes it even more fun and allows you to challenge yourself for years down the road as well.
So, make sure you check out the Modular Grip System from Stronger Grip. Right now it is just $199 for the whole package. That is less than the regular total for the Plateau Buster and Two Hand Pinch handle.
If you get the MGS right now, you will essentially get the Vertical Bar and Burger Grip handles for free.
Enjoy and all the best in your training,
P.S. Ryan has indicated that he is working on other prototypes that will be coming out later as additional plug-in handles for the Modular Grip System. So that means even more goodies to come!
Over the weekend, one of the biggest headlines in the baseball world was that of Andrew McCutchen, center-fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, having to leave the game Saturday versus the Cardinals, shortly after making a diving play in the outfield.
This news makes most Pirates fans shake when they lay down at night because McCutchen is one of the best players on the team and the team is having one its best years in recent history. Losing McCutchen could spell certain doom for the team as they are knee-deep in a pennant race with the Cincinnatti Reds, going into the mid-point of the season.
McCutchen did not leave the game right away, toughing out two more at-bats after rolling his wrist, but you could tell that it was seriously bothering him as he swung the bat due to the pain etched on his face. That’s never good. McCutchen had to sit out Sunday’s game as well, but as of writing has not been placed on the disabled list.
This is exactly the type of injury that players and coaches dread. McCutchen is highly athletic and plays aggressively all the time. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the dive, even after making the play, McCutchen’s glove rolled beneath his body somewhat and most likely either strained some soft tissue or knocked something out of alignment in his wrist.
Plus, when you hurt your hand or wrist in baseball, if it doesn’t get fixed right away, it will be there for everything you do. And it might not hurt so bad that it keeps you from playing, but it will be right there hiding and every so often bite you again when you swing the back, move your glove in a weird angle, or push the gate open to go to the plate. Eventually, it gets into your head and even though it doesn’t hurt bad it still distracts you.
When it comes to injuries, they are always best avoided. Unfortunately when you have a spirited player such as McCutchen, who readily puts his body on the line for the benefit of his team, diving, rolling, sliding hard into bases, and breaking up players, trauma such as this can happen sometimes.
For that reason, for baseball players who want to play hard and put up the big statistics as well, it is important to do everything possible to bullet-proof the body. For the forearms, wrists and hands, here are some simple exercises that you can start implementing in your training right away that will hit your lower arms from all angles and start turning your hands into iron.
When swinging the bat, if you want to maximize your power, you have to have serious forearm strength to turn the bat. So for this one, we will target the muscles that rotate the forearm: the supinator, pronator, and others that support this movement.
For this one, you’ll need either a sledge hammer, axe, or some other long device to create leverage. Grip the hammer about half way down the handle. Start with the hammer head veritcal and from there, slowly rotate the hammer under control in both directions.
This video shows you a couple of variations of Sledge Hammer Rotations:
Plate Clamp Press
When squeezing the glove, the fingers do not ball up like a fist, they actually do a motion that is called clamping where the finger tips move toward the base of the palm. It is important to include this type of Grip training in your routine in order strengthen this movement correctly.
In order to strengthen your Clamping Grip, you will need four ten pound plates. Put them together in pairs with the smooth sides out. Wrap your fingers over the top of the plates and clamp them tightly into your palm. Now, perform a pressing movement overhead until you can feel the plates want to fall out. At that point, terminate the set, rest the hands for 30 seconds to a minute and then hit more reps.
Two tens is generally the thickness that works best for most people. To increase the weight by adding another dime can make it too large to fit in your hand, so if two tens is too light, try adding a chain through the center of the plates in order to add more resistance.
A couple ways to perform the Plate Clamp Press:
Pony Clamp Pinching
The thumb is an often neglected part of the hand, but it is very important to include it in your Grip training. One of the best ways is using a Pony Clamp. These are available at many hardware stores and even some dollar stores. I like the ones with flat handles the best.
Grip the Pony Clamp with one handle on the finger side and one on the thumb side and try to touch the handles together. You can perform this exercise for maximum reps, speed reps, holds for time, and if the resistance is too light for you, just wrap rubber bands around the clamp end to increase the resistance.
Here are a few variations you can do with the Pony Clamp:
The Pony Clamp with Extended Handles is one of the cool, effective, and simple training tools I show you how to make in Home Made Strength II: Grip Strength Edition. Click that link or the banner below to check it out today.
Extensor Bucket Lift
No Grip Training program is complete if it doesn’t feature some sort of extensor work. If you neglect your extensors, you not only can create an imbalance that could turn into an injury down the road, but you can also hold your strength development back. By strengthening the extensors you will also be able to further strength then flexors of the lower arms.
One way to do this is with an extensor bucket. I like to use an empty cheese ball loaded with steel and iron for the resistance. You can also use a pretzel container if cheese balls are “not your bag.”
Once you fill the container, stick the finger and thumb tips in and extend them out forcefully against the rim of the opening and then lift the container up. Once lifted, you can make the back of the forearm work even more intensely by flexing and extending the wrist.
Here is the Extensor Bucket in action:
These are just 4 simple exercises that you probably already have the equipment to perform, but there are hundreds of more ways to train for grip and forearm strength that can help you perform at a high level and stay injury free on the field.
My Ultimate Forearm Training for Baseball has over 200 exercises in it. Remember, it’s not only important to have strong hands and forearms for playing the game, but if some kind of traumatic injury takes place, the athlete that is best prepared will often get back on the field more quickly.
Let’s hope that is what happens with McCutchen. He is a great player that loves the game and plays with passion and flair, and it would be a shame for him to miss a large portion of the season due to this injury.
If you want to bullet-proof your hands and forearms, check out Ultimate Forearm Training for Baseball.
All the best in your training,
The Coolest thing about Ultimate Forearm Training for Baseball is that the overwhelming majority of people who have bought it from me do not even play baseball. UFTB is the most complete and most detailed resource of Grip and Forearm Training in existence. If you want training ideas for the lower arms, this is the resource you want. No one else can touch it in terms of content, illustrations, program layout, and of course my email product support.
Tags: forearm training for baseball, grip training for baseball, strength training for baseball
Posted in baseball strength and conditioning, forearm injury prevention recovery healing, grip hand forearm training for sports, grip strength, strength training to improve athletic performance | 4 Comments »
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