Last week I was in New Jersey at a workshop. Several of us split the costs on a big apartment house, and I was one of the last guys to get there.
As always, even with GPS guidance, I found a way to get lost…
At one point, I thought I was at the right house, so I stumbled out of my car in the pitch-black dark to go knock on the door.
It was hard to walk for some reason, and to my surprise, the lawn and driveway were covered in sand from the hurricane that hit last year.
When I finally got there, I opened the door and this is the first thing I heard:
“I’ll never be able to close this damn thing,” and then there was this loud THUD on the table, the sound of aluminum handles and a steel spring against mahogany.
I knew exactly what was going on – this fella was trying to close a gripper!
I could tell he was super frustrated and seething in anger at failing to close the gripper in front of all these other dudes
This was something I’d heard so many times from guys who are new to grippers.
They train so hard and want to close them so bad, but the handles just won’t touch.
Some of the guys in the room I knew. Others I did not, so we got the introductions out of the way, and I went up to the guy who was squeezing grippers. His name was Roger.
“What’s the matter, brother?” I asked him.
“I have been working on this thing for 3 weeks, and I swear the handles are no closer now than when I broke the gripper out of the package. I don’t know how you can close a #3.5 when I can’t even close the #1…!”
I paused for a second and just looked at him smiling, waiting for him to get a couple of breaths in him so he could calm back down and hear what I was about to ask him.
Finally, when the rage was gone from his eyes and his pulse had slowed a bit, I let him have it.
“Roger, I feel your pain brother.”
“What do you mean, Jedd?” You’re smashing 3.5′s.
Yes, that’s true. NOW. But when I first started I couldn’t close the #1 either.
“WHAT?” said Roger…his eyes got all big like someone just told him Santa Claus was fake. “But someone told me on-line that all the people who have ever closed anything higher than a #3 were able to close the #1 right from the beginning…”
“Not true, dude,” I said in complete truthfulness.
“Nope – it took me about 3 weeks of squeezing that thing as hard as I could before I finally was able to close it. Then one day, it was like everything lined up right and when I squeezed, I could feel the knurling on the insides of the handle grinding like someone was dragging a sewer great on a sidewalk.”
“Really?” asked Roger.
“Yes,” I said, “And I bet there’s a chance you can close that gripper right now if you just play around with the placement of the gripper in your hand. Would you like to try?”
“Yeah man, let’s do it,” Roger said.
So, I grabbed the gripper out of his hand and placed it in mine. I showed him how he had the gripper in his hand (see the picture below).
Back Handle TOO Far Back
“You see Roger, with the gripper positioned like this, so deep into the back of the hand, the fingers have to pull the handle all that distance in order to get the handles to touch.
When you squeeze it like that, it will make the feat harder for EVERYBODY.
Back Handle in Good Forward Position
BUT – if you place it further forward in your hand, then when your fingers squeeze against the front handle, they don’t have to pull so far toward the back of the palm and you get much more horsepower over the distance of the sweep.
Left: Gripper Too Deep, Finish Effort Much Higher. Right: Gripper Forward, Finish Much Easier
“See the difference?” and I squeezed it one more time with each variation.
“I think I understand,” said Roger. “I can tell it’s easier for you because it shuts so much quicker when you position it forward in your hand.”
“You got it, man. Now you try,” and I handed the Gripper over to him.
Roger took the gripper and placed it in his hand the way he normally would and saw what I meant. The back handle was pointing towards his wrist and he could see just how far back his fingers would have to move in order to close it.
Then, he slid the back handle forward, so it set more in line with the crease in the middle of his palm.
He got his fingers onto it and squeezed as hard as he could, and I could hear the handles smash together so loud, it was like the first time I closed the #1.
Roger, sensing victory, squeezed as hard as he could, like he was trying to flatten the handles, feeling the glory of his first #1 gripper close and the PoweR of a new PR.
When it comes to closing grippers, yes, you have to have strong hands. However, when you combine that hand strength with the knowledge of the proper technique to use with them, your gains accelerate faster than you could even imagine.
Gripper training doesn’t have to be filled with frustration, staring at the same 1/8 of an inch between the two handles every time you squeeze the handles down. With the right info, you can dominate grippers in a hurry.
If you want to understand all the true technical secrets of Gripper training, get CRUSH: Total Gripper Domination today.
When you know what you are doing wrong and how to correct it, the gains come MUCH quicker.
Let me know how awesome it feels the first time you feel those handles grinding together.
All the best in your training,