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Grip Strength Challenge – Inverted Gripper Closes


This week’s Grip Strength Challenge was the Inverted Gripper Close for Reps! This is an interesting way to train with Grippers as it puts emphasis on the first two fingers in a different way from normal.

Here are the submissions. As I said I would be I was very strict with the judging and only counted the reps if I could easily tell the Gripper went between the handles for the legal set AND if I could easily tell the handles touched.

Rick Walker – 42 Reps

Rick potentially had a lot more closes that were completed, however, I only counted the ones that I felt were clearly touching. He managed the first place spot even while blaring what seems to be Bel Biv Devoe or some other crappy late 80’s / early 90’s Hip Hop garbage! Nice classic Diesel Shirt by the way!!!

Josh McIntyre – 37 Reps

Josh may have actually been up in the 70’s with his closes but they went so fast and his big meaty hands were so bulbous blocking the camera that I could not make out if the handles were indeed touching. Damn good speed brother!

Ben Edwards – 14 Reps with #2

Ben follows the same gripper loaning system I do – forgetting he has loaned stuff out completely! Ben got 14 reps (and maybe a couple more that were obscured with a #2 Gripper, plus he did them almost completely no-set style. Very impressive brother!

Paul Tompkins – 22 Reps

Paul provided a very clear video. Having his training partner film proved to be the ticket to getting clear closes. However, his rep total was just a little low to climb to the top of the ladder this week.

Mike Turpin – 11 Reps

Great work Mike. You had another good solid 4 or 5 reps in you if you would have utilized the thumb in the Gripper close.

Darrin Shallman – 10 Reps

Darrin sent me a submission and I accidentally left it out at first – my apologies, Darrin – I did not see your video when it came in. Darrin may have tied Mike – with a little closer video, I might have been able to clear one more rep. Either way, you have identified grippers as an opportunity and know what to work on. Thankfully, the Vulcan will not be done inverted during World’s Strongest Hands 2011.

Congratulations to Rick Walker for the win this week!

Sorry for the tough judging, but that is just how it has got to be. To remedy this we will most likely not do high rep stuff like this again to avoid controversy.


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7 Responses to “Grip Strength Challenge – Inverted Gripper Closes”

  1. Josh McIntyre Says:

    Congrats Rick, super fast and clean. Your daughter is pound for pound, much stronger than me. My beard was indifferent to the taunt as its unable to discern humor. Its something I’m working on with it. Good call Jedd!

  2. Mike Turpin Says:

    Jedd- this was extremely difficult to set for me. Maybe a choker would allow me to figure this out. But i did find where my weak right hand lacks strength. Hopefully this and some index middle two finger pull ups will help. These fast vids blew me away, really impressed. It makes sense though, a couple months ago i could barely close the 1, normal. So inverted im equally as green. Most of my consistent work has been grippers. I now get 2 from parallel about 10 reps each hand. After raw nationals, im seriously going to focus on grip and sttongman as equals to powerlifting.

  3. Rick Walker Says:


    Your challenge your rules your call on the reps. You can only tell so much from a camera angle for sure! I, for one, like the rep stuff as I dont have to push hard on heavy attempts which works well with my “get stronger at grip by not training grip” approach lately. It also gets more people involved I think as they dont have to pinch 230 to get in on the fun. Most people can close a #1.

    Josh: her best pull to date is 55 pounds which is 1.5X bodyweight. So, she doesnt have you pound for pound…YET! My 16 month old sons can hoist a 10 pound db each at 23 and 22 pounds, so they are on their way as well. In a couple months our beards are going to have an epic duel that will be one for the ages. It has to be on neutral turf though, no homebeard advantage.

    With a “W” this week I might lay back for a bit. Havent decided yet.


  4. Mike Turpin Says:

    rick, KEEP SUBMITTING! coming in second with you would feel no different than first without you. i love seeing how i match up with you guys who are more advanced. it was unfortunate 3 competitors were out the wild card week i won due to their wins. i don’t know about anyone else, but i the happier i am when the results are posted is completely relative to the amount of submissions. these are not common youtube finds, so without submissions, you really don’t know where you stand.

    jedd, reps are fine, this and last weeks challenges were just not black and white clear boundaries. if last weeks was just “max plate curl” we would have had same form issues. if this week was similar to the max gripper challenge, you would’ve still needed to give evidence to the closing, same with medley challenge. you counted every proven rep. it’s not just about winning. josh’s video proves what he can do regardless of the attached “37”. i do agree with your decision this week, but i also imagine most of josh’s were complete closings, but you have rules. you sure do hear a lot of clickings in rick’s and josh’s submissions! paul and i were lucky to have each other to tape the other. we actually had to do-over due to lack of visibility on our first attempts. and imagine a high rep one arm snatch, overhand deadlift, hex dumbbell, etc. they are all cut and dry and easy to judge.

  5. Darrin Shallman Says:


    No problem and good thing the Vulcan is not going to be inverted or I would be in trouble come World Strongest Hands.

    Great job Rick, you made that look too easy.

  6. Ben Edwards Says:

    Congrats on the win Rick! You earned it man. Great work by the other guys too. Now I know for next time I don’t get points for using a harder gripper, lol.

  7. Rick Walker Says:

    Thanks Darrin! Squats always translate into gripper closing, so it turned out pretty good.

    THanks Ben. If Jedd does a harder gripper challenge, you are going to smoke me and Josh both. I think we are both #3 closers at best. You are closing some insane grippers.

    Mike, thanks dude! I understand what you are saying and I will mull it over.


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