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Gripper Training – Gripper Drop Sets


One of the great things about Gripper Training is that there is a nearly endless variety of training methods you can do with grippers as long as you get your imagination going a bit.

If you have trouble thinking up cool and interesting variations in your gripper training, just think about a more conventional form of training and apply it to your gripper work.

For instance, one common method of increasing the number of reps and sheer volume you do in your regular strength and muscle building training is Drop Sets. This is where you perform a certain number of repetitions in a lift, and then once you come near to or actually hit the point of failure, you set the weight down and perform more repetitions with a lighter weight.

Drop Sets are also a great method for pre-exhaustion. The set is broken down into two or more parts with the earlier portion(s) of the set being used to pre-exhaust the part of the body doing the work and thus making the later portion(s) harder than normal.

For instance, in the Deadlift, you can hit a set number of repetitions with a starting weight, and then pull a plate off the bar and continue.

Here is an example of how to do Drop Sets with the Deadlift. Also make sure to check out the cool Lumberjack Beard that I am sporting. You will get a good close-up at the end.

In this case, I did not wait until I hit or came near to failure. I had the drops already planned. Either way will work fine for increasing the volume you are performing with grippers. Also, by the time I began lifting 135, my hands and posterior chain were thoroughly pre-exhausted and I had to put in more effort and drive in order to finish the set how I wanted.

The very same concept of Drop Sets can also be performed with Grippers.

In order to do this, you will need at least two grippers. One of them will be “heavier” and the other one will be “lighter.”

In this video, I perform a Gripper Drop Set, first hitting a filed Elite Gripper, then hitting a lighter, #3 gripper.

Normally, that #3 would go down no problem, but because I already attempted the Elite gripper and performed a static hold near the end range, I was pre-exhausted and it made the #3 gripper somewhat harder to close than it actually is.

This technique is especially useful if you have only a limited number of grippers in your collection. The lighter grippers will seem tougher to close and you will have to work harder to make the handles touch.

You can also set this up so that you do the lighter gripper first, followed by the heavier gripper. For instance, if you only have a #1 and a #2, you can perform a pre-exhaust set with the #1 gripper and then move to the #2. If you are currently closing the #2 when you are fresh, after pre-exhausting with the #1, the #2 will feel somewhat more challenging to close.

If you want to take this method even further, you can use a whole series of grippers and run down the table in almost a medley-type format.

Other variations for your gripper training include modifying the set depth used, the period of time holding the gripper closed, the number of repetitions with the grippers, etc.

Like I said at the beginning, the only thing limiting you in your gripper training is your own imagination. There’s no reason to ever get completely bored with grippers.

There are always more ways you can challenge yourself.

For more gripper training variations, check out the following posts:

Also, if you are really serious about your Gripper Training, then you need to pick up my On-line DVD called CRUSH: Total Gripper Domination. With over 2 hours of training instruction, you will increase your awareness of what is possible with grippers and see new progress moving up the gripper ladder.

All the best in your training,

Jedd Johnson

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3 Responses to “Gripper Training – Gripper Drop Sets”

  1. Todd Says:

    It was great to see your form for the deadlifts. I “subluxated” my lower spine doing T-Bar rows 6 months ago, and I’m struggling with deadlifting anything more than 135. Do you have other suggested exercises to strengthen my lower back to get back into this?

  2. Jedd Johnson Says:

    Thanks for the compliment on my form. I can tell you that I feel your pain. I have a history of lower back injury as well. Recently I have been doing three things quite a bit in order to regain my form on the deadlift: (1) Deadlifts – once I got over my last little back injury, I started out really light and just started working the deadlift consistently. I realize you are still having trouble with this though. (2) Stretching. I stretch my hammies every single day, sometimes even multiple times a day. I knew this was important but just got too lazy for a while. You should try this as well. (3) Planks – I do planks every week and I think after just 4 workouts with them my back feels much more stable. Before I swear it seemed like I had no stability. (4) Hip Thrusts. My current coach introduced me to these and I have hit them every week for a month and my glutes feel much stronger. He has also said it looks like my hip flexors have lengthened as well.

    I hope this helps. I am also working on a post about my back pain and will stick this in at the end in case you don’t see my return response to you.


  3. Fearless Men's Weekly Round-Up | September 27, 2012 Says:

    […] Gripper Training by Jedd Johnson @Diesel Crew […]

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