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Smooth Sides Out, Dan!

Hey there everyone. Welcome to our Diesel strength blog.

Over the holidays, I found myself watching the movie Ace Ventura, Pet Detective.


If you haven’t seen this classic, Jim Carey plays a detective who hunts down the criminal that kidnaps the Miami Dolphins’ mascot, Snowflake. The culprit ends up being a former kicker for the Dolphins, Ray Finkle, who is trying to extract revenge on Dan Marino, the long time Dolphins Quarterback.

The reason for revenge? Years before, Marino supposedly held a a snapped ball incorrectly, (didn’t hold it Laces Out) causing Finkle to miss a field goal in the closing seconds of Superbowl 17. This miss sends Finkle into madness, causing him to be committed to an institution from which he escapes and later changes his identity to a woman police chief.

If you haven’t seen this and don’t believe that this is a real movie, then check this out below. I cued it up so that it starts right where Ace investigates Finkle’s Room.

Dude, who the hell can think of that storyline? Sicko’s. Whoever it is, they probably wear the same Zubaz pants Marino has in the one poster…Keep them the hell out of my garage gym.

Laces Out, Dan!


While Laces Out is the way to go if you are planning to be the place holder in the game of American Football, you also better be strong enough to catch and control the ball when it’s coming your way. With that in mind, here are some ways you can train your grip using some plates you probably already own or are already at the gym where you train.

Only instead of Laces Out, we’ll be pinching Smooth-Sides-Out (SSO)!


Two 25’s: Smooth-Sides-Out

Grip training is important for all athletes in all sports where you have to catch, throw, or hold onto something. Grip training is important for getting stronger at other lifts in the gym and it’s important for building the hands and wrists up to protect against injury in sports that involve high degrees of contact or the possibility to fall and land hard on the ground, field or turf.

Everybody needs to hit their grip. Here are several Pinch Grip combinations you can try in your training or with your athletes, using just some of the plates you have laying around the gym.

Pinch – Thumb and fingers oppose one another

Plate Pinching is some of the most basic grip training that there is. It takes almost no time to set up and you don’t need to go buy any extra equipment in order to train the hands effectively.

Here is a progression model of Plate Pinches from easiest to hardest for you to try.

Two 25’s: Place two 25’s together SSO (as shown above). Grip them with the thumb on one side and the fingers on the other and lift them to lockout!

Five 10’s: Place five 10’s together and get to work. You really have to squeeze hard, or else the middle plates will slide out and splash all over the floor.

Two 35’s: Now the plates are getting taller and the lifts are getting more difficult.

Three 25’s: The plates are shorter again, but now they are getting wider.

Two 45’s: Now it is getting serious. If you can pinch two 45’s, then you are world class for narrow, loose pinch! Here’s a vid of the feat for ya. This is one where hand size won’t make that big of a difference if the plates are of normal size.

Six 10’s: You had better have some seriously large hands to do this one. That is one of the main reasons I am able to do this feat.

Three 35’s: I only know of one dude who has done this. They were European 33’s but still an amazing display of pinch power.

Three 45’s: Now you are in uncharted territory!

You can see from the videos and pictures that the smooth sides are out on each one. This is important to maintain the challenge and integrity of the lifts. If you point the lips outwards, you make the lifts way easier.

Want to combine pinching with other athletic movements? Let’s expand on the basic lifts a bit using Extension of the Movement, as Smitty highlights in the Chaos Manual.

Plate Pinch Cleans

Set up 3, 4, or 5, tens or maybe a pair of 25’s and clean them to your shoulder. If you are really looking for a challenge, clean them up, lower them with one hand and clean them again over and over.

Move the Mountain

Set up some pairs of 25’s, and combinations of tens at one end of the gym, hallway or wrestling area. Pinch each combination and carry them to a goal line about 20 feet away or so, depending on how much of a bad ass you feel like that day. Run back and pinch another set and run them down. Shoot for the best time. If you drop them before the goal line, you have to pick the dropped plates up and start over.

Plate Pinch Halos

Pinch three dimes and perform halos. This is a great combo warm-up for the grip, forearms, and for the shoulders.

The possibilities are endless. Plate pinching does not have to be limited to just lifting the plates and setting them down – not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Because plate pinching is so easy to set up there is absolutely no reason to not include some form of it in your training so that you strengthen your thumbs, hands, fingers and wrists.

Now, I’m always interested in hearing more ways to train pinch, so if you’ve got something you are doing that is working for strengthening your pinch, please post it below in the comments.

By the way – two things to let you know about.

1. I took a big step forward on one of the things I have been working on today. Tomorrow should be another big step. This project is going to help a lot of people develop their grip strength and perform huge feats of strength.

2. I am off to Maine for an unbelievable ice fishing trip this weekend. If you have any questions for me, please be patient if I don’t get back with you right away.

I take my 30-day email assistance guarantee for my products like the Card Tearing eBook and Home Made Strength very seriously, but I am just not going to have any computers where I will be and I don’t know if my BlackBerry is going to get service out on this huge lake. I will get back with anybody that emails me as soon as I can on Monday when I fly back into town.

3. We have a Grip Training Session scheduled for January 23rd. There’s already 3 dudes planning on coming. I of course intend on recording it all as well as streaming it live for everyone to check out. If you have anything you’d like to see us try that will help you out in your training, please let us know so we can try to work it into the routine.

Well, that’s about it for now. I hope your workouts are going freakin’ awesome so far in this New Year.

If you’re working your way back into it. Don’t give up. You’ll be glad you stuck with it when you are lighter, stronger, and healthier in a few months.  And with that…

All the best with your training,


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5 Responses to “Smooth Sides Out, Dan!”

  1. Joe Hashey Says:

    Nice job going in depth Jedd!


  2. Richard Denker Says:

    What are plate pinch halos and how do you do them?

  3. Bill Jones Says:

    Great take on grip/pinch training. Really like the teaser/intro of the Ace Ventura thing. Damn…now I find myself appreciating the writing as well as the info!!

  4. Mike Rinderle Says:

    Great stuff as usual Jedd. People new to this should look for plates where the edges aren’t too sharp or you can tear the skin on your thumb webbing. Also, if the skin starts to get sore or you get a small tear, you can always put on a pair of work gloves to keep the workout going. Keep up the great posts. I can’t wait to come up on the 23rd!

  5. Mighty Joe Says:

    GREAT article Jedd!!!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Still waiting to hear from you about
    joining GA.

    Mighty Joe

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