A Pile of Block Weights. I Love Grip
There’s no doubt about it: One of the greatest ways to bring up your hand strength is to train with Block Weights.
Because they have no handles, you must span your grip over their slope and pinch with all your might, in order to lift them.
They build thumb strength as well as well rounded hand strength.
As you can see in the image above, Block Weights come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but the most famous type of Block Weight is the Blob. The Blob is one half of a 100-lb York Dumbbell. The term “Blob” was coined by Richard Sorin, when he decided to train to lift this monster in a pinch grip.
The original style of Blob that Richard trained on has two sides on it that flare outwards much more than later models, and since it has a plumper slope to it, it is often called a Fatman Blob.
Recently having increased the volume and intensity of my grip training in preparation as Alternate for this year’s Mighty Mitts competition, I began training with Blobs to a much higher degree.
I was looking for a way to pack as much volume as possible into my training, while also keeping the loading a difficulty level intense, so I began training for as many successful lifts as possible within a short time, keeping track of how much time passed by placing a clock on the floor. I called this “Gripping Against Time.”
In the videos below, you will see a couple of the ways I turned up the volume on my Blob training.
Fatman Blob Plus 5-lbs for Reps Against Time
One way I like to make Blob Training more challenging is to add weight. You can do this by tying weight plates to a boot string and then draping it over the top of the Blob.
Fatman Cleans for Reps Against Time
In this video, I decided to increase the pull distance with the Fatman by perform cleans for reps instead of just deadlifts.
You can add these methods in your training as well. Take a Block Weight that is not really a test for you anymore and either add weight to it for your slower, grinding reps, or try increasing the pull-distance somehow, whether you go for Cleans like I did or something different like High-Pulls or even loading it to a platform that requires you to pull beyond the basic deadlift lockout position.
These methods will get you strong, so make sure to give these a try.
All the best in your training.