I have been continuing to work toward improving my Double Inch Deadlift with plans to progress to the Double Inch Farmer’s Walk.
Last week I was able to pull a solid deadlift and even got a good pause at the top before the bells overtook my thumb and ripped the Inch out of my hands…
I recorded some of the tools and methods I have been using to bring my thick bar strength up when I wrote about the double inch dumbbell deadlift last week.
The methods I covered in that post involved solely use of the Inch Dumbbell itself, however that is not all that I have been doing on a regular basis. I have also been using two pieces of training equipment, which I am sure you have heard about – Fat Gripz and Grip 4orce Handles, quite frequently.
Until now, of the two tools listed above, Fat Gripz has probably gotten much more notoriety, but I think that the Grip 4orce handles are going to get more attention very soon.
First off, I want to say right off the bat that I like both of these handles. They both go on and off dumbbells or barbells so quickly that they add next to no time to your workout. You can literally put them on and perform a set of one lift and then pull them off and put them on something else for a superset / giant set
However, I feel the Grip 4orce handles are equally impressive, but in a different way. I see them particularly powerful tools for building thumb strength.
So I probably just lost you right? You’re probably thinking, “How can a thick bar trainer help with thumb strength?”
Well, here is why Grip 4orce builds thumb strength…
When you put the Grip 4orce handles onto dumbbells and curl them, in order to keep them on the handles, you have to squeeze not only your fingers tightly, but also the thumbs must fire throughout the range of motion and continue to adjust pressure in order to keep the G4‘s secured on the dumbbell handle.
What People Don’t Realize about Thick Bar Training
What many people do not realize about thick bar work is it actually requires a substantial amount of thumb activity, especially if you do not flex the wrist while you perform the thick-bar lift.
In other words, when you lift a thick bar, such as an axle, in a double overhand grip, if you keep your wrist in extension, you will have to apply pinching strength onto the bar in order to lift it. If you flex your wrist more, then you shift the emphasis more to the wrist and forearm flexors, and also more on the fingers and less toward the thumbs.
The same is true for lifting the inch dumbbell. If you goose-neck your wrist (if I do this, I get a terrible pain in my wrist and have for years) the thumb does not come into play.
However, if you have your wrist in extension when you lift the inch dumbbell, then you essentially have to “Pinch the Inch” in order to lift it.
Pinching the Inch
This is how I have done it for years – I Pinch the Inch Dumbbell in order to lift it because if I flex my wrist to take emphasis away from my thumb it hurts immensely, almost like an electrical shock through my wrist.
This is also why it is even tougher for me to lift the Inch Dumbbells with them sitting outside my feet as compared to straddling them. When they lie outside my feet, my wrist goes even more into extension, requiring even more effort from and emphasis on my thumbs.
Back to the Grip 4orce handles. I first got a set when I wrote the owner, Jim Hartman, about sponsoring the 2011 National Grip Sport Championship. He sent me a pair to review and a few sets for the prize package at Nationals.
The first thing I did with the Grip4orce handles was to put them onto the dumbbells for my next workout that involved curls, and I noticed how much they work the thumbs right away. The next day, my thumb pads were very sore, much more so than any Two Hand Pinch or Block Weight workout I had recently. In fact, I would compare the feeling to a Volume Workout of Dynamic Pinch, using a Pony Clamp or TTK.
I feel the reason that Grip4orce training feels so much like dynamic pinch is because when you use them on curls, your thumb is acting dynamically the entire time, adjusting the force it is creating throughout the strength curve of the curling range of motion.
I have been using Grip4orce handles on every set of curls I have done since June, and I absolutely love them. They hit my thumbs, they work the fingers, and my forearms feel completely wasted after 3 to 5 sets of curls because they too have to work harder in order to keep the handles secure throughout the curling motion.
I continue to use Grip 4orce handles on every set of curls I do, and my Inch Dumbbell lifting continues to go up. I have even seen improvement in my gripper work, nearly credit-card closing a #3 for the first time ever this week.
I strongly suggest you add these to your equipment collection today. If you currently do curls in your training, this will make them even more worthwhile, and if you are not currently doing curls, then this just might give you a reason to put them back into your routine. They certainly have done that for me.
Get your Grip4orce handles here => Buy Grip4orce Handles
All the best in your training.