Grip Training (December 2021)

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  • #10545
    Fraser_9to5
    Keymaster

    I had to stop a max. set of straight leg deadlifts because my grip failed. Rather than rely on straps I wanted to run a program to improve my grip. I have a hand grip dynamometer and a Heavy Tension Grip Master from prohands.net so I’ll run their protocol and see what happens.

    15 Dec

    Pre-Testing:

    Left: 48.4, 47.4, 52.0
    Right: 49.6, 51.1, 49.8

    I (unsuccessfully) used the Powerball for grip training a few years ago and my best efforts from pre-testing then were Left: 50.1kg, Right: 53.3kg so my grip is about that level.

    Power Pinch: 3 x 3 x 5 secs
    Power Grip: 3 x 3 x 5 secs

    The manufacturer has a pdf of exercises and the two aimed at weightlifting are the power pinch and power grip. The end goal is 3 x 10 but they say to start with 10-15 reps of iso holds, and since I own a heavy tension I went with 9 reps. I’ll just do this 3x/week and test each week and hopefully that’s enough to improve.

    17 Dec

    Power Pinch: 3 x 3 x 5 secs
    Power Grip: 3 x 3 x 5 secs

    20 Dec

    Left: 48.9, 51.0, 49.7
    Right: 50.8, 51.5, 50.7

    Power Pinch: 3 x 3 x 5 secs
    Power Grip: 3 x 3 x 5 secs

    I was meant to test on the Sunday but I was busy so had to do it all on the Monday.

    22 Dec

    Power Pinch: 3 x 3 x 5 secs
    Power Grip: 3 x 4 x 5 secs

    The power grip is easier so I started increasing reps. Thinking about it, when I can consistently do 3 x 10 my grip won’t improve unless I buy a new grip trainer, so that’s a nice stopping point for this one.

    #10746
    Fraser_9to5
    Keymaster

    26 Dec

    Left: 51.6, 49.2, 51.9
    Right: 54.3, 51.1, 52.6

    27 Dec

    Power Pinch: 3 x 3 x 5 secs
    Power Grip: 3 x 4 x 5 secs
    Sock Stretch: 5 x 5 secs

    The sock stretch is for the finger extensors, and consists of spreading my fingers while inside the elastic part of an athletic sock. There are specially designed bands for this but a sock or the sleeve of a hoodie works fine.

    29 Dec

    Power Pinch: 3 x 4 x 5 secs
    Power Grip: 3 x 5 x 5 secs
    Sock Stretch: 5 x 5 secs

    Time to start adding reps.

    31 Dec

    Power Pinch: 3 x 4 x 5 secs
    Power Grip: 3 x 5 x 5 secs
    Sock Stretch: 5 x 5 secs

    2 Jan 2022

    Left: 54.5, 50.3, 51.9
    Right: 53.2, 56.4, 54.3

    I can tell just by how it feels that my grip is stronger, getting a nice linear gain so far.

    3 Jan

    Power Pinch: 3 x 4 x 5 secs
    Power Grip: 3 x 5 x 5 secs
    Sock Stretch: 5 x 5 secs

    5 Jan

    Power Pinch: 3 x 5 x 5 secs
    Power Grip: 3 x 6 x 5 secs
    Sock Stretch: 6 x 5 secs

    Added a rep again else I’ll be doing this for months.

    7 Jan

    Power Pinch: 3 x 5 x 5 secs
    Power Grip: 3 x 6 x 5 secs
    Sock Stretch: 6 x 5 secs

    9 Jan

    Left: 54.5, 54.3, 49.9
    Right: 54.1, 53.1, 50.1

    I used a massage gun on my forearms prior to the final set and I’m pretty sure that sapped my max strength. I initially squeezed 47kg with each arm but ruled that one out and waited another few minutes. Interesting why that might be the case, it was a light pummelling on level 3 with the cushioned head, and of course my expectation was that it would improve things slightly.

    That takes me to about 4 weeks and I think 8-9 weeks will be a nice stopping point, so around 60 days.

    #10888
    Fraser_9to5
    Keymaster

    10 Jan

    Power Pinch: 3 x 6 x 5 secs
    Power Grip: 3 x 8 x 5 secs
    Sock Stretch: 7 x 5 secs

    I meant to do 7 reps of power grip, hence 7 of sock stretch, but accidentally did too many. This was too difficult and I wasn’t fully closing the gripper on some reps.

    12 Jan

    Power Pinch: 3 x 6 x 5 secs
    Power Grip: 3 x 8 x 5 secs
    Sock Stretch: 7 x 5 secs

    Did I reduce the volume after making a mistake? Pfft no, stuck with 8 reps and coped better. My first set was submaximal but strong enough to close the gripper, whereas before I was doing max effort each time.

    14 Jan

    Power Pinch: 2 x 6 x 5 secs
    Sock Stretch: 7 x 5 secs

    A bit overloaded here, didn’t have the strength so cut the session short.

    16 Jan

    Left: 54.4, 53.5, 54.6
    Right: 52.8, 51.1, 53.8

    My left hand is catching up but I’m still sitting at ~54kg which I did two weeks ago.

    17 Jan

    Power Pinch: 3 x 6 x 5 secs
    Power Grip: 3 x 10 x 5 secs
    Sock Stretch: 10 x 5 secs

    I felt good after the Friday half session so extended out to the full 10 reps.

    19 Jan

    Power Pinch: 3 x 6 x 5 secs
    Power Grip: 3 x 10 x 5 secs
    Sock Stretch: 10 x 5 secs

    21 Jan

    Power Pinch: 3 x 7 x 5 secs
    Power Grip: 3 x 10 x 5 secs
    Sock Stretch: 10 x 5 secs

    I tried a 7th rep on the power pinch but afterwards I felt like I’d mildly strained both little fingers. It really is a case of being caution with this kind of training.

    23 Jan

    Left: 54.1, 53.2, 52.8
    Right: 50.1, 52.1, 52.3

    That’s the worst sequence with my right hand in about a month but not far off my best with left hand. I was noticeably sore in both forearms and I’m probably overreaching and need to ease back. I don’t mind short periods of hard training but I’m clearly not recovering in 48 hours so I’ll take it easy next week. I did 2 mins per forearm with a massage gun and they feel much better, definitely no grip tomorrow and maybe 2 sets on Wed & Fri.

    #10963
    Fraser_9to5
    Keymaster

    26 Jan

    Left: 53.0, 53.5, 55.1
    Right: 52.5, 53.6, 52.7

    28 Jan

    Left: 50.7, 49.0, 49.6
    Right: 50.2, 48.2, 47.4

    30 Jan

    Left: 55.5, 50.2, 48.1
    Right: 50.6, 49.7, 47.6

    I don’t know where that 55 came from, but that’s the end of week 7 and I plan to approach this again with the XX-Heavy Tension Grip Master. I’m now capable of 3 sets of 10 reps with 5 second holds for the “power grip”, and the power pinch is only really training my little finger.

    I tested each finger separately as well as testing without my little finger, and it contributes 5-6kg towards my total score. The heavy tension grip master I own is only actually 9lbs of force per finger, so everything but my little finger can achieve that easily. The XX-Heavy is 13lbs and the most resistance they sell, so if I can’t improve with that then my question is answered whether they offer any benefit for weightlifters.

    #10970
    Fraser_9to5
    Keymaster

    5 Feb

    Left: 51.6, 49.7, 48.7
    Right: 51.4, 50.6, 48.9

    That brings 8 weeks to an end. My average from a best of 3 started at 49-50kg, rose to 54kg by week 6 then reached a plateau and even dropped a bit when I tried to take days off.

    I’ve been using the Heavy Tension Grip Master (9lbs) but have now ordered the XX-Heavy (13lbs). I skipped the 11lbs because I can probably do a few reps on the most difficult one already.

    8 Feb

    Power Grip – 3 x 10 x 5 secs
    Sock Stretch – 50 reps

    I switched from holds to reps on the finger extensor work (stretching a sports sock, hence the exercise name). I ditched the Power Pinch as my little finger doesn’t need its own workout.

    10 Feb

    Power Grip – 2 x 3 x 5 secs (NEW XX-Heavy Tension Grip Master)
    Sock stretch – 50 reps

    Wow. There’s a considerable size difference which makes wrapping my fingers round the new one quite tough. I can’t quite put the middle section of each finger over the end which is a little frustrating. My little finger can’t close it but the other three finger can (index finger only just!). All future exercises will be with the XX-Heavy tension unless specified.

    13 Feb

    Power Grip – 4,3,4 x 5 secs
    Sock stretch – 50 reps

    Left: 54.0, 52.6, 53.4
    Right: 51.8, 52.8, 53.4

    Still settling into this new gripper, it’s so much harder but I’ve gone from 9lbs to 13lbs which is almost 50% so no real surprise. If I took up a new exercise in the gym and could only do 3-4 reps I’d expect to take months to reach 10 reps, so we’ll see. I’ll test my grip each Sunday and if it keeps trending upwards I’ll stick with it.

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