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8/14/2014 7:00:23 PM - Little John
Hello Mr JL,
Thanks in advance for your advice, and as I told you at LTT8 your Friday Technique Tips videos are awesome.
Since you have a doctorate in grip strength, I have a question regarding how I can better "fire up" my grip? I've tried isometric holds on fatgripz, plate pinches with wide-flange 25 lb plates, wrist rollers and still get my hands torn up by the knurling on the bar with the lighter weights because my grip's not warmed up. When I get to heavier weights, the damage is done.
Is there something I could do besides just "being a man about it" or is a hook grip my only alternative? I use fat gripz extremes for rows and assistance pressing, use fat pullup bar (i can hang from it with bodyweight for a minute and weigh 300 lb.).
I saw a Dave Tate article mentioning how reverse grip bench drove his wrist and forearm strength through the roof, would swapping those in for close-grip pressing supplemental work (after the main lift) be worthwhile?
If it helps, I don't have any surgical or medical history that would have impeded gripping, but have never had good crushing strength.
Thanks again!
John d


I'm a little confused by what you mean "fire up" your grip.
Do you mean just prime your nervous system? Or are you using slang for getting better grip. I will assume you mean priming your nervous system because that makes more sense in your reference to the lower weight.

It doesn't sound like you are saying you have grip strength issue, just getting your hands ready for heavy pulls is the problem. There are several things you can do to achieve a "fired up" nervous system. My recommendation would be to use light grippers to warm your hands up, then put winter gloves on to keep your hands warm. Use moderate box jumps to prime your nervous system. Before I do really big grip work then I like to do box jumps to prime my nervous system. You don't need to do a max but it needs to be 80-85% to really get nervous system going.

After the box jumps go with a heavier gripper(not heavy but not something you could do for 100 reps) 5 reps each hand and you should be ready to pull.

As an FYI, crushing strength and supporting strength are two vastly different abilities. The grippers test and work crushing strength which is the dynamic ability to move your hand closed against resistance. Deadlifting requires close hand supporting strength which is an isometric resistance to force that is trying to open the hand. Fat grips are more open hand supporting which is great but not super specific for deadlifting. Crushing strength is much different. Using the grippers is just to warm up your hands and nervous system. Think of it as a general warm up. Pulling light weight is the specific warm up.

This difference should help change how you go about your grip training. Train for the quality you want to make better. If you want better crushing strength then train that, if you want better closed hand supporting strength then train that. Having a goal and knowing the different grip strengths will determine how you attack things.

Hope that helps, grip is vastly misunderstood,
JL Holdsworth

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