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10/7/2007 7:06:27 PM - KEVIN CRONIN
Okay Smitty, I know the man to go to when I have a grip question. My problem is that I'm not seeing any progress from one week to the next. I did a 230 farmers for 130 feet last week (after being a head case about it for the first two sets) but then, this week, I could only get 235 lb for 70 feet on my best run. Other than farmers the only grip work I do during the week is the Kroc Rows, and my lats give out way before my grip does on those, so i cant possibly be overtraining my grip, right? What do you do/how do you evaluate any grip problems you have and determine the solution for yourself? I'm not sure whether to add in holds, wrist roller, crusher, sledgehammer wrist work (whaddyacallit, inversion/eversion or something?) or what. I don't want to overcomplicate it but what I'm doing isn't working.

I know it's tough to figure something like this out over the internet, and I'm not asking for a quick-fix magical solution with Nats less than 6 weeks away (although any direct exercise suggestions would be appreciated) but how do you and the rest of the Diesel Crew approach fixing a grip problem? More work, different exercises, or something else altogether?

Thanks a lot man, hope to see you at another contest soon.


Great to hear from you, big guy, I’ve been following your progress over on Marunde. Great job man…

Seeing you compete and reading about your training, I doubt it is a strength problem, but I do have a few unique suggestions for you.

The most obvious points are:

1. Walk quickly – cover as much distance as you can before the lactic acid builds up and the strength goes…

2. Regulate your breathing – learn how to breathe while under load and bracing

3. Strength – heavy rack, short ROM lockouts held for time build the support grip strength endurance that has solid carryover. You can actually set up the farmers on a high pin, usually about 4-6 inches from lockout, or use 2 olympic bars.

With that being said, here are the suggestions:

Suggestion 1

Start keeping a training log when you do farmers and note distances.

For example:

Attempt 1: 230 lb Farmers – 50’
Attempt 2: 230 lb Farmers – 100’
Attempt 3: 230 lb Farmers – 150’
Attempt 4: 230 lb Farmers – 90’
Attempt 5: 230 lb Farmers – 75’

As you can see by this simple example, your physiological state peaked on your 3rd attempt. If you monitor this closely, it can become very important at Nationals and will determine intensity and duration of your warm-ups. This example would dictate that your farmers attempt should be preceded by a certain amount of attempts and at a certain intensity. Obviously this also changes determinant upon which event the farmers event falls, meaning less warm-up will be needed if the farmers events is 2nd, 3rd and so on..

Suggestion 2

Also, closely monitor the frequency, intensity and recovery throughout the next 6 weeks. Subsequent intense training sessions should not occur as you have to vary the intensity to allow for recovery and compensation. Your training state and ability to recover is also dependent upon; rest, nutrition, and balance of strength training movements.

Suggestion 3

Utilize your wrists! Cocking your wrist when lifting and initiating the farmers walk will not only engage the musculature that cross the wrists but also force the wrists to initially take the load slowly transitioning to the fingers as time elapses.

Suggestion 4

Use the lats. Flexing your lats hard when lifting the load and continuously throughout the event, will pull in the upper back and shoulders into the movement - giving you greater strength and a further distance.

Suggestion 5

Offset your grip 1” toward to the back from center shifting the COG and mass of the farmers to your stronger fingers; i.e. the pointer and middle fingers. This one will be very beneficial.

Suggestion 6

Remember to chalk the back of your pointer fingers as they are the anchor point for your thumb!

Jim Smith

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