McAfee Secure sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams
Share Print

You have not viewed any products recently.




Crush Grip: A Forced Rep Approach

October 20, 2004 02:23 PM

Comrades, I'm not a 'Captain of Crush'. That simply stated means that I cannot close the #3. For those of you who do not know what the '3' stands for I will give a brief summary and reveal some of my observations of how to properly train your crush grip. It will give almost anyone something to think about if they shake your hand.

There are five Iron Mind grippers that I know of. There is the trainer (100 lbs to completely close), the #1 (140lbs.), the #2 (195lbs.), #3 (280lbs.), and the #4 (365lbs.). If you go into a sports store you see hand grippers that are plastic. They are about 30lbs. strong. What are the benefits of those? Almost zero unless your rehabilitating from injury.

Common problems: "I can't close the tougher gripper but I'm somewhat there" or "I can't even close the trainer".

For those of you who can't close the trainer, I'll vouch that you will be at least closing the #1. For those of you working on the tougher gripper, you will close it, unless it is the #4:

There are a few ways to do this. The methods I've come up with based on my own experience are similar to what I've read from John Brookfield's "Mastery of Hand Strength"(get this book if your serious about grip work) and other grip gurus such as Joe Kinney.

First and foremost is overtraining. Grip is the easiest thing to overtrain simply because it is used in everything. Secondly, work other types of grip. The Russian Kettlebell Challenge book touches up on grip work with Kettlebells. There is also support grip and pinch grip. In this article I will focus on crush grip but will touch up on the importance of developing the other types of grip.

Simple secrets to training your crush grip

The solution and secret to creating a powerful crush grip lies in forced or assisted reps. The reps are slow and concentrated, do not forget to apply the Power to the People! tension techniques. Use a gripper that is clearly beyond you. If I am trying to close the #1 then I do forced reps with the #2. Also do forced reps with the #1. Here is a workout that should provide you with cycling the various grips.

Monday: Any other workout you have is fine. Do grip first.

EX: I am currently trying to close the #1.

Step 1

Do a forced single with the #2 (even though you still cannot close the #1) by pushing your hand against your leg to complete the rep as you crush. Repeat and stop well before failure. Rest at least 4 minutes in between each rep. Usually do 3 -10 singles in a day. If you can't quite get the gripper closed don't worry about it.

Notice the picture (attempt at the #4)

Step 2

Then drop down to the actual gripper that you want to close. Repeat the process that you did using the tougher gripper the #2 (pushing the gripper hand against your leg as you crush it) only instead your working with #1(the gripper you are currently striving for).
Repeat 3 to 10 singles a day.

Again take note (#3 is forced shut)

You're finished. Every now and then substitute a 3-4 reps two sets scheme to mark your progress instead of the 2-step process with forced reps on the gripper you strive to close.


Do a pinched grip workout. Use the pinch grip Iron Mind block. Pinch plates together or use the Telegraph Key TM device. If you can do pinch grip pull-ups then you need no advice from here;]

Observe (Thanks to Terry McCarthy a homemade telegraph key is available)


Do a support grip workout that could consist of suitcase deadlifts. One arm deadlift (the weight is in front of you like a regular deadlift only with one arm this time) is good also. Hang from a pull up bar with one or two arms with weight.

Endurance benefits.

After being able to close the #2 which is not that special, I closed the #1 20 times + after my workout for good measure. I never train endurance for crush grip. Again this writing is not for general grip so much as it is for specifically progressing crush grip. I hold small doubts that anyone will be able to at least close the #1 when applying this. You'll notice that there is not much volume when training grip. The reason is obvious. You use it for everything else. Good Luck.

Many thanks to family, friends, Philadelphia Kettlebell Club,, and Pavel for all your support.