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Cesare Ricchezza Is In The Grip Well!


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#1 OFFLINE   Wannagrip

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 09:00 AM

Cesare Ricchezza is in the Grip Well!

 

Post your questions.  


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#2 OFFLINE   Anthony C.

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 11:04 AM

Thanks for taking the time out to help a brother out chez.

Just wondering what specific training, if any, you do to help with your set. This is the weakest part of my gripper training and I want to be that guy in the videos who seems to set a heavy gripper so easily. Any advice? Thanks!
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#3 OFFLINE   Mike Sharkey

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 11:06 AM

Hi Chez,

 

Everyone knows you as a gripper guy, but I know you are a serious strength dude in many areas.  Can you tell us how you got started lifting and how your progression went, i.e., did you start with a really high base strength like closing the 2.5 first time out, or was it something you had to develop.  

 

Couple other questions:

 

1.  How would you like to see the sport of grip progress?  Do you think it will become more mainstream, and how do you see that happening.

 

2.  What is your proudest accomplishment in a grip comp & just in training.

 

3.  How do you organize your training, i.e. do you have a single pinch day each week, axle day etc.

 

4.  What exercises that don't actually involve grippers do you feel have the most carryover.

 

5.  What general advice would you give to someone very new to the sport.

 

 

Thanks Brother.


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#4 ONLINE   PeterSweden

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 11:20 AM

Hey Chez! Nice to see you in the well!

Been waiting to get another round of the wellness.

 

1. How did you get into grip and grippers.

 

2. How long have you been training grip for?

 

3. What gripper was your max when you first started.

 

4. Do you think that you'll be training other aspects of grip as serious as you have been doing grippers, in the future? Try to beat records in 2h pinch etc?

 

5. When are you going to cert the 3,5?

 

6. How did you train to CCS coc3?

 

THANKS MAN!


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#5 OFFLINE   Anthony C.

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 11:52 AM

Also,

How much slower is your progress on your left hand when compared to your right hand with grippers? Not only now but during your whole climb to the top. Do you ever train left hand first so you have a more powerful set for it?

#6 OFFLINE   Chez

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 12:46 PM

Awesome. Happy to be here. 

 

Thanks for taking the time out to help a brother out chez.

Just wondering what specific training, if any, you do to help with your set. This is the weakest part of my gripper training and I want to be that guy in the videos who seems to set a heavy gripper so easily. Any advice? Thanks!

To be honest the set has always been my weakest link on grippers as well. What really helps is building up the upper body muscles that help you set a gripper. Build up your chest, arms, shoulders and back. A lot of guys want to train grippers without building up there body strength with weight lifting. I always tell them that they will still get better but they will never reach their true potential on grippers unless they really strengthen their whole body. Bench press, shoulder press, triceps extensions etc. are all really important for set strength since you aren't suppose to "pinch" the gripper to parallel but instead "push" the handles to parallel.

 

You have to practice your set over and over and over. Try and be a perfectionist. I learned to set from Paul Knight's video which I tell everyone to watch several times.  http://www.youtube.c...h?v=Qj9Ue9co4us. His technique is the best I have ever seen. 

 

Another tool I used in the beginning to strengthen my set was David Horne's Vulcan V2. Its super wide (over 3.5 inches), has smooth handles and provides tons of tension right from the start. Its very frustrating to set for these reasons. I use to alternate crush sessions with TSGs and the Vulcan V2. Getting better at setting the Vulcan makes setting regular TSGs feel super easy. Don't neglect regular TSGs though since the final close is harder on them than the Vulcan. By using both you get the best of both worlds.

 

I also don't believe in using chokers or narrow grippers. I know some people have used them successfully in training. But making things easier doesn't make you as strong in my opinion. Struggling is a good thing. Its makes you stronger. Even if I focus on Credit card set grippers for too long I notice my MMS set strength goes down since I wasn't practicing it.  


Edited by Chez, 11 January 2014 - 12:57 PM.

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#7 OFFLINE   Chez

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 01:12 PM

Hi Chez,

 

Everyone knows you as a gripper guy, but I know you are a serious strength dude in many areas.  Can you tell us how you got started lifting and how your progression went, i.e., did you start with a really high base strength like closing the 2.5 first time out, or was it something you had to develop.  

 

 

I'm going to answer this part first and answer the other questions in a separate post. 

 

I have always been a tall guy but I was very thin growing up. I was interested in strength training but I didn't know what to do and wanted to wait until I was fully grown because people warned me that training too young was bad for your body. I went away to college and met a football player on my dorm floor who would go to the gym at night with other guys on the floor. I asked him if I could start going with him. That is how it all started. I fell in love with the training. I was very weak in the beginning. I could only bench press like 95 lbs for reps and the other guys were moving a lot of weight. I Kept training over summer break non stop. I started to read everything I could get my hands on about training (Magazines, web posts, videos etc). I also started eating a lot on purpose even when I wasn't hungry to gain weight. Eventually I started beating the football player on several exercises and he started to follow my lead in the gym. 

 

I'm going to answer the question about my gripper base strength below because someone asked a question similar that I can even give a more detailed response to. 


Edited by Chez, 11 January 2014 - 01:16 PM.

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#8 OFFLINE   Chez

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 09:49 PM

Couple other questions:   1.  How would you like to see the sport of grip progress?  Do you think it will become more mainstream, and how do you see that happening.   2.  What is your proudest accomplishment in a grip comp & just in training.   3.  How do you organize your training, i.e. do you have a single pinch day each week, axle day etc.   4.  What exercises that don't actually involve grippers do you feel have the most carryover.   5.  What general advice would you give to someone very new to the sport.     Thanks Brother.

 

 

Time to answer these other questions. 

 

1) I'm really happy with how grip sport has been progressing lately. We now have major competitions like mighty mitts and nationals at Andrew Durniat's gym. Grip is still in its infancy though. I try to do my part by holding competitions in my area since I think the small competitions are very important. I plan on holding a competition in my area this summer once I recover from foot surgery. They may not have much prestige but they help introduce people to the sport. In order for grip sport to be become main stream we need more major competitions like mighty mitts and they have to have weight classes. Right now, the major comps are only for the really big guys like pro strongman. I hope that change that over time though. We need to let the smaller guys compete on major stages like the Arnold Classic Weekend. It will take time though and I think we are making excellent progress right now.  

 

2) unfortunately I have been dealing with a major foot injury every since my first comp. I have a genetic problem with over pronation on my left foot. It started to really bother my after that first competition. I'm very proud with my performance at my first comp since I only trained like 5 months ( a couple weeks of that was just grippers) before hand. Here is the video: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=QIz1-eaiBbw. The foot injury has held me back every since though. I had surgery on it 4.5 weeks ago though and I look forward to healing and getting even stronger. I have had a lot of great performances in training. Too many to list so if you are interested just look through all my vids: http://www.youtube.com/my_videos?o=U 

 

3) I organize my grip train like a body builder organizes his body part training. Day 1 is grippers, Day 2 wrist, Day 3 is thick bar and Day 4 is pinch. the whole cycle takes like 10 days so I obviously take rest days in between. I go by feel for the rest days. Some times just one or two rest days in between and sometimes more depending on how beat up I feel. I also train my body parts through weight lifting like a body builder. Often I combine grippers on shoulder or chest day (use to be leg day before the injury), thick bar is often on back and bicep day and wrist and pinch get their own day.     

 

4) I think all full body exercises help with grippers like the ones l listed above when answering the previous question. You need full body strength to be really great with grippers. Also you need to train all aspects of grip strength (pinch, thick bar and wrist to maximize your gripper strength) since it make your hands feel like iron and only help grippers. 

 

5) For those new to grip sport I recommend starting off slow. Build a good base body strength. Also read every they can and experiment with their grip training to figure out what works best for them 


Super tired so I'm going to answer more questions tomorrow. 


Edited by Chez, 11 January 2014 - 09:54 PM.

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#9 OFFLINE   Chez

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 03:05 PM

Sorry I been a little slow answering. Been very busy. Time to answer some more. 

 

Hey Chez! Nice to see you in the well!

Been waiting to get another round of the wellness.

 

1. How did you get into grip and grippers.

 

2. How long have you been training grip for?

 

3. What gripper was your max when you first started.

 

4. Do you think that you'll be training other aspects of grip as serious as you have been doing grippers, in the future? Try to beat records in 2h pinch etc?

 

5. When are you going to cert the 3,5?

 

6. How did you train to CCS coc3?

 

THANKS MAN!

1) It was 2008 and I was watching "The World's Strongest Man" and they mentioned that Magnus Samuelsson was one of only 5 five people to close the captain's of Crush #4. I researched the grippers and bought the COC #1 and #2. I then immediately bought the COC #2.5 and #3. I trained with them for a couple months I think and then just got busy and stopped training. They stayed in my drawer for 3 years. I picked them up again July 2011 and joined the gripboard (Someone told me about the gripboard by commenting on one of my videos). I was in law school at the time and decided to make certifying the #3 my goal to help deal with the stress of school. Through this board I learned about all the other areas of grip strength and bending. 

 

2) So I picked up my first COC grippers back in 2008 but I only used them for a couple months (I think like 2-3 months). I have been training non stop since July 2011 though. My workout log here was started after only like 2 weeks into when I began training again in 2011. For the first couple weeks I only trained grippers so that is all that is in the log in the beginning. I then branched out to the other areas.

 

3) I actually was kind of a freak on grippers right from the start. Back in 2008 I started by ordering the COC #1 and COC #2 based on the guidelines that I found online. I figured this would be good since I had been weight training for years at that point and I heard they are hard. I closed COC #1 and COC #2 both right and left hand right out of the box with no prior training experience. I immediately ordered the COC #2.5 and COC #3 which came the following week. I close the #2.5 right out of the box no problem right hand, Couldn't get it left hand. I also tried the #3 and got it pretty far right hand. I was some where between the #2.5 and #3 right hand and between the #2 and #2.5 let hand with no training at all. I closed the #3 pretty quickly MMS without really knowing what I was doing in terms of training since I wasn't a member of this board then. When I started training again in 2011 I started out at the exact same spot on grippers and closed the #3 right hand MMS in 5 weeks with a structured Grip training program. Its all in my log.

 

4) Yep, I'm working hard on the other areas of grip and I have hit significant milestones but I will probably never be as good at them as I am at grippers to be honest. My pinch, thick bar and wrist strength have all improved significantly. Grippers are just easy for me and they come naturally. I think everyone has 1-2 areas in grip that they just excel more at.   

 

5) The COC #3.5 is a big goal for me to accomplish this year. I'm right on track and should be able to take it down this year. 

 

6) To get the COC #3 CCS I focused on getting my MMS gripper close well above the COC #3. I was above an elite close MMS before I was able to CCS the #3 for the first time. Once I started to get close to the COC #3 CCS I then spent a couple weeks focusing on CCS. I actually have a video about how I train grippers which I put up recently: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=NHQdtyoiR08. I have also documented almost every grip workout I have done since July 2011 in my workout log here on the board.  


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#10 OFFLINE   Chez

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 03:10 PM

Also,

How much slower is your progress on your left hand when compared to your right hand with grippers? Not only now but during your whole climb to the top. Do you ever train left hand first so you have a more powerful set for it?

My left hand is just not as consistent as my right hand. I have "off days" more often left hand. I try to keep my hands pretty close in strength though by working them both hard. I always train my right hand first though. I should probably mix that up but I have more certs to chase right hand so the right gets a little more attention. I do have goals left hand. I have TNS closed both a COC #3 and GHP 7 right hand and I would like to do that left hand also. my Major goal left hand is the MM3 Off hand cert. progress wise my hands peak at different times. I can either be surging right hand or left hand. I'm rarely on both hands. eventually it evens out in the long run and my hands stay relatively close in strength.  


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#11 OFFLINE   Anthony C.

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 05:05 PM

Thank you for the detailed responses, Chez.  If I can think of anything else, I will post here lol.


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#12 OFFLINE   Mike Sharkey

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 05:19 PM

SInce we are talking grippers, what do you think of training in the various sets.  I.e., is it more productive to just do MMS work, or is a wider set more useful because of the extended range of motion.  How do you feel about TNS work?  What is your best TNS and do you have any goals in that area?

 

Thanks.



#13 OFFLINE   Six Barrel Shotgun

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 06:44 AM

How did you train to be able to lift your 50 lbs hex blob ?

#14 ONLINE   richcottrell

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 06:58 AM

Nature or nurture?

I was wondering if you have any theory as to why grippers come more naturally to you?
Thanks
Rich

#15 OFFLINE   barbe705

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 08:02 AM

first, thanks for doing this. 

 

1.  do you have a peaking program you use for a gripper cert? 

 

2.  what kind of rest/deload do you use before a cert/ comp?  both grip specific and in terms of whole body training.

 

3.  does your training look different depending on if you are preparing for a cert or not?



#16 OFFLINE   Anthony C.

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 10:44 AM

Chez,

What do you do to keep from developing tendonitis? Recovery wise...rollers, ice baths, etc.

#17 OFFLINE   Chez

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 04:56 PM

SInce we are talking grippers, what do you think of training in the various sets.  I.e., is it more productive to just do MMS work, or is a wider set more useful because of the extended range of motion.  How do you feel about TNS work?  What is your best TNS and do you have any goals in that area?

 

Thanks.

I believe the different set widths are all important if you want to be really good at grippers. The competitions and prestigious certs all require a different set (Even CCS is a "Set").  Most Competitions require a 20mm block set close. The top 3 gripper certs in my opinion are Captains of Crush, Mash Monster and GHP so if you want to be on those lists you need to practice those sets. I think MMS is the most productive though in terms of gaining strength and it has the most carry over to the other sets. I always tell people to get their MMS close strength really high and it will trickle down to the other sets. For example, you should be able to MMS close a gripper much harder than a #3 in order to CCS close a #3. You will need to practice that particular set a little once you are getting close though to refine your technique. The reason why I believe MMS is best is that you are working the hardest part of the close since grippers ramp up at the end and your hand is in the most advantageous position. Grippers are not the same as weights that you would use for weight lifting. A 300 lb Bench press is 300 lbs no matter what part of the press. Grippers get harder as the handles get closer. The set allows you get to and work in that tough part of the close. Plus MMS is a skill and practice keeps your set technique sharp. My set technique always suffers when I focus too much on the wider sets. I do dabble in the other set widths even when I'm not close to a comp or cert because it keeps training interesting and makes me more well rounded.  

 

TNS closes are pretty cool. It means you can just dominate the gripper. I have been training for certs and comps a lot so I haven't spent too much time training TNS. It def takes a lot more technique than most people realize. Some my Best TNS closes right hand are 2 different COC #3s and my GHP 7. I haven't trained TNS left hand in a long time so I have no clue what I can do now. I would like to TNS close my COC #3.5 right hand one day and be able to TNS close #3s and GHP7s Left hand one day.

 

Here are those right Hand TNS closes I mentioned:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPbRc-705Rc 


Edited by Chez, 13 January 2014 - 04:59 PM.

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#18 OFFLINE   Chez

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 04:59 PM

 



#19 OFFLINE   Chez

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 05:13 PM

How did you train to be able to lift your 50 lbs hex blob ?

I just pulled that off a couple days ago. Really happy about that. I use to think that thing was impossible when I first got it because I can barely get my fingers tips around it. I train pinch a separate day. Its usually the last training right before grippers since I feel pinch and grippers hit the hand very differently so I can train them close to each other (1-3 days in between). My pinch training day has changed a little over time but currently I train 1 hand pinch Euro, IM hub and then block weights and then dynamic pinch on my Sorinex grip machine (finger tips on the handles). I will either pyramid up through 3-5 working sets for each or keep the weight the same for 3-5 working sets of each of those exercises. I really like these exercise and feel they have good carry over to all pinch events since I get a nice mixture of thin pinch, hubs, wide pinch and the dynamic pinching is a nice finisher. I like keeping the 1 hand euro, hub and block weight working sets in the 3-5 rep range while I go higher reps on the sorinex machine (10-20 reps). I try to increase the weight as often as I can so I'm working super hard every time and always trying to progress either by do an extra rep or adding 1 lb to something. Its working really well right now. My pinch has been surging on all exercises.     


Edited by Chez, 13 January 2014 - 05:13 PM.

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#20 OFFLINE   Chez

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 05:33 PM

Nature or nurture?

I was wondering if you have any theory as to why grippers come more naturally to you?
Thanks
Rich

I have thought about this before and I think we all have certain events where we will shine more in. Part of this is genetic make up or human anatomy and part of this is because we are just more "into" those events. Jedd Johnson is a great example. He is well known for his pinch strength. 50 lb Blobs are toys for him (he just posted a video where he lifted a 50 lb blob to a platform for 20 reps in 1 minute) and he is the former world record holder in the 2 hand pinch. I could tell why as soon as I met Jedd. His hands are freaking huge. We are pretty close in height and when we first met he weighed about 20 lbs more than me. I now weigh about 20 lbs more than him since he has lost a lot of weight. So we are pretty similar in size but when I met him his hand engulfed mine. I made a joke and told him shaking his hand was like grabbing a bunch of bananas. His thumb is huge. Take a look at pictures where he gives a thumbs up. Jedd's hands help him on pinch events because he can get more hand around the implement. Jedd also really likes to train pinch. His gym is full of block weights and he made a video which he sells detailing his training on the 2HP leading up to his record. I'm not taking anything away from him because he trained really hard and I have nothing but respect for him and what he does for the sport. I just think these things helped him really stand out with pinch.   

 

I think its kind of similar with me and grippers. I had a very high starting point by closing the COC #2.5 right off the bat. Paul Knight told me that he thinks some people have hands that just better designed for grippers and I think hes right. I naturally set grippers as soon I tried without anyone showing me how. My set is much better now but I had some idea how to do right from the start. I also really like training grippers so I have a collection of 46 grippers and a grip machine. I spent a significant of time refining my technique and coming up with a training program that works for me. I get excited about gripper day and I put my heart and soul into the training. I think we all like training things we are good at. We try to bring up our weakness but we all get a little giddy training something we already know we excel at. My 2 Hand pinch has really improve but I gotta be honest and say I don't love training it nearly as much. 


Edited by Chez, 13 January 2014 - 05:36 PM.

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