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Poll: Genetics And The #4


pdoire

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It seems like many here have gone from their beginnings in grip training, whether

they could close a trainer, 1 or 2, to being able to train in a relatively short period of time..(a year or two max) to close the IM#3.

However once this is accomplished there seems to be a drastic dropoff to those who climb all the way to the #4. If KTA, for example, gets someone to the #3.

Can it get them to the #4? Or whatever methodology was utilized to accomplish closing the #3..can that get them to the #4??

It seems the conquest for the #4 is much, much more difficult.

My question is :

Is it because you must have an elite set of genes to accomplish this super feat of grip strength?? or will perserverance for the not so gifted also work??

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  • Wannagrip

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  • Lich

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  • mobsterone

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I think it will take some folks longer than others to hit the #4 if that is what they are after. Guys like Tommy take a few years and guys like Dave Morton take under a year. I think genetics has a role in where your starting strength is, and once your novice gains begin to slow down (you know, when you could do anything regularly and get stronger) you have to start working harder and smarter to get to the next level.

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Ditto what clay said. I think it can be done with enough time and smart training, provided you stay healthy along the way.

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I personally feel that perservance and tenacity is the most important thing. Good genetics are great, but I believe almost anyone could close the #4 with enough time and training.

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king crusher

i feel the 4 is out of reach for alot people. no matter how hard they try.

its just not realistic to think otherwise.

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i feel the 4 is out of reach for alot  people. no matter how hard they try.

its just not realistic to think otherwise.

Why exactly do you feel that way?

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I went from 97lbs in 9th grade to 184 my senoir year thru lifting. Just because I did not want to be the skinny weak kid anymore.

I closed the #3 withen 4 1/2 serious months of grip training after I got my Coc. Only being able to close the #1 for one rep at the start.

After 2 1/2 Months of bending, I bent my first peice of 5/16 CRS Last night.

I wanted these things, and worked my ass off to get them. Thats all it takes. There is nothing else.. Anything is possible if you want it that bad and are willing to put the time, effort and sacrifice into it. To many people give up on things they could do if they really wanted to. Have a little more faith in yourselfs. I know I can do anything I really want and I make better gains with that type of mindset over a "its not possible" type one.

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mobsterone

Echoing those thoughts - desire is all. Gentics doesn't even come into it. Dave Morton is big, the others are not. The reason why so many go 1-2-3 and not 1-2-3-4 is becuase it is quite an achivement to do a 3 and for many that's like squatting 900 when the record is 1100+. Your already good, great even and you're already above 99% of whgat others can do.

Look at how many start grippers and find very quickly that the coc 3 is 'a brick'. From that group 20% knuckle down and plug away with half making it - even if for just one rep. It took me well over a year (in total) and I don't think I have had a day since that I couldn't close a 3 since. Prior to being able to do so I'd have said it was hard and never thought of being able to do it every day (if so desired).

But at the same time I never said I wouldn't either - do not place mental limitations of any kinds on what you can do - esp if it's been done before.

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I agree very much with the attitude and desire aspects brought up. Let me quote an old boss of mine:

“There is practically nothing a man can’t do if he is determined enough to see it through – whatever the odds. But the determination must come from within. And sometimes it must be pretty powerful.”

M/SGT Don “Woody” Hamblen

USMC

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daniel_lidstrom

Of course genetics play a big role. Not everyone is built to be able to close a #4, however determined they may be. Just compare a lightweight boxer with Hossein Reza Zadeh. Obviously they are suited for different things in life. The same holds for all kinds of achievements. We are all built differently, that is why the human race survives. Some people are just gifted and motivated enough to outperform everybody else.

--

Daniel

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mobsterone

Genetics do not: Look at the builds, hand sizes and overall body strengths (squats etc) of those on the list.

1998

Joe Kinney - not that big or that strong - but for sure real determined. Tough guy.

2003

Nathan Holle - ditto

David Morton - big lump and you could argue gentically well set up - but what about Tommy, Nathan and Joe?

2004

Tommy Heslep - much the same as Joe and Nathan - real determinded. If anything has more to come ;)

Magnus Samuelsson - in the same genetic pool as David M.

So that's a small group of 5 with three around 150-200 and 2 between 280 and 300. Therefore the majority are about average in appearence but have true grit and determination. Shit at 255-258 (current bodyweight) I'm in the 2nd group and my best in competition is a RB 300 and in practice I have had the COC 4 down to a 1/4 inch. I probably outweigh Tommy by 80-100lbs and he's kicked my ass on the grippers.

Ask the 'small' guys how they are special and they'd say they ain't. Place a limit on what you can do and there it is.

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One thing you must remember is that Grip is still a young sport - it may be that the training techniques to go from the 3-4 just are not that well developed as yet. That is just a possibility.

I don't agree with the thinking that you can do whatever you want if you put enough time and effort into it, but obversely you sure as hell aren't going to close the #4 if you set such limits on yourself.

I do believe that most people would be able to close a #4 if they are smart enough to avoid injury on the way - it might take 10 years or more for the "genetically ungifted", so you would have top be VERY smart to avoid injury in that time frame, but I think you COULD do it for sure.

Since this is a such a young sport, it is very hard to tell. We know for example that comparatively very few people have the potential to run a 9.8 second 100m or high jump 8 feet because we have had a 100 years of people trying to do so. Who knows what grippers we might be closing (or our descendants of course) in a centuries time?

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Wannagrip

Genetics does play a role. Saying anyone could close a #4 just because of desire? I don't agree. Grip IS young. There are LOTs of COC's out there. As I have said in the past, I believe a #3 is not world class by any means.

I believe there are lots of people out there with the ability to close a #4. I also believe there are guys on this board obviously, but they do too many other grip things and need to probably specialize for awhile to get there.

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mobsterone

Yes I was probably hasty in saying 'it does not'. But it's not the inhibitor that seems to be being hinted at by virtue of the smaller lighter guys making it.

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Wannagrip
Yes I was probably hasty in saying 'it does not'. But it's not the inhibitor that seems to be being hinted at by virtue of the smaller lighter guys making it.

Those "small" guys are wired up. Look at Nathan. He's strong overall for his size. My guess would be Tommy is as well.

I've seen plenty of "small" guys squat and deadlift over 700lbs easily and you look at them and go "wow".

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The genetic limitation is not necessarily size related, though it may very well be.

What about the person who's parents were frail...no manual labor...for generations

in the family. Their grip is at best average maybe below...they may be able to make great improvement....but do you really believe they can achieve unlimited potential with their genetic handicap??

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What about the person who's parents were frail...no manual labor...for generations

in the family. Their grip is at best average maybe below...they may be able to make great improvement....but do you really believe they can achieve unlimited potential with their genetic handicap??

Whoa, I've got to disagree with the statement that a family's work history has anything to do with genetics. Just because your great grandpa wasn't slinging around bales of hay on the farm, doesn't mean you don't have great genetics. It's nature (genetics) versus nuture (manual labor). No "genetic handicap" there, just an untested genetic potential.

As far as the #4 is concerned, I feel it's possible for anyone willing to work hard and smart enough.

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mobsterone
Yes I was probably hasty in saying 'it does not'. But it's not the inhibitor that seems to be being hinted at by virtue of the smaller lighter guys making it.

Those "small" guys are wired up. Look at Nathan. He's strong overall for his size. My guess would be Tommy is as well.

I've seen plenty of "small" guys squat and deadlift over 700lbs easily and you look at them and go "wow".

'for their size' exactly sums up what I'm getting at. I don't believe they or anyone like them has some magic tendon attachments, eats special foods etc etc so what is it that made the 700lbs squatter stand out and beat bigger heavier guys in you opinion?

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My two cents:

Goals: Many put there goal to certifying on the #3. When they achieve that they lose some desire and determination to continue on to get the #4. After all, another hard year of grippers is hard to commit to when there are so many other grip feats to work on (pinch, bending, tearing, thickbar)

IM certification change: Now you cant just get the #4 you must credit card the #4. Many do not believe that this feat is within there reach even if they spent a year after getting the #3. This might require two additional years of hard gripping to accomplish. For someone with average hands this might seem like an impossible goal, I dont for a minute think it is impossible but I can see how much time and effort would be needed to accomplish this.

Injury: As you get up working to the #4 you will likely suffur additional injury setbacks. The negatives above the #4 level will take a toll on your hands. The chance of injury must be higher working with these grippers.

I still think it is possible and agree with those who said determination was the way to the #4.

Greg

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i will close the 4 eventually.

at first the 3 felt like a brick...now i can get it to parallel or better.

the 4 will take alot of work and commitment. Look at kurt and what he has done in a short amount of time. sure, 197lbs might be a bit of an exaggeration :D but he worked his ass of to close a 3 and bend grade 8's.

I believe that most people are content with just closing the #3.

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I think genetics are required, but not sufficient. For most people, the hard part is the determination and time to get to the #4.

It is obvious that some people cannot close the 4 (or 3 or 2 or 1). No offense intended at all, but some people cannot close a gripper due to genetic issues (obviously genetically handicapped people, not having the muscle ability or mental ability).

Remember this post:

http://www.gripboard.com/index.php?showtop...indpost&p=95733

Where the author was constantly surprised about how much people's forearms were different, split tendons, dual tendons, etc.

Apparently, the Palmaris Longus muscle, which partly operates as a weak flexor of the wrist shows a lot of variation. 11% or so of the population don't have it at all!

http://www.gpnotebook.co.uk/cache/-1019936742.htm

Is having this muscle a real benefit (or detriment) to closing a gripper? Has anyone closed the #3 that doesn't have this muscle? The #4? There's enough people on the COC list, it would certainly be interesting to find that all of them had this muscle.

When I was running marathons (slowly), I had my VO2 Max tested, and based on what we know about the human body, I am incapable of running a 2.5 hour marathon. No matter what I do the rest of my life, no matter how I train or eat, I'll never run a 2.5 hour marathon. My body just isn't built for it.

Having small hands and no Palmaris Longus might make it tons more difficult to close a gripper, but for the 1,2,3, I think determination is still the key factor.

If one was willing to do everything possible in their life to close a gripper, my guess would be something like the following percentage of nonobviously handicapped males in the population aged 20 to 50 could close the following grippers:

Trainer: almost 100%

1: almost 100%

2: 90%

3: 70%

4: 50%

These numbers are just wild assed guesses. But at some point, genetics starts playing a larger and larger role, just like running a marathon. Most people can run a marathon if they train hard enough. Most people cannot run a 2.5 hour marathon, no matter how hard they train. We just don't know enough about the human body to understand genetic grip limitations as well as we understand V02 max, so we don't know where the dividing line is where genetics starts playing the major role.

On a side note, when I started in February 2004, with an unknown number of palmaris longus muscles, I allocated three years of training to close the #3. And I'm right on target - maybe even a little ahead of schedule. :)

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It's weird really, I would never possibly be satisfied with closing the 3. My goal is the 4, not the 3. The 3 to me is just a step to the 4. I never realized people could be satisfied with closing the 3 until I started using the gripboard.

Keep in mind, I am saying this at a time where I just closed the trainer lol. Still, the number 4 is the ultimate goal to me.

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When I was running marathons (slowly), I had my VO2 Max tested, and based on what we know about the human body, I am incapable of running a 2.5 hour marathon.  No matter what I do the rest of my life, no matter how I train or eat, I'll never run a 2.5 hour marathon.  My body just isn't built for it.

Hmmm not sure what to say to this. You can raise, lower your VO2 max. Perhaps at the time with your current VO2 max you couldn't run 2.5 hour marathon but I completely disagree that you could have never run that time in the marathon. I don't know what your body type is, or what your level of training is but I do know for most that running that time requires a HUGE amount of training and lifestyle changes. In that respect it is impossible for people to run that fast but only because few have the determination to do what is necessary. I forgot which Powerlifter it was, either Dave Tate or Louie Simmons, but a few years back he went and got tested by several leading exercise physiologists. They told him he had reached his strength potential and would not get any stronger. He then went on to add another 300lbs to his total because he learned to train smarter (CNS adaptation). If you had asked people 10 years ago if they thought an 800lb bench press was possible most would have probably laughed at you. Now 1000lbs will fall soon, and has already fallen in training. People do have genetic limitations but they are far beyond what I think most people believe.

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