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CoC #3

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I encourage all of you to look at this post objectively.  These are just some thoughts that I think might be important.

Hey, I've been thinking for a while that someone closing the number 3 should not be considered world class.  Not to downplay anybody's accomplishments, but lets be realistic.  If there are so many people closing it in 2 years, how incredible could it be?  I know it takes a lot of work and all, but so does any other lift, and with 2 years of training, no one becomes "world class," even with steroids.  If it takes you 4 years, which seems to be more common, that is still relatively a short amount of time.  I think the main reason why more people have not closed the #4 is because of a mental block.  People sort of know it can be done because Joe Kinney did it, but the guy is a mystery.  Maybe if he posted on this board, gave training tips, general motivation, etc., then we might have like 5 people closing the #4.  There are about 50 or so "Certified" Captains of Crush, but I'd be willing to bet that the actual number of people who can close it would be in the hundreds.  Keep in mind that not everyone will take certification seriously enough to go through the trouble of finding someone to officially witness it, and take a clear pic, some people live too far away from an official witness, some people may not even realize that they should GET certified.  Also keep in mind that not every one who uses the grippers reads the GripBoard.

Imagine if weight training were a new concept.  No one does it.  Then there is a company making numbered barbells.  The equivalent of a #3 gripper is the #3 barbell.  It would probably weight 300-350 lbs.  Not many people would be able to bench press it at first, but lets say that is what everyone trained for.  After a few years of training some people might be able to do it, although it would probably take more than a few years.  While benching 350lbs is impressive, its not amazing.  Then they make a number 4 barbell.  It is 500lbs.  Not many people would be able to bench that either.  But training hard, lets say one person does it.  If he gets enough attention there would soon be lots of people doing it.  If no one really knows about it, the #3 will still be a marvel.  This has been evidenced thoughout the modern history of the iron game (after the old time guys.)  There are plenty of examples of this in Dr. Strossen's book: "Ironmind: Stronger Minds, Stronger Bodies"

Again, I am not trying to say that closing the number 3 is not a great accomplishment, just not world class (even though that is the currentstandard for world class grip strength, it will change.)  It is a great accomplishment.  I respect anyone who can close the number 3 and I respect anyone who can bench 350.

Just some food for thought,

Michae Falkov

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Guest

Not to get too hung up on semantics, but I think the reason that it's characterized as world class is simply because so few people have done it...yet.  Every sport has to start somewhere in terms of its records.  You can't define a world record in terms of some hypothetical future limit effort because it can't be known in advance.  I agree that the potential in this area is untapped because so few people have tried.  But everyone who reaches a high level can still feel good about that, I think (I know you're not stating otherwise :) ).

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Wannagrip

Well, since it's not world class we'll all be looking for YOU to close the 3 really soon! ;)  Gee, what a coincidence your statement comes when another member here gets certified....

Your numbers are off and don't correlate with your logic.

Many of us have been LIFTING for years and grip was not our main focus by far.  Most people can't squat double bodyweight for 10 reps. They can't do the same with deadlifts.  Can't bench 2 times bodyweight.  A 300-lb inch crush is not world class?  Mr. Sorin did 621.  I would assume THAT is world class to you?   So we have 300-600lb range.  The 300lb range I DOUBT is equivalent to a mere 350 bench.  

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Tom Black

    I think I could write a response longer than your original post, but I’m holding back!  You said: “There are about 50 or so "Certified" Captains of Crush, but I'd be willing to bet that the actual number of people who can close it would be in the hundreds.” I would take that bet any day of the week, how much?  Hundreds?  Exactly who are these people?  You equate a 350-pound bench to the #3, well, I’ve seen quite a few people bench 350 or more in my local gym, but I don’t even bother to bring in my #3 for tests, because these same guys are pitiful on the #2.  I’ve also seen some strong powerlifters up at York last year fail on the #2 gripper (one of which almost squatted 1000-pounds the day before, something I did not know when I saw his number 2 attempt).  Surely, this man is a “world class” strength athlete (admittedly in powerlifting) and certainly by your logic would be a contender for one of the “hundreds” who could close the #3, but he couldn’t even do a measly #2.  I would take your bet any day, because I have seen these things with my own eyes, and I am not guessing at the outcome.

     Here’s another personal observation:  a member of York Barbell's Hall of Fame witnessed me close a #2 gripper and then asked me a ton of questions about how to train on the grippers.  It felt very weird having this “Man-Mountain” ask measly little old me how to train for strength.  He could not close the number 2, and has trained on it.  Wouldn’t he be one of the unknown hundreds who can close the #3?

    Also, as Wannagrip said, some who close the grippers quickly have many years of strength training in which they’ve built their grip strength already.

Thanks for the interesting argument Quick Grip, but I don’t agree :)

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Guest JD79

In my opinion the guys who can close the #3 out of the box or a few days after usually have either very large hands, or have been traiing for years or doing physical labor.  To equate this to your arguement about the bench lets look at it this way.  I only did military presses.  Eventually I got to where I could get 300 or so pounds.  I also did dips with around 200lbs.  When I first used the bench, I was able to get 400lbs.  Does this lessen the feat?  No, it was an example of carryover strength.  The same thing is seen in men who work their grip in other ways but the grippers and who do hard physical labor.  The groundwork has been set, now its time for the technique.  My point is that the #3 is still world class, its just more widely known now.  Does this detract from its greatness, nope.  I hope this makes sense and remember this is just my opinion.  I still think it will feel great to mash the handles on a #3, no matter what.

JD

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Guest Cap

I am usually one to proclaim that the grippers are much easier than many on this board make them out to be, but very few people can close the number three with out training for a while.  The number four hasn't been reached by more than Kinney, recently and you feel if he motivated others on this board 4 or 5 could do it?  No offense but this is unrealistic.  Ill be closing the number three in the next couple of years, probably a lot sooner, and I feel it is not an unreachable feat for anyone who trains long enough, however what is the definition of world class.  I would define it as something very few people the world over have done or can do.  From what I've seen the number three is this.  I believe the trainer is a joke.  The number one can be done by most moderately strong people.  The number two is rarely closed by non-trainers and the three is KILLER.  According to your theory, that it just takes a few people to break this mental block, now that we know the older grippers were on average much harder than the new ones, Kinney, Sorin and Brookfield all have a crush equal to or grater that of a number four, in Sorin far better.  So by your rational a bunch of people will be able to close the four in the next year because the "mental block" is gone.  Lets wait and see I bet no more than one person and it is doubtful if anyone closes the four in 12 months.  I dont believe the three is equal to a 900lb squat or a 800lb deadlift or 650 bench, but untill you close the three and then let everyone you know try it, and watch them fail you'll understand that it is world class.  

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Sybersnott

Quick Grip,

So where does one "set the standard"?  How does one measure up against his fellow man?  The #3 was set as a mark to achieve, and how many people can close it each year?  How many try each year?  

Your argument is flailed - sorry, I'm not buying it.  Someone somewhere at some point in time sets the "standard" and then others match or better the

mark.  I just picked up the January copy of POWERLIFTING USA.  It caught my attention because of Gary Frank's total of over 2500 - a mark that many have been trying to attain for years, but couldn't.  I think that the CoC #3 IS JUST THAT TYPE OF MARK.  I had lots of people try to close some of my grippers.... they couldn't.  They couldn't close the #1!  Just look at the list of people that have tried AND FAILED to close the #2!  Perhaps in a few years the #3 won't be anything special -  but for right now.... closing it is.  Amen!

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Guest AghastGrip

I was going to type a long post arguing, but you guys did a great job already! ;)  It's good that we can have these positive arguments on the board without things getting too personal. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and this is definitely the place that opinions/debates should always be welcome.

I'm getting my #3 in the mail by Friday, so I'm gonna close that thing if it's the last thing I do, lol. World class or not, anyone who can close a #3 has my upmost respect, along with countless others'.

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Guest woody36

QG,

      It may seem like everyones closing the three

lately but what you've got to remember

 is that theres only been 40-50 over a ten year period

or so.The people who are closing it recently will have

struggled for years to get to this stage.

 If you look at some of the other feats of strength

that guys like Sorin ,Horne and Mckinless have done

  you'll appreciate just how strong you have to be

to close the three.

 ps.  great post,you certainly riled the masses.

   Woody.

'

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Wannagrip

And  some are gifted in grip as well and do it in much less time.  

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bseedot

Hi Michael-

It seems that you're possibly trying to argue for the potential future number of people closing a #3 and that's fine.  But we don't know the variables of the future to able to accurately gauge the number of Certified COCs at some future time.

There is a mentality in finance known as "recency".  We see recent events as a trend bearing "truth" as to how the future will play out.  In finance, at least, this, however, is rarely true (anyone want to buy an internet stock now?)  So we see that "so-and-so" is getting Certified, and so is another "so-and-so", and yet another "so-and-so" and we assume that the flood gates have opened and that this is just the tip of the iceberg.  We thus suffer from recency.  We forgot the more distant past that saw entire years in which no one was certified.  We forget that, statistically, the same percentage of people who try to become Certified may hold true.  How many people do you think were training for Certification in 1991?  How many people do you think will are training for Certification in 2001?  For the sake of illustration, let's say that the number was 100 people in 1991, which is probably a generous number.  Thus, 1% would become Certified in '91.  Last year 13 people became Certified and let's generously project that 20 will become Certified this year.  That means that 2,000 people would be training to close the #3 this year, which is not at all an unreasonable number.  Nominally the number of Certifieds may be much higher, but based upon percentage we see that that's not the case.  

And what happened in 1999?  Only four were Certified.

I suppose I've yapped enough now, but I'll end quoting you:

"Again, I am not trying to say that closing the number 3 is not a great accomplishment, just not world class (even though that is the currentstandard for world class grip strength, it will change.)"

So you do realize that currently being Certified is considered world class.  The bar can be set higher in the future, but we don't know that it will be.  We don't discount Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods today because we assume someone will be better tomorrow.  It is unknown.

BC.

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mobsterone

hmm starting by saying that it isn't a negative comment (my words your inference) and yet filling the 'rant' with such is always gonna be flamed and boy have you!

Closing a number three is not 'an indiaction of world class strength'. That's right its not. It doesn't mean that the individual has the strength to bench 350 - I don't. It dosn't mean he or she will be a great lifter and yet many great and very strong lifters fail. So the reverse is true.

All that it means is that we can shut a very tough gripper.

But it also means we can do something that 100's have tried and are still training to do. I wonder how many grippers Randall has sold. 1000's perhaps and only 40 or so have succeeded some having had to train for ages.

 

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Guest 2DOGZ

I apologize for not knowing the exact quote, but when you buy a COC one of the notes from the makers say is "this is for fun, if you want something more official, look into Olympic Weight lifting" And you know what?  I love that! This is fun, I love doing some "light exercise" in my home gym and working on specialized muscle groups like the grip or neck or stretching.  I love having a fun goal, like closing the COC #3... Any ways, that's my rant

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3Crusher

Since Vasily Alexeyev cleaned and jerked over 500 pounds about 30 years ago, how many guys have since succeeded in this lift with over 500 pounds?  It has to be at least another few hundred since then.  A clean and jerk of 500 pounds is pretty commonplace amongst the heavier Olympic lifters these days.  Using the logic presented in the original post a clean and jerk of 500 pounds is no longer considered world class since hundreds more people have done this lift with 500 pounds since Alexeyev first did it.  Closing a #3 gripper is nothing compared to lifting 500 pounds over your head, and is a very different display of strength.  I am sure more people have tried to clean and jerk a heavy barbell than have tried the CoC grippers, but closing a #3 gripper is still a nice accomplishment.  I believed this more even before I closed a #3 gripper, because I had not done it yet!  I believe that over the next 20 years as more people find out about the grippers, the number of official closers will move into the hundreds, but just because a few hundred people have succeeded at something does not immediately take the accomplishment out of a supposed world class display of strength.  Let's say that 10,000 people out of the approximately 6 billion on this earth can close the #3 gripper, that still only represents .000167% of the world's population.  No matter how you slice it, closing a #3 is still a pretty rare feat of strength.  The only reason is may seem "commomplace" on the grip board, is because you have a very small gathering of people here, of which a decent number have closed the #3.  It is the same thing if you attended the Olympic games and were one of the Superheavyweight lifters.  If they had a discussion amongst themselves,  a 500 pound clean and jerk would be commonplace for them, but not to the rest of the world's population.  As for the #4 being a mental block?  It is just a very hard gripper, that's all.  It would take specialized training to get it, but as far as a mental block?  I don't think too many guys on this board have mental blocks, or else they would not be achieving what they are achieving.  Just my two cents.  Steve Weiner

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Solan

QuickGrip, thanks for having the courage to post this. I do agree with your question, but I do not agree with your conclusion.

There will always be an issue of what is "world class". Running the mile in more than 4 minutes is no longer world class, even though the world record once was more than 4 minutes. So what you seem to be saying is that the equivalent of the 4-minute barrier has been broken.

The number of people who can close the #3 and not "bother" to certify would be extremely low. People are vain, and they want to be seen; that goes in particular for high achievers. The many claims from people who "have closed the #3 but haven't bothered to certify" is nothing but phony posing: The feign an attitude of indifference about something they shout out loud.

So we can assume that the number of #3 closers equals the number of certified #3 + the few who are working on getting it consistent for certification.

The recent influx of CoC's? I think many people who have had a strong grip for long have been inspired by the focus in literature in the last few years (Dino training, and perhaps also this board) to make the effort for the last few millimeters on the #3 and get certified.

So the question is if the reservoir of strong grips has been exhausted by this, or whether there still are some strong grips out there who haven't caught on to the vogue. That, however, will remain an open question for now. Only strength historians of the future can tell. For now, closing the #3 is something 50 people in the world can do. Which fits my definition of world class.

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Guest Sarpedon

I am against anything that makes me feel

less special. I'm not ready to begin deflating

the achievement of closing the #3 until I've

closed the #4... so give it a few decades yet.

Sarp.

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mobsterone

For my tuppence worth - again - I think Steve Weiners post is the most accurate. It is a feat of srength in and of itself as was my Inch lift and others steel and nail bending and so on.

But i also beleive that the precentile quoted is correct. Using the thought that for most average people training and dedication would have more achieve it is also true.

However reality is that training is tough and most people, when lifting weights etc, last 3 months max and then can say 'I used to lift you know'. They haven't been bitten by the Iron bug the way most on this board have and will be for life I might add.

They will still be impressed by a number three when they miss the number one, in spite of having trained if only briefly as they would be the aforementioned 500 pound press or the 4 min mile.

You should be too - these are still great achivements.

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Guest

I am going to write a few replies, not all now (no time.)  

Most importantly, I want you all to know that I meant nothing negative by it.  I didn't "just say" that I want you all to look objectively at the post, I meant it.  I understand that it is world class, but I also am positive that that will not be the case for a long time.  Understand also that for the number of people who have these grippers (10,000 sounded good), it is really (I hope this is a better analogy) like winning a district title.  Maybe a state title.  I think that is great.  I respect anyone who can win a state title in their chosen sport.  As far as mental blocks go, I feel that they are there.  No doubt that everyone who has closed a #3 has trained hard, but once there are a few people who can close the #4 the numbers will start coming in more steadily I bet.

Thats it for now, sorry this response may be even more fractured than my origional post, but I never really read over my posts.

Remember to think about it with an open mind.  

Michael Falkov

P.S. Radiulis, what High School do/did you go to?  I used to go to South Miami Senior High.

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