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What Is Your Grip History


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Juha Harju

WoW Juha :S Glad to see you back strong and healthy :rock You are an inspirer and I love it :rock Stay healthy and strong and continue becoming stronger. I should visit you one day and learn from you! My left shoulder ruptured last year in end of December and stopped training from then till this week, I started again. My shoulder hurts now a bit, but I hope it's only the soreness of weak muscles. Stupid me bent hard stuff and military pressing too yesturday :p What other things helped you in rehabilation?

You´re always welcome bro.

Sorry to hear your injury.

When I started my rehabilitation then external rotation was forbidden long time. My first movements was hand up and down without any resistance. Later I did same movements at swimming baths using water for resistance. It was really good for my pec. I did it thousand and thousand reps. Then when my hand´s external rotation was allowed I went for a long time to gym and I started bench press with wooden stick. I don´t want to think back much those days. I was really anguished then. From this was long way to that I could do ONE REP with 20kg bar.

Here is video about 19 months after injury. I´m pretty fat boy in this video.

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PeterSweden

Rehab like a boss, 10@150kg!!!!

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Alawadhi

Thanks Juha for your reply! Stay strong :rock

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  • 4 weeks later...
Justin Matney

My interest in grip started in a roundabout way. In September 2011, while on staff at a psychiatric hospital, I was pretty viciously assaulted by a patient. In the process of subduing the patient I acquired an injury to the bone and tendon of my left wrist. The injury nagged for 2 months, but it was nothing severe enough to see a doctor over, so I got online and searched for something to rehabilitate my wrist. After wading through the standard wrist rollers and plastic-handle grippers, I ran across IronMind's Expand-Your-Hand Bands, and noticed all the other products they offered, particularly the heavy duty grippers.

Around the same time, I watched a documentary on armwrestler John Brzenk called Pulling John, and discovered a bit about IronMind grippers in a short bio of him that I had googled after watching the film. I had planned on ordering the extensor bands, but reading this bit about John's experience with IronMind grippers prompted me to go ahead and order a #1 gripper along with the bands. What the hell, I figured. This order was placed mid-November 2011, and arrived a few days later. By this time I had watched scores of intense YouTube videos documenting huge gripper closes, and was understandable psyched to see where I stood with the level 1. The blurb on the IronMind site claimed that most men with experience lifting weights cannot close the #1 right away, so as soon as I opened the box I went straight for the gripper and smashed it immediately.

I can't explain the rush I experienced when I heard and felt those handles click together and grind (something tells me I don't need to explain it.) A watershed moment to be sure. So I started doing sets of 10 with the #1 3 days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I actually struggled, like most new guys, staying away from them 4 days a week. This routine coupled with the extensor bands had my wrist in pretty good shape in a month's time. My dad got me a CoC #2 for Christmas that year, roughly 6 weeks after first closing my #1, and to my surprise I was able to smash it with ease--6 TNS reps with my right hand, and several TNS singles with the left.

So I was understandably elated at this point, and fully stoked on the idea of grip not only as a rehabilitation tool, but as a bona fide sport.

I stayed with my 3 days per week gripper/extensor band routine, and made leaps and bounds in my strength. So of course the thought crosses my mind, "I was skeptical that I'd be able to close the #1, but I smashed it. I was even more skeptical about the #2, and smashed it even harder. Is it possible that I can close a #3?" So I ordered it, and promptly hit the brick wall--my best effort still left roughly an inch between the handles.

I'll admit, I got cocky. But it was a very humbling yet valuable experience, and it solidified my involvement in grip as much more than mere rehabilitation. I was filled with a newfound respect for all the guys before me who had monster closes to their names and was driven to close the #3 no matter what. I bought the Joe Kinney DVD, and got into some pretty severe overtraining scenarios, namely doing forced negatives with a CoC 3.5 a mere 3 months into grip training. It was foolish but I guess my heart was in the right place. Once I got my head in the right place as well, I was able to log some pretty decent closes--GHP 6 TNS, CoC 2.5 TNS, GHP 7 CCS, CoC 3. None official of course, but I felt good about getting some pretty legit closes under my belt only a year after I started training.

My best closes came in November of 2012, and in the 2nd week of that same month I took a job that keeps me out of town Monday through Thursday most weeks, so training really fell by the wayside. I think I continued training grippers through January of 2013, with a Beef Builder Elite being my goal gripper that I never did close.

I'm getting back into the game, with the goal of a CoC #3 cert by year's end.

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I'll jump in ... I'm a long-time lurker, infrequent poster.

We had those plastic handled grippers in the house when I was young. Not difficult to close, even as a little tyke. In the mid-eighties, I started climbing rocks and I seriously began trying out climbing related grip gadgets / methods at the time. I've been obsessed with some forms of grip strength off and on for almost 30 years.

I saw some CoC grippers at a short-lived climbing shop in 2002 and was fascinated that the strongest climbers I knew struggled with a CoC #2. I could barely close a CoC #1. That led me to the world of grip outside of climbing. I immediately purchased a COC Trainer, Rolling Thunder, a hub, pinch block, and a loading pin. The Rolling Thunder became my favorite device as I've always felt that it has been a benefit to my climbing.

Fast forward to 2 years back and I was not climbing as much due to accumulated injuries and excessive weight. Looking for related, but non-climbing goals to motivate ... I purchased more grippers and actually started training and using my trusty old Rolling Thunder again. An old nagging thumb injury crept up as I quickly worked through to the CoC #1.5 and set personal (very modest!) records on the Rolling Thunder. With a brand new packaged CoC #2 arriving in the mail, I lamentedly dropped the training and set it aside for the future.

Between May 2014 and the end of 2014, I dropped my excess weight (43 lbs.) and started climbing regularly again. A lot easier to pull my butt off the ground! The Rolling Thunder and CoC grippers languishing in my basement stirred some desire to finally close the still packaged CoC #2. I'm back at it, but training carefully as not to aggravate the thumb again. The CoC #2 is definitely in reach, but I don't have aspirations for anything above the CoC #2. The Crushed to Dust challenge has intrigued me, but I realistically don't think I can haul up 200 lbs on the Rolling Thunder. I'm simply not built to do so. I'd love to get to 150# though, and I'd be satisfied. My focus is the CoC #2 gripper and if my thumb cooperates ... maybe 45 lbs on the hub.

Nothing spectacular, but a long and enjoyable journey for me.

Enjoy!

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PeterSweden

Dont set limitations on yourself man! Ofcourse you can pull 200lbs on the RT and close coc3 if you just set your mind to it!

Wether you think you can or you can't, you are right.

Remember that!

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Dont set limitations on yourself man! Ofcourse you can pull 200lbs on the RT and close coc3 if you just set your mind to it!

Wether you think you can or you can't, you are right.

Remember that!

Thanks Peter!

You're right. Thanks for reminding me. I need to revise to put the current goal to certify Crushed to Dust ... Rolling Thunder and all!

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jvance

Dont set limitations on yourself man! Ofcourse you can pull 200lbs on the RT and close coc3 if you just set your mind to it!

Wether you think you can or you can't, you are right.

Remember that!

Thanks Peter!

You're right. Thanks for reminding me. I need to revise to put the current goal to certify Crushed to Dust ... Rolling Thunder and all!

Do it!

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  • 1 month later...

I grew up on some land about 20 miles from town (a little town) in Northern California (now its a big town). My dad had built up a extensive weight room that was better equiped than most gyms. I began lifting at 12, Im 35 now (Feb 2015).

I was not interested in being buff like Arnold, but wanted to be strong like Saxon and those guys.

My dad always had thick forearms- and was strong so I wanted to be strong and have super grip like the old school strong men. We had some thick bars and lots of weights so I did a lot of heavy hammer curls and heavy lifting over the years, not to mention ranch and farm work also.

Thats how I began!

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king crusher

I grew up on some land about 20 miles from town (a little town) in Northern California (now its a big town). My dad had built up a extensive weight room that was better equiped than most gyms. I began lifting at 12, Im 35 now (Feb 2015).

I was not interested in being buff like Arnold, but wanted to be strong like Saxon and those guys.

My dad always had thick forearms- and was strong so I wanted to be strong and have super grip like the old school strong men. We had some thick bars and lots of weights so I did a lot of heavy hammer curls and heavy lifting over the years, not to mention ranch and farm work also.

Thats how I began!

I spent 2 weeks on a houseboat on lake Shasta. Amazing experience. And location.

My dad had a red plastic gripper he kept in his truck. I used to blast away on that and could do over 100 as a teen.

Fast forward to 2003 and I bought a coc 1 and 2. Closed both first day so I bought a 3. That stopped me so I kept on it and eventually got it. Then bought the 4. That I've never done. This was all before the half grippers came out.

I enjoy squeezing the grippers on occasion and doing other grip stuff once in awhile with some bending thrown in as well.

Main joy is powerlifting type lifts. I also like strongman stuff.

K: out

Edited by king crusher
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Got into lifting about 7 years ago. Spent a lot of time a Lee Hayward's sight at the time trying to learn about bodybuilding, lifting, etc. Noticed he mentioned some stuff about grippers. Bought a set of Heavy Grips. Joined this place shortly thereafter. Got massively into grip in my late teens, did some cool stuff, then laid it aside at some point in 2010 1) in exchange for getting better at lifting in general and 2) because I got into firearms, which has turned into my primary hobby. I can still MMS close my #3.5 or BBE whenever I pick them up, but I'm nowhere near as strong at grippers as I used to be when I was 18, which kinda irks me.

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PeterSweden

Got into lifting about 7 years ago. Spent a lot of time a Lee Hayward's sight at the time trying to learn about bodybuilding, lifting, etc. Noticed he mentioned some stuff about grippers. Bought a set of Heavy Grips. Joined this place shortly thereafter. Got massively into grip in my late teens, did some cool stuff, then laid it aside at some point in 2010 1) in exchange for getting better at lifting in general and 2) because I got into firearms, which has turned into my primary hobby. I can still MMS close my #3.5 or BBE whenever I pick them up, but I'm nowhere near as strong at grippers as I used to be when I was 18, which kinda irks me.

You can have two hobbies brother :D work on mms coc4 and cert 3,5? :)

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  • 1 year later...

It all started when I was a little boy and was given a large bent nail from my grandfather,he was a very strong man, when the pooltable in the local pub had to be moved,they asked my grandfather,he would come lay under the pooltable and move it wherever it had to go to. Mind you, this was a heavy duty biljarttable. Anyway, a couple of years later I got a package with a plastic gripper, a chest expander and a spring to bent. During the eighties I really got involved with weighttraining and martial arts. Reading a lot I,ve always been looking for methods to become stronger. The older the books the more I got interested in doing things the old way. No fancy equipment, a bench, a barbell,dumbells and lots of plates. I made a lot of my equipment, a monstergrip machine, a wristroller with a steel cable, one arm lift and one finger lift equipment followed. I just love everything that involves griptrainiung, bending steel.When I bent my first nail my father told my wife it was a trick. Well....it wasn,t Been lifting and benchpressing for years, bicepcurls were also a favorite, there was a time I used around 75 kg,great feeling! Now I,m busy with one arm lifting a lot and pinchgripping in all possible ways,just love it!

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Bearcat 74

Dad was always just crazy strong and I worked with him as a diesel mechanic from the time I was very young so I wanted to be strong like dad and I needed to be strong because one common thing about working on heavy equipment is everything is heavy.  Luckily I had some natural strength, I never really lifted weights until I was in high school for football.  I had a side job greasing equipment with and hand squeeze grease gun that actually simulates a gripper so I would get a few thousand squeezes a week when things were busy.  I saw an add for grippers so I got a T and 1.  After closing them I got a 2,3 and 4 closing the 2 right out of the bag and was a mile off the 3.  I closed the 3 fairly quick and things went from there.  I've done some cool stuff and met some great people. 

 

Like a couple other guys in the last couple years I've torn my pec twice, broke my right thumb twice and a couple other injuries so I don't train as much as I used to, especially in football season. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 1/7/2015 at 4:43 PM, burpsan said:

I'll jump in ... I'm a long-time lurker, infrequent poster.

We had those plastic handled grippers in the house when I was young. Not difficult to close, even as a little tyke. In the mid-eighties, I started climbing rocks and I seriously began trying out climbing related grip gadgets / methods at the time. I've been obsessed with some forms of grip strength off and on for almost 30 years.

I saw some CoC grippers at a short-lived climbing shop in 2002 and was fascinated that the strongest climbers I knew struggled with a CoC #2. I could barely close a CoC #1. That led me to the world of grip outside of climbing. I immediately purchased a COC Trainer, Rolling Thunder, a hub, pinch block, and a loading pin. The Rolling Thunder became my favorite device as I've always felt that it has been a benefit to my climbing.

Fast forward to 2 years back and I was not climbing as much due to accumulated injuries and excessive weight. Looking for related, but non-climbing goals to motivate ... I purchased more grippers and actually started training and using my trusty old Rolling Thunder again. An old nagging thumb injury crept up as I quickly worked through to the CoC #1.5 and set personal (very modest!) records on the Rolling Thunder. With a brand new packaged CoC #2 arriving in the mail, I lamentedly dropped the training and set it aside for the future.

Between May 2014 and the end of 2014, I dropped my excess weight (43 lbs.) and started climbing regularly again. A lot easier to pull my butt off the ground! The Rolling Thunder and CoC grippers languishing in my basement stirred some desire to finally close the still packaged CoC #2. I'm back at it, but training carefully as not to aggravate the thumb again. The CoC #2 is definitely in reach, but I don't have aspirations for anything above the CoC #2. The Crushed to Dust challenge has intrigued me, but I realistically don't think I can haul up 200 lbs on the Rolling Thunder. I'm simply not built to do so. I'd love to get to 150# though, and I'd be satisfied. My focus is the CoC #2 gripper and if my thumb cooperates ... maybe 45 lbs on the hub.

Nothing spectacular, but a long and enjoyable journey for me.

Enjoy!

Nice to see you have some goals.   I know the #2 is in reach for you.  The Rolling Thunder goal is of course doable.   "Sometimes some goals look like a mountain from afar but little by little,  the scene doesn't look so bad and the goal is hit."   

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  • 3 years later...
Vinnie

Old thread, caught my eye, and I feel like adding a kind of life story about my own personal grip strength history  I'm 51 and got into grip around 47-48 years old.

All my life I was the geek, the nerd, the brain.  I had cancer when I was 10, and the radiation treatments pretty much stunted the growth of my torso, so I was shorter than I would otherwise have been, and with less chest size.  Kids pushed me around, I got my books knocked over a few times, sucker punched a couple times, etc.  I had a bad attitude about it, and I sort of played into it, acting in exactly the way that pressed the buttons of the bullies to bully me more.  But in middle school I got sick of it.  Despite the stunted torso, I had pretty strong arms (basically, the arms and legs I would have had without the cancer treatment), so I started arm wrestling the bullies.  I always won.  Made me feel strong enough that the next kid that punched me, I punched him back worse, and startled him -- he liked me after that.

I had no idea what grip even was, or anything about weightlifting.  In high school gym I was my current height (5'6"), maybe 140 pounds, and benching a little under 200 and I viewed 200 as an absolute ceiling I would never reach.  By the end of high school, I was known as the smart kid who was also a good arm wrestler, and no one ever beat me.  I only tied once:  with Jim Mecir, who went on to be a relief pitcher for the New York Yankees and Oakland.

Still, I kind of just thought I was a good arm wrestler but not that strong.  As a poor kid at Harvard, I needed to work, so I moved furniture for people.  I chalked up my success there to being good at physics and figuring out the best angles and stuff (people who tried to find a way to politely say "You're the mover?" when I arrived were satisfied enough to give me $20 tips at the end, which in the 1980s, was not bad for a teenager).

Years later, as a young lawyer, I sometimes hung out after work in local bars.  A colleague who was in his 40s when I was in my 20s, who was much bigger than me, made some crack about my size/strength, whatever, he didn't even dislike me but just thought it obvious that he was big strong dominant man and I was just not.  So you know, I remembered Jim Mecir, and I didn't realize that 45 wasn't an old man, so I said well, I bet I could surprise you in an arm wrestle.  He kind of smirked but he didn't realize that there was really no way for him to win, because he had 70 or 80 pounds on me (at least) and bigger hands and arms, so anyone would expect him to win easily and anything less would look good for me.  But he bit, and I won right-handed.  So he said well I'm lefty (second mistake), and I won left handed.  Then he said "Well I could kick the shit out of you," and I said, "Yeah, you could."  I'm not stupid lol.

20 years passes, every few years something like that happens, so in maybe 2016 or so I see an ad for an arm wrestling competition and I figure, what the heck?  Let's see how I do.  I was maybe 46 or 47 by then, and 175 pounds or so because you get fat as you age lol, and I just showed up at some dive bar in Queens and signed up.  MAN DID I GET DESTROYED!!!!!!!!!!  Bar arm wrestling, when neither guy is actually an arm wrestler, is just about one big arm against another big arm in a strength contest.  I had no idea what to do strategically.  Was cool to see the comp format and the people were super, super nice and encouraging though, and I enjoyed it even with the staggeringly decisive losses in every match.

But one of the things I saw there caught my eye:  Captains of Crush Grippers.  I was intrigued.  I went home and ordered the strong man set, 1, 1.5, 2.  I saw on the website that most people can't close the 1 when they first get it, and the 2 was supposedly life-saving grip strength, a standard to be strived for by law enforcement, military, and athletes.  I expected to have my work cut out for me but ... the 1 was pretty easy, the 1.5 was kinda hard, and I couldn't quite do the 2 until I realized you were allowed to press it closed a little with the other hand to get a nice hold on it (took me a week and some googling to figure that out).  And I found the Gripboard.

I ordered the 2.5 and 3 to see what would develop.  It took me another six months of practice to get the 2.5, and I really thought the 3 was not humanly possible (for me) but kept pushing a little closer.  At some point I felt like I was good enough to start yapping on here, which of course I should have realized was perfectly acceptable from the very beginning, and in late 2017 I posted an intro in the Intro thread.  Someone told me that a bunch of guys in Queens worked out grip in a garage on Saturdays, and I figured, hey, maybe I will seek them out.  But as is the nature in this sport, Anton Torella (the guy hosting those workouts) saw the post and messaged me before I could even ask, inviting me to join them any Saturday I wanted.

The next available Saturday I did that, and Anton, Anthony Clarino, and Chez were there.  They have since taught me everything I know about grip (well, I guess I have also learned a lot from the many I met through them and after them, too).  I live an hour from Queens but I would say I make it there more often than I don't, for the weekly lesson and training.

In the three-ish years from discovering grip sports to now, I have certed GHP7, closed the MM1, won my weight class at the last Gripmas at Chris Rice's, qualified for the arm lifting world comp in Russia (couldn't make it though), and set a weight class world record or two.  These days, my first COC 3, CPW rated 153, which I thought I was not physically capable of ever closing, is usually my last sure MMS close in a workout before I make a max attempt, with my PR now at 160.

The big lawyer colleague of mine, who I beat in the arm wrestle decades ago and who is now retired in his 60s, saw my MM1 close posted on Facebook and commented about that arm wrestle from the old days.  He said he was relieved to see that I was actually a guy with strong arms who beat him, and no longer felt upset about it.  He added that he could still kick my ass though, and I said, yeah, you could.

Bottom line is, you are really out to beat yourself.  I'm not Jedd or Tanner or Yves, and I don't expect to break world records right and left or impress the hell out of the best of them.  I expect to have a good time and along the way, to beat benchmarks that I set, and then beat my benchmarks again.

What remains?  I want to progress some more before I decline.  I benched 200 pounds free weights this year for my first time, but I am not really super interested in weight training so I don't know if I will pursue much there.  MM2 is a near term goal. The IM COC 3 cert is a goal for soon after, I hope, and if I make those two, I will perhaps strive to MMS close a light 3.5.  But as much as those goals are fun and help me keep in some semblance of shape, I'd most of all like to get back to attending comps and meeting cool folks who do grip.  And to meet a gal who wants to join in, or at least who enjoys that I do this.

Be well everyone, see you soon, I hope.

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Donc101
4 hours ago, Vinnie said:

Old thread, caught my eye, and I feel like adding a kind of life story about my own personal grip strength history  I'm 51 and got into grip around 47-48 years old.

All my life I was the geek, the nerd, the brain.  I had cancer when I was 10, and the radiation treatments pretty much stunted the growth of my torso, so I was shorter than I would otherwise have been, and with less chest size.  Kids pushed me around, I got my books knocked over a few times, sucker punched a couple times, etc.  I had a bad attitude about it, and I sort of played into it, acting in exactly the way that pressed the buttons of the bullies to bully me more.  But in middle school I got sick of it.  Despite the stunted torso, I had pretty strong arms (basically, the arms and legs I would have had without the cancer treatment), so I started arm wrestling the bullies.  I always won.  Made me feel strong enough that the next kid that punched me, I punched him back worse, and startled him -- he liked me after that.

I had no idea what grip even was, or anything about weightlifting.  In high school gym I was my current height (5'6"), maybe 140 pounds, and benching a little under 200 and I viewed 200 as an absolute ceiling I would never reach.  By the end of high school, I was known as the smart kid who was also a good arm wrestler, and no one ever beat me.  I only tied once:  with Jim Mecir, who went on to be a relief pitcher for the New York Yankees and Oakland.

Still, I kind of just thought I was a good arm wrestler but not that strong.  As a poor kid at Harvard, I needed to work, so I moved furniture for people.  I chalked up my success there to being good at physics and figuring out the best angles and stuff (people who tried to find a way to politely say "You're the mover?" when I arrived were satisfied enough to give me $20 tips at the end, which in the 1980s, was not bad for a teenager).

Years later, as a young lawyer, I sometimes hung out after work in local bars.  A colleague who was in his 40s when I was in my 20s, who was much bigger than me, made some crack about my size/strength, whatever, he didn't even dislike me but just thought it obvious that he was big strong dominant man and I was just not.  So you know, I remembered Jim Mecir, and I didn't realize that 45 wasn't an old man, so I said well, I bet I could surprise you in an arm wrestle.  He kind of smirked but he didn't realize that there was really no way for him to win, because he had 70 or 80 pounds on me (at least) and bigger hands and arms, so anyone would expect him to win easily and anything less would look good for me.  But he bit, and I won right-handed.  So he said well I'm lefty (second mistake), and I won left handed.  Then he said "Well I could kick the shit out of you," and I said, "Yeah, you could."  I'm not stupid lol.

20 years passes, every few years something like that happens, so in maybe 2016 or so I see an ad for an arm wrestling competition and I figure, what the heck?  Let's see how I do.  I was maybe 46 or 47 by then, and 175 pounds or so because you get fat as you age lol, and I just showed up at some dive bar in Queens and signed up.  MAN DID I GET DESTROYED!!!!!!!!!!  Bar arm wrestling, when neither guy is actually an arm wrestler, is just about one big arm against another big arm in a strength contest.  I had no idea what to do strategically.  Was cool to see the comp format and the people were super, super nice and encouraging though, and I enjoyed it even with the staggeringly decisive losses in every match.

But one of the things I saw there caught my eye:  Captains of Crush Grippers.  I was intrigued.  I went home and ordered the strong man set, 1, 1.5, 2.  I saw on the website that most people can't close the 1 when they first get it, and the 2 was supposedly life-saving grip strength, a standard to be strived for by law enforcement, military, and athletes.  I expected to have my work cut out for me but ... the 1 was pretty easy, the 1.5 was kinda hard, and I couldn't quite do the 2 until I realized you were allowed to press it closed a little with the other hand to get a nice hold on it (took me a week and some googling to figure that out).  And I found the Gripboard.

I ordered the 2.5 and 3 to see what would develop.  It took me another six months of practice to get the 2.5, and I really thought the 3 was not humanly possible (for me) but kept pushing a little closer.  At some point I felt like I was good enough to start yapping on here, which of course I should have realized was perfectly acceptable from the very beginning, and in late 2017 I posted an intro in the Intro thread.  Someone told me that a bunch of guys in Queens worked out grip in a garage on Saturdays, and I figured, hey, maybe I will seek them out.  But as is the nature in this sport, Anton Torella (the guy hosting those workouts) saw the post and messaged me before I could even ask, inviting me to join them any Saturday I wanted.

The next available Saturday I did that, and Anton, Anthony Clarino, and Chez were there.  They have since taught me everything I know about grip (well, I guess I have also learned a lot from the many I met through them and after them, too).  I live an hour from Queens but I would say I make it there more often than I don't, for the weekly lesson and training.

In the three-ish years from discovering grip sports to now, I have certed GHP7, closed the MM1, won my weight class at the last Gripmas at Chris Rice's, qualified for the arm lifting world comp in Russia (couldn't make it though), and set a weight class world record or two.  These days, my first COC 3, CPW rated 153, which I thought I was not physically capable of ever closing, is usually my last sure MMS close in a workout before I make a max attempt, with my PR now at 160.

The big lawyer colleague of mine, who I beat in the arm wrestle decades ago and who is now retired in his 60s, saw my MM1 close posted on Facebook and commented about that arm wrestle from the old days.  He said he was relieved to see that I was actually a guy with strong arms who beat him, and no longer felt upset about it.  He added that he could still kick my ass though, and I said, yeah, you could.

Bottom line is, you are really out to beat yourself.  I'm not Jedd or Tanner or Yves, and I don't expect to break world records right and left or impress the hell out of the best of them.  I expect to have a good time and along the way, to beat benchmarks that I set, and then beat my benchmarks again.

What remains?  I want to progress some more before I decline.  I benched 200 pounds free weights this year for my first time, but I am not really super interested in weight training so I don't know if I will pursue much there.  MM2 is a near term goal. The IM COC 3 cert is a goal for soon after, I hope, and if I make those two, I will perhaps strive to MMS close a light 3.5.  But as much as those goals are fun and help me keep in some semblance of shape, I'd most of all like to get back to attending comps and meeting cool folks who do grip.  And to meet a gal who wants to join in, or at least who enjoys that I do this.

Be well everyone, see you soon, I hope.

Thanks for sharing your story. You are very strong, no doubt. Good luck with the MM2.

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Boulderbrew
5 hours ago, Vinnie said:

Old thread, caught my eye, and I feel like adding a kind of life story about my own personal grip strength history  I'm 51 and got into grip around 47-48 years old.

All my life I was the geek, the nerd, the brain.  I had cancer when I was 10, and the radiation treatments pretty much stunted the growth of my torso, so I was shorter than I would otherwise have been, and with less chest size.  Kids pushed me around, I got my books knocked over a few times, sucker punched a couple times, etc.  I had a bad attitude about it, and I sort of played into it, acting in exactly the way that pressed the buttons of the bullies to bully me more.  But in middle school I got sick of it.  Despite the stunted torso, I had pretty strong arms (basically, the arms and legs I would have had without the cancer treatment), so I started arm wrestling the bullies.  I always won.  Made me feel strong enough that the next kid that punched me, I punched him back worse, and startled him -- he liked me after that.

I had no idea what grip even was, or anything about weightlifting.  In high school gym I was my current height (5'6"), maybe 140 pounds, and benching a little under 200 and I viewed 200 as an absolute ceiling I would never reach.  By the end of high school, I was known as the smart kid who was also a good arm wrestler, and no one ever beat me.  I only tied once:  with Jim Mecir, who went on to be a relief pitcher for the New York Yankees and Oakland.

Still, I kind of just thought I was a good arm wrestler but not that strong.  As a poor kid at Harvard, I needed to work, so I moved furniture for people.  I chalked up my success there to being good at physics and figuring out the best angles and stuff (people who tried to find a way to politely say "You're the mover?" when I arrived were satisfied enough to give me $20 tips at the end, which in the 1980s, was not bad for a teenager).

Years later, as a young lawyer, I sometimes hung out after work in local bars.  A colleague who was in his 40s when I was in my 20s, who was much bigger than me, made some crack about my size/strength, whatever, he didn't even dislike me but just thought it obvious that he was big strong dominant man and I was just not.  So you know, I remembered Jim Mecir, and I didn't realize that 45 wasn't an old man, so I said well, I bet I could surprise you in an arm wrestle.  He kind of smirked but he didn't realize that there was really no way for him to win, because he had 70 or 80 pounds on me (at least) and bigger hands and arms, so anyone would expect him to win easily and anything less would look good for me.  But he bit, and I won right-handed.  So he said well I'm lefty (second mistake), and I won left handed.  Then he said "Well I could kick the shit out of you," and I said, "Yeah, you could."  I'm not stupid lol.

20 years passes, every few years something like that happens, so in maybe 2016 or so I see an ad for an arm wrestling competition and I figure, what the heck?  Let's see how I do.  I was maybe 46 or 47 by then, and 175 pounds or so because you get fat as you age lol, and I just showed up at some dive bar in Queens and signed up.  MAN DID I GET DESTROYED!!!!!!!!!!  Bar arm wrestling, when neither guy is actually an arm wrestler, is just about one big arm against another big arm in a strength contest.  I had no idea what to do strategically.  Was cool to see the comp format and the people were super, super nice and encouraging though, and I enjoyed it even with the staggeringly decisive losses in every match.

But one of the things I saw there caught my eye:  Captains of Crush Grippers.  I was intrigued.  I went home and ordered the strong man set, 1, 1.5, 2.  I saw on the website that most people can't close the 1 when they first get it, and the 2 was supposedly life-saving grip strength, a standard to be strived for by law enforcement, military, and athletes.  I expected to have my work cut out for me but ... the 1 was pretty easy, the 1.5 was kinda hard, and I couldn't quite do the 2 until I realized you were allowed to press it closed a little with the other hand to get a nice hold on it (took me a week and some googling to figure that out).  And I found the Gripboard.

I ordered the 2.5 and 3 to see what would develop.  It took me another six months of practice to get the 2.5, and I really thought the 3 was not humanly possible (for me) but kept pushing a little closer.  At some point I felt like I was good enough to start yapping on here, which of course I should have realized was perfectly acceptable from the very beginning, and in late 2017 I posted an intro in the Intro thread.  Someone told me that a bunch of guys in Queens worked out grip in a garage on Saturdays, and I figured, hey, maybe I will seek them out.  But as is the nature in this sport, Anton Torella (the guy hosting those workouts) saw the post and messaged me before I could even ask, inviting me to join them any Saturday I wanted.

The next available Saturday I did that, and Anton, Anthony Clarino, and Chez were there.  They have since taught me everything I know about grip (well, I guess I have also learned a lot from the many I met through them and after them, too).  I live an hour from Queens but I would say I make it there more often than I don't, for the weekly lesson and training.

In the three-ish years from discovering grip sports to now, I have certed GHP7, closed the MM1, won my weight class at the last Gripmas at Chris Rice's, qualified for the arm lifting world comp in Russia (couldn't make it though), and set a weight class world record or two.  These days, my first COC 3, CPW rated 153, which I thought I was not physically capable of ever closing, is usually my last sure MMS close in a workout before I make a max attempt, with my PR now at 160.

The big lawyer colleague of mine, who I beat in the arm wrestle decades ago and who is now retired in his 60s, saw my MM1 close posted on Facebook and commented about that arm wrestle from the old days.  He said he was relieved to see that I was actually a guy with strong arms who beat him, and no longer felt upset about it.  He added that he could still kick my ass though, and I said, yeah, you could.

Bottom line is, you are really out to beat yourself.  I'm not Jedd or Tanner or Yves, and I don't expect to break world records right and left or impress the hell out of the best of them.  I expect to have a good time and along the way, to beat benchmarks that I set, and then beat my benchmarks again.

What remains?  I want to progress some more before I decline.  I benched 200 pounds free weights this year for my first time, but I am not really super interested in weight training so I don't know if I will pursue much there.  MM2 is a near term goal. The IM COC 3 cert is a goal for soon after, I hope, and if I make those two, I will perhaps strive to MMS close a light 3.5.  But as much as those goals are fun and help me keep in some semblance of shape, I'd most of all like to get back to attending comps and meeting cool folks who do grip.  And to meet a gal who wants to join in, or at least who enjoys that I do this.

Be well everyone, see you soon, I hope.

Thanks for sharing, Vinnie. Good read and fun to hear about your journey into grip. Glad I got to meet you at the Texas comp, you did very well. Hope to see you again soon.

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Lennix
9 hours ago, Vinnie said:

Old thread, caught my eye, and I feel like adding a kind of life story about my own personal grip strength history  I'm 51 and got into grip around 47-48 years old.

All my life I was the geek, the nerd, the brain.  I had cancer when I was 10, and the radiation treatments pretty much stunted the growth of my torso, so I was shorter than I would otherwise have been, and with less chest size.  Kids pushed me around, I got my books knocked over a few times, sucker punched a couple times, etc.  I had a bad attitude about it, and I sort of played into it, acting in exactly the way that pressed the buttons of the bullies to bully me more.  But in middle school I got sick of it.  Despite the stunted torso, I had pretty strong arms (basically, the arms and legs I would have had without the cancer treatment), so I started arm wrestling the bullies.  I always won.  Made me feel strong enough that the next kid that punched me, I punched him back worse, and startled him -- he liked me after that.

I had no idea what grip even was, or anything about weightlifting.  In high school gym I was my current height (5'6"), maybe 140 pounds, and benching a little under 200 and I viewed 200 as an absolute ceiling I would never reach.  By the end of high school, I was known as the smart kid who was also a good arm wrestler, and no one ever beat me.  I only tied once:  with Jim Mecir, who went on to be a relief pitcher for the New York Yankees and Oakland.

Still, I kind of just thought I was a good arm wrestler but not that strong.  As a poor kid at Harvard, I needed to work, so I moved furniture for people.  I chalked up my success there to being good at physics and figuring out the best angles and stuff (people who tried to find a way to politely say "You're the mover?" when I arrived were satisfied enough to give me $20 tips at the end, which in the 1980s, was not bad for a teenager).

Years later, as a young lawyer, I sometimes hung out after work in local bars.  A colleague who was in his 40s when I was in my 20s, who was much bigger than me, made some crack about my size/strength, whatever, he didn't even dislike me but just thought it obvious that he was big strong dominant man and I was just not.  So you know, I remembered Jim Mecir, and I didn't realize that 45 wasn't an old man, so I said well, I bet I could surprise you in an arm wrestle.  He kind of smirked but he didn't realize that there was really no way for him to win, because he had 70 or 80 pounds on me (at least) and bigger hands and arms, so anyone would expect him to win easily and anything less would look good for me.  But he bit, and I won right-handed.  So he said well I'm lefty (second mistake), and I won left handed.  Then he said "Well I could kick the shit out of you," and I said, "Yeah, you could."  I'm not stupid lol.

20 years passes, every few years something like that happens, so in maybe 2016 or so I see an ad for an arm wrestling competition and I figure, what the heck?  Let's see how I do.  I was maybe 46 or 47 by then, and 175 pounds or so because you get fat as you age lol, and I just showed up at some dive bar in Queens and signed up.  MAN DID I GET DESTROYED!!!!!!!!!!  Bar arm wrestling, when neither guy is actually an arm wrestler, is just about one big arm against another big arm in a strength contest.  I had no idea what to do strategically.  Was cool to see the comp format and the people were super, super nice and encouraging though, and I enjoyed it even with the staggeringly decisive losses in every match.

But one of the things I saw there caught my eye:  Captains of Crush Grippers.  I was intrigued.  I went home and ordered the strong man set, 1, 1.5, 2.  I saw on the website that most people can't close the 1 when they first get it, and the 2 was supposedly life-saving grip strength, a standard to be strived for by law enforcement, military, and athletes.  I expected to have my work cut out for me but ... the 1 was pretty easy, the 1.5 was kinda hard, and I couldn't quite do the 2 until I realized you were allowed to press it closed a little with the other hand to get a nice hold on it (took me a week and some googling to figure that out).  And I found the Gripboard.

I ordered the 2.5 and 3 to see what would develop.  It took me another six months of practice to get the 2.5, and I really thought the 3 was not humanly possible (for me) but kept pushing a little closer.  At some point I felt like I was good enough to start yapping on here, which of course I should have realized was perfectly acceptable from the very beginning, and in late 2017 I posted an intro in the Intro thread.  Someone told me that a bunch of guys in Queens worked out grip in a garage on Saturdays, and I figured, hey, maybe I will seek them out.  But as is the nature in this sport, Anton Torella (the guy hosting those workouts) saw the post and messaged me before I could even ask, inviting me to join them any Saturday I wanted.

The next available Saturday I did that, and Anton, Anthony Clarino, and Chez were there.  They have since taught me everything I know about grip (well, I guess I have also learned a lot from the many I met through them and after them, too).  I live an hour from Queens but I would say I make it there more often than I don't, for the weekly lesson and training.

In the three-ish years from discovering grip sports to now, I have certed GHP7, closed the MM1, won my weight class at the last Gripmas at Chris Rice's, qualified for the arm lifting world comp in Russia (couldn't make it though), and set a weight class world record or two.  These days, my first COC 3, CPW rated 153, which I thought I was not physically capable of ever closing, is usually my last sure MMS close in a workout before I make a max attempt, with my PR now at 160.

The big lawyer colleague of mine, who I beat in the arm wrestle decades ago and who is now retired in his 60s, saw my MM1 close posted on Facebook and commented about that arm wrestle from the old days.  He said he was relieved to see that I was actually a guy with strong arms who beat him, and no longer felt upset about it.  He added that he could still kick my ass though, and I said, yeah, you could.

Bottom line is, you are really out to beat yourself.  I'm not Jedd or Tanner or Yves, and I don't expect to break world records right and left or impress the hell out of the best of them.  I expect to have a good time and along the way, to beat benchmarks that I set, and then beat my benchmarks again.

What remains?  I want to progress some more before I decline.  I benched 200 pounds free weights this year for my first time, but I am not really super interested in weight training so I don't know if I will pursue much there.  MM2 is a near term goal. The IM COC 3 cert is a goal for soon after, I hope, and if I make those two, I will perhaps strive to MMS close a light 3.5.  But as much as those goals are fun and help me keep in some semblance of shape, I'd most of all like to get back to attending comps and meeting cool folks who do grip.  And to meet a gal who wants to join in, or at least who enjoys that I do this.

Be well everyone, see you soon, I hope.

Really great story! We will soon see a post with MM2 close from you I'm sure! 

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  • 2 months later...

I wrestled for my country about 15 years ago. Actually joined this site back then when I was out with an injury, but didnt get around to doing any grip  at the time.  Currently 46 these days and and unable to fly for work with the restrictions.  So I thought I would try some grip training at long last.

Edited by Karl
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Jedd Johnson
On 8/26/2020 at 5:51 PM, Vinnie said:

Old thread, caught my eye, and I feel like adding a kind of life story about my own personal grip strength history  I'm 51 and got into grip around 47-48 years old.

All my life I was the geek, the nerd, the brain.  I had cancer when I was 10, and the radiation treatments pretty much stunted the growth of my torso, so I was shorter than I would otherwise have been, and with less chest size.  Kids pushed me around, I got my books knocked over a few times, sucker punched a couple times, etc.  I had a bad attitude about it, and I sort of played into it, acting in exactly the way that pressed the buttons of the bullies to bully me more.  But in middle school I got sick of it.  Despite the stunted torso, I had pretty strong arms (basically, the arms and legs I would have had without the cancer treatment), so I started arm wrestling the bullies.  I always won.  Made me feel strong enough that the next kid that punched me, I punched him back worse, and startled him -- he liked me after that.

I had no idea what grip even was, or anything about weightlifting.  In high school gym I was my current height (5'6"), maybe 140 pounds, and benching a little under 200 and I viewed 200 as an absolute ceiling I would never reach.  By the end of high school, I was known as the smart kid who was also a good arm wrestler, and no one ever beat me.  I only tied once:  with Jim Mecir, who went on to be a relief pitcher for the New York Yankees and Oakland.

Still, I kind of just thought I was a good arm wrestler but not that strong.  As a poor kid at Harvard, I needed to work, so I moved furniture for people.  I chalked up my success there to being good at physics and figuring out the best angles and stuff (people who tried to find a way to politely say "You're the mover?" when I arrived were satisfied enough to give me $20 tips at the end, which in the 1980s, was not bad for a teenager).

Years later, as a young lawyer, I sometimes hung out after work in local bars.  A colleague who was in his 40s when I was in my 20s, who was much bigger than me, made some crack about my size/strength, whatever, he didn't even dislike me but just thought it obvious that he was big strong dominant man and I was just not.  So you know, I remembered Jim Mecir, and I didn't realize that 45 wasn't an old man, so I said well, I bet I could surprise you in an arm wrestle.  He kind of smirked but he didn't realize that there was really no way for him to win, because he had 70 or 80 pounds on me (at least) and bigger hands and arms, so anyone would expect him to win easily and anything less would look good for me.  But he bit, and I won right-handed.  So he said well I'm lefty (second mistake), and I won left handed.  Then he said "Well I could kick the shit out of you," and I said, "Yeah, you could."  I'm not stupid lol.

20 years passes, every few years something like that happens, so in maybe 2016 or so I see an ad for an arm wrestling competition and I figure, what the heck?  Let's see how I do.  I was maybe 46 or 47 by then, and 175 pounds or so because you get fat as you age lol, and I just showed up at some dive bar in Queens and signed up.  MAN DID I GET DESTROYED!!!!!!!!!!  Bar arm wrestling, when neither guy is actually an arm wrestler, is just about one big arm against another big arm in a strength contest.  I had no idea what to do strategically.  Was cool to see the comp format and the people were super, super nice and encouraging though, and I enjoyed it even with the staggeringly decisive losses in every match.

But one of the things I saw there caught my eye:  Captains of Crush Grippers.  I was intrigued.  I went home and ordered the strong man set, 1, 1.5, 2.  I saw on the website that most people can't close the 1 when they first get it, and the 2 was supposedly life-saving grip strength, a standard to be strived for by law enforcement, military, and athletes.  I expected to have my work cut out for me but ... the 1 was pretty easy, the 1.5 was kinda hard, and I couldn't quite do the 2 until I realized you were allowed to press it closed a little with the other hand to get a nice hold on it (took me a week and some googling to figure that out).  And I found the Gripboard.

I ordered the 2.5 and 3 to see what would develop.  It took me another six months of practice to get the 2.5, and I really thought the 3 was not humanly possible (for me) but kept pushing a little closer.  At some point I felt like I was good enough to start yapping on here, which of course I should have realized was perfectly acceptable from the very beginning, and in late 2017 I posted an intro in the Intro thread.  Someone told me that a bunch of guys in Queens worked out grip in a garage on Saturdays, and I figured, hey, maybe I will seek them out.  But as is the nature in this sport, Anton Torella (the guy hosting those workouts) saw the post and messaged me before I could even ask, inviting me to join them any Saturday I wanted.

The next available Saturday I did that, and Anton, Anthony Clarino, and Chez were there.  They have since taught me everything I know about grip (well, I guess I have also learned a lot from the many I met through them and after them, too).  I live an hour from Queens but I would say I make it there more often than I don't, for the weekly lesson and training.

In the three-ish years from discovering grip sports to now, I have certed GHP7, closed the MM1, won my weight class at the last Gripmas at Chris Rice's, qualified for the arm lifting world comp in Russia (couldn't make it though), and set a weight class world record or two.  These days, my first COC 3, CPW rated 153, which I thought I was not physically capable of ever closing, is usually my last sure MMS close in a workout before I make a max attempt, with my PR now at 160.

The big lawyer colleague of mine, who I beat in the arm wrestle decades ago and who is now retired in his 60s, saw my MM1 close posted on Facebook and commented about that arm wrestle from the old days.  He said he was relieved to see that I was actually a guy with strong arms who beat him, and no longer felt upset about it.  He added that he could still kick my ass though, and I said, yeah, you could.

Bottom line is, you are really out to beat yourself.  I'm not Jedd or Tanner or Yves, and I don't expect to break world records right and left or impress the hell out of the best of them.  I expect to have a good time and along the way, to beat benchmarks that I set, and then beat my benchmarks again.

What remains?  I want to progress some more before I decline.  I benched 200 pounds free weights this year for my first time, but I am not really super interested in weight training so I don't know if I will pursue much there.  MM2 is a near term goal. The IM COC 3 cert is a goal for soon after, I hope, and if I make those two, I will perhaps strive to MMS close a light 3.5.  But as much as those goals are fun and help me keep in some semblance of shape, I'd most of all like to get back to attending comps and meeting cool folks who do grip.  And to meet a gal who wants to join in, or at least who enjoys that I do this.

Be well everyone, see you soon, I hope.

Your story is freaking awesome dude. Thanks for sharing!

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Vinnie
16 minutes ago, Jedd Johnson said:

Your story is freaking awesome dude. Thanks for sharing!

Actually I got the MM2 a few days after that. I should edit it lol.

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