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Why Is No One Closing A 4?


mobsterone

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mobsterone

Spurred via my Ironmind inbox with a message from Joe Kinney about 'going for it' I mused this morning over the lack, or so it seems, of current attempts at closing a four. I'm well aware of the subject matter all too often being debated but thought I'd throw in my 2 pence / 2 cents worth of thoughts on the matter. Here goes...We've seen several guys approach the levels needed. Heck I've been included on that list. Said individuals are strong and motivated and come in to the game going gangbusters. Many GB members, me too, look up from our other endeavors and wonder if they will 'be the one'. Then... nothing.But why?

There are a few reasons.

Incentive and reward.

Given the who-haa poor Joe gets more or less constantly about the how and why of his effort and indeed anyone whose been to that level... it's tempting to suggest no one wants that kinda picking apart of your effort. Yet it comes with the territory. Then, for all anyone might achieve we're not taking about big bucks here. The most I won is $600 at Chad's event a few years ago. Equally, when paid to work at Expo's it was about the same. Nothing to make me rich. So perhaps in order for the step up to the challenge some bigger bucks are needed. I'd get the self satisfaction from the close but I might want $10000 to make me feel ok about the close being picked over endlessly.

Distraction

For most if not all, of the potential 4 closers we see that they have other aspirations and targets. I wanna kick, metaphorically speaking (they're both nice guys after all) David Horne and Kody's butts on the 2 hand pinch. My most recent session (Friday last) had me pull 240+ for 5 singles. Come August I'd like at least 120-kilos for 1 all out rep. It's unlikely I'll go close to a 4 while pulling big pinch numbers. I'm good for grippers (see below) but not into the rarefied levels I'd need to be to be close to a 4 close. One stays strong but not strong enough, I think, when the effort is diluted.

Equally, some of the guys simply grow up: work, girls and education rear their heads and, it being real life, take priority. As they damn well ought to. You need to think of this stuff as life and death (see the need for obsession mentioned elsewhere) but it's not.

Time and effort

Not wishing to demean either the efforts of those struggling with anything less than a 3 nor the efforts of those killing a 3.5 or better but all too often the bigger gripper closing guys have arrived at said effort within a year. For those on the lower levels a year or two in and still trying to kick ass you'll know this is good, very very good. I'm in that group. My efforts to close a three are around that time scale (maybe a bit more), ditto my work on lifting an Inch and later (and another years effort) on a Millennium dumbbell.

So if I decided to put my hat back into the ring it'd be 12 months of little grip other grip work. Maybe less if I used NOTHING but grippers or worked ONLY on my crush and sets. No fat dumbbells, no pinch, just gripper work.And that's with me hitting level 20 or 21 pretty much most times I train on my Vulcan (the best is still Paul Knights 22) and that;s one gripper session a week. To take it up a notch would require 2 such hard crush and or volume sessions and one more session to work on sets etc.

Sorry to say but that requires the dedication and levels of effort most don't have. You try explaining to someone not familiar with grippers quite what you're doing and how hard you've trained for this closing of a gripper. The raw and sometimes torn skin. Yes the blood and sweat. Heck most times (once a week again) I train pinch I tear my skin up. It can and does require a level of obsession most do not possess. The best snooker and dart players we have here are well-known to play for 8-12 hours a day.

Care to agree or disagree??

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I think I should have included 'cos they don't think they can'. I'm simply astounded at the lack of self belief some have displayed... wow! Let's start with a little history. Joe Weider et al used to

I think the reason somebody has yet to do is because it's really hard

Spurred via my Ironmind inbox with a message from Joe Kinney about 'going for it' I mused this morning over the lack, or so it seems, of current attempts at closing a four. I'm well aware of the subje

Mike Sharkey

I appreciate the philosophical nature of your post. I know your grip is ridiculously strong. Probably in the top .01% of humans that have ever lived. Human potential has always been an interesting topic for me, and I have explored from an academic and, at least to a basic practical one, the limits of capability.

For me, I believe closing a 4 from a wide set is just beyond the limits of what the human body is currently capable of. By just a little bit.

Like a 1200 DL or a 600 C & J. Its close enough that it reminds you of what you think is possible. But its not. Not with current human structure and evolution. Even for the outliers. People always talked about the 4 minute mile being impossible and then one day it was broken, and then it was broken again and again. It stands today at 3:43. Statistically not that different than 4 minutes. As time passes, records are contested to 10th of seconds rather than full ones. If you look at the times for the 100m dash over 100 years of olympics you will see that it goes from 12 seconds around 1900, very quickly to 11 and 10, where it stays for a long time, and then from there on out, the record has changed by 10ths of a second. Currently its 9.572 seconds. It dropped below the 10 second mark in 1968. 1968!!! That's a long time over with only a .5 second improvement. What that tells me is that we are reaching the limits of the physical capabilities of the human animal. Will it be another 100 years till someone runs a 9 second 100 m dash? Adaptation of the species can occur, but its something that takes time.

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EJ Livesey

You forgot something BIG.

INJURIES.

injuries lead to discouragement. Get too discouraged you quit. I have also found my bending/grip goals easier to conquer when I had some one to chase.

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You forgot something BIG.

INJURIES.

Yes. How many of the big players haven't experienced that? Does that happen more than in other strength sports?

I have also found my bending/grip goals easier to conquer when I had some one to chase.

Yes, Loneliness. It's so much easier if you have local friendly competitive setting. Edited by Elmo
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Yes, Loneliness. It's so much easier if you have local friendly competitive setting.

Which leads to another one... rarity, or the small amount of interested people. The marginal hobby and the best genes or best potential persons just don't meet. But why is it marginal or uninteresting for massess?

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bencrush
But why is it marginal or uninteresting for massess?

Because it's boring. Not much excitement to be had watching someone train grippers. I get enjoyment out of training them. But the general public (the masses) have relatively soft hands. And they say - "Ouch. These handles are sharp. I'd be able to close the #3 if the handles weren't sharp." I have heard that so many times (or variations of it) that it is comical.

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EJ Livesey

But why is it marginal or uninteresting for massess?

Because it's boring. Not much excitement to be had watching someone train grippers. I get enjoyment out of training them. But the general public (the masses) have relatively soft hands. And they say - "Ouch. These handles are sharp. I'd be able to close the #3 if the handles weren't sharp." I have heard that so many times (or variations of it) that it is comical.

Let's also not forget the average person cannot comprehend how strong we really are or what kind of strength is really needed. Average People go ape over a 400lb bench press but really don't care about closing a 3 or 3.5.

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Rick Walker

Let's also not forget the average person cannot comprehend how strong we really are or what kind of strength is really needed. Average People go ape over a 400lb bench press but really don't care about closing a 3 or 3.5.

This about sums it up. For the most part, the really strong athletes just don't care. Take Chis Duffin, 880 squat in knee wraps and a belt at 220. 900 pound deadlift with belt and straps. Hook grips his 800+ deadlifts. I watch a ton of his stuff as I love his scientific approach and I have never heard him speak of grip. What is more impressive? 880 @ 220 in wraps and a belt, or closing a #4 under IM rules??

In the grand scheme of things, what makes a man more money? Say you certify on a #4 under the ridiculous rules of IM. You then decide, since you are the man, you want to have a certification process and charge $500 or more per participant to teach them grip and certify them as "Grip Specialists", so they have another notch in their belt to make them sellable to clients. How many people are going to sign up? How many clients are going to care?

Chris Duffin runs his Super Total Certification with Nick Horton where they teach you to squat, deadlift, bench, clean, jerk, and snatch in a 2 day hands on weekend and a 90 day online course. This is something you can actually USE and will teach you to build better athletes. Hence, his accomplishments on the platform have turned into a career for him. Probably a career that makes him a pretty good living.

Grip is now, and will always be, underground with little interest by the monsters out there.

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But why is it marginal or uninteresting for massess?

Because it's boring. Not much excitement to be had watching someone train grippers. I get enjoyment out of training them. But the general public (the masses) have relatively soft hands. And they say - "Ouch. These handles are sharp. I'd be able to close the #3 if the handles weren't sharp." I have heard that so many times (or variations of it) that it is comical.

Right. It's difficult to understand it if you haven't trained it for a while. It's much easier for people (especially young men) to think about e.g. bench press. 100, 200, 300 lbs... Not so with grippers.

And the other grip events -- they don't sound very impressive when you think about 15 kg, 20 kg or even 100 kg lifted from ground. And they don't look impressive. Take the strongman competition for example: I think that's why they use big objects, cars, tyres etc. It looks more impressive than just loading some iron plates. People rather would be able to do that than move two handles couple of inches without any visible indication of the real difficulty.

But about "comical"... I was just reading your post when my wife asked "what's that about". I let her read the subject and the first post and she said "What? What that's about? I can read the text but don't understand it at all. What it's about? Something about bodybuilding?" I told it was about grippers and she said "oh those things that look like some tools. Would it be more useful for you to read about something else than squeezing funny looking objects? Wouldn't you rather buy those squat racks you have been planning?"

How's that for a reason "why no one is closing a 4"? (And just think what "closing a 4" means for outsiders... maybe they rather focus on pressing some meaningful 200 lbs...)

But just for the record: my wife has been very supportive for my training. Many thanks to her. I'm just happy those grippers and so small they easily go unnoticed compared to bars and weights in our living room :)

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mobsterone

You forgot something BIG.

INJURIES.

injuries lead to discouragement. Get too discouraged you quit. I have also found my bending/grip goals easier to conquer when I had some one to chase.

As a paragraph in and of itself yes. But I touched upon the skin tears. I don't think, although I may be wrong, I've had a proper hand injury.

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mobsterone

One thing I've been lucky with, other than being something of an all-rounder and winning competitions etc is being recognized as a 'gripper guy' by some very well known top level (0.1%) strength athletes. There is 'some' kudos. Not much mind. That said it has to be done for yourself first and any kudos second.

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Distraction

For most if not all, of the potential 4 closers we see that they have other aspirations and targets. I wanna kick, metaphorically speaking (they're both nice guys after all) David Horne and Kody's butts on the 2 hand pinch. My most recent session (Friday last) had me pull 240+ for 5 singles. Come August I'd like at least 120-kilos for 1 all out rep. It's unlikely I'll go close to a 4 while pulling big pinch numbers. I'm good for grippers (see below) but not into the rarefied levels I'd need to be to be close to a 4 close. One stays strong but not strong enough, I think, when the effort is diluted.

Equally, some of the guys simply grow up: work, girls and education rear their heads and, it being real life, take priority. As they damn well ought to. You need to think of this stuff as life and death (see the need for obsession mentioned elsewhere) but it's not.

These distractions start with wide set vs. deep set. Many gripsters say you have to train for one or the other. Then there's TSG vs. Vulcan etc., then crush vs. other grip events. Then grip vs. wrist. Then comes bending and armwrestling. Then powerlifting and strongman. Then bodybuilding and MMA. Etc. That's just impossible.

There should be dedicated competitions for crushing grip. The problem is I don't know other events for that than grippers (dynamic) and scale squeeze (static). Someone, Horne or someone other who has designed and made equipment, should build a two-hand crushing machine or two-hand grippers. Is it possible to invent something similar to europinch but without using thumbs, only fingers and palms, like in scale squeeze? That would have more carryover to crush than pinch which uses thumb.

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What annoys me the most

" he didn't close it he used two hands" or " that captains of crush #3 is actually 280lbs to close"

YouTube warriors most common conceptions of grip sport ^

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Also unpredictability of grippers may scare people in the upper level. You just don't want to test if it happens to be an easier #4, do you? There's the dilemma of what strength level is enough for a certain (uncalibrated) gripper. Imagine that a powerlifter would go to bench in a competition without knowing whether there's 200 kg in the bar or 215. They just wouldn't accept that.

What you strong guys say about that, is that a problem for #4?

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greppstark

What annoys me the most

" he didn't close it he used two hands" or " that captains of crush #3 is actually 280lbs to close"

YouTube warriors most common conceptions of grip sport ^

Your totally right! :grin: I have actually stopped correcting my friends for example when they talk about gripper ratings (ironmind) and also when i train my grip at the gym i never say wich reason i train my grip when someones ask, haha

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Anthony C.

In my opinion, and this is just my opinion, just because it exists, doesn't mean it can be done. Sure they make the 4 and have a certification process for it, but under the new rules, I just don't think it's possible.

They also make a GHP10. It's in production, but that doesn't mean it can be closed by the human hand.

It's one thing to mms a gripper and it's another thing to CCS it. There are a handful of guys right now that can mms or deep set a 4 on the lighter side, but the strength required to make the transition to CCS would be tremendous at that elite level. It's like having a 1000 pound bench press and needing to work toward a 1300lb bench press.

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Just to put this in perspective for any one who might not be aware:

The OP - Steve Gardener - closed a hard # 4 in competition (Woodall Comp), parallel set.

Sean

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GrassMaine89

Ok I'm going to be the new guy here. I have read a lot of people questioning whether psychically CCS'ing a CoC #4 is outside of the human potential. I remember watching Joe Kinney's close of the #4 and it appeared to be as wide if not wider than a CCS. I know I have read some discussion on the legitimacy of that particular close (on his video), and I do not know what close he used to certify. But I guess my question is did Joe Kinney prove that CCS'ing a #4 is within the human potential?

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All of the above.

And also...If you want to interest the really big guys you would need a high profile event with serious price money. Something like Mighty mitts only more fun.

I think there are ways to make gripsport more fun to watch if you make it more like a strongmen contest.

Thinking out loud:

- Crush event where light go on if handles are touched (has been suggested by a number of people)

- Inch dumbbell loading race? With inch dumbbells varying in weight upto the millennium dumbbell?

- Pinch grip farmers walk?

etc.

Grip can be fun.

The big guys just aren't going to risk injury going after an 'honarable mention'.

Also training for grip would mean they would have to cut back on their time training for other stuff.

One more thing. A #4 new out of the package could be anything from 190 to 220 rgc. That's a big range. Nobody is going to CCS a 220 gripper, but 190 would be doable for some. So a cert on a #4 is always going to be a bit of a gamble.

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mobsterone

Just to put this in perspective for any one who might not be aware:

The OP - Steve Gardener - closed a hard # 4 in competition (Woodall Comp), parallel set.

Sean

IIRC it was rated at 205lbs. It was, if only then, the hardest done in a competition. I did 2 more after (maybe one of those was the 205).

What annoys me the most

" he didn't close it he used two hands" or " that captains of crush #3 is actually 280lbs to close"

YouTube warriors most common conceptions of grip sport ^

My close to 65000 views YT video had that as among it's very first comment lol.

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Magnus

I think for a lot of people (myself included) it's not exactly the most rewarding thing ever. It takes a lot of very hard training to accomplish, but at the end of the day you're left with the fact that you did all of that training to close a gripper.

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richcottrell

I would like to point out one minor gap in Mike's comparison to the Olympic 100meter records as a timeline for measuring human potential...

I think the World Records would point to a more accurate scale for human "potential" as the Olympics are held only once every four years.

Someone might have their peak performance between Olympics and still set a World record. Also someone can always set a World Record and either "choke" in the Olympic competition, or get injured before the Olympics.

Also, just looking at the "Olympic Record" does not take into account how many athletes are topped the previous record.

For example I googled the 1980 Olympics because thats the one the USA Boycotted. From Wikipedis a read this:

  • In the pole vault an athlete topped the Olympic record by 15 cm (6"), yet finished fourth. Similarly, athletes who broke the Olympic record in men's high jump by 5 cm (2"), the women's long jump by 13 cm (5"), and the women's javelin by 60 cm (2'), wound up no better than fourth. A total of 12 track and field athletes performed so well that their scores would have won any previous Olympics, yet failed to win a medal at Moscow.

Just something to ponder...

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About the human potential see this video.

I happen to believe closing #4 CCS with is possible. The reason: it hasn't happened because grip strength is marginal even within strength sports which are quite marginal in all sports (except wannabe-bodybuilding-powerlifting which is quite popular but leads quite few to professional level). Even I didn't know much about it couple of months ago, and I was involved in bodybuilding and powerlifting more than twenty years ago and after that. The potential closers, their interests and grippers haven't met yet.

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Paul Savage

I think the reason somebody has yet to do is because it's really hard

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