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Quest for CoC #2


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Hi all.

After years of being fascinated by grip training, I started goofing around a bit with some CoC grippers, thinking that if I could get to where I could do reps with the #1, I'd be happy. I picked up the S and T as a start, and then once I could do a dozen reps with the T (almost a year later) I went ahead and got a #1. I was never very disciplined about it, I'd just keep them at my desk at work and use them when I was bored or stressed, or would play around with them when someone interested would drop by my desk.

Over the last year or so since getting the #1, I've had a repeated pattern where I'll work with the grippers sporadically and see some gains, and then start to get some pain or an overt injury and have to back off for a bit. This has had me hovering at a max of ~5 reps (when things are working best) with the #1 on my right hand, and about 5mm from closing it once with my left.

About 20 years ago in my mid-20's, I would bench 300, squat 400, and deadlift 425 (deadlift lagged squats due to scoliosis and being prone to sciatica). Those were good times, but after more than a decade of getting fatter and weaker, I turned to cycling (and to a lesser extent running) for getting my exercise buzz. I'm not gonna get back into lifting for strength/fitness, but I am having fun with the grippers and would like to take a more regimented approach, work past this sticking point, and get to where I can close the #2 with my right hand. I'm not abandoning the left and will still train it, but right now I think it's OK if I never get my left strong enough to close the #2.

I'm approaching this much like I would approach hitting a specific number for a lift - following a specific routine that's biased towards resistance rather than volume. I have been trying to do this routine 3 days per week, but may drop to 2 days if I find that I continue having trouble recovering:

  1. Warm-up set with S (~12-15 reps, just going by feel).
  2. Warm-up with T (stopping a bit short of failure).
  3. Work set with T (to failure)
  4. Work set with T (to failure)
  5. (Right hand only) Work set with #1 (to failure - will do a negative or a rest & additional rep if I have no pain).

I'll track my work and results here, and I'm open to advice and insight from others.

Edited by Syscrush
clarification
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Mon Jan 16:

  1. S: Lx12, Rx12
  2. T: Lx4, Rx7
  3. T: Lx4, Rx10
  4. T: Lx4, Rx12
  5. #1: Rx3
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Goodluck in reaching your goal. 

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On 1/16/2017 at 2:45 PM, Chez said:

Goodluck in reaching your goal. 

Thanks, I appreciate it! Are you still working towards the #3.5? I tried catching up on your epic thread, but there's an awful lot going on in there. :)

Wed Jan 18:

  1. S: Lx12, Rx15
  2. T: Lx5, Rx8
  3. T: Lx5, Rx13
  4. T: Lx5 (overdid it - was quite sore when I stopped), Rx15
  5. #1: Rx2 (pushed harder on the previous sets, and had less left in the tank for the last set)
Edited by Syscrush
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21 minutes ago, Syscrush said:

Thanks, I appreciate it! Are you still working towards the #3.5? I tried catching up on your epic thread, but there's an awful lot going on in there. :)

Yep, I was up to the point of closing average 3.5's under cert conditions (I was waiting to close tough ones because you never know what you will get cert day) but then life got in the way (purchased my first home, promotion at work, chasing too many strength goals etc.) and I got injured. But I'm healthy and restarted the journey. I will be on that list no matter what.I have lost lots of strength so I have to work hard to catch up to where I once was.  

Edited by Chez
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1 minute ago, Chez said:

Yep, I was up to the point of closing average 3.5's under cert conditions (I was waiting to close tough ones because you never know what you will get cert day) but then life got in the way (purchased my first home, promotion at work, chasing too many strength goals etc.) and I got injured. But I'm healthy and restarted the journey. I will be on that list no matter what. 

Good luck!

On the subject of the easy/average/tough grippers - I know you've had a bunch of your collection calibrated or measured. Are the real measurements on CoC grippers as far from the nominal poundage as what I think I'm seeing in some vids?

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21 minutes ago, Syscrush said:

Good luck!

On the subject of the easy/average/tough grippers - I know you've had a bunch of your collection calibrated or measured. Are the real measurements on CoC grippers as far from the nominal poundage as what I think I'm seeing in some vids?

I know you are new to the board. In gripsport we use a different method to measure grippers than ironmind does so that is probably throwing you off. Ironmind uses an average measured from the middle of the handle. In the grip community we place a strap that is 1 inch wide at the very end of the handle when the gripper is on its side. Its like a lever. When you put pressure farther away from the spring you get a lower poundage rating. Using our method the average #3 is like 150 lbs but ironmind uses the average of 280 since they go mid handle. Using our method I have seen #3s go as low as high 130s and as high as low 190s. Obviously those are extreme outliers. If you ever have a question, feel free to message me. I'm a gripper nut. 

Edited by Chez
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Fri Jan 20:

  1. S: Lx12, Rx15
  2. T: Lx4, Rx10
  3. T: Lx5, Rx10
  4. T: Lx5, Rx12
  5. #1: Rx1 + 1 partial.
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Ambitious Guy

I have also started a thread here on this forum in my journey to closing the CoC 2.

I hope we both get there! Maybe you could also post a video so that we can help you with your technique?

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BTW - I kinda doubt anyone will care about this, but my nickname "Syscrush" on here is kind of a coincidence. It's a handle I've used for decades, I took it from an old Neil Young song about hackers called "Computer Cowboy aka Syscrusher".

It isn't meant to mean anything about my meager crushing abilities! :D 

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Mon Jan 23:

  1. S: Lx12, Rx15
  2. T: Lx4, Rx10
  3. T: Lx5, Rx10
  4. T: Lx6, Rx12
  5. #1: Rx2 + 1 neg (10 seconds).

Basically a re-run of Friday but with less pain in my left hand and 1 extra rep left in the tank for rightie.

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Hockey Stick
On 16 januari 2017 at 8:22 PM, Syscrush said:

Mon Jan 16:

  1. S: Lx12, Rx12
  2. T: Lx4, Rx7
  3. T: Lx4, Rx10
  4. T: Lx4, Rx12
  5. #1: Rx3

Hello Syscrush,

What happens if you skip working set 3 and 4 and put everything you got on the #1 working set?

Can you then add a set extra or 2 with #1?

My best tip in general is to squeeze with everything you got on each repetition you do, even tough the handles already touch, overcrush it if you have the power.

I also believe that it would be good if you add something to avoid the pain you have been feeling before. Maybe playing around with a cheap sledge hammer once a week and extension rubber bands at your office.

Good luck with grippers/Göran

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1 hour ago, Hockey Stick said:

Hello Syscrush,

What happens if you skip working set 3 and 4 and put everything you got on the #1 working set?

Can you then add a set extra or 2 with #1?

My best tip in general is to squeeze with everything you got on each repetition you do, even tough the handles already touch, overcrush it if you have the power.

I also believe that it would be good if you add something to avoid the pain you have been feeling before. Maybe playing around with a cheap sledge hammer once a week and extension rubber bands at your office.

Good luck with grippers/Göran

Thank you very much for the specific suggestions and advice, I appreciate it.

My thinking of having 3 work sets with the T followed by just 1 work set with the #1 was to hopefully decrease my chance of injury. I may be wrong, but I feel like going to failure on sub-maximal load has a lower probability of damage to connective tissues, which I expect is a real risk for grip training as the hand is such a complex & compact structure.

I'm going to stick with this routine for 4-6 weeks and then evaluate - if I decide to change things up, I'll certainly take a hard look at your suggestions.

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Wed Jan 25:

  1. S: Lx12, Rx15
  2. T: Lx6, Rx10
  3. T: Lx4, Rx12
  4. T: Lx6, Rx12
  5. #1: Rx3
     
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  • 2 weeks later...

I was working at a customer site for about a week and a half. Back at it today.

Mon Feb 6:

S: Lx12, Rx15
T: Lx4, Rx6
T: Lx4, Rx10
T: Lx4, Rx10
#1: Rx2
 

I expected to come back fresher/stronger after the short layoff, but that was obviously not the case.

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Interesting. I would have expected you to as well. What did you do during the week that would have caused the drop in reps? Tax your nervous system pretty hard in some way?

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It turns out, I had the flu. I ended up knocked on my ass for Tue and Wed, back in the office today but still under the weather.

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OK, back after a long layoff, still on antibiotics and feeling under the weather. This is really just to ease back into training, using the S only:

Wed Feb 15:

  1. S: Lx8, Rx8
  2. S: Lx8, Rx8
  3. S: Lx8, Rx8
  4. S: Lx12, Rx30

Wow. I knew my right was stronger, but that last set surprised me.

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Cool man! Make sure your work on your deep setting too, this is the key to closing big grippers, as well as most certs are deeper sets. If your goal is eventually to TNS (no set, like you're doing) you can refine that once you are closing bigger grippers too.

To each their own too, if you like training all TNS, certainly go for it! You may just be slowing your progress a bit if your long term goals are closing much bigger grippers. 

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Thanks very much - pointers like this are a big part of why I decided to join this forum at the same time as getting more serious about the training.

To be clear, I'm not doing a TNS, I use the other hand to get the gripper into place - just that I go to full extension and full flexion on every rep for the S and T grippers. For the #1, I set a bit to get my grip how I like it, I can't do the 100% full range on that one.

I don't intend to work towards closing anything harder than a #2. My current goal is to close the #2 once with a CCS. If I get to where I can do reps with that, then a TNS would be a logical next step and probably the end of the line for my right hand. If I get there, I'll likely go into maintenance mode for Righty and see if I can get Lefty into the same territory.

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Tue Feb 21

  1. S: Lx12, Rx15
  2. T: Lx6, Rx10
  3. T: Lx5, Rx10
  4. T: Lx6, Rx15
  5. #1: Rx3 + 1 neg

That's a bit more like it.

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