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mobsterone

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I think it is genetics too. The mental thing is just something I threw in! It is possible to be born with abnormal tendon strength. I have even read about people having extra tendons! The fact that all the Holles are good at handstrength strongly indicates genetics.

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Tom of Iowa2

Rambling thoughts) RBrown and OldGuy made some good points.

And even though nathan couldn't close a BIG gripper right out of the box(as some guys have) i still believe he is 'hard wired'for crushing power.Of course he trains hard(differently from others but 'hard') but that is perhaps part of the genetic gift -the ability to get more results with less time spent?.There also has to be some serious tendon strength(perhaps natural- perhaps developed) with a #4 too.

As Ryan says obviously this mental ability/mind body connection of his does NOT carry over to his other lifts(no disrespect intended).

Also the examples of lifting feats reminds me of other freaky feats i've seen...some guys just have freaky 'wireing',just the right muscle type,the right 'insertion points',tendon strength,mind-muscle link up,etc.- which -perhaps creates strength(and the ability to GAIN strength) in just one area ,or in just a few areas?.An older dude that helps us out at the gym -who IS old-can out shoulder press(smith machine or seated DB's) ANYONE in our gym.That includes Josh,Sean the Cyborg,Big Sal Puina,400lb Mike Dean,anyone.....why?he doen't know either.His bench and incline is behind the aforementioned wide bodies.

I've seen another kid curl huge weights,he weighs a buck -ninety five...not strong on too many other lifts,but WOW he can do some sick bicep curls..just (perhaps)crazy tendon strength and some good hard wireing,superior CNS ?whatever?

(maybe a nice blend of fast twitch/slow twitch too).But it comes EZ for him.

Also-back to Nathan-another possibility? his carpentry work may indirectly help his grip strength.i.e. sort of like a (for him)light recovery work out...and/or ?a true carpenter(not just a laborer) may not be able to train everyday as the hands are constantly being worked already.

Hard to figure.Interesting thing to wonder about.

And i'm probably dead wrong. :laugh

Edited by Tom of Iowa2
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That is some awsome hardcore training. I beleive some people just don't know how to crush at 100%. It takes alot of focus. To be able to get a nateral adrenaline rush. Somtimes I invision myself saving somones life, or maybe my own. And Untill I can close a #4 gripper, then a life is lost. It takes alot of faith.

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I think there are too many people jumping on the idea of training like Holle. Like all the vets have been saying, you have to find what works for you. Just like anything with training. I just hope the ones that are jumping on the Holle wagon don't decrease in grip strength. If your current program is working, why fix what isn't broken?

Anyways, good luck to all that are switching over to this style of training. Hopefully it works out.

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Scott Styles

I think Tom is onto something with the carpentry work. Kinney used his hands a lot during the course of a day as well. Maybe the constantatly elevated stimulation aids recovery? Surely it has to factor into the training load.

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EricMilfeld
I am always thinking to make sure I don't mess up and someone sees my faults.

Steve, I too really don't like for my weaknesses to be exposed. In fact striving to keep my weaknesses well hidden is one of my weaknesses :whacked But your words brought the words of our Lord to mind: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

And by the way, if I was made aware of one of your weaknesses, rest assured I wouldn't say anything about it to your face :ohmy:laugh

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Dan Cenidoza

A lot of people are talking genetics, but I don't buy into that. If I kept thinking about how others were 'hard wired' for such and such, I would have stopped training by now. I'm concerned with what I'm 'hard wired' for and I won't know until I do it, whatever that may be.

Is it possible that these guys who can curl, overhead press or crush more than anyone else just wanted it more than anyone else? Is it possible that they believed they could achieve it more than anyone else? Is it possible that they trained harder to reach these goals than anyone else? It certainly is. This is the way I think.

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Guest gripmaster316

Dan everything is open to interpretation, I know what you mean though, if you train at something be it curl, press, DL, sqaut etc. for awhile you are going to get better at it. 4 years ago when I just started to weight lift I was doing a concentration curl of 25 pounds. I was pretty weak. 4 years later and now I can concentration curl 115 pounds for 5 reps. Nathan's feat is very impressive, it just seems weird that other people have been training to close the 4 and haven't yet. Both Nathan and Joe went from crushing a 3 to a 4 in a matter of 1 year. If it isn't genetic what could it be??

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A lot of people are talking genetics, but I don't buy into that. If I kept thinking about how others were 'hard wired' for such and such, I would have stopped training by now. I'm concerned with what I'm 'hard wired' for and I won't know until I do it, whatever that may be.

Is it possible that these guys who can curl, overhead press or crush more than anyone else just wanted it more than anyone else? Is it possible that they believed they could achieve it more than anyone else? Is it possible that they trained harder to reach these goals than anyone else? It certainly is. This is the way I think.

Dan:

Certainly will power, training routine, nutrition, ect. all play into the equation. However, like it or not, every trait that living things have is largely a function of genetics. Afterall, probably just about any Gorilla out there could close a #4 if you could show it how to do it.

I completely agree with you that you do not know what your genetic potential is until you test it. For all we know, you may have better genetics than Nathan for grip. There are also many who overcome genetic weaknesses with shear will power, but this will only work to a point.

To make an analogy to medical school. Most that go to medical school are genetically gifted intellectually in a certain way. There are, however, no doubt certain doctors who only have average intelligence who have made it into and through med school. Most with their intelligence would not have the drive necessary to do it because it would be too frustrating and they would give up. However, that one person wants it bad enough so they make it--despite their genetic weakness. Will that person be able to out perform a person with superior genetics and an equal will power? Not a chance.

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Genetics has to play a huge role. Pure and simple. But I think there could be environmental factors in play a bit as well. I have huge freaky strong calves. I NEVER work calves. I don't work calves because I have to load up so much weight on the bars or machines that I start pinching nerves in the bottom of my feet. I'll do some "social" calf workouts with my training partner every now and then, but I don't do anything to target them otherwise. I don't have to. (Maybe if calf training took off like grip training, and BeeSeeDot organized a "Feats with Calves" contest I'd be motivated to train them. :D) Now is it a genetic deal, or is it environmental? I'm naturally kinda thick, but I think the calves are a product of environment and usage. I tend to walk on my toes. At any given time my weight distribution is probably 70% or more on the balls of my feet. I have no idea why, but I've just always kinda walked/run that way. So for my entire life, I've been working my calves day in, day out. SUBCONSCIOUSLY. Inadvertantly. It wasn't until I was really trying to get to the bottom of my shin splint/compartment syndrome problem while playing rugby that I realized I wasn't walking or running "normal"

So what's all my babbling trying to say? Maybe Holle's a grabber. Maybe he's been grabbing stuff his entire life. Maybe he liked to play tug of war with his dog when he was little. Maybe he liked to clench his fists every time he got mad since he was 3. Maybe he grew up with a climbing rope on his swingset. Maybe it's from wrestling with his brothers his whole life. I don't know. I guess my bottom line is trying to theorize that a lifetime of inadvertant training gives a guy a huge headstart. Aight, I'm forgetting what I've already typed and don't want to start talking in circles. I dunno, just something to think about.

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Dan Cenidoza

I do acknowledge genetics and past experiences as giving one an advantage at certain things, I'm not denying that. However, I just don't think that way. In what way do I benefit by crediting someones ability to their genetics? To give me peace of mind? In this situation, is it good for me to be in tune with 'reality'? If I think that someones superior genetics allows them to do certain things I cannot, am I not setting myself up for failure? If I think that because someone can do something then I do can do it too, what do I have to lose with this mentality?

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Dan:

I understand where you are coming from and I agree. I tend to think the same way, but slightly different. Right or wrong I tell myself that my genetics are as good as it gets for grip or strongman. The genetics argument, while I believe true, is simply irrelevant for an indvidual. Above I was just explaining what I thought to be the likely reason for Nathan's success.

You have the gentics that you have; all you can do is the best you can with it. I heard a strange interview the other day with Gene Simmons; while I disagreed with most of what he said, he said you must go through life thinking you are better looking that you really are because the alternative is not very good. Without being cocky, I find it helpful to imagine that you are capable of just about anything--mind over matter--that is the only way I think you can reach your true genetic potential.

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Tom of Iowa2

If you look at all sports at the elite level(NFL,MLB,NBA,Hockey,International Track and Field,etc.etc.etc.)these sports are all dominated by individuals with superior genetics.Thats it..at the elite/world class level.

Occasionally there are athletes at this level that don't fit the 'mold'or the stereo typical ideal(say Zach Thomas playing Inside Linebacker at 5'11",230lbs-short in stature-with a relatively slow 4.9-5.0?, 40 yard dash or 5'6" Spud Webb-very short in stature-, former basketball great playing in the NBA)but even they has some sort of 'superior genetics that allow them to play at that level??

Sure Zach Thomas is mentally "tough" and described as "tenacious"...but he probably has superior peripeheral vision and an inate ability to see what is happening before it happens.His body is also very resilient-sure he trains hard and is in shape-(many of us are)but his body doesn't survive at that level because he's mentally "tough".I'd go out on a limb and say I'm stronger than Zach Thomas in the weight room or at grip...but i won't be playing in the NFL any time soon.Heck i'm even as slow as Zach(or was in highschool) :laugh:laugh

Spud at 5'6"?wow!in a sport where i believe the 'average'height is over 6'7"?he's gotta have something 'superior'going on to have been so successful?

IF not?all of us hard training,mentally tough,over acheivers would be playing in the NFL or the NBA?

One last example ....sort of more relevant cause we have discussed him in other threads..is Brian Schoonveld.Not his grip but his overhead pressing at which HE is one of the best(in pro strongman)in the world....yet his deadlift is-for his size-relatively poor,his squat is only good -but not extraordinary-and I've read that he has benched?540lbs great -but not world class for a super heavyz?(Harlan correct me if I'm wrong)but his over head press 400plus log?,405 push press for 3 or 4?-with an axle i think-,315 push press for 20?didn't just happen cause he wanted it too.It IS his genetic gift(or one of them :blink )and of course he does train it hard....(and having seen him compete several times i don't think ANYONE is as tough as Brian Schoonveld mentally)

As the freaks get into the grip frey in the next 10 years it- genetic ability- may?become more apparent or evident.

Having said all that i still think we/I can make up some of the genetic disadvantage that we/i might have?through smart and hard training and perhaps we all have some sort of genetic 'gift'that we can bring to the table???

Edited by Tom of Iowa2
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Is it possible that these guys who can curl, overhead press or crush more than anyone else just wanted it more than anyone else? Is it possible that they believed they could achieve it more than anyone else? Is it possible that they trained harder to reach these goals than anyone else? It certainly is. This is the way I think.

I decided to stay out of this discussion based on my strong opinions until Dan said this. Dan, that statement is the most spot-on one I've ever read on the Gripboard. Preach on! Desire, above all else, will determine results. Period. You could be "hard wired" for closing a #4 but unless you want to achieve that goal then you never will. Anyone who believes otherwise will never achieve their goals. And it will probably not be a surprise to them.

Besides, if he really won the genetics lottery for hand strength, he would have crushed a #2 the first time he touched it like some other guys have (myself included). For him to not even be able to close a #2 and now certify on the #4 means he had the desire to close it and worked as hard as possible. If you believe you will never reach your goals because of genetics, then you might as well quit RIGHT NOW because you're just postponing your inevitable failure. You wouldn't believe the number of people who don't understand this.

As for the "squeezing 100%" bit, I think we're reading into this more than need be. I believe he is saying that he just tries to crush it with all of his might on every attempt. He doesn't go half-assed. He doesn't do the gimicky things of strapholds and whatnot. Just squeeze the gripper as hard as you can on every attempt - what's so complicated about that? If you don't think you can exert yourself 100%, try this little exercise. Make your hand into a fist or grab onto something and squeeze just as tightly as you can. Now squeeze tighter. If you put your mind to work, you can squeeze tighter. Every attempt I've made at a hard gripper lasts about 5 seconds because I like to see if I can squeeze harder. And I usually can.

His work in carpentry has likely helped condition his hands for hard work daily, it might have aided in the recovery process, but I wouldn't place much more emphasis on it than that. Swinging a hammer may strengthen the grip, but if carpentry alone built the strength to close a #4, then the list would be longer, don't ya think?

This is really more analyzation than the topic deserves. He trained hard, with lots of intensity, and remained dedicated to his goal. Kudos to Nathan Holle.

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While desire certainly enters into the equation, no question that there is a huge genetic component. I'm sorry, but I KNOW there are plenty of people who train harder and want it more....period. Many assume that those who don't close a #2 the first time they touch one don't have the strength to do so. I think it is more a matter of learning the technique and hand positioning. Tendon strength especially in someone so young is largely determined by genetics. Has anyone noticed the hunk of flesh below Nathan's thumb pad? I haven't seen many people with those....and "sensible training" didn't develop that.

This guy has a gift, and hats off to him for developing it.

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Wannagrip
I'm sorry, but I KNOW there are plenty of people who train harder and want it more....period. Many assume that those who don't close a #2 the first time they touch one don't have the strength to do so. I think it is more a matter of learning the technique and hand positioning. Tendon strength especially in someone so young is largely determined by genetics. Has anyone noticed the hunk of flesh below Nathan's thumb pad? I haven't seen many people with those....and "sensible training" didn't develop that.

This guy has a gift, and hats off to him for developing it.

Exactly, that lower hand flesh is not something you normally see. Take a close look guys. Terminator, as usual, is spot on IMO.

.

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Bob Lipinski

Genetics at the top of the sport are so easy to see. Heck, Ed Coan went ~500-350-500 at his first meet at 16 years old, 165 pounds. He could have trained half brain dead and been a national champ, instead he took himself to the limits and became the best ever. Most guys here would have to (or had to) train years just to get where Ed Coan started.

And as far as crushing strength, while I am no prodigy I admit I have gifts others don't. I think I only recorded 2-3 workouts before I shut the 3, the rest of the time I just played around with the grippers and did whatever. Other people have had to put years of hard work to get to the same place.

Genetics should never be an excuse not to reach your goals. Everyone should shoot for the impossible one workout at a time. However, it is often wrong to copy the training of the more gifted because they can either tolerate things that you never will, or started so good and progressed so fast that they were real damn strong before they had the time to stop and think about it.

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I have for sure very large hands, but I do not have that thickness of hand or that huge thumb pad. No amount of training has changed that. Would not surprise me if all the Holle brothers had the same hand structure.

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Wannagrip
Genetics at the top of the sport are so easy to see. Heck, Ed Coan went ~500-350-500 at his first meet at 16 years old, 165 pounds. He could have trained half brain dead and been a national champ, instead he took himself to the limits and became the best ever. Most guys here would have to (or had to) train years just to get where Ed Coan started.

And as far as crushing strength, while I am no prodigy I admit I have gifts others don't. I think I only recorded 2-3 workouts before I shut the 3, the rest of the time I just played around with the grippers and did whatever. Other people have had to put years of hard work to get to the same place.

Genetics should never be an excuse not to reach your goals. Everyone should shoot for the impossible one workout at a time. However, it is often wrong to copy the training of the more gifted because they can either tolerate things that you never will, or started so good and progressed so fast that they were real damn strong before they had the time to stop and think about it.

:mosher

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Tom of Iowa2

Come on guys?

To think that following Nathan Holles training will get you/us the same results is like thinking that if you followed the training regimine of Michael Jordan,Nolan Ryan,Lawrence Taylor,Tiger Woods,Carl lewis OR the man,the beast,the best

Alexandr Karelin

Is Nathan in the freak zone that these athletes are?Possibly?.....we really don't know yet- as there are NOT enough 'grip athletes/participants' as there are participating in:basketball,baseball,Football,Golf,Track or Greco Roman Wrestling/wrestling.

That hand of Nathans is unreal..and that it is attached to such a(relatively)small body that DOES not have that much power AND that all his brothers have GREAT grips should tell us enough.

Sometimes it is better to be realistic than TOO optimistic..not to say any of you CAN'T close the #4...but it is likely going to take different training and take longer to do it.

I wonder if i trained as hard as him IF I'd beat him?LOL.....

after all i used to wrestle and weigh as much as him? :whistel

Edited by Tom of Iowa2
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