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Alex's grip log - journey from the start


Alexander Koss
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Hello guys! After some time of working with grippers, I decided to share my journey with everyone on the forum. I have been training with grippers for almost exactly 6 months now, and I would like to take you back on the start of my gripper journey, and where it has brought me to this day:

 

  • 18.01.2021: Just received my CoC#2 gripper! I think it probably was the exact day I took it out of the package and began squeezing it, trying to replicate the "CCS" closes I saw on the internet.  

 

  • 17.02.2021: Almost exactly one month has passed, I've improved my form a little bit, and learned to do rep work. I also bought some chalk in order to not have to wash-dry my hands to be able to work with grippers :D 

 

  • 18.02.2021: The very next day I decided to try and hit a close on my CoC#2.5, and it worked out somehow! 

 

  • 08.03.2021: Repping the 2.5!

 

  • 05.04.2021: First CoC#3 close! I have improved my setting technique, and closed it from roughly a MMS, maybe a little bit deeper. The CoC#3 is 151RGC. 
     

After this video I have had tons of trouble with the skin on my palm due to slight overtraining. This is a thing of the past now though. I am back on track, squeezing my grippers. This is my current working stash:

 IMG_2537.thumb.JPG.86fc0d9375763abfcdc08cdb243e9542.JPG

 

A little bit about the rating tags on those grippers:  All of the grippers have been rated in my own private system which initially was based upon RGC, but due to the usage of a slightly different strap (softer, less resistance towards deformation hence the center of force doesn't travel up the gripper handle towards the "more stretched" end of the strap and plenty of other engineering explanations :laugh) as well as a slower closing speed, my results closely resemble the results of Vadim Murashkin from Steel Grip of Russia. I have compared my numbers to the numbers from grippers I have received from him, and they match exactly if the handle gap is kept around 0.5-1mm (similar to SGR). However, I rate them to a full close (similar to Cannon), not applying a single bit of force beyond the range, so that the handles do not rub against each other with resistance. That's why my numbers are almost exactly between CPW and SGR. The exact conversion is: CPW*0.98 or SGR*1.03. Both conversions have been calculated using grippers rated by Cannon and SGR.

P.S. Huge thanks for both Cannon and Vadim and their hard work on perfecting RGC and SGR ratings!

 

My current PRs as of 16.07 are:

CoC#3 3xMMS reps

GHP7 1.5 inch (38mm) BS close

CoC#2.5 TNS smash

CoC#2.5 4xCCS reps

Hopefully, those PRs will be broken soon :rock

 

Due to my active schedule being a Master's student in Engineering here in Germany, I am not always able to record my gripper workouts, but I will try to share as much as I can with the grip community! I hope you enjoy, and if you have any questions on any topic, I'd love to answer them! :)

I will continue recording my grip journey and sharing it with you guys

 

Edited by Alexander Koss
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1 hour ago, Alexander Koss said:

Hello guys! After some time of working with grippers, I decided to share my journey with everyone on the forum. I have been training with grippers for almost exactly 6 months now, and I would like to take you back on the start of my gripper journey, and where it has brought me to this day:

 

  • 18.01.2021: Just received my CoC#2 gripper! I think it probably was the exact day I took it out of the package and began squeezing it, trying to replicate the "CCS" closes I saw on the internet.  

 

  • 17.02.2021: Almost exactly one month has passed, I've improved my form a little bit, and learned to do rep work. I also bought some chalk in order to not have to wash-dry my hands to be able to work with grippers :D 

 

  • 18.02.2021: The very next day I decided to try and hit a close on my CoC#2.5, and it worked out somehow! 

 

  • 08.03.2021: Repping the 2.5!

 

  • 05.04.2021: First CoC#3 close! I have improved my setting technique, and closed it from roughly a MMS, maybe a little bit deeper. The CoC#3 is 151RGC. 
     

After this video I have had tons of trouble with the skin on my palm due to slight overtraining. This is a thing of the past now though. I am back on track, squeezing my grippers. This is my current working stash:

 IMG_2537.thumb.JPG.86fc0d9375763abfcdc08cdb243e9542.JPG

 

A little bit about the rating tags on those grippers:  All of the grippers have been rated in my own private system (I call it gSGR - gapless Steel Grip of Russia) which initially was based upon RGC, but due to the usage of a slightly different strap (softer, less resistance towards deformation hence the center of force doesn't travel up the gripper handle towards the "more stretched" end of the strap and plenty of other engineering explanations :laugh) as well as a slower closing speed, my results closely resemble the results of Vadim Murashkin from Steel Grip of Russia. I have compared my numbers to the numbers from grippers I have received from him, and they match exactly if the handle gap is kept around 0.5-1mm (similar to SGR). However, I rate them to a full close (similar to Cannon), not applying a single bit of force beyond the range, so that the handles do not rub against each other with resistance. That's why my numbers are almost exactly between Cannon and SGR. The exact conversion is: CPW*0.978 or SGR*1.03. Both conversions have been calculated using grippers rated by Cannon and SGR.

P.S. Huge thanks for both Cannon and Vadim and their hard work on perfecting RGC and SGR ratings!

 

My current PRs as of 16.07 are:

CoC#3 3xMMS reps

GHP7 1.5 inch (38mm) BS close

CoC#2.5 TNS smash

CoC#2.5 4xCCS reps

Hopefully, those PRs will be broken soon :rock

 

Due to my active schedule being a Master's student in Engineering here in Germany, I am not always able to record my gripper workouts, but I will try to share as much as I can with the grip community! I hope you enjoy, and if you have any questions on any topic, I'd love to answer them! :)

I will continue recording my grip journey and sharing it with you guys

 

Nice man! Those are some strong closes and looks like you have an awesome collection of grippers. Any big goals your working towards right now?

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Nuttgens said:

Nice man! Those are some strong closes and looks like you have an awesome collection of grippers. Any big goals your working towards right now?

Thanks! :D
I think the next big step would be getting the MM1 done. I won’t risk it though, so I’ll apply only when I’m closing my Standard Cobalt (162lbs RGC / 72kg gSGR) as confidently, as I typically close my CoC#3 at this time. 

Apart from that, the main large goal in sight is the CoC#3 cert, but that’s a long journey, so there will be many epic milestones on the way there ;)

Edit: I’ll also record some new stuff and upload it soon. My close videos are very outdated, haven’t recorded in a long time! 

Edited by Alexander Koss
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32 minutes ago, Alexander Koss said:

Thanks! :D
I think the next big step would be getting the MM1 done. I won’t risk it though, so I’ll apply only when I’m closing my Standard Cobalt (162lbs RGC / 72kg gSGR) as confidently, as I typically close my CoC#3 at this time. 

Apart from that, the main large goal in sight is the CoC#3 cert, but that’s a long journey, so there will be many epic milestones on the way there ;)

Edit: I’ll also record some new stuff and upload it soon. My close videos are very outdated, haven’t recorded in a long time! 

Nice good luck man. I am also working towards the coc 3 cert and will probably try to work my way through the mm ladder at some point. 

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Just now, Nuttgens said:

Nice good luck man. I am also working towards the coc 3 cert and will probably try to work my way through the mm ladder at some point. 

Thanks man! Let’s get it done :rock

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Thank you @SteinWillems1!

Also, forgot to post my stats:

Height: 183cm or 6”

Current weight: 84kg or 185lbs

Hand measurement: 195mm or 7.68 inches

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What does your workout routine look like? How often do you train grippers?

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My training frequency has changed from once a week to twice a day and back throughout the months. Right now I try to listen to my muscles, and train only when feeling very well recovered, which ends up being after a 1-2 day break. So, probably 2-3 times a week is my current frequency, although I try to maintain 2 day breaks, sometimes you miss gripping too much :laugh

My routine is very flexible in terms of which kind of closes I try to hit (CCS/MMS/BS, I rarely train TNS but am starting to get used to it). One thing that is pretty consistent is the load: I warm up with something light (CoC#1.5-2), and then try to hit some epic closes or attempts. Could be trying to hit a PR number of MMS CoC#3 closes, or CCS/BS my GHP7 (which is 3kgs lighter than my CoC#3), or attempt something in the CoC#3+ territory from MMS/DS. After that I try to get as many quality close sets, like for example CCS CoC#2.5 for reps to improve my technique, or work on something else. Generally, I try to listen to my hands as much as possible and give them exactly what they wish to squeeze :D

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Posted (edited)

Had a fun session today, here are the highlights.

The GHP7 CCS Attempt was done after probably 7-8 sets/attempts with this hand, so I am very happy with the outcome :D

I have had the most progress on my left when I switched to CCS attempts, so I'm going to do the same for my right now.

Next big milestone: GHP7 CCS close (64kg gSGR, 144 RGC, 76mm handle distance)

 

Edited by Alexander Koss
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Just realised something about proper Block Set form:

In order to not have the gripper slide down your palm and increase the disadvantage of the close, you need to close it down deeper than a BS, open it to the width of the block by opening fingers only (no sliding in the palm), and close it. My biggest mistake was always trying to set the gripper exactly to BS depth, that's why it ends up being so deep in the palm all the time and leaves me at a disadvantage (like in my video above).

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Another session done, some more highlights! Improved Block Set form enabled me to close my GHP7 after multiple sets, which is soft of a PR by itself :D 

 

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Nice close but that's nowhere near MMS depth, it's much wider. More like 30 mm or close to it. MMS is slightly less than 20 mm.

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19 hours ago, Fist of Fury said:

Nice close but that's nowhere near MMS depth, it's much wider. More like 30 mm or close to it. MMS is slightly less than 20 mm.

You're right, I always saw MMS as parallel + a little bit more so that there's no doubt it was at least parallel :D The key point for the Block Set close is probably valid for both MMS and the 30mm set width from the video, though maybe a deeper set could also be more beneficial for the gripper position in the palm.

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On 7/20/2021 at 2:56 PM, Alexander Koss said:

You're right, I always saw MMS as parallel + a little bit more so that there's no doubt it was at least parallel :D The key point for the Block Set close is probably valid for both MMS and the 30mm set width from the video, though maybe a deeper set could also be more beneficial for the gripper position in the palm.

Yes the deeper you can set it the better. As long as your hands are big enough, set it as deep as possible. I never had a problem with the GHP block set, I could set it so that the gripper was closed before opening it up. That always gave me the best results.

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Todays workout was focused on MMS closes, again trying to improve my setting technique:

CoC#3 3xMMS (last close the pinkie slipped which I wasn't happy about)

CoC#3 3xMMS proper form, maybe missed the last close by half a mm, very hard to see

GHP7 Left MMS possible close (not clearly visible, pretty poor set in my left hand)

CoC#3 GHP BlockSet extremely close miss, probably 0.5mm. Right was very tired. Next workout starts with this.

CoC#2.5 Left 2xCCS closed! 

Finisher: Some random MMS CoC#3 and GHP7 Closes/Attempts.

Conclusion for today: I risk sacrificing my pinkie on the close way too often, I'll have to set the grippers a bit lower from now on to never encounter this issue. For BlockSet form, @Fist of Fury was absolutely right, the deeper you pre-set the gripper before the actual block set, the easier the close. Same goes for CCS. Before BlockSet was a complete lottery for me, now it's a very straight forward path of increasing resistance :)

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Posted (edited)

Update! I got myself two oversize steel washers, with 40.1mm and 43.3mm inner diameter, in order to do "choked set" closes. The 43.3mm one leaves about 28mm between the handles of my 3.5, and slightly more on the 3. I really enjoyed not having to set my grippers today and just squeezing them as hard as possible :D Here are some highlights from today's epic session: 

Grippers used:

CoC#3 (67kg gSGR, 151 RGC)

CoC#3 (77kg gSGR, 174 RGC)

Fun fact: the 3.5 close was my 3rd attempt. The 1st one I realised I could close it and was completely shocked. The 2nd one I missed because I didn't rest after the 1st one. And finally, this one happened after about 5mins of resting. :) 

Edited by Alexander Koss
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Training update Monday 26.07.2021:

  • Decided to start a slow paced cutting phase, looking to decrease bodyfat by a few percent (currently cruising at about 18-20%, still some visible abs but "very faded" :grin:). I've always been afraid to do so due to strength loss, especially since grip entered my life this year. Going to try to stay calorie-neutral or in a tiny deficit, not to harm progress. Hopefully gripper-nooby-gains will let me continue progressing, maybe at a slightly slower rate, but still. Current weight is 88kg or 194lbs, I'll try to get down to probably around 83kg. 
  • I enjoyed the washer "pre-set" closes so much, that I'm going to try and focus on them for a while now and see how it goes. Feeling really good about this. Progress might be slightly slowed down due to the slow-paced cut, but I still believe there should be some with this new epic training method.

I have very little experience on cutting properly with minimal strength loss. I'm pretty new to the grip world and back at the gym after a huge break gaining strength every workout at the moment, so I think progress will go on just due to noobie status. But I would love to hear advice from you guys. Not looking to achieve anything crazy from a leanness point, just shave off the few excessive pounds there. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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Some information on using heavy duty steel washers instead of conventional chokers:

  • It's easy to get them on: you can simply chestcrush your goal gripper to about parallel and slip the washer on the spring!
  • No unwanted or unintentional assistance with the choker: when you close a gripper with a washer on, it just goes loose! No elastic support whatsoever! You can just take it off the gripper after applying some force and finish it down like a regular gripper close. Also, there are no extension bolts (like with drilled handles), which can be used for leverage. Comparing it to hose clamps, there is no elastic assistance either when you take off the washer. It's your good old gripper with the exact same rating as usual!
  • No damage or relaxation of the gripper: probably one of the largest advantages - you don't have to "choke" any of your grippers for a prolonged period of time, which means you don't have to permanently drill the handles or tighten any hose clamps which damages the knurling. You put on the washer before an attempt, and take it off right away. The gripper doesn't loose it's resistance over time! No visible marks remain on the spring from the washers even on heavy grippers.
  • Full handle surface available: since the washer is on the spring, the handles are there to squeeze. Nothing gets in your way. I personally disliked using hose clamps for many reasons, the main one being the knurling damage, but of course the fact that they can pinch your skin pretty badly!
  • Unique to washers - full range of motion of the gripper usable: you just take it off, and the whole ROM is available. It turns into your regular gripper in an instant. No other choker has this feature.
  • Incredibly cheap: I literally bought 2 washers for 2 Euros each, which is probably a bit under 5$ total. Two sizes fit all of my grippers. Of course, different sizes can be bought for different handle distance settings. Only downside is probably that anything below parallel is not really achievable since the washer won't fit on the spring.

IMG_2685.thumb.JPG.073e453f7a594ba503df785e1c216176.JPG

 

 

 

 

To sum it up: I am by no means associated with washer businesses :D I was just so shocked to find out how awesome they are, that I decided to share my excitement with you guys! I have seen so many choked closes on the internet, which make very little sense: closing from 6mm or so where the hose clamp is giving a ton of elastic assistance. Or closes with the drilled handle chokers where people have their whole pinkie on the extension bolt where it literally could not have pulled on the gripper if it hadn't been for that choker setup. As you saw from my video before, after removing the washer there's nothing except a well positioned gripper in your hand, which can be squeezed down easier than from a MMS since you loose zero strength setting it.

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Posted (edited)

A bit off topic: I just received my long awaited Tetting BeefBuilder World Class, which I got lucky to purchase off eBay. It is in pristine new condition, which I am extremely happy about! :wub: Barely any (if any at all) restoration work has to be done. It's a very beautiful, hand-made gripper, and a real piece of grip history. 

IMG_2710.thumb.JPG.2b8ea27130adc37bfe42873d9e95e31a.JPG

It's now a proud part of my "thick spring" gripper collection :grin:

Edited by Alexander Koss
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14 hours ago, Alexander Koss said:

A bit off topic: I just received my long awaited Tetting BeefBuilder World Class, which I got lucky to purchase off eBay. It is in pristine new condition, which I am extremely happy about! :wub: Barely any (if any at all) restoration work has to be done. It's a very beautiful, hand-made gripper, and a real piece of grip history. 

IMG_2710.thumb.JPG.2b8ea27130adc37bfe42873d9e95e31a.JPG

It's now a proud part of my "thick spring" gripper collection :grin:

Congrats! Guess these are getting harder to find. I got mine back in the early 2000’s 

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Quick update on the Tetting BeefBuilder World Class: The restoration process is complete! I have deep cleaned the handles and polished the bottoms, and applied matte black acrylic paint both for cosmetic and protective reasons on the spring. It was also oiled afterwards (why it's pretty shiny on the photo) and I rated the gripper! This one rated at a whopping 128.0kg gSGR (my derivative of SGR), which would be equal to 289lbs RGC (According to the CPW measurement system).

IMG_2723.thumb.JPG.929300d48f1d501d4ffa168ed2decc12.JPG

Now that's truly a collectors item :wub:

On a side note, I can only recommend using paint for cosmetic/protective reasons, haven't noticed any issues with the spring during the closure of the gripper! Plus, it can easily be removed with some acetone or regular paint remover if needed!

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Today's workout:

  • Some heavy attempts on the CPW Standard Cobalt (72kg gSGR, 162RGC), mainly worked on setting it properly. Found out that for me a slightly deeper position in the palm works better, although it is generally known that it should be further in the palm. I guess it's very palm-dependent. Feeling like I'll close the Cobalt with my comfortable setting technique from an MMS sometime soon.
  • Another CoC#3 close with a washer pre-set with my left
  • A few CCS attempts on the GHP7 and other grippers.

Felt pretty tired today so the closes were not that epic. I guess it's pretty typical to have some off-days throughout the workouts. Probably due to a very intense gym workout yesterday. Might try to hit grippers tomorrow again, feeling pretty fresh after this mini-workout.

 

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Posted (edited)

New day, new session! Here are the highlights:

The SG Cobalt in the video was rated with my setup at 72kg (gSGR), which is a little over 162lbs CPW. Really great gap-bridging number.

Talking about this gripper, I am in love with @Cannon's Standard Gripper line. I currently have the Cobalt (162) and the Tungsten (192, rated by CPW). They feel super-solid, I guess the quality control is top notch. If you don't own one make sure to check them out. I enjoy training and working with them a lot. I guess the Cobalt is probably all you need to work towards the 3.5.

I also have no affiliation with CPW :D I just extremely enjoy SG grippers.

 

Rest of the workout:

  • Left: GHP7 MMS attempts - all very very close (under 0.5mm). The strength is there but the set is lacking security, but getting better!
  • Right: 3 more SG Cobalt attempts, felt awesome. I missed doing heavy attempts.

Post-workout philosophy :D:

Before I always used to approach my workouts with intense mental preparation, trying to be perfectly ready for my attempts both physically and mentally, always having the right music playing and so on. This put a ton of "virtual" pressure on me for no real reason. While sometimes it might be a helpful factor to have a huge adrenaline rush, I personally lose focus or rush and miss attempts. Today I tried something new: I had a playlist going, no particular "charged" songs for those attempts. Just some nice background music with some energy, nothing crazy. I also decided to take it slower and focus more on technique and consistency. That's why todays workout turned out to be a great one and probably one of my favourites. 

I was also happy to see some progress on a gripper I was too scared to attempt for a long time :D

 

Edited by Alexander Koss
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Man you're getting SO CLOSE to that Cobalt. That's going down soon.

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