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Alex's grip log - journey from the start


Alexander Koss
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Training update:

Still going strong, training with grippers roughly once every 4 days, seems to be pretty optimal from a recovery standpoint :)

The previous workout was mainly focused on CCS, managed to do another close with my average CoC#3, with a clear set. The rest were other MMS closes of grippers rated above 150 mainly and an epic pump-finisher routine with easier CoCs (2.5-2)

Today I did the following routine:

  • CoC#3.5 (179, CPW) - Pre-Set (30mm) attempt, got down to about 4-5mm
  • GHP8 (166) - Pre-Set (30mm), 4 mini reps from around 10mm
  • CoC#3.5 (173) - Pre-Set (30mm) attempt, very close, around 1mm left
  • CoC#3.5 (164) - Pre-Set (30mm) multiple reps, around 5-6 from around 10mm
  • CoC#3 (154, CPW) - Pre-Set(30mm) close lefty
  • CoC#3.5 (164) - Pre-Set (30mm) attempt lefty, sub 1mm left
  • CoC#3 (141, CPW) - Pre-Set (30mm) many reps both left and right as a finisher

I am staying at a weight of around 86kg at the moment, strength keeps growing slowly but steadily at this constant weight, which is a good sign! :)

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Great update. Your progress has been consistantly getting better it seems. Even though weight has stayed pretty steady, have you noticed any forearm or hand muscle size gain with all the heavy closes and volume you do? 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/13/2022 at 11:14 AM, mcalpine1986 said:

Great update. Your progress has been consistantly getting better it seems. Even though weight has stayed pretty steady, have you noticed any forearm or hand muscle size gain with all the heavy closes and volume you do? 

In fact I have, my forearms got much larger throughout the year of training! I also noticed that your own grip strength does correlate a lot with bodyweight, probably even more with your calorie intake. I am now progressing again in this weight, which I am very happy about! 
 

Quick vid from today‘s workout:

 

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16 hours ago, Alexander Koss said:

In fact I have, my forearms got much larger throughout the year of training! I also noticed that your own grip strength does correlate a lot with bodyweight, probably even more with your calorie intake. I am now progressing again in this weight, which I am very happy about! 
 

Quick vid from today‘s workout:

 

Thats great to hear. Some people say grippers dont build size but they do for sure. 

Id agree that grip strength highly correlates with calorie intake. Too low and it will affect hormone production and affect strength. 

Very strong close and hold on the GHP 8. Very impressive. 

Edited by mcalpine1986
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Short training video from today:

Decided to try out some slow and controlled CCS closes today, and was pleasantly surprised! Feeling stronger than before the weight cut now!

 

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Gripper update:

I have sent a large chunk of my gripper collection for accurate ratings to the United States to none other than Matt @Cannon, so my training stack is temporarily reduced at this time, I still have plenty of grippers for working out at the moment though :) 

I am super excited to have them all rated! Huge props to Matt for doing this, if I was in the US I would have shipped them out for rating a long time ago!

My latest training has been with heavy grippers, primarily my 3.5 from a pre-set state, getting a good 4-5 closes from a deeper set, not micro-reps though. Slowly moving forward towards heavier stuff!

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Nice work 

very impressive 

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Just read through your entire training thread from the beginning, and very much enjoyed every post. You and I are a lot alike, down to the meticulous perfectionism and the obsession and passion for grippers and gripper training. And even the gym training and cutting/bulking phases. I'm also probably right around your bodyweight and body type also. I also happened to have just had a slight left shoulder injury, and didn't even make the connection that it could be gripper training and the strain on the tendons. I think I'm going to try to keep my gripper training to only one day per week for recovery and injury prevention, even if that means slower gains and progress.

I am probably where you were at in June 2021 as far as experience with grippers, though light-years behind in strength. I'm currently attempting a CoC 2 close of any kind, and you began being able to crush one. I couldn't even close the CoC Trainer when I began in July 2021.

I also loved all of the ratings and rgc info, your beautiful Tetting World Class (I want a Pro and World Class so bad), your washer choking advice, training advice, how you broke in your GG6 with the hose clamp to stabilize the spring.

I look forward to continuing to follow your progress, and hope to see your name on the CoC #3 cert list soon!

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Thank you very much for the kind words @Jared P! I hope the information I have been sharing throughout my journey has helped you with your progress too!

I will be trying out for the CoC#3 Cert this year, hopefully everything will go according to plan! 

If you are trying to get to the CoC#2, I can only recommend choked work, honestly, it seems to provide the best possible result in terms of developing closing strength, at least according to my experience. Along with the loads of rare-and-returns, I have asked Matt to ship a Choked Titanium (rated in the higher 170s) to get me past the 170s on non-choked closes. I have a similar choked gripper called AZ Black which is also adjustable in ranges of CoC#2.5 - #3.5, but to me the spring on it feels very different compared to Standards CoCs GHPs or Tettings, the close doesn't feel as smooth.

I've read numerous times that training choked doesn't result in carryover towards wide set closes, and I can't disagree stronger. Of course, it doesn't improve technique on CCS or BS closes, but if your technique is on point, all you get is a stronger closing hand. I remember how I only trained from narrow sets, and all of a sudden could close my CoC#3 from a CCS after not being able to get it down to less than 10mm.

If you happen to get your hands on such a solution (could be an oversized washer or a choker from Matt), I believe getting past the CoC#2 should be no issue for you! :)

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Posted (edited)

Training update:

I have been training regularly this past time, finally moving up in the strength gains department! Today I did a few closes on my #163 Cobalt, which is much wider than my other Cobalt used to be (75mm vs 70mm), which made it much harder to set well and close. Although nothing crazy, it still felt like a nice achievement. Standards usually feel  a bit harder to me than CoCs or GHPs due to the slightly thicker handles, but they sure do hit a weak spot which us good!

After that I did a solid CCS close of my average #3, those feel easier the more time passes. As soon as I CCS close my heavy wide #3, I‘ll also apply for the cert! But that could take a little while, it‘s a tough one.

The rest of the workout were regular closes of various grippers in the #3+ strength range.

I have been having on and off cases of mild tennis elbow, which I now seem to know how to manage, so that shouldn’t come up as an issue anymore! Doing all kinds of work ranging from extensor high-rep pump work to TENS home-treatment :) 

Edited by Alexander Koss
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  • 3 weeks later...

Training update:

Haven't been posting for a bit now, but the training is still going strong! I have gotten nearly all of my grippers rated by Matt recently, and what I found is that my ratings were a bit higher than the proper number, mostly by 2-4lbs, so nothing extreme. That's why, although some numbers might look not as impressive, in fact they are :D

Some PRs from the previous workout sessions:

  • SG Titanium (177) Choker - close from 14mm
  • SG Cobalt (163) - MMS close(s) with good confidence
  • CoC#3.5 (173) Pre-Set close from 30mm

I have switched to a more gym-like routine, focusing on rep work and sets more, interested to see how it might affect my progress! 

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27 minutes ago, Alexander Koss said:

Training update:

Haven't been posting for a bit now, but the training is still going strong! I have gotten nearly all of my grippers rated by Matt recently, and what I found is that my ratings were a bit higher than the proper number, mostly by 2-4lbs, so nothing extreme. That's why, although some numbers might look not as impressive, in fact they are :D

Some PRs from the previous workout sessions:

  • SG Titanium (177) Choker - close from 14mm
  • SG Cobalt (163) - MMS close(s) with good confidence
  • CoC#3.5 (173) Pre-Set close from 30mm

I have switched to a more gym-like routine, focusing on rep work and sets more, interested to see how it might affect my progress! 

Good to see you're back in the races, Was concerned you'd do a me and disappear for 4 weeks

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Quick training update:

I have switched back to working with heavier grippers (around 160s) from wider sets - for me that's MMS :D

Yesterday I did a quick and quite nice gripper workout at my local gym (first time taking those anywhere):

  • GHP8 (158) - 2 MMS reps + 1 nearly closed third rep. Small PR with a properly rated gripper. Although I might have numbers higher on my log, those ratings were done by me and not CPW, and were around 2-4lbs higher than they should've been - so this one's a solid :D
  • CoC#3 (141) - 7-8 MMS reps 
  • CoC#3 (141) - 15 DS reps (not micro-reps, rather 10-15mm)
  • Finisher - some CoC#2.5 (128) and GHP5 (110) wide set rep sets of 6-12 (I think I did 3 sets of those)

Wide sets are something I haven't been doing for a long time, and I'm happy to get back to training those. Yesterday was fun actually. A little more range of motion can't hurt sometimes ;)

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Latest (great) workout report:

  • GHP8 (158) 30mm block set attempt - not quite there yet
  • SG Ti (177) Choker around 12mm - closed
  • SG Ti (177) Choker around 14mm - closed
  • CoC#3 (141) - 5 Wide Set reps
  • CoC#2.5 (~125) - 25 Deep Set reps
  • CoC #2 (101) - 40 MMS reps - epic pump!
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1 hour ago, Alexander Koss said:

Latest (great) workout report:

  • GHP8 (158) 30mm block set attempt - not quite there yet
  • SG Ti (177) Choker around 12mm - closed
  • SG Ti (177) Choker around 14mm - closed
  • CoC#3 (141) - 5 Wide Set reps
  • CoC#2.5 (~125) - 25 Deep Set reps
  • CoC #2 (101) - 40 MMS reps - epic pump!

25 reps on the 2.5 is awesome man. I like doing some higher rep sets too.

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3 hours ago, Alexander Koss said:

Latest (great) workout report:

  • GHP8 (158) 30mm block set attempt - not quite there yet
  • SG Ti (177) Choker around 12mm - closed
  • SG Ti (177) Choker around 14mm - closed
  • CoC#3 (141) - 5 Wide Set reps
  • CoC#2.5 (~125) - 25 Deep Set reps
  • CoC #2 (101) - 40 MMS reps - epic pump!

Great workout indeed! Those are some epic numbers. Here's to hoping my workouts look like this in a year or two (or three).

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Today's workout report:

Decided to rest for just 2 days and hit some grippers again! Here's how the workout went:

  • SG Ti (171) MMS Set close attempt - hardest gripper I've properly attempted closing at this time. I feel like Standards are a little harder to close at the same rating when comparing to CoC or Tettings for example, which makes them a great challenge! Although rather far from a close (around 5mm), I was able to set it to below MMS without any leg assist, which is a big milestone for me (I always waste a ton of energy setting grippers)
  • SG Ti (171) Leg-Assist DS attempt - slightly closer than the MMS attempt, turned into a static hold of some sort
  • SG Ti (177) Choked (20mm) close attempt - got very close! After the torture my right hand had experienced it was a rather great result!
  • CoC#3 (Expected around 146-147 CPW) and CoC#2.5 (128) - MMS closes with both hands, lefty doing exclusively CCS work with the 2.5
  • New Finisher: 110kg Russian Bagel (around 143 lbs at the center if rated with an inch belt) - something new to the routine! Feels like a very weak CoC#3 or a strong #2.5, but very different, because it works the index and middle fingers much more than grippers.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Training report:

I have been training consistently the past week since my last report, doing some heavy DS/MMS closes of the SG Co (163) mainly, followed by 3-rep MMS sets with my CoC#3. This routine seems to have improved my overall gripper training experience, especially setting grippers got a lot easier lately. Today I returned back to Germany (I was away for the week), and hit a nice workout! First set was a solid attempt on my 171 rated Titanium, getting closer on this one! Second set turned out to be a PR on my choked closes! Here's the video:

I'll be further working towards getting non-choked closes in the 170s range, I have plenty of grippers right now that could get me up there! :)

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9 minutes ago, Alexander Koss said:

Training report:

I have been training consistently the past week since my last report, doing some heavy DS/MMS closes of the SG Co (163) mainly, followed by 3-rep MMS sets with my CoC#3. This routine seems to have improved my overall gripper training experience, especially setting grippers got a lot easier lately. Today I returned back to Germany (I was away for the week), and hit a nice workout! First set was a solid attempt on my 171 rated Titanium, getting closer on this one! Second set turned out to be a PR on my choked closes! Here's the video:

I'll be further working towards getting non-choked closes in the 170s range, I have plenty of grippers right now that could get me up there! :)

Awesome stuff Alexander!

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Really nice! Are you ready for certification?

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, SteinWillems1 said:

Really nice! Are you ready for certification?

There are two certs coming up - The #3 and the MM2. I think I should be able to handle the MM2, and maybe even the CoC3 if a lighter or at least somewhat average gripper arrives. However, I still can’t close my heavy #3 from a CCS, which is why I think it would be wise to not rush anything and just continue gaining strength :)Same goes for the MM2 - the more extra power I have, the smoother the cert! 

Edited by Alexander Koss
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Latest training report:

Had a great workout a few days back, did a heavy attempt on my SG Titanium (171) which previously felt very heavy, I could barely set it. It felt so much easier than a few weeks ago, I nearly closed it! Here‘s the pic:

B3B6FBDE-37AB-40DB-8C7F-DC389BB13991.thumb.jpeg.bf3175b197380ce04361540de8758f6c.jpeg
 

After that I did a few closes of my 161 Cobalt and a few sets of 3 paused MMS closes of my CoC#3.


I finally feel stronger than before, and am also injury free (both shoulder and elbow seem to have healed completely). So now there‘s just the eating part of the routine that I have to optimise to make the best out of my workouts! :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bulk training update:

I've continued training regularly, hitting the SG Ti (171), got even closer than the picture from above but not quite a total close yet, although maybe a touch-and-go situation. I'm trying to increase the heavy close volume of my workouts, doing sets of MMS reps of different #3s from 141 to 154. This seems to give a consistently good pump and (hopefully) decent progress in grippers! :)

Also doing choker training with the 177 Titanium, it's an amazing tool to build up closing strength!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bulk training update:

Training still going strong! Everything according to regime. Lately I tried to increase the ROM in my closes, doing block sets and credit card sets! Last workout I attempted my CoC#3 (around 146-147) CCS, and it was a very solid close, despite being the second set of the workout! I feel like I've been gaining some strength tiny steps at a time, but consistently. I am also adjusting my died to have a decently lean bodyfat of around 16%, currently cruising at around 18-19 I would guess. This puts lots of strain on training, but lately strength gains have still been present, which is very nice!

I also focused on more "working sets", meaning more reps per set, around 3-5. That's why I started working more in the 130s and low 140s from block sets and credit card sets, especially with my Standard Iron rated 133. This seems to be the best approach for bench, yielding epic results in the long term. I believe gripper training works in a similar way, so I am focusing on that right now! :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bulk training (and gripper philosophy) update:

Last week I tried out a crazy daily training routine - it's pretty cool! I was doing around 4-6 closes every day each hand with grippers ranging from 141-158. Mostly MMS or wide sets. Took the weekend off and hit grippers yesterday - strength seems to still be there, closed the 163 Cobalt confidently! I am incorporating some RGT training in my routine just to see the effects it will have on grippers for myself. I have a small theory on gripper training, which might be correct or might as well be some kind of bro science :D It goes something like this:

Due to the geometry of grippers, especially if working from deeper sets, the index and middle fingers basically perform a static max strength hold, but there is super little range. Maaaaybe it would make sense to hit them with some upside down gripper work with a choker or something like that, to basically have that range of motion there too. I also noticed that the RGT hits those really hard (Index and middle fingers are simply longer and play a bigger role in rolling handles), which is why I am incorporating those in the routine from time to time :)

P.S. this is heavily inspired by @insane.warrior who literally did just armlifting without much gripper work for a while and gained massive strength in grippers doing some crazy closes.

My main focus is still gripper closing strength, since I really wish to get on the right level for a #3 Cert (Current CCS strength is probably at absolute max right now and not more than 147 CPW, I will apply for the cert when I close my 154 #3 from a CCS) and a GHP8 block set close (I have a lighter one at 158 CPW) . Weird how I can close my GHP8 from a MMS any day, but expanding the handles another 15mm makes it so much harder :D

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