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Under the Spotlight - Grip Profile - IVAN CUK


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Last time I remembered on the last day of the month that I wanted to post a profile tomorrow, I waited to do it on the 1st and then forgot for a week.  And tomorrow is gonna be busy at work.  So, here we go a day early.  The grip profile for May is Ivan Cuk.

I've never met Ivan, but it would be impossible not to know who he is -- I mean, WHO THE BLEEP CERTIFIES ON THE COC 3.5 WHEN HE'S STILL A TEENAGER?  Well, I can't wait to see what Ivan does now that he's actually a man, given that he was doing more than most men will ever do even when he was still a kid.  Ivan has a reputation in the community for being humble despite these amazing feats.  But I think he knows he has a gift, and when he says he hopes to certify on the COC 4, I think that statement is one to be taken very seriously -- certainly more seriously than most people should be taken when they bluster on their first day discovering grip that they will cert the 3 someday, and then proceed not to do it.  No, Ivan has been in it long enough and has done enough that he knows what he is capable of.  I think that the grip community is likely to be treated to the news of that landmark COC 4 cert sooner than we might think. 

I hope to meet Ivan at a comp one day soon, and to hear of news of the Big Cert just as soon.  In the meantime, let's all get to know him just a little better.  Here are Ivan's answers to the traditional questions:

1. What are your stats?
    Grip Board name: Ivan Cuk
    Age: 20
    Height: 6,0/183cm
    Weight: 200lbs/90kg
    Dominant hand, and hand size: Right handed, 8.125 inches/20.6cm
    Country/City: Chicago, IL, USA
    Relationship Status: N/A
    Children: N/A

2. Why did you start training grip (and how long is it now)? Saw videos from JujiMufu and Jedd Johnson as well as Brian Shaw back in 2019. It's about to be 4 years. Also seeing Denis Cyplenkov with his immense hand strength was something I always wanted. As well as Magnus Samuelsson closing the 4. 

3. What are you most proud of accomplishing in grip already, and what is/are your grip goal/goals? Closing the #4 has been my greatest accomplishment so far and my main goal is to certify on it. I also have smaller goals of getting stronger biceps and wrists. 

4. How do you currently structure your overall training/how do you incorporate your grip training? I train 4 days a week, 2 days each for grip/hand work, biceps, back, chest and shoulders, Sometimes I will do legs on those days as well but I like to work legs through basketball. Grippers are done separately from thickbar work, so Friday - Monday. 

5. What hobbies (other than grip/bending/lifting) do you enjoy? Basketball, walking, running. 

6. Do you have a personal anecdote, topic or thoughts you'd like to include in your profile? Grip is very fun and addicting to train for a lot of us, however a lot of people probably train a little too often with excessive intensity. A smarter approach in my opinion would be to back off the heavy grippers that are within 90%+ of your 1rm and focus on building size and strength through reps in 6-12 range just like in regular strength training. When you reach desired amount of reps with a particular gripper that correlates to a new 1rm you can either do a 6-8 week block or deload into the next week to try and hit your pr on grippers. This is much safer and less unpredictable, it helps you mentally if you know you are prepared to hit that pr rather than randomly attempting it. Heavy attempts and singles can work for a little bit but the reps are where most of the strength is built. Its a long process not for a couple months... but for years. 

7. Whose Grip profile would you like to see next? David Shamey, he is one of the greats and inspired me to become stronger at grip. 

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