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Chuck's Grip Log

The Chuck

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I just posted in the Newbie Intro thread but I'll put some background here, too. My current grip work happens on Tuesdays and thursdays. I start with my grippers, go to the formulator, then some dynamic sledge levering that I picked up from the diesel website.

Last Tuesday(4-18-06): 3x10 with the #1 then 3x10 with my #2. Most of the reps with the #2 are forced, I only get it closed for the first couple reps on the first set. The assistance given to close it after that is the bare minimum to get it closed. Then the Formulator, Im up to 5x7 reps with 45lbs in flexion and 15lbs in extension. Then I some sledge work until I can't hold it anymore.

Last Thursday(4-20-06): Short gripper workout due to some other commitments, also received my Ironmind bag of nails in the mail, very excited to give it a shot.

Last Friday(4-21-06): Had the day off work, decided to give bending a try. After a handful of white and greens I decided on double-overhand as my bending style. I then dove into a yellow and before I knew it I was 6 deep and then gave a blue a shot, got it close but couldnt finish it off.Picture of Fridays bending results

I hope to close the #3 and bend a Red before the year is over, along with picking up a Rolling Thunder when I order my #3.

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Since Im signing up for the GGC '06 soon, what do you guys think would the best thing for to work on over the next two months? Pinch gripping, Blobs, Rolling Thunder? Some of all three? Should I lay off the bending or just keep at that too?

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Got into some bending this weekend, trying to show a couple buddies what I was getting myself into.

  1. Three Yellows
  2. Finished off last weeks blue
  3. One more blue for good measure

I really, really feel that last blue today, the kink took a lot out of me.

I also decided to make a Vbar at work today, just so I have some experience for the GGC this summer. Got home from work and just started adding what little weight I have around the house, I ran out at 170lbs. I really need to invest in some chalk. The 170lbs still came off the ground pretty easily, but the steel bar still has that stock slickness to it and I could feel it slipping after a couple seconds.

How do I go about "seasoning" the bar? Just lots of use and chalk?

On the grippers, I added a hoseclamp around the spring on my #1 to add some resistance and filed the handles to get that overcrush. Im moving away from high reps and into singles with the my #2 and modded #1 as that seems to be the way to get to the #3 from what Ive read over the last couple weeks.

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First - congrats on your decision to compete at GGC 06. There are 5 events and I would train them all of course. Competitions are not for one trick ponies - it's all around grip strength that gets the job done. Lay off the bending? Your choice of course - but I don't think bending helps with the particular series of events listed for GGC.

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Picked up some more supplies last night, a pair of 50lb standard plates for my V-bar. With enough weight now, I maxed out at 185lbs on the Vbar without chalk. I need to visit a couple other stores this evening and find some. Switched to singles with my modified #1 and my normal #2. The hoseclamp over the spring on my #1 dropped my max reps from over 20 to just a 4-5, making it a great way to get closer to reps on the #2. I did a pile of singles over the course of the day at work, 20 reps with a 5 sec hold each hand with the #1 and 10 reps of singles with #2. I still only managed to close the #2 for the first 2 singles with each hand and forced it closed and held it closed for 5 seconds for the other reps. Am I on the right course with this?

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Went through some bending and Vbar this weekend, nothing too dramatic with the Vbar, waiting for my chalk to arrive.

Bending: Bent 4 yellows pretty easily, then 2 blues, followed by a couple minutes of struggling against a Red. I can't believe how you guys bend those Reds so easily, it feels so immovable after pushing it with everything I had. I do all the bending with the standard Ironmind cordura, but I'd like to find some leather and give that a shot later this week. The Ironmind stuff isnt quite as thick as I would like and it feels like Im on the verge of hurting my palm sometimes.

Vbar: Not sure how to go about reps with this, so I went with the tried and true 5x5 routine with each hand.

  1. Two sets of 5 reps at 140lbs
  2. 1 set of 5 reps at 150lbs
  3. 1 set of 5 reps at 160lbs
  4. Final set of 5 reps at 170lbs

Im hoping the chalk will help these weak lifts a bit along with a couple more workouts. Im hoping for 200lbs within a month or two. I have a shipment of new toys arriving this week also, a shiny new #3 and Rolling Thunder handle to get ready for the GGC.

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Stuff arrived yesterday, ripped open a box from Ironmind with my shiny new #3 and Rolling Thunder. You guys closing #3's frighten me, this thing is lightyears harder than my #2. I got it parallel and it just wouldnt go any farther. I wanna give it another shot after I give my grip a rest for a couple days, I pounded my hands pretty badly on Tuesday with some long rope-hangs. The rolling thunder experiment completely exposed my utter lack of open hand strength, I managed 120lbs for a couple shaky reps.

Much progress to be made.

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Nice log here, Chuck.

Patience and much hard work should bring you closer to the #3 and Red Nail.

Most new #3's are real beasts..perhaps as much as 100 lb harder than #2's rather than the spec'd 85 lb's. I think you might do well to order a BBSM from Weightlifter's Warehouse as an inbetween gripper.

As for steps inbetween the Blue and Red, over in the bending forum, the many experienced experts will be able to advise you and layout a path of progression for you, better than I can. You may wish to cut a Blue down to 5 7/8" or 5 3/4' from 6" and take a shot at that as it should be somewhat harder.

You may wish to buy steel in bulk from a distributor and cut your own nails. You may also find 1/4" square CRS a help in your progress towards the Red.

Take your time, don't injure yourself and build up a nice foundation. This shouldn't be about how fast you can close a #3 or bend a Red, but about being able to do so for the next 10 years uninjured and being able to progress to the world class levels just beyond.

.. neilkaz ..

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Thanks for the kind words, Im just glad someone is actually reading these posts :) For inbetween grippers, I have two non-Ironmind grippers that John Wood sells, a green and and a blue Robert Barbaran gripper. The green is just harder than the #2, but its got a really wide spread like 3.3". The blue is rated for roughly 240# and is a narrow spread(2.75"), which I like better for my semi-small hand(7.5").

I've been browsing the bending forum regularly for bending information since I got here. The bending is just a supplement to getting stronger. I like wowing people with it and when I can bend harder stuff, I will. Im in no rush with it. I work in a large fabrication shop, so getting steel for cheap is easy.

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Some grippers, Rolling Thunder and Formulator yesterday.

Grippers: 20 10 second overcrushes with my hoseclamped/filed #1. I spread these out over the course of the day at work. They felt decent all day, never had to struggle to reach 10 seconds.

Rolling Thunder: Did a 5x5 with each hand, 3 sets of 100lbs then 2 sets of 105lbs. I normally consider my right hand the stronger hand, but my left feels a lot stronger with the RT.

Formulator: Goal reps are 5x20reps;

Ext 5lbs: 20 reps, 16, 16, 15, 15

Flex 25lbs: 20 reps, 12, 12, 12, 12

Now some bad news, telling my wife about GGC06, she reminded me I have a family wedding that weekend that I forgot I was actually IN as a groomsman. Good luck to all you guys, someone else is gonna have to get last place instead of me.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Been a while since I posted a workout, things have been cut back now that I started back into some classes online last week. Over Memorial Day weekend I was out at the lake with a bunch friends and pulled out the steel for some bending.

Bending Session, Memorial Weekend: 6 yellows followed by 2 blues in about ten minutes. I'm not sure on the exact time, the guys I asked to keep track had been drinking and forgot they were keeping time :D This spent me for the whole weekend, but it was a great bending session. The first 3 yellows went down in 10 seconds each and then things really slowed down, the last blue fought me hard all the way.

Got back into my normal grip work yesterday, I did 15 singles of 10 second overcrushes with my filed #1 then 5 10 second negatives with my #2. I couldnt rep the #2 at all yesterday, grip felt rusty. Pulled out my Formulator after that:

Extensions, 10 lbs: 10, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

Flex, 50lbs and 25lbs: 50lbsx5 reps, then 20, 20, 16, 15, 15 with 25lbs.

Sledge Levering: 5x1 reps with my 8lb sledge

Finished off with some rope hangs, managed 1 min, 1 min, 45 seconds.

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Good to see you back at it, bro. :)

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Thanks for the words, Tim, Im just glad someone besides me read these!

Last nights workout was satisfying, setting a couple PR's in pullups. I had planned to just do a normal bodyweight workout with my 20lb scuba belt on, but after the 1st set of 10 pullups felt easy, I just went for it.

Weighted Pullups:

1) BW: 1x10 reps

2) BW + 20lbs: 1x10 reps

3) BW + 45lbs: 1x4 reps (this was a PR as I had never done anything over 36lbs before and no weighted pullups in over a year)

4) BW + 70lbs: 1x2 reps Another PR, I was stoked

After this I went into a circuit workout: 5 pullups, 10 pushups, 20 squats, 5 power wheel rollouts. Did 5 circuits of this with the 20lb belt on. Rested a couple minutes then went after some more pullups.

5) BW: 1x15 reps (I havent done this in 9-12 months either)

6) BW + 45lbs: 1x7 reps

My arms aren't happy today, but I am :)

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Workout for 6-12-06

Pulled out the 20lb belt again for some pullups and pushups. Did a set of pullups immediately followed by twice as many pushups.

Reps(pullups): 5,4,3,2,1,5,4,3,2,1,5,4,3,2,1,5

Reps(pushups): Same pattern, double the numbers

Totals of 50 pullups and 100 pushups in 20 minutes.

15 minutes of Abs

200 BW squats

15 pullups, matched my current best there again, felt good.

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Did some grippers, Formulator, sledge work, and finally some pinch work today

Grippers: 2x10 with my filed #1, then 10 hard singles with my #2 spread out over the workday. I managed to close it twice with my right and once with my left. All the other reps were within 2-3mm of being closed. I held each rep for 10 seconds as hard as possible.

Formulator: Extension, 10lbs: finally hit the goal of 5x10 today, gonna shoot for 5x15 next.

Flexion, 25lbs: goal is 5x20, hit 20, 20, 15, 20, 20

The only reason I hit 20 for the last two sets was a 30 minute break to pick up my new toy. My wife got me a new Trek Jack 2 mountain bike as an anniversary present. We celebrated out first anniversay this past weekend, but the bike didn't come in until today. The bike can be found at www.trekbikes.com if you're interested.

After the last two sets of Formulator, I did 1 set of 5 reps with my 8# sledge followed by some almost lifts with my two 25lb plates. They really, really wanted to come off the ground, but it wasn't happening today. Gonna try again next week.

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Couple of workouts to cover here from last Thurday til now.

Last Thursday(6-15-06): Decided it was time to try card tearing, so I pulled a couple decks out. Did a few single suits, then 2 suits, then finally 3/4 of deck. It's a great feeling to go through something useful like a deck of cards:) I rested a bit, then pulled out the sledge and Formulator.

Sledge: 2x5 reps each hand with 8lb hammer

Formulator: Extension, 5x11 reps with 10 lbs

Flexion, 5x6 reps with 45 lbs

Finished off with 2x10 with my #1 then 5 10 seconds holds with the #2

Friday morning at work I opened my big mouth and I got challenged to a full deck of cards and managed to finish it off after 10 minutes of battle. Hands were sore for the rest of the weekend, especially my thumbpads.

Did about 15 miles of mountain biking over the weekend on my new bike.

Yesterday (6-19-06)

Repeated the ladder from last monday with the 20lb belt, added a couple reps.

Reps(pullups): 5,4,3,2,2,5,4,3,2,2,5,4,3,2,2,4

Reps(pushups): Same pattern, double the numbers

Totals of 52 pullups and 104 pushups in 20 minutes.

15 minutes of Abs

210 BW squats

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You got some cool workouts here Chuck, keep at it! :rock

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I need to learn how to post over the weekends, these posts would be a lot shorter!

Last thrusday (6-22-06) Grip stuff after a 16 hr workday

Formulator: Flexion: 1x10 25lbs, 1x10 30lbs, 1x10 35lbs, 1x10 40lbs, 1x8 45lbs

Extension: 2x15 5lbs, 1x15 10lbs, 1x10 10lbs, 1x9 15lbs

Sledge: I didnt put my 8lb sledge down for 10 minutes, kept it in one hand or the other the whole time, lots of levering in every directions, my wrists felt thoroughly worked after this. There was no pattern to it, just did some work every which way. Gonna do this again today, liked it a lot....

I also hubbed my 25lb plate with both hands on the first try. Failed at pinching the 2 25's again, I need to try this at the beginning of a workout. Felt wussy after not lifting the 25's, so I pulled out a deck of my Paulson Casino cards and ripped it good:)

Friday morning (6-23-06): Lazy day after the long work day, tore 3 more decks of cards and bent a couple yellows.

Saturday: 6 miles of mountain biking, tore a deck of cards for my buddies I went biking with, they were impressed, made my day. Stood in the rain for 4 hrs at a concert that night......ugh.

Monday: Back to the alternating pullup/pushup ladder, no belt this time for a change of pace.

Reps(pullups): 10,9,8,7,6,5,5,5

Reps(pushups): Same pattern, double the numbers

Totals of 55 pullups and 110 pushups in 20 minutes.

15 minutes of Abs

215 BW squats

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Some grippers and bending today.

5 singles with my #2, Closed it twice with the right, within 1/16" for the other 3. Got within 1/8"-1/16" on all attempts on the left.

Followed this with some quantity bending. Ive gotten tired of looking at my green nails, so I went through 23 greens followed by a very tough yellow afterwards.

Back to the gripppers:

35 reps each hand on the Trainer

50 BW squats

20 reps each hand, #1

50 BW squats

35 reps each hand, Trainer

50 BW squats

20 reps each hand, #1

50 BW squats

The squats were good for recovery between sets, kept the blood flowing and energy up.

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This evenings workout in between working on college assignments:

Ripped two decks of cards

100 BW squats

20 squats with 44lb thick handle dumbell cleaned in each hand

100 BW squats

20 squats with 44lb thick handle dumbell cleaned in each hand

Formulator to try and beat Dan's numbers:

28 reps with 25lbs in flexion

25 reps with 5 lbs in extension

The tried some handstand pushups, against the wall:

2 reps, then 3 singles I used to be able to do sets of 10, need to work on these.

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Nice workouts Chuck. Interesting idea to throw in squats between gripper sets, I might have to give that one a try!

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Since the Formulator races have started, Im adding a workout over the weekends to keep up!

Ext: 2.5lbsx10, 5lbsx10, 7.5x10, 10x10, 12.5x10, 15x6 was shooting for 10 reps, next time!

Flex: 25lbsx10, 30x10, 35x10, 40x10, 45x9 damn, missed 10 reps there too.

Each set done after 1-2 minutes of rest.

My current plan is to do this workout Sunday and Thursday, and a high rep workout Tuesdays.

I also picked up a 40lb and 50 lbs dumbell, cut up into 20lb and 25lb block weights. I should have gotten a 60 instead of the 40. I can lift the 25lb block by the face and by the skinny side with 2 fingers and my thumb. Played with it for 20 minutes yesterday, doing high pulls, passing it behind my back, dead lifts, etc. Hits your grip in a very different way......I like it:) Instead of buying more weights to cut up, Im just gonna use some rare-earth magnets I have from some other projects to stick weight to the current blocks.

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Yesterdays workout, kind short:

Weighted pullups:

1x5 reps BW

2x5 reps BW+20lbs

2x5 reps BW+45lbs

Handstand pushups:

1x4, 2x3, 2x2, 4x1 Really happy I started doing these again, when I hit 10 reps on the floor Im gonna start going for full range with my hands on two one foot boxes to get my head lower.

Today, Formulator race!

Extension: 5lbsx31reps

Flexion: 25lbsx29reps

Gonna hit 30 reps for two workouts then add 2.5lbs(ext) and 5lbs(flex) then start back over for 30 reps.

Gonna do some Vbar or grippers later

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The rest of my grip work for the day:

Spent 10 minutes with the 25lb block weight, holds for time, dead lifts, lifting by face. No real program for this yet....

Vbar (L/R)

5/5 reps 100lbs

5/5 reps 125lbs

5/5 reps 150lbs

3/5 reps 170lbs

1/3 reps 175lbs

Rope hangs

5 reps at 20 seconds each

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Final workout before bed:

200 BW squats followed by 20 squats with my 160lbs sandbag on my shoulders.

I'm gonna make an effort to do this everyday until vacation on July 15, need to get my legs back.

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