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Slight loss of grip strength?

Tom of Iowa2

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Josh has been lifting at the gym for 4 months.At 24 years of age He had not lifted since highschool.

He had huge forearms and good sized hands and has years of farm labor/contruction under his belt.He lifted the Rolling thunder-first day- and did quite well!!.And with a little practice made some VERY impressive pulls in the first two months of training.

His other lifts have increased at a phenomenal rate.Bench went from 295 for 2(that was day 1 after 6 years out of the gym)to 400X2 in 4 months.Trap bar 385 to 585.Partial 18 inch dead 375 to 605.Hammer curl 40lbs. for 8- to 80lbs for 8!!And each week they continue to go up...no sign of slowing down..(yet.)

Other lifts have all gone up at approximately the same sort of rate.Shoulders a little behind?The work out(by his choice)is a combination of power movements and doing bodybuilding movements heavy.

Weird thing:

Although he has not failed at any of his scheduled grip 'lifts'(he is on a percentage type cycle on a couple of them)The grip stuff seems to be getting more difficult for him!?His rolling thunder is not going up as fast as anticipated.His dumbell finger curls and mallet(hammer)work,rope holds etc.etc....everything..sort of stalling or even?going backwards on some work outs?

My own lifting continues to progress...slowly! by comparison and i am still stronger than him on just a couple of 'gym' lifts...but my grip stuff is going just fine(still way!! behind him in grip but continueing very steady progress)

What the he## is going on...?we sort of expected with an increase in brute body strength that some grip stuff might actually get easier??it seems to have stalled or worse!

What to do?

(personally think he does too much arm/forearm work but I can't argue with someone who IS making that sort of progress)

Should he just back off his grip work till his body levels out (or the progress slows)and gets used to the heavier weight training?

Should he use straps on deads/traps/lats/heavy hammer curls?

Should we just set up a maintenance type grip work instead of trying to go up?

;) Thank you for any suggestions.Ideas?

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BTW its not his lifts I think are unusually heavy or impressive..not a t all..I've been around real strong individuals before ..its the rate of progress and that they are all EZ.

i.e.no shakeing or red faced googily eyes :D and then the next work out goes up again..........

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Guest Mikael Siversson

One reason might be the simple fact that the potential for increasing the grip strength is less than for other major muscle groups. For example, you could pick up any adult female on the street and they would pull 25 kg easily on the Rolling Thunder (Arne and I let two women who works out in the gym try and they did 35 and 42.5 kg without any previous grip training). The best guys around can pull around 125 kg after years of training. This gives a 5:1 ratio. At the same time the best benches by males are around 300 kg without gear, whereas an average untrained adult female probably benches around 25 kg in strict style, giving a 12:1 ratio.

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Thanks.Thats a thought...which then leads me to also think that because of his years of labor and doing grip stunts(for fun)around the farm and on the constructions site(he does some crazy stuff with big mallets and tractor weights)that his grip was WAY ahead of his overall body strength...and that it IS going to go up much slower at this point as it is closer to--'it's'--potential.

And the REST of his body...which hasn't been 'touched' since high school..is ready to progress very rapidly.Its fresh and actually behind where it should be.(this guy is a freaky athlete- threw the discus 178ft as a Junior in highschool-and ran on the 4X100 relay(at 240lbs) in high school,switched gears and played bbaseball his senior year and lead the team in homeruns...also started at tail back and played linebacker...(What happened?why no college or pros?too much partying and an early marriage and kids and always having a job)

But it seems to be more than lack of progress...some days he just says his hands feel weaker...and when he does rolling thunder holds for time...he can't hold them as long as he did a couple of months ago?

I can't convince him to take a week off(or even a day)-has been training 5 days a week for 4 months straight and...(just got a new job)..now loading freight 10-12 hours a day....

      thanks..your thought lead to another thought...he's going to be a great one if we can save him from his own

determination to make up for lost time :(

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We both do Rolling Thunder for time.Once a week..Each day we do another grip exercise.The Rolling thunder IS our priority and we do that on day 1.

What we did was: Maxed out....then calculated 12.5% to our Max(which is now our new goal)Then started at 60% of that number and did sets for time.We go up 2.5% to 5% a week...again holding for maximum time.First week was EZ...but it is getting tough!

We would gladly change this.It IS exhausting and we do it before we do our regular weight work out.

QuicK question.How many heavy singles in one work out???

What percentage of our MAX should we do the singles?

         Or should it be our Max each time and add a little weight per week?

                                 Thank You!

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Guest Mikael Siversson

I keep it simple and work my way up to my max (a total of maybe 10 singles), at least once a week. Looking through my work out diary I can see that I started doing singles on February 25, this year. I pulled 70 kg righty and 66 kg lefty. These days I pull 87-89 kg (191-196lbs) righty and 83-84 kg lefty, so I have gone from very pathetic to mediocre.

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We'll give that a try.You have gone up 42 lbs.!!or about27%!!(did i do my math right?)!

If I can do that I'll be pretty d#*@ good!?If Josh goes up that much we'll name a planet after him.

Your 196 seems good....but your improvement is very impressive!

Sometimes the best coaches and best advice come from the guys that HAD to train smart and MADE themselves strong.

I've found listening to someone who is naturally strong/big is not as worthwhile as they DON'T have to work as hard.....OR if they work hard,because of their genetics they get away with things that will wipe out us normal humans :hehe

i.e.the sme generous helping of genetics that give them 'natural'strength allow them to recover faster :crazy

strength isn't fair...what is though?

Thank You.

Also-I think I've(well actually an older guy at the gym has spoke to him)have  got him convinced to have a heavy week followed by a light week in the weight room.... he has not had any 'light weeks or days in 4 months!...I think those heavy hammer curls and wrist and foream work on friday is preventing him from recovering by monday.He did say the Hammers(he's jumping to 85's this friday) have made him a little sore....All of this for a good cause :blush

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Guest Mikael Siversson

Yes, I am one of those who have to work hard (partly beacause I am not very big; 180 lbs). I first started with the Rolling Thunder in October last year and pulled 65 kg righty and 61 kg lefty, so I did not increase much in strength doing timed holds.

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