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Newbie Here, Could Use Some Help/advice


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Hello everyone! Weak newbie here (especially compared to most of you guys :blink ).

SORRY for my long post, but I have a lot of info I want to get out, and would sincerely appreciate any help/advice you guys (and gals) could give me.

I'm 39 years old, 5'9" and 182lbs, and have been weight training for a few months. I have adjustable dumbells (5-60lbs) that I was using, and just recently got a barbell setup, and am beginning on my journey to becoming bigger and stronger. I've been seeing some nice increases in my strength and size (relatively), and am now very focused.

I have a good handle on my weight training plan, which centers around Squats, Deadlifts, bench press, military press, rows, and pullups. I also train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu twice a week for two hours a night.

What I DON'T have a handle on (no pun intended), is my grip routine, and how to best incorporate it into my normal workouts. I workout Mon, Wed, Fri, and Jiu-Jitsu Tuesday and Thursday.

I became interested in grip training when I noticed that my left hand starts failing during my final deadlift set, plus of course it's very useful in grappling.

I currently have the following grip/wrist equipment:

CoC Sport - no problem closing this either hand.

CoC Trainer - Can close fairly easy RH for several reps, and can only close LH if I'm not fatigued from working out.

Twist Yo Wrist - I've been doing 3 sets - up/down both directions - with 12.5lbs and focusing on fingertips only. Wow - what a burn/pump! I love this thing.

I went on a little spending spree at Ironmind and have the following items coming next week:

IMTUG #1, #2- to focus mainly on pinky/ring finger strength and pinching. Yeah, they are weak ones, but I think they'll work for me for now.

Pinch Grip Block

Loading Pin

Eagle Loops straps - finger pullups and finger curls with barbell

Fancy Rubber Bands :)

dexterity balls

I'll probably end up with a 2" wrist roller, and maybe even the Rolling Thunder - but for now I'll stick to the items listed.

So far, for grip/forearm strength, I've been doing the Twist Yo Wrist first, followed by dumbell wrist curls (3x15) with 50lbs, and reverse curls with 35lbs. After I'm done with my workout, and have drank my recovery drink and showered, I warmup with the Sport and do 5x5 with the trainer with 2minutes rest between sets. I can close with the RH, but left is probably an inch away - so I'll stick with this for both hands until my LH can catch up.

O.k., after alllll this info.. how should I proceed once I get the rest of my grip items? Should I split up my grip training or train them all every time I workout? If YOU had these items to work with, and were weak like me, how would you organize a grip/wrist/forearm plan into your training?

Thanks for wading through all this info, and once again - I appreciate any input you can give me!

Edited by eltorrente
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Before we go anywhere, let's get some things straight. The muscles used for gripping are small and surprisingly delicate. Always make sure you are warmed up before using grippers or any muscle that attaches to your elbow. You should always warm up for any exercise, but take extra caution with the forearms. Also, I would not recommend training grip daily. You need time to rest, even if you don't think you need it. I would say 4 times a week since you're new, but after a while you'll find 2-3 will be sufficient.

Now, in terms of a workout routine, everyone is different. Different routines work for different folks. When I started out I used high reps (like 30 or so) with a lighter gripper. When I got stronger I used more resistance with less reps. All I can say is, don't get hurt and you'll make progress! Anyways, that's my 2 cents

Edited by Grippster
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Grippster's advisce is good. In addition, I would probalbly invest in a COC #1 to begin working on, but also continue as many reps as you can manage w/ the Trainer. Try to work grip on seperate days from wrists / forearms. If you have to work everything together, then do your grippers first, or these tiny hand muscles might be almost toast by the time your finished w/ wrists / forearms. A wrist roller is a great tool. Until you get really strong / advanced, don't fork out all that dough for IM's piece. Just go to the hardware store and find the thickest piece of wooden dowel (sp) you can, cut it to about 12", drill a hole through the center, take some cord and make a knot (larger than the hole you just drilled) on one end, and tie bowline (or similar) knot on the other. Hook a D-ring through the bowline knot and add weight. Good luck.

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I would also like to add that it can be tempting to over work the grip and not do enough work for the extensors. I am not a professional but I have read that not working extensors and only working grip increases chances of injury, like tendinitis - what I have now. Make sure you continue doing those wrist rolling exercises to work the extensors. Also, stretch the muscle after a workout. Hold your arm completely straight out in front of you and then bend your wrist downward using your other hand. This is what my therapist told me, and although you may not have an injury this will help prevent one. When it comes to your diet, make sure you are eating well. Eat foods that are especially high in vitamin C and protein. Both are good connective tissue. In fact, I recall very few instances where I have actually hurt the muscle itself. 9 times out of 10 it's the connective tissue, so take care of it.

Edited by Grippster
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