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A novice enters the fray.

Guest Silverback

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Guest Silverback

After a week of crushing, pinching, and wrist curling I feel inspired to post a brief article on my abrupt initiation into grip training. (In fact I can barely type due to the grinding punishment that my CoC2 gripper has inflicted on my weary paws.) My 'training' began literally 2 to 3 weeks ago when I was introduced to a CoC1 gripper. Tired and nursing a hangover I managed to get within a couple of mil of closure. Bang, I was instantly addicted. Such a simple device had both humiliated me and challenged me in one foul swoop. During that week I worked furiously on my grip, performing prolonged clamps on some inferior grippers that I posess and pinch grips on large granite bricks. The next time I met with the CoC1 (which belongs to a friend) I was pumped full of adrenalin. I was not going to be beaten and I clamped it good and proper. Shortly after this I ordered my own CoC2. I had to wait nearly 2 weeks for a new shipment from the states to arrive. In the back of my mind I knew it would be a formidable beast for a novice like myself to be able to crush but still I thought I might stand a chance. Finally it arrived and my heart and hands were buzzing as I ripped it from the package. Could I close this baby? Could I ****!

I came within about 7mm and was instantly humbled. Since then I've probably broken all the rules of sensible training and have been gripping like a great ape who just broke into a CoC factory. I think my enthusiasm can be and should be forgiven for this is an addictive area of strength training that I for one had almost totally ignored. My aim now of course is to be able to crush the CoC2 and beyond but also develop in other areas associated with grip. I note with interest several mentions of a UK grip championship which will be held shortly. Perhaps somebody could tell me what I need to do to enter in the novice category? I think it would be useful to get some actual recorded measurements of my ability in the various events.

Incidentally the Username was inspired by the 'silverback' gorilla. A noble and powerful beast whose ability to tear down trees and support its massive weight whilst climbing must qualify it as a grip legend in the animal kingdom.

Over the coming weeks I intend to take a more realistic approach to my grip training and learn from the vast amount of knowledge contained within this website. For now, taking an innovative approach seems to be the key. As an example a friend of mine donated a breeze block to my cause. Not sure of it's weight but its considerable. It has a central 'bar' running across the middle which is about 3 inch thick - ideal for pinch gripping. I think it is worth noting that this same friend who is relatively frail looking at only 11.5 stone has excellent grip power for his build. An ex kick boxer, he has maintained a light but lean physique. We train together at the gym and he is easily capable of 20 wide arm pull ups and 90k on the lat pull down. I was interested to find out whether he could close the CoC1 gripper that I had borrowed. He managed it on around the sixth attempt. Therefore I think it can be argued that you don't have to be massive to have potential in this area.

Anyway, enough of this banter. I must retire for a while and nurse the roughened callouses that are forming nicely accross my hand. (Gloves are something that I've never believed in for any sort of training). Just had another attempt on the number 2 - just shy of closure at about 5mm. I'm getting there slowly!

Getting back to the point of this monster essay - if anyone can provide details on entry to the UK grip championship or any info on this event please let me know....

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Guest InchDisciple

Recently I took my #4 gripper to Busch Gardens in Tampa Florida .  At the gorilla enclosure I offered it to a large male . He closed it with ease . He then handed it back and muttered something about "Kinney" .

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Hi Silverback.........heres some info on the grip championships that David Horne sent me.


Saturday 28th July 2001

Entrance fee £7.50

Weigh in 11.00

Open, intermediate and novice sections.

On the day of the competition, these rules will be stated before each event

and any questions can be answered beforehand by contacting me or you can

wait till you arrive. The referees on the day will be the lifters who are

competing; three referees will be officiating each lift and just like any

weightlifting contest two or three white lights constitutes a good lift.

This year we will be allowing four attempts on a rising bar system, unlike

the three that it always has been. This should ensure no ‘bombing out’ if

you come in at the right weight. You will also be able to warm up on the

apparatus as the weight increases. Remember, the weight on the bar will not

be decreased,  so make sure the recorder’s table knows your next lift.

Chalk (magnesium carbonate) is the only substance allowed to aid the grip or

keep your hands dry. Wrist wraps are only allowed on the Weaver Stick Lift.

This is to ensure the safety of the lifters’ wrists.

One Hand Plate Curl

For this lift a weightlifting disc that is smooth on one side and flanged on

the opposite is used; 20kg, 15kg, 10kg or even 5kg discs may be used. The

discs to be used on the day will be Weider discs. Extra weight can be added

to the short centre bar, and fastened by collars.

The weight is grasped by one hand, with the four fingers on the smooth side

and the thumb on the flanged side. To start, the weight is held at the front

of the body and not at the side. Whilst standing, the disc is curled with

one hand to the finished position at the shoulder. Once the curl has

started, the disc cannot come into contact with any other body part, for

example the shoulders, chest or even head if you lose control of it. At the

finish of the curl you must await the referees command to lower the disc;

lowering it under control and one handed.  Throughout the lift the legs must

remain straight.

Captains of Crush gripper

For this event the Captains of Crush grippers from IronMind are used. The #1

gripper will be used for the Novice and Intermediate classes and the #2

gripper for the Open section. In all classes the positions are judged on a

timed hold. The jaws of the gripper will be clamped onto a piece of material

the thickness of a shoelace that has a weight hanging from it. The stopwatch

starts, and finishes when the weighted shoelace falls from the jaws of the

gripper. The arm must be held perpendicular to the body with the gripper

held vertically for the timed holds. The weight to be held in the Open

section will be 2.5kg. For the intermediate section 2.5kg, and the Novice

section 1.25kg will be used.

Weaver Stick Lift to Rear

George Russell Weaver popularised this wrist leverage test some 50 years ago

whilst living in Brooklyn. A round stick (mop handle) is used which has the

following dimensions – diameter about 1”, length 42”. Half an inch from one

end cut a notch. Exactly 36” from the centre of this notch, circle the stick

with a line. Get two metal right angles at a hardware store, and screw them

into the top and bottom sides of the stick so that the rear edges of the

right angles come exactly to the circled line. The topside of the stick is

the side where the notch is cut. This leaves a handle just 5 ½” long.

The weight hangs from a wire in the notch ½” from the end, creating a

leverage effect when you lift the stick by the handle. For the lift to the

rear, you face away from the stick, grasping the handle with your little

finger towards the weight, and lift the stick and weight off the table. You

may bend your body forward as the lift is made.

The stick must be lifted approximately parallel to the floor. If the

weighted end slopes downwards, you may carry on the event till the stick is

level. You will then get the referees command to lower the stick. There must

be no rocking of the stick on the table before lifting. The lifter hand and

arm must remain free of the body. The heel of the hand must remain on top of

the stick; if the hand twists around under the stick, the lift is not


One Hand Lift

The apparatus used will be a large bar for the weights, with a 1” thick

handle attached to the bar by an adjustable chain. Grasp the handle with one

hand (no hook grip is allowed) and lift the weight clear of the floor. Hold

aloft till you receive the referee’s signal. The fingers of your lifting

hand are not to be wedged against your thighs. You are allowed to steady

yourself by pushing off on your leg with your non-lifting hand.

One Hand Pinch Lift

Two one-inch thick discs, with the flat/smooth sides facing out, are held

together on a metal rod by a pair of collars. Extra weight can be added.

The top of this is grasped with a pinch grip and lifted off the floor till

your hand is above your knees. You do not have to be erect upon completion,

but your legs do have to be locked. The lift finishes on the referee’s

signal, and then you must lower the weight under control. The weight may be

lifted at the side of the body or straddled.

One Hand Rolling Thunder Lift

For this event the Rolling Thunder handle from IronMind is used. This handle

is attached to a loading bar by an adjustable chain. Grasp the handle with

one hand (a normal or thumbless grip is allowed) and lift the weight clear

of the floor. No contact with the stationary part of the handle is allowed.

The handle must stay roughly parallel to the ground and the lifter finishes

with his body erect.  Hold aloft till you receive the referee’s signal and

lower it under control. The fingers of your lifting hand are not to be

wedged against your thighs. You are allowed to steady yourself by pushing

off on your leg with your non-lifting hand.

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Guest scotte

Welcome to the gripboard silver back and I hope you will be able to make it to the iron grip championships.

Its certainly going to be a day to remember and I'm sure you'll love every minute of it.

Just out of curiosity, (as a fellow competitor) I wondered if you minded sharing with us what weights your able to pinch, lift and crush.  Hope you dont mind me asking  :)

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I'll also be entering the competition in the novice category so here are some of the weights I have done so far.  I experienced my first real grip training session with Dave Horne on Friday and got the chance to have a go at a few of the events:

No 1 gripper 2.5Kg strap hold 17 seconds

Rolling Thunder 90kg

Weaver stick to rear 3.55k

I'm not really sure how I'll fair,  I'm not really bothered if I come last to be honest.  I'm just keen to get started and meet some people who are into the sport.

See you there


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Thanks Tom

Dave also told me this was a respectable lift.  Hopefully I'll be able to improve on this as it was my first go with the rolling thunder.

I do have quite large hands so I'm assuming that this would have helped?

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Guest Silverback

Thanks to Had for the detailed description of the events to be staged at the grip championship. I'm under no illusions now as to what these entail.

As far as my current achievements go, well there aren't any yet that have been officially measured. As stated I'm comfortably clamping the No.1 for several seconds but need to start doing this with strap and weight attached. For the other events I'll try and simulate what has been described with the exception of the weaver stick (I don't fancy seperating my wrist). Hopefully I'll be able to get a training session in with someone who knows what they're doing before the contest.

I won't be breaking any records or even getting close to the level of other novice competitors such as Jim but I don't do things by halves. If I walk away with an official measurement in each event I'll have something to work on throught the year (there's only so much progress I can make within the space of a month this time around).

* Further up this chain Busch gardens (Florida) was mentioned in relation to Gorillas. I've been to this theme park and at the time of my visit the gorilla pen was the last thing on my mind. I was 16 at the time and trawling around the place with my old dears blatantly ignoring the vast array of rare species on display. Why? because perched on the grass at regular intervals were babes literally employed to sit amongst the tropical flowers looking great and posing for photographs. Which is nice - but it don't do much for your grip!

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Hi Silverback,

Just so you know, you CAN grip train HEAVY... then rest.  Don't overdo it.  If you do too much too fast, it's not good.  It's called, "Overtraining".  Vary your workouts to get an even keel on overall grip strength!  Did you know I have a Grip Hotline  (toll free/24-7; 1-877-571-7486).  Call it, and let's chat!


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