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Lost Strength On Beginning Of Gripper?


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Background: Was able to no set close a #2, and have closed the 2.5 with a deep set. Since then I filed my 2.5 and used it for negatives, finally moved onto the #3, where I close with both hands and hold for 3x10. On a good day i can get all 3 sets of 10 seconds held within parallel, and have been training using this method for a while (helped me close all the grippers up to the 2.5).

I was playing around today and realised I was unable to no set close the #2 any more, I guess because I've not trained closing a gripper when it's fully open I've gotten really weak at that part of the close, and didn't really think it'd happen if the final close (where the gripper is toughest) grew stronger.

Would it be better to train that part of the close as well? Any suggestions on how I could do it, or is it simply a case of using a weaker gripper and working reps from when it's fully opened?

I'd just like to get some feedback or tips/advice on any body else that's experienced this and has overcome it.


Indi :)

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Try varying your workouts by doing 2 sessions a week including not set work and one session concentrating on deep set and negative work. I found that I got obsessed with picking the grippers up every hour or so, just to see if I could still close them! All that happened was that my hands ended up red raw, and didn't have time to recover, causing me to lose strength rather than gain it. Since I cut down on the number of sessions, I can close the the number 2 easily for a no set, and sometimes perform sets of between 5 and 7 full reps. Still haven't closed the 2.5 for a no set, but have only had it a week and a half. Came within a few mm of closing it today, so things are getting better! Sounds like you are at a similar stage to me. Keep me posted on how you are getting on.

Edited by kevski2dogs
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Don’t panic. You are not weaker. Hand strength is the strangest most inconsistent part of the body. I have only been training for a little over a year but have found out that I cant always predict my performance. I do know that it has to do with the CNS (central nervous system) Doing something like squats is a good way to fire up your CNS. Also going to a competition will mentally fire you up. I have done some amazing feats of strength at competitions that I cant reproduce. I high lifted the Blob 50 and the damn thing felt like a piece of cake at the WSH comp. I have never done that again since.

Mighty Joe put up a video about the CNS (on Utube via gripfreak) It made sense to me yet I really don’t get it.

Just keep training how you see fit. Your strength will grow and regress. That seems to be the norm. Like two steps forward and one step back.

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Well, I usually do train grippers twice weekly (tues & sat), and I've come back from some time off. The negatives are getting stronger (slowly), it's just in the past, when that part of the gripper got stronger, so did the beginning of the close, whereas now that's not happening.

I'm thinking of possibly having either one day with deep negative holds and a second day devoted to reps, as suggested above, or maybe doing fewer negative holds but adding in rep work before/after this, so I train both twice a week but with less volume.

I've also got a beef builder that I've not used in years, would that also help with the beginning part of the close, I figured I could really open my hands out wide with that one and possibly replicate the beginning part of a gripper close?

Thanks for all the advice thus far!

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True what Rich says about competing getting you psyched up mentally. Just having a couple of friends around to compete against is usually enough to improve my performance no end. Also found that having a good soak in a hot bath aids recovery a lot.

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