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Ian's Grip Log


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I guess it's about time I start a log myself for more direct feedback. This will be grip only, for the time being, though I may mention my HIT workouts from time to time.


12/01 Began waking up with numbness in my hands/wrist.forearms :sleep

01/02 Incorrectly Diagnosed with carpal tunnel :whacked

03/02 Switched Doctors diagnosed with tenosynovitis (inflammation of the sheaths of the tendons) :(

03/02 Barely able to tie shoes, button shirts, hold empty food plate :(

04/04 Dyno readings at beginning of therapy 126 R / 96 L :)

05/04 Dyno readings at end of therapy 64 R / 36 L :(

07/02 Denied Worker's Comp, appealed :angry:

08/02 Terminated from job (due to appeal), barely able to shave or brush my teeth :(:angry:

07/03 Began first job after going back to school and slowly recovering for 11 months :)

11/03 IronMind #1, MOHS, Dexterity Balls arrive :)

12/03 Bought first block weights, sledge, sand bucket, etc. :D

01/04 Bought a dyno, 141 R / 136 L :)

01/04 Closed the #1 :D

03/04 Dyno 156/149 :D

Short-tem Goals

Strenghten wrists to get rid of Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) pain

Get rid of night-time numbness

Manhandle the 35lb hex

No-Set Close the #2

Lift 7 bricks, Goerner-style

Lift the 25lb hex with (all) single fingers and thumb

Long-tem Goals

Develop strong and health hands

Get RID of the RSI

Lift the Blob

No-Set Close the #3

Other Notes

Due to my RSI, I can't go as extreme as most on the board, and it takes me a lot longer to recover. Also certain exercises cause me a great deal of pain, such as levering, sledge twists, heavy plate curls, and wrist roller, and I only do them when I feel up to it, and my wrists don't hurt as much. Also, I cycle the exercises I start with each workout with. One night it's grippers, block weights the next, then maybe brick lifts the next, etc. I do this because I'm working on overall improvement.

Tonight's Workout

Dexterity balls, did all JB movements, felt good did for 10mins

#1 Close, easy (nice knuckle popping!)

#2 Attempt 2/3" away from closing each hand

#2 Attempt 1" away from closing each hand

#2, 4 negatives

#1 2 overcrushes

Squeezer, warmup, then both hands, 15lbs regular, 20lbs inverted, and 10lbs "beermug-style" Thumbs/fingers totally fried

Brick lifts "Goerner-style", 4 brick warmup, then 5, then 6 for max time (x3) Could only get 6 once with left, tried 7 right, but it was not to be.

Hex, 35 for 3-4s, 30 for 30s. 25 with all 3 pairs of fingers and attempted 1-finger lifts - failed on all but index finger lifts.

Extensor work in sand bucket.

Felt pretty good after, but my wrists are a little sore and thumbs are wiped out.

Feedback and constructive criticism welcome :D

Edited by ianders1
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I look foreward to reading your log. it looks like you have some misfortunate problems with your hands in the past, but you are overcoming them :rock

Every now and then wake up in the middle of the night and my entire arm is asleeep. I think it is because i am laying on it wrong, what do u think?

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It is awesome to read about someone pushing through a physical problem, and finding creative solutions, rather than simply resigning themselves to living in pain for the rest of their lives. To a far lesser degree I am doing the same thing with my knees. They began aching about a year ago, and I found certain activities caused me a lot of pain. I am only 35 years old, and I have decided I am not simply going to give in and just declare I have bad knees. I have been working on a program of overall body strengthening for about three months, and I am seeing great results. The days right after deadlifts and squats, my knees ache, but most days they feel pretty good. I am hoping within a year they will hardly ever ache. I applaud your committment and dedication! Keep up the great work!! :rock

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Chris, Dane, thanks for the comments! It's positive comments like this that make this forum great.

Dane, how often is "every now and then?" If it's more than once a week, you might be overdoing it, especially if you use a computer/X-Box, etc. a lot.

Chris, don't even get me started on my knees - the other thing wrong with me. I've got maligned knee caps, and had surgery on them when I was 16, that didn't really help and only made them weaker. Against my doctor's advice, I keep lifting with them, but more conservatively. I'm up to 500lb deadlifts and 480lb squats (worksets) now, and I'm starting to find my limits. Not of my strength, but of my tendons :( I can probably do 1RMs of over 600lbs on each, but I know my knees won't take that. Also, the post-workout pain is getting worse. I guess I just need to increase the reps per set and lower the weight. Hopefully you are a long way from your limits.

My philosophy isn't to train around the pain or through the pain, but to train the pain away.

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My philosophy isn't to train around the pain or through the pain, but to train the pain away.

We are of the same mind, brother. My thoughts exactly.

For someone with serious knee problems, your squat and deadlift weights are awesome!! I am a LONG way from my squat and deadlift limits. My current squat is a pathetic 100lbs, and my deadlift is only 90lbs. I have only been doing them for a few weeks now, and before that I have been strengthening my legs with the stationary bike and the eliptical machine. I think I will see some quick gains over the next month or two, hopefully.

Keep grippin, and I am looking forward to reading your training log. :cool

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Landers thanks for posting this stuff. i have been battleing a hand injury for the last 5 months. i just began to w/o again and am starting slow. although its hard not to lift like i was before. :angry: during my lay off i have used just about every type of thearpy that you can think of. I was wondering does using vitamins/minerals help. i have been using glucosamine and condrotine {spell check} for a while know. in your opion dose this stuff help? also i have been using this anti-inflamatory cream that you may like. its called CM cream. i put it on the pianful spots and it really does work pretty well. let me know if you want some.

landers did the doc tell you any way to heal your injury or is it just something we have to live with?


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My current squat is a pathetic 100lbs, and my deadlift is only 90lbs.  I have only been doing them for a few weeks now, and before that I have been strengthening my legs with the stationary bike and the eliptical machine.

That's great Chris and don't worry about the weights, they'll come. Just focus on learning and using good technique and throw another 5-10lbs on each week or so as you get stronger. Also, be sure to get enough rest - both of these really tax the central nervous system. Also, be careful on the elliptical, though, sometimes the upward/lifting motion bothers my knees. And, I find recumbent bikes the best if you've got access to one.

Sausage, I've tried the Glucosamine/Chondroitin, but I found them to be only mildly successful and you've got to take those stupid horse pills like 4 times a day. Too many pills for me. One thing that works well for me is B-Vitamin Complex once a day. These are natural anti-inflammatories and they really help, even after just a few doses. I usually cycle them 4-6 weeks on, 2-4 weeks off, just so I don't overdo them. It doesn't make a huge difference, but any help is good :) I've never heard of CM cream, but if it works, use it! Also, I've heard MSM is good stuff, but I've been short on funds lately so I haven't tried it. Contrast Baths are my #1 recovery tool, though. They seem to always work and make the biggest difference.

EDIT: The doc referred me to the "Pain Clinic" where they were going to do a nerve block, which is where they inject chemicals (into your neck!!!) to paralyze the nerve which in turn blocks the pain. It's a dangerous procedure with many side effects and huge risks. Needless to say, I never showed up to the appt. once I found out more about it. I found IronMind's website, ordered a catalog, and read about Razorman's recovery from a similar condition in the pages of the catalog. That along with my knowledge that the only way to defeat it would be to strengthen my lower arms, inspired me to order MOHS, a #1 and the dexterity balls. The rest is history...

Also, I never would've been able to type up all these posts a year ago without a lot of pain :D

Edited by ianders1
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Also, I cycle the exercises I start with each workout with. One night it's grippers, block weights the next, then maybe brick lifts the next, etc. I do this because I'm working on overall improvement.

Great detail Ian, love the start to your log, keep it up. It is inspirational to hear about your progress in overcoming your RSI. I think that most people don't read the logs anyway, but for those of us that do, detail helps us learn from other's experiences. I think you will also enjoy & learn from the feedback. I wish some of the real monsters would keep one regularly.

I am also working on overall hand strength, and keep the order of things mixed up so I stay mentally fresh. I am emphasizing block weights now, simply because I improved quickly on them and they are supposed to be the best overall exercise.

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Against my doctor's advice, I keep lifting with them, but more conservatively. I'm up to 500lb deadlifts and 480lb squats (worksets) now

Hey, you are a monster! :bow

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I received a lot of help with knee pain and especially low back pain from a NUCCA Chiropractor. It stands for National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association. Their website is www.nucca.org to help find a practitioner near you. There is no popping and cracking. I hate to see people in pain.


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Good luck on your recovery .... I think that you are on the right track and that strengthening can help "keep everything in line" and take stress off of our joints (the joint itself, tendons, ligaments) so that we can keep more of the pain away.

One thing about lever exercises that I must ask due to my lack of current knowledge about RSI (I'll be researching RSI this evening) ..... would using a very light weight, getting used to the movement, and slowly adding more weight over time be a viable option? I notice that you only do them when you feel up to it .... so your answer is probably more for my benefit than yours!



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Chris, thanks for your post - I had been going to a chiropractor back in late 2002, early 2003 and she was awesome. Honestly she helped me more than anyone else and enabled me to go back to school to get my MBA. Her feeling was that it was all in my neck and it trickled down. I was paying $285/month for COBRA at the time, writing a check directly to the bastards that screwed me and then fired me. Last summer, they told me that they were raising the rate to $465/month so I told them what they could do with that ;) I haven't had good insurance since and can't afford to go :(, but as soon as I do, that's the first appt. I'll make.

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Sunday, April 4, 2004

Went to Gold's around 1pm for my consolidated HIT workout, and it was terrible. 2 weeks ago I did 495x6 for deadlifts, and I was shooting for 8 today. I lifted it once and about killed me. Stripped 4 45s off and tried shrugs but those felt weak, too. Went over to do military press, last time I did 275x9 and it felt like I could've done more. I tried 290 and got about 2/3s of the way to lockout, but couldn't get it. I stripped off the tens and tried 275, but I couldn't get it either. Not enough rest. I didn't account for starting a job, hating it, looking for another, quitting and starting another job in the space of a little over a week. That extra stress was too much. I'm taking 2-3 weeks off from weights to rest and to allow me knees to heal, as well. Also, I'm really going to crank up my cardio - as of Sun. AM, I'm 226lbs, 21.6% bodyfat. Not good. I don't take the number too seriously, since it's one of those bioelectric impedence testers, but still it's too high. Especially when you live in FL and beach season started over a month ago :ohmy I'll take it slow and shoot for 200lbs by August.

I tried to end the day on a positive note, so I did a grip workout later in the day:

Warmed up on the Squeezer with 10lbs and with the sledge gripping close to the head.

Did 15x10 with the thumbs, 20x9 the fingers. I think that's the most I've done, yet

Followed that with Brick Lifts - 6 bricks + 2.5lb plate (PR) right hand, 6 bricks (PR) left.

Picked up the grippers, got about 1/2 R and L from closing the #2. Did 3 negatives, each hand Closed the #1 for about 20s each hand.

Finished by doing extensor work in the sand bucket.

My hands have been bothering me some lately so I just did an abbreviated workout. As you may have noticed, I've decided to really emphasize my wrist training. Brick lifts are the only thing that is really building strength without bothering them. I hope to do 7 bricks with each hand by the end of the month. I really like doing them, and I've been getting stronger each time, so I feel that's realistic. If I'd never tried them at BulletTooth's, I'd never have known. Thanks, Scott.

I may cycle - focusing my work on wrist strength for a month, crush for a month, then pinch, then starting over. I'll get to bending eventually. Right now, it's too severe on my hands and worsens my condition. It sure is fun, though.

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  • 1 month later...

Hey all, I haven't posted in weeks because I've made little if no progress. My hands seem to be getting weaker again and I'm having great difficulty sleeping with all of the numbness. I'm just barely able to close the #1 at this point. Also, it seems to me that I've become something of the village idiot with my posts on here as of late :). As such, I've decided to drop off the forum for a while. I think all of the training advice and such flying around is distracting me. I'm going really focus to start training hard. I'll return to the forum when I feel like I've accomplished something.

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I think it is always good to get away and re-focus on your training. Don't be gone long, however. If you set a precedent that you have to actually accomplish something before you can post, I may not get to post again for a long while. :tongue

Best of luck on your training/recovery.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Ok, as you've seen, I didn't really leave - how could I when I was so close to becoming a Gripboard Gripomaniac???

Anyways, I'm doing better and have an accomplishment of sorts to post about:

Tonight I did 75lb narrow grip, straight bar curls, and 105 overhead tricep presses. These are two of my favorite arm exercises and have been very painful for me to do for the last few years. I know the weights aren't great, but even a few weeks ago when I started working these again, even 45lbs hurt my wrists.

As for my grip, I started trying to increase the frequency to 3x a week, but yesterday and today I could barely close my #1, so I think I'll have to back off to 1-2x a week. I think my high intensity deadlifting, dips, pullups, etc., and grip training are just too much to do that often.

I've also started using the dexterity balls more often with excellent results, from a hand health perspective. Also, I (finally) ordered a #2, so I can finally start working on taking it down...

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Nice PR's on the curls and triceps! I have healthy wrists, and my numbers are not that high yet. Great work! :rock

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Thanks guys - for both of your posts. Vise, that's an interesting article, I think I'll try some of that iron palm stuff with my sand bucket tonight. I may have to look into Tai Chi as well.

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with sand or rice i recommend thrusting fingers in a claw shape (like the old man movings a moutain picture) and twist as you pull out. make sure to do rotations in each direction. personally i would recommend buying some mung beans. they are a lot nicer than sand and they have additional medicinal effects when they are crushed by your churning. i practice a full iron palm regimen for kung fu, and i must admit, this is not neccessary at all for your purposes. w/o the proper instruction and medicines you can damage your hands. train witrh the bucket of beans daily and you should see and feel great results.

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