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Couple Of Questions From A Novice


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:help I'm moving into grip/feats of strength from strongman, after injuring my knee and being told by the Doc not to squat anymore if I want to continue to walk without a stick. I've been strength training for many years but have only recently started specific grip training (by that I mean COC and pinch grip training, I've done stuff like deadlift and thickbar holds before) but I have found a few problems I think you may be able to help with.(I have tried talking to a physio, but she's never come accross this sort of training before, and so wasn't very helpful!)

1: Why does my grip strength vary so much?

Sometimes I can get the handles of my #3 to less than half an inch apart, sometimes I can barely close the #2, I'm not doing anything different, not warming up differently, not changing my diet or sleep patterns, I know my body varies from day to day, but is this ammount of variance normal?

2: Why does it hurt so much to let go?

When I release the gripper, after doing a timed hold, or a negative, I get my hand about half way open and then have to suddenly release it, because I get a sharp stabbing pain across the knuckles of my hand. I use a very slight set when closing a gripper, is this what is causing the pain? Should I increase the set? If not, any other suggestions?

3: Why do my bones hurt?

After a gripper session it doesn't tend to be the muscles that hurt, it feels more like it's the bones that have been placed under pressure, Heat and Ice treatment works, but I'm concerned due to the fact that I broke 2 small bones in my hand whilst releasing a gripper from a timed hold at the start of the year.

Any (constructive) advice is welcome, if you have any questions, please ask.

Oh, by the way, it would probably help you to know that I train with grippers twice a week, mondays and thursdays, and use a system of negatives and timed holds.

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I would have to say because your not use to it yet. My hands use to hurt after holding them shut to but it no longer bothers me. I think with more time on the grippers and other feats your body will adjust and you shouldn't have problems anymore. You strength should also become more consistent too.

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I broke 2 small bones in my hand whilst releasing a gripper from a timed hold at the start of the year.

I'm sorry to answer your question with questions, but:

Are you serious? You actually broke your 2 of your metacarpals using a gripper? Which gripper were you using and how exactly did it happen? What did the doctor say when you told him how it happened?

I'm sorry to ask, I've just never heard of anything like this.

Good job coming back from an injury like that to train again, though!

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I'll walk down your list and give you my 2 cents.

#1- I've found great variance in strength when I was fatigued and not fully recovered from previous workouts. Since you work out grippers only twice a week, it doesn't seem at first glance that you're overtraining, but I've heard and certainly experienced the belief that heavy negatives are hard on the hands and often require more recovery.

#2- I've never had this problem, and it sounds like something unhealthy with your hand. Is the pain in the same location where you broke your hand? In any case, I might suggest repping with some slightly easier grippers for a few weeks to work the hand, but not overly strain it. Working with the grippers shouldn't cause sharp pains.

#3- As far as bones hurting. It seems to me this is all a result of working the tendons of your hand very hard. While the muscles in the hands can certainly develop larger, the hand is still just a lot of bones and tendons. I would recommend working the extensors if you're not already, for better all around hand health.

My initial impression is that you may be taking on the grippers too fast and too hard. What exactly has been your progression through the grippers? I mean date things started, date you could close X gripper, etc. For the meantime, I would back off with the strength and/or intensity of your gripper workouts. There just seems to be too many problems and past concerns to continue at the level you're working on.

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Guest gripmaster316

My hands were in pain at the start, but bones breaking? Wow! Lay off a little there. Volume should not be too high when you just got your grippers.

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Thanx for the input, here's a little more info:

I got the COC#1 in december 03 and closed it straight out the wrapper, the #2 arrived in late dec and it took me about 2 weeks to get it to shut, I then broke my hand early in january and had to leave it 6 weeks before I could train again. I got my #3 in mid march and have been using that, but I think I may need to get a harder one (the #4 or one of the heavier mash monsters) before I am able to close it fully.

The Doc in A&E was amazed that I was so stupid as to try closing the gripper (I had it with me and he'd tried to close it when he said this!) and said that it was probably the sheer force of the gripper opening my hand that caused the problem, that possibly I had minor injuries I was unaware of which had been aggravated by the pressure.

It could well be that I have been trying too hard and fast to get things done, when I first got the #3 I had to get my lady to take it off me when I wasn't training it because the urge to pick it up was so strong! The things are so addictive they should carry a health warning!

The ache in my bones is spread evenly over the palm and knuckles, and it definately feels like it's the bones themselves which hurt, I've had enough tendon/muscle pulls/sprains to know what they feel like and this is a different feeling.

The one thing that has occurred to me is that, possibly due to the way I have trained in the past, the muscles in my hand have strengthened faster than the bones, so that the bone cannot take as much strain as the muslces can exert. Does this sound plausible?

And finally, the sharp pain I get when opening a gripper is in the knuckles where the fingers meet the palm, it only lasts a fraction of a second, but it feels as if my fingers are being pulled from their sockets!

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Holy disfigured claw for a hand Batman!!

You went to first closing the #2 in late December/January, take 6 weeks off for a broken hand, then come back to work the #3 by mid-march? Then you want to work on the #4 soon after that???

I know some people progress fast, but you're going ludicrous speed!!

I admire the dedication and intensity you're taking to these grippers, but your body is very obviously telling you to slow down and cut back. I would lay off any gripper work for a couple weeks to let your hands heal a bit, because they sound pretty torn up right now.

Take your grippers and bury them in your backyard. Dig them up when your hands feel better :tongue

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Do a search in the old posts for an answer on the pain your getting when you let go.

I have had similar experiences when I hammered block weights hard.

Rest up do ball/shot rotation. Go with lighter grippers for a while to avoid neuro-dumbass, and work another area till your healed up.


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  • 1 year later...

Well, that kind of pain may be caused by joints that are just too loose. I know I have. All the work for my extensors has been really good. While the hand is in the closed position, extensors work against metacarpals sliding of their sockets.

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