Get a Grip of Steel

Jeff Gowett
Jeff Gowett

In this article, I would like talk about a part of training that is usually neglected, and that is grip training. Many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts do not perform any grip work. Many bodybuilders believe that the forearms and grip are usually worked when performing all of the other exercises for arms and back. I used to be one of those who thought that way, but not any more.

It seem like all of the athletes in other physical culture sports like MMA, Strong man and power lifting, all train their grip, forearms and necks, but bodybuilders, who are the originators of muscle building, seem to have excluded these muscle groups all together. It was not like that in the golden era. I remember reading in many of the golden era magazines and in many of Arnold’s writings, that training forearms and grip was a big part of their training routines.

Larry Scott was one man who specifically trained his forearms and grip. He would say that if you want a big back and big arms, then forearm training is a must.

It is essential to have a good grip. When training back, it is usually your grip that gives out before your back does. This is the reason why you see many bodybuilders training with lifting straps. I am not against lifting straps but when used to often the lifting straps will weaken your grip strength.

You can start training your grip and forearms during and after your pull days when you train back and biceps.

For example, I will hit all of my rowing exercises with thick bars. If a thick bar is not available, you can use the blue fat grips, which are rubber grips that go around a barbell bar making the bar thicker. The blue Fat Gripz – The Ultimate Arm Builder! will make the bar slightly bigger than two inches in diameter. The Fat Gripz Extreme Hand Strengthener, Orange I use as well. These orange grips make the bar about three inches in circumference. By using these grips you will be working your forearms and grip at the same time. Because of the unusual grip, you may have to lighten the weight you are using. As you get stronger, you should have no problem holding onto a fat grip placed on the bars or using thick bars in general.

Here is a routine I put together for grip work. After training back and arms with the fat grips, I begin my grip program by training the grip exercises first before moving onto my forearm work. Here is what I do:

1) Captains of Crush Hand Gripper – Trainer 5 sets of five reps using the trainer, which is 100 pounds and then the next one that goes up to 150 pounds; 5 sets of five on that gripper as well.
2) Plate load Grip machine – I usually start with a 25 pound plate and work up to 100 pounds performing 4 sets of ten reps.
3) Eagle Loop chin ups – These are straps sold by Iron mind. These straps can be looped over a chinning bar. Once fastened to the chinning bar, you put your fingers through the loop. You hang by your fingers and perform chin ups. This strengthens your finger grip strength.
4) Finger tip push ups – I perform 3 sets of 5 reps on the finger tip push ups.
5) Next I begin with wrist curls with barbell supersetted with wrist roller.
6) Next I do reverse wrist curls supersetted with reverse wrist roller.

If you are new to this type of training, do all of the exercises for 2 sets of 5 reps. If you are a seasoned grip and forearm trainer then do 5 to 6 sets of 5 to 8 reps. This type of training will help you develop your arms and your back when you hold onto the bars longer on all of your back and arm training.

The tools you will need are:
1) Captains of Crush Hand Gripper – Trainer
2) Eagle Loops
3) Wrist roller
4) Grip machine
5) Barbell or dumbbells for wrist curling



6)Fat Gripz – The Ultimate Arm Builder! or the Fat Gripz Extreme Hand Strengthener, Orange


Download article on grip training additional information —>Grip Article

Until next time,

God bless you all.



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