How strong is your grip? Are you a pencil pusher, spreadsheet wiz, strength athlete, lumberjack or blacksmith…or potter? “Spartans, what is your profession?” My apologies, I may have gotten a little carried away.
Several years ago, about mid way into my weightlifting journey, I decided to train my grip – crushing, specifically. Pinching is another type of grip. Despite lifting heavily loaded barbells, I discovered how weak my grip was when I purchased my first Captains of Crush gripper – the trainer. It is rated at 100 lb, which is supposedly the crushing force necessary to completely close them. Obviously, there are many manufacturers of these tools and they all have their methods for advertising their crushing force, but Iron Mind has simply set the standards in the grip strength world.
My collection has gradually increased. I have the trainer, 1, 1.5, 2, and 2.5 (100, 140, 167.5, 195, 237.5 lb, respectively). Their toughest gripper is the 4 (365 lb), but my goal is the 3 (280 lb). I’m millimeters away from closing the 2.5, so it’s only a matter of time. Every progression has been extremely difficult, and I would usually only complete up to two repetitions, with the exception of the 2 and 2.5, with which I could only partially close.
So, why on earth would one need vice-like grip? The C.o.C. team claims that if you can close the #2, you have life-saving grip. Does that mean you can catch your falling friend with one hand while you’re holding on the edge of a building with the other? Perhaps that is still limited to Hollywood strength; nevertheless, perhaps you could hang on to someone if you were securely anchored. Secondly, we use our hands everyday. This becomes immediately apparent if you’ve ever had to splint one finger. You could…open that stubborn pickle jar, give your opponent a run for their money in the world of fighting sports, carry things longer, put up a good arm wrestling match, tossing ingredients in that cast iron pan, and whatever else you might be able to think of! A quick internet search also states that hand strength correlates to: increased longevity, improved quality of life, reduced chance of cardiovascular disease and other terminal illnesses, and improved cognitive health? Those claims are from a website that also sells hand care products, so take it with a grain of salt. Personally, I think it’s a cool party trick to be able to squeeze these high quality grippers and benefit from that training in the weight room, as well.
This may sound like an advertisement for Captains of Crush grippers, but it really isn’t. After having tried other grippers from sporting goods stores, Five Below, or Microcenter (yes, Microcenter), they are an absolute joke compared to C.o.C.s in terms of build quality and training benefit. To cap it all off, here’s a feat of grip endurance by Mark Felix. Lastly, here’s my attempt at the 2.5 out of the package.