Folks, we hear a LOT about training the back and legs, and rightfully so – these are the large muscles in your body, and ANY training program should be based around training these large muscle groups in the most efficient and RESULTS oriented manner.
Work the back, and you’ll naturally have a large chest. Work the entire body, and your “biceps” will bulge without you doing a single dumbell curl. Work the legs, and watch that “skinny” frame pack on muscle within a very short period (that last one, of course, is for those looking to “get big”).
That’s never been a concern for me. For me it is always more about the size of the fight in the dog than the “size of the dog”, if that makes sense.
But anyway, grip training, you might be saying at about this point, and rightfully so.
Grip training is one of the MOST, bar none IGNORED portion of most folks workout, be that lifting weights, or doing bodyweight stuff.
(Granted, if you do the bodyweight stuff correctly you’ll build an iron grip without even directly attempting to, but most people do them INCORRECTLY. )
Now, as to why you need to train the grip SERIOUSLY? Well, I’m sorry to say it but it’s NOT because of looks.
First off, a man (or woman) is only as strong as the weakest link in his (or her) body. I don’t care if your doing pull-ups, or hoisting heavy weights, or simply “bear hugging” beer barrels (a great, great workout by the way) – if your grip gives out quickly, you’ll never EVER be able to perform to your best potential possible in terms of the rest of your body.
Second, it gives you a firm handshake. Have you noticed the number of times you come across folks with a “limp fish – or – “noodle” or “you know what”, hehe) handshake? Guys who “bend their fingers down” when you try and shake their hands?
Guys who “complain” that your grip is “too strong” – this despite you being less than HALF THEIR SIZE?
Well, I dont know about you my friend, but I come across such folks regularly, and the amazing thing is these guys could develop phenomenal grip strength AS WELL if they ditched the modern day routines and modern day nonsense that passes for “training”.
Ever gripped a farmer’s mitt? Chances are that farmer performs no physical activity other than his daily chores on the farm (granted, those chores are HARD LABOR in and as of themselves). Chances also are he’ll “crush yer paw” and not even know it while he’s doing it.
Ever seen – nay – FELT – the phenomenal grip strength some of the old time boxers and wrestlers had?
On that note, when I’m in China I often go for massages, and no, these are NOT “dodgy back street massage parlors” that I’m referring to. These are proper massage places, and some of the masseuses that work on me are literally less than half my size.
And given my insubstantial bulk, I’d say that’s tiny, eh? (Yes, I bolded the insubstantial part for a reason – and NO – I’m not “looking to get big” at this point in time – been there, done that, got the T-shirt, yada, nada, schnada).
And yet, you’d be amazed at some of the grip strength these tiny girls possess – and I’ve felt it FIRSTHAND. I’m not lying to say the average “roid monster” would scream in mercy if one of these girls took it upon herself to literally “pummel” his traps and upper back (which is pretty much what happens during those massages – no “candlelit” rubbish here!), he’d be screaming Mama in less than 2 minutes FLAT.
Last, but not least, even if all the above doesnt convince you – well, simply consider the number of people that are suffering from wrist injuries, carpal tunnel etc. MOST people complain their wrists hurt after a long day at the computer – as they should, because it’s NOT a natural position.
Work the grip enough though, and ALL these problems will disappear – FOR FREE. No fancy doctors, no “shmucking around” with garbage that doesnt work.
Just plain and simple exercises that – amazingly enough – a lot of times do NOT require “direct grip work”.
And thats it for this article. More to come later!
P.S. – Rahul goes into a fair bit more details in terms of grip training in the book. Get it here: – http://0excusesfitness.com/the-book/.
P.S. #2 – And no, pullups though being a fantastic exercise are NOT the best thing you can do for your upper body/grip! I know thats a tough pill to swallow right there, but tis what it is.
P.S. #3 – But they’re still great. I’ll be coming out with another article on pull-ups shortly.