Taking Up the Grip Strength Challenge (Again)

I have been trying for years to get my grip strength up to the top 1% level (see previous posts).  So far I’ve only been able to get to what I would consider the “above average” level, followed immediately by hand pain, tennis elbow, tendonitis, etc.

I am healthy now and I’ve ordered some more grip tools, and a new booklet, from Ironmind.  Time to try it again.

Where am I right now?  Don’t know.  I could probably shut the #1 gripper, but I don’t want to try it right now.  I haven’t touched a grip tool since last October and I want to re-start slow.  Here’s a breakdown of the pull on Ironmind grippers:

  1. Guide (60 lbs).  Almost everyone who works out at all can shut this one.
  2. Sport (80 lbs).  Lots of people can shut this one.
  3. Trainer (100 lbs).  Starting to get into above average territory.  Some folks can shut this gripper on the first try.
  4. Number 1 (140 lbs).  Remarkable power.  Very few can shut this gripper.  I had one on my desk at the office for a year, and I give to people at martial arts demos and what-not.  Only a handful of people I’ve met can shut it.  I’m somewhere in this area right now.
  5. Number 2 (195 lbs).  Very exceptional grip.  Specialized training is required to close this gripper unless you are a freak of nature or you’ve developed grip strength unintentionally because you sling very heavy iron in the gym.  This is the gripper I want to close, or die trying.
  6. Number 3 (280 lbs).  Extreme grip strength.  Only a couple of hundred people in the world can shut this gripper.
  7. Number 4 (365 lbs).  Superhuman power.  Since 1998 only five men have closed this gripper.

Why do I want to have ridiculous grip strength?

  • Admiration.  My father had amazing grip strength despite a serious hand injury.  He could crush a soda can — unopened and full of drink! — and he did not practice, work out, or lift weights.  I admire that natural power.
  • Fantasy.  I started writing a story when I was a teenager (still unfinished) about a prehistoric character with amazing grip strength named Ul.  I want to be as strong as my fictional character.
  • Practicality.  I once trained self defense with Walt Lysak.  His brother Charlie can close an Ironmind #3 gripper, and Walt is no slouch either.  Walt can take you by the wrist or the back of the neck and the fight is over.  It feels like you’re in the grip of the jaws of life.
  • Aspiration.  I don’t like failure and I don’t believe in giving up.  I want to shut that @#%&*! Ironmind #2 gripper, and that’s all there is to it.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress…

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One response to “Taking Up the Grip Strength Challenge (Again)

  1. Pingback: Grip Strength (again) — i.e. “The Man Who Couldn’t Quit” | Robert Mitchell Jr.

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