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Forearms are holding me back. Suggestions?


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Yes, yes, yes... patience. I agree. But in the meantime, any suggestions for bringing grip strength up to level with other muscle groups?

 

I do a HIT routine to failure.

 

On pull days I do yates rows, pull downs, shrugs and horizontal rows interspersed with lower body stuff. By the end my hands give out before I can burn out the lift.

 

I'm pretty set with HIT style lifts, as I think they're a great match for my health and fitness needs.

 

I'm thinking that splitting the pull workout between 2 days is probably the best til my forearms catch up.

 

Thoughts?

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While you wouldn't think so - deadlifts helped improve my grip and forearm strength.

 

This. Also, I switched to the hook grip for my deads and rows this morning and it was very nice.  While my thumbs hurt, I didn't feel like I had any trouble holding onto the bars.

 

Doing a ton of pull ups helped my grip a lot too (see link in sig).  Although, a couple weeks out, my elbows are still sore :(

That time I did 1,998 pull ups

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If you have access to a power rack then build a wrist roller. Get a piece of 2" PVC, drill a hole through it and run a 4' length of narrow gauge rope like paracord through it and tie it off. Tie a carabiner to the other end of the rope. Slide the safety pin of the power rack through the PVC and clip some weight to the loose end. Just roll the weight up, going either for time, weight, or reps.

 

That said, you appear to be doing a lot of grip intensive volume. Even the biggest guys strap up for some of their lat and trap work. Matt Kroc would alternate between strapped and raw on his 300 pound DB rows.

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If you have access to a power rack then build a wrist roller. Get a piece of 2" PVC, drill a hole through it and run a 4' length of narrow gauge rope like paracord through it and tie it off. Tie a carabiner to the other end of the rope. Slide the safety pin of the power rack through the PVC and clip some weight to the loose end. Just roll the weight up, going either for time, weight, or reps.

 

Heh, there's one of those laying around my gym that's made from a tree branch.

That time I did 1,998 pull ups

"Take care of your meat wagon!" - Joe Rogan

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Holding it works in a pinch, but using a safety pin as an axle means you only have to worry about your grip and flexors/extensors wearing out instead of your shoulders.

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Spoiler

 

2016

Hudson Valley Strongman presents Lift for Autism (USS), April 16th Contest report

2015

Hudson Valley Strongman presents Lift for Autism (NAS), April 18th Contest report

Eighth Annual Vis Vires Outdoor Strongman Competition (Unsanctioned), August 1st Contest report

 

"What's the difference between an injury that you train around and an injury that you train through?"

"A trip to the hospital"

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Thanks for the suggestions all. What I've decided on is to divide my pulling lifts into 2 sessions, and splitting push session into 2 and combining the halves of each. I'll probably have to add a day of rest between sessions cuz doing everything to failure usually takes a little longer to recover and repair. The beauty of pull/push split is that there's not a lot of overlap so you can get back to the gym with less recovery time and still be adequately rested to gain every session.

 

Based in part on the suggestions from here I've added 2 bodyweight hangs to failure at the end of every session to develop grip strength. I'm interested to see what gains I'll make in the next month.

 

Thanks again, all.

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Derek, when you do your hangs, try wrapping a towel around the bar for one of them.  Thicker bars make the grip a lot harder.  I don't do it often but it always burns the crap out of my forearms.  If you try it, it should probably be the last one you do.  Good luck!

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I'm going to echo Shortgorilla on the thick bar training. If you aren't deadlifting or maxing out, find a way to make the bar thicker. A towel works, but I've found that something like Fat Gripz is better, as it doesn't compress as much. I got my gym owner to buy a pair; I'm sure your gym would do the same if it has equipment made from tree branches. Ideally, your middle finger and thumb will not be able to touch. Then, if you go back to normal bars, a standard 1" bar will feel like rebar. 

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Like the others and yourself said, more grip work and patience. In the mean time use straps or alternate grips.

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I've never used them, but a grip strength thread would be incomplete without mentioning Captains of Crush grippers http://www.ironmind.com/ironmind/opencms/Main/captainsofcrush.html.

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I've never used them, but a grip strength thread would be incomplete without mentioning Captains of Crush grippers http://www.ironmind.com/ironmind/opencms/Main/captainsofcrush.html.

 

Using mine right now!

Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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First bodywieght hang (220+/-) to failure 15 seconds. Fourth bodyweight hand to failure 75 seconds. Increased gain rate on all later session pulls.

 

Might try adding some thickness to the bar next time. Will probably hang weight off belt as well because I think I'll see diminishing returns going past 80 or 90 seconds.

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I imagine you'd see diminishing returns on more than 45 second or so, or even 30.

Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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A towel was mentioned, but rather than using it to add thickness to the bar, throw it over your pullup bar and hang from that.

 

In reality, your problem isn't the strength, but the endurance.  Adding strength will help, but so will training for endurance.  Poke around the interwebs for a bit- I'm not sure what the recovery needs are when you are burning your forearms out like that on a regular basis. 

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I have increased my grip strength and general thickness, mass of my forearms by doing more double overhand deadlifts say 5 sets of 10 at 65-75%.

 

This is my new tactic. I think I've overused the mixed grip and my overhand max is down around 70% of my 1RM. I've now begun using straps on my working sets and staying with double overhand. The thing with straps is that if you can handle the weight with your grip, the straps don't come into play, but once the grip starts to fail, the straps compensate and still allow the grip to be worked at whatever max effort it is capable of. You just have to focus on squeezing the hell out of the bar and not using the straps as a crutch by only gripping 90% and letting the straps compensate from the get go.

Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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This is my new tactic. I think I've overused the mixed grip and my overhand max is down around 70% of my 1RM. I've now begun using straps on my working sets and staying with double overhand. The thing with straps is that if you can handle the weight with your grip, the straps don't come into play, but once the grip starts to fail, the straps compensate and still allow the grip to be worked at whatever max effort it is capable of. You just have to focus on squeezing the hell out of the bar and not using the straps as a crutch by only gripping 90% and letting the straps compensate from the get go.

 

Agreed. I believe that I had also overused my mixed grip in order to get those big deadlift numbers. Straps make things so much more difficult for me because I have very short fingers and they thicken the length of the bar so I don't use them. :(

 

My 5RM for deadlift is 445. I started doing 5 sets of 10 DO grip once a week. I started with 225lbs and now have moved up to 285 which is ~60%. I can do 3 sets of 10 at 305 and 1 set of 10 at 315. I am having fun trying to see how much I can get this up. :P I saw Nick Best deadlifting 700lbs 15 times with a DO grip and felt rather humbled.

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Agreed. I believe that I had also overused my mixed grip in order to get those big deadlift numbers. Straps make things so much more difficult for me because I have very short fingers and they thicken the length of the bar so I don't use them. :(

 

My 5RM for deadlift is 445. I started doing 5 sets of 10 DO grip once a week. I started with 225lbs and now have moved up to 285 which is ~60%. I can do 3 sets of 10 at 305 and 1 set of 10 at 315. I am having fun trying to see how much I can get this up. :tongue: I saw Nick Best deadlifting 700lbs 15 times with a DO grip and felt rather humbled.

I have a goal to do 10x315 deadlift.  Mental hurdle at the moment, cause 5 is pretty easy.

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High rep deadlifts, yeesh. They scare me.

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Massrandir, Barkûn, Swolórin, The Whey Pilgrim
500 / 330 / 625
Challenges: 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 34 35 36 39 41 42 45 46 47 48 49 Current Challenge
"No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. " ~ Socrates
"Friends don't let friends squat high." ~ Chad Wesley Smith
"It's a dangerous business, Brodo, squatting to the floor. You step into the rack, and if you don't keep your form, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ Gainsdalf

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