Saturday, 28 June 2014

Product Review : Captains of Crush Grippers

I can’t remember when I first bought myself a pair of grippers, probably 4 years ago I bought a cheap ‘fitness’ pair off trademe (NZ’s version of ebay). These were cheap, weak and totally useless for my training. I remember doing 2-3 sets of 50 each hand while I watch TV. I eventually gave one away, and threw the other in a corner not bothering with them again.

About a year later I came across the CoC (Captains of Crush) grippers from Ironmind and decided to buy some gear off their website. Among other things I bought myself the trainer (100 lb close) and the number 1 (140 lb close). These grippers are not made for ‘toning’ they are for strength training, and should be treated like weight training for the hands. The grippers are very simple but well made, they feel quite comfortable to use and I can’t fault the design or workmanship.

Closing the number 2
Using some very basic programming they suggested I was quickly able to close the number 1 for sets of 5. I would start with 1-2 sets of five with my old cheap gripper as a warm up, then 2-3 sets of 5 with the trainer, followed by sets with the number one, finishing either with sets of five on the trainer or some lockouts closing the number one (5 -15 seconds). The sets with the number one started with 2-3 reps and sets, eventually building up to 5x5.

Following this I bought the number two gripper (195 lb close). Went I first got this gripper I could only close it slightly past half way. To build up to closing it I would warm up with sets of 5 for the trainer then 1-2 sets of five with the number 1 followed by 3-5 singles attempting to close the number two. I would then finish with sets of 5 with the number 1. Currently I can do 2-3 singles with each hand closing the number 2, but only on a good day, if I’m tired, beat down or worn out I can’t quite make the close.

Almost got the close on the number 2

Ideally I would program these grippers twice a week, but my main (grip) focus right now is on the one arm towel hang, climbing my campus board and one arm finger tip push ups. So currently I throw in the grippers whenever I have time and am feeling good.

To sum up these are excellent pieces of training equipment which you should treat as weight training for your hands. They are very well made and a great addition to your training. However they should not make up the entirety of your grip training. They do not directly transfer to isometric grip strength (unless you’re performing lockouts), so throw in some hangs and fat bar lifting for a more rounded grip strength. And don’t forget to train the extensors.

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