Mention grip strength to most men and the image that springs to mind is cranking out innumerable reps on a rusty gripper that you happened to find in your old man’s garage.
According to Chad McMurren, former natural bodybuilding champion and owner of grip-training store Grip & Lift Australia, “getting a $2 gripper and squeezing it mindlessly for hours on end doesn’t do a whole lot for your grip. The fastest way to increase your grip strength is to chase a specific one-rep max using grippers which have specific poundages.”
With poundages ranging from 63.5kg for a Number 1 gripper, to an immovable 165.5kg for a Number 4, Captains of Crush grippers are the gold standard in grip training and competition.
Follow this workout from McMurren to build a knuckle-crushing grip
This workout requires three grippers: a warm-up gripper (which allows you to do 10 reps easily), a working gripper (which allows you to 5-7 reps) and a goal gripper (which you can’t quite close).
2x10 reps (your effort level should be low)
3x5-7 reps (if you can go higher than this rep range, you need to up the poundage)
3x1 rep (close the gripper as far as you can, then hold this position for 3-5 seconds)
1x10 reps (focus on maintaining perfect form)