Monday, October 15, 2007

Ground Zero

I was under the impression I had a fairly good grip from a pretty young age. My father taught me the value of good eye contact and a strong handshake. The old man used to say things like, "Hell of a handshake, boy." or "You've got hands like a vise, kid." I was destined to be a gripster from a very young age...I just didn't know it. Prior to falling into the grip world face-first, I simply 'trained' (I use that term loosely here) my grip by squeezing the hell out of the bar on every lift in the gym. That'll only get you so far, trust me. I really didn't do any lower arm work in any of my workouts, with a killer handshake like mine, why would I waste the time? Boy was I wrong.

After college I moved to Upstate NY in search of the American Dream, only to find an industrial area stripped of its industry. Economic deprivation was common and jobs were sparse, but the hearts of the people were HUGE. If I could have found a job, we never would have left. That said, I did what any gym rat would do, I found a gym and hit the plates to pass the time. I then found a need for a sports nutrition store and found Barbells of Binghamton. The owner is a great guy, always willing to help people out - if he doesn't have what you're looking for, he'll get it. Hell, when I moved to DC, he sent me several sets of wraps I'd been looking for for a long time. They sell all kinds of goodies, but most importantly, they sell Captains of Crush Grippers (CoC). If you're not familiar with these, CHECK 'EM OUT! Read all about them on the Ironmind website.

I was really inspired to train grip by The Diesel Crew. If you've never heard of these guys (but, if you're reading a blog on functional hand strength chances are you have) CHECK THEM OUT! Their videos, articles, and blogs speak for themselves. You can't watch a single video in their library without getting pumped! I'd be surfing the web looking for anything interesting while droning through another day in a boring job. Stumbled across their website on a search for hand strength and the rest is history.

Through The Diesel Crew I got acquainted with The Gripboard. EVERYTHING hand strength, seriously. Again, if you've never been to the site, you must check it out. The Board is loaded with friendly people who are willing to share training tips and lend support at the drop of a hat. These people are all like-minded gripsters who post PRs, training routines, pics, and vids. The Gripboard is a great place to learn and share - it's like Grip School. Get after it boys and girls.

I have minimal equipment, so I train with what I've got: a hand full of grippers, extensor bands, a home-made v-bar, minimal weights, a 6' piece of 4"x4", a railroad tie, an old playground swing set, and an old playground set of monkey bars. I'll bend whatever I can get my hands on...I'd love to train my bending more but, like all things, time and financial constraints limit this effort to a few pieces of steel a month...if that. I have my friends and and co-workers bring me phone books, old decks of cards, and license plates to rip.

This blog is going to chronicle my journey through the grip world. I'm going to start a training log on here so you can get an idea of how my training sessions go. Trust me when I tell you, the posts will not be this long, especially after a grip workout. I can shake a martini without even trying after some harder grip sessions! HAHA!

Check out the links, check back for posts, and GET YOUR GRIP ON!

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