Beginner Grip Training

Posted on 20 Nov 2010 12:13

Joe is my go to guy for all things Grip. I have not given grip training any serious justice in a long time. In fact the truth is that I have never really done dedicated grip training for a long enough time to actually gain any grip strength. Well, picking Joe’s brain really works!


I now have some awesome new exercises in my arsenal:

  • Grippers
  • Plate Pinches
  • Barbell Static Holds
  • Rope Pull-ups
  • Forearm Roller

The following information is available in Joe’s training log (which is where I asked my questions in the first place). I want to summarize the new approach. My training template looks like this:

Saturday - Deadlifts, Pistol Squats and Core Training

Sunday - OHP, Weighted Pull-ups, Rows and Core Training

Monday – Off

Tuesday - Front Squats, Weighted Dips, Grip Training and Core Training

Wednesday - Back Squats, Pull-ups and Core Training

Thursday – Off

Friday – Off

As y’all can see, my Grip Training day is 2 days after Deadlifts. There is a constant balance which must be maintained because it is very easy to overwork your grip in which case your ability to Deadlift will worsen.

Joe’s listed some progression schemes for each of the above exercises:

Progression Schemes


Before I list out the plan of action on these, y’all should check out Joe’s Gripper Guide Part 1 and Gripper Guide Part 2 You probably also need to check out the article on How to Set Your Gripper.

Right now my biggest challenge is to own the CoC #1. By this I mean actually mastering it. Yeah I can do singles with it but I don’t “own” it. Here’s what I’m going to be doing:

Walmart Gripper (cheap) – 2 sets of 5 reps. First set is slow and second set is fast. No setting.
HG 150 – 2 sets of 2 reps
CoC #1 – Singles and then moving up to Doubles
HG 150 – 5+ rep set not taken to failure

The volume here has to be regulated. If I am overdoing it, I will drop some of the singles with the CoC.

rubber band hand finger extensions exercise

Don't Forget to Work the Extensions!

Plate Pinches

The way Joe likes to do them is to either hold a pair of dumbbells (with both hands) and Deadlift them up or two plates at the end of a barbell and Deadlift them up. The progression here depends on the load and volume. This is not supposed to be done for time.

Barbell Static Holds

These are supposed to be done for time. Start at 5 seconds and even if you go 5, 3, 2, etc it is fine. Find a base and then build on it. Basically this exercise is like a Rack Deadlift with the pins set high. Progression here is both for time and with weight. This exercise can either be done on Saturday (for me) or on Tuesday. I prefer doing it on Saturday right after Deadlifts but the upside of using Tuesday for this is that I tend to be better rested.

Rope Pull-ups

Progression here is for reps. I normally throw these in on Wednesday (when I do Squats and Pull-ups).

Forearm Roller

This isn’t the most crucial exercise in the list but I progress on it with sets, reps and weight.

Hand Extensions

Eric recently made a statement about these and I think he’s summed them up expertly:

You know that all muscle groups have corresponding antagonist groups. The muscles of grip are no exception. If you do grip training, and you should, you may be spending a lot of time training grip but no time training the opposite, which is extending or opening the hand. Against resistance, of course. It couldn't be easier to do and it will save you from injury and pain down the line. This video shows GUS's own Anuj doing a simple hand extensions using a large office rubber band:

Rubber Band Hand Extensions Video

Doing the hand extensions is an absolutely must after every grip training session.


The exercises I have listed above don’t all have to be done in the same week or the same session. They aren’t meant to be “cycled” either. You have to be very cautious in your approach. Be conservative. Start at a solid base. Build on that. On some weeks I can get away doing the Gripper work, Rope Pull-ups and the Forearm Roller but not every time. In any case, find a healthy effective medium.

This page created 20 Nov 2010 12:13
Last updated 20 Jul 2016 23:45

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