CoC training: what do you do with asymmetric grip strength?

kodo kb

Level 6 Valued Member
Hey all,

Been getting into CoC grippers, and it's clear that my right hand (dominant) is a good bit stronger than my left. My right can easily close the #T for reps, and can close the #1 on a good day; but my left has difficulty finishing off the #T.

I know for most things people aim for symmetric right/left strength. But, with most things people start with rather symmetric R/L strength too. So, I was wondering....

Do people here like to progress CoC training asymmetrically (training each hand according to it's strength )? If so, why?

or,

Do people here like to progress CoC training symmetrically (training the hands based on the weakest one's strength)? If so, why?
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
Well... I’m a climber so I find it handy (pardon the pun) to have both hands equally strong. Which in my case they are for the most part, so I suppose I train grip symmetrically.

Grippers however.. are only a small (almost incidental) component of my grip training.
 

kodo kb

Level 6 Valued Member
Gotcha, that makes sense (I'm a climber too), and your post makes me realize I should've noted my goals.

I don't consider CoC "grip work" per se, more as a strength drill. I am doing them on my strength days as per Pavel's recommendation --- slow supersetting heavy ab work with grippers to improve tension skills and overall strength. (3x3 for both, 3 minutes between any set)
 

Wes P

Level 3 Valued Member
For the record I'm an Ironmind CoC and a Red Bender.

Pretty much everyone on Earth is going to be stronger in their dominant hand than the other. Nothing to be done about it. Train both equal volume with similar RPE and just be okay with it, if you try to "do more" with your non dominant hand to compensate you'll likely just end up overtrained.

I found GtG type training to work well for grippers. It took me about 5 months of grip training to close the #3 as a skinny 15 year old. 15-25 singles daily starting with the #1, then moving to the #2, then a filed #2 (no between sizes in those days)
 

Tirofijo

Level 6 Valued Member
For the record I'm an Ironmind CoC and a Red Bender.

Pretty much everyone on Earth is going to be stronger in their dominant hand than the other. Nothing to be done about it. Train both equal volume with similar RPE and just be okay with it, if you try to "do more" with your non dominant hand to compensate you'll likely just end up overtrained.

I found GtG type training to work well for grippers. It took me about 5 months of grip training to close the #3 as a skinny 15 year old. 15-25 singles daily starting with the #1, then moving to the #2, then a filed #2 (no between sizes in those days)
Very impressive.

Grippers would seem to be perfect for GTG training since you can carry them every where. Set a timer on your phone and do your rep(s) when needed.

But can you mix in other grip work in non-GTG style? When motivated, I do basic grip strength work like plate pinches, rotating deadlift handle lifts, some levers with a sledge, etc.

Grip strength doesn’t come easy to me and I’ll admit my progress has been slow with grippers training them more traditionally a few times a week. I might give GTG a try. Just wondering if that means I need to not do the other grip work, as it could work against the GTG. Or maybe I could do the plate pinches and arm lifting 1x or 2x a week and lay off the GTG gripper the day after to recover? (Just thinking out loud. That could be a bad idea.)

What are your thoughts?
 

Molson

Level 4 Valued Member
Grip strength is interesting. On one side, as Pavel says, making your grip (and abs) stronger is a great way of upping your overall strength in many lifts. On the other, grip fatigue is quite specific and you can certainly overtrain it, with kettlebells in particular. Dan Jon said that said, in Easy Strength, that a grip fatigue is an indication that some training went over the top, and can lead to lose of grip strength.

Doing S&S I know I could not handle much more grip work other than the program itself. And the one time I did over do it, I suddenly had my none dominant hand stronger and handling more weight for a few months, but it was an anomaly and sign of something bad happening with the dominant.
 
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Wes P

Level 3 Valued Member
Very impressive.

Grippers would seem to be perfect for GTG training since you can carry them every where. Set a timer on your phone and do your rep(s) when needed.

But can you mix in other grip work in non-GTG style? When motivated, I do basic grip strength work like plate pinches, rotating deadlift handle lifts, some levers with a sledge, etc.

Grip strength doesn’t come easy to me and I’ll admit my progress has been slow with grippers training them more traditionally a few times a week. I might give GTG a try. Just wondering if that means I need to not do the other grip work, as it could work against the GTG. Or maybe I could do the plate pinches and arm lifting 1x or 2x a week and lay off the GTG gripper the day after to recover? (Just thinking out loud. That could be a bad idea.)

What are your thoughts?
Yep that was why I naturally gravitated to training that way. I'd sit in class and every so often pull a gripper out of my bookbag and do a solid single with each hand and then put it back. I wasn't doing any "real" lifting at the time, mainly just wrestling. I should add the RPE was pretty low too, the #2 quickly became easy and I stayed with it for a month before filing between the handles to increase the ROM. Probably another month or two of that and I ordered the #3 and found I could close it. The 2.5 was a great idea because the difference between the #2 and #3 is huge, probably similar to the difference between a 275 bench and a 405lb bench. A lot of people had difficulty bridging that gap between because at the time no one made anything between.

Later when I did mainly barbell lifting I didn't have any problem training grip concurrently (heavily) but that's because barbell training isn't really grip intensive when you've already reached a high level of grip strength unless you're at the elite powerlifter level.

Nowadays I do a minimalist program of double kettlebell C+P followed with deadlift singles done double overhand on an axle on MWF and I'm definitely near the upper end of what I can recover from gripwise when my C+P volume nears 180 reps a week. It's due to cycle back down soon so that's not an issue. But that's less due to kettlebell work and more to the axle as thickbar work is much more taxing than any other kind of grip work.

Honestly thickbar work is the real MVP of grip training. I made a run when I was younger at closing the #4 and got to where I could get it down to 1/16" from closed and got burned out. It messed up my hands and wrists pretty good. I took a long layoff and switched to solely the Ironmind Rolling Thunder and my grip was never more all around strong than when I was pulling 270+ on the Rolling Thunder. If I had to rewind everything I'd do nothing but thickbar work and whatever incidental stuff I got from lifting and call it good. Grippers are a fun goal to compare yourself to other people but the kind of strength they build is specific and not specific to what many people are trying to use them to build.
 
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