Max Grip Strength vs Grip Endurance

Discussion in 'Other' started by WhatWouldHulkDo, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. WhatWouldHulkDo

    WhatWouldHulkDo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    First, disclaimer: all opinions/intuitions, no science.

    It seems to me that, like all other categories of strength, there's a difference between max grip strength (how much can you hold) vs grip endurance (how long can you hold). Most of the popular grip training modalities (KBs, hanging, carrying) seem geared towards endurance - sure, they'll build max strength too, but sort of in the way that high-rep pushups builds max press strength, I would call it "indirect".

    How might you train to focus on max grip strength?

    There's the obvious answer of some variety of heavy deadlift, maybe with limiting the range to allow more weight. Maybe overspeed KB eccentrics? But in particular I'm interested in modalities that wouldn't tax the back, since my back pays enough taxes as it is.

    Are grippers (e.g. "Captains of Crush") good ways to develop max grip strength?
  2. Antti

    Antti More than 2500 posts

    The obvious question is max grip strength for what? The grip can be quite specific.

    For gripping the bar some hangs could be a good idea. They should help your back instead of taxing it. Ed Coan has an exercise he's used on one of his Supertraining videos, like a short ROM side raise. I like to do some accessories without straps but it will not work for a minimalist.
  3. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    High loads and low reps should work for developing maximum grip strength.

    There are also two types of grip endurance; static and dynamic. Static being how long you can 'hold on' before letting go. Dynamic being how long you can cycle your grip before it gives out. (Try milking cows for instance...)

    My opinion is that Grippers are amongst the least effective methods of developing grip.

    Real grip strength is comprised of many different types of activities:

    Crushing grip
    Open hand

    If someone wants 'android' grip then they need to work all of these.

    And our Finnish friend @Antti is correct when he says that grip is very specific.

    Additionally there are a plethora of modalities to use that minimize stressing the back.
    Kiacek, runninggirevik and Antti like this.
  4. WhatWouldHulkDo

    WhatWouldHulkDo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Personally, I specifically need to work on deadlift grip, but figured there might be a general answer too.

    Agree there - I've been doing a lot of 2-handed hanging, and starting up some 1-handed hanging more recently. Still just feels like it's more an endurance path - working to be able to hang longer.

    Maybe loaded hanging would be a good answer, then.
    Antti likes this.
  5. WhatWouldHulkDo

    WhatWouldHulkDo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    That's an interesting distinction - makes a lot of sense.

    Do you have any favorite "programs" for grip training (aside from just get up there an climb something)?
  6. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    I don't have any programmes specifically. Just stuff I have cobbled together; but it is geared towards climbing specific grip strength, rather than what you might be looking for. (Although I contend that most climbers need to work on a lot of other stuff rather than grip strength)
    John Brookfield has some good stuff on grip.

    Most people I see training grip are doing it almost as an afterthought; in a very 'lazy' fashion. It requires the same clarity of purpose and intensity that other serious forms of training require...
    WhatWouldHulkDo likes this.
  7. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    +1. There is lots of carryover for some things but it can be tough to predict. Examples from my own training - when my deadlift would stall, I'd switch to kettlebell swings. When my swings would stall, I'd switch to deadlifts. For me, there is a some connection.

    I can out-hang a lot of folks because I'm light and my grip only has to hold me. I can often out-hang the guy who can deadlift twice what I can deadlift, so that again is going to be specific.

    C of C grippers are way cool, but whether or not getting better at them means your DL will go up is another matter. Partial range deadlifts are good, but you can also just hang out in the lockout of your regular deadlifts for a while and that'll be good for your grip, too.

    If you're avoiding taxing your back, hanging from a bar is good, C of C are good, all the gadgets from IronMind are great - you can work on pinch grip, for example. Rings are great and you mention endurance - I can do a little "routine" on the rings that takes around a minute. That's good grip training of its own sort.

    I don't think there is just one answer. I'd say whatever intrigues you is worth trying in the way of grip training.

    Bauer and WhatWouldHulkDo like this.
  8. Geoff Chafe

    Geoff Chafe Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @WhatWouldHulkDo From my experience the Gripper Crush does have specific carryover to barbell grip strength.

    Inverted Pinky and Ring Finger Gripper Crush brings up those weakest fingers.

    Also any sort of thumbless(Monkey Grip) lifting forces you to crush with the pinky and ring finger. You can work up to two finger(pinky and ring) hangs that will help.

    I have been Grip Training specifically one day per week and adding grip stuff to my Press and Squat days. I have only been lifting 2-3 days a week.

    A typical grip practice looks like:

    Gripper Crush- 3-5 sets of 1-3 reps, 1-3 sets of 1 rep Forced Negative/Hold with goal Gripper

    Rolling Thunder or Axel or Inch Trainer- 5-8 sets of 3-1, 80% x AMRAP or Inch Trainer Grip Rush

    Two Hand Pinch(plate or climber)- 3-5 sets of 5-1, 80-90% x 1-5 holds

    Fat Grip, Hammer Curl or Fat Grip, EZ Curl, Reverse Curl- 3-5 x 8-12

    *end with various hangs and Band Hand Extensions depending on time and energy

    *its not a failed rep in grip training, it’s a partial rep

    I am open questions and critique.
  9. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    Looks great Geoff.

    Maybe not needed for barbell grip applications... but what I see missing is open hand grip, and crimp grip...
  10. Hasbro

    Hasbro Triple-Digit Post Count

    You might consider some kind of form of isometric training too. Grab a bar and squeeze as hard as you can for about 6-8 seconds. Recover and repeat for a few sets. Easy on the back too.
    WhatWouldHulkDo likes this.
  11. WhatWouldHulkDo

    WhatWouldHulkDo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Interesting ideas - sort of implies that barbell grip might have something of a "weak link in the chain" dependency?

    I've noticed in fingertip pushups that my pinkies tend to want to bow, instead of staying nicely arched like the rest of the fingers. I interpret that as a weakness in that part of the hand, will be interested to see if some focused crushing work tightens that up...

    What does the "80-90%" mean for pinches? Do you test some kind of pinch grip max?
    Geoff Chafe likes this.
  12. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    Sledgehammer Finger Walks
    WhatWouldHulkDo likes this.
  13. Antti

    Antti More than 2500 posts

    I have noticed, when doing farmer walks, that the weaker fingers give up first. I can distinctly remember a time when I carried the handle the last metres with the two weaker fingers already off the handle. The weak fingers are way weaker than the stronger ones.

    I can't say if the same goes for the barbell as I don't test my grip with it. I use straps with longer sets and I've never had problems with shorter sets and mixed grip, no matter the weight. But I would expect it to be quite similar. Maybe it's a bit different with double overhand vs mixed grip, maybe not.

    After learning about the weakness of my weaker fingers I've taken the habit of trying to use them as much as I can, to the exclusion of the stronger fingers. I carry my grocery shopping with the weak fingers only, for example. Or when lifting plates at the gym, use only the weak fingers. Hoping it all ends up adding up below the line at some point.
    WhatWouldHulkDo and offwidth like this.
  14. Geoff Chafe

    Geoff Chafe Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Farmers. @Antti has your answer in the first sentence. The simplest answer is best.

    Agreed. For Deadlift Grip carryover heavy Farmers, but not being stressful on the system specifically the low back was a prerequisite. I like heavy and short distance, 20-30ft, but that is what I have access to.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2019
    ShawnM likes this.
  15. Geoff Chafe

    Geoff Chafe Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Yeah, build some meat on the hands. The pinky squeeze cue helped my Bench which I attribute to specifically building the pinky pad. You may also find your squeeze the lats and lock the triceps harder in the Deadlift after strengthening the last two fingers.

    I have been programless for a few months. I work up to a daily max and volume back off work. Not a death set. An uncomfortable max. Loosely based on Beyond 5/3/1.

    Few sets of 5’s, 3’s, 2’s, and 3-5 singles, working up in 10% jumps of the goal weight. Depending what week I am in, which I have been tracking, how I feel, and time, I get additional volume in.

    I will attempt, some may say fail, a grip exercise 3-5 times before completing it, if at all. I will base my precentages on a clean lift.

    For grippers I do a few grippers for a few reps each because I do grippers during my barbell training. It’s just to warmup and get volume. Gripper Ceushing will look like.

    Band Hand Extensions- moderate x 20ea

    Set Close- NL250 x 5ea, HG250 x 3ea, COC#2.5 x 1ea, NL300 x 3 x 1(attempts, very very close on right, not as close left)

    Inverted Close- COC#2.5 x 3 x 1

    Forced Negative- COC#3 x 3 x 1

    All torsion spring grippers Northern Lights, Heavy Grips, and Captains of Crush. I have about ten torsion spring grippers.

    FYI torsion spring grippers wear in after 50-100 rep(Joe Kinney) and the tension levels off, barring some sort of failure. When you are weaker the gripper is stronger. My HG300 is harder than my COC#3 because the HG300 only has some Forced Negatives and some 3-in-1 oil on it.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
    bencrush, WhatWouldHulkDo and ShawnM like this.

Share This Page