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Saturday, April 02, 2011

How to Improve Your Grip Strength for Real World Situations

Guest Article by Mike Rinderle

Strengthening your grip can help you excel in your chosen sport and in the gym, but what about your day-to-day life?

In this article we are going to look at 3 exercises that will help you look like a stud in real world situations.

Helping your buddy move
: Nothing brings out the competitive nature in me like helping a buddy move. I do not want to be the first guy to have to put down my end of the cabinet, chest-of-drawers, or couch.

What usually gives out first in this real world test of wills is a person’s grip. Basically, moving furniture is a series of rim lifts with just your fingers or finger tips holding on for dear life.

To strengthen yourself in this area, find the heaviest Olympic plates you can, wrap your fingertips under the lip and hold for time.

Carrying groceries in from the car: I never want my wife carrying in more grocery bags than me, so I am always loading up the most plastic bags I can for each trip.

I don’t know about you guys, but 100 lbs of groceries hanging off individual fingers by those skinny plastic bags hurts!!! The key to making yourself impervious to the pain of grocery shopping finger torture… ring lifts.

Get some good quality rings that you can attach to a loading pin and do single and multiple finger ring lifts. Before you know it, you’ll own those plastic bags with no problem.

Opening a stuck jar
: I don’t know about you, but I want to be the guy people hand the jar of pickles to when they can’t open it. There is nothing more embarrassing than not being able to open a jar and then have someone else pop it right open.

Opening a jar brings all kinds of grip strength factors into place: crushing grip, thumb strength, rotational strength. So any grip work you do will help in this test of strength, but the one that incorporates them all is the wrist roller. The one I have is made from a piece of 2 ½” PVC pipe. The larger diameter and smoothness really adds to the difficulty and you can set it up in a power rack in a couple seconds. It really hits the thumbs and forearms. Make sure you raise and lower the weight in both directions, and before you know it, you will be dominating any jar in the kitchen!

So there you have it. Three exercises you can add to your current workouts to become a real world grip stud! Have a great grip workout!

For more information, check out, a Grip Strength Training Site. It has hundreds of free articles on building superior hand strength. If you are looking for workouts that will show you how to improve you grip strength, check out his free program that includes 8 weeks of Grip Workouts.

Thanks for the article Mike!

All the best in your training.


Friday, April 01, 2011

Trouble Bending the Grade 8 Bolt (Grade 5's are No Problem)

I hope you have been seriously destroying some crazy steel lately in your training.

I got my hands on the new nail from IronMind, called the Gold Nail the other day.

This thing is 8.375 inches long and 3/8 inches thick, so this thing is a monster.

I wanted to share an email I got this week from a subscriber named Erik, in regards to bending:

    "I do have a question. I already bought your e-book, and the progression chart helps a lot. But I'm stuck hard on grade-8 and have been for a few months. Is it better to have one or two big, heavy bending sessions a week, or grease the groove from day to day? I know gtg helps with a lot of big lifts, sometimes more so than exclusive workouts."

So, as it turns out, Erik can bend a Grade 5 bolt over and over. In fact, he has bent tons of them, but he's having trouble with the Grade 8.

If you are not familiar with the Graded bolts, we are talking about 6-inch long and 1/4-inch thick bolts that are made under strict manufacturing conditions to resist bending.

In fact, when you attempt to bend a Grade 8 bolt, it will actually flex back on you if you do not do enough damage to it.

Being stuck at a certain nail, bolt or steel bar generally is caused by one of two things.

Either you are not strong enough, or there is a problem with your technique, or BOTH.

As far as greasing the groove, I don't really buy into that for bending, personally

Volume bending can be awesome for getting you used to bending, but I'm not sold on generating a pile of bent steel in order to move up the ladder. Besides, Erik is already slaughtering Grade 5's and it hasn't seemed to pay any dividends.

However, that does not mean that using Grade 5's won't help the situation. If you wrap electric tape or duct tape around the center of the Grade 5, you will reinforce it and make it tougher to bend. This would be my first suggestion, to see how far you can put a kink into it with your current technique.

The next suggestion I have is to run down through this post: How to Improve Strength for Bending.

Grade 8 Bolt - Kinked

That post is all about improving the kink, and was written especially for someone else who was having trouble finishing off Grade 8 Bolts, so run down that post and see if any of the suggestions will help you out.

If you feel that strength is not the issue, then it is probably technique.
  • Are you not loading tension into the bar?

  • Are you standing too straight up?

  • Are your hands too close together?

There are lots of variables here, depending on which bending style you use, what kind of wraps you use, your body type, the positions your body likes to operate in, etc. These techniques are all covered in extreme detail in my Nail Bending eBook.

So, in review, here are the steps I'd like to see Erik, the Future Red Nail Bender, try out.

    1. Load up tape on the center of a Grade 5 Bolt and give it a try to see if you can get it (test your strength).

    2. Review the "Improving the Kink" post, here: Force Production for Bending. (force production and technique)

    3. Review the various technique run-downs in the Nail Bending eBook. See if there is something that might be off, and try changing things up (technique)

If it is not one of these two things (or a combination of both) then the only possible thing I can think of is that you are not attacking that thing like a savage beast.

Remember, you are doing something that you're not supposed to do. That Grade 8 bolt was not made to be bent with human hands. If it were, it would be easy to do, and what's awesome about that?

Attack it with a savage beast mentality like you are going to tear down an entire town with all of your rage.

Keep your technique dialed in and commence with the hostile takeover of the Grade 8 Bolt.

Hopefully this helps you out Erik - thanks for sending in the question.

If anyone else has a question, please feel free to do the same.

Be a Savage Beast!


P.S. If you are struggling with a bend and need help, don't forget about the two best Bending resources on the planet: the Nail Bending eBook and the Nail Bending DVD.