Anvil or Hammer


Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on October 29, 2005

Breif update:

I had trouble wit the moving company. Instead I am traveling cross country with with my wife and father-in-law with a U-haul. I’m in Maryland anow but not yet moved in. I will move in tomorrow.
I will gt back to posting and taining next week.


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Bent A Bottle Cap, For Fun

Posted in Grip by Mike on October 23, 2005

I have been packing all day. It sucked. Fortunately we decided to take a break and head to the gym for a while. I figured I would just hit it light and keep away from the back as t should get plenty of working out. Right away I hit a PR and a goal from a while ago. I achieved four perfect pull ups and one more that I think would pass most judges. Five consecutive pull ups. I have been working on that for a while. They were overhand and had a full stop at the bottom with the elbows locked out.
Went on to to do a bit more, then hit grip.

Plate pinch
70lb 15, 10, 0
I don’t know why but these were hard. I feel like this is the one area I have failed in this program. I need to figure out how to improve.

Finger curls
115 3X15

Reverse wrist curls
22 3X20

Wrist curls
45 3X20

the wrists were a little sore before I went in. I think the curls actually made them feel better

wrist roller
10 lb 2X each way.

I did these with my forearms resting on a squat bar for stability. I liked the variation.

While at dinner I grabbed a Stewart soda bottle cap. I managed to squeeze it shut with my right hand. I think it took a whole minute to close it. So I guess that is a far cry from competing for max closed in a minute. Still it was my first and not my last.

I don’t know how much I will be able to blog over the course of the next week. I will doing the actual move. I will post when I can.

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Not Getting It Done

Posted in Grip by Mike on October 23, 2005

I was supposed to grip yesterday. It didn’t happen. I got caught up trying to help someone else with their program. The guy was using something off It was ugly. He was motivated and I hate to see perfectly good motivation go to waste. So I pretty much ditched my workout and chatted with him on that. Then today I took in a new plan to him and spent an hour explaining it.
Tomorrow I will lift and grip.

that is all

Congrats to the BBB guys and to Scott.

now, that is all

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Your Number Is One

Posted in Grip by Mike on October 20, 2005

I did an abbreviated (abbr.) workout last night. I first stopped by a friends house to help him move furniture. I always think I have too much crap, then I see his place. So that ended up being a little workout in itself.

Deadlift up to 365 then I began to go down, holding the weight as long as I could
365 – 20 seconds, 2 reps
315 – 30, 30, 20
275 – 20, 14
225 – 30, 30, 30

Wrist roller with ten pounds, rolled counter clockwise from an overhand grip three times and rolled it clockwise from the same grip twice.

Wrist curls 65lb 3X15
Reverse wrist curl 45 (olympic bar) 2X15 1X10

Those last couple reverse did not want to happen.

So that was my short workout. I enjoyed it quite a bit and feel I got significant work done. I’m off to my very last day ever at my current job. It is very weird.

Scott Styles, is getting ready to compete this weekend I think. He’s got better things to do than read my blog but I wanna give him good thoughts and good luck for the competition. Stay safe and lift big.

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Round And Round

Posted in Grip by Mike on October 18, 2005

Had a pretty good squat workout today. Got back over 300lbs. which seems so feeble these days. I can’t wait to clear 400 again.

Back to the regular workout:
Plate pinch: Two 35s, hamptons, It was pretty easy. I went for a fourth set, I didn’t manage a full 20 count on the fourth set.

Finger curls: Easy, easy, easy, nice. I liked it. I look forward to moving up in weight. I need to force myself to add at least a 2 1/2 to each side.

Reverse wrist curls: I have started doing these prior to wrist curls, just to offset all the flexor work in this program. These were pretty easy

Wrist curl: easy, nice range of motion.

Wrist roller: Used a ten pound plate for two reps.

So that was it. Not bad, time to kick it up a weight on a couple.

I’m going to post this in a forum but I have been wondering about the implications of doing a wrist roller with chains. I’m not sure if anyone has tried this. I may experiment with it later.

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The Same But A Little Different

Posted in Grip by Mike on October 17, 2005

Did a decent dealift workout last night. I focused on holding the bar for 30 seconds on each rep. Ths was part of the preparation for my new program that will start with the new year. That was a workout in itself. The best part is toward the end when your hands open against your will. Slowly bu surely the bar sinks and your hands are pried open and the bar rest now in your fingers not in the palm of your hand.

A few minor changes here. I skipped the pinch part in favor of some more holds (just holding the barbell).

Holds/Rack Pulls: loaded 225 on the bar and tried to hold it for four reps of a sixty count on each. I lost the third one right before sixty. The last one I got to forty and went back for twenty more. In between I did light reverse wrist plate curls with a ten. These were more to stretcht he flexors than to get a workout.

Reverse wrist curls – these were easy. Did a wide grip for three sets of twenty with the short, straight barbell.

Wrist curls – Also easy. Regular barbell for three sets of twenty. It’s interesting I figured I would have trouble with these because of all the holds. It is aazing how little effect the holds hand on my wrist strenth. When you do your own program you need to train these muscles as if they are totally unrealted, becuase they are. They share a similar anatomical location but that is it. There is no other crossover between them.

Reverse wrist roller – O really enjoy this one. I changed my routine a bit. First 15 lbs. that I could barely get up. Then then for up and down and finally five for up and down. It was incredibly hard to hold the 3″ pipe and roll it. My hands were spent.

That’s it for now. Tomorrow I think I will return to the regular program. Time will tell.

EDIT: I actually wrote this a couple days ago and forgot to hit the publish button. Sorry about that.

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The Best Laid Plans Of Mice And Gripmeisters

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on October 14, 2005

So, I have followed the gripboard newbie plan with fervor. I believe it is a good intro to grip but it not a plan for improvement overall. For me this light program has whet my appetite for grip. Now it is time for the first course.

First I need to decide where I want to go with grip. For this purpose I am using the five categories laid out on page 11 of the ’05 Iron Mind catalog. They break down like this: Crushing/Supporting grip, Pinch grip, Open Hand Finger strength, Extensors, Wrist Strength. I have to admit some of the things I need to focus on do not match the things I neccessarily want to focus on. Her is the priority I am going to break it down.
1) supporting – this is reason I got into grip in the first place. I need to be able to easily hold 500lbs and hopefully more by the end of ’06.
2) wrist – I have had some wrist pain show up and go away. Wrist strength is very important in raw benching.
3) extensor – primarily because these are overlooked in so many programs and I consider them very important for overall strength development.
4) finger – this one goes on late just because it doesn’t fit my primary needs right now. Look for it to climb over time as I achieve different goals.
5) pinch strength – this is not hug priority but I’m sure it will become more of one as I get my support strength up to par

Supporting – at this time I can hold an olympic barbell with 350 lbs for a short time. I would like to clear 500 for at least 30 seconds. My long term goal (three years) would be 800.
Wrist – I think I will use the 300 lb wrist curl challenge as a goal. Based on the numbers I have seen in that I will not be able to do that in a year so lets say 185 in one year and 300 in two as a goal. I would also like to take reverse wrist curls up to 150 in one year and 250 in two. I will use levering as part of this program. At this time I have never done any levering so I don’t know what my goals will be here. I will take suggestions here.
Extensor – I think the reverse wrist curl challenge above represents this the best. I have some of the expand your hand band from Iron Mind but I’m not sure person can really effectively max out with these.
Finger – this is low on the totem pole for now so I’m not going to put a really hard goal on this. Lets say a hub grab on a 25 lb olympic plate with each hand to deadlift.
Pinch – similar to above. I’ll say two handed pinch of 2 45s and one handed pinch of 3 tens for ten seconds.

At this time I have access to a weight room, CoC T and 1, Expand your hand Bands. I will be purchasing a sledge for levering (weight not yet determined). Additionally I have every intention of getting/making some thickbar dumbbells. This may not happen until this spring. I will lose access to my wrist roller when I move but I think I’ll just make a new one and solve that little issue. Beyond that I’ll take suggestions. I’m prepared to part with $100 between now and the beginning of this program and probably the same amount or a little more over the course of the next year.

This is where I need the most help. I’m thinking about hitting supporting/crushing grip one day and wrist/extensor on another. and doing each twice a week. For my supporting day I would do rack pulls with a barbell and hold it. Finger curls and plate pinches would also be a part of this day. Then on the other day do wrist curls, levering and reverse wrist curls. As mentioned before this is where I am seeking the most help.

So please give me a little feedback. I am looking forward to putting this program in writing and blogging it here. I plan to start this program with the new year, 2006.

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Pain And Relief In Colorado

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on October 14, 2005

Hit the grip again last night.

First I was doing a little demo on the apartment yesterday. I moved a desk in here and swore it would never be moved again. Yesterday I made good on that promise. I ripped the desk apart and carried the pieces to the dumpster. I fond it was more fun to pull it apart than the cut or remove screws. So the old hands got a bit of a workout. Then I hit the gym for a light bench workout.

Plate Pinch – 35’s where not happening. I got them up once for a ten count. I couldn’t even lift them a second time. I switched to 25’s. Those are just too light, I held them for a 40 count with no trouble. I think I said this last time but, I need to get a pipe to clamp some other plates on there.Just for kicks I grabbed three tens. I could not lift three tens with one hand but I could easily carry around two tens in one hand. Some of these transitions are tough to make.

Finger curls – alternated between the three grips I have refered to previously (wide, narrow, medium). I hit one set of each grip for twenty reps fairly easily. Used 95 lbs.

Wrist/Reverse wrist curls – one minor change here. I have always done wrist curls followed by reverse wrist curls. I switched this and I think it was good. I kept my hand spacing wide as I have mentioned in previous entries this seems to suit me. 22 on the reverse, 45 on the wrist curls. I got three sets of 20 easily.

Wrist roller – I like this exercise so I have added it to my regimen. I really like it. I roll the pipe counter clockwise, to hit the extensors. A little advice to all the people I see doing these in the gyms. Do not use your shoulders, this is a forearm exercise, everything proximal to the elbows should be stationary. Additionally if you don’t control the decent, you are only doing half the exercise. Last, make sure you roll both directions, if anything it is more important to work the extensors in the exercise than the flexors. I did these with a ten attached. It wasn’t really enough.

Contrast bath – okay, I have to admit I haven’t really done this before. My hands were very sore last night after everything. I decided to give it a shot. I poured out my two ice cube trays into a bucket I have. I filled it with water and kept my hands in there until all the ice melted. I think this took 10 – 15 minutes. By then all the soreness is gone. I dumped out the bucket and ran hot water into the bucket. While waiting for it to fill I had some nteresting feeling in my hands. I could feel a very small fast thobibing that I can ony assume was the return of blood to the hands. It actually felt good. Then I put my hands in the hot water for another ten minutes, approximatly. While holding my hands under the water (cold and hot) I tried to move them, open and closed and so on.
This little therapy gets two wet thumbs up from me. It was awesome. If you have soreness, do this. I assume that further cycles would help more. I really feel like this helped me a lot and I am thinking about hitting another ontrast bath today.

Last bit of info, I will probably post later today with thoughts on my next program, starting with the new year. I really want help and input on this so do me a favor and read the post and lend a hand.

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The Hand You Are Dealt

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on October 13, 2005

You get what you get and that’s all you freakin’ get – Henry Rollins (I think)

So I’m back for B-more. A good trip overall. We got a free upgrade on our hotel room to room that runs $350 a night (according to the tag in the closet). It was nice but not $350/night nice. Got to disturb and intimidate my future employers at Johns Hopkins Hospital. That was fun. I even got a gym membership set up.
They have a Gold’s Gym downtown in “The Powerplant”, whatever. I am loathe to be a member of a Gold’s Gym. They are like the Applebee’s of gyms. A little more class and choice than other chains but still a franchise with a small and uninspired menu. These boys and girls have no idea how much better shape they would be in and how much money they could save if they stocked the gym with free weights rather than about 40 hammer strength machines. I can tell I will make an impression on these folks.
It will be fun to introduce grip training to a Gold’s Gym. I got them to agree that I could bring in some thick dumbbell handles. Then I had to explain the concept to them. Plate pinches and finger curls will have to stay in my program even if it is just to make an impressing. I think I also need to add plate curls in the future but that is for another program.
Additionally I look forward to introducing powerlifting to the gym. From the looks of the equipment and people, they have never seen anyone knock out three easy reps of three hundred on bench. This is just all that much more motivation for me to drive for a raw 400 by the end of ’06. I also need to get my squat back on track and both squat and dead over 500 by then. Then I will be, in my mind, prepared to compete.
The only upshot is that they say I can use my membership at other nearby Gold’s and he claims there are a couple that have a lot of meatheads. He said it like it was bad thing, then looked at me and immediatly started to backpedal on that part. So that will have to be something I try at least once a month.
I think I will have to take a hint from and sock away about $20 per month. When I get few hundred I may put it into a special saving or money market account. May be someday I will use it to get a nice barbell set. When i am in a house, rather than an apartment, and done with most of my moving around the country. In the short term I will just use part of it to fund grip stuff and the occasional competition entrance fee.

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Missed A Day, Got It Today

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on October 8, 2005

So I should have done grip last night but I have been trying to get fit for a really nice/expensive (to me) suit. Unfortunately the place I went to is in Ft. Collins, which is about 45 minutes or an hour away. My suit is for an interview in Baltimore on Monday. Turned out that after I got the suit home that the shirt wasn’t fit quite as well. So last night I had to skip the gym to get the shirt fit so it would be completed by today so I can fly tomorrow.
So I did it tonight. I didn’t feel like lifting heavy so I did a light weight, high rep bench workout. In the process I met a young kid who is off to become a Marine. I tried to tell him that anything he did in the gym now would be lost after basic, he didn’t understand. He will after basic. This is important later, I will explain after the grip workout.

Plate pinch: Blame it on moving, Blame it on the hammer curls, Blame it on me being a sissy. These were weak.
2 35’s for barely a ten count.
2 25’s X 4 for a thirty count.
I really need to scrounge some 1.9″ pipe to allow me to adjust more precisely.

Wrist curls/reverse wrist curls: Don’t know why I spaced the finger curls. I got to them later.
bar 3 X 20

Finger Curl: Adjusted my grip, narrow, wide, then medium
95lb 2 X 20
1 X 19
Just couldn’t squeeze out that last one.

Wrist roller (extensors)
1 X 5 lb

Okay back to the marine. He came up to me and told me the wrist roller was just too darn big and it made it too hard to do. I told him I thought it was just the right size and that it would help his grip. He went on to ask me if I was really into weightlifting, I told him especially grip. I quickly showed him the two handed pinch. Then I showed him finger curls. Finally, I told him about gripboard. So I hope he turns up here.
Unfortunately I will be in Baltimore for several days, then I will only be back here for two weeks. Then I’m off for good. So hopefully I can meet up with again and get him off with grip training.
So that’s it for now. I don’t think I’ll have a chance to grip until Wed or Thurs depending on how the return flight goes.
So I’ll see you all then if not a little soon.

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