John Brookfield's Grip Tips
By John Brookfield
Author of Mastery of Hand Strength, Revised Edition, Training with
Cables for Strength, The Grip Master’s Manual, and Real-World Conditioning
Strength to Velocity and Back Again
In this month's Grip Tip, we will look at an actual workout formula to take your grip strength to the next level as well as develop incredible endurance that will transfer to any situation. This tip combines two types of training to help you achieve these results. Many athletes and trainers seem to concentrate on just one component of training. Quite often it is strength and only strength. Other times, it is only speed and quickness. This exercise will apply both strength and speed at the same time, going back and forth between the two to reach maximum results.
Before we get started, let's quickly look at power–velocity, which is strength and speed together. There are many ways to train power–velocity, and in this tip, we will focus on the hand. As some of you have read before, I often promote a drill whereby you repeatedly open and close your hand as quickly as you can for a set amount of time. If you have tried this drill you know it is very tiring; it is also a simple but effective form of velocity training which forces you to use strength and speed together.
With this understood, we will do this drill using a hand gripper. I would suggest using a gripper you can close for quite a few reps. If you have two grippers of equal strength, you can work both hands at the same time. You may find this workout more user-friendly, though, if you work only one hand at a time. That way, one hand can recover as the other hand is being exercised.
John Brookfield combines speed and power in a Captains of Crush Gripper training drill. Use this workout to take your grip strength to the next level and develop incredible endurance. Photos courtesy of IronMind® / John Brookfield.
Once you have chosen your gripper, you will need a clock with a second hand. This exercise will start with strength training using the gripper. Check the clock and start squeezing the gripper, doing steady reps for one minute. Close the gripper at a normal speed and don't push it too much, just keep a steady pace.
When the minute is up, and without hesitation, put down the gripper and start opening and closing that hand as quickly as possible for an entire minute. Push yourself not to slow down or give up. Once the minute is up and without hesitation, go back to crushing the gripper again for an entire minute. Then return to opening and closing your hand quickly and forcefully for another minute, and so on.
At this point I'm sure you can see that this is no easy drill. Once one hand is fatigued, go to the other hand and repeat the drill while the first hand is resting. Go back and forth, pushing yourself on one hand until it fatigues and then going to the other hand. If you can do only one set per hand before changing hands, that is alright. Simply keep giong as best you can, and you will reap the rewards of going from strength to velocity and back again.
Editor's note: John Brookfield’s books Mastery of Hand Strength, Revised Edition, The Grip Master’s Manual, Training with Cables for Strength, and Real-World Conditioning combine John’s limitless creativity with his friendly, downhome manner. John’s articles are also regularly featured in MILO: A Journal for Serious Strength Athletes.
To learn more about IronMind's world-renowned Captains of Crush® Grippers and other CoC 2 Grip Tools, please visit the IronMind on-line store.