The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Should I add direct grip training into my routine?

    Currently, my routine is as follows:

    ~Sunday~
    -Speed Bench
    -Military BB Press

    ~Monday~
    -Heavy Squats
    -Speed Deadlifts
    -SLDLs

    ~Wednesday~
    -Heavy Bench
    -Dips
    -DB Flies

    ~Friday~
    -Heavy Deadlifts
    -Speed Squats
    -Chinups
    -Yates Rows

    Today I was doing SLDLs @ 200 lbs. with a mixed grip. I did my first set of 8 reps, then on my second set, I was pulling rep #8 but my grip failed before I locked out, so I definitely know that I need to start training my grip somehow. I am planning to get Captains of Crush grippers but I doubt that is enough. What should I add to my routine for grip strength?
    Lifting Journal
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

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  3. #2
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    You should not worry about the little things unless they are really hindering the big things.

    Before you worry about working grip, use the full range of helpers mixed grip, chalk, eco-ball, etc. Failing at rep 8 isn't such a big deal.

    Do a few static holds with slightly more than your working deadlift weight on a non-grip day, for slightly longer than you take for a complete set of deads.

    Edit: grippers won't help your static hold strength much at all; try farmers walks with dumbbells.
    Last edited by MixmasterNash; 08-22-2005 at 09:35 PM.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  4. #3
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MixmasterNash

    Edit: grippers won't help your static hold strength much at all; try farmers walks with dumbbells.

    The fastest way to improve a lift is to correct the weaknesses involved. Grippers are a great tool to increase static strength endurance and static strength of the hand. Something that is often overlooked when it comes to increasing ones grip.

    Think about it for a second, you're working on improving a vital link (the hands) that are connected to the bar. Without adequate strength qualities you're doomed no mater how strong the other muscles are. If your grip is lacking how can you apply maximum force to the bar? You can't. The stronger your grip is the greater the force you'll be able to apply to the bar. This is why many experts tell you to squeeze the life out of a bar when bench pressing.

    Grippers work on dynamic hand strength as well as static strength. Something that can not achieved by simply gripping a bar.
    Last edited by Maki Riddington; 08-22-2005 at 10:30 PM.
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    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

  5. #4
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maki Riddington
    The fastest way to improve a lift is to correct the weaknesses involved. Grippers are a great tool to increase static strength endurance and static strength of the hand. Something that is often overlooked when it comes to increasing ones grip.

    Think about it for a second, you're working on improving a vital link (the hands) that are connected to the bar. Without adequate strength qualities you're doomed no mater how strong the other muscles are. If your grip is lacking how can you apply maximum force to the bar? You can't. The stronger your grip is the greater the force you'll be able to apply to the bar. This is why many experts tell you to squeeze the life out of a bar when bench pressing.

    Grippers work on dynamic hand strength as well as static strength. Something that can not achieved by simply gripping a bar.
    I disagree completely. You're confusing types of grip strength, which are simply not the same. Grippers have little to do with static strength, such as holding a bar. Grippers are good in their own right, but not the most efficient way to improve lifting (static bar) grip strength. I can think of many other grip exercises that are significantly more useful for improving static strength, particularly: farmers walks, thick bar gripping, and thumbless static holds.

    I would even rate pinching above crushing, but I think both are not very useful for holding a bar.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  6. #5
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    I disagree completely. You're confusing types of grip strength, which are simply not the same.
    MixmasterNash,

    I'm talking about training the hands which are a weak link in the deadlift. To overcome the load the bar imposes on the lifters hands you must train the hands in a specific manner. Two of the main strength variables that should be looked at are, static strength (isometric action) which works on increasing absolute strength. And, static strength endurance which allows the lifter to hold onto the bar for a longer period of time. I'm not confusing anything.

    Grippers have little to do with static strength, such as holding a bar.
    You have not explained why they have little to do with gripping the bar so I will explain why you should use them.

    When you close a gripper you are doing several things.

    1. You are exterting force against an object which is an isometric action.
    2. You are resisting the force of the grippers from opening which is something a bar does not do.
    3. You are working on static strength enduance if you keep the grippers closed for a certain amount of time.

    Crushing strength is a very vital part of deadlift training as I mentioned in a previous post. Instead of posting coments such as "I disagree," it would be helpful if you took the time to explain your points by giving some specific information as to why my statements are not true. You have not made mention of anything tha refutes my statements.
    Last edited by Maki Riddington; 08-23-2005 at 12:19 AM.
    Maki Fit Blog

    At Large: Optimize Your Body | Dynamic Conditioning |
    My articles on Wannabebig

    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

  7. #6
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maki Riddington
    When you close a gripper you are doing several things.

    1. You are exterting force against an object which is an isometric action.
    2. You are resisting the force of the grippers from opening which is something a bar does not do.
    3. You are working on static strength enduance if you keep the grippers closed for a certain amount of time.

    Crushing strength is a very vital part of deadlift training as I mentioned in a previous post. Instead of posting coments such as "I disagree," it would be helpful if you took the time to explain your points by giving some specific information as to why my statements are not true. You have not made mention of anything tha refutes my statements.
    I've never heard anyone describe crushing strength as vital to a deadlift. A cursory search on the gripboard shows that almost everyone there says there is little correlation between crushing and static bar gripping.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clay Edgin, certified Captain of Crush
    I think there's a limited carry-over. Fred Cordova, the winner of this year's California Strongest Man, said he used to train with the grippers for a while but didn't really find that they carried over to his training very well. He says, and I agree, that "closing grippers is good for one thing - closing grippers." I find that there is a little carryover to the events like the farmers walk and barbell holds. If you can squeeze shut a #3 and hold it for 10-20 seconds at a time, your ability to hang on to a 250lb farmer's walk implement is increased.

    Addressing your points:
    1) closing grippers is NOT an isometric action
    2) exactly, but this is not how a bar behaves at all; you are resisting a bar rolling out of your hand
    3) holding grippers closed is better for improving static strength than crushing them, to be sure, as edgin points out; however, static strength endurance can be improved more rapidly via the other methods I mentioned, specifically farmers walks, thick bar work, and finger rolls

    I'm not saying to not use grippers. I own six of them. I like them a lot. But they are not the best way to improve static gripping strength. I am using grippers because I am very weak at crushing but relatively strong at static gripping.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  8. #7
    Senior Member DNL's Avatar
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    wow in a week your lifts really made a great jump.. congratulation =)

  9. #8
    Where's all the 45s ?!?! Wierz's Avatar
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    Hey Fix,

    Here's something that helped me increase my grip strength without it being considered "direct" training, I guess.

    I included heavy barbell shrugs in my routine. The weak part of this exercise for me was grip strength (but mostly grip endurance) and I feel as soon as I started doing these, my grip strength/endurance well surpassed what I needed it to be. I really tried to concentrate on holding onto the bar as long as possible while repping the shrugs - I did it in a rack for this reason in case I dropped the bar. I put the shrugs on shoulder day because it was the farthest from back day (which included deadlifts).

    Spacing out exercises that worked grip throughout my routine during the week helped me alot. Maybe you could try that rather than a specific grip exercise.
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  10. #9
    Banned Pasha's Avatar
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    I used to have a weak grip [or I thought it was weak], until I started weightlifting. I think just carrying the DBs around from one corner of the gym to the place I'm working did it for me. My friends and family have noticed the difference because when I shake peoples hands I automatically like start crushing them because I'm so use to gripping DBs. I use DB for like 80% of the excercises I do.

    So yea I think it helped me; I'm not too keen on buying **** for the small stuff, not sayin it wont work but I just dont feel the need to go out and buy the best damn grippers evermade with 'jet airplane wheel rubber lining and hydro[insert latin prefix here] for maximum cooling and anti friction polymer'.

    Trust me as soon as you start sweating the small **** you'll start becoming nitpicky as hell and will buy like every**** out there that promises iron strength grip. I agree with Nash that loosing grip on the 8th rep isnt alarming. It'll come with time ya know.
    Last edited by Pasha; 08-23-2005 at 06:58 AM.

  11. #10
    still dislikes Art Atwood Hatred's Avatar
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    I wish my place had a thick bar.
    Hmm. Thumbless Static holds, Farmers walks. I have a newfound obsession with Forearms so this interests me.
    I have to admit this is the first time that I have heard anyone say to crush the bar when benching. I always heard that squeezing unecessarily causes strength loss.
    How in the hell do you guys have the time to look for and read all these articles that keep popping up?
    Out of the night that covers me,Black as the Pit from pole to pole,I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul. In The fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance my head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears looms but the horror of the shade And yet the menace of the years finds, and shall find, me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate how charged with punishments the scroll,I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
    Twitter: @joshuagbsn Follow me as I laugh at the world, and you.

  12. #11
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatred
    I wish my place had a thick bar.
    Hmm. Thumbless Static holds, Farmers walks. I have a newfound obsession with Forearms so this interests me.
    I have to admit this is the first time that I have heard anyone say to crush the bar when benching. I always heard that squeezing unecessarily causes strength loss.
    How in the hell do you guys have the time to look for and read all these articles that keep popping up?
    Thumbless Static holds, Farmers walks. == strong isometric grip, not big forearms

    Grippers, wrist curls, hammer curls, levering == big forearms, good at movement

    You'll note that, in general, dynamic motion strength is more highly correlated with size than isometric strength.

    "crushing" the bar when benching is a pretty well known idea; Pavel tsa-whatever is a big proponent. It has little or nothing to do with grip strength though, and everthing to do with power transfer.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  13. #12
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatred
    I have to admit this is the first time that I have heard anyone say to crush the bar when benching. I always heard that squeezing unecessarily causes strength loss.
    How in the hell do you guys have the time to look for and read all these articles that keep popping up?
    Gripping harder increases strength.

    Pavel Tsatsouline's "Power to the People" (and others) talk about the importance of tension when lifting and when you are loose, you are "leaking" strength. He also talks about "irradiation" of strength from neighboring muscle groups. Good stuff really. His books are expensive, but IMHO insightful and worth it.

    A lot of benchers try to rip the bar apart to maintain upper back, shoulder and arm stability during the movement.

  14. #13
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    You know, when i'm doing deadlifts, the last thing I want to think about is my grip. I focus on the muscles the deadlift is designed to work and form. THAT's it!!
    I use straps...because i don't have time to think about if my grip is going to break on my 8th rep or not.
    I also use straps for almost all back/pull lifts because I can seriously work the back 100% better because i don't have to worry about my hands giving out when my back can keep going.

  15. #14
    Fatass Powerlifter tholian8's Avatar
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    I would recommend static holds if you are trying to improve barbell grip. Alternate them--do one series in a mixed grip same as your DL grip, and one series in an overhand grip. You only need to do this once a week. Twice a week won't kill you, but don't do it more than that.

    However, I see nothing wrong with using straps if your main focus is on gaining muscle, rather than on competition lifting or general strength training. Just keep an eye on how your grip is on your deadlifts, and do grip work as necessary to bring it up.
    "The female of the species is more deadly than the male."

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  16. #15
    Fatass Powerlifter tholian8's Avatar
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    Addendum/clarification: I don't recommend using straps on a mixed-grip deadlift from the floor, or on mixed-grip rack pulls. If something goes wrong during the lift it's too hard to release the straps. I do recommend them as an assistance for overhand-grip DL's, as long as you work your grip for your mixed-grip exercises and use chalk where necessary.
    "The female of the species is more deadly than the male."

    My attempts at lifting heavy objects

    Current maxes:

    Squat 145 kg (320 lbs)
    Bench 67.5 kg (149 lbs)
    DL: 142.5 kg (314 lbs)

    ...oh, and I'm a girl.

  17. #16
    still dislikes Art Atwood Hatred's Avatar
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    Go figger.Nash-what the hell is "levering"?
    Out of the night that covers me,Black as the Pit from pole to pole,I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul. In The fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance my head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears looms but the horror of the shade And yet the menace of the years finds, and shall find, me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate how charged with punishments the scroll,I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
    Twitter: @joshuagbsn Follow me as I laugh at the world, and you.

  18. #17
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatred
    Go figger.Nash-what the hell is "levering"?
    From http://www.heavysports.com/emag/Clay_Edgin/cards.html

    (Note: this is the same CoC-certified Clay Edgin I referenced earlier)
    Last edited by MixmasterNash; 08-23-2005 at 04:33 PM.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  19. #18
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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  20. #19
    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    lol @ MrEl. I'm going to do both gripper work and thick bar static holds. But no one has answered my question yet:

    "Also, I've heard from some guys on another board that when doing Farmer's Walks it's best to walk in zig-zags because this causes you to have to stabilize the dumbbells more with your arms and body, resulting in a better overall workout or something like that? How do you do it?"

    Anyone, anyone?
    Lifting Journal
    Age: 20, Height: 5'7", Weight: 165, Deadlift: 405, 9.5" Squat: 230 x 10, Bench: 195 (3x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

  21. #20
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixationdarknes
    "Also, I've heard from some guys on another board that when doing Farmer's Walks it's best to walk in zig-zags because this causes you to have to stabilize the dumbbells more with your arms and body, resulting in a better overall workout or something like that? How do you do it?"

    Anyone, anyone?
    Doesn't matter that much. Spin in circles like a monkey for extra excitement!

    Basically, more instability means that it's harder to grip. You can make it harder to grip by adding more motion or using heavier weights.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  22. #21
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    "Also, I've heard from some guys on another board that when doing Farmer's Walks it's best to walk in zig-zags because this causes you to have to stabilize the dumbbells more with your arms and body, resulting in a better overall workout or something like that? How do you do it?"

    In terms of athletic training this is a cool exercise. It allows for the hips and torso to be engaged to a greater degree all the while increasing the difficulty of gripping the weight. So basically, as Mix said, "the more instability the harder it is," which can be applied to sporting movements.
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    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

  23. #22
    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.
    Lifting Journal
    Age: 20, Height: 5'7", Weight: 165, Deadlift: 405, 9.5" Squat: 230 x 10, Bench: 195 (3x5)

    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

  24. #23
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Fix,
    I don't mean to be pushy, but I really think that if you just try to do as many sets as possible with an overhand grip and then switch to a mixed grip when you start using your grip, you won't need to do much more than that.

    You can get fancy. You can buy grippers. You can do farmer's walk. You can do rack pulls and thick bar work. It never hurts to have a stronger grip. BUT, I really doubt you need any of that yet.

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