The Grip4orce Experiment – Part 1

I like to experiment. While I was never one of those rip apart the tv remote to see how it functions and put it back together type of guy, I do consider myself inquisitive and willing to use my body to learn.

Rather lends itself nicely to the life of a personal trainer. And in reality, I have a dozen experiments running at all times. New protein powders, new food eating patterns, new sleeping patterns, different shampoos, different times of the day to have sex….the list is always evolving.

So when people ask me, “Did you go to university to take kinesiology or what did you take?!?” The answer is: “Nope, I just try to learn as much as I can and experiment.”

And my clients all unfortunately know when I post on Facebook of the new training toy I picked up, they best be scared!

This time its:

Over the past few years there has been a lot of talk in the training world about the use of fatter grips via either fatter diameter barbells or dumbbells, the wrapping of towels around implements to lift, and lastly the addition of an external gripping tool to regular training equipment.

There are currently 3 external, place-on-implement plug-n-play type tools out there on the market that I’m aware of:

Fat Gripz – these I’ve owned for about 2 years now. I use them sparsely but have enjoyed using them.

Tyler Grips – these are an odd shape, thicker at one end than the other which they claim is more ergonomic. I’ve not had the chance to play with these.

Grip4orce – these I just picked up two pairs of the “regular flex” as I’m just not ready for the “stiff flex” ones yet.

I’ve seen good testimonials online for all three products but the main difference between them is the Fat Grips need to be pulled apart and then locked on a bar/dumbbell; the Tyler Grips are the same but, again, have an odd shape with one end thicker than the other; where the Grip4orce is different is that the tool is always in the open position to start and you then have to muscle the close of it the entire time you are doing a set of whatever exercise.

While I don’t want to get ahead of myself, as this will be a one month experiment of the Grip4orce to assess its usefulness, effectiveness, pros, cons, quality, etc, I will say that having to hold the Grip4orce shut on the dumbbells felt very different from how Fat Gripz feel.

The Experiment

Okay, so my buddy Matt (poor guy didn’t even know I signed him up for this!) and I will be using the Grip4orce grips for every movement that we can except for things that don’t make much sense, like deadlifts and cleans or other exercises which are feeble like pull ups where I can normally get 6-15 reps and with the Grip4orce I got 2 reps today. I’m not ready to use them for pull ups and really, I’m trying to train my back on pull ups, not destroy my forearms. Basically, if the Grip4orce completely negates my ability to feel the target muscle(s) of an exercise, I simply won’t use them for that exercise. But everything else is game.

Both Matt and I have taken pre-workout flexed forearm, upper arm and shoulder circumference tape measurements of both our arms, taken flexing photos of arms/shoulders from front and back and will check in two weeks, and then again will wrap this up by displaying the results at the 4 week mark.

Today we tried them in our very first upper body workout which I have to say, made everything a lot harder to do but in a good way. So far, I dig them although it’s very hard to type this blog right now.

Watch this very short vid of me doing one of the last sets of my workout today with the Grip4orce grips.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCSYnCud5Kc

I must say, I’ve NEVER been so bloody pumped up in my life!! EVER! It was ridiculous really.

Stay tuned….

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8 comments on “The Grip4orce Experiment – Part 1

  1. Darren says:

    Grip4orce I love them…by far the best investment any serious lifter can get. It’s like a thick-bar on steroids! Crazy pump, increased focus, makes you work and get results. Keep me posted on your success with these bad boys…It took me about 3-4 months before I moved up the the stiff version. I will use stiff and also the regular switching them up on arm day depending on my reps and exercises.

    • Adrian Crowe says:

      Darren, I appreciate your feedback. I’ve looked further into other’s reviews of FatGripz vs Grip4orce and there’s a lot of discussion on FatGripz being better for pushing and Grip4orce being better for pulling. Will have to add that test into the mix. Stay tuned!

  2. JD says:

    My experience the Grip 4orce is better for pushing and allows the lifter to focus more on keeping everything tight. This is also good to teach the lifter to squeeze the bar and eliminate the false and relaxed grip. When it comes to lifting especially with thick-bars a big majority of lifters do not understand nor have the focus to engage nor understand muscle tension.

  3. Dave says:

    Interesting review. Seems to disagree with most. Have used both and found fatgripz far superior. The gripforce are just too annoying to use and, I feel, dangerous for overhead pressing and bench pressing.

  4. Don says:

    Dave I could see why you would be scared if you were not engaging your grip. I always have my athletes squeeze the bar especially when overhead pressing and benching. We as a nation have gotten lazy with our lifting and not engaging our grip has resulted into rotator cuff issues lack on intra-muscular strength. I believe grip4orce was intended more for serous lifters and athletes.

    • Adrian Crowe says:

      Don, I have to agree. After my 2nd complete upper body workout using Grip4orce and having brought it into many clients exercises they were already doing, the first comment I always get is how they feel they have to engage the exercise more. They have to turn on, focus and squeeze like hell.
      I cannot see a fault there in forcing a client (or myself) to have to engage the exercise with more focus. While, so far, I enjoy the Grip4orce I will be looking for ways it doesn’t work, situations and perhaps flaw in its design as well as comparing it against the Fat Gripz I have. So far, so good. My clients hate me more. Usually a good thing for their progress.

  5. […] now I have 3 major experiments going on. The Grip4orce Experiment (almost done), the Zero to Zen Project (which I’ve not announced yet but soon!) and now The […]

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