If you have read my articles and seen my vids, you know I’m a fan of thick bar/Enhanced grip training for anyone interested in improving their grip, arm strength, and overall functional strength for sports such as strongman, MMA, power lifting, and daily life. It’s a “must have” tool in the training tool box in my view. In this latest vid, I review a unique grip strengthener, the Globe Gripz product.
Here’s a simple fact of life: if your back and legs can dead-lift 700lb, but your grip ends at 300lbs, your dead-lift is 300 lbs. Thus, your grip is truly the final link in the chain that dictates what you can pull off the ground or what you can hold onto in general, be it a chin up bar, barbell, or other objects. Your grip is your ultimate contact with the weights and the objects of life. For strength athletes, such as power lifters, strongman competitors, and others, grip strength is king. Without it, you are no place. When it comes to strength, you are only as strong as your weakest link and most strength athletes know that fact all too well.
Grip strength is also a key factor in various martial arts, especially MMA and BJJ. If you grab onto someone’s sweaty forearm and they easily pull away from your grip, it will make a big difference in the outcome of that MMA match. Various athletes from places one might not expect, from golf, the shooting sports, and others, know a strong grip plays either an important role – or a key role – to their success. That’s why the worlds top strength & conditioning coaches, and knowledgeable strength athletes – such as Dave Tate, Joe DeFranco, Charles Poliquin, Jim Wendler to name a few, focus on functional grip strength, often using thick grip/thick handled barbells and dumbbells. Problem for most people is, their gym has few if any thick handle dumbbells or barbells (usually 2.5” in diameter) as they tend to be both expensive and a “niche” product to your average health club or gym.
Perhaps less appreciated, but no less important, thick handled dumbbells and barbells also stimulate the forearms and muscles of the upper arms to boot, so they have real utility to those looking to add size and strength to the entire arm, not just increasing grip strength. As Charles Poliquin has said
“… as much as possible, train with thick bars when training the upper body … Can’t add size to your biceps? Try working the forearms!”
Your standard barbells, dumbbells, chin-up bars and cable attachments are only about 1” or so in diameter, which of course makes them easy to grip. That’s well and fine for beginners, non-serious trainers, and bodybuilders only concerned with visual appeal, but it’s not optimal for everyone else serious about maximizing their functional strength and muscle mass. Hence, a grip enhancer (various types such a FatGripz, T Gripz, and now Globe Gripz are covered on this site and or found in the Recommended Stuff section of the site) is a highly recommended tool in your tool box of training.