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Weight Training - Bodybuilding - Nutrition - Motivation


Dave Draper, Chet Yorton, Tony Curtis

Two Thousand and One has fast become a page-turner. I don't mind if time flies (I like the wind in my hair) providing I'm present and awake. It's when a day is lost and the week a thin memory that my hold on living becomes white-knuckled. Where have all those eloquent men and women gone that fussed so and cautioned us that life is short? In an effort to get a sound hold on things — here and now — let us discuss grip training for the everyday musclehead.

Speaking of which, aren't you glad you're a musclehead and willing to admit it? There was a time when we weren't looked up to with such shining esteem, when we were easily singled out and mocked or tangled in a witless joke. Today, as we do calf raises off the curb at an intersection waiting for the light to change or seated ab crunches at our work desk in the late morning, folks observe us with respect and admiration. It's like they know we know something they don't and wish they did... en vogue.

Girls, a strong grip is attractive, fashionable and charming. Wouldn't you rather have powerful hands than a dozen long stem roses, a sequined party dress with a plunging neckline or very red lipstick? Men, with a tough grasp you can deadlift without straps, curl, clean and row without hesitation and further your might and mass with less struggle. We are able to pick up things from the earth's surface with more ease and willingness. Strong hands control, they have authority, they speak out boldly and are useful in fending off ill-mannered and foul-mouthed louts.

Forearms, like calves, have always represented to me a bodypart of their own. I trained them early on and in conjunction with my biceps and triceps and, though untaught, recognized them as integral in building might. I've outlined on a number of original forearm and wrist training programs and they remain with appropriate creative variation the same today. Got time, take a peek:

Forearm Training and Other Tricks

Mass from the Past

Apart from the routines listed above I've taken to heavy dumbbell pulling in shrugs and rows, barbell rows and deads. My hands are somewhat limited in their fingertip grasp due to nerve impingement that one might expect after years of less than tame treatment. (Note: Be nice to your hands and other beloved bodyparts.) Therefore, my attention toward specialty work has taken life in the past six months. This is, in part, due to my relationship with the IOL group and those who care to receive the newsletter. I've got an audience of more than one and at the same time sit in the audience of many. Accountability. We've become eager for answers and solutions to all sorts of stuff. Inquisitiveness. What I once accepted as a limitation I now paw over and wring out till it can be furthered. Determination. Keeps me busy.

My tendency to volume train (cuz it works so well) and my desire to manage some relatively heavy weight has me employ an ascending-weight, descending- rep scheme. Secret note: The mix of load and reps is very effective for muscular system response, training awareness and motivation. These days, coupling my focus on griping power as well as the targeted muscle group, I am more willing to assert grip overload. Where I some months ago refused to tolerate the strain to the hand and wrist, I now welcome it. I've come to recognize its value, understand it and encourage it. A mind-set is established. I am locked on increasing my griping-might in addition to the might and mass of the primary muscles, a logical compatibility of objectives. Sweet. It's working and I find myself urging heavier weights with good form and accelerating spirit as I rumble from workout to workout.

The MO, modus operandi — method of operation, is applicable to a handful of pulling movements and I have discovered that focus cast in a multitude of directions enables me to wedge myself between pain and the once immovable object. The dumbbell shoulder shrug for example, with which I have a recent infatuation, is particularly appealing because I approach it differently than ever before. The basic exercise requires strong hands to build strong traps and the associated muscles unless one uses straps. I opt to go barehanded explicitly to involve the hands. This approach is reflected in the manner in which I attend the job. I confront the dumbbells before me with deep breathing and meticulous hand placement. The balance must be correct to assure proper weight distribution; the fingers and palms and wrists must be positioned with care as you determine your most positive advantage. I use sports rosin to assist in the task... C-clamps, Miracle Glue, cables and ropes.

Ventilating breaths of air accompany the final grasps and tugs as the perfect grip is secured and the focus on all fronts negotiated. The dumbbells strain for the floor as I stand erect and identify the chaos of resistance. The reps are sought without doubt, the explosive upward concentric movement taunts the hands as they war with inertia, mass and poundage. The lower back is rigid and solid, the trapezius flaring and the bis play dead while the hands hold on. They hold on because you and I insist they hold on and they're getting practice and special attention. We won't let go and the traps continue to mound, the erectors burn and the breathing grows loud. The fingers are awaiting the signal to yield, unravel and relax in a scream of pain. The grip has the feeling of submission and last year I might have let go cuz I thought it was time. Not today. The hands are the foremost warriors in the battle and have more fight than an army. One more rep and another till the work is done and they hold on.

Nothin' to it, Bombers. Cap'n Dave

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