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FAT GRIPZ, anyone use them?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by MMA since 1993, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. MMA since 1993

    MMA since 1993 ____________

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    This personal trainer that i met while working at an office earlier this year told me that he lifts weights using a thick bar that he made himself. so time goes by and i forget all about it, then i started lifting about a month ago again.

    Today was my rest day and i remembered what this guy said so i looked up fat Olympic bars and found out that they are expensive as fuck(around 500) so i was thinking about going to home depot and getting a metal pipe and welding it to my bar, which is way cheaper.

    but then i did some more research and found out about these "Fat Gripz" and after reading and researching them alot i'm pretty much sold, the benefits of these things seem to be pretty awesome, they probably are about the same price on what i would spend getting the bar welded, but it sure would be easier and less time consuming.

    have any of you tried these things, and how much strength have you gained while using them.
     
  2. Cratos

    Cratos Banned Banned

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    Why do you want to use them?

    They can be a useful tool if your grip strength is an issue you want to work on, but there's no reason to use them all the time.

    They won't make you stronger.
     
  3. TheKeith

    TheKeith White Belt

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    I own them, and they are well worth the money. They are easy to use and extremely durable. You can use them on pretty much every barbell/dumbbell exercise. However, I don't think you should go in with crazy expectations about how much stronger you're going to suddenly get. Absolutely, your grip strength will increase, but you need to use them intelligently. If used on pulling exercises (most back and arm exercises, deadlifts, etc.) your forearms will gas out far before your intended muscles (back, arms, etc.), which is detrimental to their development. There are ways to get around this, so by no means is this a reason not to pick up a pair. Just understand that you're going to have to use them in creative ways (I'll give an example in a min.)

    Likewise, with pushing movements, you may feel an initial loss of strength. This will go away within a few workouts, as soon as you get used to the thickness of the grip. I suggest doing every single pushing movement with the grips. Though it doesn't work your grip anywhere near as much as the pulling movements will with the grips, you will definitely benefit, and it allows you an easier transition into implementing them. More so, lifting with the grips makes far more functional sense if you compete in bjj, wrestling, or even mma. Most guys' wrists are far thicker than the typical olympic bar. Getting used to handling weight the thickness of the grips is extremely helpful when you transition over to one of these disciplines in which controlling the wrists is important. This is by far where I've seen the greatest improvement.

    Now, back to using the grips with pulling movements. Flat out, I'm opposed to using them with any variation of the row. You simply cannot sufficiently work out your back muscles without first exhausting your forearms and biceps. I suggest not using the grips for these exercises. If you do bicep curls, absolutely use the grips every time. More important than either of these, though, is how you can use them when doing compound movements such as the deadlift. Many powerlifters who use thick bars often perform a kind of wave technique, switching from thick bar to standard olympic bar, thus effectively working both their grip strength and their intended muscles as well, without being hindered by exhausted forearms. I do a similar thing with the Fat Gripz, and I have to say it works really well. Basically the programming goes as follows:

    On all your warm up sets, use the grips. Once you are ready to begin working sets, you will be alternating back and forth between lighter weight with the grips and heavier weight without. You may think that this will tire your forearms out far before you get to your heavier sets, but that simply isn't the case. When using the thicker grips, your body is required to recruit more muscle fibers to lift the same amount of weight. After completing a set with the grips, your muscles will still be primed to attempt to recruit roughly the same amount. By swapping to the heavier weight without the grips, you take advantage of the increased muscle fiber recruitment, and are thus able to lift the weight without suffering from the heavy work your forearms just did the previous set. A sample wave routine on deadlifts would look something like this:

    Warm up sets with grips, working up to a real starting weight:
    135x5; 135x5; 185x5; 225x5 (however many it requires to get up to your starting weight)
    Once you are sufficiently warmed up and ready to start, simply start alternating sets with/without the grips, such as:
    225x2 with grips, 315x5 without, 225x2 with, 345 without, 225 with, 365x? without, etc., etc.

    I don't know if you even do deadlifts, and if you do what your set x rep range is. Regardless, this wave pattern can be used for other exercises as well. I always do 8 sets of deadlifts, and never any set over 5 reps. The alernating allows me to still work with the really high weight on some sets, but also get the benefits of working my grip strength on the in between sets.

    I know that was a lot of information, and perhaps far more than you were looking for, but I hope it helps. In the end, definitely purchase a pair. However, realize that you are going to have to get used them, and learn to use them in ways that are beneficial to what your goals are. If you want to make them work, check your ego at the door. Your lifts are going to take a major hit initially, in terms of how much weight you can move, but if you stick with them they are well worth it - especially if you compete in bjj or wrestling.
     
    Davem10 likes this.
  4. MMA since 1993

    MMA since 1993 ____________

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    hey keith, thanks for all that info man it was greatly appreciated.

    Do you use the grips when doing skull crushers or triceps pulldowns?

    Edit: Or when doing lateral shoulder raises can you use them with that?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  5. Brett Robert

    Brett Robert White Belt

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    I'd recommend using them only as part of specific grip work, not during your work sets in any workout. Like TheKeith said, they're not going to help your overall strength, just grip.

    Also, check out Iron Mind's stuff, especially the CoC grippers.

    Fat-bars were the secret of old-time strongmen, the same guys who toured around and spread catch-wrestling across the country.
     
  6. Harnaik

    Harnaik Orange Belt

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    Because I can't be bothered to spend
     
  7. MASShole

    MASShole Get it?

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    I love my Fat Gripz.

    I don't do them for a lot of deadlifting or rowing just because my grip will give out well before my back will. If I'm doing dimel deads maybe I'll use them, but I'll use them on some pressing exercises and curls for the girls.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  8. Miiiiiiighty

    Miiiiiiighty Silver Belt

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    Those things look great .

    I'll buy a pair of them
     
  9. Old Man

    Old Man Black Belt

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    I have Tyler Grips which are basically the same thing. They are great if you belong to a gym without a fat bar. And you can put them on dumbbells as well.
     
  10. Old Man

    Old Man Black Belt

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  11. flak

    flak Guest

    Some good points made in here. Let me add a couple of things --

    Fat bars and bar-thickeners are good ways to address three situations -- weak grip, disproportionately small forearms, and days when you're too tired/sore to do a more strenuous workout.

    If you don't have one of those situations going on, I don't think there's much point in using them.

    I use a fat bar at one of the gyms I frequent, I usually do deadlifts or BORs with it, sometimes shrugs. I typically use half the weight I would have on a regular Oly bar.

    A cheap, easy way to fatten up a bar is to buy a pair of boxing handwraps with velcro secures (probably less than $10) and wrap them around the bar where you plan to hold it. It takes a few minutes to set up, but you can adjust the thickness and configuration as you like. Plus, the fabric absorbs sweat and is comfortable to grip.

    I've looked at foam pipe insulation but never found any that was firm enough to use as a bar thickener.

    Two safety tips --

    I would never use a fat bar for an exercise where your body is between the bar and the floor. Of course, that pretty much limits you to pulling exercises.

    Also, if dropping the bar would cause problems (cracked floor, etc.), take precautions before you get started. I've dropped fat bars a lot more often than regular Oly bars, for obvious reasons.
     
  12. EchoBoomer

    EchoBoomer Banned Banned

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  13. TwoFour Lowkick

    TwoFour Lowkick Orange Belt

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  14. Old Man

    Old Man Black Belt

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  15. Vortex177

    Vortex177 White Belt

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    Fat gripz are prolly the best $29 I ever spent. Made a big difference to my upper body strength - not just my hands and forearms, which surprised me. I dont think they re a magic bullet but they're pretty cool

    Also, my buddy's buddy is an s+c coach who trains about 5 or 6 UFC guys and says they ALL use them, including George St Pierre and Shane Carwin (holding fat gripz below)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  16. MMA since 1993

    MMA since 1993 ____________

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    damn carwin makes those things look like candy canes.
     
  17. MASShole

    MASShole Get it?

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    Steroids make your hands grow. Didn'tyaknowthat?
     
  18. Cratos

    Cratos Banned Banned

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    I wonder if KK, Andy Bolton or Bennidikt Magnusson have heard of Fat Gripz?

    If not, I guess they're missing out on some serious strength gains.
     
  19. JerkWeed

    JerkWeed Brown Belt

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    Wow, did anybody ever tell you you look a lot like Shane Carwin?
     
  20. MatterOverMind

    MatterOverMind Pulling for you

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    Lol, wut?

    Do you know how common it is for strongmen to do overhead work with an axle?
     

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