How to Build a Gorilla Grip!

Double rope pull-ups are a terrific upper body exercise and a tremendous grip builder. So are the other pull-up variations in Dinosaur Bodyweight Training.

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Yesterday we talked about Bradley J. Steiner's
list of "the Essential exercises."

It was a pretty good list, but there are plenty
of other good exercises. So I'll go over some
other possible movements today and

In other words, we'll make this "The Week of
Good Exercises."

Today, let's cover forearm and grip exercises.
I often end a training program by saying:
"gut, grip and neck work." Readers often
ask what  they should do to train their

Here's the answer.

Forearms and grip

1.Thick bar deadlifts with a double overhand
grip and timed holds with the thick bar (also
using a double overhand grip)

a. Okay, that's two exercises -- but they're
good ones. And you can always combine
them by finishing your last set of thick bar
deadlifts with a timed hold.

b. Do these at the end of your workout, as
a grip exercise. If you do deadlifts to build
all-around body strength, then train them
earlier, with a regular bar.

c. See Strength, Muscle and Power and
Dinosaur Training for more about thick
bar training. They're the books that put it
on the map!

Many believe that Frank Gotch was the greatest wrestler of all time. Take a good look at his left forearm and hand. That's some serious gripping power!

2. Thick bar pull-ups

a. Yes, you can do timed holds on a thick
handled pull-up bar.

b. See Dinosaur Bodyweight Training
for some killer pull-up variations and grip

3. The one-arm deadlift

a. Use a regular bar or a thick bar.

b. Use a dumbbell if you prefer.

c. See Strength, Muscle and Power for
a complete chapter on this terrific exercise
and how to use it.

4. The Farmer's Walk

a. These are one of the best all-around
exercises. They build strength, muscle
mass, conditioning, and a MONSTER

b. As in a "Frankenstein Meets the
Wolfman Meets King Kong Meets
Godzilla Grip."

5. Hand-grippers (Captains of Crush,

a. These are one of the best grip
movements you can do.

b. Get your grippers from John Wood at
Functional Hand Strength:

6. Rope climbing

 a. This is one of the best upper body
exercises there is -- and it's a terrific
grip developer.

b. If you don't have room for a climbing
rope, use two short ropes for pull-ups, as
detailed in Dinosaur Bodyweight

c. Grab your ropes here:

7. Hammer curls

a. These work even better with thick-
handled dumbbells.

8. The vertical bar lift

a. This is a very good, and greatly under-
rated movement.

Herman Goerner may have had the strongest grip of all time. I cover his unique grip training methods in Strength, Muscle and Power:

9. Lever bar lifting

a. A classic old-time exercise.

b. Fun to do with sledge hammers.

10. Pinch grip lifting

a. Use plates, blobs, blocks with an attached
chain for extra weight -- they're all good.

11. Finger-tip pushups (with or without extra

a.  A favorite of many old-time boxers
and wrestlers.

Take a look at Reg Park's massive forearms. He was virtually unbeatable in arm-wrestling, and it's easy to see why.

12. Two finger deadlifts

a.  Use a regular bar for this.

b. You can use a reverse grip or a double
overhand grip.

c. Go light at first to build up the tendons
and ligaments.

So there you have it -- 12 great grip exercises.

Obviously, you're not going to use them all at
the same time or in the same training program.

The best thing to do is to pick two or three
different exercises, and train ONE of them at
the end of each workout. Rotate the exercises
from workout to workout.

For example, let's say you train 3x per week on

For your grip work, do this:

M - Thick bar deadlifts

W - Pinch grip lifting

F - The vertical bar lift

After 6 to 8 weeks, pick three new movements and
train them for awhile. Over time, you'll get plenty of
variety, without ever overdoing things.

And who knows - after a few years of serious, Dino-
style grip training, you may be able to make it into
the Gorilla Grip Hall of Fame!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S.  For more tips on grip training, grab
these little monsters:

Dinosaur Training

Strength, Muscle and Power

Dinosaur Dumbbell Training

Dinosaur Bodyweight Training

P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "A strong grip
is the mark of a strong man." -- Brooks

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