Pictured above is Benedikt Magnusson deadlifting 1015 lbs without straps! He had to train his grip by practicing this lift specifically with progressive overload over time to gain this amount of supporting grip strength to hold this much weight in his hands. SAID Principle in action! Let’s use another example. Let’s say your goal is to increase your grip strength at closing heavy duty grippers? Okay, let’s get specific again. The implement would be a hand gripper of the variety you are trying to get stronger with. In this example we will use torsion spring hand grippers (sometimes known as nutcracker type grippers). What area of grip strength are we referring to? With hand grippers it would be crushing strength which involves finger and palm flexion. To be specific in this area one wouldn’t want to use a tennis ball even though squeezing a tennis ball increases this area of grip strength it’s not specific enough to carry over into the level of strength one would need to close a heavy hand gripper. Not even close! Lesson here is if you want to get better and stronger with hand grippers you use hand grippers specifically. Being even more specific let’s say the hand gripper you were trying to close had smooth handles instead of knurled handles? In this example most of your training would be with hand grippers with smooth handles. Going even further down the line of specificity let’s say the handle spread on the specific gripper you are working toward closing has a wide handle spread? If that be the case then you would want to train with grippers with a wider spread instead of a narrow spread. 128 knight Pictured above is the Mighty Paul Knight crushing an extremely hard gripper at a grip contest as I judge his attempt as closed (handles touching). Again, this is the SAID principle in action! Paul specifically practiced closing heavy duty hand grippers with some form of progressive overload to force an adaptation to the specific areas involved in closing difficult hand grippers. One thing I didn’t cover is carryover of various grip exercises and grip implements relative to each other. I also only covered one component part of training and that’s the grip component. Obviously one would have to strengthen other component parts of the dead lift for example, the back, lats, traps, etc. to have the complete package to perform well at this lift. The same could be said of any other sport, feat or activity that involves multiple component parts. Now you have the tools to bring your grip strength up to par with the stronger links in your body. I look forward to writing more grip-related articles so you can hopefully utilize and incorporate some grip training into your current training routines and programming. If grip is your problem, you now have specific solutions to solve it. Get a GRIP and go do it!