It's funny, but true. A lot of the folks I meet these days just dont want to shake my hand any longer.
Take, for example, this incident that occured the other day. I was walking down the hallway, while a slightly older (and seemingly well built) guy that I know came down the hall. We shook hands as men normally do - or at least, as I think men SHOULD shake hands, and the next thing I know this guy is offering me a limp fish handshake, and asking me to "let go".
"I'm an old man, leave me alone", he whines.
Now being that he's not really that much older than I am, and also, being that I did nothing out of the ordinary, other than shake his hand, this left me bemused - even more so when he proceeded to complain later that I "crush" his hand every time I see him.
Or, take the case of a colleague of mine, who I see every morning. I walk up to him to shake hands, and what do I get but an even limper, two finger "handshake" if you can call it that. Why? Well, as he himself said once, "I don't have a very strong grip, and I don't think it's important". Hmm, OK. . .no problems at my end. . .
Then there are those who instead of shaking my hand, attempt to wrench the entire arm out of it's socket by vigorously shaking the entire arm up and down as if it were a tubewell (or elephant's trunk). And some of these folks look at me in a nasty manner when I actually GRIP the other hand - puts a wrench in their heaving, hehe.
Laugh all you like, but odds are if you train hard and regular, you've had similar experiences as well.
Anyway, limp fish handshakes, tubewells and sundry aside, there are FAR more benefits to a strong grip than simply delivering bonecrushers (and no, thats not what I set out to do every time I shake hands with someone). I speak at length about training the grip in Fast and Furious Fitness - there's an entire chapter devoted to it, and with very good reason.
Here are but a few of the reasons why YOU should be training your grip as hard as any other body part: -
- A strong grip makes it easier to perform, and improve tough exercises. Pull-ups being a case in a point - how many folks shy away from pullups because they simply dont have the power to hold on to the bar, let along pull in an organized manner?
- Strong fingers, tendons and wrists reduce the chances of injury when performing exercises that demand a LOT from the hands.
- A strong grip makes it easier to perform DAY to DAY tasks, such as lugging heavy sofas up and down stairs. Try pinch gripping a mammoth old sofa - or Grandma's piano - and transporting it up and down three flights of stairs. It ain't easy, and its just not possible if you have weak wrists and fingers.
And in case your wondering what latest gizmo you'll need to purchase the train the grip like it should be, relax - you don't need very much at all in terms of equipment - or time, for that matter. No need for heavy weights. No need to labor over endless sets of "concentration" curls while making sure the "thumb points towards the bicep". No need for wrist rollers (though those can be great). No rubber balls, no squeezing newspapers, none of that.
So, without further ado, how exactly DO I train my grip?
Well - there are plenty of ways - but I'll list a few of them off the top of my head: -
- Pull-ups (done in PROPER form) - one of the best ways to develop a bone crushing grip. Note: You have to do the exercise correctly to get the most out of it - no kipping, no cheating, no swinging - just good proper pull-ups!
- Standing on my hands - a tremendous forearm builder.
- Timed holds from a tree trunk, doorway chinning bar, or just about anything you can hang from safely - another killer.
- Fingertip pushups (again, done CORRECTLY!); these are an all but forgotten exercises, but one that will give you fingers and tendons that feel like pliable steel.
And those barely scratch the surface. . .there is SO MUCH MORE where those came from.
So, let's see. Getting a full body workout within 45 minutes or less (in some cases less than half an hour), great cardio and strength workout rolled into one, exercises designed to give you the grip of an African gorilla - and, best of all, the moans about bone crushers from the limp fish crowd, hehe - I'll take that anyday over lengthy, drawn out gym sessions and 100 sets of what-not for the biceps, and 15 sets "just to train the other forearms", and so forth.
OK - I'm joking about the "limp fish crowd" - but jokes aside, my friend, as you can see - if you train as I teach you in Fast and Furious Fitness; you'll realize that your getting a superb grip workout in WHILE doing your other exercises - without spending extra time on specifically working the grip. Don't get me wrong - you CAN specialize on grip work, if you do it correctly - you just dont HAVE to.
Grab the book today, and give these exercises a try - and let me know how you do!
PS: If you train today, make it a great one!!