Was at it today after my hill climb (done earlier than usual - - and the heat - - well, let's just say it was SOMETHING ELSE - - YOW!), and saw a young, skinny and nattily dressed "whipper snapper" out and about in the workout area where I exercise after climbing the hill.
The entire area was pretty much deserted today, given the extreme heat (and humidity) - excepting for said person and me, that is.
He was sitting on a bench in the shade watching me exercise, but soon started to stretch, and I could tell he wanted to join "the fun" as well.
And soon, he sauntered over to the monkey bars where I was diligently swinging myself across back and forth, two bars at a time (a technique I've been working over the last few days to get down pat - - still haven't got there - - but I will), and attempted to do the same.
Now, lest you think this email is going the "clown" way (as in, this fellow started to fool around, show off, etc), it isn't - - he actually tried pretty hard, and actually did a pretty good job of swinging himself across the bars once before he let go.
And what I found interesting was he didn't do what 99.999% of folks normally do in that situation - - which is to throw in the towel before they even start i.e. before they even get used to the monkey bars (and believe you me, done right, monkey bars exercises are nothing short of cruel, unrelenting and TOUGH).
He did one more set. Then one more. And then another. And so did I, each of us taking a break during the other's set.
But he was doing one thing wrong - - he was not gripping the bar correctly - - and that is something I've seen many, many people do - - even folks who've been exercising for a LONG time.
Being that he was actually trying to learn the exercise and get better at it, I showed him a simple tip - - a tip that I speak of a LOT in both the pull-up and grip manuals I've authored - - a tip that makes your pulling exercises easier and harder at the same time, if that makes sense.
Easier to grip - - yet harder to grip - - and for those of you that think I'm speaking Latin - - well, I'm not - - but the reason I'm telling you this is not so much because of the actual tip itself, but because of the "root" issue - - and here, that root issue was this dude was not GRIPPING the bar correctly.
I speak a LOT about gripping the bar correctly in my courses, and with good reason.
Grip the bar HARD. Grip the bar LIKE YOU MEAN IT. Grip with PASSION. In fact, the right grip can literally cause your forearm strength to skyrocket in very little time - - and yours truly is an example of this.
Other hand, grip the bar the wrong way, and though you might be able to pound out reps or otherwise do OK at an exercise, it's a recipe for disaster in the long-term. And neither are you getting the benefits you should in terms of wrist and forearm development if you just sort of "struggle" to hang on to the bar, or if you just "limply" hang on.
Worse, a poor - - or incorrect - - grip can actually lead to other problems - - like, elbow tendonitis for instance - - and again, thats something yours truly can bear testament to - - since I'm been dealing with a dodgy elbow for the last couple of days myself.
How did you end up getting a case of tendonitis, you might ask?
Well, dear reader, though I do ALL my exercises in right form, I do end up goofing sometimes. And thinking back to a couple of days ago, I believe I goofed while exercising on the monkey bars after rain a while ago.
The bars were slippery, and not easy to hold at all, and while you might think that makes for a better workout it doesn't for these exercises, and before I knew it, I ended up pulling an elbow and not even knowing it at the time - - though I sure did the next morning. OUCH!
And today, I thought I wouldn't be able to exercise at all on the monkey bars - - but funnily enough, a strange thing happened.
I decided I'd give it a try anyway and see how it were. After all, I can always stop if it hurts too bad, eh?
And what I also did was to focus EVEN MORE on my grip, and gripping style - - I literally tried to "be" my forearms during the sets if that makes any sense.
And I ended up getting through a pretty darn good workout (albeit without the variety of pull-ups I normally do - - I stuck to regular pull-ups today) - - which might seen strange considering I just said I had a case of tendonitis - - a painful one, at that.
But what will sound REALLY strange is that I hardly feel any pain at all in the elbow now.
That's right. Four hours or so after my workout and other activities, the pain is FAR LESS - - and this after a hard workout!
Sure, I still have a bit of pain, but it's nothing compared to what was there before.
Perhaps this was my body's way of telling me that I goofed a couple of days ago? To - - maybe - - CONCENTRATE - - EVEN HARDER- - while working out?
I think it was, and I'm glad my body told me - - now that I think about it, yes, I do end up ignoring my grip at times (though nothing like what most people tend to do) when I'm extremely tired, or towards the end of a set - - not good, and something to keep in mind for me for sure.
So that's the tale for today - - tendonitis seemingly "banished" by doing pulling exercises the RIGHT way (that, and training the young whipper snapper of course, who by the way was still at when I left - - good on you, my friend).
Now, please note that I'm not recommending hard exercise to cure tennis elbows or other cases of tendonitis - - far from it. I'm all for heeding my doctor's advice - - but sometimes, just sometimes - - the unconventional is what works best, and this certainly was the case for me this afternoon!
All for now -- back again soon!
P.S: - Again, grip training is one of the MOST IMPORTANT parts of your workout- - BAR NONE (or very few)! And the ultimate in grip training can be found right HERE: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/products/8-gorilla-grip/