Thursday, 02 February 2023 14:38

Building upper body POWER like never before - but in a gracefilled, fluid manner.

The human body,  my friend, was not meant to grunt and groan its way through hard physical labor - especially "unnatural forms" of "labor" (such as the bench press for one). 

Grunting and groaning your way might happen when you're straining to get that last rep. 

It WILL happen if youre a powerlifter or something similar. Or, simply trying to budge a massive sofa that hasn't been moved for ages - think those old school sofas we've all heard of (at least those of that are old school - we have seen 'em, most likely tried to move 'em too - when I tried first at the age of 20, damn thing wouldn't even budge. Hehe). 

For the most part though, we were meant to move powerfully - but in a lithe and GRACEFUL MANNER - much like the apes we so closely resemble. 

And upper body wise, there are few exercises that build brute strength and animal like, ape like power in the upper body than one I wrote about this morning - the monkey bars. 

Much ignored, much maligned, much NOT DONE by most people or even kids these days - these are a GREAT way to fry fat off your body - build strength quickly - including a corsucating iron grip if done right - and much more - but above all, it builds a level of GRACE in the upper body not delivered by any other exercise. 

Hindu pushups look - and are - a grace filled motion. 

Many other bodyweight movements are as well - especially two of the ones I love the most "tiger bend pushups" and "archer" pushups -the sheer MOTION of the latter, fluidly moving back and forth (the typewriter variant) is so gracefilled people will stop and watch when you do it (right). 

Nothing quite captures people's fancy as monkey bar work done RIGHT though. 

And done right, which very few people can do, its an EXTREMELY graceful movement - both in terms of feeling, and for the person watching - sort of like the upper body equivalent of ballet if that makes sense. 

Most just grab on any which way and try to go from one rung to the other. 

This is fine, but you do it SLOWLY. 

When you start, you likely will find it tough to do ONE rung at a time for one rep, let alone more, so focus on the grip .

Focus on the STRETCH throughout the entire upper body as you do the movement, strengthening and burning flab at the same time, and giving you a fluidly isometric workout in a true "ape like, jungle" Tarzan fashion/manner. 

I repeat - focus on the STRETCH and grip the most here. Not so much the reps, those will come. 

When you get better, go back and forth as many times as you can. 

Then you progress to TWO or more bars at a time, which is when the real grace will come into play, as you dont just wildly swing from one bar to the one after the next, instead, you torque gracefully from SIDE TO SIDE - feeling the stretch along the sides especially - even your non gripping hand as it goes from one rung to the other, you're bringing it up in a catching sort of motion, palm outstretched. 

All of these things, my friend, do more than build just brute strength and conditioning, they also build GRACE - and a level of power and maturity in the tendons and ligaments of the upper body you cannot get with other type of workouts. 

They build that rock solid "packed" chest we all want. (and some of us have). 

They build an iron grip. 

They're great from getting oohs and ahs from people half your age and double it - neither age group will likely be able to do 'em right. 

And they're also great for what Brooks Kubik once in a private email conversation with me referred to as "waist whittling" (although I was reporting back on waist whittling done via subway stair sprints at the time). 

Brooks is HUGE on core - always has been - and grip. 

Hallmark of a TRUE fitness stud ... 

Anyway - thats that for this one. 

Gorilla Grip, Gorilla Grip (ADVANCED!) - and Gorilla Grip (TIPS) contain plenty of info on the monkey bars and how to incorporate them into your workouts - and thats just ONE Of the exercises covered. 

If you're truly interested in building a brutal, IRON clad "black smith like grip" like few others can dare to or dream of having, then get the above books now and start cranking. 

Back soon. 


Rahul Mookerjee