Jim Schmitz on the Lifts

Grip Training for Obstacle Course Racing (OCR)

Build grip strength and endurance

If you’re an obstacle course runner—whether an American Ninja star, Tough Mudder veteran, or just starting off—grip strength and endurance are key to your success.                                                                                
If you want a little theory on grip strength to guide what you do, IronMind’s Crushed-To-Dust! Cube will give you the lay of the land. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
And if you ready to jump in and start training, here are some guidelines:

 

Captains of Crush Grippers:  The gold standard of grippers

 

 

Most of the grip-related challenges you will face will depend upon the strength and endurance of your crushing grip,           so if you were to choose just one training tool, it should be a Captains of Crush gripper, the fastest route to a stronger grip.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Captains of Crush                                                                                                                                                                                   Grippers

Enjoy sparkling hand health and accelerate your grip strength gains with Expand-Your-Hand Bands. You'll want to train the extensor muscles of your hands to counteract all the squeezing you're doing when crushing grippers, and Expand-Your-Hand Bands allow you to work in a dynamic range of motion for maximum grip strength and hand health.

Although it might seem paradoxical, because there is so much emphasis on your crushing grip, the second most important training tool is Expand-Your-Hand Bands, which focus on the extensors (the muscles that open your hand). Expand-Your-Hand Bands will help you achieve muscle balance, avoid overuse injuries, and stay strong and healthy from elbows to fingertips.

 

 

  Expand-Your-Hand Bands

 

The Rolling Thunder, for deadlifts, holds for time, and pullups, and the CoC Silver Bullet give you another tack for developing strength–endurance.

 

IronMind Rolling Thunder                                                                         silver-bullet

          Rolling Thunder                                                                      CoC Silver Bullet

Unlike crushing grip, pinch gripping hinges on the strength of your thumb, so think IMTUG or Titan’s Telegraph Key.

 

    With IMTUG, you train one or two fingers at a time. And your thumb is not excluded: by training your pinch grip, you make sure that your thumb is working in powerful opposition to your digits for maximum holding strength and control.   Imagine: with IMTUG, you can target each finger individually to make it a worthy component of your total hand strength. As you strengthen your fingers, you improve the overall health and condition of your hand, increasing muscle balance, range of motion, and flexibility.                                                                           TTK-web500

   IMTUG Grippers                                                                      Titan's Telegraph Key

For more information on Olympic-style weightlifting, weight training, lifter profiles, and competition reports, visit our Weightlifting Resource Pages.

Jim Schmitz’s gold-medal articles on weightlifting and weight training are regularly featured in MILO: A Journal for Serious Strength Athletes.

Take advantage of what Jim Schmitz, absolutely one of the best American coaches in the sport, can teach you in his
Olympic-style Weightlifting for the Beginner & Intermediate Weightlifters Manual and DVD.