John Brookfield's Grip Tips
By John Brookfield
Author of Mastery of Hand Strength, Revised Edition, Training with
Cables for Strength, The Grip Master’s Manual, and Real-World Conditioning
Swing to Success
Here is a simple way to get to a super-high level of fitness. It is easy to find the right tool, easy to perform the movement, and can be done in any setting. However, you will have to supply the intestinal fortitude.
Choose your training tool from the following items: kettlebell, dumbbell, sandbag, or even a bucket of sand. In my training I always use a kettlbebell, but any of these items will work. As always, you will have to experiment a little bit to find the right poundage to use. After you have chosen your implement and the right weight, you will want to find a clock with a second hand that you can see clearly. Your goal on this exercise is to sustain as long as you can and to keep coming back to the exercise without completely stopping. You must fight the urge to quit and give up. This type of training will give you a certain battle readiness that will carry over into sport or real life. Now that I have given you a pep talk, let’s get started on the training.
To start, grab your weight of choice and perform the basic swing motion where the weight swings through your legs and then up to upper-chest level or head height. Continue the swinging motion between your legs and up to chest or head level, doing it over and over. You will be doing this for 20 seconds at a time with 10-second breaks in between. In other words go for 20 seconds; set the weight down for exactly 10 seconds; start again swinging for 20 seconds; set the weight down for 10 seconds, and then start again. Continue this cycle of 20 seconds on with 10 seconds off for as long s you can. Try to be exact and not give yourself longer than 10 seconds of rest. The 10-second break will go quite quickly but will help you recover slightly. Try and go for 20 minutes total of this exercise without completely stopping. It will be tough but will give you high returns on your investment. Start slowly if you need to, trying to last 5 minutes. Then go to 6 or 7 minutes total, trying to improve. Even if you have to go down to lighter weight, fight to maintain the intensity. Work on this training and swing yourself to success.
Editor's note: John Brookfield’s books Mastery of Hand Strength, Revised Edition, The Grip Master’s Manual, Training with Cables for Strength, and Real-World Conditioning combine John’s limitless creativity with his friendly, downhome manner. John’s articles are also regularly featured in MILO: A Journal for Serious Strength Athletes.
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