If you’re anything like me, you have a hard time building out your forearms and calves. These muscle groups tend to come at the end of a workout for arms or legs and can quite easily be left out. With my work schedule and family, I like to keep my workouts to exactly an hour which forces me to be pretty efficient to get a complete workout in. I’ve been doing this for years and was quite happy to see it recommended in Muscle & Fitness this month – buy a stopwatch and time your rests… but that’s another article for another day.
I want to introduce you to Fat Gripz. Equipment that thickens the bar on dumbbells and barbells forces you to use more of your forearm muscles during everyday lifts. When you take a second to consider all of the different basic exercises there are most of them require some kind of grip strength (think forearms). Grip strength can become a limiting factor in deadlifts, pull-ups, rows and countless and more. Improving grip strength will not only improve your ability to do perform these lifts, but also get you more respect when you shake someone’s hand.
Who wants a wimpy handshake?
So which one is right for you – Fat Gripz or Grip4orce? Like a lot of things in life, it depends. I bought the Fat Gripz because they seemed like an easier concept to understand. I like the “one size fits all” nature of them – I honestly had no idea if I’d use the regular or stiff Grip4orce. Every penny is a prisoner in my house, so I didn’t want to shell out $40 for the stiff version to find out I really was “regular.”
I will say that I haven’t had as good of a pump on bicep day in a long time than when I’m using the Fat Gripz. I did lose some strength on my Hammer Curls, and I decided to not use the grips on all of my pull-up sets because my grip was failing well before my back felt fatigued. However, over time I hope to build the forearms up enough to be able to use them on all lifts.
Also, if you purchase them, please read all of the material that comes with them on how to use prior to actually using them. Since there is a slit that allows the grip to fit around the bar, you need to carefully consider the position of the slit in your grip prior to lifting. And like all things in exercising, please get advice from your doctor prior to using these.