Coming along, coming along…
So it’s been a few months and although training it has been sporadic (or at least sporadically recorded), my love for my Vulcan Gripper has certainly not ebbed.
Progress has been pretty good too. Put it this way, over 17 logged training sessions, adaptifer.com (highly useful training tool; not yet publicly available) rates my improvement at 1501%. Not bad, I’d say.
I am still playing on the White (weaker) Spring primarily, but I am barely 1mm off closing the dipped black (on the lowest level). This feels like a big deal to me, though it certainly isn’t to most grip athletes.
Why it IS a big deal to me…
The fact that I have innately crappy joints is no secret. My specific grip work is largely inspired by people like Adam Glass, but one reason I believe it is worth my while to invest a reasonable amount of time in it is to create strength and function in the small joints of my hand in an attempt to combat any reduction in these things they may experience over time. I figure if aging may reduce my hands capabilities by 75% (as some info on people with similar joint factors has lead me to believe it may), then I want it to be 75% of “Goddamn Strong”.
Another reason is that it seems to me the vast majority of your interaction with the world and exertion of your physical influence is through the use of your hands, so why not make them more capable? Most other strength that you create will eventually be used to support an action of the hands, so having a weak link at the actual contact seems very foolish to me. Basically, “how can you effectively control something you can’t hold on to?”
Where I go, the Vulcan goes…
Okay, so maybe not all the time, but there is no other exercise implement that I own that can so easily be thrown into a bag and used at work (or anywhere else you would care to take it). Sure, there are other things that can be taken, but often they don’t serve a lot of purpose. (2kg plates, anyone?)
The variable resistance of the Vulcan, the compact dimensions; and the fact that working the Vulcan can easily slip around work tasks and still be highly constructive makes it a BIG winner in my book.
So how much improvement have I had?
First off, I’m far from breaking any records in total performance OR in speed of increase. However, with the relatively low amount of training I’ve done lately (not due to lack of desire) that’s kind of to be expected.
Over my time of training, my max close on the white spring has gone from level 5 or 6 on the right and 3 or 4 on the left up to level 11 on both sides (single on the left, double on the right). I can almost hit level 1 on my harder spring (dipped black), which felt damn near immovable 16 sessions ago (when I bought the damn thing). I can close level 9 as many times in 6 minutes taking 5 sets now as I could a month ago in 12 minutes and 11 sets.
Progress is not world-shattering, but measureable and consistent. Also injury-free.
I feel that I have gained enough experience with it and confidence that I will not injure my hand (as I did once using the Ivanko Super Gripper; a device of which the benefits are highly debatable) to set some firm goals for it in 2012, which makes me very happy and excited. Training regularity will DEFINITELY go up.
The best parts
- When I got the chance to get my hands on 2 Captains of Crush grippers (Trainer & #1) closing them felt MUCH easier than I expected and I was successful first try (no set style). Have not yet encountered a #2 but I am sure I am well off that one (for now).
- My forearms are definitely showing cosmetic improvement from it. Not something I really set out for but (if I am 100% honest with myself) something that I do appreciate.
- The thing is so damn fun that if I can’t convince myself to do any other form of exercise I am probably still eager to give it a crack. Plus, once I get started on the Vulcan, other drills have a way of falling into place and going very well.
If you have ANY interest in crush grip training or training the hand in general, I highly suggest you pick one up. That link is NOT an affiliate link; I do not make any money from you buying one (I WISH). Also, the model available is the Vulcan V2 which I have not had any hands on time with, though word on the street is that it is HARD.