Straight to the Bar

All Things Strength


The Workout Logs Return
Written By : Scott Bird
Filed In : workouts

Wide plate pinchIt’s been a while now since I last posted my training notes (although of course I’ve still been training), which I thought I’d rectify. Especially now as the weather here is starting to get back to reasonable levels, which will undoubtedly see an increase in intensity. Not to mention the occasional outdoor session.
A few months ago I began training for the One-Arm-Chin-up. This was always going to be a lengthy process (2 years seems to be fairly common amongst OAC practitioners), but I wasn’t quite prepared for the glacial slowness of it all. The other day, whilst getting slightly over-zealous and trying to accelerate things, I managed to once again tweak my left shoulder. Frustrating, but not altogether surprising. I know what I’m like.
I’m now carefully avoiding the heavy stuff for a while; giving things a chance to heal before I return to the OAC quest. In the meantime, however, a slight obsession takes centre stage – hand strength.
After reading Chuck Halbakken’s recent piece on bending, I decided to give it a go (at least I will once a couple of key items arrive). Added to this is the usual assortment of pinching, tearing and catching. All fun, highly addictive stuff.
A few of the exercises I’ve been trying out this week :

  • basic gripper work (I only have the CoC Trainer and #1 here, but they’re great for high-rep work)
  • plate pinching (two plates held together with smooth sides out)
  • wide pinch grip work using a 2.5kg plate + additional weights (as pictured)
  • wrist rolling (using home-made wrist roller; which is little more than an axe handle, duct tape and a length of chain)
  • bar hangs (right arm only)
  • paper tearing (the phone books are quite safe for now)
  • Thor’s hammer stuff (levering with an adjustable dumbbell with weights on one end only)

I’ll go through each of these exercises – and the many others that always seem to appear in grip workouts – in more detail after a week or two; once I’ve had a chance to really test them out.

Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



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Straight to the Bar is the online home of fitness enthusiast Scott Bird, and looks at the many training approaches, essential techniques, uncommon exercises and superb equipment to help you become as strong as humanly possible. In short, this site is the home of all things strength.

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Written By Scott Bird
Scott is a long-time fitness enthusiast (Jan 2004!), writer and photographer living in Sydney, Australia. If you share the passion for spending a bit of time under a bar, welcome. Love hearing how everyone else trains. You can connect via X (Formerly Twitter), Facebook and the various networks listed in the sidebar.
Drawing of Scott Andrew Bird performing a deadlift. Artwork by Vince Palko.