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Straight to the Grip Contest Part IV – Current IronMind Set
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New IronMind Set

New IronMind Set.

In case you haven’t seen my previous instalments in this series, let’s recap.

The one-inch-set rule eventually became a problem for both the Gripboard and IronMind itself. Like we covered last time, not everyone’s definition of one-inch matched. With that, the Gripboard decided to change the legal set depth to parallel, leading to the current definition of the Mash Monster set. However, the inconsistency in setting the gripper for IronMind’s certification also is what spawned what is referred to as the Credit Card set.

The current IronMind set involves pre-setting a Gripper with the off-hand.

The athlete must be able to pass a credit card, ATM card, or the IronMind-provided Captains of Crush Gripper ID card through the handles width-wise.
Credit Card Set
After removing the card, the athlete can crush it home.
The Credit Card set is the ONLY technique that IronMind allows now. As mentioned before, some athletes started abusing the ability to deep set the Gripper for their certification. According to a post I saw on the news section of from several years ago, they wanted to bring some standardization back to the certification process. Their decision was to still allow for a set to be used, but now the athletes would be required to fit a card between the handles after pre-positioning the handles and before attempting the close. The reason for this card was to disallow an extremely deep set. IronMind also provides the athletes with a Captains of Crush Gripper ID card, that can be attached to a key chain, or worn around the wrist, by a rubber bracelet attached to the card.
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This set technique has proven to slow down the certifications on the #3 Grippers quite a bit. Following the adoption of the new set rules, only 6 people were certified on the #3 in 2005 and only 3 in 2006. At this point, 2 have been certified in 2007. Click here to check out the official list of certified #3 gripper closers: Certified Captains of Crush. You’ll notice right away the abrupt drop off once the new set was started.

The Credit Card set is not as popular in Grip Contests as the Mash Monster set. Many athletes dislike the technique because they would rather be able to close big Grippers when they pay money to travel to and enter a contest. Promoters also like to be able to say that their contest produced a hefty number of athletes that smashed the #3. Finally, fans of contests want to sign onto the Gripboard and read about monster Grippers getting closed when they peruse the results of a major Grip Contest. It is quite shocking when you read a Grip Contest report and you see that certified #4 Captains of Crush closers finished only marginally ahead of people who currently aren’t certified for closing #3’s yet! Many athletes dislike this set technique!

To the contrary, the aspects of this technique are not entirely negative. In fact, one advantage is that you work your hand and create strength through a longer, more complete range of motion. This dynamic movement can also promote crossover to a greater number of other grip lifts, including open hand support and pinch lifts, due to the open hand nature of the Credit Card set.

We have covered the three most commonly used set techniques in Grip Contests today. Essentially, the old IronMind set is a fossil. I don’t know anybody that trains the one-inch technique anymore. Most athletes are either focusing on the parallel set in order to vanquish the grippers in the Mash Monster series, or the credit card set, in order get their name on the elite list of gripsters who have closed the IronMind #3 or #4 gripper under authentic conditions.

My suggestion to you, the prospective grip athlete, is to train using a variety of sets from the beginning. This way, no matter what technique is used at the contests you go to, you will be ready.

In the very near future, I will be exposing some of the tricks I use in my gripper training. Lately, I am working all sets that exist. But before I get to these tips, we must define a couple more sets that exist these days. These are techniques where no advantageous set is used prior to making the attempt at closing the gripper. These sets are called the NO-SETS.

In the meantime, please check out We’ve got lots of new stuff coming your way in Strength Training, very soon.

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



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