Friday, March 8, 2013

Grip strength challenge! (do you want some of dis!?)

   Grip strength is something Steve from Standard Deviation Arms and I have discussed a fair amount over the time we have known each other. Steve even wrote an article about it.  How much pressure to apply to the pistol while you are shooting, which hand to grip harder with, 60/40, 70/30, etc are just some of the things that are up for debate. What is not up for debate is the fact that the stronger your hands are, the harder you can hold onto the gun. Most anyone would say this is going to be an advantage when shooting a pistol at high speed.  Many people involved in the shooting sports and elsewhere are familiar with the Captains of Crush grip trainers. These are rated from 60 all the way up to an insane 365 pounds.  I have the 100 and the 140 pound grippers and, although I have slacked off on serious training with them, plan to use them a lot more.  
    This brings me to the point of this post, the digital hand dynamometer. For those gearheads out there, yes, this is a dyno for your hand, used to measure the peak gripping force you can produce.  The particular model I picked up was only $29 on Amazon and will record up to 200 pounds of force, which is plenty for me for now, but really not all that much in the grand scheme of things. There was a post on Brian Eno's forum written by "CHA-LEE", a GM class shooter, where he discussed using one of these tools to guide his training. He also has tested a bunch of other shooters, from beginners, up to other GMs, and he was able to see a very clear trend. The GMs were generally able to grip the hardest, usually over 150 poounds, and the beginners and D class shooters the weakest. He also noticed that Open division shooters of the same skill level generally did not grip as hard as other shooters of similar skills. This is an example of why Open is for girls! (just kidding, mostly) 
     I was thinking about doing my own testing with my shooting buddies or whoever else was interested in giving it a try. Should I keep track of everyone who participates and give a prize to whoever demonstrates the most impressive feat of strength, maybe another Steve Lockwood signed Red Ring hat?  I have an idea for something else but would have to check with my sponsors to see if they would be interested in participating.  I encourage anyone reading this to pick up your own grip-o-meter, or find me at a match and ask to try mine out. Can you beat 148.8? (my current best)


SAFETY UPDATE: It's super easy to over train with the higher weight crushers, so start out slow and only practice with them a few times a week.  I gave myself a sore left wrist trying to post a "high score" with the grip dyno the first two days I had it, so be sure to take it easy.


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