It should and probably doesn’t come as a surprise to most people, even those that are not regular readers of the blog that I’ve always been a HUGE HUGE fan of training the forearms and grip, either directly or indirectly.
In the past I put out a “Gorilla Grip” course (which is still available, btw, but not on THIS site) for those looking to build a super strong “cast iron”, locksmith (or should I say blacksmith, or “anvil like”) GRIP.
I’ve always been complimented on my grip. Despite the fact I weigh barely 170 “soaking wet” (probably less), I can out grip a lot of the “roid crazed monsters” at the gym, or in general, and thats NOT me bragging – it’s me stating a fact.
Last night I had the good fortune and great honor to meet up and share a few “brewskies” with a good friend who also happens to be an ex US Marine, and one of the most sensible guys I’ve ever met in the recent past.
For those of you that don’t know, the Marines are the “special forces” in the United States Army – and BAD ASSES at that. And this guy sure does fit the bill. 25 plus years of ACTIVE duty in some of the most war-torn zones in the world … and quite literally, as was said in a famous movie “survivor of countless intrusions behind enemy lines”.
Quite literally and no – I am NOT kidding.
Being the Marines train exclusively (for the most part) with bodyweight stuff (sure, some lift weights as well and enjoy it, but guess what forms the BEDROCK of their routines), a huge part of our conversation last night was about training, and how to achieve optimal benefits from your training.
And aside from the actual convo itself, what I really, really, really admire about my friend is his OPEN MIND – but more importantly – a WILLINGNESS to never stop learning, despite his storied past, experience and a variety of fighting (and combat) skills that would leave the average Joe “squirming in the dust” within a jiffy if I might say so.
In short – he’s the REAL DEAL – and yet the guy never stops learning!
Contrast this with the vast majority of “know it alls” out there who seemingly despite knowing it all (and lets take fitness as an example) can’t pound out more than 7-10 pushups in LETTER PERFECT FORM!
Contrast that with the “pec dec” crazed guys who couldn’t get into a handstand to save their lives.
And so forth – and believe me now and trust me later – both of the aforementioned two statements have more than an element of truth to them.
Not so with my buddy, and not so with most people that KNOW what it’s all about!
He asked me where I got my “unnatural” grip strength from, and we spoke about that. We also spoke about several different bodyweight exercises – namely my favorite exercise (not my all time favorite though!) – and what the Marines, and armies all over the world use to get soldiers in KICK BUTT shape – and FAST!
I’ve often stated that my grip has been the weakest part of my body when I was young, and even when I was actively training in my 20’s. I was doing most of the right things – 90% in fact, but that 10% I left out, either due to “wilful ignorance” or plain ole “miseducation” was the part that mattered.
And amazingly enough, believe it or not I have not done a single pull-up in months, and don’t miss them – and yet – my grip remains what it is – its actually gotten BETTER if I may state a fact, and even if you were to look at my “size” and go “Pah, thats a crock!” – you KNOW it’s a fact when a SOLDIER with more than 25 years of service in various capacities says it.
And believe you me, this guy MEANS it when he says it. He’s one of the RARE breed that says it LIKE IT IS – exactly as I do – and I applaud him very wholeheartedly for adopting this approach to life in general.
Semper fi, my friend – it was indeed an honor!
P.S. – As for you, my dear reader, if you want to develop a CAST IRON grip, well, Gorilla grip may WELL be, nay, IS the ticket –
P.S #2 – However, I’d still recommend my all time favorite exercise regardless!