Increase My Grip: Tactical Strength Challenge and Adam’

We have a special treat from “Unbreakable” Adam T Glass as the “Killer Grip” series rolls on.   As mentioned in the past, the Tactical Strength Challenge (TSC) is coming up in less than 8 weeks!

Be sure to check out Adam’s amazing blog at

Walk the Road Less Traveled 

Adam what would you recomend to me at the top 3 (or 5) grip exercises I should do?

My 2 main goals are
1) increase my raw DL from (current PR is 410 lbs)
2) increase my snatches (current PR 32 kg for 75 reps in 5 min)

Here are 7 distinct elements of grip

1) Support
2) Crush
3) Pinch,
4) Hand extension
5) Finger flexion
6) Lever/bend
7) Rip/tear
We can add
Finger support as an 8th if it floats your boat (it floats mine!)
Things i am not a fan of:
1-Loaded dynamic Wrist flexion and extension. Reps of wrist curls seem to really burn the hands and are low yield in terms of whole body power.
2-  Squeezing tennis balls (garbage!!)
3- Wide grip pinching. The thumb is already weak for most people, hyper mobile and weak is a terrible combo (Mike’s note, I would agree with this since I tend to do a fair amount of thumb mobility work on athletes)
4- Wide grip crushing, similar problems to #3
5- Seperating “grip” from strength training.
We do not train the quads, we train the squatting patterns. We do not train the medial delt, we train shoulder movement.
I am not a fan of  weird isolation of grip from strength.

Things i am huge fan of:

Anything that combines mulitple qualities of grip along with gross motor and complex movements:
–Steel bending, plate curling, pinch and fat bar deadlifting, tearing phone
books and cards, plier rows and plier deads. farmers walks, towel pull
ups, etc.
My top grip drills
– Plate curls with a pinch grip. Dynamic flexor work for the arms (we love curls!!) and static work on the thumb (thats how you use it under load, not moving  bjects but holding them still)
– Fat bar one arm deads–a lot of good stuff in this movement pattern.  Dynamic stability of the hips, static stability to the shoulder griddle and tremendous work on the hands. Huge workloads on the glutes and lats (my favorite muscles!)
– Hammer lifting, as you experienced, it is very challenging and makes your entire body subdue the load (Mike’s note: you need to try this, go back a few in the series to find the video)
– Grippers– because i am still a grip meat head. These are near pointless for athletics! Grippers should be treated like a sport lift.  They do make you stronger, but it is a very limited window of power.   (Mike’s note: Put in a comment at the end if you want Adam to expand on this point)
– Plier rows, crushing grip and a pulling movement pattern. I love this exercise and it is high pay off
That is a good baseline.

Adam T Glasss

How about that for a conclusion to our gonzo grip series!  If there is something you want more from the extreme human himself, Adam, drop some comment love below and we will see if we can pull him from his cave in bumbletown North Dakota for a follow up!  Thanks again Adam for all the time on this!

Rock on

Mike N

s Wrap Up

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