Paul Makepeace ;-)

January 25, 2005

Captains of Crush

Posted in: Sport

GripperPossibly the cheapest piece of functional home gym equipment's gotta be a hand-gripper, bar perhaps a 10kg plate. Whereas it's quite easy to ignore a 10kg lump of iron lying on the floor, resisting picking up and squeezing a hand-gripper presents a serious challenge, at least for those of us with Y chromosomes. Can I close it? How many reps can I do? Can I do more than my friend? If I use this regularly, just how Herculean and irresistible would my forearms be?!

Now imagine that appeal combined with a real challenge: that the gripper itself is so hardcore you can't even close it...

...the top of the range version being so tough that only five men in history have been certified as able to touch the handle tips together.

And so the allure that drives sales of IronMind's Captains of Crush grippers. Considerately, IronMind also produce products for those not competing in World's Strongest Man but even so, their entry-level product requires 100lb of force to close. A typical "hard" squeezer from a gym store is 30-50lb.

So obviously I couldn't resist. The Trainer (100lb) and #1 (140lb) arrived this morning.

Captain Paul In Training
This pic took about eight takes. I can barely hold my mouse now.

I can close the Trainer for about four reps (both hands, surprisingly). The 140 pounder isn't even tantalisingly close so another $17.00 shipping fee from the States won't be needed any time soon. (It's cheaper to buy from US even with a third of the cost being in shipping. Greedy UK importers can go screw themselves.)

The build quality on these products is great: all metal, knurled for excellent grip, and plain comfortable. Fun too!

Posted by Paul Makepeace at January 25, 2005 12:14 | TrackBack

Hi Paul
nice site, always good to see more ways to make yourself suffer.. ever seen the ivanko super-gripper?
calculators for it too!
from pullum sports in luton, comes with 2 springs, add more if you need them..

Posted by: KB_Pete at February 1, 2005 13:58

Ironmind recently added a couple of grippers rated below the Trainer -- the Guide (60 lbs of force to close) and Sport (80 lbs).

I initially bought a set of Captains of Crush grippers to try to work around the tendonitis in my forearms that curls give me. I decided to skip the Trainer and start with the #1. In hindsight, something of a mistake. Afterwards, I couldn't decide whether my first try at the #1 was a scant success or a sub-millimeter miss. The #2 fell at about the point I could complete twelve reps with the #1. The #3 is but a spec in the distance.

If there is a weakness with the CoC grippers, it is the broad gaps in strength between the higher level grippers. Progressive resistance in training gets a bit tricky when the next step up adds an additional 85 pounds of force.

Posted by: Vulcan at February 8, 2005 06:49

Hi Paul,

Nice website very informative. I just got the COC trainer and #1 grippers. I can do about 10 with the #1 straight out the pack at what stage would you suggest going to the #2 ?



Posted by: Pete Franks at April 7, 2005 14:26

Pete - if you're pulling 10 reps on the #1 you could probably go for the #2 right now. Going beyond 10 reps or other volume isn't going to buy you much strength-wise.

Since reading about grippers I can pass on a tip:

One thing you can use the #1 for to squeeze some more life out of it is static holds using an inverted gripper but with only three, then two, fingers. That is, missing out your index then middle fingers. This will build strength in your pinky which is essential for going those last few mm!

Posted by: Paul Makepeace at April 8, 2005 17:12

Thanks for the advice. Think I'll place an order for the #2 and see how it goes !

Cheers mate


Posted by: Pete Franks at April 11, 2005 12:01

hi paul thats a good start i started on the 100 and 150 from heavy grips..i can just about close their 200 an i am now working with beefbuilder grippers.
And they are tough, i have a tin box stuffed with a whole range. I also have the gripinator and eagle loops for chins and finger curls ! so i am into the sport in a big way. A little tip, turn a gripper upside down so you get a new grip excercise from the babay and keep working into the burn ! i like doing a heavy gripper a medium gripper and a light in one set ! so like 215 160 150 (aprox values because of american to english conversions) but hey keep going ! you are doing really well it took me about 2 mths to move from 150 to 200 and i can squash about 215 for two on a good day ! and i am not particularily built..

Posted by: james at June 6, 2005 22:09

Hi, I'm from BC, Canada, and I'd just like to comment on how much I like the CoC grippers. Initially I ordered the Trainer, #1, and #2. I could barely close the #1 when I got them, and now 2 months later I can finally close the #2 for 1 rep. I just ordered the day the handles on that bad boy will touch! Not too bad for a 6'0 155 lb guy. :)

Posted by: Jordon at February 12, 2006 06:26

COC makes attachments for their grippers that add about 20 pnds (you can attach 2) to help fill in the gap between the grippers.

Posted by: Steven at March 24, 2006 17:06

hi, i'm about to order the grippers, i'm 19 years old and going to the gym for half a year now, which one should i order? the trainers or the #1's? i'm not gonna order them both, and i'm not planning to order anotherone in the future.

Posted by: Jim at June 4, 2006 16:40

Hey Jim, to answer your question, i would start out with the trainer at 100 pounds of resistance if you have never trained with grippers before. Once you master that get a #1 if you wish. Also, for anyone who is interested in grip/handstrength check out!!! it is the best forum for hand strength and provides toooons of useful advice, all of these Grip Gurus belong there. Guys who belonghave closed the #3 and some are even getting close to the #4!

Posted by: matt at August 12, 2006 03:33

Hi,can anyone tell me of the differences between the CoC grips & the HG grips..and which is better? I currently have the full range of the HG grips(100-350).

Posted by: Rish at September 4, 2006 11:18

can you tell me Where can i get COC grippers from in the uk please?

Posted by: jack at November 16, 2006 22:15

hello, try to grind off the inside of some of your COC grippers for better performance gains. this means you have to squeeze them even more. for individual finger strength, use the IMTUGS by IronMind, will bring your hand strength up a few notches.
try not to go beyond 4 reps with any gripper. strength gains will not improve, you need to get a higher number. high reps will eventually weaken the springs on your COC grippers. and you wont necessarily get stronger. low reps, high tension is the way to go.

Posted by: rj at March 26, 2007 06:41

Keep it up man! Forced negatives have given me the biggest help so far. Use both hands, close them, then hold with one hand for 10 secs. I only do about 7 total reps. Don't overtrain!

Posted by: Mark at April 8, 2007 01:53

Yeah, Pullum Sports down in Luton stock the Ivanko Super Gripper as well as a great range of Weight Lifting Equipment

Posted by: Kev at July 14, 2007 20:09

I am only 16 but am very interested in bodybuilding and am always wanting to be better than my friends in the physical department and i can see that these Captains Of Crush grippers can give me a far superior grip to any of them! my goal is to close number 4. Of course, that is an unimagineably long way away, but either way, i have to get started first, so where can i get hold of some very lightweight grippers with a pull of about 50 or 60 lbs?
Much appreciated and good luck to all those others who are trying to close the No.4 as well.

Posted by: Toby at September 23, 2007 13:41

hi again,
i just remembered that i don't actually know where to get any grippers. So, where can i get hold of them in the UK (i live in Essex). Can i get them in my highstreet?
thnak you again.

Posted by: Toby at September 23, 2007 13:44

I am very much into grip strength/training. as well as owning 6 CoC grippers i own ironminds 'go-really grip machine' and the 'titan's telegraph keyII'. This has especially helped my thumb strength.The CoC book is worth a look too. visit and also for more info. speaking from experience these grippers really are the best on the market. i suggest buying them direct from ironmind or 'london kettle bells' will do them for about the same price total for UK buyers. you may struggle to buy the bigger items outside the US. expect huge p&p and import duties. the grip machine cost me an absolute fortune. stick with just the grippers and the telegraph key. TRAINING: stick to singles and negatives for best results. i filed down a #2 and can close that no problems. as mentioned before dont overtrain. after a lengthy training spell you may become weaker. dont touch 'em for 1-2 weeks and you'll find your stronger than before.

Posted by: alfie at November 16, 2007 18:49

hi im 15 years old and been exercising on the captains of crush gripers under a year now and i can close the number 2s (195lb) do any of you think i should go to the number 3s (280lb) or wait till im older:)

cheers guys

Posted by: Andrew at November 21, 2007 22:04

hey to all of you that have made the transition from trainer to #1, how many reps should i be capable of on the trainer before i can close the #1? right now i can do 10 reps with the trainer and can hold it shut on the 10th rep for a good 10-15 seconds. wonderin if i should wait b4 i invest the next $25

Posted by: Dave at January 13, 2008 21:49

i can close the no.4 coc for 2 but it took me 2 years of trying to get there.

Posted by: bigthumbpad at May 20, 2008 18:37

Question: Out of respect for pure curiosity, I am 5'3", weight 135-140 lbs, work out on a regular (I take off days to regenerate), am physically active and eat properly. So, I cannot crush the Captions of Crush No.3, but do you assume that i will be able to close the 100-150?

Posted by: 17Dat at April 3, 2011 01:01
Post a comment

Remember personal info?