There is an insidious epidemic sweeping around the civilized world and it has nothing to do with coronavirus. Cases of carpal tunnel syndrome have been increasing in correlation with the rise in popularity of mobile phones – particularly since the late 1990s. Having healthy hands by training grip strength and performing regular but gentle wrist and finger stretches is a simple way of looking after your hands. It’s an investment in a neglected area of personal fitness which you will be grateful you made as you grow older. Captains of Crush hand grippers are your hand’s best friend.
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I was 17. Two years of weightlifting was starting to pay off and my once desperately skinny body was now wrapped in a suit of muscle.
In the school gym one lunchtime, I was having a bench press competition with the strongest guy in the school. I could see he was rattled that I was nearly lifting what he could and that’s when he turned to me and said:
“It’s okay being able to lift weights, but if you’ve got a weak grip you’ll always be weak.”
The truth of that statement didn’t really sink in at that point.
But as I got older and life became filled with mundane things like owning a house, I began to understand. Whether it be lifting a broken washing machine out of the kitchen or using a heavy petrol mower on a steep lawn, the strength of our grip determines whether we find such tasks easy or hard.
I understand now that being able to bench press 250 pounds won’t help at all when it comes to real world feats of strength and endurance.
Of great concern to me now is my health over the next 40 years.
I’m friends with a guy who is around 10 years older than me but who is struggling with carpal tunnel syndrome. I’d hate to find myself losing my ability to grip.
I dread any loss of mobility or range of movement which is why I’d encourage everybody to train for overall fitness and function as opposed to bolstering the ego.
That would be my message to the 17-year old me, training in the school gym.
So how are you going to train your grip and look after your hands?
Captains of Crush Hand Grippers: Details & Costs
In the same way that I extol PowerBlocks as being the ultimate selectable dumbbell, captains of Crush are the ultimate grip strength trainers.
I have had mine for around 15 years and they work as well as the day I bought them. As far as I can tell they have not lost any of their resistance.
I have the following grippers:
- 100 lbs
- 150 lbs
- 200 lbs
- 250 lbs
I never progressed to the 250lb gripper, but as I write this article I was shocked to find that I can no longer even complete a rep of the 200lb gripper, so I definitely need to start incorporating grip training into my regime again.
The model lineup has changed since I bought mine. The following grippers are available:
- Guide – 60lb
- Sport – 80lb
- Trainer – 100lb
- Point Five – 120lb
- 1.5 – 167lb
- 2 – 195lb
- 2.5 – 237.5 lb
- 3 – 280lb
- 3.5 – 322.5lb
- 4 – 365 lb
There are 535 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.8 stars and 98% of reviewers awarding them 3 star or above. These reviews reflect my own experience of owning Captains of Crush hand grippers over a long period of time. They are rock solid and beautifully made.
In terms of cost they are around $30 / £22 each.
Their low cost, portability and effectiveness make them a must have piece of equipment. Especially in your home gym setting, or even for taking into the office.
Cheaper Alternatives to Captains of Crush Hand Grippers
Whilst there are cheaper alternatives to Captains of Crush grip strength trainers, I always prefer buying quality fitness products even if they have a higher asking price. We’ve all bought cheap fitness equipment that proves to be useless, or breaks as soon as you use it hard.
As Captains of Crush have a reasonable asking price to start with, it’s simply not worth even looking for cheaper alternatives.
With all that said, this type of adjustable grip trainer are generally cheaper than Captains of Crush and they do have certain minor advantages fot the beginner, as you’ll see in the next paragraph.
How to Choose the Right Captains of Crush Gripper
If you are completely new to grip strength training, then it may be worthwhile starting with an adjustable grip trainer such as the one linked to above.
This will allow you to condition your hands for a month or more before embarking on the more intense grip training that Captains of Crush offer.
Also if you are starting from a very weak grip, an adjustable grip trainer will enable you to gradually increase the resistance as your grip strength improves, rather than facing the ~30lb increments between the Captains of Crush models.
This will be more cost-effective than buying the Captains of Crush Guide and Sport models first.
The model above offers up to 80lbs of resistance which, when you can squeeze out 20 good reps, will get you well on the way to being able to attempt the Captains of Crush 1.5, which would be your next logical progression.
If you have a good grip to begin with then the Captains of Crush 1.5 would make a great starting point. For the purposes of this article, I consider a good grip to mean that you rarely struggle to open even the tightest jars.
What does a Grip Strength Workout Look Like?
If you already have a set of grippers and have been wondering how to train with them, then take a look at this great hand and grip workout.
If you don’t own a set of hand grippers – what are you waiting for? Order yours now and let me know in the comments which model you bought.
Grip strength training doesn’t take too long and it can even fit into your working day. It’s also very rewarding when you begin to see the improvements in strength and tasks like opening a jar become noticeably easier.