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Thread: Get a Grip (aka The Toils of Grafter) page

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    Get a Grip (aka The Toils of Grafter)

    Primal Fuel
    About Me:

    I'm a dude in my early 30s, living in the midwest. I discovered the Primal Blueprint and MDA back in the spring of 2010 and have been lurking for a while. A few months ago, I was convinced to finally create an account and generate content instead of just consume it.

    I'm aiming for being 80% or so, but usually fall a bit short. Usually what gets me is diet soda, not so primal friendly options when eating out (which happens a lot due to my job) and baked cookies. I've definitely gotten better since finding everything, but still think that I have a lot to go.

    I intent to use the journal to mainly keep track of my training and will probably add some random thoughts from time to time.

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    Current Goals:

    Deadlifting 300lbs (roughly 2x bw) - Currently I can do over 210 for a handful of reps, but have wicked doms or back pain the next day. So, I'm maybe doing this lift once every week or so. Even then, I'll usually start with a set or two of 135 and then work up to lower reps.

    Shrugging 300 lbs - The biggest challenge here is that I'm lifting in my basement without a cage, so if I can't deadlift it, I can't get into position to shrug it.

    Closing a Captains of Crush #2 with either hand - Currently, I can do the CoC #1 for reps with my right hand and just the Trainer with my left. Recently got a Vulcan adjustable gripper, which I've been trying to work with a bit, but I definitely need to pick up some chalk (since it slipping is the limiting factor when setting it).

    Pinch Gripping 135lbs - Can do about 80lbs for reps, so just need to keep on working on my thumb strength and need to build a pinch grip bar (since I'm way too cheap to buy one and DIY equipment making is fun).

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    On the name of the journal:

    My purpose in the name of this journal is two fold. First, I'm very interested in grip strength and outside of deadlifts and shrugs (sort of going for a Jason Stratham look), grip exercises are the only 'weighted' exercises I do. For everything else, I do some body weight work. There is something appealing about having a strong grip and that it will help in everyday life and pretty much every other exercise I do, doesn't hurt either.

    The other main purpose is to try to keep a positive outlook on things. I mean, I do have other journals and such, where I talk about other things, including my job (which is in a capacity as a professional, and having to deal with both bosses and customers that don't know $%^& is insanely frustrating at time). So, there may be some venting from time to time, but I want to have a log of my progress and be able to point at impressive lifts when I am feeling down (because that is a matter of when, not if it happens).

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    8/26/11 Recap

    Had a Protein shake and a handful of blueberries for breakfast. Lunch was a bit of a cheat, since I got to hang out with a former co-worker (and yes, it did turn into a bitchfest about life, which was stress relieving), at a Mexican restaurant. For dinner, I had my first ever Cobb salad, which was pretty rocking.

    Currently, I'm looking through the newspaper ads from the most recent Sunday's paper (I know, a bit behind) and am planning my Menards shopping list for the current round of DIY equipment. I know I need some chain and at least 2 carabiners, for a rolling thunder knock off. Though, I could also use the chain for a loading pin, but would need to find something for the base, or to hang an inside pull up bar (currently, all of my pull ups are done on tree branches or playground equipment in parks). Choices, choices.

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    Went out to Menards today and picked up 20' of 1/4" chain, two 3/8" carabiners and a locking chain loop for less than $20. So far, I've created a thick handle grip, by taking a piece of 2" solid core pvc pipe, cutting off 5" of it, and then cutting about 15" of the chain, running the chain through the pipe and connecting it with a carabiner. I'll probably do a loading pin next, but still need to get something for the base plate.

    Thick bar training is definitely humbling. I'm able to do 135lb single hand dead lifts (with a 7' bar), but pulling 90lbs was challenging with the thick handle (I put a plate and my two kettlebells on the chain; though I was sure not to have the carabiner be in direct contact with any of the weights). On the flip side, it was a great supporting grip exercise. Now, I should probably go down and attempt some more pinching grip work. I'm aiming for as many as I can of the following exercises:

    2 hand pinching of 2 35lb plates (did 15x50lbs; 10x70lbs)
    1 hand pinching of a 5lb and a 25lb plate (10R/10L x 27.5lbs; 10R/8L x 30lbs)

    Going until excess tension or my breathing changes.
    Last edited by Grafter; 08-28-2011 at 07:19 PM.

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    Pinching was testing well today, so I did some more of that:

    2 hand plate pinches: 25x50lbs (literally got bored, so I stopped at 25); 13x70lbs; 2x90lb (a first)
    1 hand 2" pipe deadlifts: 10R/10L x 90lbs; 3R/2L x 115lbs
    Add in a miscellaneous 15 rep set of dips, about 4-5 reps of handstand push ups, and 18 reps of swinging a 50# kettlebell and that was it for the night.

    I know that it looks pretty haphazard, but I usually aim for training one of the aspects of grip strength until I get a major pump going or start to feel tired and then maybe throw some body weight exercises on top of it. So, overall, my training isn't as focused as it could be, but the flexibility keeps me pretty strong and I don't get bored of it (and am more likely to continue it to keep on getting PRs).

    Now back to reading. Currently, I'm about 2/3 through A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard(picked it up for gf, and started it on a whim and found that I just can't put it down) and about 2/3 through Makers by Cory Doctorow (love the ideas and tech, but dislike the story).

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    Found another good deal on craigslist. $40 for 180 of weights and a plate tree. The exercise today was moving it all from the back of my car to my basement, in about 2.5' wide of a space (I have a ton of things in my garage).

    Other than that, not doing so hot with the diet, since I've been working outside of the office this week, which means going to lunch everyday. I try to keep it clean for breakfast (usually a protein shake and maybe a stick of jerky) and dinner (anything goes, but I've been defaulting to eggs, since they are easy and don't take long). I'm hoping to be better over the long weekend, but we shall see.

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    Breakfast - Protein Shake
    Lunch - Bad, part of the 20% (work related)
    Dinner - 4 eggs scrambled, a piece of dark chocolate with almonds, a handful of TJ's banana chips

    Did more than 20 pull ups in two sets. The first set was 13 with good form (i.e., minimal bouncing at the bottom), which is a PR. Then did about 50 dips while watching tv and a movie (it helps that I have a dip bar in the family room, so can just wander over during commercials and slow bits of Big Bang Theory).

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    Well listening to Alestorm a bit, after seeing the video one of the members posted. Anyways, workout today:

    2 handed plate pinches: 25x50#, 13x70#, 4x 90#
    1 handed plate pinches: 15L/15Rx27.5#, 13L/13Rx30#, 8L/10Rx35#, 0L/0Rx50# (attempted but couldn't break the plates off the ground)
    1 handed plate pinch rows: 3Rx35#, 2Rx35#
    10 tree branch pull ups
    15 dips
    COC Trainer gripper - 20+R/7L
    COC #1 gripper - 10R/0L

    The biggest hold up on the COC training is getting the gripper to set right in my left hand. It's easy enough to do so in my right hand, since that is my dominate side. Though, I think the left hand has a bit less grip strength overall as well. Maybe something I should work on..

    I'm also pretty sure that the previous owner of the new plates repainted them, since they have a bumpy texture, which does make them a bit easier to grip. Also, he must have weighted them, since there are numbers in white on the back, which I'm guessing are the actual weights of the plates (.5-2.5# heavier); but for the sake of tracking poundages, I'm just going to use the default amounts.

    Made a run out to the local Trader Joes a few days ago. I didn't find any non-flour tortillas (like the rice flour ones Chocotaco posted about; which looked like they would be great for fish tacos or shoving scrambled eggs and hot sauce into), but did pick up some almond milk and canned oysters and clams (in either olive oil or water), all of which is new to me. Here is to hoping that they taste decent.

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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Woke up sort of late and had a late-ish protein shake for breakfast. Dinner was a 1/2# sirloin steak with a pound of homemade sweet potato steak fries (which didn't turn out that crispy, but were very yummy and I could have probably eaten another pound). Of course, dinner was after the workout:

    20 odd dips
    One hands shrugs 10R/10Lx75#
    10x40# goblet squats to warm up the legs and then onto supersets of:
    Deadlifts - 10x135#, 8x155#, 6x185, 2x205#, 1 x185#
    Shrugs - 10x135#, 10x185#, 6x205#, 10x185#

    As far as post workout, besides eating the large, somewhat carby meal, I also did a lot of hip thrusts and a few stretches for my lower back. I'm hoping that these two items will really limit the lower back DOMS and tinges along my spine over the next 2-3 days (which is what normally happens). I'm all for being pain free, or at least doing things that hurt myself. I know that I should probably talk to the doc about it and plan on doing so in the near future, since I also need to get my vitamin D levels rechecked after getting the low score back in May.

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