I have been working out like an animal for over ten years. I gained tremendous size and strength but after years of training I finally realized that my grip was holding me back from becoming a full-blown beast in the weight room. This summer my training partner told me to stop being a baby and lift without gloves and/or straps. He promised me it would make a difference and improve my size and strength in almost every body part.
In the past I wore gloves and straps for nearly every workout and as a result my forearms remained minuscule and my grip strength was like that of a ten-year-old boy.
I deprived my forearms of the basic training needed for growth. I couldn’t even hold a 50-pound weight without my hands killing me. As I have finally learned: you’re only as strong as your grip. Using this mind set, I sucked it up and started lifting without gloves or straps. The first week or so my hands were callusing and bleeding like hell. A month later, my forearms have looked nearly twice the size and my grip strength has improved dramatically.
Follow this advice and workout plan to succeed in all facets of the weight room:
DO NOT wear gloves or straps for a month. Quit your complaining and deal with the pain. It will be worth it at the end, I promise you. Under all circumstances, do not let your hands touch gloves or straps for a month. Use the same weight you did and each week increase the weight. Let your hands adapt to the new feeling of fresh skin grinding against the iron. After about a week or so, your hands will stop callusing and bleeding and it will feel like you are wearing invisible gloves. After the month of no gloves/straps, start using gloves/straps on a couple of your hardest sets. You will see a huge difference in how much you can grip and do from the month before. But remember, only use straps for the heavier compound movements like deadlifts or bent over one arm dumbbell rows and only on your heaviest sets.
Train forearms three times a week. Train them extremely hard on an arm day (preferably biceps) and train them moderately on other days. Make sure you train them at the end of your workouts once they are fatigued.
The wrist roller is the single best exercise for forearms. It gives the best burn and fatigue in your forearms and wrists, more so than anything. If your gym doesn’t have one, go out and buy one. You can do it in your home. Make sure you complete a full range of motion with your arms extended outward; feel the burn!
Do not forget, under any circumstances, you’re only as strong as your grip. Train it as if it were any other body part. You wouldn’t neglect your chest, now would you?
Point and laugh at those who use straps/gloves. They can’t handle the metal like you can.
Wrist Roller: 5 sets to failure. Try to stick with a five-pound plate and try to roll the rope down and up three times in one set. Feel the severe burn.
Barbell Palms Up Wrist Curls: 3 sets to failure
Barbell Palms Down Wrist Curls: 3 sets to failure
Wrist Roller: 3 sets to failure. Try to stick with a five-pound plate and try to roll the rope down and up three times in one set. Feel the severe burn.