Fat Gripz are designed with one purpose and one purpose only...to make the circumference of the bar you're gripping on BIGGER.
Essentially, Fat Gripz allow you to turn any ordinary bar into a fat bar, which will be much thicker around than that normal bar.
What's So Good About Fat Bar Training?
Fat bar training is is incredibly effective for developing grip and forearm strength.
In addition to this, I've also found the wider open-hand position to increase neuromuscular activation in the larger muscles of the arms (biceps and triceps), leading to improved contraction and growth.
Fat bar training attacks what is normally the weakest link of a given lift, and this is often hand and grip strength.
When you eliminate the weak link, your progress is no longer held back by it and you can achieve some very fast increases in strength and muscle growth, especially in the arms.
How Fat Gripz Work
The premise behind Fat Gripz is simple...they consist of a VERY high density molded piece of rubber that opens on the side. This allows you to clamp the Fat Gripz right onto the bar, making the area where you're gripping onto the bar bigger (i.e. fat).
Like I said, very simple!
Fat Gripz vs Fat Gripz Extreme
The original Fat Gripz (blue color) are excellent and should be the starting point for anybody looking at trying out fat bar training using Fat Gripz. They're the "smaller" of the two Fat Gripz options.
Once you've been using them for a few months, then you can graduate to the Fat Gripz Extreme (red color). These give you a step up in thickness and are definitely for the more advanced trainer.
What Exercises Can You Do With Fat Gripz?
Honestly, you can do pretty much any exercise that you can do without Fat Gripz. Your only limitation will be how much weight you can actually hold onto when you're using the Fat Gripz (for pulling exercises). They're designed to be worked seamlessly into your current training.
Here are a few examples of exercises, along with some tips and tricks for use:
Bench Press With Fat Gripz
When doing bench press with Fat Gripz, you'll want to start out with just the empty bar first, in order to ensure you're placing them properly on the bar so your grip spacing is right.
The opening should be facing UP. When you're under the bar, you don't want that open section pinching your hands.
I recommend using the smooth rings on the Olympic bar to gauge placement. For me, I line up the inner/bottom of the beveled edge with the inner edge of the smooth ring. That allows me to get the exact sample placement on the other Fat Gripz for the other hand.
Perform the bench press as you normally would. One thing you'll notice is that when you come to the top lockout position, you may not be able to fully lockout the elbows. This is normal, due to the thickness of the Fat Gripz...it also functions to keep the tension on the pecs at the top, which is a nice bonus.
Chin-Ups With Fat Gripz
When doing chins with the Fat Gripz, you'll want the opening to be on the bottom, even though your palm is on the bottom. The reason for this is gravity...when you do a chin, you're pulling down on the bar, which raises your body up. If the opening is on top, there's very little to stop the bar from popping through the opening.
Keep in mind, your grip WILL fail before your chin-up strength fails. To get around this, what I like to do is complete the set until I can't hold on with the Fat Gripz...then slide them to the sides, then continue the set holding onto the bar. This gives you the grip work and allows you to still get the back and bicep workload you're looking for.
Using Fat Gripz on Dumbbells
You're not limited to just barbells and chin-up bars with the Fat Gripz...you can use them on dumbbells and machines with handles as well. They're designed to fit perfectly on a standard size dumbbell handles and, just like the barbells, they clamp on and pull off very quickly and easily.
Here's an example of using Fat Gripz on dumbbell curls and shoulder presses. When curling, the opening should be away from the palms, just like in the presses.
Several Important Cautions To Note About Training With Fat Gripz...
While being GREAT training tools, there are a few cautions you should know about when it comes to training with Fat Gripz.
1. When you first start training with these, you'll notice you have a bit less control over the bar. This will improve in time as your grip and forearm strength improves. Reduce your training weights until you get used to the different feel and mechanics.
2. When doing dumbbell exercises like Dumbbell Bench Press, even though it's a pressing exercise, you still have to get the dumbbells into position by lifting them off the floor. If your grip isn't strong enough to get them off the floor, they're going to slip and drop. In addition, your grip may be strong enough to get them off the floor and into position, but you may have a hard time setting them back down without letting them drop out of your hands. In this case, you may be best served having a spotter to help you.
3. As I mentioned above, start with the original blue Fat Gripz if you've never done fat bar training before. Your hands and forearms need to get used to the wider position before your progress to the Fat Gripz Extreme.
Bottom Line...Are Fat Gripz Effective for Building Grip Strength and Arm Size and Strength?
The answer to that is an absolute YES. Fat bar training has been proven time and again to be extremely effective in this regard and Fat Gripz mimic fat bar training perfectly.
This is a HIGHLY recommended training accessory that has tremendous potential to improve not only your grip strength but your overall total-body strength as well.
Fat Gripz are built to last and, unless you purposefully do something stupid like take a chainsaw to it, the chances of you actually wrecking one are pretty much zero.
Fat Gripz are a great investment...very effective, portable (fit in a gym bag easily) and convenient. I personally think these belong in the arsenal of EVERY serious trainer.
|Where to Get Extremes: if you're interested in getting a pair of the Extremes, once you get to their site (and after you read through their info), scroll all the way down to the very bottom of the page and click the "View All Products" button.|
More From Fitstep.com
|You're Breathing Wrong...Here's Why...|
|Fat Loss Circuit Training With Dumbbell Crawling|
|Exercise At Home With Improvised Equipment|
|Breathe Backwards For More Effective Pulldowns|