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  1. I thought I'd begin posting my workouts, not all but some, for personal reference and hopefully it may interest others. This training journal will detail full body workouts performed from 3 days a week to as much as 6 days a week. It will also detail split training workouts from time to time (depending upon how I feel), and grip training. A variety of thick grip training tools will be used throughout my training which will include, axles, thick grip dumbbells, fat grips, alpha grips, etc. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask. I will also post links to the training equipment I use. Yesterday (Mon 19 July 2021) I performed a full body training session to find my 5 rep max on various exercises. Max attempts were performed as strictly as possible. Full workout took well over 3 hours! I wouldn't normally train this way but I wanted to perform all my training lifts in one workout instead of taking it over two or more days. I didn't rest long between sets, as soon as I got my breath back I proceeded to the next set / exercise. The purpose of finding my 5 rep max lifts is to use a percentage of that max lift for future "Full Body Workout" sessions. 3/4 SQUAT (2" Thick Watson Barbell) - Check out this bar here. 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 40kg (88 lbs) - 5 reps 50kg (110 lbs) - 5 reps 60kg (132 lbs) - 5 reps 70kg (154 lbs) - 5 reps 80kg (176 lbs) - 5 reps 90kg (198 lbs) - 5 reps 100kg (220 lbs) - 5 reps 110kg (242 lbs) - 5 reps 120kg (264 lbs) - 5 reps 130kg (286 lbs) - 5 reps 140kg (308 lbs) - 5 reps 150kg (330 lbs) - 5 reps 160kg (352 lbs) - 5 reps No knee wraps or belt was used. Top weight (marked in red) was 160kg. I achieved 5 reps and should have added more weight but decided not to. I perform 3/4 reps instead of full squats due to past knee injuries. I also tore my left quad muscle two years ago (non weight training related) and to this day I'm still worried about it happening again. So from a leg training point of view, I'm still experimenting. RACK DEADLIFTS (2.36" Thick Axle - Pulling from just above knees) - Check out this bar here. 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 40kg (88 lbs) - 5 reps 50kg (110 lbs) - 5reps 60kg (132 lbs) - 5 reps 70kg (154 lbs) - 5 reps 80kg (176 lbs) - 4 reps My grip gave out on the last set so I wasn't able to achieve 5 reps which meant my top set (marked in red) was only 70kg. I don't perform full deadlifts from the floor at this moment in time due to a past injury. I will gradually increase the range of motion over time. However I do like rack pulls and so may stick with them and just avoid full range deadlifts. FLAT BARBELL BENCH PRESS (2" Thick Watson Barbell) 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 40kg (88 lbs) - 5 reps 50kg (110 lbs) - 5 reps 60kg (132 lbs) - 5 reps 65kg (143 lbs) - 5 reps 70kg (154 lbs) - 5 reps 75kg (165 lbs) - 5 reps 80kg (176 lbs) - 5 reps 85kg (187 lbs) - 4 reps LAT PULLDOWN MACHINE (Wide-Grip Watson 2" Thick Handle) - Check out this handle here. 20kg (45 lbs) - 10 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 40kg (88 lbs) - 5 reps 50kg (110 lbs) - 5 reps 55kg (121 lbs) - 5 reps 60kg (132 lbs) - 5 reps 65kg (143 lbs) - 5 reps 70kg (154 lbs) - 5 reps 75kg (165 lbs) - 4 reps INCLINE BARBELL BENCH PRESS (2 Plates steep - 2" Thick Watson Bar) 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 40kg (88 lbs) - 5 reps 50kg (110 lbs) - 5 reps 60kg (132 lbs) - 5 reps 70kg (154 lbs) - 5 reps 75kg (165 lbs) - 5 reps 80kg (176 lbs) - 5 reps 85kg (187 lbs) - 2 reps LAT PULLDOWN MACHINE (Gym Pin "D handle" bar + Two Rolling Thunder Thick Grip Revolving Handles) 10kg (22 lbs) - 5 reps 15kg (33 lbs) - 5 reps 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 25kg (55 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 40kg (88 lbs) - 5 reps 50kg (110 lbs) - 5 reps 55kg (121 lbs) - 5 reps 60kg (132 lbs) - 5 reps 65kg (143 lbs) - 2 reps Gym Pin website (UK based but ship world wide) - click here. Gym Pin "D handle bar" - click here. * Apply "strengtholdschool10" at checkout to SAVE 10% off your purchase at Gym-Pin. Rolling Thunder Handles - (International) click here / (UK based) click here. STANDING BARBELL SHOULDER PRESS (2" Thick Watson Barbell) 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 35kg (77 lbs) - 5 reps 40kg (88 lbs) - 5 reps 45kg (99 lbs) - 5 reps 50kg (110 lbs) - 2 reps INCLINE DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS (2 Plates steep) 10kg (22 lbs) - 5 reps 15kg (33 lbs) - 5 reps 20kg (45 lbs) - * Did not attempt * * I stopped after 2 sets. I was using adjustable dumbbells and the major negative with adjustable dumbbell handles is that after the weight is loaded, cleaning the dumbbells and resting both dumbbells on my thighs is too painful and uncomfortable. With Hex Rubber Dumbbells, this is a lot easier and much more comfortable to do. So I decided to end the exercise until I work out my options... either I switch to Hex Dumbbells (which I had initially planned to sell my collection) or I try out a device such as "Spot Grips" (expensive). ONE ARM LAT PULLDOWNS (Rolling Thunder Handle) 10kg (22 lbs) - 5 reps 15kg (33 lbs) - 5 reps 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 25kg (55 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 2 reps BARBELL ROWS (2" Thick Watson Barbell) 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 40kg (88 lbs) - 5 reps 50kg (110 lbs) - 5 reps 60kg (132 lbs) - 5 reps 70kg (154 lbs) - 5 reps 75kg (165 lbs) - 5 reps 80kg (176 lbs) - 5 reps BARBELL CURLS (2" Thick Watson Barbell) 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 22kg (48.4 lbs) - 5 reps 25kg (55 lbs) - 5 reps 27kg (59.4 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 32kg (70.4 lbs) - 5 reps 35kg (77 lbs) - 3 reps I injured my left bicep about a month ago and it bothers for curling and pulling movements or cleaning dumbbells etc. It was stupid of me to do curls as I felt the pain from the very first set! TRICEP PUSHDOWNS (2" Thick Watson EZ-CURL BAR) - Check out this handle here. 10kg (22 lbs) - 20 reps 15kg (33 lbs) - 5 reps 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 25kg (55 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 35kg (77 lbs) - 5 reps 40kg (88 lbs) - X The last set would not budge lol. STANDING ONE ARM DUMBBELL PRESS 10kg (22 lbs) - 5 reps 15kg (33 lbs) - 5 reps 20kg (45 lbs) - (L)X (R)5 reps I forgot about this exercise and decided to throw it in, probably not the best idea after hitting triceps directly. Left arm presses were a no no due to my bicep on the last set. So I stopped there. LYING EZ-CURL BAR TRICEP EXTENSIONS (2" Thick Bar) - Check out this bar here. 15kg (33 lbs) - 5 reps 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 25kg (55 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 35kg (77 lbs) - 3 reps I like this exercise but it kills the elbows! Very rarely will I attempt heavy weights on this exercise but I wanted to see where my limits were roughly. DUMBBELL CON. CURLS 8kg (17.6 lbs) - 5 reps 12kg (26.4 lbs) - 5 reps 15kg (33 lbs) - 5 reps 17kg (37.4 lbs) - 5 reps I should have added more weight but was satisfied. The above workout was recorded as a LIVE workout on Youtube. My camera lost charge towards the end of the workout I'm afraid but most of the training was recorded. OVERALL COMMENTS Some of my lifts where I used thick grip handles / barbells on pulling exercises did not display my actual 5 rep muscular max as my grip strength gave out first. So looking back I probably should have switched to a standard barbell etc to get an accurate true 5 rep muscular max lift on certain exercises. But it doesn't matter. Now I plan to create a '3 Day a Week Full Body Training routine' based on the above lifts. Workouts will be much shorter, hopefully no more than 1 hour. Light weights will be used (pumping style), no heavy training as I fully believe muscle can be built using light weight with medium to high repetitions and not training to failure! Anyway, stay tuned for future workout journals.
  2. Decided to train today and test out my grip strength by lifting a 12" long dumbbell with a 3" custom thick grip handle by Watson. UK company Watson Gym provide amazing custom gym equipment which can be shipped World Wide! They're not the usual dumbbell handles you would buy out of Argos, or a typical fitness equipment shop. These handles by Watson are custom made on ordering, manufactured to my own needs. They can be made to various lengths and grip thickness. After I failed on my heaviest attempt I decided to experiment and repeat the process but instead using a longer (20 inches) dumbbell handle with only a standard grip size (1.25") but add 3" Alpha Grips by Iron Bull Strength (* Apply "strengtholdschool" at checkout to SAVE 10%!). The plan was to test out if there was a significant difference between using thick grip custom handles and fat grips. The end result was 'no'. Here's the video: Lifts went as follows... (no chalk was used) Set 1: 3" Thick Grip Handle + 5 kg (11 lbs) - Success Set 2: 3" Thick Grip Handle + 10 kg (22 lbs) - Success Set 3: 3" Thick Grip Handle + 15 kg (22 lbs) - Success Set 4: 3" Thick Grip Handle + 20 kg (45 lbs) - Success Set 5: 3" Thick Grip Handle + 25 kg (55 lbs) - Success Set 6: 3" Thick Grip Handle + 30 kg (66 lbs) - Fail with both hands Set 1: 3" Fat Grip Handle + 5 kg (11 lbs) - Success Set 2: 3" Fat Grip Handle + 10 kg (22 lbs) - Success Set 3: 3" Fat Grip Handle + 15 kg (22 lbs) - Success Set 4: 3" Fat Grip Handle + 20 kg (45 lbs) - Success Set 5: 3" Fat Grip Handle + 25 kg (55 lbs) - Success Set 6: 3" Fat Grip Handle + 30 kg (66 lbs) - Fail with both hands I purchased my "Watson" custom dumbbell handles back in 2018. Here's a comparison between two similar dumbbell handles by Watson...Both are 12 inches long but differ in grip thickness. One measures 3 inches, the other is standard size i.e. 1.25". I was browsing through files on my computer trying to find a video or photo which showed how heavy the 3" thick grip custom dumbbell handle was and luckily I found it. I knew I had it. The handle weighed roughly 3.3 kg (7.3 lbs). I'm still in two minds whether it's worth buying thick grip implements likes axles, custom thick grip dumbbell handles etc given that it's probably much cheaper and much easier to simply slap on some Fat Grips to regular dumbbell and barbell handles. You can even simply and quickly add fat grips to the handles of cable machines and pull up bars etc, their brilliant. At this point in time I won't get rid of my custom thick grip axles and dumbbell handles but it's something to think about. My thoughts on Alpha Grips by Iron Bull Strength... These Alpha Grips by Iron Bull Strength are just as good as Fat Gripz. Different shape to Fat Gripz which I suppose is meant to suit the natural grooves of the hand better. The thick Alpha grips are slightly shorter in length also which I find better fits certain gym equipment handles. I own a set of standard dumbbell handles which unfortunately the Fat Gripz did not fit. Thankfully the Alpha Grips do. I own three sets of Alpha Grips... 2" grips, 2.5" and 3". The photo displays the 3" Alpha Grips. Surprisingly, Fat Gripz do not offer a 3" set which I don't understand. Alpha Grips are extremely handy to have to transform regular gym equipment exercises into more demanding and challenging work. They would easily fit into your gym bag for convenience. These bad boys will save you money buying thick grip barbells and thick custom dumbbell handles which can easily cost between £100 - £500+ depending on which company you buy from. The only negative I have is the friction generated from doing higher reps which tends to burn the skin slightly due to the rubber material. I don't feel this friction with regular steel barbells and dumbbells. This is not a deal breaker and I'm pleased I purchased these thick grip training tools. Definitely makes training more fun and stresses the fingers, hands, wrists and forearms very well which according to science, produces better gains in muscle and strength. Whether that's true or not, I'm not 100% sure but there's definitely more stress placed on the muscles and in a good way. Whether you buy Fat Gripz or Alpha Grips, they will last you a life time! They feel virtually indestructible. My advice...Unless you have massive hands, only buy the 2" Alpha Grips first and test them out for a period of time. Take your time to ease into thick grip training as I plunged straight into buying the 3" grips which resulted in hand and wrist pains which I assume was due to pushing too much weight too soon with such a large thicker grip. My hands just weren't used to it. As a result, I had to stop training for a period of time to let my hands, fingers, joints etc properly heal and recover. * Apply "strengtholdschool" at Iron Bull Strength checkout to SAVE 10%!
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