Do Fat Gripz work?
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In this article I will aim to answer the question “do fat gripz work?” in an elaborate manner. I will cover what they are, how they can improve grip strength, exercises that can be done with them as well as the exercises that I do myself with these tools. By the end you will have a great knowledge about Fat Gripz and how they can serve you in your own bodybuilding training.
What are Fat Gripz?
Most bodybuilders will likely be aware of what these tools are but their use is still not as widespread as it should be within the bodybuilding and fitness community. Essentially Fat Gripz are made from a tough compound a lot like rubber. They can be pulled open and put onto dumbbells, barbells and lots of other implements to make the bar fatter and therefore provide a unique challenge to your grip and forearms. It makes them work a lot harder when performing the same exercise but can spur on more muscle growth in the process.
Fat Gripz normal or extreme?
There are two different types of Fat Gripz – the normal blue ones shown above and extreme. The difference is in the outer diameter, the blue Fat Gripz have an outer diameter of 2.25 inches, the extreme has an outer diameter of 2.75 inches. For the majority of bodybuilders the blue ones will suffice. I have owned the blue ones for many years now and they have served me incredibly well in my training.
How can Fat Gripz improve grip strength?
Fat Gripz help to improve your grip strength a lot as when used they make all the implements you are training with a lot fatter. Therefore your hands have to work much harder to maintain grip, activating more muscle fibres in the forearms and hands. This phenomenon is known as muscle irradiation.
Your grip will become stronger as a result and as you use heavier weights over time with the Fat Gripz on different exercises your grip will only get stronger. In turn you will pack on more mass onto your forearms and upper arms. It is always recommended to use lifting chalk when you are using these tools as it will ensure your grip is at it’s best. Sweaty hands will only hinder your efforts when using Fat Gripz and can also increase injury risk.
Examples of exercises where you can use Fat Gripz
The joy of Fat Gripz lies in their simplicity and versatility and the fact that they can be used for countless exercises. I will provide some main exercises here where the Fat Gripz can provide great utility:
- Bench Press – One of the most common exercise amongst bodybuilders, doing this exercise with Fat Gripz will make your stabiliser muscles work even harder and provide carry over when going back to normal bench pressing. Just remember that you won’t be able to use as much weight.
- Deadlift- The benefit of using Fat Gripz here is obvious, it will strengthen your grip substantially when you go back to doing normal deadlifts. No more grip problems!
- Zottman Curls – These curls are fantastic for spurring on massive forearm growth and when done with Fat Gripz you will get even better results and freaky forearms. Simply curl the dumbbells up as normal, when you get to the top twist your wrists inward 180 degrees and lower down. Lower down slowly for even more of a burn!
- Dumbbell Curls – Can be used for the standard dumbbell curls as well.
- Hammer Curls – Can be used for this variation to work the brachialis harder and gain more forearm mass.
- Reverse Curls – Will make your forearms scream when you try it with Fat Gripz. The pump will be insane.
- Wrist Curls – Another variation for you to try.
- Rows – Can add fat gripz to dumbbell rows, barbell rows, seated rows or machine rows to make your grip work harder.
- Tricep Pushdowns – Try adding fat gripz to the rope, is a great way to provide unique muscle stimulation when performing pushdowns.
- Pulldowns – Can be added to various attachments for pulldowns to challenge the grip a lot more.
These are the main exercises where I feel Fat Gripz would be of best use. However there are many other exercises where you can use them. The limit is only your own imagination.
Exercises I do with the Fat Gripz
In my own training over the years I have preferred to use Fat Gripz for dumbbell zottman curls, dumbbell hammer curls, rope pushdowns, machine rows and pulldowns. In addition I have done farmers walks with Fat Gripz wrapped around dumbbells. Simply put the Fat Gripz on a pair of dumbbells and go for a walk around the gym. This is a great way to tax the grip as well as getting all the benefits that the farmers walk provides. Great trap development, forearms, upper back as well as the cardio and fat burning element to it if the walk is very long. The last two exercises where I have used Fat Gripz are for pull ups and barbell holds for time. Those two exercises will really fry your grip and make it substantially stronger.
In closing, I hope this article has gone a long way in answering the question definitively “do Fat Gripz work?”. The answer from my experiences is a resounding yes. Not only are they very affordable but they last forever – if you don’t lose them!
In addition they are proven to improve your grip strength when used consistently and applying the principle of progressive overload when using them in your training.
In my case, using them consistently over the years has added a lot more mass to my forearms and improved my grip further. Not many commercial gyms have specific “fat bars” therefore these tools have provided a massive benefit to both the bodybuilding and strength training communities. The only sad thing is that not everyone is using them. Look around any commercial gym and you will barely see anyone using them in their training. Even if you go to hardcore gyms with hardcore lifters it is not a tool which everyone has. In my view I feel it is a must for any bodybuilder and lifter, the forearm gains and grip gains alone make it an absolute no brainer!
If you have any questions about Fat Gripz please leave them in the comments. I would also love to know if you use these tools in your own training. If you do please let me know which exercises you enjoy the most with the Fat Gripz. You can get your Fat Gripz HERE.