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Why wrist strength matters, and 2 ways to test it.

Millenniums ago, men used to be tested on their strength to determine if they will outlast others. The stronger you were, the higher the probability of you outlasting your tribe. Survival of the fittest, literally. This post focusses on testing your strength by giving you some ways to analyze it. But before you do that, we strongly recommend you to visit one of our previous posts where we talk about training gear for wrist exercises. Experiment with some of them before you take these tests.

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To begin with, we need to break a myth. Unless you are the mountain in Game of Thrones, you most likely won’t be able to just rip a phonebook in half. We are not saying it can’t be done. If you have the patience to split the process into multiple steps spanning a few days, you can rip it apart with just your grip strength. Wikihow has a step-by-step instruction for you if you are one of those people.

mm1 - Why wrist strength matters, and 2 ways to test it.

There have been many debates on whether wrist strength measurements suggest anything at all for that matter. While it may not be an indicative measurement for everyone, it does have its advantages. Grip strength, as we have covered in other posts, is an indicator of overall muscular strength and endurance. While strength and endurance are too complex of metrics to measure, grip strength is relatively easy to.In addition, certain professions rely on grip strength, for example  climbing, lifting, hoisting ladders etc. A reliable rating of your current level of strength may just prevent avoidable injuries.

Dynamometer

The handgrip dynamometer is a standard way to test wrist strength. It is a handheld apparatus, as the name suggests. It provides a real-time digital reading of your strength. It is even used in physical therapy. Camry’s digital dynamometer is a great product to check out. Check out instructions online on how to use this.

Cable tensiometers

These are less prevalent compared to dynamometers. As the name suggests, it is an apparatus designed to measure tension. The cable can be attached to an object which you can pull against. Academic research conducted by Taylor & Francis has indicated the relevance of this instrument to our case.

DIY at home

If you don’t have a dynamometer, you can get a rough estimate of your grip strength using just a pull-up bar and a bathroom scale. The process is quite long though. Check out Wikihow for the full process.

Low-carb and low-fat are not universally healthy!

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to food and diet. We tend to believe in a lot of “sexy” consumables, such as quinoa, soy, semi-skimmed milk, grilled chicken breast,  broccoli etc., as somewhat of a universally prescribed diet when it comes to eating healthy. There is also a sort of an addition in the western world to the concept of “low-carb”. Anything that is low in carbs is by extension healthy. We beg to refute this hypothesis.

The first thing that a lot of people still fail to understand is that there is no standard definition of a healthy diet. What categorizes as healthy for us depends on a multitude of factors – genetics, external environment, exercise routine, lifestyle and so on. Men focused on strength training and bodybuilding must eat a different diet as compared to athletes or martial artists. I remember when I first stepped into the gym as a skinny kid to start my strength training. My trainer told me to eat a couple of cheeseburgers pre and post workout. Now obviously, a cheeseburger is unhealthy from any point of view. But his idea was that the heavy carb and fat intake would aid my workout session, which at the time was intense and new for my body.

A second misconception, as briefly pointed out earlier, is an almost blind faith in the “low-carb” and “low-fat” movement. Our body depends on five key nutrients, two of them being carbohydrates and fats. We are not genetically programmed to survive without these nutrient classes. A high dose of carbs and fats are essential especially for Olympic powerlifters and CrossFit athletes. The reason why we want to mention the case of Phelps is to point out the blatant hypocrisy that exists today when we view food.

carb - Low-carb and low-fat are not universally healthy!

Phelps is famously known for his 12,000 calorie per day meal. His lunch and dinner included pasta, pizza and more than 1000 calories of energy drinks. No one can judge if that is in fact too much or too less when you factor in his intense physical exertions. Phelps did, however, have an incredibly successful Olympic career. He also was consistent in the food that he ate, and the ingredients they were made from.

Which brings us to the source of food that we eat. Believe it or now, organic is not for everyone. This is very much driven by genetics. Our body is accustomed to a certain category of ingredients and has learnt over a period of time to break down those ingredients with speed and efficiency. A radical change of food source, even if it is to an organic diet, may not work out for you at all.

We advise you to experiment with different kinds of food and have a consistent workout schedule to complement your intake. A cheeseburger may not be a bad solution for you if you do endurance training 3 times a week or more, as my old trainer wisely once said.

6 great training gears and apparatus for Arm wrestling

If you want to do arm wrestling, you need the right apparatus. And we know some great products priced inexpensively. We provide here some recommendations on tables, grip gear, training handles and so on. We have used these personally and are satisfied with their performance, comfort and ease of use. Here you go!

Combat Armsports – Pro-Series Armwrestling Table

The combat armsports pro-series armwrestling table is the definition of strength. In fact, the manufacturers say that the table can survive a battle zone. Despite the delicate and industrial grade manufacturing, the table is actually portable. It can be dismantled and transported easily. We use this regularly at our armwrestling tournaments. Funnily enough, we have actually tried different ways to try to break the able without success. Definitely a recommendation.

Pinch block dumbbell set –  Strongergrip

Strongergrip’s dumbbell set is a great set of apparatus to increase grip strength. It doesn’t come along with dumbbells, but then if you are a strength fitness trainer you probably have a few sets of pins lying around. For more on pinching, check out our post on grip strength where we talk a bit about how to use it and its advantages here.

http://www.armwrestling-supersite.com/heavygrips.htm

Wrist rattler – Strongergrip

Stongergrip’s wrist rattler is another ingenious product to use. It can be used for normal training and Olympic powerlifting. It can be used with bands or pulleys. You can plug in your dumbbell pins with this to enhance your grip strength.

Qingre Arm Workout Machine

Qingre is an Amazon supplier and has designed a great product for your use. Their Arm workout machines are resistance bands, priced at as low as $16, to both increase grip strength and burn calories. Talk about killing two birds with one shot! The product is extremely durable as well.

Arm Blaster

This is quite cool actually. Its function is to isolate your biceps and triceps so that you get maximum effect. With the Arm blaster, you can keep other muscles locked to activate your arms. It is priced at just $40 in Amazon. We strongly recommend this to beginners and amateurs who are unable to work out or isolate a particular muscle.

Vikingstrength

With a name like Viking strength, do we really need to recommend this more! In seriousness, this is a product that thickens grips and accelerates muscle growth. The way it happens is that by increasing the grip on, say a dead lift, you activate the muscles better and make the workout more efficient. It is preferred by athletes, Olympic powerlifters and professional bodybuilders. Not a necessary item for the average gym-goer.

Go through the product description in the manufacturer’s or retailer’s website and carefully assess if it makes sense for you at this time. We hope they add value to you as much as they did to us.

4 reasons you should consider wrestling as a hobby

How many of us, as children, grew up with and marveled at the great WWF superstars of our generation! Stone Cold Steve Austin, Dwayne ‘the rock’ Johnson, Triple H, Shawn Michaels… the list goes on. A lot of millennials and Gen X were inspired by wrestling. We give you a few reasons why you should consider wrestling as a serious hobby.

You learn to pick yourself up

Learning from failure is one of the key skills we need in life. Wrestling is perhaps the only sport, other than boxing, where you fall down at an alarming frequency. The greatest wrestlers always find a way to pick themselves up. If you think that is purely down to physical strength, think again. How many times have we seen the small guy pull one over the big guy. Wrestling involves more than 60% mental strength.  Even if you may need a chiropractor in plano, getting back up is always worth it.

Never stop moving

We always think of sport is extremely tactical. There are times when you attack, times when you defend and times when you just have to stay still. This can be illustrated with the example of soccer, where at certain points in the game you have to keep the ball and maintain possession. In wrestling, you can never stop moving. One moment of inaction can equal failure. It teaches us an important life lesson.

wrest - 4 reasons you should consider wrestling as a hobby

You learn to manage emotions

It is very rare that pure emotion trumps technique in wrestling. Fighting erratically usually costs you the game. Human being are inherently emotional beings. While we always want to be driven by logic, our emotion can easily take over a situation. Wrestling is a sport where emotions can flare up. In that case, you have to learn how to take control of the situation. Whilst this is easier said than done, you learn how to have this control with more experience.

You will control your diet

Once you are in the world of professional or even amateur wrestling, the last thing you want is to look like a fool in the ring. Wrestling forces you into adopting a certain diet. You learn to keep your indulgences in check as you don’t want to build that extra layer of fat that could cost you in a game. In fact, if wrestling is taught from a younger age, children learn to manage their diet without parents constantly watching over them.

These are just some of the reasons why we recommend you to take up wrestling. While some of the factors mentioned above are true if you take up any sport or athletics, there are some factors, such as the ability to be on the move constantly, which is very unique to wrestling.

5 great resources to get a comprehensive fitness view

Outside of our blog, we recommend you to check out some amazing resources related to bodybuilding, endurance and arm wrestling. With these resources, you should be able to educate yourselves on all aspects of fitness. Here are some recommendations:

Bodybuilding.com

screen1 - 5 great resources to get a comprehensive fitness view

This is the biggest online resource for anything related to fitness. Bodybuilding.com has blogs, workout plans, nutrition plans and an online shop. It is universally loved by its community and has a huge network of trainers and bodybuilders. Whether you are a martial artist, athlete, sportsperson or a strength trainer, you need to keep this in your sight at all times.

Men’s Health

Yet another famous online resource followed by men worldwide. There are even more categories here that cater to every profile. For muscle building, there are bulk-up tips, six-pack tips etc. When it comes to sports, there are blogs catered to Rugby. Cycling, running and adventure. Men’s health presents to you real life cases and stories of people who have achieved incredible feats. It is a motivational read as well.

Armwrestling: How to Become a Champion by Ernie Jeffrey

This book remains the classic arm wrestling book, adored by millions throughout the globe. Ernie Jeffrey is one of the biggest trainers in arm wrestling history. He trained a lot of champion wrestlers in his time. The book talks about all aspects of an arm wrestlers’ life – Will power, speed, adjusting the body, focusing on opponent’s strengths, building up energy, rules to be followed while arm wrestling, fairness and numerous other aspects.

youtube - 5 great resources to get a comprehensive fitness view

YouTube

If you have time to spare, why not watch some videos of arm wrestling competitions to learn what it actually looks like. There are thousands of tutorials that teach you step-by-step on how to position your arm, adjust to movements, apply strength and conserve strength. Watching videos gives you a better idea as our brains are able to process images much easier than words.

The Science of Fitness: Power, Performance, and Endurance

This is one of the best books ever written that provide a scientific explanation on health, nutrition and training. Knowing the science behind any process we follow is essential to doing it correctly. Greg LeMond, the author, looks at our cellular structure and functionality and makes a correlation with human performance. Endurance and the limits of our performance are related to how fast our body is able to pump blood to reach our muscles to oxygenate them.

We will update this post as and when we find more interesting resources. Do remember to revisit this post soon!

4 life lessons we can learn from the greatest armwrestlers

Arm wrestling is awesome, let’s face it! It is a brilliant display of strength and gets you a lot of laurels. There have been some amazing arm wrestlers in our times, such as Denis Cyplenkov, John Brzenk and Devon Larratt. While it is fun just to rewatch videos of their feats, there is also a lot that can be learnt from them. Here we list some of those lessons.

arm2 - 4 life lessons we can learn from the greatest armwrestlers

Strength training is never-ending

Over at Armwrestling Supersite, we admire the drive and motivation that fuels professional wrestlers and boxers. People always think that a bulky frame is a sign of vanity, but that is not entirely true. A lot of great sports are based on having a bulky body and frame. Building and maintaining such a frame is extremely difficult. Professionals sacrifice a lot of things in their lives and dedicate themselves entirely to their training regimen. Some don’t even indulge even for a day in their lives.

If you want an idea of some of their training routines, check out one of our posts here.

http://www.armwrestling-supersite.com/heavygrips.htm

Mental fortitude is key

Strength is not the only requirement. If you are or desire to be a professional arm wrestler, you need to sharpen your mental faculties. You will likely go through a significant amount of failures due to the ever increasing competition in this field. Overcoming those failures and persevering is a sign of your mental state. Denis Cyplenkov, known fondly as ‘The Hulk’, had to go through a lot of obstacles in his fledgling life back in Ukraine. Today he is the most well-known figure in his field of profession.

arm - 4 life lessons we can learn from the greatest armwrestlers

Be competitive

Humility is not going to help you in the field, we are afraid to say. We have followed the lives of many professional arm wrestlers and have even had the good fortune to interview some of them. Being competitive every second of your life is crucial. You can never afford to show any sign of weakness. Arm wrestlers usually stare into their opponents’ eyes during a match to check their mental stability.

Indulge to an extent, but never overdo it

It’s unfair for us to tell you never to indulge in life. We all have our cravings and desires. The requirement is to keep a check on our indulging. Diet is crucial to fitness, and it applies equally to arm wrestling. To have a strong arm, the rest of your body needs to be strong enough to provide an able support.

We hope these lessons give you some idea into what it takes to become a professional arm wrestler. If you do apply these in life, make sure you stick to the plan and never swerve off from the road.

4 ways to gain the ultimate grip strength

This is our area, really! Arm wrestling is one of our favorite pastimes within our community. We constantly test ourselves against Matt, the strongest one in the group, to find out if our strength has shown signs of progress. A good arm wrestler focuses on a variety of muscles to improve his skills. One of the key areas to focus is the grip.

Studies have shown that a strong grip has a positive correlation with endurance and upper body strength. Knowing that makes it more motivating to focus on grip strength. A stronger grip also means a stronger handshake, something to take note of the professional man. It is widely perceived that a strong handshake is the first sign of positive impression you can convey.

 There are basically three types of grip strength – Crush (between fingers and palm), Pinch (between fingers and thumb) and Support. The type of grip strength you would want to enhance depends on its relevance to you and your motivations. An athlete’s grip strength focus will naturally differ from a boxer’s focus. This is because grip strength is not just used while lifting weights, which is what most of us would first attribute it to, but also while performing high endurance and high stamina exercises such as boxing or martial arts.

Ways to gain the ultimate grip include:

More reps during exercises

Performing more reps during exercises, preferably with lower weights, increases the grip movement and speed. The muscles in that area learn to adapt to high intensity situations. If you are a martial artist or athlete, this is crucial. It increases body resilience. This is, however, a wrongly perceived advice. Most bodybuilders hate the notion of working with lower weights as they think it doesn’t stress your muscle enough to hit fatigue. The thing to keep in mind is that ere the objective is different.

reps - 4 ways to gain the ultimate grip strength

Hang off a bar

Great exercise, and easy to accomplish. When you are doing pull-ups and have stressed out your deltoids and upper back muscles, why not hang off the bar and take some rest, while simultaneously increasing your grip strength!

Crush things

The easiest one to accomplish, and the most commonly known. Take a small rubber ball or similar object and keep squeezing in and out. Do this for a longer time with higher reps as it is not at all taxing on your body. A way to track your progress here is using a timer and measuring your frequency.

Pinching

Pinching is relatively difficult and taxing. Basically you stack up a series of weights on a tube or a bar and life it with an overhand grip. This is a test of pure strength and involves multiple muscles. The idea here is to stretch other muscles to a lesser extent and use your wrists more.

Whilst doing all this, note the causes of wrist injury and don’t overdo these workouts. Check out our post on avoiding wrist injuries at:

http://www.armwrestling-supersite.com/wrist.htm

How to avoid injury and to strengthen your wrists

All of us have had a wrist injury at least once. The wrist is a collection of carpal bones present in the human body between the arm and forearm. Gym-goers would tend to tell you that it is one of the weakest joints in our body and is seriously injury-prone. However it is excessively and sometimes unnecessarily used. How does this happen, and how can we take reasonable precautions against this?

Before we go into workouts, it Is important to understand the physiological structure of the wrist. The wrist is comprised of a lot of things – muscles, nerves, blood vessels, ligaments and so on. As a result, it is extremely delicate and tightly wound. Any incorrect movement imposed on it can lead to unwanted consequences.

Let us look at some common exercises that involve flexing the wrist – pushups, biceps curl, squats with weighted bars etc. All these are supposed to focus on non-related muscles, and yet involve strain on the wrists. This is more likely to happen when we load weights that our muscles cannot support. In that case, we have a natural tendency to use our wrists to support the weight, thus leading to the possibility of injury.

gym2 - How to avoid injury and to strengthen your wrists

A common way to avoid such injuries is the use of a wristband to add support to the wrists. This wristband, whilst helpful, is just a way to reduce the impact of an injury. It doesn’t eliminate the likelihood of the injury happening. The only solution is to lift weights carefully and apply only the muscles that can bear the weight. When doing a biceps curl, for example, if you are lifting a 25kg dumbbell and you feel your biceps completely stretched, don’t exceed the 25kg till your biceps have gotten used to the weight in a natural manner.

Beyond these precautions, you can always train your wrists to be more durable. There are exercises such as lever lift and forearm curls to curl your wrists whilst keeping your arms straight. In these exercises, only the wrist muscle is stretching and contracting whilst lifting the weight. You may use a barbell or dumbbell for these exercises. In lever lifts, you generally use a barbell with a weight on only one end.

To summarize, there are three things to always take note of when you do strength training – always wear a wrist band, ensure you feel the right muscles stretching when working out, and finally spend atleast a day of the week doing wrist curls to strengthen your wrists.

2 muscles that we just cannot ignore, and why.

If you have been hitting the gym regularly, you know and understand these terminologies well – pecs, deltoids, hamstrings, glutes, lats and so on. They are the names of key muscles in our body that we work out. To have an optimal body, we need to work out each and every muscle to an optimum level. But do we?

Men always want a big, broad chest, broad shoulders and strong legs. It Is ingrained into us psychologically that men need a strong body to protect themselves and their loved ones. For that reason alone, it is impossible to find a strength trainer in the gym who doesn’t do a bench press to work out the pecs, weighted squats to work out the quadriceps or a dead-lift to work out the hamstrings and lower back.

There are, however, some exercises that we should be doing but aren’t that sexy enough. Take our calves for example. Our calves have the biggest job of supporting the rest of the body as it builds up mass. If our calves don’t possess the required strength, it puts unnecessary pressure on our weaker joints such as the knees and ankles. In fact, a lot of bodybuilders experience pain in their joints as they didn’t pay enough attention to their calves.

gym - 2 muscles that we just cannot ignore, and why.

Another key muscle we ignore is the glutes. Did you know that the gluteus maximus – the official name for the muscle – is the largest in the human body? It has the ability to support the body if built properly. And yet, we focus all our attention on our quadriceps and hamstrings, the muscles being supported by the gluteus. The next time you do a squat, stretch your muscles all the way till you feel your glutes stretch.

We end this post with a recommendation that you go through genericfitness and strength training related blogs and read up as much as possible on all muscles you need to work out.

3 warm-up exercises that are crucial to your training

All of us prefer to have broad shoulders, rippling muscles and ribbed abdomens. Here at Armwrestling supersite, we focus on arms but also on overall body fitness. To build your deltoids, shoulders, biceps and triceps, the rest of your body needs to be able to support the mass built. This post will focus on a holistic bodybuilding approach for strength trainers.

Most of us have a different approach to training. It is difficult and perhaps wrong to say that one will always work and the other will always not. On average, there are a few exercises that we all do as they are absolutely essential to maintaining a bulky and fit physique. These are exercises that focus on multiple muscles simultaneously, such as push-ups (chest, triceps and shoulders), pull-ups (lats, deltoids and biceps) and squats (glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps).

trainign2 - 3 warm-up exercises that are crucial to your training

The idea is that while you maintain a different training routine every day at the gym, you still repeat certain exercises such as the ones mentioned above each day in varying quantities. For example, push-ups and squats are great warm-up exercises on the days you don’t use them as your core strength workout. They stretch multiple muscles and prepares them for an intense workout session.

Warm-ups are essential whilst doing strength training. If you are a seasoned bodybuilder, you stress your muscles to immense fatigue each day. If your muscles are not used to the contractions, you stand the risk of serious injury or soreness in the following days. Here it is vital to point out the difference between warm-ups and stretches. Stretches are mostly static exercises and barely affect blood circulation, whereas warm-ups are more dynamic in nature and help blood flow and oxygenation of muscles.

We hope this has given you an idea of good warm-up practices that you should always follow, regardless of whether you do a strength session or cardio to tone your body.