Meet IronMind's
Captains of Crush ®
Hand Grippers


The gold standard of hand
grippers, Captains of Crush
Grippers are the worldwide
benchmark for building and
testing your grip strength.



Captains of Crush
Grippers — Meet
the Top Ten of the
Grip Strength
World

Captains of Crush Grippers are an icon in the strength world: they are the gold standard for building and testing grip strength. With ten different strengths to choose from, they offer you a made-to-measure fit, whether you are just starting off, are rehabilitating an injury, or already have the world's strongest hands.

Designed and precision-crafted in California, USA, Captains of Crush Grippers are unique in their heritage and leading-edge quality, and in the grip training challenges and rewards they provide.

If you were to select just a single tool for increasing your grip strength, for the quickest, most effective results, Captains of Crush Grippers should be your first choice.

Captains of Crush Hand Grippers:  Guide
The Guide gets you started right, making the world-renown quality of Captains of Crush Grippers accessible to people with modest levels of grip strength. Rated at 60 pounds*, the Captains of Crush Guide is the world-class alternative to the grippers widely available in sporting goods stores.

Captain of Crush Hand Grippers:  Sport
If you are ready to move your grip training up one more notch, the Captains of Crush Sport (rated at 80 pounds*) is perfect for you: maybe you are just edging beyond the beginner ranks, or your rehabilitation is in its second round, or you need that perfect warm-up for your sport.

Captains of Crush Hand Grippers:  Trainer
Rated at 100 pounds*, the Captains of Crush Trainer is not a wimpy gripper, and chances are that if you've been lifting weights for a while or if grip strength is a part of your daily work, the Trainer will be just the right place for you to start.

Captains of Crush Hand Grippers:  No. 1
This is where things start to get serious because most people who lift weights cannot close the No. 1 Captains of Crush Gripper (rated at 140 pounds*) the first time they try, and when you can do ten honest, consecutive repetitions with this gripper, you will already have an unusually strong grip.

Captains of Crush Hand Grippers:   No. 1.5
The Captains of Crush Gripper No. 1.5 is halfway between the strength of a Captains of Crush Gripper No. 1 and a Captains of Crush Gripper No. 2; some people can progress directly from the CoC No. 1 to the CoC No. 2, but other people find this intermediary step invaluable.

Captains of Crush Hand Grippers:   No. 2
If you are strong enough to fully close the Captains of Crush Gripper No. 2 (at 195 pounds*), you have exceptionally strong hands—the kind of hand strength that will be at your beck and call day in and day out, whether on the job, at play, or in a life-or-death situation. IronMind feels that closing the Captains of Crush Gripper No. 2 marks the standard of strength for top athletes as well as for elite law enforcement and military personnel.

Captains of Crush Hand Grippers:   No. 2.5
Once you have mastered the Captains of Crush Gripper No. 2, you will undoubtedly begin to think about closing the celebrated Captains of Crush Gripper No. 3. When IronMind developed the CoC No. 2.5 in 2006, it was with the express goal of helping you get there, by giving you a bridge; strengthwise, the Captains of Crush Gripper No. 2.5 is midway between the CoC No. 2 and the CoC No. 3.

Captains of Crush Hand Grippers:   No. 3
Closing the Captains of Crush Gripper No. 3 (at 280 pounds*) is the most famous feat in the world of grip strength, and it is such an accomplishment that in 1991, IronMind began certifying people who officially achieved this landmark status in the world of grip strength. With a reputation from Anchorage to Ankara to Adelaide, closing the Captains of Crush Gripper No. 3 is the mark of a grip master.

Captains of Crush Hand Grippers:   No. 3.5
Once you have been certified on the Captains of Crush Gripper No. 3, chances are excellent that you will be looking at the Captains of Crush Gripper No. 4 with bad intentions, and to help you close the gap, IronMind developed the CoC No. 3.5, positioning it at the halfway mark between the CoC No. 3 and the CoC No. 4.

Captains of Crush Hand Grippers:   No. 4
This is it, the final word in grip strength, because closing the Captains of Crush Gripper No. 4 is so hard at 365 pounds* that when IronMind introduced it in 1994, we used to tell people to save their money and just squeeze a brick because that's about what it feels like; or we would kid them and say that we could only sell them a Captains of Crush No. 4 if they had a note from their mother.

*Please read Gripper Poundage Ratings (below) for more information on what these numbers mean.

You'll find Captains of Crush Hand Grippers in our on-line store.



Gripper Poundage
Ratings


Most poundage ratings on hand grippers are spurious at best, and without giving you a headache explaining the details, some of which get fairly technical, here are the three most important things to remember:

1. Take all hand gripper poundage ratings (even those on Captains of Crush Hand Grippers) with a grain of salt.

2. The poundage ratings on Captains of Crush Hand Grippers will give you an accurate idea of how hard it is to close one CoC Gripper compared to another CoC Gripper. Don't be surprised, though, if that "300-pound" gripper you bought somewhere else is easier to close than a No. 2 Captains of Crush Hand Gripper, for example.

3. Despite the ignorance, abuse, and downright fraud surrounding many gripper ratings, don't get hung up on the numbers if your goal is to get stronger. Train hard on whatever you have, no matter what its supposed poundage rating.


If you would like to learn more about this subject, we highly recommend the book Captains of Crush Grippers: What They Are and How to Close Them, Second Edition.
 

Training with our Captains of Crush Hand Grippers is the fastest way to get the kind of grip strength that you have dreamed of having.

Do you have the handshake of a jellyfish? Do you wish you had added grip strength for your job, hobby or favorite outdoor activity?

Are you training the rest of your body, but neglecting your hands? Are you losing lifts and giving up ground to your competitors because your grip strength lets you down?

You can turn your grip strength around and the first step is very simple: shake hands with a Captains of Crush Hand Gripper.
 
The fastest route to grip strength:
shop for Captains of Crush Hand Grippers in our on-line store.




Getting Started on Your Grip
Strength Training


We recommend that you center your grip training on a Captains of Crush Hand Gripper that you can fully close 5 to 10 times. The words "fully close" are important: IronMind's philosophy is that there are very sound reasons—both psychological and physical—why the majority of your CoC gripper training should be on full-range reps.

Physically, training over a full range builds grip strength that has better transfer to more uses. Rather than becoming a specialist on moving gripper handles over a range of, say, 3/4" (or about 2 cm), you will develop grip strength that will transfer to a much wider range of tasks, like additional feats of grip strength or real-world activities that involve grip strength.

Psychologically, training over the full range is important: we want you to develop the self-confidence that comes from doing things right and to expect success each time you put a Captains of Crush Gripper in your hand. We want you to get used to using a legal starting position and then banging the handles together with authority, rather than endlessly practicing partial reps and missed attempts.

Captains of Crush Hand Grippers come with a handy booklet of grip training directions that focus on building grip strength with low to moderate reps:

• Do 1 or 2 warm-up sets of 5 to 10 reps, using an easier hand gripper or something like our IronMind EGG

• Next do 2 or 3 maximum effort sets of moderate-to-low reps, and do this workout 3 times per week

You want to be doing serious, high-quality sets—one high-quality set is worth far more than 2 or 3 mediocre sets. Grip training is about strength—just as in lifting weights.

What you should not do, on the other hand, is endless sets of high reps, mindlessly clicking out reps on a Captains of Crush Hand Gripper that is too easy for you to close. High reps will do nothing to increase your grip strength and will only shorten the life of your hand gripper.

When Should I Train with My Captains of Crush Hand Grippers?

For best results, use your Captains of Crush Hand Grippers after you've done your other strength training that might require grip strength: you can either use your hand grippers at the end of your regular strength training workout, or on your off-days. Even though you don't have to change your clothes or go to the gym to train with your CoC hand grippers, we recommend that you take your grip strength training as seriously as if you were working on a big power clean, for example. Your grip strength training is not something to do while you're driving, sitting at your desk, or watching TV.

Moving Up From One Hand Gripper
to the Next


When you can do 10 to 12 full, consecutive reps on one Captains of Crush Hand Gripper, it's time to move up to the next level—but there is some flexibility on this. For example, Joe Kinney, the first person certified on the No. 4 Captains of Crush Gripper, advises doing negatives with a hand gripper that is too hard for you to close, although this is not recommended for beginners. Also, our No. 1.5, No. 2.5 and No. 3.5 Captains of Crush Grippers will help you make training progress through the highest levels of grip strength.

Ideally, as an intermediate or advanced grip trainee, you might want to train with several levels of Captains of Crush Grippers at one time:
  1. an easier Captains of Crush Hand Gripper for doing warm-ups
  2. a somewhat challenging Captains of Crush Hand Gripper for doing your serious work sets, training to close this gripper (handles touching) 5 to 10 times
  3. a difficult Captains of Crush Hand Gripper (one you can't close - this is your challenge CoC Gripper) for doing partials, holds, and negatives
Beef up Your Grip Strength Training
on Your Captains of Crush Hand
Grippers

Additional training tools for putting more power and variety into your grip strength training:

IMTUGs — focus on your grip training one or two fingers at a time: bringing your weaker fingers up to speed will help you finish off the last bit needed to close your Captains of Crush Hand Grippers.
IronMind EGGs — for everything from conditioning and active rest between grip strength workouts to maximum efforts that will boost your training progress with your CoC hand grippers.

Captains of Crush Grippers: What They Are and How to Close Them, Second Edition — the facts, not the fiction, about Captains of Crush Hand Grippers—and grip strength training programs that will help you tackle the slopes on the way up to the CoC summit.


Mastery of Hand Strength, Revised Edition — John Brookfield's classic and beloved book on building a formidable lower arm and grip, from your elbows to your fingertips.

The Grip Master's Manual — John Brookfield's guide to building upper-body and lower-arm and hand strength, and how-tos on feats of grip and wrist strength like bending steel, tearing cards, scrolling iron, etc.


Blueprint for Grip Strength DVD — a pile of new movements and fresh ways to get that grip you want, with a focus on closing Captains of Crush Hand Grippers, bending steel, and tearing cards, from John Brookfield.

Grip Strength for Enhanced Sports Performance DVD — Gillingham is code for grip strength, so listen up and learn a lot as Wade walks through the principles of effective hand strength training for a wide range of sports.




Certification:  Making It Official

In 1991, IronMind certified the first-ever Captain of Crush Richard Sorin for officially closing the No. 3 Captains of Crush Gripper. Over the years, as with any sport, rules for correctly closing the Captains of Crush Hand Grippers No. 3, No. 3.5, and No. 4 had to be added to cover unforeseen gaps or to maintain the integrity of the original challenge. IronMind has always been very serious about our stewardship of the Captains of Crush certification program: if others wanted to develop a diluted certification program, that was fine; but the spirit of the prestigious Captains of Crush certification program would not be compromised. It’s no accident that if you want to find the biggest names in the grip world, you will find them on the Captains of Crush Hand Grippers No. 3, No. 3.5, and No. 4 certification lists: Sorin, Brookfield, Kinney, Holle, Samuelssson, Gillingham.

Want to get certified? Close our No. 3, No. 3.5, or No. 4 Captains of Crush Hand Gripper according to our Rules for Closing and Certification and you'll join a very select group of gripsters: the world's best. Take a look at those who have already mastered the No. 3 , No. 3.5 or No. 4 Captains of Crush Hand Grippers in the ultimate test of grip strength.



For more grip strength training information and articles, visit our Read-All-About-It Resource Pages on Grip Training, Hand Grippers, and Hand Strength.

You'll find a lot of grip strength training articles in our strength journal MILO: A Journal for Serious Strength Athletes: here's a list.

Want to learn about some grip giants, like Richard Sorin, John Brookfield, Nathan Holle and J. B. Kinney? Read about gripsters certified on the No. 3, No. 3.5, and No. 4 Captains of Crush Hand Grippers? You'll find them in MILO: A Journal for Serious Strength Athletes.
 
Fact and Fiction About Captains of Crush Grippers.

Training and FAQ About Captains of Crush Grippers.

IronMind Highlights — CoC Grippers and Other Grip Milestones.




The Official Hand Gripper of:
•   The Arnold
     Sports Festival
•   The GNC Grip
     Gauntlet
•   United States
     Wristwrestling —
     United States
     Armwrestling





Made in the USA

Captains of Crush Hand Grippers are proudly crafted in the USA—and have been for over 15 years. That adds up to a lot of experience with building hand grippers, and that is why our Captains of Crush Hand Grippers are beautiful, precise, and durable: they offer the kind of quality you deserve if you are serious about your grip strength training. Rest assured that when you have a Captains of Crush Gripper in your hand, you are holding the finest hand gripper available—Captains of Crush Hand Grippers are in a class by themselves. Nobody, but nobody, makes hand grippers like IronMind.


Five Keys to
Gripper Training


Follow the generally accepted principles of safe, effective strength training:

1. warm up
2. train progressively
3. focus on intensity,
    not volume
4. recuperate in
    between workouts
5. focus on full-range     movements if your
    goal is to improve
    your hand
    strength and
    health*

*Except for specialized training, using a deep set lets you pretend that you are stronger than you really are and is ineffective for building overall grip strength




GR8™ Springs: Exclusive to Captains of Crush Hand Grippers and IMTUG™: The Two-Finger Utility Grippers

IronMind has been involved in manufacturing hand gripper springs for over 15 years, and because we've been diligent in our pursuit of perfection, our latest springs, unique to Captains of Crush Hand Grippers and IMTUG: The Two-Finger Utility Grippers, once again raised the bar in precision, durability and appearance. GR8™ Springs are available exclusively on Captains of Crush Hand Grippers and IMTUGs.



Captains of Crush Grippers:  The First Family of Hand Grippers

It might be helpful to think of our family of 10 Captains of Crush Grippers in the following key groups:

First Steps — Captains of Crush Hand Grippers: Guide, Sport and Trainer

The Captains of Crush Trainer was developed in 1992 as IronMind's original bridge gripper, providing a safe and effective way to travel from the grippers found in sporting goods stores to the heart of the Captains of Crush line (see The Classic Core below). In 2004, IronMind extended this approach, developing the Captains of Crush Guide and the Captains of Crush Sport, two grippers designed to overlap strength-wise with what you would find in a local sporting goods or exercise equipment store, but with the same superb quality of all the other Captains of Crush Grippers.

The Classic Core — Captains of Crush Hand Grippers:  No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4

In 1990, IronMind developed the No. 1, the No. 2 and the No. 3 CoCs, and these are the classic core of the Captains of Crush Gripper family. In 1994, recognizing that, incredibly, there were people walking around with grip strength that went beyond even the fearsome No. 3, IronMind developed the No. 4. To this day, getting certified on the No. 4 Captains of Crush Gripper stands as the ne plus ultra accomplishment in the grip strength world. All told, the Captains of Crush Hand Grippers No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 are the fearsome foursome of the grip world, providing the basic framework and tools for developing and measuring exceptional grip strength.

Bridge Grippers — Captains of Crush Hand Grippers:  No. 1.5, No. 2.5 and No. 3.5

In 2006, IronMind revisited the concept of bridge grippers, and just as the Trainer had provided safe passage from sporting goods store grippers to the Captains of Crush Classics, IronMind wanted a way to help you traverse the gap between a Captains of Crush Gripper No. 1 and No. 2; between a Captains of Crush Gripper No. 2 and No. 3; and between a Captains of Crush Gripper No. 3 and No. 4. This led to the development of the Captains of Crush Grippers No. 1.5, No. 2.5 and the No. 3.5, each being halfway in between the strength of the two Captains of Crush Grippers anchoring it. Thus, a No. 1.5 Captains of Crush Gripper is halfway between a Captains of Crush Gripper No. 1 and a Captains of Crush No. 2, and so forth.