IronMind Highlights —
Captains of Crush ®
Hand Grippers and Other
Grip Milestones




Meet IronMind's Captains of Crush Grippers.

Fact and Fiction About Captains of Crush Grippers.

Training and FAQ About Captains of Crush Grippers.




About IronMind

Since 1988, IronMind has been the hand strength headquarters, leading the charge in the grip world through:

    • developing new
      products

    • educating users
      and providing
      information

    • setting and
      upholding
      standards in
      grip training

    • encouraging
      and recognizing
      outstanding
      performances

Our Captains of Crush Grippers are the gold standard of hand grippers and the worldwide benchmark for building and testing crushing grip strength. They are our flagship product in our Crushed-to-Dust!™ system of grip tools for developing strength and health from your elbows to your fingertips. IronMind's certification program for recognizing stellar performance on the No. 3 and No. 4 Captains of Crush Grippers is the most sought-after achievement in the grip world.
 



IronMind Highlights — Captains of Crush Grippers and Other Grip Milestones

1988
    • IronMind founded in Larkspur, California, dedicated to providing
      "Tools of the Trade for Serious Strength Athletes™"

1989
    • IronMind founder Randall Strossen resumes grip training as he prepares for
      the World Wristwrestling Championships (Petaluma), a passion that
      will shape IronMind's product line

1990
    • Randall Strossen contacts Warren Tetting and IronMind reintroduces the
      super-tough hand grippers, off the market for decades, that
      Warren had originally made in small quantities for Peary Rader

    • IronMind introduces Silver Crush™ Grippers, as its first advance in the
      field of performance hand grippers; they are available in three
      models: the #1, #2 and #3

    • First IronMind catalog comes out, featuring Silver Crush™ Grippers, the 
       Pinch Grip Hub, Husky Handle Dumbbell Bars, Titan’s Telegraph Key, 
      a one-hand deadlift handle, standard grip machine and the Heavy Hammer I

1991
    • IronMind develops and launches a certification program on the No. 3,
      formally recognizing world-class grip strength, and Richard Sorin
      is the first man to achieve this honor

1992
    • IronMind presents the idea that grip strength involves three
      elements—crushing, pinching, and supporting—and promotes this concept
      in its catalog

    • John Brookfield becomes the second person in the world certified on the No. 3

    • IronMind catalog introduces more grip products: the Big Squeeze, Pinch Grip 
       Block, Stacker, Finger Ring, Heavy Hammer II, Olympic Husky Handle Dumbbell 
       Bars, Trainer

1993
    • IronMind moves gripper manufacturing in-house and introduces stainless steel
       gripper handles, with a clear band in the middle and stamped model
       names on the ends

    • The new IronMind grippers successfully meet the challenge of increased
       durability, with a vast improvement in their longevity over previous
       models and are described in the 1993 IronMind catalog as, “the most
       widely-accepted standard for measuring crushing strength, and they
       are used around the world by world champions from arm-wrestling to
       weightlifting. As you would guess, many of the world’s leading
       professional strongmen train on these grippers. Give yourself the
       same advantage” (p. 8)

    • IronMind develops a poundage rating system for its grippers

    • New products include MILO: A Journal for Serious Strength Athletes, 
       Rolling Thunder®, Bag of Nails, Eagle Loops, Gripping Gel, the Big Squeeze II,
       and the One Wicked Wrist Roller, and we were selling original copies of
       Goerner The Mighty for $19.95!

1994
    • New products include the Apollon’s Axle™ (which would become the world
       standard for thick bars), and the No. 4 Gripper: “For an added challenge,
       we have added a #4 gripper to our line—it has never been closed, but maybe
       you will be the first” (1994 IronMind catalog, Volume 4, p. 14)

    • David Horne (“whose feats of grip strength you have been reading about
       in our magazine MILO ”) offers a handwritten and illustrated set of grip courses,
       which are included in the IronMind catalog

1995
    • IronMind publishes Mastery of Hand Strength by John Brookfield, the absolute
       must-read book for all aspiring gripmasters; John Brookfield appears
       on the Today show, following the book’s launch in IronMind’s summer flyer

    • IronMind develops and introduces aluminum gripper handles, which have now
       become the industry standard, for Captains of Crush® Grippers 

    • IronMind catalog develops its often copied chart showing how different sports
       require different facets of grip strength—crushing, pinching,
       supporting—along with specific training recommendations. Active recovery and
       the importance of wrist strength are included

1996
    • IronMind’s certification program for the Red Nail is established; John Brookfield
       becomes the first person recognized as officially bending a Red Nail

    • IronMind introduces the Snowball for active rest and conditioning, as well
       as the Hardy Handshake—the first grip machine specifically based on the
       mechanics of a gripper, providing a whole new way to approach grip training

1997
    • IronMind publishes Sons of Samson–Volume 2 by David Webster, profiling all
       the World’s Strongest Man contests to date and the world's leading
       strongmen, many of whom have prodigious grip strength

    • IronMind publishes Of Stones and Strength by Steve Jeck and Peter Martin; 
       Steve Jeck specifically mentions training on his No. 2 as a key to his initial
       victory over the Inver Stone 

    • Wrist–forearm dimension added to IronMind’s chart analyzing the crushing,
       pinching, and supporting grip strength requirements for different sports
       and activities

1998
    • Joe Kinney becomes the first man in the world certified on the Captains of
       Crush® No. 4 Gripper

1999
    • IronMind catalog features photo of Joe Kinney closing a Captains of Crush®
       No. 3 Gripper with two fingers—the first proven demonstration of this feat

2000
    • IronMind introduces its Crushed-to-Dust!™ system

    • The first IronMind® Rolling Thunder® World Championships takes place

2001
    • IronMind develops the Outer Limits Loops™ as a way to train the extensors and
       build muscle balance in the hands

    • John Brookfield’s monthly "Grip Tip" is launched on the IronMind website

2002
    • IronMind publishes John Brookfield’s book The Grip Master’s Manual 

    • IronMind is the title sponsor for the St. Louis Steel Fingers Championships

    • The Emerson Knife Challenge kicks off: close a Captains of Crush No. 3 Gripper 
       and win an Emerson knife

2003
    • IronMind catalog features Jesse Marunde simultaneously closing a Captains of
       Crush No. 3 Gripper in his right and left hands

    • IronMind publishes the facts about the Captains of Crush No. 4 Gripper Joe
       Kinney used in his video

    • The Captains of Crush Rules for Certification are amended regarding the free
       (non-gripping) hand

    • New tools are added to the Crushed-to-Dust™ family: Claw Curl for open hand
       strength, Close the Gap Straps for strap holds with your Captains of Crush
       Grippers, Wrist Reinforcer for wrist strength, an improved One Wicked Wrist 
       Roller for torching your forearms, and Dexterity Balls (and the Dexterity Ball 
       Training for Hands course) for manual dexterity, range of motion, and muscle
       control exercises

    • IronMind publishes the book Captains of Crush Grippers: What They Are and 
       How to Close Them, by Randall J. Strossen—the man who developed
       them—and J.B. Kinney and Nathan Holle—the first two men to close the
       fearsome No. 4 CoC Gripper

2004
    • IronMind calibrates the benchmark Captains of Crush No. 3 Gripper

    • The GNC Grip Gauntlet debuts at the Arnold, based on the IronMind construct
       of crushing–pinching–supporting grip, using Captains of Crush Grippers,
       the Rolling Thunder, and the Blob

    • Captains of Crush® Guide and Captains of Crush® Sport Grippers
       are introduced

    • IronMind develops the "credit card" rule to define a legal starting position
       for officially closing a Captains of Crush Gripper

    • IronMind adds two new products to the Crushed-to-Dust™ family of
       grip tools: the Twist ‘Yo Wrist for training wrist strength, and the 
       Holle-It-Up Dumbbell Bar

2005
    • IronMind introduces three more revolutionary products: IMTUG™: the
       Two-Finger Gripper, the Expand-Your-Hand Bands™, for the extensors, and
       the Hand Gripper Helper, to help gripsters climb the CoC ladder

    • Introduction of the Captains of Crush ID Card 

    • Trevor Laing writes the Captains of Crush® song and IronMind donates
       profits to Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres)

2006
    • IronMind introduces three bridge grippers: Captains of Crush Grippers No. 1.5, 
       No. 2.5, and No. 3.5 

    • IronMind formally introduces the concept of training for hand health
       (www.strongandhealthyhands.com) as well as for grip strength

    • IronMind develops GR8™ springs exclusively for Captains of Crush Grippers
       and IMTUGs

2007
    • Richard Sorin re-certifies on the No. 3 Captains of Crush Gripper,
       becoming—at once—the first, the last, and oldest person to do so!

    • IronMind establishes a trust fund for Jesse Marunde’s children based on
       teenagers achieving certification on the Captains of Crush Grippers

    • IronMind introduces CoC2 for its Captains of Crush compatible grip tools

    • The One Wicked Wrist Roller is improved with new bushings and the 
       Vulcan Racks II+ Wrist Roller Set-up is developed

    • IronMind presents Gripper Graduation: The Four-Week Wonder training course
       for people who are serious about climbing the Captains of Crush ladder

    • IronMind hatches the IronMind (Blue) EGG for warming-up, cooling-down,
       rehab, and prehab training

    • IronMind’s Strong and Healthy Hands Kit is developed for preventing, reducing,
       or eliminating hand pain

    • Elizabeth Horne sets the new women’s world record on the Rolling Thunder
       at 65 kg

2008
    • Mark Felix becomes the first man to break the 300-pound barrier in the Rolling
       Thunder as he wins the 2008 IronMind® Rolling Thunder® World
      Championships

    • IronMind expands its Captains of Crush Gripper certification program
       to include the No. 3.5 and Tex Henderson is the first person to achieve
       this distinction

    • Improved Hand Gripper Helper has a tackier feel for a better fit with the
       Captains of Crush Grippers

    • Captainsofcrushgrippers.com, the official Captains of Crush® Grippers website,
       is launched

    • Captains of Crush Grippers and IronMind founder and president
       Randall Strossen are featured in the Sacramento Bee 

    • IronMind’s 1-minute (Green) EGG is hatched with a softer feel and more give
       for rehab, therapy, or those new to the grip world

    • Stanford magazine spotlights Randall Strossen (Ph.D. ’79), IronMind,
       and Captains of Crush Grippers

    • IronMind updates its classic book on grip strength, 
       Mastery of Hand Strength, Revised Edition 

    • IronMind adds the Wrist-Relief Soft Weight to its line-up of hand
       health training tools

    • IronMind introduces the CoC Key, a precise way to assess your performance
       on the CoC Grippers

    • New in 2009 are the CoC Caddies to keep your Captains of Crush Grippers
       at hand and in line

2009
    • Business Week features the article “IronMind Captains of Crush: A Lesson
       in Clever Marketing” in its SmallBiz magazine

    • Two more people certify on the No. 3.5 Captains of Crush Gripper…could a
       new No. 4 certification be far behind?

    • Rich Williams ups the ante by certifying on both the No. 3 and the
       No. 3.5 Captains of Crush Grippers on the same day at the
       Arnold’s Grip Gauntlet

    • Police and Security News highlights Captains of Crush Grippers in the
       article, “The Secret to Better Subject Control? Grip Strength is the Key” in
       its 25th anniversary issue

    • Sam Solomi is the first gripster to meet the Jesse Marunde Teenage Capatins
       of Crush Challenge by Certifying on a No. 3 Captains of Crush Gripper as
       a teenager, and IronMind donates $500 as pledged to the educational trust
       fund of Jesse Marunde’s children