Get That: Death Grip

Get That: Death Grip

There’s nothing worse than not being able to exhaust your lats during pull-ups or break a new deadlift record because of a failing grip. In a practical situation, it’s not a nice feeling when your hand is being crushed by the “awkward and overpowering hand shake guy.” To avoid both of these situations, we’ve asked Men’s Fitness and Muscle & Fitness advisory board member and owner of Total Performance Sports, C.J. Murphy, MFS, C-ISSN, for his take on how to build up a real man’s death grip.

There are three main types of grip strength that you need to focus on training—pinching, crushing and supporting.

Pinch Grip

Take two plates and put them together smooth side out and then hold them between your thumb and the rest of your fingers. Pinch together hard and pick them up as if doing a deadlift. Hold for a 1/1000, lower and repeat.

Perform 5 sets of 5 reps at the end of your workout once per week. Start with a pair of 10-lb. weights on your first attempt. You know you’re really getting a death grip when you can do two 45-lb. weights.


The easiest way to train for a crushing grip is to use the Grip4orce tool.

Simply add the Grip4orce to your bar or dumbbells. They’re used best if you add them to one exercise per workout.


Training supporting grip is easy and requires no fancy equipment. Grab a towel or a face cloth and wrap it around a bar when doing rows, deadlifts or pull-ups. The added thickness of the cloth will require more supporting grip from your arms and hands. Add these to one exercise per workout.

Give it a month and then go back to a week of training without these tools.