Today’s product review is a great gym accessory, Iron Bull Grips, that increases grip strength. Maybe you’re not familiar with thick bar training or you’ve never had access to thick bars. Well now you can take advantage of thick bar training anywhere, because you can use these grips by sliding them over any barbell, dumbbell or machine handle and start getting the benefits of a thick bar. Keep reading to find out the pros, cons and my honest review on this product. For the record, I only review products that I actually own or have used.
Thick Bar Training
Thick bar training has been around for years, but many people don’t have access to thick bars at their local gym. The point of a thicker bar is to improve grip strength and forearm development with a wider range of muscle activation.
If you’ve ever used a thick bar you probably noticed right away that you couldn’t handle the same amount of weight as usual. That’s because nearly all barbells, dumbbells and machine handles are designed to a standard thickness. Since most gyms don’t have thick bars, people have started buying products like Iron Bull Grips and Fat Gripz to turn any bar into a thick bar.
From my experience, this is really only effective on pulling movements and not pushing movements. When gripping a thicker bar your hand is opened up more and requires more strength to maintain your grip. It’s actually pretty dramatic how much of a difference it makes in terms of grip strength.
I bought my Iron Bull grips on Amazon for around $40 about a year and a half ago. They’ve held up nicely over that period of time and I’ve definitely seen an increase in grip strength. I think the price is a little high for what they are, but these are probably the best product of their kind that I know of.
I would say they’ve aided in an increase in forearm size, but don’t expect to look like Popeye from using these. The increase in grip strength will allow you to grip heavier weights and over time you will see an increase in size from that.
I’ll breakdown some of the highlights here.
- Small in size so storing and traveling with them is easy
- Improve grip strength quickly and work muscle groups that don’t get much activation
- The material used is a thick rubber that is very strong
- Easy to use
- The length is great because they fit on dumbbells as well as barbells
- The rubber material has a horrible smell that lingers on your hands
- They aren’t adjustable, so to keep increasing the difficulty you need to buy the larger sizes
- The price is a little high for two little pieces of rubber
I’ve never owned a pair of Fat Gripz, but a friend of mine has. When I was looking into this product I asked him what he thought of his Fat Gripz to compare. He liked them, but they did end up breaking on him after a year and they are longer so they didn’t fit on most dumbbells. Just something to keep in mind.
There are 3 sizes of Iron Bull Grips – 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0. I went with the 2.5 and I’m glad I didn’t try to jump to the 3.0 right away because 2.5 was plenty challenging. Fat Gripz are about the size of the 2.5 so you can use that as a comparison if you’ve used those before.
My only real complaint about the product is the horrible smell of the material. I didn’t see this mentioned in the Amazon reviews so I’m not sure if I got a bad pair or if no one else cared about that. I’ve noticed that even when I try to wash the smell off my hands that the smell transfers to any towel I use to dry my hands and still remains on my hands anyway. So now I put on a pair of lifting gloves when I use these.
Other than that I really like them. I was skeptical, as usual, but after one set of any pulling movement your hands, wrist and forearms will be on fire when using these. They can’t get a full 5 stars from me though because of the smell and I think the price is just a tad high for most people.
How to Use Iron Bull Grips
These are very simple to use.
Just open them up a bit and slide them on whatever bar you plan on using.
Be sure to put the opening of the grips inside your palm when doing the lift so the bar doesn’t slide out. I’ve never had them slide off, but it could happen if the opening wasn’t inside my palm.
You’re going to have to use lighter weight than usual when first adding these grips.
You can add them to any pulling movement, but I mainly just use them on bicep exercises to get more forearm activation. A great way to improve grip quickly is to deadlift or shrug with these on the bar. Your forearms will be BURNING!
If you’re looking to improve grip strength and grow your forearms then you should definitely look into this product. Always remember, you don’t need any fancy equipment or accessories to improve in the gym. However, if you have the money to spend I recommend giving them a shot. I think you’ll be surprised, like I was, at how such a little change in one variable can make a noticeable difference.
Have you guys ever used this product, or maybe an alternative? Let me know what you think of them in the comments.
Until Next Time,
What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
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