Finding time to climb and train on a regular basis has been a challenge this semester, and as everyone knows, when you don’t use it, you lose it. This applies to everything from language to math to sports, rock-climbing included. I used to speak Italian, but after years of not practicing, I can barely speak una palabra.
It takes a long time to make some specific gains in climbing. Of course, there are some aspects that are similar to riding a bike in that once you learn it’s hard to forget, but in other ways it’s very different. The amount of time it takes to strengthen your finger tendons to the point that you can put almost all of your weight on one finger is like four score años (well maybe more like ¼ score años, but still a long time). The amount of time it takes to lose that strength happens in the same amount of time it takes to eat a second potato chip after you promised that you would just eat one (well maybe 4 times that long, but it happens quickly).
During periods of time when climbing is at a minimum but the desire to not lose prior gains is at a maximum, we must turn to alternative means by which to stay in shape.
The Prohands Heavy Tension GRIPMASTER is my attempt to reduce loses while time is at a minimum. The GRIPMASTER comes in different colors offering various levels of resistance. The easiest level comes in green and has 1.5 lbs. of resistance, while the hardest level comes in black and offers 9 lbs. of resistance.
While Prohands offers different types of finger resistance training, the GRIPMASTER is their signature model. They claim that it’s ideal for any athlete or musician wanting to develop hand strength, dexterity, and endurance. GRIPMASTER isolates and strengthens each finger using spring-loaded finger piston technology to quickly build hand, wrist, and forearm strength.
For experienced climbers, I would recommend the highest level of resistance. The goal here isn’t to necessarily build strength, but rather to prevent losing it. And while nothing is going to replace the gains from actual climbing, I do think that the GRIPMASTER is slowing the decline.
It takes some repetition but with enough squishes I can start to feel some pump in my forearms in addition to the finger burn.
For new climbers, I’d test out a few of the options, and buy one just beyond the scope of your strength. I think the GRIPMASTER would be a beneficial tool in gaining finger strength for beginners.
The GRIPMASTER fits effortlessly in a pocket or purse making it easy to carry and use anywhere.
I can’t detail exactly what loses I’ve had over the last three months, because I haven’t had a chance to measure my conditioning lately, but I can say without a doubt that the GRIPMASTER has helped to mitigate greater loses along the way.
Some cons regarding the GRIPMASTER include difficulty peeling bananas and shaking hands with new acquaintances…your newfound finger strength will have you crushing bananas and hands to the detriment of potassium levels and potential new friendships.
|Further cons include:||Pros include:|
|Ripping off car door handles.|
Crushing coffee cups.
Annihilating Nalgene Bottles.
Destroying computer keys.
Making lemonade without a juicer.
Turning coal into diamonds.
Never needing a wrench to tighten bolts.
I should also give a warning that using the restroom whether you shake or wipe could be devasting if you don’t adjust for your recent spike in strength.
In all seriousness, I think the GRIPMASTER is helping, but even if not, at the very least it serves as a fun fidget toy, and that alone makes it worth the price.
Recommendation: All levels
Specs: Pocket size gym strengthens fingers, hands, wrists and forearms. Individual spring-loaded buttons for each finger. Ergonomic palm bar adds to comfort. Fits both left and right hand. Models are color-coded for tension settings—Blue – 5 pounds per finger, Red – 7 pounds per finger, Black – 9 pounds per finger.