Day 10: Grip strength

Day 10, Stage 1/B3

I realized today that one thing that may be holding me back just a little bit is my grip strength! I feel I can work with heavy weights, but my hands/lower arms (whats that body part called?) really start to ache when I’m working with a heavy load! For example, during my lunges, I was working with 25lbs in each hand today (so 50lbs total) but my grip was so tired that I had to put them down part way through, readjust, and then continue. I bought some gloves, and they do help a bit. During the deadlift, I tried a technique I saw on Stumptuous – using an alternating grip – which definitely helped for that exercise, but I still feel pretty weak. How quickly does grip strength improve? Soon, I hope!

Also…I’m a bit worried that although I’m lifting heavier every weak I’m slightly sacrificing my form in the end sets – particularly with the deadlift. I think next week I’m going to work on getting the form right for all of my sets before moving up in weight again. I may even go down a bit. Once I get further into the program the reps decrease, at which point I think I’ll be able to go up quite a bit (relatively speaking!)

So here’s my workout for today:

Deadlift – 1 set of 11 @ 90lbs, 1 set of 8 @ 90lbs

Alternating Sets
Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 2 sets of 8 @ 20lbs, 1 set of 6 @ 20 lbs (couldn’t get to 12 for my first two, so added in a third, shorter set)
Wide grip lat pulldown – 1 set of 12 @ 50lbs, 1 set of 12 @ 60lbs

Alternating Lunges – 1 set of 12 @ 20lbs (each arm), 1 set of 12 @ 25lbs (each arm)
Swiss-ball Crunches – 1 set of 12 (bodyweight), 1 set of 12 with 10lb weight (large ball)

After I did a bunch of foam rolling and stretching. It was a good workout.

OH, and I made the most AMAZING protein ice cream last night…it was so light and fluffy! The key is lots of blending, stirring, and ice, ice, ice!


And for the record, I have had absolutely no problem eating my calories these days. My appetite is most definitely matching my body’s needs! 🙂

Have a great day!!


21 thoughts on “Day 10: Grip strength

  1. Oh I know what you mean about grip strength! My problem used to be with deadlifts- my forearms would give out and I’d almost drop the barbell! I never did any sort of grip strength exercises or used straps, I just kept suffering and eventually my grip improved. LOL! I can do deadlifts with no problem, although I do notice walking lunges still hurt my forearms. I wonder why that is? Maybe we’re moving the dB’s and not even knowing!

    Ooo and what’s in that ice cream? Yummy!!

    • Well that’s encouraging to hear! It’s amazing the muscles you DON’T realize you use/have until you start lifting! haha.

      The ice cream….so good. This is what I do:

      1/2 c milk (I usually use almond milk, but i have found real milk makes it way creamier & fluffier)
      1/3 frozen banana
      1 T almond butter/peanut butter
      1 scoop chocolate whey protein

      Blend at medium setting until smooth.

      Then I add in 3-4 ice cubes…blend at HIGH/ice crush…stir…blend…then 3-4 more ice cubes…repeat…There is admittedly a lot of opening the blender and stirring in the process.

      I let it blend until it gets really light in colour, which indicates that it’s fluffy, creamy, and ready to eat! The volume is incredible! (although i think there is a correlation with how fluffy the ice cream is and how ‘fluffy’ i get after…if you know what I mean…LOL!!!)

  2. Its funny that I come across your post today about grip strength. because I have now strained my forearm from holding almost 40lb. I’m now looking into straps, that is what some women have to use. That protein ice cream looks good!!!

  3. I have problem with my forearm strength too. For a while I thought I had golfer’s elbow because I was having chronic pain down my forearm to my wrist. I felt it a lot when I did any sort of tricep move, especially. It’s better now, but I do have to be careful. I bought a wrist brace to use when it starts acting up, and it seems to help.

    Nice workout! I am going to start doing New Rules of Lifting for Women. It looks a lot like what you are doing! Is it? =P

    Yummm. I may make that protein ice cream tonight before I go to bed. I need some added fats today, so 1 Tbsp of pb would be perfect!

    • Yep, I just started NROLFW almost 2 weeks ago. It’s great so far! I will warn you that the workouts are somewhat repetitious, but I think they’re trying to build up a strong base of technique, muscles, and mental strength. I really like it though, and I definitely feel I’m making gains already.

      The protein ice cream is so good! I’m gonna make another batch tonight…hehe. Definitely add the nut butter…critical!


      • Awesome! It’s exciting to know that you are doing the same workout I am. 🙂 I am buying the book on amazon tomorrow. I went to the book store today and copied down some workouts to get me by for the week, until my copy arrives. 😉

        I had the protein ice cream! It was good!!! But, mine didn’t get creamy. 😦 It was just a little creamy, but really liquidy. I used 1/2 c. almond milk and lots of ice, but my Magic Bullet has a hard time of blending ice cubes. Any tips? What kind of blender do you use?

      • That is great! Will you be posting your workouts? Its too bad we’re not in the same city…it would be awesome to have a real-life workout buddy! We can pretend… 😉

        Aw, sorry the protein ice cream didnt get creamy! I really think it’s such a chemistry thing – there have to be so many things in order for it to come out right. Sometimes I try and it doesn’t turn out for me, even with the formula I know works. However, I do think it comes down to three things:

        – a milk that can get frothy (either real milk or soy milk would probably be best) – a good protein powder that whips up nice (whey isolate tends to do this) – a really good blender. In my experience, Magic Bullets have trouble with processing lots of ice, so that could definitely be a big factor.

        I have an Oster digital blender ( It cost me about $70, but I use it almost every day. Oster is one of the best out there, in my experience. This one is good because it has a really powerful ice crush mode.

        The other thing you can do is just add the ice in a little bit at a time. Stop, stir. Blend, repeat. But that’s quite labour intensive and I’m still not sure it would work in a magic bullet – especially because the volume essentially doubles after you add in all the ice.

  4. I have an ice cream maker I haven’t used in years because I started eating healthy. HOLLA NEW USE!! (When I can eat dairy again that is…)

    April makes a good point that EVENTUALLY your grip strength will improve… I think this is a common issue for a lot of women. I’ll confess I use straps, but only for deadlifting and barbell rows. (But I stiff leg DL 175 lbs, I don’t think my grip will ever be strong enough to hold that)

    Holding dbells was a problem for me for a long time with lunges as well. I was stuck at holding 30’s for the last 6 or so months… I went up to 35’s just this week. It may take some time but you’ll get it!

    • haha, you’ll have to let me know how it actually works in an ice cream maker! I’ve always wanted one but our kitchen is essentially a shoebox – we barely have enough room for our FOOD (especially all my new food…haha). Also, if you can’t do dairy, I have a sneaking suspicion that you could probably make the protein ice cream with soy milk as well. I think the issue with almond milk is that it just doesn’t get frothy – ever tried an almond milk cappuccino? ugh. lol.

      • Well… I physically CAN do dairy, just not right now. I’ve removed any and all forms of dairy (unless you call eggwhites dairy? I don’t) out of my diet for my contest prep.

        Dairy will make a triumphant return in May! hahaha

  5. oh but included in the banned food list are dairy substitutes…. so those will have to wait as well. I really never ate dairy before though to be honest… the only things I miss are my cottage cheese and low carb yogurt. hehe

    • Ahhh, I gotcha. Well, something to put on the list of things to look forward to, I suppose! It makes it feel more special that way, anyway 😉

  6. Thanks for the tips! I am looking into an Oster blender now. 🙂 My Magic Bullet is about ready to bite the dust. =P

    I wish we lived closer too! All of the cool bloggers live to far away. 😦 I will most definitely be posting my workouts, and most of my meals!

  7. Hey DD! 🙂

    I did BFL for a month or so a while back. I got really bored with the program and I didn’t see any good gains. I think it was because I followed the eating guidelines too…and wasn’t eating enough calories. Now, I am aiming for around 2,000 a day, and I can see that my muscle gain is a lot better this time around. I started to do BFL right before deciding to do NROL4W, but April and some others talked me out of it. =P I am sure glad that they did. I think BFL is a good program, but I think New Rules is going to benefit my body the most. I don’t need to lose pounds, I just need to gain fat-burning muscle!

    What’s your bodybuilding account profile? I am thinking about starting an account, so that I can track my progress with NROL.

    • I hear you. I picked up the BFL for Women book at the beginning of the year and pretty much read it cover-to-cover, and wasn’t really that impressed. Partly because I think the book was designed for women who were in their 40s+ and/or women who have never exercised before, but also because I didn’t think the weight programs were “extreme” enough to create the change I’m looking for. (that being said, I think the regular BFL would probably have been a lot better) I’ve seen Janetha’s blog and some others’ who have had great success, but I think personally I needed something that was both (a) more structured (in terms of workouts), and (b) less structured (in terms of meals/calories). I like that NROL is only 3 days a week, too…who wants to be in the gym 6 times a week? not me! haha.

      Also, I agree with you that there’s not enough emphasis on eating enough to grow muscles. I’m in the same situation where I’m not really looking to lose weight, just to change my body composition. Hello 2000+ calories!

      My bodybuilding profile can be found here: – definitely add me!

  8. Thanks for telling me about your new blog! I’m definitely going to be following along in your weightlifting adventures.

    Grip strength is a huge issue for me too when I do deadlifts and when I do lunges. My legs say “keep going” but my arms say “drop this weight now!”

    Sometimes if the weight is light enough I sorta toss it up a bit to regain my grip. I don’t know if that appropriate though :S

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s