Review of the Ivanko Super Gripper - Excerpt by S. Stamp - Memorial University of Newfoundland
The wrapping is something I added to reduce slippage.
Compared to the Captains of Crush grippers
The Ivanko gripper has several advantages as compared to the CoC grippers. The main advantage is the huge increase in the available resistance levels. Also because of the larger handle size it is much easier to do heavy holds and negatives as you can use two hands to position the gripper.
The CoC grippers are smaller and thus are more portable and require less storage space (not much of an advantage to me). The checkered handles however offer a significant advantage in terms of grip security over the smooth metal finish on the Ivanko. A decent high friction tape will solve this problem for the Ivanko gripper.
The other problem with the Ivanko is relatively minor, sometimes after you finish a hard set and the release is not 100% controlled the gripper will miss the stop pin on the way back and thus cause the springs to loosen and fall out of their positions. Nothing major, just a little irritating when it happens.
Using a simple torque calculation and a measurement of the resistance on the lowest settings, I calculated the force required to close the gripper on all the possible settings. This calculation assumes the springs are identical. Here is a table showing the information in a set format :
Also in sorted order from minimum to maximum force required :
I have checked these calculations in multiple ways. I have measure several of the low resistance settings and they agree with the calculations to within a couple of pounds. I have also used as benchmarks, the #2 (195 lbs) and #3 (280 lbs) Captains of Crush grippers by testing several settings on the Ivanko below and above the CoC grippers, and they behave as expected. Note the decimals in the tables are meaningless, the precision of the poundages is of the order of a few percent.
Concerning variable settings, by adjusting the position of your grip you can greatly effect the force you need to exert to close the gripper. Go higher up to increase the effort and drop down to decrease it. So if you are at one setting and can do a close but can't quite reach the next, either try the one you are at with a higher grip position, or try the next one with a lower positioned grip.
*Important*, when finished do not store the gripper with the bar against the stop pin, if the springs are stored under tension they will over time become slack.
The greatest advantage that the Ivanko Supergripper has over the Captains of Crush grippers is the much smaller increments in force settings. This allows training methods which are not possible with the Captains of Crush models. You can try progressive resistance training in which you add just a small amount of weight each week (vary the spring position as well as your grip position to achieve this), or you can try a cycling program. One that I have used with success can be seen here :
WeighTrainer Peaking Program #2 (Link no longer available)
If you do give this a try, I am sure that the person who wrote it would be interested in hearing from you. He (Casey Butt) has a discussion forum here :
The Strength And Size Forum (Link no longer available)
I run the program a little different than described. I use the same poundages and reps but I run it more than once a week. You will have to figure out what is optimal to you. I tried running it like this : heavy day, rest day, light day, rest day and repeat but burnt out on "week 7" and didn't make the sets. I now cycle the rest days along with the poundages. Basically after week 3, 7 and 10, I give and extra two days of rest : heavy day, rest day, rest day, light day, rest day, rest day - and then continue with the next heavy day. I also follow the week 3,7, and 10 workout with some hard partial reps on the #2 (3-5), and some partials closes on the #3 and #4 gripper (1-2). I don't do this for the actual physical training benefit but more as a motivation.
You can buy the Ivanko Supergripper from PDA, and there is some history on it at the following order information page :
Ivanko Supergripper from PDA (Link no longer available)
Some very valuable information has been calculated based on the numbers above as well as a nice utility to determine spring settings. You might want to check out the following pages :
Ivanko Super Gripper Calculator (Link no longer available)
Ivanko Super Gripper Table from BarBender (Link no longer available)
For more information on the Ivanko Super gripper, or hand strength in general you can visit the Gripboard.