Gear Review: Fat Gripz


Grip strength is underrated.  It applies to many sports and just about every job.  Not to mention daily life.  In your training, are you stuck on pullups?  A stronger grip could get a few more reps.  Plateaued on your deadlift?  Your grip might be your weak spot.  Anyway, there are hundreds of products out there to help you train your grip.  Most are unnecessary. 

We decided to do a review of a few decent grip training aids.



These blue silicone grips fit around barbells, dumbells, and around some pullup bars.  The idea is to turn any bar or dumbbell into a fat bar.  Fat bars have been used since the golden days of strongmen to develop powerful arms.  And the principle again is sound.  A wide object forces your hands, wrist and forearms to engage much more.  Compound movements can now add great emphasis to your grip.  More and more, people are swearing by fat bars as the best way to develop bigger, stronger arms.  If only fat bars were cheaper and actually present in most gyms.  Enter Fat Gripz.  A silicone cylinder that slides over a bar, you can carry these into any gym anywhere and make every bar, every dumbbell, a fat bar. 

But how well do they work?  Well, they absolutely do challenge your grip on a barbell or dumbbell (provided the dumbbell has a “straight” handle instead of a rounded one).  Presses, but more especially pulls  like rows and deadlifts become much, much harder. 

Pull-ups are a different story.  It’s a big “IF” if you can find a bar to put these over.  And once you do, they have a tendency to slide and spin towards the “slit” that the grips open and close by.  The same is also true on deadlifts, but becomes more pronounced when you are hanging from them.  Unlike a fat bar, where the grip remains the same, if the Fat Gripz slide, your set might be over much faster than it might have been otherwise.

That aside, the Fat Gripz are inexpensive, durable enough, and lightweight/portable enough to come with you in your gym bag.  A very good effort at giving “thick bar” training to the every day gym.

Posted on March 19, 2014 and filed under Gear Review.