Grip4orce vs. FatGripz Product Review
The makers of Grip4orce were kind enough to send me a pair of their rubber grips to try out. If you’ve never seen these things, you put them over a dumbbell, barbell, cable attachment, and they instantly make it thick – challenging the grip to hold on tight.
Grip4orce “Regular” strength grips
I wanted to compare them with another similar product we’ve had in the gym for ages – FatGripz. The FatGripz also attach around dumbbells, barbells, etc to create a grip challenge. So first, let’s look at them both –
Grip4orce (red), Fat Gripz (blue)
So as you can see from the pictures above, the two are very similar in design, with the biggest difference being the gap between the open ends of the grips. The makers of Grip4orce advertise that you must squeeze the Grip4orce tightly, engaging your grip, in order for their handles to stay on. The FatGripz just kind of “snap” onto the barbell/dumbbell. Before I give you my full thoughts on the pros/cons of each, let me take them through the paces and talk about each of them.
Grip4orce around a pull-up bar – open and close
First up, we see the Grip4orce around a pull-up bar. You can clearly see the distance you have to squeeze these things. So the grip is getting worked, and then you have to contest with a thick grip pull-up! They definitely did the job, and makes the hands work hard. If you’re not squeezing the bar, the grips can pop on/off the bar rather easily.
FatGripz around a pull-up bar
In contrast, the FatGripz locks onto place on the bar. You do not have to squeeze it to keep it on, it just stays in place. When you take your hands away, the grip remains on, and takes a bit of effort to pull it on and off. Thick grip pull-ups are awesome, and the FatGripz definitely give you that.
Next thing I had to try was each grip on a kettlebell. Both don’t close completely around the handle, but they both stretch around and hold on tight just fine. I’d advise anyone trying this to face the grip opening upward, so that the kettlebell doesn’t slip out when you’re trying to swing it!
swinging the Grip4orce
This is an awesome exercise with either grip! You’ll pardon my sloppy kettlebell technique in the photos above. I was looking to get the photo at the top of each swing . . . and that damn kettlebell was ripping out of my hand!! Highly recommended to do with either implement. No real difference between either one in this case.
FatGripz on the rings
Putting either one of these grips on the rings was probably my least favorite. The FatGripz stays on a bit better, but both are quite awkward due to the curved ring surface. Doing any sort of transitional work – such as the muscle-up – just wasn’t working well. Save both these things for the bars, not rings.
Grip4orce (left) and FatGripz (right)
The difference of these two grips on the dumbbells is essentially the same as they are on a pull-up bar (and a regular barbell). The Grip4orce require you to squeeze them into place, the FatGripz snap into place and hold on. You can see the gap that my left hand would have to squeeze close in the picture above. Again, the makers of Grip4orce state that the extra squeeze that you have to perform with their grips is beneficial.
you know you want to… thick handled rowing!
I kept going around the gym, snapping these things on anything I could. One awesome exercise was thick handled rowing! You think your hands are tired from a regular 1000m row, try these out! Due to the thickness of the rowing handles, each of them held on just fine. No big difference.
I’ll state again that the makers of Grip4orce sent me their product, which prompted this post in the first place. I reviewed the “regular” strength grip in the post above. They also offer a “stiff” option too, which takes a bit more effort to close.
“Regular” and “Stiff” Grip4orce grips
So here are my thoughts/pros/cons for each…
– Easy to get on/off of the bar/dumbbell/etc. If you are carrying a pair around your local gym, you’ll be able to switch from one thing to another easily.
– Easier for someone with weaker hands to take on/off.
– Squeezing the handles does work the grip more, before you even start the exercise. Some may see this as a con!
– One must squeeze the handles tight, even during pressing work. Some may see this as a con!
– You can actually squeeze them like the Titan’s Telegraph Key, adding some extra dynamic thumb work into your routine.
– Won’t stay on bars/dumbbells securely unless being squeezed. In other words, you couldn’t leave the grips on a bar long term without them falling off.
– Potential to slip off if grip becomes fatigued. (Could be said of any thick handle!)
– Stays solidly on the bar/dumbbell. If you were making a dedicated “thick grip pull-up bar”, these would stay put.
– More replicates a regular thick handled bar/dumbbell, in my opinion. The FatGripz changes the diameter of the implement, no additional squeezing required. Some may see this as a con!
– Hard to get on/take off sometimes. I’ve found many who are in need of strengthening their grip have difficulty putting these grips on a bar!!
– Smaller inside diameter may limit use.
I honestly can’t recommend one over the other, as they’re both great products. The slight advantages each has will matter more to you based on how you use them. I think the big questions are whether you’ll have to take the grips on and off quickly in your workouts/gym, how strong your hands are already (in terms of ease of use), and whether you think the extra squeezing at the beginning adds any benefit (I’m on the fence about that one). I’ll let each company give you the details on their products.
The one thing that I will say though, is that grip strength is important in your training, so picking up any of these is a good addition to your gym bag!