Workout Routines

Strongman Mike Burke Has Crazy Grip Strength

Top five World's Strongest Man competitor shares how he built one of world's strongest grips.

Strongman Mike Burke Has Crazy Grip Strength
Duration 30 minutes
Exercises 3
Equipment Yes

Mike Burke attributes his top-notch strongman grip strength to 20 years and counting of working construction. “I’ve swung a hammer and carried wooden beams most of my life,” Burke says. “Working with your hands gets your grip stronger.”

A world-record holder in two grip events, Burke trains his grip directly only to prepare for a contest; otherwise, it’s all about manual labor. “I use a 5-3-2 routine with strongman training on Saturdays,” he says. “I work up to a five-rep max one week, then a three-rep max the next, then two.”

Try Burke's grip strength workout below and follow his top three tips to build the kind of strength that can be used anywhere. 

BURKE’S STATS

AGE: 40
HEIGHT: 6'6"
WEIGHT: 345 lbs
RESIDENCE: Aurora, CO
SPONSOR: SBD Apparel

BURKE’S TOP 3 GRIP STRENGTH TIPS 

1. NO STRAPS
Lift as much weight as possible in an exercise before using straps. 

2. GET WRINGING 
Soak a bath towel in water, then wring it out dry. Repeat six to eight times.

3. LIGHTEN THE LOAD
Double-overhand deadlift light weight for three sets of 12 reps.

*You'll need special equipment from Ironmind.com to perform the workout below.

Burke's Grip Workout

Exercise 1

Ironmind Rolling Thunder
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You'll deadlift the Rolling Thunder for as many sets as it takes to work up to a one-rep max. Decrease weight by 20 pounds and hold apparatus as long as possible. Repeat dropsets until failure.

Exercise 2

Ironmind Apollon's Axle
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Deadlift the bar for as many sets as it takes to work up to a one-rep max. Decrease weight by 20 pounds and hold apparatus as long as possible. Repeat dropsets until failure.

Exercise 3

Single-arm Pinch Grip with Plates or Blobs
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While standing, pinch weight plates or fat ends of “blobs” (dumbbell with handle removed) together using only your fingertips. Clean and press overhead. Repeat until failure.
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