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Training Tools

On this page you’ll find the strength training tools that I recommend and personally use to build strength and fitness. Many more coming soon.

Hand Balancing Stands or Canes
Hand Balancing Canes
Take your hand balancing to the next level with the hand balancing stands. Allows for a better grip, easier balancing, new tricks and more. Includes free video on how to use them.
Elite Gymnastic Rings
Elite Rings
If you want strength that’s impressive, doesn’t wither away, you have to build it. Build it with the Elite Gymnastic Rings to do impressive stunts like the muscle-up, levers and even the iron cross.
Kettlebells are one of my favorite training tools. By having the handle offset from the mass of the weight it allows for unique benefits when doing ballistic exercises like swings, snatches, and my favorite, kettlebell juggling. They come in multiple sizes suitable for anyone. You can also use them for many standard exercises like presses and squats. Add to the fact that they’re just plain fun and you’ll see why you need kettlebells. Read more about kettlebells here.

The standard tool of strength building, the barbell. Its balanced design and ability to load a small weight up to a huge amount allows you to weight virtually any exercise as needed. Best for going heavy on basic compound exercises, like squats, rows, deadlifts and presses. I recommend you get an Olympic barbell although a standard one will do find. You can likely find a good deal along with weights at a local sporting goods shop, or used from someone on craigslist. Read more about Barbells here.

Power Rack
A power rack allows you to do one thing…train heavy. And if you want to be strong that’s what you have to do. You’ll be able to do squats without any spotter. You can also do a whole series of partials which is one of the keys to super human strength. Now that I’ve got a power rack I’ll never look back (and I’m surprised I went all this time without one!) Typically they’ll also give you a place to do pullups. Because of its size this is a good item to find locally whether in a sporting goods store or used from someone nearby. Read this article for more on Power Racks and Partials.

Trap Bar
Trap bar
Some people love squats. Some people love deadlifts. Using a trap bar is more like a combination of the two. And I find it suits my body and long limbs better than squats or deadlifts with a barbell. I have never hurt my back on the trap bar, which I can’t say the same for barbells. The trap bar is my favorite for lifting heavy weights of the ground, but its great for shrugs and a few other exercises too. You may be able to find one locally. Read more about the Trap Bar here.

Battling Ropes
Battling Rope
The Battling Ropes is a system put out by John Brookfield. Using what’s called velocity training you deliver constant output, rather than the use of momentum or air time found in most conditioning exercises. This is truly a training tool that needs to be experienced in order for you to get it. Now that I have a rope its used frequently in my workouts and my conditioning just keeps going up and up. Read more about the Battling Ropes here.

Clubbells are great as a little weight can provide tremendous leverage. These are a modern incarnation of ancient training tools. They allow you for a real three-dimensional training as you can do a wide variety of swings in single planes or around the body. They can be used single or two-handed and swung one or two at a time. Once again, with a variety of weights they are suitable for anyone.

Indian Clubs
Indian Clubs
Indian clubs are made to be super light, that is 1 or 2 lbs each, as opposed to heavier clubs. How can these light weights be used for effective training? They’re used for high rep swings, done more as a weighted join mobility. They can really help your shoulder, wrist and elbows to stay healthy when you’re use to beating them down with heavy weights. Swinging Indian clubs also builds coordination and balance.

Sledgehammers are a great training tool besides doing manual labor. You can swing them repeatedly against a tire or log to jack up your cardio mimicking what sledgehammers are normally used for. You can also do specific levering movements to build up your wrist strength, a classic feat of strength. Either way you go they’re quite fun. You can read more about sledgehammers here.

Cables provide a resistance unlike any other. While with a weight the pull of gravity and the weight is always constant with the cable it is not so. The longer you stretch the cable the greater the resistance becomes. There are cables of different sizes and they can be used in many ways. You can mimic standard weighted moves like presses, curls, squats and more. But cables can be used in ways that cannot be done any other way. My favorite cables include the chest expanders, power jumper, and TNT cables.

Power Wheel
Power Wheel
The Power Wheel is really the ultimate tool for training your abs. (A study at Berkeley found it outperforms everything else.) Simple rollouts done from the knees, or if you’re crazy strong, standing work your entire body. You can do many other great moves like pike-ups or just walking for distance with the Power Wheel strapped to your feet. That’s what makes this wheel different from other ab wheels. You can place your hands or feet on it.

Block Weights
Blockweights are the cut off heads of hex or York dumbbells. Why would you cut up a dumbbell? Because blockweights are one of the ultimate hand strength training tools. In fact, in his book, Mastery of Hand Strength, John Brookfield said Block Weights = Hand Strength. With that kind of endorsement you’ve got to give them a try. Because of the weight and wide grip they’ll work your grip like no other. Read more, and watch a video, of block weights here.

Bending Nails
Bending nails isn’t for everyone. But if you want to join the ranks of strongmen and want crazy strong hands to boot give bending a try. Nails can be picked up at your local hardware store. You can buy lengths of 1/4″ cold rolled steel or 40D (pronounced 40-penny) nails. Once you get to 60D’s you’re getting somewhere. From there you can move onto Grade 5 and 8 bolts. Also you can check out the Bag of Nails available from Ironmind. Read more on Bending Nails here.

Thick Bars
Thick Bar Training
Thick bars are one of the classic ways to build strong hands. By lifting bars that tax the hands and fingers more than a normal bar you’ll gain tremendously in strength. But thick bars can be expensive. That’s where Fat Gripz come in. They easily slide over barbells, dumbbells, pullup bars and other tools to instantly give you the option of thick bar training. Read more on Fat Gripz and Thick Bar Training here.

Swing Handle
Swing Handle
Kettlebell swings are great but once you build some decent strength they become to light for high power, explosive swings. Enter the plate-loadable swing handle which is a new favorite of mine. It allows for super heavy kettlebell swings as well as being great for one arm deadlift training. Read more on the Swing Handle here. I’ll feature more of their products here in the near future.

My friend Ryan Pitts over at Strongergrip makes some of the best strength training equipment available. From customer hammers and maces to grip training equipment and much more. I highly recommend you check out all the phenomenal training tools they have in stock.