The hub is a “mainstream” grip tool that's in most in grip competitions. Why the hub for pinch grip, can’t we pinch a lot of different things?
The hub is a standardized form for competitive pinch grip strength, much like a barbell is a standardized form for other competitive strengths. The hub is your pinch grip barbell. We can all measure ourselves against it.
Why train with the hub to improve your pinch grip strength? Training the Genie Hub has carry over to Ninja warrior grip obstacles, rock climbing, muscular development of the forearms, and hook gripping a barbell.
The hub lift is also one of the most technical grip exercises. To do it properly, start by “chalk whispering” to your hub. We’ll provide an in-depth guide of the nuances of chalk whispering later in this blog. For now, add chalk to your hub, rub it in until no excess remains, spit on your hub (or use light amounts of water, if your mouth is dirty), rub that over the chalk, let it dry, repeat over and over again until your hub looks mummified in chalk. See below, the difference between a non-whispered hub on the left, and a chalk-whispered hub on the right.
Once your hub is well chalked, watch the video below for quick instructions to start hub lifting.
What’s a good weight to be lifting on the hub? 25 lbs (11 kgs) for women and 50 lbs (23 kgs) for men are solid benchmarks. I’ve seen hundreds of people in person try the hub, and it seems that about 1/3rd of guys can do 50 lbs on the first try. My max in a competition is 66 lbs (30 kgs). The hub is one of those rare grip lifts where hand shape and size do not matter much. Supposedly, people with very large hands are at a disadvantage, but I don’t think that’s true unless your hands are VERY large. Like… Homunculus large. The worst Hub lifter in the universe:
Thus, the hub is a great equalizing grip lift: a lift that, for the majority of people, works for most sized hands. To start training the hub, I recommend two approaches:
- The first approach is to max out and then pull several heavy singles near your max. Rest well between these reps.
- The second approach is to do timed holds. Find a weight you can hold for 6-8 seconds. Be very strict with this time range. If you can’t hold your weight for 6 seconds, decrease it. If you can hold it longer than 8 seconds, increase it. Do 3 sets with each hand with 5 minutes of rest between hands. You can alternate hands or train one hand through and then start on the other.
If you’re serious about improving your hub lift, then every 5-7 days train it. When should you max out and when should you do timed holds? Try alternating these approaches each time it’s time to train the hub. After a few cycles of this, you’ll likely find new and exciting ways for getting the most out of your time training the hub!
Jon Call aka Jujimufu