Since I broke my ankle late last year, I have been relying on my wrists a lot more than usual to support my daily activities and I have come to see them as my latest achilles heel in my resilience journey. They just aren’t strong enough for a day of crutch walking or heavy duty dip work, such as that required to get me out of the bath without use of my left leg.
So for my latest experiment, I’ve started a program of grip strengthening which of course requires a spreadsheet to monitor grip strength progress over the coming months.
This Google Sheets grip strength monitoring template can be used by anyone to record grip strength progression and includes performance metrics for males and females from 18 years and up.
I’m using strength statistics from the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy to split grip strength recordings into percentiles and then the standard Captains of Crush levels to further split strength feats in the top 10%.
This is not a linear scale. Most people will not exceed level 5 (Strong – top 10% performance). From level 5 it is probably an exponential strength scale. In terms of level 10 which corresponds to Captains of Crush 4, I think only 2 men have ever closed the gripper and no women ever have – so we are talking superhuman strength at this end of the scale.
I am monitoring my grip strength weekly using a hand dynamometer following a standardised measuring technique.
- use same chair with arms for each reading
- feet flat on floor
- arms resting on armrest with wrists just over the end of the chair’s arm, thumb facing upwards.
- hold grip and squeeze as hard as possible for a few seconds
- Repeat 3 times recording the max reading each time
Then recording 3 readings from each side, in my spreadsheet so that performance can be charted.
In the following excerpt, you can see my starting performance which falls into the Normal strength range (third quartile), followed by a series of demonstration recordings from the future.
I’m also recording a max hang result so that I have a real world indication of my increasing grip, which is obviously the important part of any strength increase. As you can see, my ‘normal’ grip strength is only enough to hold my excess body off the floor for 4.8 seconds. That’s not terribly impressive.
In my imaginary world, my performance goes without a hitch and my increasing grip strength is presented on a timeline chart with annotations indicating the movement through the different strength classifications.
Feel free to save a copy of the grip monitoring template to your own google drive and tweak to your hearts content. No need to ask me for edit access – if you save a copy of the spreadsheet, it becomes yours to edit as you see fit.
If you want to follow my progress, take a look at my latest experiment in grip strength post.