Have you ever played with that toy ‘Bop It‘ where you twist it, pull it, bop it, etc…?
It's a fun and challenging game if you haven't tried it.
The Gripedo, pronounced Grip-Eee-Doh, like a torpedo, is sort of like the adult version of Bop It. You can twist it, you can pull it, you can push it… grip it, pinch it, spin it, and more.
If you're serious about grip training or if you just want a very versatile attachment for landmine work, forearm work, etc… the Gripedo is a very effective product.
Aside from offering a lot of versatility, it's also very space-friendly, which is great not only for the home gym, but also any place where space is limited.
I've owned the Gripedo for well over a year and, while I don't use it for hardcore grip/pinch work, I have found it to be useful in my training in several ways.
I primarily use it as a landmine handle and as a forearm tool both on the barbell and in the sand bucket.
In this review, we'll take a look at a lot of ways in which the Gripedo can be used, including how I'm using it. We'll look at the overall build quality, all of the features, and some things I think can be improved upon.
Let's dig in.
What is the Gripedo Trainer?
The Gripedo is shaped like a Torpedo, hence the name. Clever, I know.
Overall, the device is very simple. It's cylindrical, measuring 16″ long with a 4″ globe on the top and a series of four fins on the bottom. The globe and fins are each welded to the shaft so you won't have to worry about the structural integrity of the tool. The shaft measures roughly 2.25″, which provides a challenging diameter for things like wrist rolls, etc… There is a pin through one of the fins and a larger hole through the entire cylinder at the bottom, both of which I will explain below.
It's one thing to just design a product to look like something (i.e. a Torpedo), but the Gripedo goes beyond that. The fins, for example, are multi-functional, as I will describe momentarily. The globe is of course a great grip aid in and of itself. If you've ever used a globe-style piece of equipment like a pull-up bar, triceps pushdown attachment, etc… then you know they can be downright brutal on the grip.
The entire piece is finished in a matte black powder coat that's pretty grippy and takes chalk well – something that's very important for those using the Gripedo for hardcore grip training.
How to Use The Gripedo Trainer
There is no shortage of ways to use the Gripedo. I'll start by detailing the main ways I'm using it, and then I'll touch on several other ways it can be effectively used.
Sand Bucket Spins
When I first received the Gripedo, the very first thing I did was buy a bucket from Lowe's, fill it with sand, and start twisting. This can be effective at strengthening, increasing endurance, or recovering from an injury. The great thing about it is that you have full control over the intensity/difficulty. It stressed me in ways I hadn't been stressed before, as evidenced by the physical soreness days after.
If you place the Gripedo deep into the sand and apply pressure to it, it can be extremely challenging, making it great for strength.
If you place it shallower in the sand and apply less pressure, it can be great for higher rep endurance and recovery purposes.
The fins on the bottom serve as a resistance measure. You can use the globe or the shaft itself to perform the rotation. Either way, it's a challenging movement.
The way that I'm currently using the Gripedo the most is as a landmine attachment/handle. As a disclaimer, I suggest using a beater bar when using the Gripedo because the inside of the shaft is just powder-coated steel. It will scratch your barbell sleeves no matter if you're using it on a landmine or as a wrist roller. Unless you just don't care about your sleeves, don't put an expensive bar inside the Gripedo… or most landmines for that matter.
That said, the Gripedo is awesome on the landmine. I use it mainly for single-arm rows, single-arm press variations, two-handled ball/viking presses, etc… It's a top 2-3 landmine attachment for me.
The third, less-used way I'm using the Gripedo is as a wrist roller. With a racked barbell, you can place the gripedo on the sleeve and spin it with something serving as resistance, like a band with weight attached. Use the shaft to spin with both hands or use the globe single-handed.
The small hole in one of the fins is placed there for a carabiner. If you attach a band or string to the carabiner and then a weight implement to the bottom of the band/string, you have a wrist roller setup. That said, it can get a little awkward as you wind it up, especially with something wider like a band. Depending on how the carabiner sits, it may require some adjustment/steering while you're trying to use it. You can also simply tie a string through it to avoid some of that, but the carabiner is much more convenient. Another downside is that the fins can cause fraying or other damage to your band/string due to the steel edges. This is another aspect that may require you to steer off the fins and onto the smooth shaft before performing a full range of motion.
For that reason, I'm not using it as a wrist roller as much anymore. There are other very simple DIY wrist roller setups that require just a band directly on a barbell sleeve. That way you don't risk damaging your sleeve and you don't have to worry about the above issues.
Consider that you can also do partial turns. Pretend as though you're performing a weighted doorknob turn where you turn one way, return to center, and turn the opposite.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it may be a good idea to use an offsetting weight on the other side of the bar when racked. That way you don't accidentally tip the bar when using weight on only one side.
One popular way to use the Gripedo, even though I don't personally use it in this way, is the grip deadlift. There is a hole near the bottom of the cylinder that goes completely through and accommodates a 5/8″ or less hitch pin. You can therefore connect a loading pin directly to it and perform a grip deadlift.
One thing to keep in mind is your height relative to the added length of the loading pin. If you're a shorter user, you may need to stand on something to create enough clearance to get adequate range of motion. You can also do this no matter what if you want to perform a deficit grip deadlift.
Another interesting way to use the Gripedo, which I've tried several times and which I rather enjoy is with oscillating holds. If you've ever seen or used the Bandbell Earthquake Bar, it challenges you essentially through a chaos effect. Attach a band to the hitch pin on the bottom hole (or carabiner through the small fin hole), attach some weight on the band directly, and hold on for dear life. Give the handle a little bounce to create chaos in the system. Better yet, walk with it in the form of a farmer's carry. Your stride will naturally create the bounce. It's extremely challenging, even under light load.
If you're into more hardcore grip training, the fin pinch can be an effective and challenging way to use the Gripedo. Chalk up and place your thumb on one fin and however many remaining fingers you want on the neighboring fin. Pinch and lift while the Gripedo is on the bar. Since the device still allows roughly 5″ of loadable sleeve length, you can add some plates to the bar for extra resistance. You can also add a band to the sleeve and loop it to something like a kettlebell for accommodating resistance.
Various Pulling Movements
You can use the carabiner attachment or hook into the hitch-pin and use the Gripedo as a cable attachment or as a sled pull attachment. I don't use it in this way much personally, but it can be an effective way of building grip strength.
Who Can Benefit from the Gripedo?
This is a versatile tool with applications spanning several training styles. The following athletes, among others, can benefit from the Gripedo:
- Arm Wrestlers
- Grip Strength Enthusiasts
- Sport Athletes (Baseball, Football, Etc…)
- People Recovering from Injury
My biggest suggestion would be to offer a lining on the inner side of the shaft, much like vertical barbell holders. This would require some additional outside diameter in order to still allow for a 50mm inner diameter for barbell work, but it would dramatically reduce any potential for barbell damage, whether cosmetic or otherwise.
Secondly, on the sides of the base opposite the 5/8″ holes, I think it would make sense to have a 1″ hole to accommodate larger hitch pins. More and more people are opting for 1″ holed racks these days. Since those size hitch pins are used on those racks, it could be beneficial for many users.
Lastly, and not as importantly, would be to have color options. Customization is the flavor of the day, especially in the home gym space. With a few standard powder coat options, it could be more appealing to some.
Gripedo Trainer – Pros & Cons
- The Gripedo is a very versatile tool that can increase strength, size, endurance, or rehabilitation in the grip and forearms most notably. It can also help with shoulder issues/strengthening.
- The device is generally well-designed and thought out to allow for a variety of training options.
- At only 16″ long, it's a space-friendly piece that accomplishes a lot while taking up minimal footprint.
- The powder-coat is grippy and takes chalk well.
- The Gripedo comes in several sizes, including the standard 4″ globe, a 3″ globe, a 1.5″ handle top, and the Gripedolite version which is generally just smaller all around.
- The inner edge is exposed steel, which will cause cosmetic damage to your sleeve over time.
- Due to the fins and the carabiner hole placement, damage may be caused to your bands/string/rope on wrist rolls. To avoid this, you may have to steer the line early, which can be somewhat annoying.
- Currently, the price of the Gripedo retails at $129, which feels pricey despite its versatility. However, it's currently on sale for $90, which feels much better.
Overall, the Gripedo is an effective tool with broad application. Depending on your training style, this may be a great addition to your arsenal.
If you have any questions about the Gripedo, please leave a comment below. Likewise, if you own the Gripedo and you want to chime in with your own thoughts, please do so!
As always, I appreciate any feedback.
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The bar is loaded,