Arnold Schwarzenegger is famous for many reasons, but one thing that will forever be associated with everyone’s favorite golden age bodybuilder is the width of his pecs. Considering the enormity of those pecs, it’s no wonder people want to know how Arnie built them, and if you’ve ever dug into the subject, you might have noticed he had a rather unusual on the bar when benched. – the pressure, often called the “suicidal grip”.
Before going further into the analysis of this type of grip, it is important to emphasize that this article is not an explainer and that no one should try the suicide grip, period. There’s a very good reason it’s called that; a hand and you’re done. And not only with the training of the day, but also with the integrity of your ribs, your lungs and your neck. Please do not try it under any circumstances. You have been warned.
What is the suicide handle?
The suicide grip refers to the position of the thumb when holding the barbell for exercises such as the bench press. Instead of using an overhand grip — an overhand grip with the palms facing down away from the thumb — you move the thumb to the same side of the bar where the rest of the fingers are. This makes the bar somewhat unstable, as it could easily slip out of your grasp.
Why did Arnold Schwarzenegger use the suicide hold?
One of Arnie’s fans asked him about the suicidal grip in early 2022, and he responded to them in his newsletter, saying, “I could give you a whole page of reasons why I did it. fact, but this newsletter is all about being honest”. Male Health Quotes (opens in a new tab)“The reality is there was no reason, and I mostly did it on the incline bench just because it felt good.”
The reason it can be “nice” to use the suicide grip is that it holds the wrist joint in what feels like a more natural position. The problem is that the benefit of a more comfortable wrist position doesn’t outweigh the risk of the bar slipping and injuring you. When Arnie used it, he had already been building muscle for at least a decade and a bit, so he knew exactly what he was doing in the gym.
You, on the other hand, who dabble in full-body exercises, aren’t experienced enough even to entertain the idea of using the suicide grip. Even if you have a spotter – someone standing behind you who can potentially help you if you can’t get the bar back to the starting position – they may not be able to react quickly enough if the bar slips.
Is there an advantage to using the suicide grip for the bench press?
The only real benefit of the suicide grip is the increased comfort level mentioned above, which just isn’t reason enough to give it a try. 99.9% of people who bench will never have to use the suicide grip, because it’s just not necessary. If you want pecs as big as Arnie’s, all you have to do is A) make sure you’re eating enough and the right things so you can grow bigger naturally, B) show up at the gym and get to work, even if you don’t feel like lifting weights, and C) mix up your workouts to stimulate muscles and help them grow.
For those interested in Arnie’s muscle building methods, check out how he used pecs to expand pecs and his Arnold Schwarzenegger Blueprint to Mass, which is an actual workout plan anyone can follow to add size (it’s pretty hardcore, though). Speaking of focusing on specific body parts: Mike Tyson’s neck training was quite different back then, not to mention Iron Mike’s bodyweight training.
We also get a look at how Henry Cavill trained for the Witcher series and the non-aquatic training Jason Momoa used to get in shape for Aquaman 2. celebrities, there’s a push-pull-leg routine that’s sure to get you building muscle in the shortest possible time.
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