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  • Help with the Hub

    The Hub has been a persistent weak spot of mine for several years. I'm so frustrated with this lift and I'd like to certify on the CTD challenge one day but 50 lbs with this thing feels nearly unattainable. I'm curious what methods others have employed here to improve their strength with this lift. One perennial issue of mine is that my pinkie never feels like it's pulling it's share of the weight. I have a hard time even keeping it in contact with the Hub. Anybody else share this problem? I'm also unsure how to best grip the Hub in general. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Geremy Freeman
    The Hub has been a persistent weak spot of mine for several years. I'm so frustrated with this lift and I'd like to certify on the CTD challenge one day but 50 lbs with this thing feels nearly unattainable. I'm curious what methods others have employed here to improve their strength with this lift. One perennial issue of mine is that my pinkie never feels like it's pulling it's share of the weight. I have a hard time even keeping it in contact with the Hub. Anybody else share this problem? I'm also unsure how to best grip the Hub in general. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
    I'm thinking a weight that you can lift for reps would help.... When you can lift it ten times, add a pound or two. I don't believe the pinkie works with the hub... It stays kinda off.

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    • #3
      I don't train with the hub often, but I own one and my best lift on it is about 63 pounds, nothing mind blowing but I remember when 45 pounds was stuck to the floor. What I did was I would train high pulling it with less weight than my max for an increase in the time under tension and would do this often for training, then I would just pull to a regular lockout (legs and hips) for max attempts - I do the same with my rolling thunder lifts, I have a Fat Bastard Barbell Company 2" olympic plate loading pin which is about 3" shorter than the Iron Mind loading pin, pulls on the shorter pin increased the time under tension and helped me increase my one rep max on the IM pin. A form of deficit deadlift if you want to look at it that way. I got the idea for the hub based on how Mike Corlett trains and lifts on his hub, he tears it off the floor and does a high pull with it. Once I started doing this my hub went from 40lbs to 60 in a matter of maybe 5 training sessions on it.
      Strength is a marathon, not a sprint.

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      • #4
        Thank you both. I think I'll take the advice of both you; I'll try high pulling it for sets of ten in my next training session. What have I got to lose, right?

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        • #5
          I just got this thing also and I'm stuck at 50lbs in plates on this thing. I don't use my pinkie at all I really don't even know if you can on the lift. Its a very awkward lift for sure though since you can use various grip set ups with your hand like fingers spread out or close together how you turn them etc. I did notice you have to pull more with your upper body to get it going and to try to lock wrist in close to the body but I'm weak at the lift also compared to my other lifts at least. The worst thing is that the tiniest amount of water or sweat on your finger and the thing will slip out super easily and it hurts when it does.

          I know the current world record holder has a particular grip that might be a lot stronger but I have a hard time seeing what he dos on video but he seems to turn his fingers in a weird way instead of the claw technique that you might use-and I use- You might try along with the high/defeciet pulls playing around with your grip since I think on this event the smallest difference in technique could make a big difference.

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          • #6
            Only do it once a week. But when you do, work the heck out of it. Conditioning the fingers to withstand the intense squeezing is important. It takes a while for the fingers to recover, which is why I only (when I am training it) work it once per week. Many years ago, when I first started, my middle finger and ring fingernails would practically jam through the fingers, bleeding a bit. After a few months of that, the fingers were tough and it never happened to me again. Originally, I was training it without chalk, and was up to 30, 32, 34 lbs. I remember the first time I ever used chalk, and it was mind-boggling...35, 40, 45 lbs. It probably took me about 6 months to get over 50 lbs. And, I know this is lame, but I did not know, until after a year of using the "new" hub, that the thing actually holds chalk (the old one did not). That was good for another 10%.

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            • #7
              Some Raises....

              to the front and sides with lighter weight could help. Stand on a bench or box and do one arm rows with the hub. Just some thoughts.

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              • #8
                My thanks to the rest of you who have replied. How do the rest of you grip the Hub? Do you use the bottoms of the fingers or the ends of the fingers (the small area directly below the nail)? It seems like you would have to have to keep the fingernails painfully short to grip it with the ends of the fingers. Currently I'm using the bottoms of the fingers. What is the "claw" grip?

                I find the Hub to be quite awkward to grab; my hand and fingers feel like they're too cramped and scrunched up to find a strong, comfortable position. (My hand is only average size.) I guess this is part of the challenge. I had a custom 5.5" hub made by FBBC and I find it to be much more comfortable to lift than the 3" one. I can actually lift almost as much with the 5.5" one as I can with the 3" one. Doesn't that strike you as odd? There must be some untapped strength in there for me to apply to the 3" but how to access it? It's got to be technique.

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                • #9
                  I think you should grip it so the tips are against the bottom lip. Your fingers are not straight- they will have a bend in them... The thumb will remain pretty straight.

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                  • #10
                    This may help.....

                    The training with Fire Hydrant Nozzle Caps(FHNC). They give you three different 'Hubs' to train. I made a training video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...WODTpTfs#t=232 Hope this helps.
                    I can actually lift almost as much with the 5.5" one as I can with the 3" one. Doesn't that strike you as odd? -Geremy Freeman
                    It used to be odd but now, I think I understand what's going on. I was training for a Hub Lifting exhibition to be done on an old York Deep Dish 45lb plate. I trained at home on some BEN Deep Dish 45lb plates. The Hub on those are 3 1/4". Got to the point of Snatching the plates by the hub with either hand. I was going to do the exhibition after the Heavy Lift Nationals contest. The gentleman running the meet owns the old York 45s I mentioned. I was aghast when I laid eyes upon the plate. I didn't realize the hub is 1 1/2" wider @ 4 3/4" across!! All went well and I was able to Hub Clean & Press the York 45 with either hand. Like you, I was confused until I realized what was really going on. The old York 45 allowed me to use more length of each finger(more surface area) and spreading my fingers out go my palm MUCH closer to the hub. The BEN 45's should've been much harder BUT because the use three risers/spokes, I was able to twist my fingers into the spokes,getting the palm closer to the hub and increasing surface contact area. This put ALOT of pressure on the ring finger's middle joint. Though my old 45's are exact in hub dimension to the BEN plates, they are MUCH harder to lift due to a four spoke/riser arrangement. These I have to hub lift 'straight on' There's no spoke I can twist into before I lift. Some footage of me doing my exhibition with the BEN and York plates: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...8ZK0r12Y#t=483
                    An article I wrote on Hub Lifting: http://www.usawa.com/hubanero-traini...-grip-on-fire/
                    Me Hub Deadlifting the BEN plates: http://www.usawa.com/lifter-of-the-month-james-fuller/

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                    • #11
                      By the way Randy...

                      wouldn't it be 'neat' to mix things up a bit with an IronMind Hub that had four(or three) spokes? Hint....Hint

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                      • #12
                        Dig in.

                        Dig your finger tips into the bottom plate before pinching the hub, it sort of torques your skin into a nice tight set. Do sets of 4 to 6 singles. Do high sets. Keep the weight challenging. Stop before a finger joint strain. When finger joints feel normal again ( a few days ) do it again.

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                        • #13
                          Chalk

                          Make sure you have adequate chalk on your fingers and the hub. I also try to get the tips of my fingers a little sideways and as you lift, they begin to straighten out.

                          observe this video:

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSJrDymZYT8

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