I'm not sure you, or they, need a review of their flagship product by now. The Captains of Crush grippers are pretty well-known to a lot of subculturists. It's not like I need to tell you that they rock or that they're a first-class product. Still, if you come to my blog to see what I've been doing or what I think works or not, then this is what I think about the CoC's.
THEY DO ROCK!
I have no idea about the history of these style of grippers. Some random memory neuron in my mind recalls seeing one of these from the 1950s. Since a lot of fitness equipment follows the same trajectory into the mainstream, I guess that somewhere along the line, someone took this formerly-awesome gripper and then mass-produced it down to the plastic-handled jobby that my 3 week old son Henry could probably squeeze shut for 5 reps. We went from something that could make a strong grip to something that our girlfriends, terrified of having real muscle, could use to tone their forearms.
So, I never gave much thought to this tool. All it was to me was a junk-style exercise thing that showed up in the sporting goods department at K-mart.
Then, I had a change of heart. I decided to buy the Trainer and the #1 for the plane ride out to Sacramento. I had to get my work stuff and I figured that they might be something I could do when I'm driving back across the fruited plains as well. These things, when you count the shipping, run around $20-$25 each. There isn't much to them. They're an aluminum handle with a steel spring. There isn't much to screw up and make poorly and Ironmind doesn't screw them up. They are very nicely made! As you move up in difficulty, the springs stock increases in diameter. You might not even notice unless you put them side-to-side.
You will when you grip them! This was immediately fun! After burning into my mind that this genre of gripper was garbage, I was taken back. I even went overboard using things. Ironmind recommends using these things two or three times a week, treating this as seriously as any other workout you'd do. That's good advice to heed. By the time I hit Wyoming, my hands were ACHING.
That is the downside of this style of training, I guess. Furthermore, it's good to balance this out with some extension exercises. Ironmind knows how to sell stuff. They include in their instructions a plug for their glorified rubber bands. I prefer some sort of fingertip push-ups.
On the plus side, after I got rid of that new toy enthusiasm and started getting serious about using the CoC, I couldn't believe how well that these work. After two weeks of using these, I tacked on two more reps to my 3.5" thick bar pull-ups and three reps back onto my fingertip HSPU's and OAP's. I haven't had such a quick increase in grip strength since I took up rope climbing.
I started out being able to close the trainer but struggled with the #1. Now, I can close both reasonably easy so I bumped up to the #2. I'm not closing that one yet. I'm stuck at a partial close for time. I'll just enjoy the journey like I'm enjoying the CoC's.