Amna Al Haddad
Sports Pioneer from the Middle East

Training Log fat-grips-1_1

Published on October 29th, 2012 | by Amna Al Haddad


Training Phase #2 (Week 2): German Volume & Structural Balance

Last week I wrote about my current training phase which is the German Volume Training (GVT), and this phase is going to last for a little while longer.

In Week 2 of doing GVT, my training intensity has increased in the sense instead of doing 10 sets of 4 reps, we started doing 10 sets of 5 reps (10×5) of supersets exercises in training sessions. Although GVT is known to be a 10×10 training method, I am doing the advanced option as my training goal is strength and not hypertrophy (increase in muscle size.)

One thing I have been mentioning for a while is Fat gripz in the past couple of weeks. So what are those you may ask? Lets say they are a simple object that creates a huge difference in your grip and overall strength. To simply explain it, Fat gripz are an object that you add to your barbell, dumbbell, pull up bar which makes holding the bar a lot thicker and doesn’t allow you to close your fist – like holding a water bottle. Fat gripz have been used by many athletes, from weightlifters to bodybuilders to powerlifters.

Why are they important? They improve your grip (aka your forearms strength). Lets say some people tend to fail a heavy deadlift, because they can’t hold onto the bar. So sometimes what happens athletes may plateau in developing their overall strength because they simple have a weak grip. As the saying goes:

“You’re body is only as strong as your weakest link”

So how can using this simple but very effective object help in my weightlifting? Well, you do need a strong grip to do snatches and cleans, there is no doubt about that. Instead of spending years to condition my forearms to withstand that much volume to build strength and handle the weight, why not use this amazing tool to speed up the process? You know, I only have four years to become strong, and many would say that’s a long period of time, but for a weightlifter – that is just the beginning!

As I mentioned before, the goal of this training phase is to work on my overall strength and ensure I am balanced before I start doing extensive Olympic Weightlifting in a few weeks time! It’s great to have a coach who not only coaches you, but teaches you about your own training, one thing I really enjoy with my new coach, Olivier from Fast Athletic.

Here’s a short testimonial by a Canadian champion weightlifter who used fat gripz that I found interesting. Just look at that 132kg snatch! Enjoy ;)


Monday – 22 of Oct
Day 1 – Upper Body

A1:  Neutral grip DB bench press with fat gripz, 25lbs/arm
A2: Neutral grip Chin ups, 4010 tempo

B1: Push ups, 4010 tempo
B2: Bent over rows with fat gripz @ 20lbs, 4010 tempo

Tuesday – 23 of Oct
Rest Day

Wednesday – 24 of Oct
Day 2 – Lower Body

A1: Barbell RDLs with fat grip @ 29.5kgs, dropped fat gripz by set 4 &  increased to 52kgs, 4010 tempo
A2: Step ups @ 4.5kgs plate hold

Thursday – 25 of Oct
Day 3 – Structural balance

A1: SitFit Crunches 4×10-12, 3111
A2: Side dips on a step4x8-10, 2011

B1: DB external rotations @ 5lbs, 3010
B2: Xball T3 & T2 T1 raises @ 3lbs, 3011

C1: DB Single front press @ 10lbs, 4010
C2: Lying leg rotations


Disclaimer: The training program above is designed and specialized for me and my needs as an individual athlete. Before beginning any training regime, always consult the advice of medical and health professionals. The information contained in this post is based on my own understanding and is not a substitute for advice from health professionals.

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About the Author

Amna Al Haddad , born in 21 Oct 1989, is an Emirati who always had a passion for health and fitness. She made history by being the first Emirati and GCC national to ever to participate in the Reebok Crossfit Games Asia Regionals. Since then she embarked on Olympic Weightlifting with being an IWF Arab and West-Asian Champ -63. A NIKE sponsored athlete, a motivational speaker and published author.

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  • My Profile

    Age: 23
    Height: 5’2
    Weight Category: 53kgs

    Competition total:
    Arnold Weightlifting Championships: 82kgs

    Personal Records (kgs):

    Deadlift: 105
    Back Squat: 68
    Front Squat: 60
    Clean and Jerk: 51
    Push Press: 45
    Bench Press: 43
    Shoulder Press: 37
    Snatch: 36