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We have grips in four different styles and four different materials for two main reasons. The first reason is that there is not a universal style nor material that suits everyone. Second, there is not a universal style nor material that is best for every skill, workout, bar type, and environmental condition. Having more than one style of grips with back-ups at your disposal is about being prepared. If you are serious about the time you spend training and desire to perform better you should listen to this information.
Think of grips like shoes. You have shoes that you wear for your standard mix modal workout of the day (WOD), lifters for Olympic lifting, and running shoes for your 5K’s or track workouts. Then, you have variations of those shoes because you like the soles or other materials they are made of for one reason or another. In essence, grips are no different. Victory Grips are designed with the different skills and workout situations in mind for the simple reason to help you perform at your best no matter the gymnastic skill you are training or what is thrown at you in the gym or at a competition.
There are grips that will handle the majority of your workouts, which are the 3 finger and 4 finger grips. These styles will handle the majority of your workouts and considered utility grips. Then there are specialty grips, which are the 2 finger and fingerless (Freedom) grips. The 2 finger grips are designed for rings and kettlebells, and the Freedoms are designed for fast transitions.
Some materials grip better in powder coated bars and bare steel (Speal) bars. Some are thicker softer and others are thinner to accommodate different protection needs and dexterity preferences. Some materials do better in humidity or in the rain. Have you ever done a competition outside and had to do large sets of chest to bar pull-ups in the rain? We saw that situation at Wodapalooza 2020.
To help you understand and compare the different materials and styles in detail we have created a grip matrix that you will find here. Or you can download the PDF version here.
Like shoes, you will find that there is a particular pair of grips you use the majority of the time. This is when you need to have backups if you are a serious competitor. According to our favorite running coach, Chris Henshaw, elite running athletes always have three pairs of shoes: a pair that they are currently running in, a pair that is broken in and on stand by, and a pair that is brand new. These shoes are on a constant rotation to make sure you are always prepared for an important competition with a pair that you can count on not to fail and perform optimally. You do not want to be competing in the Open with a pair of grips you have been using for 9 months and think they will not fail you in the midst of a workout. When you compete you are exerting more force and performing larger sets than in training because of adrenalin. You need to make sure your grips are ready to handle that intensity. Be prepared!