One Grip to Rule Them All!! (The Story Behind the Creation)

One Grip to Rule Them All!!
(The Story Behind the Creation)

What I am about to share with you is the detailed outline to how we developed the Element 26 hand grips.

I want to share this with you because I don’t want to hide anything. Element 26 was built on the principles of transparency and honesty and that is why I am willing to publicly release the blueprint for the hand grip design and development.

Let’s get right into it.

Posted below is the 5 STEP development process:

1. Early August 2018, E26 received first leather grip sample with a three-hole finger design. This design included a wrist strap design that would provide coverage to the wrist for false gripping ring muscle-ups while not having a clip or steel loop that would dig in during overhead barbell work.

Drawback: the leather would stretch exposing the palm beneath and the actual fingers had no protection. We also wanted a thinner material that would grip to the bar better and a retaining strap to prevent the grip from flopping around when the grip was not in use.

2. First week of September 2018, E26 came to a decision that a finger-loop design on the back on the grip was superior to the three-finger hole design (previously mentioned) to address the leather stretching issue and the finger protection issue. Now there would be a material covering the hand up to the base of the fingers.

At this time we also decided to operate with a Carbon Fiber Polyurethane (PU) material and thin synthetic leather base layer.

Drawback: Late September we tested this model with Competitive CrossFit athletes in Dubai who noted the velcro two-ended wrist strap design (from step 1) actually prevented the athlete from really tightening the strap and was very difficult to rotate it to the back of the hand. Major Corrections were needed.

Hand Grips

Early October 2018 we went to an upholstery shop and literally worked with a tailor to make some changes to the wrist strap. We cut the most up to date prototype we had and added material to the strap to improve it.

We ran testing afterwards and still had a lot farther to go since it wasn’t right. Shortly after that we created a paper and tape model that we could continue to edit in order to have the cut and strap design exactly the way we needed. This was then blueprinted and sent to our manufacturer.

4. MAJOR SETBACK ALERT!!! At this time, it was about late October. We submitted another set of revisions and shortly after we received the grip in the new design. Great news!?!? Well not really... We put the grips to the test and had athletes beat the sh*t out of them over the course of three weeks. What we found was the biggest drawback so far…

Drawback: The top coat shredded terribly and didn’t provide enough hand protection. There was no way we could help athletes achieve their goals with a piece of gear that would fall apart on the best athletes.

5. So over the next month and a half we searched far and wide for a material that would not shred. We interacted with multiple manufacturers to find this unicorn material.

It wasn’t until December that we found a good leather bonded to the PU. We quickly put these to the test by grinding them on the bar, trying to create as much friction and wear on them as possible. Once again competitive CrossFit athletes were chosen to test the grips. And not one could wear down the grips.

We had a winner.

Drawback: Wasted time to get you the grips because we chose the wrong material at first. Sorry about that.

There you have it. That’s the meat of development. Definitely frustrating at times but the final model was worth the hassle. We want you to love this grip and we want to hear about your success!! This effort was for YOU!

Remember you do all the hard-work, we just help you along the journey.

If you’re interested in checking out the grips, you can check them out on Amazon or the Element 26 Online Store.

Cheers to new gains!!


Dr. Phil Gauthier
Physical Therapist
Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Co-Founder of Element 26

Want To Hear More From Dr. Phil?
Subscribe Below For His Analysis, Recommendations, And Updates From Element 26

We Don't Share Your Email Address

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published