The 30 Day Grip Strength Challenge

Imrpove Your Grip in 30 Days with this challenge

30 Day Grip Challenge

Why I am Starting This Challenge:

Last semester I decided to take an EMT class. I need a way to earn patient hours for medical school, and I have a passion for helping people during tough times. The knowledge and experience I will collect EMT-ing will be an invaluable asset toward my life goals. Last summer I took the necessary exams and earned my national certification. All that was left was applying at an ambulance company. Last week, I finally completed my interview to work for our local company. There were 5 main parts to the interview which I will review right now.

1-     Loading a Patient Into the Ambulance: I needed to demonstrate that I was able to lift a patient into the ambulance on my own. Since our company has an automated gurney, it was a relatively easy task. 

2-     The Character Interview: This was another easy section. I merely told the interviewers—who are members of the ambulance company—about myself, why I wanted to be there, and the answers to a few important technical questions. 

3-     Carrying a 190 lbs Patient Up and Down 3 Flights of Stairs: This part was the killer and birthed the idea for this challenge. As the interviewee, I had to carry the torso half of the weighted dummy. It was HEAVY. A current EMT was assigned as my partner, and I noticed that other EMT assistants were dripping in sweat after their runs. I knew then that this would be a challenge. I was able to deadlift the patient to a standing position, and then I had to carry it up the stairs. This part was difficult, but I was able to hold my own. We were allowed a break at the top of the stairs, and then we had to continue. I didn’t mention, but the entire test had to be done in two and a half minutes. My break was short, and we started down the stairs. I made it down two flights and my grip started giving out… My legs are strong, my arms are strong, my grip evidently is not. I ended up with a controlled drop at the third step to the bottom. Luckily, I was able to rest my arms for a few moments and complete the test. 

4-     Performing 10 Minutes of Solo CPR: I get in the zone during CPR, so this was not the worst part of the interview. It was a struggle, however, completing this section after finishing my backboard run. My mannequin was covered in sweat, so I feel bad for any patients I will be performing CPR on in future!

5-     The Speech: Finally, after I learned that I passed the physical and character interviews, I needed to plead my case to the ENTIRE ambulance company at their monthly meeting. I went up in front of all of them, told them why I wanted to join them, and answered some questions about my availability. They sent us all away, deliberated about each of us individually, and then we were called back in and told if we made it. 

    The Plan:

All in all the interview was a great experience, and I am so excited to be officially employed as an EMT with the other super nice trainees! However, I knew then (and the day after when I was sore out of my mind) that I needed to adjust my workout routine to fit my new job. I decided that my grip strength needs an intense crash course. I will still be using my Freeletics Gym app that I adore as it really helps me build strength for my new job. I will also be doing cardio Tuesday and Thursday. The logistics of those days are still in the testing period (I need to find something that I do not dread). So far I have tried elliptical, running, and tomorrow I am trying biking. Updates on that later I am sure!

Finally, I am adding in a grip workout every day. Obviously my deadlifts help with my grip, but clearly not enough. For the 30 day grip challenge, I will be performing 3 grip exercises: The Plate Pinch, The Farmer’s Walk, and the Kettle Bell Walk (which is the same as the Farmer's Walk, but with a kettle bell). Which of these I do will depend on the supplies available at whichever gym I am at that day.

The Challenge:

Since I am training for the challenge that I failed, I will be performing a 2 and a half minute carry with the weight that is doable for me. It is important that you don’t choose a weight that is too easy as you will not see much improvement in the 30 days, but it is also important that you are realistic about what you can carry. I suggest the first few days going a little lighter and working up to a comfortable but difficult threshold of weight. It is so important that you do not injure yourself; then you will need to take time off to heal and that is the opposite of what you want!

Stay Tuned!

Every day for 30 Days I will perform the above workout, and then I will write up another post at the end with my progress and suggestions! If you are up for the challenge, do it along with me! Post any comments, questions, struggles, observations, or encouragement in the comments section below as you work through your 30 days with me! We can keep each other accountable! Also, make sure to subscribe so that you are alerted when I post my big end-of-challenge update!

If you like these sort of challenges or want to be a boss and do multiple challenges at once, check out the 30 Day Squat Challenge and the 30 Day Pushup Challenge!


  1. What i do is juice lemons all day until i get a gallon of pure lime juice. Then I sell it to my friends for beer money haha!

    1. Haha I love it! What a way to kill two birds with one stone--improved grip strength and financial wellness all in one. Maybe I should add that to the challenge...? :)


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