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Thread: Deadlifting with straps

  1. #1
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    Default Deadlifting with straps

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    Iím in my 8th week of NLP. Since the last 2-3 weeks my deadlift was stuck at 275 lb. The first rep is always solid and then my grip becomes an issue. So my subsequent reps are crappy and I feel like the bar will slip out of my hand during the rep. I use chalk but it doesnít help. So I used lifting strap today and 275lb moved smoothly for 5 reps. I could have done atleast 3 more reps with good form.
    I feel guilty though to be using straps. Should I be avoiding straps and try any other method to get over my grip issues ? Is using straps going to reduce the effectiveness of the workout? Will be grip strength not improve because I use straps (will it become my crutch?)?
    It seems like Iím using straps at a low weight of 275lb. Please let me know how to approach this situation.

    Age: 41
    Weight: 161lb
    Height: 5í 9Ē

  2. #2
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    May 2018
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    Are you using a hook grip? Double over hand will only last so long, even with chalk.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2023
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    Your grip strength is your grip strength. If there was any reason to believe grip strength was not a limiting factor, 275 might be considered light. But there really isn't.

    Hook grip/alternate grip don't train grip strength especially well either, and most people need to switch to one of those at some point, or else use straps. 275 appears to be that point for you.

    I would not worry about grip strength "stalling": just make sure to use double overhand as far into your warmups as you can, and that should take care of it. You probably won't double overhand a five rep max, but that's fine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
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    The common stages of grip considerations are generally:

    1) proper grip + chalk
    2) hook grip
    3) alternate grip
    4) straps when necessary

    For 1, the proper grip is NOT as deep in the hand as you can. It feels stronger, but the bar wants to roll toward the base of the fingers, so the grip should have it there to avoid pinching and tearing calluses.

    If you haven't tried hook grip or alternate grip, definitely try them. If you never have before, you'll be surprised at the performance difference, like you found with straps.

    Also, at 5'9" and 161 lb 8. wks into NLP, are you working on gaining weight? That should be helping all strength, including grip.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2023
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    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I know I can do a few more reps with alternate grip. But I think the guidance is to alternate (left hand v/s right hand - pronated v/s supinated) the alternate grip every session to remove imbalance in arm strength overtime.

    But yeah, I'm planning to just use straps if I hit the wall with alternating grip.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the tips. I have tried alternate grip, but I didn't want to use it due to concerns in creating an imbalance in left v/s right arm over time. Should I keep a log of which hand did I use pronated grip and which hand I used supinated grip and switch the grips in every session?

    I need to learn how to hook grip. Last time I tried, I felt like my thumb was too short and I wasn't confident on holding the bar with hook grip.

    About weight gain - I have gained 11LB over 8weeks. I am targeting 1-1.5LB gain per week. My protein intake is around 160-170gm/day.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2021
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bharath Mukkati View Post
    Thanks for the tips. I have tried alternate grip, but I didn't want to use it due to concerns in creating an imbalance in left v/s right arm over time.
    This is not a concern. Once you get your deadlift up past 700lbs, you can worry about this.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2023
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    You need to be eating 200 grams of protein at an absolute minimum.

    Do not "shoot for" anything. You need to be at 180 pounds yesterday.

    Alternate grip will not create a muscle imbalance if you make even a token effort to switch hands every now and then. Log it if you like, but just doing it "the opposite of last time" should suffice.

    Learn how to hook grip. You need to learn to hook grip to power clean. If you are not power cleaning, you are fucking up.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2021
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bharath Mukkati View Post
    Thanks for the tips. I have tried alternate grip, but I didn't want to use it due to concerns in creating an imbalance in left v/s right arm over time. Should I keep a log of which hand did I use pronated grip and which hand I used supinated grip and switch the grips in every session?

    I need to learn how to hook grip. Last time I tried, I felt like my thumb was too short and I wasn't confident on holding the bar with hook grip.

    About weight gain - I have gained 11LB over 8weeks. I am targeting 1-1.5LB gain per week. My protein intake is around 160-170gm/day.
    Well done on gaining weight - keep that up, and you'll probably want to keep the protein intake steadily going up as your weight does. I have learned the hard way that there's a very distinct relationship between missing my protein intake and not recovering well.

    Hook grip can take some getting used to. One approach is to warm up with double overhand until the last one or two warmup weights, hook those, and then use alternate for the work set. That trains the hook grip without overdoing it, which definitely helps over time. Not everyone uses the hook grip for heavy deadlifts - it's okay. Short fingers, for example make it harder to do.

    The general take I've seen from Rip and other informed people is that imbalance/injury concerns with the alternate grip are overblown in general, and not a big deal until a lifter gets into very heavy weights anyway (like 700s). If you want to switch up from time to time, that's not bad in itself, but I wouldn't obsess over it. Lots of brutally strong people have used it, and most of them without issues.

  10. #10
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    May 2019
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Bharath Mukkati View Post
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I know I can do a few more reps with alternate grip. But I think the guidance is to alternate (left hand v/s right hand - pronated v/s supinated) the alternate grip every session to remove imbalance in arm strength overtime.

    But yeah, I'm planning to just use straps if I hit the wall with alternating grip.
    The problem with the alternate grip is not that it creates a strength imbalance per se but rather that the supine arm and shoulder are loaded asymmetrically and subjected to a different set of mechanical stresses. This has some implications for the performance of the lift (i.e. the tendency of bar to drift away from the leg on the supine side) and injury prevention (i.e. the potential to overload the distal biceps tendon, especially when performing the lift incorrectly). I'd argue that if you're training with alternate grip, you should do it the same way every time both for the practice aspect and for the adaptation aspect.

    Assuming you're pressing, benching, and chinning, you're getting more than enough symmetrical arm work to counteract any minor "strength imbalance" that might occur from the isometric contraction that the arms perform in an alternate grip deadlift.

    There's nothing wrong with using alternate grip if it's more secure; I have moderately short fingers so it works better for me, too, at heavy weights. But you should still be using the hook for your power cleans.

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