Switching to hook grip advice Switching to hook grip advice

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Thread: Switching to hook grip advice

  1. #1
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    Default Switching to hook grip advice

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    So after a few injuries and now dealing with a torn meniscus from playing basketball with a couple of 12 year olds I have become more aware that at nearly 50 I probably should be a little smarter. I currently deadlift once a week and do a set of 5 with 350-370. This is not particularly hard for me but it is certainly not a cake walk. I weigh approx 215 so it is not a stellar lift by any means. However I keep hearing about people tearing a bicep tendon doing alternating grip so I want to switch to hook grip. However I find that after a week of trying I can’t do 345 more than once. I don’t want to use straps and would rather just lower the weight. My question is this. Is this reasonable? If I drop the weight to like 315, is it likely I can continue to make progress or are you always stronger with an alternate grip. I watched your 500lb deadlift on YouTube and thought you were using an alternate grip but I could be wrong. What do you personally use on a day to day basis and is this injury really that common that as an older guy I should worry about it.

  2. #2
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    This is ridiculous. It is not reasonable to be worried about a bicep tendon avulsion with a light weight you have done once a week for god knows how long. If you want to lower the weights, go ahead, but don't blame the potential for an uncommon injury you will never experience.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    This is ridiculous. It is not reasonable to be worried about a bicep tendon avulsion with a light weight you have done once a week for god knows how long. If you want to lower the weights, go ahead, but don't blame the potential for an uncommon injury you will never experience.
    No I don’t want to lower the weight, but I have never used anything but mixed grip, and hook just feels wrong. What I may do is mess with hook grip for another week and see if I can get close to my working weight using it. I was under the impression it is a more common injury than I guess it is.

  4. #4
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    It took me a few months to get used to the hook grip. I don’t think a week is enough time. Use chalk, make sure that you are using your ring finger and pinky to hold the bar - not just your thumb and use the thumb grip on all of your warm ups too.

    I found it to be very painful at first but don’t notice it now.

    hope this helps,

  5. #5
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    Your perception will adapt from “feels wrong” to “normal”, and you will continue to make progress, using whatever backoff you choose. You’re a bit younger and ~ 20 lbs heavier than me, so I see no obvious reason why you won’t be able to use the hook grip through ~ 500 lbs. Then reevaluate.

  6. #6
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    Don't back off. Progress linearly. Use the hook until you can't, then mixed. Linear Progression works. Try it!

    Rip is correct. Something deep inside my plums tells me that the only people who tear their biceps deadlifting are those powerlifting specialists whose exogenous hormone use allows for the rapid increase in stength of their vascular contractile tissue (i.e. muscle) to exceed the ability of the white/cartilaginous connective tissue (tendons) to keep up.

  7. #7
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    I've seen a few bicep injuries from static line parachuting, and I remember well the biceps injury that dogged Ken Norton Jr. in 1993 on the Superbowl run by the Cowboys. (Just learned that, last year, Ken Norton Jr.'s son, an aspiring pro, lost his left arm in a car crash--prayers for them.)

    Those injuries are not relevant to deadlifting, but they probably predisposed me to the hook grip.

    I read the book and the stuff on the site about the hook grip. I found this video helpful, but, in my experience, you still have to make subtle adjustments to get the hook in the sweet spot:

    The Hook Grip with Short Fingers | Paul Horn

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatButWeak View Post
    Something deep inside my plums tells me that the only people who tear their biceps deadlifting are those powerlifting specialists whose exogenous hormone use allows for the rapid increase in stength of their vascular contractile tissue (i.e. muscle) to exceed the ability of the white/cartilaginous connective tissue (tendons) to keep up.
    And really, this doesn't happen either. Everything strengthens. But when you're deadlifting 700+, sometimes you get hurt. Why is this so hard to accept?

  9. #9
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    As others in this thread have advised, stay the course on adopting the hook grip. I tried it a few years ago and woosed out after a few painful attempts with it. In my own case, it was probably the result of not having my index/middle fingers wrapped around my thumb correctly. But more recently I tried it again after some more careful review of the finger set up and while it was uncomfortable for a week or so, I got over it and have had much success with it since then.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by FatButWeak View Post
    Don't back off. Progress linearly. Use the hook until you can't, then mixed. Linear Progression works. Try it!

    Rip is correct. Something deep inside my plums tells me that the only people who tear their biceps deadlifting are those powerlifting specialists whose exogenous hormone use allows for the rapid increase in stength of their vascular contractile tissue (i.e. muscle) to exceed the ability of the white/cartilaginous connective tissue (tendons) to keep up.
    If your supinated arm is bent, and you jerk the weight off the floor, you can do it with less-than-Herculean loads for sure. No sterons required.

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