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  • Hand fatigue

    I'm in week 5 of 12-week strength, with a growing amount of fatigue/soreness in my hands. Specifically knuckles. It takes some effort to make a fist as the joints feel quite stiff. This soreness has been building slowly for 2-3 months, with me using straps for everything other than comp deadlifts for the past couple of weeks. I switched to alternate grip for comp deadlifts at the same time as using straps for accessory lifts.

    I suspect my hands are not adapting to the volume of deadlifts/RDL/rows/etc, and I need to back off the stress in them. I'm able to double-overhand (no hook grip) singles up to 355 lbs (a @9 lift for me at this moment), so I don't think it's a strength problem.

    If I correctly understand the BBM methodology; I should reduce the workload on my hands by using lifting straps for everything for a few weeks, then slowly phase them out while monitoring my response. Is this the right path?

    Thanks! (About me: 43 years old, 185 lbs, lifting for 2.5 years after being mostly sedentary beforehand, good health with no notable problems, no recent trauma)

  • #2
    Originally posted by Corey View Post
    I'm in week 5 of 12-week strength, with a growing amount of fatigue/soreness in my hands. Specifically knuckles. It takes some effort to make a fist as the joints feel quite stiff. This soreness has been building slowly for 2-3 months, with me using straps for everything other than comp deadlifts for the past couple of weeks. I switched to alternate grip for comp deadlifts at the same time as using straps for accessory lifts.

    I suspect my hands are not adapting to the volume of deadlifts/RDL/rows/etc, and I need to back off the stress in them. I'm able to double-overhand (no hook grip) singles up to 355 lbs (a @9 lift for me at this moment), so I don't think it's a strength problem.

    If I correctly understand the BBM methodology; I should reduce the workload on my hands by using lifting straps for everything for a few weeks, then slowly phase them out while monitoring my response. Is this the right path?

    Thanks! (About me: 43 years old, 185 lbs, lifting for 2.5 years after being mostly sedentary beforehand, good health with no notable problems, no recent trauma)
    Hey Cory,

    Has this happened previously?
    Any joint swelling in the hands?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Michael Ray View Post
      Hey Cory,

      Has this happened previously?
      Any joint swelling in the hands?
      Hi Michael,

      No previous occurrence of this, no joint swelling. I believe I just ramped up the stress too quickly for my hands to adapt. The closest experience I have is sore elbows during SSNLP, where I was carrying too much weight on my hands in the squat. Once I learned how to carry most of the weight on my shoulders/back, the strain dissipated over the following weeks.

      After using straps for the last 2 days of training, my hands are already feeling less overwhelmed. Now, how do I gracefully transition back to no straps over time?

      My plan right now: (I would love suggestions/improvements!)
      - Use straps for next 2 weeks for everything (even warm-ups) except 'competition deadlift' slots, those will be mixed grip
      - Taper out the straps by doing warm-ups without straps for the third week *
      - Eliminate straps for 1 accessory lift in the 4th week *
      - Eliminate straps all accessories in 5th week *

      * Like RPE, adjust per how my hands are coping.

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      • #4
        FYI: This appears to have been a good approach. My hand fatigue has dissipated, now I'm starting to taper out the strap usage.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Corey View Post
          FYI: This appears to have been a good approach. My hand fatigue has dissipated, now I'm starting to taper out the strap usage.
          Awesome Corey! Glad things have been improving for you. Keep us posted.

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