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A question of grip

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  • A question of grip

    Hi, I'm nearing the end of SSLP and I'm finding that I'm having an issue with grip strength on the deadlift. My last workout I deadlifted 160kg (353lbs) double overhand, but by the fifth rep it was hard to hold the bar and therefore hard to lockout my shoulders fully. I've had a similar experience with my last few deadlift sessions - I can manage five reps, but the last is a struggle to lockout because the bar is slipping out of my hand. I am using chalk btw.

    What would you recommend in this situation? I want to improve my grip strength, so I think it would make sense to avoid straps. A lot of people seem to use the mixed grip, but I've also heard horror stories of tearing biceps, so I'm unsure whether to try it. Then there's the hook-grip, which, as I understand it, involves time, dedication and pain to master.

    What would be your suggestion? Many thanks!

    Me: Male, 37yrs, 200lbs, on SSLP since March.

  • #2

    Thanks for your post.

    When you say double overhand, do you mean Hook grip or actually double overhand?

    Since you're using chalk and hook/double overhand (DOH) isn't working for you to train your grip, I would advocate using mixed grip for your last warm up and work set(s). If you're not yet hooking, I would try that first. I wrote an article on this :

    IMO, the horror stories you speak of are incredibly rare overall, in general, so I wouldn't let that deter me.
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    • #3
      Hi Jordan,

      Yes, I've been using the double overhand grip, without a hook. Thanks for your advice and article. I'm giving the hook grip a go - tried it on my last deadlift session and got to a warm-up weight of 110kg before giving in to the pain and reverting to non-hook double overhand!
      I'll persevere with the hook grip though and hope that my thumb will adapt to it with some time.

      Thanks for your help!

      By the way, I just watched you recap of the weekend's meet. Congrats! That was an impressive performance, even if not everything went to plan!


      • #4
        I went through the same thing and eventually got used to the hook grip to the point that it doesn't hurt anymore. Using some athletic finger tape as is often mentioned really helped.