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Hook grip vs.alternate grip vs. lifting straps...

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  • Hook grip vs.alternate grip vs. lifting straps...

    I've had to utilize the hook grip for heavier deadlifts lately and I had a couple of concerns/questions:

    1.) If I choose to use hook grip for the heavy sets, should I also be doing all of my warm up sets with hook grips as well? I've only been using the hook grip on my heaviest sets so far.

    2.) If I plan to enter a powerlifting meet, is it ok to train with double overhand/lifting straps and switch to alternate grip during the peaking cycle? Just use the alternate grip for triples to singles?

    3.) Will using lifting straps on the heaviest sets prevent grip strength from improving?

    I don't think I want to pursue the hook grip as both my thumbs are always sore now at the attachment point at the wrist, and it's been more than 2 weeks since I've used the hook grip.

  • #2
    I guess i am not as advanced as you, still i want to comment (maybe someone says i am wrong, so i will have learned something). Hopefully my thoughts are helpful:

    1) Practice makes perfect, i would use whatever grip "always" to get used to it

    2) Can't comment on this nuanced question since i dont have the experience, sry

    3) I would guess, yes. When using lifting straps you are not training your grip strength as much - obv. Will this impair your grip strength developement to a point that you cant lift a bottle of coke - probably not. If grip strength is your problem on the (i.e.) deadlift, then you might want to try to improve it (bbm recommendation usually is: 20s hold on your last set of DL)

    4) You said you dont want to use the hook grip as a long term solution since your thumbs are always sore. Well, that might be, because you havent used it for long enough (2 weeks doesnt sound to me as an appropriate time frame to get the required adaptation) to actually get the required training in to get the required adaptation. Maybe tape it. It seems to be important to find "some technique / strategy" which you can use in the long run. To me it sounds like (pls correct me if i am wrong) you tried it out and dont like it, so you want to move on. Maybe its not for you, maybe you didnt try (didnt know how to) for long enough. Maybe its perfect for you but you need more time - idk. You said that you used the hook grip for about two weeks now and now (im interpreting the following) are sick of it, hence your post.

    I remember Alan made a video about it and he kind of said: Learn it, get used to it, pain at the beginning, cool thing though. I am just trying to say, feelings are a strong thing. Ask me about cardio for example

    Just my perspective, not here to tell you what you (should) feel or anything. Just my 2cents,...

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    • #3
      1. If you're new to hook grip, I'd do all warmup sets with it to start acclimating your thumbs to the stress. If you're proficient with it already, you can just hook grip on your heavy sets. Same goes for alternate grip.

      2. If you plan on competing with an alternate grip, why not just always use an alternate grip for your comp deadlift training? It's fine to use straps for your supplemental deadlift work, but I'd use your planned competition grip for comp DL day. There is no risk or issues with always using alternating grip

      3. If you don't plan on ever competing, you can just always use straps if you want. Otherwise I'd at least do your top set without straps and use straps for back off sets if you need to.

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      • #4
        1. I hook grip all warm ups, well when they get a bit heavy for double overhand. I hook grip all singles (1@7, 1@8) and warm up doubles (used prior to the 1@7 before the 1@8). I use straps for working sets with multiple reps (sets of usually 3 or more). Using straps has not affected my hook grip strength for the singles and doubles.
        2. What llaffin said. There is also no risk or issues with always using hook grip (just in case you were wondering).
        3. No. If you build up the load in unstrapped deadlifts up to working weights, like everything you are also building volume and thus some strength. If you use unstrapped for the top singles or doubles, then no. If strapped thereafter it will be fine.
        I found my thumb, mainly my right thumb, would be constantly numb at the tip when I hook gripped everything (LP). Now as I hook grip warm ups and singles and doubles and the working weight volume stuff is strapped, I don't have an issue with thumb any more. I definitely feel the hook grip needs load management and acclimatisation to get used to it and to tolerate it. However, you will lead a full life if you never did the hook grip again. It is fine either way.
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