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Annoying Deadlift Fail


i'm working the starting strength workout and today is the last day of my fourth week. on today's docket was deadlifting 1x5 @ 235lbs. i know that doesn't seem like a lot, but hey, it's my fourth week. anyhow, my first pull was alright but on my second pull, my hands just wouldn't stay on the bar. i rested a lot in between tries, but i could only manage to get one more full rep in before my grip just starting "going". i didn't have a problem with 225 on monday and managed to finish all five without losing my grip (it was pretty damn hard though). i just could not keep my grip on the bar. i don't know what to do about that. has anyone one here had this problem?


Hang from a chin-up bar, or deadlift 200# and just hold it at the top for time squeezing the shit out of the bar.
Simple stuff dude. Just think what's weak? Then think of something you could do to strengthen it.


At this point, I'd suggest hanging from a pull up bar for time working up to 1:30 or so, if it's grip strength you're lacking right now, but if it's more of an issue with your hands being wetter than Paris Hilton on meth then invest in some chalk. Your grip will catch up pretty quick.


thanks, ya'll


Yes, and whatever you do, please do not start using wrist straps. These will only act as a crutch and hurt your grip strength in the long run. Also, you could look around your gym for different bars with a better grip. I personally like to use the ones with the thickest grip at my gym on my max effort deadlifts.


This may seem kind of simplistic, but how do you hold the bar? Both hands overhand, or one over, one under? Because if you're doing both overhand, which lots of people start with, that's definitely going to limit you very quickly.



As to the grip loss, it may be a weakness of grip but it also might be that you're letting yourself get pulled forward on your feet too much in the upper part of the pull. If this is happening, the bar will seem lots heavier and you will likely stall or lose grip.

Make sure you're moving towards your heels as you stand.



Buy some chalk.


i will definitely check my weight distribution next time i'm deadlifting. thanks for the tip.

ps. don't worry, everybody; i won't be going the wrist strap route.


In my limited experience I found that switching to over/under grip made my overhand grip stronger when I got stronger with the o/u grip.


Why are you already up to 235 on week four of SS? You're supposed to add 10-20lbs every session, not 50.


185 was 85% of my 1RM when i first measured my deadlift. i figured that was an okay weight to start with...

also: i have been using a both hands over grip. i tried an over/under once and my bicep did not agree with it.


Look into hook grip. And, if you DO try over/under again, make sure your arms stay straight, bending them is what tears biceps. That said, if you can't do over/under... you're probably going to want to get straps eventually. Double overhand will absolutely limit how much weight you can lift.


A friend of mine deadlifts 200 kg no problem with a double overhand. So it can work.


Pretty sure SS is meant to start with an empty bar or close to it. It's going to be difficult to add weight every session when starting so close to your max. SS is meant for raw beginners, you might want to look at something like 5/3/1 that takes a more nuanced approach to periodization.


if you have really small hands, a double overhand could limit you. otherwise, working on your grip strength should do well enough. my hands aren't huge, but are big enough to palm most basketballs, and i can double overhand 365 very securely with just some chalk, but then switch to mixed for any heavier pulls.

weighted chins and heavy db rows seemed to do the most for me, along with deadlifting


200 kgs = not that much... No offense intended, but I can almost guarantee that is a grip limited pull.

OP, as suggested above either figure out how to make the OU grip work or a hook grip. Also plate pinches, heavy holds for time, and my favorite Kroc rows.


Dude, you started with your 5RM! (approximately) You're supposed to start WELL below your capability when doing SS (empty bar for rank beginners). I would suggest dropping back to 135 and working back up again. Make sure your form is dead-on while you're lifting lighter.

About the grip, use the DOH grip as heavy as you can, then switch to mixed. Try consciously flexing your triceps while you lift, no matter what grip you use. It'll keep you from straining or tearing a biceps.


UPDATE! i know you're all excited!!

i still suck at this lift. i managed to get 225 off the ground five times, but i couldn't even get 235 once. i figured out it's a combination of weak grip and whatever the coach dude said in this thread about moving back towards my heels when i start my pull. all in all, my technique is what is most weak. fortunately, doing that 235 once is a personal record. congratulations, me!

i'm going to start back at lower weight, i think. i haven't decided if i'm going to actually follow a program or not instead though...


Soo....it took another week of failure for you to listen to any advice you've been given, but you're still not sure if you're going to follow it? Good job? Start at a lower weight and get your form tight, or don't and keep stalling out. Your choice.