T Nation

Deadlift Failing Grip Advice


#1

37yo, 5’6", 170, not lean.

Most recent Top Workset for DL: 225 x 12 reps

Using double overhand grip.

I am noticing as failure approaches my grip goes first, when that happens my shoulders want to roll forward which begins disengaging my back/lats. As soon as I feel that happening I stop cause I only want to count clean form reps.

I have considered resetting my form 2-3sec (retighten back and posterior) and go for more reps. I have also considered using a hook grip. I do not want to use a mixed grip.

Any advice?

Should I just keep stopping at grip failure? Do a form reset and see what happens? Or use a hook grip?

My gut says to stop at grip failure (and to stop drinking beer).


#2

Why don’t you just use a mixed grip? If you go double overhand without using a hook grip, your hands will be the limiting factor for a fairly long time.


#3

Unfortunalye I have a right elbow replacement and no longer have terminal extension and limited pronation. I cannot do straigh bar curls, proper chins, etc.

I have shattered my left shoulder and am missing ligamnet attachments and 2" off the end of my clavicle.

That arm has to remain overhand for shoulder stability.

Mixed grip isnt an option due to mechanical limitations.

But I am fine doing a hook grip. I just know some say hook-gripping steals grip strength growth.

Thanks for the feedback.


#4

This is easy:

Hook grip main work
Double OH the supplemental

Tons and tons of dumbbell rows (occasionally Kroc Rows), fat grip chins, rope work, etc. I don’t want to sound like an asshole but if your dead lift is 225x12, you are probably weak all over, not just your grip. So get stronger in all areas, use the above suggestions and your grip will come along. As soon as you worry about stuff like "I have considered resetting my form 2-3sec (retighten back and posterior) " , and this is coming from someone who literally has fucked up over and over again over 27+ years of training, you will severely limit your training by trying to compensate for the simple fact you need to get stronger.

It’s a hard reality I had to face too. It sucks and it was a huge slap in the face.


#5

I have always been a small guy. Always played to my strengths (pun intended) and stayed away form strength activities. always been athletic. SoCal, baord sports, rock climbing, gymnastics, etc. A lot of those activities are oput the door because of my age and the injuries I have accumlated over the years. Lifting a bar seems relatively safe.

So yeah, I do gotta get ‘strong all over’, but I am fine starting at the bottom. I gotta focus on form, get rid of the extra fat and move to a healthier (stronger) version of myserlf with the cards I have to play with.

I really appreciate the slow approach to strength and I am never gonna be the huge guy and thats fine with me. And even if my 100% is barely 70% to you big guys, it’s still 100% for me.

I don;t think you’re being an asshole. I agree with you. But what does ‘get stronger all around’ even mean. I still gotta do compound movements to get there. Should I uses ‘straps’ on the deadlift because I know my legs and back can handle more if the goal is get stronger all the way around?

I get it 5-3-1 is geared towards guys that are not me, but the philosophy makes sense. If you don;t think it is good for a small guy that isnt from a strength background just tell mne so I don’t waste my time using the program.


#6

5/3/1 is limited to people who:

  • have goals
  • are interested in becoming physically better (stronger, faster, more mobile, more conditioned, etc) and the benefits that come with it
  • are committed to the program
  • are committed to the things they must do outside the gym to allow the program to do its thing.

Your current size does not come into it.


#7

I doubt 5/3/1 is limited to any specific body type. I’m 37/6’5/330 and you don’t even want to know my starting numbers. When I started the program almost a year ago my only goal was to get stronger and never miss a workout. Stronger I’ve gotten, but the more time that passes, the more time I put in under the bar and the more time I spend trying to learn and follow the principles of the program, the more other areas of my life are coming into focus. It has made me question my principles and actions outside of the gym and in life in general. I’m not trying to sound cheesy or over-dramatic, but I feel blessed that 5/3/1 found me when it did. Within four months I had lost my grandmother, grandfather and the mother of my daughter and was fast losing my sanity. Still after everything, I can look back on it all and say I am better than I was before. When I took the initiative to begin healing myself, I took a holistic one, but 5/3/1 has given me alot in terms of the tools it takes to face life. 5/3/1 was simple when I needed simple. Ten months ago I equated strength as solely physical. Not any more. I know all of this doesn’t answer your question on grip strength, but I hope it helps with your concerns of whether this program might be a fit for you.


#8

"I get it 5-3-1 is geared towards guys that are not me, but the philosophy makes sense. If you don;t think it is good for a small guy that isnt from a strength background just tell mne so I don’t waste my time using the program. "

I don’t think you understand or have really read the program. If you did, you’d understand that this statement is erroneous in every possible way.

"Should I uses ‘straps’ on the deadlift because I know my legs and back can handle more if the goal is get stronger all the way around? "

God no - that is an excuse. “Being strong all over” means consistently doing the things that make you strong. And not worrying about the minutia. Because that will always ruin you.

I can only assume that you haven’t read the book or much of what I’ve read. I’ve written many, many, many times about the kids, younger kids that I train here. All the testimonials…I have no idea where people get their misinformation.


#9

Train open handed grip strength. Axles, rolling thunder, grabbing a sand bag. Open handed strength will translate significantly to gripping a smaller object like a barbell. I used to think I had a weak grip, I could barely hold 315 with mixed grip. But then I started training with thick bars and all of a sudden my grip became incredible - one of the strongest for my hand size in my gym. I can close the 300lb captain of crush in my right hand (left hand not as much yet). So take it from me, open handed strength is key.


#10

Thx for the clarifier. I’ve heard ‘strong all over’ from guys who are just big (natuarally) and it turns me off.

When I am under a bar or hanging from one. I am focused and putting in hard work. I know I am pushing harder than the “big” guys. I read the whole book. Just a miscommunication. I hear strong all over meaning “quit being a PU$$Y”. Sorry, personal baggage. Was prob bent from comments from higthawk or whoever. Just gave me red zone vision. Prob shoulda held off replying till i was settled. Personal mistake.

Anyway, I can’t help but over think things. Been doing it forever and not sure it will ever change.

Bottom line. I just wanted to know, should I just use double over hand and let grip strength catch up or use Hook if I know hooking will give me 5+more reps.

Thanks again for all the feedback. When it comes to gaining physical strength (the weight on bar) I am a rookie. I never really cared about weights because I was only focused on being strong enough to do what I wanted. Lifting for me is now a new outlet. And getting older, I just wanna be effective and safe.

I always heard just do 5-3-1 from guys who know me. And after reading the book (which I have in front of me now) it seemed like a very safe aqnd practical approach to getting stronger. Shoot if I can add 100#'s in a year to a 225# DL for reps that is a massive increase. I would be more than satisfied with that.

Much love, thanks guys :slight_smile:


#11

Use the hook grip - anyone can tolerate hook grip for reps until around 700 pounds or so. You’ll be fine. Just do the program as written and do not add/subtract anything. Everything has a purpose.


#12

I’m 52, and have similar stats. I had the same issue but just followed the program. Now my grip strength is way up. My DL is now past double body weight.