T Nation

Deadlifting and Straps with Gym Limitations


#1

I train at my college rec center and compete in powerlifting. To put things in perspective, I'm 220, 20 y/o, and my numbers are 345/475/525.

Unfortunately, my gym does not allow us to use chalk and the "grate" on the bars is relatively smooth so grabbing it while sweaty/in a humid gym is difficult. Additionally, the plates are really large (bumper plates) and the most the bar will hold is 475 (495 without clips). And althought it may be in my head, I feel like they're way heavier than standard metal plates.

The conclusion I have come to is training my heaviest sets where I would require chalk with lifting straps and supplementing grip training.

Do you have any other suggestions for getting a bigger and better deadlift with these slight limitations?


#2

Deadlift with straps and train your grip at some point. I always pull with straps and never have issues with grip.

Additionally, consider either training deadlifts at a different gym or petitioning the center to buy some steel plates. Or ask if you can buy your own and store them there.

Or, on that topic, get your own barbell and plates and train your deadlifts at home.


#3

Can you attach chains to the bar?


#4

[quote]Ngen52 wrote:
I train at my college rec center and compete in powerlifting. To put things in perspective, I’m 220, 20 y/o, and my numbers are 345/475/525.

Unfortunately, my gym does not allow us to use chalk and the “grate” on the bars is relatively smooth so grabbing it while sweaty/in a humid gym is difficult. Additionally, the plates are really large (bumper plates) and the most the bar will hold is 475 (495 without clips). And althought it may be in my head, I feel like they’re way heavier than standard metal plates.

The conclusion I have come to is training my heaviest sets where I would require chalk with lifting straps and supplementing grip training.

Do you have any other suggestions for getting a bigger and better deadlift with these slight limitations?[/quote]

I think you’ve got the right idea. If I were you (other than switching gyms or buying my own equipment) I would use straps for working sets and supplement with grip training. I pull with a hook grip and use straps probably 90% of the time in training but have never had a problem gripping the bar in a competition.

You can try some variations that will still allow you to build strength while using less weight:

Beltless
Snatch grip
Deficit
Pause deadlift (off the floor, below the knee or above the knee)
Slow tempo
Stiff leg or RDL
Or Any combination of the above.

If you pick a few of these variations and get stronger at them, your 1RM competition style deadlift will most likely go up as well. After your working sets, you could throw in some static holds, either double overhand or mixed grip (or both) for your grip.


#5

I used to lift at a commercial gym with the same types of issues. The bar knurling was bad and they didn’t allow chalk. The solution I came up with was a rosin bag. I never used straps, just the rosin bag on heavy sets. When I went to my first meet the bar had good deep knurling and there was no way my grip was going to fail. It felt glued to my hands because of all the time I had practiced with a crappy bar.


#6

Cant tell by the way you listed your numbers, but it looks like your dead is 525 and the most you can load the bar is 495? Obviously you’ve outgrown your gym in terms of weights and chalk.

Training deads at home with chalk would seem to make the most sense if there’s no serious training facility near you.

If your 1RM is 525, given your other lifts and age you need access to 600 lbs today and prolly 700 after more time training.


#7

Thank you so much for all the input! Unfortunately, I can’t switch gyms so I’m going to continue training grip and deadlift with straps training. I’m going to steal some of the smaller plates from the other “Rec room” and work with them so I can probably get around 700 on the bar that way!


#8

will they alow you to use liquid chalk?


#9

You just said “chalk”. Does this include liquid chalk? Hell bring a towel to wipe down the barbell with you and tell them you’ll clean it. Try talking to whoever is in charge.


#10

[quote]Sutebun wrote:
You just said “chalk”. Does this include liquid chalk? Hell bring a towel to wipe down the barbell with you and tell them you’ll clean it. Try talking to whoever is in charge.[/quote]
Liquid chalk is allowed but I’ve used it on several occasions and because of the poor knurling of the bar, the it really doesn’t make a difference!


#11

I’ve used chalk at plenty of ‘no chalk’ gyms. Mostly I’m just discrete about it and don’t make a mess. I keep a chalk bag I made out of a dress sock in a ziplock baggie and keep it in my pocket when I’m not using it. When I do use it, I turn my back to those who might see and when I chalk the bar I just make it look like I’m inspecting the bar or ‘becoming one with the bar’ or some such nonsense. Really, the key is to be secret about it without looking like your being secret about it haha.

Also, if you’re real nice to both staff and other lifters you’ll be able to get away with a lot more. Even more so if you have a fancy membership. But really, that’s just how life is.