T Nation

DL Grip Giving Out Before Lockout

I got a major hardon for deadlifts. I fucking love em. I usually do 10x3 @ 75% but decided to change it up last workout and did 7x3 with 50 more pounds since I was feeling strong. I noticed towards the end my grip on the left hand kept giving out before lockout. Any suggestions, or will the grip just come with time. Btw, I cant use chalk at my gym, because they say it makes too much of a mess.

Chalk helps. But if grip is significatnly limiting factor, I doubt chalk will change that too much. Recently, my deadlift has come up to the point where my grip has become a limiting factor, so I have been doing a shit like dumbbell farmers walks, deadlifts with a thicker bar (a squat bar, or a fat bar if you have access to such a thing). Also, I just try and structure my training now so that my grip gets more work. For example, instead of taking my deadlift warm ups with a mixed grip, I’ll use a double overhand grip until that gives out and then I will switch to a mixed grip. Also, I don’t use straps now on anythign until I absolutely need to (i.e. on rows, shrugs, rack pulls).

Hate to hi-jack, but am open to more grip suggestions as well.

My grip always just seems to be shot (other lifts are going up).

I keep thinking it will catch up, but double overhanding over 315 is still not easy.

Mixed grip I can pull 450+. Have started to add barbbell holds at the end of my workout, sets of 10 seconds. Any suggestions for length and sets there?

I am following an upper/lower split, and lots of times the lower day is the day after upper (maybe it just isn’t recovering?).

Thanks/sorry.

I used to have very weak grip, couldn’t hold over about 405. I ditched the straps altogether, started doing bar holds following all my heavy barbell sets (rows, cleans, deads) and using a wrist roller about every other workout.

Another thing to look at is the bar you’re using. The knurling and finish make a huge difference. I have a very slick bar at home. I find using a very slick bar when possible challenges my grip even on lighter lifts.

I don’t know how much I can hold now, because its more than I can lift.

[quote]Therizza wrote:
I got a major hardon for deadlifts. I fucking love em. I usually do 10x3 @ 75% but decided to change it up last workout and did 7x3 with 50 more pounds since I was feeling strong. I noticed towards the end my grip on the left hand kept giving out before lockout. Any suggestions, or will the grip just come with time. Btw, I cant use chalk at my gym, because they say it makes too much of a mess.[/quote]

You’re failing at your grip because of fatigue on repeated efforts. That’s very trainable and will improve over time with no modifications to the program. I used to have this problem (over many sets of many reps) and was told that grip was a “decision”. Decide to firmly press your thumb against the index/middle finger and keep it there as opposed to merely “holding the bar” as you count reps. It sounded too simplistic but it did the trick.

For maximum attempts, where fatigue over time isn’t a problem, things are very different. I once read an article on a site that featured “old timer’s” articles from the 60’s and 70’s. The author simply asked: when have you seen a lifter lose grip when the bar goes straight up with no visible sticking points? Almost never (provided no hand injuries). Grip fails often when the bar comes to a stop at a sticking point or when the pulls becomes very slow and all inches of pull are painfully gained. In other words grip fails as a consequence of weakness in a prime mover (hams, glutes, erectors, traps, etc). On a maximum attempt grip will always fail if the necessary time to complete the pull is too long for the grip. His solution: train with straps! His rationale was that straps would enable you to really load/build the prime movers and speed up the pull at any given weight…Case in point: the bulgarian national weightlifting team used straps for most of the training year (because they pull 2-3 times a day) and simply discountinue them for 2-4 weeks before major events. Seemed to work for them.

ironmind’s “captains of crush” grippers.
or something like them.
worked wonders for me, I can definitely hold more than I can lockout.

good luck.

[quote]Big EG wrote:
Therizza wrote:
I got a major hardon for deadlifts. I fucking love em. I usually do 10x3 @ 75% but decided to change it up last workout and did 7x3 with 50 more pounds since I was feeling strong. I noticed towards the end my grip on the left hand kept giving out before lockout. Any suggestions, or will the grip just come with time. Btw, I cant use chalk at my gym, because they say it makes too much of a mess.

You’re failing at your grip because of fatigue on repeated efforts. That’s very trainable and will improve over time with no modifications to the program. I used to have this problem (over many sets of many reps) and was told that grip was a “decision”. Decide to firmly press your thumb against the index/middle finger and keep it there as opposed to merely “holding the bar” as you count reps. It sounded too simplistic but it did the trick.

For maximum attempts, where fatigue over time isn’t a problem, things are very different. I once read an article on a site that featured “old timer’s” articles from the 60’s and 70’s. The author simply asked: when have you seen a lifter lose grip when the bar goes straight up with no visible sticking points? Almost never (provided no hand injuries). Grip fails often when the bar comes to a stop at a sticking point or when the pulls becomes very slow and all inches of pull are painfully gained. In other words grip fails as a consequence of weakness in a prime mover (hams, glutes, erectors, traps, etc). On a maximum attempt grip will always fail if the necessary time to complete the pull is too long for the grip. His solution: train with straps! His rationale was that straps would enable you to really load/build the prime movers and speed up the pull at any given weight…Case in point: the bulgarian national weightlifting team used straps for most of the training year (because they pull 2-3 times a day) and simply discountinue them for 2-4 weeks before major events. Seemed to work for them.
[/quote]

this sounds pretty kickass though.
instead of spending time on ancillary exercises, work the prime movers to pull faster, good stuff!

thanks for input. i forgot to mention i did 10x3 weighted chins before hand… maybe i shouldn’t do them first then lol. thanks for the new insights.

Try pulling against heavy bands. My sumo jump stretch platform gives me close to 250+ pounds at the top with the bands doubled. I’ve never had a grip issue with a deadlift before doing this, but it seems to be even better now.

[quote]Big EG wrote:

For maximum attempts, where fatigue over time isn’t a problem, things are very different. I once read an article on a site that featured “old timer’s” articles from the 60’s and 70’s. The author simply asked: when have you seen a lifter lose grip when the bar goes straight up with no visible sticking points? Almost never (provided no hand injuries). Grip fails often when the bar comes to a stop at a sticking point or when the pulls becomes very slow and all inches of pull are painfully gained. In other words grip fails as a consequence of weakness in a prime mover (hams, glutes, erectors, traps, etc). On a maximum attempt grip will always fail if the necessary time to complete the pull is too long for the grip. His solution: train with straps! His rationale was that straps would enable you to really load/build the prime movers and speed up the pull at any given weight…Case in point: the bulgarian national weightlifting team used straps for most of the training year (because they pull 2-3 times a day) and simply discountinue them for 2-4 weeks before major events. Seemed to work for them.
[/quote]

That is an intersting obeservation. Indeed, if I look back to where I have generally have had my hand open up, it has been at lockout- where I am at my slowest. However, I have seen an opposite relationship between these two events- i.e. that a failing grip triggers a series of responses in the body that cause the lifter to reduce the force on the bar. My reasoning for this has been that I can often outpull guys with much stronger legs and backs if they have short stubby hands that don’t grip well (whereas I have really long, thin hands/fingers). Indeed, most of the really freaky pulls come from guys wtih enormous hands. Garry Frank, Ed Coan, Steve Goggins- all these guys have some big mitts.

One thing I really like for grip training is fat dumbbell rows. I got myself a pair of plate-loading 2" diameter dumbbells, and have been rowing with them for about 3 months now. My grip strength has gone through the roof in this time (to the point of being able to double overhand max attempts). Granted, I only pull 355, but the rows fixed the weak link.

I also had a weak grip for awhile. I started doing specialized grip training and it helped wonders in both my DL and just plain overall grip strength for crushing and holding, even my Golf drive went up about 50 yards, no shit.

Block weights, FAT bar training for sure, and I even got the COC grippers although I’m not sure how well they carry over to a DL, but I guess any additional strength added to the forearm and hand is a benefit. Check the guys out at Diesel crew, they are grip freaks and will get you strong in the grip if you do there crazy grip workouts.

I’ve said it a million times now, but;

-farmers walks
-kroc rows
-double overhand shrugs

[quote]Hanley wrote:
I’ve said it a million times now, but;

-farmers walks
-kroc rows
-double overhand shrugs[/quote]

I’ve never done kroc rows consistently, but I completely agree with the other two.

[quote]malonetd wrote:
Hanley wrote:
I’ve said it a million times now, but;

-farmers walks
-kroc rows
-double overhand shrugs

I’ve never done kroc rows consistently, but I completely agree with the other two.[/quote]

Man the Kroc rows are unreal for grip strength. I was having some trouble last year with grip strength and I started to do farmers walks and kroc rows and it made a huge difference.

[quote]Hanley wrote:
malonetd wrote:
Hanley wrote:
I’ve said it a million times now, but;

-farmers walks
-kroc rows
-double overhand shrugs

I’ve never done kroc rows consistently, but I completely agree with the other two.

Man the Kroc rows are unreal for grip strength. I was having some trouble last year with grip strength and I started to do farmers walks and kroc rows and it made a huge difference.

[/quote]

I believe they work. I just don’t own dumbbells that go heavy enough for kroc rows.

when you say kroc rows you basically mean dumbell rows with high reps right ?

[quote]BigMike wrote:
when you say kroc rows you basically mean dumbell rows with high reps right ? [/quote]

Yup. Little bit of body english too if ya want.

thanks hanley. im gonna work kroc rows in for sure now.

Hang a 45lb plate to your waist and dangle from a chin up bar until you feel like dying.

Keep doing it until it takes a long time before you feel like dying.