T Nation

Grip Is Just Really Weak

My deadlift has stalled for the longest time, and largely because my grip is just terribly weak. Whenever I pull anything near my recently tested max (315), the first thing to go is my grip. The rest of my body is “fine”.

I’ve tried deadlifting double-overhand with a 5 second hold at the top for the last couple of weeks, and it worked fairly well. 225lb for 3 sets of 5 is easy now. So I went to do 235 since two weeks or so ago. The first time I pulled that, it went up effortlessly. I thought my grip was finally getting stronger.

But then in the course of the past two weeks, my grip seems to actually be getting weaker. The rest of my body is fine; it’s just my grip strength, and specifically on the deadlift. I can do chin-ups and DB rows just fine, but my grip fails me on the deadlift.

I haven’t changed anything either, so I have no idea what’s going on.

To be specific, it is my ability to actually make a fist around the bar that’s failing me. I can hold onto the bar with my four digits (excluding the thumb), but the bar just rolls around.

Anyways, I’m wondering whether it would be best at this point for me to just get straps so that I can progress on the deadlift itself while I use either the CoC grippers and farmer’s walk/DB hold for grip strength. That way I can work on the two things separately and continue to progress on deadlifts while not letting my grip strength get in the way. And since my grip isn’t nearly as shot doing deadlifts, I (hopefully) should be able to make progress by using the grippers and/or DB holds.

Medium rep dumbell rows rep range 6-10 then farmers walk, just try to increase your distance, volume, weight or decrease your rest every time you do them.

Is your goal Powerlifting? If not, then yeah, probably better off using straps for your deads and training your grip separately. If it is, then I’d suggest starting out with a double over hand grip, then switching to a mixed grip as the weight gets heavier.

fat gripz also something to consider, -use on most excercises on back day, even though loads used will be much less your grip will skyrocket

Try chalk. It’ll add 100 lbs. to your grip on deads. And just stick with it, my vote is no straps until your grip is stronger than your max deadlift. Staps have their place, but not as a give-up on getting a stronger grip.

Try liquid chalk and tell me how you like it so I don’t potentially waste my money lol

[quote]chobbs wrote:
Try liquid chalk and tell me how you like it so I don’t potentially waste my money lol[/quote]

Not worth it. Buy chalk or an eco ball.

Chalk, Hook Grip, Mixed Grip

I thought I had the same problem for the longest time. I got in a fight with a tire machine 2 years ago and cut off my right ring finger and had it reattached so I thought was relegated to a shitty deadlift for life. Anyways long story short just keep deadlifting with chalk and it will come along.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I think I’ll get straps and use them for the immediate future on my last sets, as having grip being a major hindrance to just about everything is starting to really annoy me.

Is the best way to strengthen grip to actually just lift heavy things, or is it better to do grip holds? Maybe the way I tried to train my grip in the past couple of weeks was all wrong.

I’ll know for sure once I start going balls-out again in a couple of weeks…

I actually have a question regarding chalk- I know that it helps improves contact between the skin and the bar, and as such reduces the bar rolling around. How exactly does that make your grip stronger though? And how much of a difference go you guys have between using chalk and not using it?

Chalk makes a big difference. You just need to try it to see. Also, your grip will catch up soon with: (1) farmers walks; (2) Krock rows; and (3) just deadlifting. Using straps is a mistake IMO.

Also, “a couple of weeks” isn’t shit as far as training time, if its only been a couple of weeks you are way too impatient.

This guy knows what he is talking about.

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
Also, “a couple of weeks” isn’t shit as far as training time, if its only been a couple of weeks you are way too impatient. [/quote]

Well, as of this December I would have been “lifting” for two years. The longest stretch in which I genuinely lifted with a proper plan and proper eating/sleep, which was May-October of last year, my strength improved quite well. Grip still held me back though, and it always had.

This couple of weeks was the first time I tried to work on my grip specifically, and it didn’t really go quite as well as I hoped.

[quote]magick wrote:

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
Also, “a couple of weeks” isn’t shit as far as training time, if its only been a couple of weeks you are way too impatient. [/quote]

Well, as of this December I would have been “lifting” for two years. The longest stretch in which I genuinely lifted with a proper plan and proper eating/sleep, which was May-October of last year, my strength improved quite well. Grip still held me back though, and it always had.

This couple of weeks was the first time I tried to work on my grip specifically, and it didn’t really go quite as well as I hoped.[/quote]

All I’m saying is straps won’t help your grip strength, which is a weak-point that needs fixing; a couple of weeks isn’t much time to give your grip time to improve; and chalk will help you hold more weight on a deadlift while your grip strength improves without actually impeding progress on grip strength in the same way relying on straps will impede progress. Those are my thoughts, but you and others are certainly free to disagree. Ultimately and obviously it is your decision on how you want to train.

Oh I agree with you; that’s why I put off using chalk in the first place. While I know that chalk and straps are two very different things, I operated under the belief that, since I’m not exactly out to be a powerlifter or use my strength in any competitive fashion atm, I could just take it slow and deadlift as much as my grip can handle.

I guess I just got tired of that mentality and wanted to see what people would recommend for strengthening grip.

There is no reason to avoid using chalk when pursuing grip strength; start using it ASAP.

Galt’s video brings up an important point of FINGER grip strength.

Maybe because I don’t have giant hands, I noticed a significant improvement in grip strength when I started trying to consciously grip things with only using a single finger (and also just trying to grip things with more strength and more completely). By “grip things” I don’t mean just in lifting, I mean while I’m sitting or standing and have free time and I’m just holding something. Also pushing (using my spare hand) my pinky and ring fingers real deep into whatever I’m gripping and wrapping it around real tight. I’ve taken a pair of cooking tongs while cooking and just repeatedly closed the end with only using individual fingers. Or I’ve even grabbed a beer bottle by the neck and tried to balance it horizontally while only gripping it with my pinky or ring finger.

I know it sounds really stupid, but doing stuff like this and got me immediate results on my grip strength. My next pulling in the session in the same week I noticed a large improvement. I am guessing it improved my grip technique more than the the actual strength itself. But when it comes time to pull if it helped out that’s all that matters…

[quote]Sutebun wrote:
Galt’s video brings up an important point of FINGER grip strength.

Maybe because I don’t have giant hands, I noticed a significant improvement in grip strength when I started trying to consciously grip things with only using a single finger (and also just trying to grip things with more strength and more completely). By “grip things” I don’t mean just in lifting, I mean while I’m sitting or standing and have free time and I’m just holding something. Also pushing (using my spare hand) my pinky and ring fingers real deep into whatever I’m gripping and wrapping it around real tight. I’ve taken a pair of cooking tongs while cooking and just repeatedly closed the end with only using individual fingers. Or I’ve even grabbed a beer bottle by the neck and tried to balance it horizontally while only gripping it with my pinky or ring finger.

I know it sounds really stupid, but doing stuff like this and got me immediate results on my grip strength. My next pulling in the session in the same week I noticed a large improvement. I am guessing it improved my grip technique more than the the actual strength itself. But when it comes time to pull if it helped out that’s all that matters…[/quote]

This actually sounds like a great idea. I’ll start doing this.

Chalk.

Can anyone recommend a good chalk ball?