Grip Training

I’m doing my best to avoid buying/using straps in order to improve my grip strength. Right now I can deadlift 275 DOH grip for reps, but when I try 315 my grip completely fails and I have to use an alternating grip. Suggestions?

Do some Kroc Rows, heavy Farmer’s Walks, pull ups with a towel in one hand.

If you use the search engine, there are more than a few good articles on grip strength training here.

Chalk will help. Kroc Rows too.

Have you thought about fatter bars or Fat Gripz type attachments to improve grip?

Much appreciated on the tips.

The way you’re doing it now will work just fine. Lift DOH as heavy as you can, then switch to mixed. Go a step further, though, and treat your DOH DL as its own max. Try to add weight and progress on it every week.

Try Rack Pull static holds, using DOH, as heavy as you can.

You can also start using grippers, which I will warn you, is addictive (I now have 9). I’ve had good success with them, but some people say that there is little carry-over from ‘crushing grip’ to ‘supportive grip’.

CT discusses developing grip strength here: Thib's Random Thought of the Day - Christian Thibaudeau Coaching - Forums - T Nation

It’s different from almost all grip advice you’ve seen.

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
The way you’re doing it now will work just fine. Lift DOH as heavy as you can, then switch to mixed. Go a step further, though, and treat your DOH DL as its own max. Try to add weight and progress on it every week.

Try Rack Pull static holds, using DOH, as heavy as you can.

You can also start using grippers, which I will warn you, is addictive (I now have 9). I’ve had good success with them, but some people say that there is little carry-over from ‘crushing grip’ to ‘supportive grip’.[/quote]

This is pretty much the method I’m gonna be following, mainly because I go to the Y and they don’t have any fat bars or dumbbells over 115. I’m also just getting into 5/3/1, so I think that’ll help big time because before now I just kind of went to the gym and did whatever. I know that the typical suggestion is to find a new gym but having a family the Y has something for everyone, the best benefit being daycare. I figure there’s plenty of progression I can make before I need to really think about finding a hardcore gym.

I do not think you need to worry too much about grip-specific work at this point in the game. If I were you, I would do all of my back exercises without straps (rows, pullups, etc.). For deadlifts, just do exactly what you’ve been doing: pull double overhand as long as you can, and once grip becomes a limiting factor, switch to a mixed grip or use straps (your choice).

One thing I have done recently that has had a postive impact on my grip is towel pullups and towel inverted rows. I would start with towel inverted rows at first. These should help your grip out a lot while also working your back well. Here is how I do them. You can start with your feet on the ground and progress to elevating them as you get used to it.

I just got some heavy grips and am enjoying using them. Don’t know if they are helping anything yet though.

I’ve gotten my best results from working with grippers that I could close for 2-6 reps. I’ve tried higher reps, singles, and forced negatives, but I don’t make progress as fast.

I haven’t attempted it lately, but I’m fairly certain I can finally close my CoC #3. I hit 8 reps on my lighter #2.5 a week and a half ago (big PR), and almost got 5 with my heavier #2.5 yesterday.

Last I tried, I could DOH DL 385. I do my DLs with a trap bar at the moment.

[quote]mrelyea wrote:
This is pretty much the method I’m gonna be following, mainly because I go to the Y and they don’t have any fat bars or dumbbells over 115. I’m also just getting into 5/3/1, so I think that’ll help big time because before now I just kind of went to the gym and did whatever. I know that the typical suggestion is to find a new gym but having a family the Y has something for everyone, the best benefit being daycare. I figure there’s plenty of progression I can make before I need to really think about finding a hardcore gym.
[/quote]

I was in about the same place when I started 5/3/1 with my grip giving out at 300. I have found the following 5/3/1 routine worked well for me:

Press day: lots of chinups and/or pull ups. I generally do 11 sets.
Deadlift day: do every set that I can DOH. I started doing just the last set with a mixed grip. Then 5 sets of 10 DOH. Sometimes I add shrugs, farmers walks, or hanging leg raises.
Bench day: DB Rows. 11 sets. Work up to a sorta heavy set to rep out on, then lighter 5 sets of 10.
Squat day: Sometimes shrugs, farmers walks, or hanging leg raises.

I also do 5/3/1 power cleans on Deadlift and Squat day.

I do not claim that this is optimal, but that much time supporting weight has definitely increased my forearm size and supporting grip strength, with grip no longer being by far the limiting factor on my deadlift.

Just wanted to say thanks for all the advice. I don’t even remember how I found this site, but man am I glad I did. I hate to admit it, but since I got into the gym about 3 years ago M

I never wanted to use straps either. I was deadlifting 315 using chalk for sets of 4. I had a great time demolishing my hands but eventually you want to get bigger right? Well you can pull more weight with straps. I can rep 315 8 to 10 times now and I my max is now 405.

I just started working my forarms out three times a week. Now I can handle heavier weights before I use my straps for the real heavy lifts I have worked up to.

If you want to get bigger I think straps are a great way to get bigger weight and hit the muscles you are actually trying to work instead of worrying about grip strength.