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How To Practice Hook Grip in 5/3/1?


Hi, I’d want to learn the hook grip but I’m having a hard time to fit it in the 5/3/1.
Mostly, I’m not confident trying to use it on the AMRAP sets because of the thumb pain. So, what should I do? Use it on the lighter deadlift sets ony? Would it be a good idea to use it with Kroc Rows? Also, should I practice it chalked or unchalked?

EDIT: I mean using it on lighter deadlift sets to get used to the thumb pain so that I can start using it on AMRAP sets


I started using it on the warm up sets before the actual programmed in sets to build up pain tolerance with it then added it to the written in sets as well. Overtime you get used to it and can use it for the + sets.
I wouldn’t use it on rows as the weight tends to be jerked up and down and this can tear your skin.
For warmups I use no chalk but on written in sets chalking your thumb and palm helps.
Hope you find this useful.


5’s PRO and FSL work. I don’t know why you would get hurt/uncomfortable with this. Just don’t do the PR sets for 2 cycles (just do the 5/3/1 programming: Leaders/Anchors). Makes things better, you get stronger and will get bigger.


Thanks both for the inputs.
Jim, I’m running the base program, currently into third cycle, I did buy the Beyond book too but I’ve been suggested to start with the base program for some time to get a better understanding of the principles. Would you suggest to move to those Beyond templates you suggested?

More infos: I’m not very strong. Getting close to 2x bodyweight deadlift as 1RM, I’m 170lbs and next week I have the 1+ set at 282lbs, if I hit 7x solid reps the calculator sets the 1RM at 340-346lbs. Previous cycle I hit 7x reps in the 1+ week so I should be there. The 5+ and 3+ weeks this cycle have been on par with previous month.
My only concern is the grip, I usually go long periods with no issues at all, then I have shorter periods where I feel it weaker, like if it’s adapting or whatelse. I want to learn the hook grip to get that out of the way once and for all


I switched to the hook grip c.14 months ago. Never had any problem with the transfer other than a bit of mild discomfort the first time I tried it (hanging from a chinning bar). There really should be no problem as one of my training partners is 5’ 6", has small hands–apologies to all Trump supporters–and still lifts 210kg.
I use hook grip on my lighter sets, but that’s just the way I deadlift exclusively: hook grip on every deadlift set. Can’t imagine returning to lifting with straps or a pronated grip. Incidentally, how are you deadlifting? Are you using touch-and-go reps? If so, your grip is not getting a rest in between reps by resetting the bar on the floor and your grip will suffer.
Persevere and you will become comfortable with it. There really is no special training that will prepare you for it other than practice.



Yes I’ve caught myself doing touch and go a few times, mostly on lighter sets but also on AMRAP sets. I’ve been careful this month to always start from a dead stop, resetting the posture after every rep.
So, next week on the 1+ set with 128kg I’ll try to keep the double overhand (already using chalk), worst case scenario I’ll switch to a mixed grip in the last 1-2 reps.
Then I’ll practice the hook grip on deload week and starting next month I’ll keep using it on all sets. I should get to the next 1+ week with no discomfort.
The only thing I don’t fully understand about hook grip is: once the thumbs have adapted, will it keep working while weights increase? Or will there be periods where the thumbs might start to hurt again?


I would just use 5’s PRO/5x5 FSL for the dead; you can get the feel/work on the hook grip without worrying about anything else. Also, the FSL sets are light enough to get some good practice in and heavy enough to illicit a strength gain.

Obviously, something needs to be adjusted in your training to account for the increase in volume, so adjust your “single leg/core” part of the training program (assistance).


No need to complicate things. The hook grip is so simple I don’t think there is even any learning techniques you need to use. I trained with Olympic lifters and all used the hook grip. One suggested I start by hanging from a bar to see how it went but, really, that was the only advice I got. People adapt: some take longer than others, but with a little perseverance you’ll master it. Incidentally, once you have “adapted” there’s no continuing pain as the load increases. Your grip might fail, but not due to pain.



Thanks to both, I’ll do as suggested.
Out of curiosity, how does the hook grip work? I mean, if it doesn’t need further adaptation after the initial use, is it due to the thumb nerves becoming insensible to pain? Or it just develops a thicker skin and calluses on that area?


I would guess the latter… But don’t really know.

Only thing I know that I got used to the hook grip pretty fast. After couple weeks I did not even noticed using it. also did really dumb thing and started using hook grip with SVR II template going on… My fingernails were almost black after the 1st weeks amrap sets.