T Nation

Is Grip Always Weakest Link in DL?

Let me rephrase the question. Is it likely that anyone can max with a double overhand grip. No straps, no hook grip, not chalk, just plain ole double overhand grip?

Heres why I ask this. I did an EDT workout today. I was using about 80% of my max, doing sets of 3 alternating with serratus crunches for sets of 5. My goal was to get 10 sets in 15:00, so 30 reps of deadlifts.

I used the doulbe overhand grip for the first 6 sets, no problems at all. But then on the seventh set, my grip started slipping. I was able to finish all my sets, but on 8,9, and 10, i had to use a reversed grip for the 2nd and 3rd reps.

Is this a problem at all? Basically what i mean, is my grip weak, and needs work, or is it normal to have to switch to a reverse grip with weights above 80%?

Thanks in advance for the advice…

I’m trying to get my overhand grip stronger, and it’s slow going so far. Easily holding me back 50 pounds on my deadlift at least.

Wait you didn’t use chalk? There is no way I could lift most bars without chalk since my hands sweat a lot and the bars rotate quite a bit. Why didn’t you use hook grip is there reason your just using double overhand? Most used mixed its stronger, and you can lift more weight.

Well I work out in a commercial gym, so no chalk. I prefer the double overhand grip, to strengthen my forearms. As for the hook grip, i cant seem to do it. I think its because the bars at my gym are too thick.

I always use a doulbe overhand when doing rep work, but will likely have trouble hanging on with anything over 80% especially with reps.

Is this normal? And do i need to focus on grip strength, or will it develop naturally if i continue what im doing?

It certainly sounds like grip (at least for unchalked double overhand deads)is your weak link, and I imagine it is for many, if not most regular deadlifters.

That said, I can think of cases where grip might not be the problem. A few examples just for fun: an arm-wrestler who trains and competes with both hands but doesn’t train his legs; a rock/mountain climber inexperienced in weight training; someone with an injured lower back; someone with giant hands but an unreliable knee, etc.

Anyway, switching from double overhand to mixed grip when necessary during an EDT session sounds like a perfectly reasonable approach. You could even take it a step further by adding straps to your mixed grip if your legs and back feel up to it.

For testing your max, I recommend chalk.

i cant imagine anyone doing a max deadlift with just a simple double overhand grip…but i could be wrong…personally i cant, i use a reverse grip…im working on my grip strength right now to see what will happen…snatch grip deads with double overhand grip are my prime choice right now for improving my grip strength…

Certainly for me it is - on the revolving barbell at my local gym the most I had ever pulled before was 172.5kg about 6 months ago… I had been working for a couple of months towards a new 1RM but I actualy ended up testing when I was on holiday in Cuba - ended up pulling 195kg for 3 singles and it felt as if I could have easily added another 2.5-5kg for a true max effort.

I have stupid short fingers :frowning:

He did it. I’m sure others have, too. I always use mixed grip for my “work sets”, and I probably always will unless I specifically train to be able to use a double overhand.

Like everyone else said, it’s normal to use mixed grip.

My grip strength is not great, and holds me back a lot on shrugs and Romanian deadlifts, but for regular deadlifts, never had a problem, doing mixed grip and using chalk make a huge difference.

[quote]dankid wrote:
Well I work out in a commercial gym, so no chalk. I prefer the double overhand grip, to strengthen my forearms. As for the hook grip, i cant seem to do it. I think its because the bars at my gym are too thick.

I always use a doulbe overhand when doing rep work, but will likely have trouble hanging on with anything over 80% especially with reps.

Is this normal? And do i need to focus on grip strength, or will it develop naturally if i continue what im doing?[/quote]

If you cannot use chalk for your hands, try GRRRIP, a “dry non-sticky and non-tacky grip and hold enhancer”; get the lotion. It is pretty close to chalk in terms of grip results, leaves little to no marks on the bar or apparel, and can be applied discretely.

Hey I workout at commercial gym also and I just discreetly keep some chalk in small bag. It will make a TREMENDOUS difference and you will never want to train without chalk again. I don’t think its your grip really just the lack of chalk to stick to it.

Double overhand will make your grip stronger also, but if your not worried about pulling in some contest you could just use wraps. Just get some chalk though or something similar and you should be fine.

I usually train as heavy as I can without straps and once the grip slips,you can throw them on for a few more.If your numbers are going up each week then thats all that matters.Ive had the same problem because years of bodybuilding made me a big pussy and I used straps for everything since I was 16.Now Im paying for it.

But my best deadlift was with a double overhand.I feel like I can actually pull harder that way.I usually switch back and forth though.Also,dont overtrain your grip.Its very taxing on the CNS and can harm your lifts.Just do what you doin and the grip will come along.

ditto to what most have said. I use double overhand grip for my warm up sets and mixed grip for working sets.

double overhand for barbell holds and mixed when I hold 20% over what I can DL.

At first my primary concern was my grip giving out, but now I’m most concerned about my back. But I lift much less than you.

KK sounds like i should just not worry about it, and when doing EDT switch to a mixed grip when necessary.

The only time my grip is a problem, is with weights over 90% and for rack pulls, or EDT. Thanks for the info guys.

[quote]goochadamg wrote:

He did it. I’m sure others have, too. I always use mixed grip for my “work sets”, and I probably always will unless I specifically train to be able to use a double overhand.

Like everyone else said, it’s normal to use mixed grip.[/quote]

He’s hook gripping. I don’t believe anyone can do a max DL straight double overhand.

[quote]johnnytang24 wrote:
goochadamg wrote:

He did it. I’m sure others have, too. I always use mixed grip for my “work sets”, and I probably always will unless I specifically train to be able to use a double overhand.

Like everyone else said, it’s normal to use mixed grip.

He’s hook gripping. I don’t believe anyone can do a max DL straight double overhand.[/quote]

I might be able to these days, my max deadlift has gone down since a back injury, but my grip strength has gone up.

for what its worth I start w/ overhand, then from about 70% on switch to mixed. I feel if i work overhand every time i dead i cant help but build grip strength

This is just a thought off of the top of my head, but you might be able to work your grip by doing trap bar deadlifts. That way, both hands would be in the same (neutral) position, but the bar would be “rolling” in toward the center, and not out of your grip. And farmer’s carries, which this mimics, are great for forearm strength. Just a thought, I might be completely off base.

Also, I agree everyone that said “switch grip to failure, then straps until failure again.”

[quote]johnnytang24 wrote:
goochadamg wrote:

He did it. I’m sure others have, too. I always use mixed grip for my “work sets”, and I probably always will unless I specifically train to be able to use a double overhand.

Like everyone else said, it’s normal to use mixed grip.

He’s hook gripping. I don’t believe anyone can do a max DL straight double overhand.[/quote]

Duh. :wink: For some reason I had that filed away as an olympic lift only thing, and that it did nothing for the deadlift. I was wrong. :wink:

I’ll have the give that a try sometime …

You need to use a mixed grip, you just can’t pull as much using an overhand grip. Just alternate your grip on each set. I also work out at a commercial gym and can’t imagine pulling without chalk. I use a climbers chalk ball (small cloth bag filled with chalk) and a bag (the kind that hooks onto a climbing harness) to keep it in. You can leave the ball in the bag and just stick your hand inside the bag and squeeze the ball. No mess. You need chalk.