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My Grip's Killing My Workout

I’m getting seriously mad about this. I’m like 2 weeks, 2.5 weeks in? And my grip is still what fails towards the end of my workout. It’s worse on dead lift day, but it happens even on non-dead lift day to a lesser extent.

Today was:
dead lifts for 3x5 with 225 (got it!)
overhead press with 140 (missed last rep)
DB Rows 3x8 with 80 (missed last rep)
lunges 3x5 with 45’s (missed a lot–I couldn’t hold the weight)
pullovers 3x10+ with 30
barbell curl 3x8 w/ 95 (attempted, hand shook too bad)

By the end of the rows/start of the lunges my hands were spasming and I couldn’t hold weight for long at all–I’d have to reset every 2-3 reps to get my grip back.

I want good forearms as much as anyone but jesus, I’d like the limits on my rows and lunges to be the target muscles.

What would be more effective: using straps, or adding in direct forearm work to help them catch up? for getting it so they’re not the limit on all my damn lifts. We were never allowed to use wraps in high school or college so I’ve never actually used them. Should I just use them after I start having trouble, or just add forearm work at the end for a few weeks?

On a happy note I just bought a squat rack this morning! It’ll be here in a couple weeks. Yaaaay squats.

I’d use them once you start having trouble, but then do some grip-specific work at the end, so they can catch up eventually but it’s not limiting you from increasing strength/muscle everywhere else.

How is your overhead press 140 but Deadlift 225.

But use straps sparingly–like 90% of your max pulls and such. And Try Kroc Rows and Farmer walks, they’ll build grip strength.

I guess you didn’t put much work into finding a answer before posting, this was from May. That won’t get you a lot of love around here. Just so’s ya know :wink:

Kroc rows

Have you tried using chalk? I struggle to grip the bar in the local gym for deadlifts 'cos it gets so damn greasy - if I use a bit of liquid chalk, I have no grip problems at all.

I was always much stronger in pulling motions like rows and deads that pushing motions like presses. I used to do rows with more than I benched in high school. I don’t know if it’s just my strong points, or if it was that our high school coach put a lot of emphasis on pulling motions so we trained the shit out of them. The other factor is I’m having to clean it off the floor since I don’t have a rack, making the lift a lot harder (I think). Although, I don’t view those numbers as that off–shouldn’t you be doing a shitload more on deads or squats than you do on overheads?

I ordered a chalk bag online but it won’t be here for a few days. I’ll see how much that helps
strangemadcow, I read that article. but I want to get my forearms up WITHOUT having them impact my other lifts negatively. I plan ot use some of that stuff from the article to help bring mine up but in the meantime…if I thought it’d be a quick, one-two week fix that might be one thing, but I’m not convinced at all that it’d be the case.

I’ll get some videos of form next week to get a check on my deadlift and row form.

[quote]paulwhite959 wrote:

I was always much stronger in pulling motions like rows and deads that pushing motions like presses. I used to do rows with more than I benched in high school. I don’t know if it’s just my strong points, or if it was that our high school coach put a lot of emphasis on pulling motions so we trained the shit out of them. The other factor is I’m having to clean it off the floor since I don’t have a rack, making the lift a lot harder (I think). Although, I don’t view those numbers as that off–shouldn’t you be doing a shitload more on deads or squats than you do on overheads?

I ordered a chalk bag online but it won’t be here for a few days. I’ll see how much that helps
strangemadcow, I read that article. but I want to get my forearms up WITHOUT having them impact my other lifts negatively. I plan ot use some of that stuff from the article to help bring mine up but in the meantime…if I thought it’d be a quick, one-two week fix that might be one thing, but I’m not convinced at all that it’d be the case.

I’ll get some videos of form next week to get a check on my deadlift and row form.

[/quote]

I think he’s surprised that your deadlift is only 225 compared to your overhead being 140.

Ah, gotcha. I’m not really well versed on what normal ratios are between lifts.

The limit factor is very much my forearms. I can tell my back and legs are working, but it’s my hands that give out. It’s better than the first time when I didn’t finish 3x5 with 205 because I could keep my hands closed and get it off the floor by the end. I’m thinking that when the chalk and straps get here I may try to go up to 250-275 for reps. till then I’ll go up 5-10 lbs/session.

I’m honestly kind of pissed that my overhead’s so low–I used to enjoy doing french military press a lot (favorite press of any sort) but apparently you’re not supposed to do any behind the head pressing? At least that’s what a lot of the articles here and elsewhere said and if it’s got a strong consensus behind it, I’ll just go with the consensus and do shoulder presses instead.

Are you DL’ing with a double-overhand grip, or alternating?

Lot’s of awesome stuff in that article, but one I’d like to add is static holds with a heavy gripper. I use those when I can’t actually lift (downtime at work).

Kroc rows are the shit. Try them with a thick DB handle for maximum forearm punishment.

[quote]paulwhite959 wrote:

I was always much stronger in pulling motions like rows and deads that pushing motions like presses.
[/quote]

Hahahaha

You probably train in a gym full of weak douche. Get some perspective.

I start out with double overhand but by the last set I switch to mixed grip.
I was always taught, back when, to grip at at the top of the hand (close to where the fingers meet the hand) but when I try it that way it’s worse than gripping it mid palm, which is what I was always told not to do.

I’ll look into getting fat grips; I just spend my budget on a squat rack so I’m not going to buy them right now (at 30+ bucks a pop!) but we had something very similar in college; they weren’t blue plasticy things but it might have been some jury-rigged thing. I’ll be adding plate pinches and making a roll-up bar I guess–my HS coach had one he’d made from pvc and I think I can manage that pretty easily. 18" section of like 4" pipe, a drill, and some rope…

[quote]paulwhite959 wrote:

I was always much stronger in pulling motions like rows and deads that pushing motions like presses. I used to do rows with more than I benched in high school. I don’t know if it’s just my strong points, or if it was that our high school coach put a lot of emphasis on pulling motions so we trained the shit out of them. The other factor is I’m having to clean it off the floor since I don’t have a rack, making the lift a lot harder (I think). Although, I don’t view those numbers as that off–shouldn’t you be doing a shitload more on deads or squats than you do on overheads?

I ordered a chalk bag online but it won’t be here for a few days. I’ll see how much that helps
strangemadcow, I read that article. but I want to get my forearms up WITHOUT having them impact my other lifts negatively. I plan ot use some of that stuff from the article to help bring mine up but in the meantime…if I thought it’d be a quick, one-two week fix that might be one thing, but I’m not convinced at all that it’d be the case.

I’ll get some videos of form next week to get a check on my deadlift and row form.

[/quote]
I see what you did, cheeky…

Use the mixed grip the whole time. Thats what my problem was and once I fixed that my deadlift instantly started going up again.

P.S. I’m a beginner here too so take every word I say with caution haha. I read the whole blind leading the blind thread and I completely agree with it.

Take what I say with a grain of salt cause I’m weak as shit compared to most people here, but this is what I do when I can get to (or afford) the gym.

I deadlift normaly untill I get to a weight my grip can’t handle (or if my hands are too sweaty making gripping hard) then I chuck on a cheap pair of gardening gloves and BAM, I can carry on. I do the same with pull ups.

use chalk for all of your pulling work, or anything that requires holds. that means rows, pullups/pulldowns, lunges, farmer walks, shrugs, etc.

learn how to apply chalk correctly. get it into every nook and cranny of your hands, fingers and especially on the back of your pointer and middle fingers.

learn how to use a hook grip. lock your thumb over your pointer and middle fingers and squeeze hard as if your life depended on it.

use mixed grip when double overhand hook grip doesn’t cut it anymore.

get used to pain. give it a year.

use straps only when absolutely necessary, I.E. repping out shrugs or heavy rows >12-15 reps, max deadlift attempts where mixed grip fails etc.

train your brachioradialis when doing bicep work with heavy squeezed hammer curls and finishing with pronated curls/K-pipe curls.

Pretty big variety of useful advice so far.

Personally, I’m not super-against using straps as long as they’re limited to only the heaviest sets. Using straps on, say, your last one or two sets of deads, your last set of lunges, and your last set of db rows, would be a decent balance between stressing the grip/forearms enough to adapt without interfering in the rest of the session.

But play around with the other suggestions over the next few weeks, for sure. Something might click more than another.

Also, nice work on getting that squat rack. That’ll make a huge difference and add a bunch of exercise options.

my straps and chalk came in Saturday; I’m doing my deadlift workout Wednesday, so we’ll see how it goes then. I’m hoping just the chalk will help but if the need arises I can use the straps on the last set of deads and the other lifts. Part of the problem is the room is warm int he summer(90-100 degrees) and so I sweat like a pig, and the bar gets really slick. Chalk should help there.

I’ve tried practicing putting them on, and to be honest, they’re a pain the ass to get on the bar properly. The first one is easy, but when one hand is affixed already, and you’re trying to do the other one by itself, it’s sort of awkward. Practice will help I guess. Of course on one hand lifts (DB rows for instance) it’s not as big a deal.

I’m looking forward to squatting; I never posted in the other thread again, but the step ups played hell with my knees (left one swole up pretty good the following day) so I’ve just been doing lunges (with more weight than the deadlift day) on those days. So I’ll swap the step ups out for squats. I don’t know yet if I want to squat and dead each day or alternate them. Or maybe do Dead lift/front squat one day and straight leg dead/back squat the other. I used to love front squats as a kid…mucho fun :smiley: and with a rack there’s no need to clean the damn things into position.

estimated delivery on my squat rack is June 27-29. I look forward to it. Next up is a damn plate tree, my plates are getting annoying. I keep all my snakes in the same room I lift in, and I’m having to step around them to clean cages and do water changes.

yes

I’d avoid straps, you’re grip will never get stronger using them. Firstly get some chalk, Kroc rows are awesome for this and try doing shrugs with a barbell using various grips and squeezing for 5 seconds at the top?