T Nation

Suicide Grip: Pros and Cons

So I tried a thumbless grip for the first time ever today during a set of overhead presses and the difference was remarkable, not only in the tension on my shoulders but also in strength.

I was fairly nervous throughout at the prospect of dropping 185 on my head, but as the set went on I noticed that my form was much better than when I use a thumbwrap and my wrists, elbows and shoulders felt more stable as a result. A bit of chalk probably also helped.

I realize that it’s probably not a good idea in theory, but in practice it seemed to work very well. I also wouldn’t try it when maxing my bench, but other than that I think I may start using this more often.

I agree it does feel comfortable.

But I don’t sacrifice my safety for anything. ANYTHING.

Except maybe pussy.

Yeah, suicide grip IS more comfortable. But not as comfortable as the SECURITY of standard grip. Just the thought of what could happen using suicide grip is quite uncomfortable.

I do suicide grip for any exercise that is more comfortable that way including bench press after getting the tip from my old trainer who used to be a powerlifter. It does help the lift although it takes a few weeks to get used to it and have it be comfortable and effective.

I don’t feel paranoid because I don’t lift in a tiny gym in which I’ll get screwed if I fail for whatever reason. So, if I feel even a tiny bit hesitant, I’ll get a spot and the worries go away. I’ve done this for a few years with no problem now. I think it’s worth it.

I use it for military, and I feel very, very safe. And much stronger, with what I like the call better form.

Way to afraid to use it for bench though.

Have any of you guys seen the YouTube vids of lifting bloopers? Some of them show guys dumping the loaded bar onto their chests… using standard grip! WTF?

Con:

Man, I always felt uneasy trying to take a false/suicide grip!

[quote]patricio2626 wrote:
Con:

Man, I always felt uneasy trying to take a false/suicide grip![/quote]

I am not laughing at this out of respect for fellow lifters, even if they are dumb asses. It is bad karma…

[quote]BigJawnMize wrote:
patricio2626 wrote:
Con:

Man, I always felt uneasy trying to take a false/suicide grip!

I am not laughing at this out of respect for fellow lifters, even if they are dumb asses. It is bad karma…[/quote]

Yeah, it made me cringe. 295 to the chest isn’t funny, you’re right!

I do it for squats, i dont think it is as dangerous though…

I used to use the suicide grip and agree with everyone, something about it feels right and allows for more strength. Any idea why that is?
I don’t use it anymore after seeing some of those videos.

The thumbless grip is extremely popular among Pro’s…

You guys have already mentioned it, and I feel the same: My form/bar path is always better/more stable with the suicide grip for some reason (and I feel some lifts more that way, like the free-weight, arm-pit width grip CGP or militaries)…

Not sure how wrist-friendly that grip is, though (I have had no real problems in nearly a decade of using it, but I also don’t use it all the time… Mostly when I move up in weight on Presses and want to make sure I don’t mess up my form the first time with the new weight etc)…

And hey, you can use it in the smith machine to your heart’s delight :wink:

On the other hand, not sure how well that works for powerlifting.
More difficult to squeeze and pull the bar apart with a thumbless grip…
Never paid attention to the big PL guys’ grip in vids before, though.

Pros:

  1. a little more comfortable

Cons:

  1. Broken Sternum
  2. Broken Ribs
  3. Broken Head
  4. Broken pride

Guess this is a bit like the mixed grip on deadlifts…

i guess it is risky but i’ve used it even since i started with all pressing movements both bb and db and have never, ever felt unsafe or had a close call in terms of the bar feeling like it might slip. i even use a thumbless grip when i do flys. i just feel i get a better mind/muscle connection with it.

[quote]1morerep wrote:
i guess it is risky but i’ve used it even since i started with all pressing movements both bb and db and have never, ever felt unsafe or had a close call in terms of the bar feeling like it might slip. i even use a thumbless grip when i do flys. i just feel i get a better mind/muscle connection with it. [/quote]

Interesting, I’ve never used it on DB presses for some reason.
Lol I actually have to try that out today, no idea why it’s never occurred to me before.

If I were going to use it, I’d make sure I lifted in a cage with the safety stops at chest level.

So much more comfortable and it increases my strength too. Ive never felt like I was going to loose it, but then I never go too heavy with a suicide grip(8-12 reps).

There are videos of Coleman, Yates, Dexter, Frank McGrath, and they all use suicide, with some serious weight.

It seems like the extra strength you would be gaining from lifting like this is coming from your grim more naturally agjusting your elbow position inward which would give you better form and more power in the lift.

I propose if you keep normal grip and make an effort for proper elbow position you wont notice much difference and will keep yourself a shit load safer.

[quote]1morerep wrote:
i guess it is risky but i’ve used it even since i started with all pressing movements both bb and db and have never, ever felt unsafe or had a close call in terms of the bar feeling like it might slip. i even use a thumbless grip when i do flys. i just feel i get a better mind/muscle connection with it. [/quote]

I’ve also used them on flyes. I use the suicide-grip for my pressing movements. Only when I’m attempting max lifts do I use standard grips.