T Nation

Tips for Grip Strength?

I have been training for almost a year and recently decided to do more of my deadlifts with the over hand hook grip instead of one palm facing me the other facing away and i realized my grip strength. I was doing 305 for 6 reps the other day and i feel like i could have gotten more but me grip gave out.

I have never really had this problem before but usually when i deadlift i stay under 5 reps so that may be it. So my question is do you guys do direct grip work or do you just get ur grip work out from deads and pull ups ect…

I try to keep it simple. Hit it heavy like you’re doing, after that I try to do some extended hold, anywhere from 15-90s to failure most of the time.

Hook grip is much more challenging than a reverse grip (opposite direction), few power lifters have hands that are big enough and a pain threshold high enough to master it. If you are one of the few, your deadlifts will be more balanced with your body (less chance of torque)and you’ll never suffer a bicep tear pulling.

Do chins (slow and controlled), static holds for time, always use the hook grip (even if weight has to be lighter)when you pull.

Don’t use wraps and watch Brad Gillingham deadlift for inspiration. If I could go back to my 1st year of lifting I’d be doing a hook grip.

Good luck.

i do direct grip work circuits, seems goofy but in 15 minutes you can fry your grip

plate pinch x time
15 seconds rest
wrist curls x 10-15
15 seconds
reverse wrist curls x 10-15
15 seconds
random grip exercise from EFS
rest 1-2 minutes
repeat 3 times

then on deadlift day i do heavier grip stuff like pinch plate deadlifts and stuff after my deads

i always do my deadlifts with double overhand until i can’t hold it then i switch to mixed then i switch to straps for my heaviest set
same with rows shrugs etc but no mixed grip

For my deadlift training I use straps, and I do independent grip work with grippers.

I have never had a problem with my grip. It always feels pretty strong and I only miss pulls because my technique goes to shit with max weights. I do train the shit out of my hands though. Not to say these exercises are the ‘x-factor’ in grip training or anything but having an 800lb+ bar in your hands and it not feel heavy is doing something right.

-Double Overhand Fat Bar Deadlifts- I either work up to a 1rm until grip fails or a 5rm until grip fails. There are brutally effective. Actually, the more I do these, the more I realize that the weight on the bar is right around 50% of what I pull in a meet.

-Plate Pinches/Blob Pinches- either pinch a bunch of 10lb plates together for time or max weight or (this is one of my favorite exercises ever) take an empty db handle, load one side with the pinch width you want (I usually use 5 plates because it sucks) and then progressively load the other end with more weight. As this weight goes up, so does the comfort of your pulls… for most people anyway.

-Captians of Crush-Close and HOLD- just closing them did nothing for my grip strength. Closing the heaviest gripper I could and holding it for 8 seconds made me feel like I was going to throw up through my finger tips.

Everything else I have tried doesn’t really do anything for pulling. Any variaiton of pinching works very well and you can get very creative with the exercises.

[quote]StormTheBeach wrote:

-Double Overhand Fat Bar Deadlifts- There are brutally effective.

-Plate Pinches/Blob Pinches

-Captians of Crush-Close and HOLD-

Second all of this, especially the axle work. I would add in sledge levers, too. Amazing lower arm exercise, and for me it has really strengthened my hands more than it did my wrists (but strong hands AND wrists will help your o-bar pulls).

On my last rep on my last set of deadlifts I try to hold the bar for as long as possible. Also farmer walks are great.

Kroc rows…

Kroc rows Kroc rows, dumbell rows, whatever you want to call them.


I can’t do my heaviest dumbell in the gym yet, so what I’ve been doing is something like this. It’s not too high rep, so maybe it’s not even technically “Kroc rows”. One arm DB rows, whatever. Anyway, it’s a great exercise.

week 1: 15kg x 10 (4 sets)
week 2: 15kg x 15 (3 sets)
week 3. 17.5kg x 10 (4 sets)
week 4: 17.5kg x 15 (3 sets)
week 5: 20kg x 10 (4 sets)…and so on

it’s worked out really well. I can feel my grip strength has increased, just by gripping things.

And, they’re fun.