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  • Grip Strength

    Does anybody have suggestions on how to increase grip strength without having to sacrifice weight on deads and rack deads?

    I have a fairly strong back and can deadlift 495x8 and rack pull 545 for reps (6-8). However, if I ditch the straps I can barely pull 405 for a single as my grip strength gives out. I'd really like to get my grip strength up to a point that I can at least pull a one rep max (estimated at about 575) without straps. How should I go about doing this without dropping the weight and working my way back up without the assistance of the straps?

    Maybe at the end of a workout (on a non-deadlift day) just grab a heavy, loaded barbell and just hold on for time. And gradually progress this (either amount of time held, or amount of weight used) until I work my grip up to a point that I can hold on to 600 lbs for a fair amount of time?

    Does anybody have any other suggestions on what they've had success with for increasing grip strength?

    Thanks, everybody, for your input.


    2017 NPC National Championships Classic Physique, Class D - 4th Place
    2017 NPC New England Championships Classic Physique, Class C - 1st Place
    2017 NPC East Coast Cup Classic Physique, Tall Class - 1st Place & Overall
    2015 Arnold Amateur Men's Classic Bodybuilding, Tall Class - 4th Place
    2013 NPC Europa Battle of Champions - 1st Place Novice Heavyweight, 2nd Place Open Light-Heavyweight



  • #2
    Kroc rows, seriously. They work. High reps are key here, shoot for a MINIMUM of 15 reps. I usually do 1-2x20-25. Unfortunately you WILL max out your gym's DBs quite quickly which is a bit of a downside (unless you're training at Metroflex, EliteFTS or IronSport).

    I've also had some recent success by adding shrugs into the mix. What also helps is hanging from a pull up bar for time (I do this anyway post workout for spinal decompression reasons, so you might as well do it without straps).
    Disclaimer: I am not a DC trainee/expert/guru/coach, anything I say is purely my opinion based on experience and research I've read

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    • #3
      I have the same problem. I can hold quite a bit of weight with a staggered grip (as when deadlifting), but when I switch to an either pronated or supinated grip (as for barbell rows) my forearms tend to tire LONG before the other muscle groups. I'm not a fan of straps - as I think this will only exacerbate the problem over the long-term.

      I will incorporate the Kroc rows for sure. any other advice is much appreciated.

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      • #4
        I know that straps make the problem worse, but at the same time I don't want my back/hamstring/etc. development to be hindered because my grip can't keep up.

        Thanks CG for the suggestions. I think I'll try to incorporate some of those dead hangs.

        Kroc Rows sound good, but I feel that I may encounter the same issue with grip failing before my lats/rhomboids.


        2017 NPC National Championships Classic Physique, Class D - 4th Place
        2017 NPC New England Championships Classic Physique, Class C - 1st Place
        2017 NPC East Coast Cup Classic Physique, Tall Class - 1st Place & Overall
        2015 Arnold Amateur Men's Classic Bodybuilding, Tall Class - 4th Place
        2013 NPC Europa Battle of Champions - 1st Place Novice Heavyweight, 2nd Place Open Light-Heavyweight


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        • #5
          Captains of Crush grippers ... http://ironmind.com/ironmind/opencms...nsofcrush.html

          Following their program along with doing plate pinches (holding 2 plates pinched together for time) and holding a heavy steel cylinder for time helped me improve my grip quite a bit.

          That said - I still use straps for most back exercises anyway, because I don't want a sweaty grip or fatigue to ruin my back workout.
          Last edited by PTAaron; 12-06-2011, 06:21 PM.

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          • #6
            Have you thought about working your grip with your DL warm ups? If 405 is really hard without straps why not hit a 3-4 triples with 365-385 during your Dl warm ups and gradually, over time, work the poundages up that you are not using straps with.

            Example say you are going to deadlift 450 for 3x3 for a workout.

            10x135
            5x225
            5x275
            5x315
            3x3x365
            1x385
            add straps
            1x405
            3x3x450

            This way you are working your grip with higher percentages, but are able to still pull your heavy weights. Over time you just gradually work up the weight of your warm ups without wraps. Nice and simple.

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            • #7
              What helps for me more than anything else is when you grip any weight, grip it as hard as you can all the time. By the time you've finished your forearms will be burning and you didnt have to do anything extra

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              • #8
                Check out Fat Gripz. Haven't personally tried them but I've heard good things. Could use them for things like shrugs and chins.

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                • #9
                  Kroc Rows... Yes your grip will likely give out first... but use them as a grip strength tool... and just get the added bonus of some extra back work.

                  My grip used to suck... and since adding them it has improved greatly.
                  -2013 USAPL Michigan State Championships 198lb Raw Mens Open, 1st Place (1217 total)
                  -2013 USAPL Texas State Championships
                  198 Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1216 total)
                  -2012 USAPL Longhorn Open
                  198 Raw Mens Open, 1st place (1177 total)
                  -2012 USAPL Aggie Showdown
                  198lb Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1137 total)

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                  • #10
                    moco, try doing most of your sets for back/shoulders (lat pulls, shrugs, etc.) with no straps and then add straps once your grip starts to go (probably the last set or so). Not sure if you are already, but use chalk (if your gym allows it makes a HUGE difference). Doing this has always worked well for me. I've never had my grip go on deadlifts in powerlifting. I know you say you don't want to sacrifice weight but sometimes you may have to back off of one thing to make more progress in the long run. Can't always do everything at once IMO.

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                    • #11
                      I have been doing a lot of research concerning grip and forearm strength, and all in all, what i have found is everyone talking about "heavy grips". I have invested in some and within the past month my grip has gotten stronger and i moved from 200lbs grips to the 250lbs.

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                      • #12
                        hey dude, for what its worth, I find training grip to do a 1rm on the deads only takes 4-6 weeks and nothing will train your deadlift grip better than deadlifting.

                        I train double over hand with straps year round, when it comes time to do heavy 1rm deads, i ditch the straps and ramp up to a 1rm over 4-6 weeks. It has worked for me for the past 2 years.

                        edit: I thought you were powerlifting and wanted to do a big 1rm deadlift, I didn't notice you were doing body building stuff. Just fuck your grip strength? use straps 100% of the time all the time? if you want to peak out for a deadlift, just stop using straps for a few weeks. grip catches up real fast man. I do months of deadlift progression using straps, then take them off and in no time I can hold the weight like fuck all. oh and when you take off the straps you need to use a retarded amount of chalk or your wasting your time.
                        Last edited by syssstem; 12-30-2011, 06:12 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ben.puckhaber View Post
                          moco, try doing most of your sets for back/shoulders (lat pulls, shrugs, etc.) with no straps and then add straps once your grip starts to go (probably the last set or so). Not sure if you are already, but use chalk (if your gym allows it makes a HUGE difference). Doing this has always worked well for me. I've never had my grip go on deadlifts in powerlifting. I know you say you don't want to sacrifice weight but sometimes you may have to back off of one thing to make more progress in the long run. Can't always do everything at once IMO.
                          This is what I was thinking......I know my grip strength came up dramatically when I ceased used straps for awhile. Having to grip and hold the weight without the straps makes a huge difference, even when not training to failure.....if you are going balls out, just use straps on your heaviest set.....
                          STEEL




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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by syssstem View Post
                            hey dude, for what its worth, I find training grip to do a 1rm on the deads only takes 4-6 weeks and nothing will train your deadlift grip better than deadlifting.

                            I train double over hand with straps year round, when it comes time to do heavy 1rm deads, i ditch the straps and ramp up to a 1rm over 4-6 weeks. It has worked for me for the past 2 years.

                            edit: I thought you were powerlifting and wanted to do a big 1rm deadlift, I didn't notice you were doing body building stuff. Just fuck your grip strength? use straps 100% of the time all the time? if you want to peak out for a deadlift, just stop using straps for a few weeks. grip catches up real fast man. I do months of deadlift progression using straps, then take them off and in no time I can hold the weight like fuck all. oh and when you take off the straps you need to use a retarded amount of chalk or your wasting your time.
                            Thanks a lot for your reply. The concern about my grip was with regard to my plan to compete in powerlifting. I've been wanting to compete in bodybuilding, but I've come to the realization that my body is more adept at strength progression as opposed to size (maybe a genetic predisposition towards myofibrillar hypertrophy as opposed to sarcoplasmic?) and so I may be more well suited for competing in powerlifting rather than bodybuilding. This doesn't mean I don't ever plan to compete in bodybuilding, and I will always want to continue in the pursuit of muscle mass gains - but I think my short-term goal is to find a PL meet to compete in.


                            2017 NPC National Championships Classic Physique, Class D - 4th Place
                            2017 NPC New England Championships Classic Physique, Class C - 1st Place
                            2017 NPC East Coast Cup Classic Physique, Tall Class - 1st Place & Overall
                            2015 Arnold Amateur Men's Classic Bodybuilding, Tall Class - 4th Place
                            2013 NPC Europa Battle of Champions - 1st Place Novice Heavyweight, 2nd Place Open Light-Heavyweight


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                            • #15
                              I just pulled 365 with one hand using a hook grip. I haven't done any grip training in a while.

                              You should look into switching to the hook grip. It's very strong but most people don't use it because of the discomfort. I think you can train that away in a short amount of time by doing either shrugs or kroc rows with a hook grip.

                              I don't think Captain of Crush are very helpful because they isolate the muscles that flex your knuckles. But for gripping a barbell the limiting factor is the strength of the muscles that close the joints on the finger.
                              http://www.youtube.com/user/ptarleton?feature=mhum

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