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The "Do You Even Deadlift" Clinic
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StrikeBack Offline
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RE: The "Do You Even Deadlift" Clinic
(04-17-2015 03:31 PM)Fortis Wrote:  Hey Strike and H1N1,

I will grab a pair of straps. Question about straps, though. Someone told me that using straps allow you to lift heavier than your grip would naturally allow which can be a bad thing. Is this true or just broscience?

Thanks,

Fortis

That is kind of true, but not the whole picture. You often hear of 2 extremes from fellow recreational lifters: one uses straps for everything and the other says straps are for pussies. They're all missing the simple fact that straps are tools, and tools have their uses in certain contexts.

There are 3 popular strength sports: strongman, weightlifting and powerlifting. What is one thing those athletes have in common in their gym bags? A pair of lifting straps. Strongman competitors use it for their version of the deadlift. Weightlifters probably use straps the most because their grips get work really hard in nearly every exercise. Powerlifters use straps the least mainly because they don't pull with that much volume, and earlier on, most have the same view as the "straps are for pussies" crowd until they (if ever) get much stronger and start to pull bigger weights with more frequency and volume. They then start to realise that straps are used by some of the greatest deadlifters of all times.

My view is this: you should have straps in your gym bag and use it in your training with certain rules.

1. Never use straps on anything you cannot lift with your bare grips, when fresh.
2. Only use straps to add extra volume to your training session, after your grips already got too beat up from heavy lifting.
3. Use them in exceptional cases when for example you're travelling and training somewhere which doesn't allow the use of chalk.
4. Always try to get your raw grips stronger, so you have to use straps less and less.

Your raw grip strength (with chalk for friction) naturally acts as an indicator of what your body can handle. When your grip fails, it is a form of built-in safety buffer, so your body doesn't try to lift to the very breaking limit. This is not bro-science. Try squeezing your hands when you're really fatigued vs when you're fresh.

Rule #1 is therefore the most important, and pretty much the only thing you need to remember. The rest are implied by this rule.

I sometimes use straps in the following scenarios:

- High volume deadlift sessions. I used to train Sheiko, which sometimes has a session like this: a shitload of deadlift, bench, another shitload of deadlift (Russian programs are fun). In the 2nd deadlift round, I'd use straps.
- High reps deadlift variations: I might use straps for high reps stiff-legged deadlift or Romanian deadlift.
- Kroc Rows (high rep DB rows) - as I often do this after deadlift, and my hands would be already fried.

As I use hook grips, my hands don't really have any calluses (except the sides of the thumbs) so I don't need straps to prevent calluses.

StrikeBack's Wife School
04-17-2015 09:49 PM
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RE: The "Do You Even Deadlift" Clinic - StrikeBack - 04-17-2015 09:49 PM

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