straps/"hookers"

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Halfbreed
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straps/"hookers"

Post by Halfbreed » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:10 pm

Ok, so as you all know, I'm new to the free weight game, but have been hitting the cables for several years now. I have found that any time I get around 425 or more for things like shrugs or deadlifts, if doing more than just a few reps, my grip starts to fail me. I have thought about using straps, and have tried, but have mixed feelings and mixed results.

First, I almost feel like I am crippling my grip by using them, as I am giving them a crutch with the straps. However, when doing my shrugs and deadlifts, my grip gives out before my body, and I want that extra weight.

Also, I have tried two different kinds of straps. The classic strap that wraps around the bar and your wrist, and you hold on to it, but I have found that this always slips for me.

THe second is the "hookers" which essentially have a metal hook straped onto a wrist strap that straps to your wrist with velcro. This works fine, but my grip still cant quite hold it, and I'm worried about the strap breaking that connects the wrist strap and the metal hook.

any suggestions/advice?

hoosegow
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Post by hoosegow » Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:54 pm

Refresh my memory - what is your ultimate goal? If you want to compete, ditch the straps. For a little of both, use the straps for 4 weeks and go heavy, ditch the straps for 4 weeks and go light.

Use them until they break.

This is just a casual observation, but I deadlift in a weird rotation - don't ask it just something I'm trying. I end up deadlifting with chalked hands when I use straps. I have found that the straps seem to bind better and slip less. Mind you, i'm not chalking up to use straps. There just is residual stuff transfered to the straps.

Also, how are you using the straps? Are you double wrapping or just single wrapping? What I mean is do you wrap the strap around the bar and then go over the same wrap or do you wrap the strap around the bar until you run out of strap and never go over the strap a second time?

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nygmen
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Post by nygmen » Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:31 pm

My personal preference is the following:

For shrugs - straps it is, and these are done after Deads so there is chalk all over my hands, the bar, the floor, my pants, etc etc etc. There is a little residual chalk on the straps, and I wrap them around the same spot until they are so tight it's ALMOST uncomfortable.

The reason I gave up on the "I don't want to use straps because I want to work grip at the same time" is two fold. 1) Like the Good Hoose said, I'm not competing, I don't need a grip that can crush the throat of invading zombies, 2) because I do shrugs to make my traps bigger and stronger. Why would I want to spend more than two seconds thinking about my grip when I'm trying to work my traps?

For Deads - no straps. The reasons follow.

1) Straps take a while to put on. If I spend too long down near the bar, my form goes to pot. I'm a dip/grip/rip type of guy. and bomb out when I spend to much time over the bar. (I still do this all the flippin time too. I'm not the smartest person in the world.)

2) Once I stopped being an "I only deadlift with double overhand grip" idiot, and staggered my grip, I haven't been able to out pull my grip yet. Left hand underhand, right hand over.

Doubt that helps you any, but just figured I would put my 2 cents in.

I use cloth old school straps. (and also use them for heavy dumbell rows.)

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Post by Ironman » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:18 am

hookers :lol:

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Re: straps/"hookers"

Post by KPj » Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:34 am

I'm a 'no straps' guy, but i'm biased. I liked Hoosegows response on how to deal with it, though.

Although i'm a 'no straps' guy, I do use them for Snatch grip DL's and snatch grip Rack pulls, which is a wide double overhand grip. I don't use them for anything else though. My grip used to be very weak, and used to limit a lot of my lifts. Now, snatch grip variations aside, it doesn't hold anything back - DL's, rack pulls, DB Rows, DB lunges, wieghted pull ups - I actually managed to get my 'towel pull ups' numbers pretty close to my normal pull ups. Doing all these exercises a lone strengthens the grip, but cycling in some thick bar stuff and also what Hoosegow said will see some good improvement.

Also, with DL's, I generally always exhaust my grip on 'double overhand', going until my grip wants to give out, before moving to alternate grip. Same with snatch grip - exhaust it before using straps. I wouldn't recommend that if you were doing a test day but for a general training day it shouldn't effect things too much.

Halfbreed wrote: Also, I have tried two different kinds of straps. The classic strap that wraps around the bar and your wrist, and you hold on to it, but I have found that this always slips for me.
Make sure you are looping the straps UNDER the bar, and not OVER the bar. If you're looping over the bar, they won't work very well at all, if you loop under, then I honestly think they'll hold on to anything if you can take the discomfort with them stabbing into your wrists.

KPj

p.s Good article on Grip here - http://exrx.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5871

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Post by Halfbreed » Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:14 pm

I've tried both double wrap and single wrap...however, the double wrap tends to make the bar too thick for my fingers to get a good grip on...it end up making it so that I can lift less weight than if I weren't using the straps.

As to what my goals are...at this point I haven't really decided. I've been told several times that I should compete just because of how strong I already am, and the potential, but at this point that's not really my direction, but it is something to consider. Like I've said, I have only been on the free weights for about six months now, so before that I really didn't even have much of a way to gauge how strong I was in comparison to the rest of the world...I knew that I was stronger than the guards and all of the other "residents" here, but that was about it. I just felt like the big fish in the little bowl.

I think I'll probably take Hoosegow's advice and lift four on, four off. If/when i decide to get more serious about a direction, I'll consider ditching the straps.

Thanks for the help.

Just out of curiosity - when does your guys' grip normally fail? Mine is doing more than 6 reps at DL's or shrugs over 425.

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Post by hoosegow » Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:50 pm

My thumbs are gone third rep at 405.

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nygmen
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Post by nygmen » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:28 pm

Halfbreed wrote: Just out of curiosity - when does your guys' grip normally fail? Mine is doing more than 6 reps at DL's or shrugs over 425.
Haven't been able to out pull my staggered grip yet, but around 315/365 double overhand by rep 3.

Anything else, I just use straps to not have to think about it, so I don't have any clue.

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Post by Jungledoc » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:46 am

nygmen wrote: I haven't been able to out pull my grip yet. Left hand underhand, right hand over.
I think it's a good idea, if you're going to use alternate grip, to alternate which way you do it, sometimes left pronated/right supinated, sometimes vice versa. Something about tendon length on the short vs. long head of the biceps. I'm too sleepy to remember which way it goes.

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Post by dale2177 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:27 am

I read in Frederic Delavier's Strength training anatomy that when using the alternating grip on heavy deadlifts the distal tendon on the supinated bicep is prone to tearing, and may benefit some warm up/ stretching before DL'ing, is that it? Anyway, i only DL 240 so don't think i'll have this problem for a while!!

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Post by Halfbreed » Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:41 am

I appreciate all the responses - and that was a good article. Thanks.

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