Getting strong on Deadhang

Discussion in 'Other' started by Coughs, Feb 11, 2019 at 2:43 PM.

  1. Coughs

    Coughs Still New to StrongFirst Forum


    I recently listened to a podcast from Pavel Tsatsouline and he said that most people should focus on getting really strong on their grip and core as that will increase performance on everything else. I already do a basic strength program.

    I want to get strong at bodyweight deadhangs and maybe eventually add weight?

    I can currently do about 30-45secs which is to failure? How can I improve this quickly? grease the groove style?

    Looking forward to any feedback

  2. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Staff Member Senior Instructor

    @Coughs, welcome to the StrongFirst forum.

    GTG is an excellent approach. Stay far from failure - if you max out at 45 seconds, 30 seconds is plenty. Do this and not only will your max hang time improve, your pullups may as well.

    You can, right now, do some hangs with a little weight on a belt - try around 10 kg, keep the time shorter and make your hangs mostly bw-only.

  3. Coughs

    Coughs Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    Thanks for the quick reply ! :)

    Should I do deadhangs 5x a day for 30 seconds or can I do it more than 5x? also how many seconds should I increase it per day/week etc?
  4. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Staff Member Senior Instructor

    Ease into any increase in volume. You can work up to a lot of sets but take your time getting there, and make sure you feel fresh before each set - if you're feeling tired, you should probably be done for the day.

    Vary the volume daily, vary the time somewhat, too. Your goal is to add volume while staying as fresh as possible.

    I would _not_ go for increasing the length of the hang, but rather for increasing your total hanging time, and then you can test yourself every once in a while - day off, easy hang to warmup, a near-max hang as a test, and you're done for the day.

    crazycanuck and Tirofijo like this.
  5. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    I'll add my welcome as well.

    In addition to the good advice that @Steve Freides gave you, there is another variable you can play with...

    Grip type.
    Grip strength is complicated and requires multiple modalities if you are after real world all terrain grip.

    So once you have developed a reasonable level of grip you can always do Dead Hangs from:
    • Various implements designed for this (mostly rock climbing stuff)
    • Hang Boards (again a rock climbing training tool)
    • Solid door frames
    • Looping a towel(s) over a pull-up bar and gripping that
    Once you get really strong you can hang from individual fingers and groups of fingers. And one arm dead hangs.

    Additionally you can do L- Dead Hangs and work on grip and abs at the same time.

    But really take your time and work into these more advanced versions. It's very easy to overdo it and suffer hard to recover from finger injuries.

    It all depends on how strong and multipurpose you want your grip to be...
    Steve Freides and Tirofijo like this.
  6. Tirofijo

    Tirofijo More than 300 posts

    What’s a good deadhang time to shoot for?

    Or rather, what’s the reasonable level of grip strength before moving on to the advanced moves?

    Assume I’m using a normal diameter bar (not a fat bar).
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 9:46 PM
  7. gmcerveny

    gmcerveny First Timer

    Curiously, which podcast was this?
  8. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    That's hard to answer because I don't know where you are at today. But it could be six months to a year before moving on to more advanced hangs.
    Grip is just like any other strength. One can train, strength, endurance, and power.
    When I do hard strength based Fingerboard Hangs I do something like 3 to 5 seconds per hang. Either GTG style, or at least 5 minutes between sets.
    Tirofijo likes this.
  9. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Staff Member Senior Instructor

    Last Fall, I did a 2-minute "routine" of a pullup every 15 seconds, so 8 pullups and a total of 2 minutes of being on the bar, using a normal diameter pullup bar that was pretty heavily knurled. I did this with no specific training at all, including not practicing pullups. I think it's actually more interesting than just hanging there, watching a clock.

    Since then I do regular hangs for time, generally in the :45 to 1:15 range, and if I'm using a 12 kg on a belt, :30 to 1:00. I think I've done 1:15 or 1:30 with the extra weight. I train it in the form of passive hangs because those are good for my shoulders, and the extra weight helps stretch out my shoulders and also my spine.

    A couple of points to take away from my experience, IMHO. First, if you're able to deadlift a reasonable multiple of your bodyweight, you'll likely have the grip strength to hang from a bar, anyway, and it may not be something you need to train. 2-1/2 times bodyweight is a good number to shoot for, and you may win a local powerlifting meet with that, too. That's 450 lbs. for a 180 lbs. man, 500 lbs. for a 200 lbs. man, or 375 lbs. if you weigh 150. 175 kg for a 70 kg man, 245 kg for 90 kg, etc. - you can do the math. For over 90 kg, perhaps a bit less than 2.5 x bodyweight. For women, call it double bodyweight. If you're older and you want to lower the weight standard, that's on you. :) With that deadlift, you'll have good ab strength and a good grip.

    And second, to broaden the discussion a bit, we're on to the "what the heck effect" - a few, well-chosen lifts in your training will prepare you to do a lot of other things with only a bit of training on those other things, and once in a while, no training on those other things.

    As to what length of time to use in training bar hangs, always remember that volume is what you're after, and in this case, it would be total hanging time over the course of a period of weeks or months, so get off the bar when it feels like it's getting tough so that you'll be able to get back on the bar later in the day again, and again, and again. Push yourself a little once in a while, and test yourself every few weeks or so.

    Tirofijo likes this.
  10. Coughs

    Coughs Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    Thanks everyone for contributing to this thread and the podcast was the one with Tim Ferris.

    I will make sure I increase the total hanging time :)

    My big goal is eventually to get a 1 minute hang with 100kg(225) plates attached to me.

    Should I only start adding the weights once I can do a 1-minute hang? I can only do 30-45 secs now.
  11. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Staff Member Senior Instructor

    Why do you want to do that?

  12. Coughs

    Coughs Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    It will make my forearms larger, stronger and support healthy shoulders. I already deadlift and want to make sure my grip strength progresses with it.
  13. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Staff Member Senior Instructor

    @Coughs, how did you arrive at the figure of 100 kg for 1 minute? Hanging onto your deadlifts in the lockout is a great way to work on your grip, too - just stand up and then stand there for a bit before you put the bar down.

  14. Coughs

    Coughs Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    100kg is my bodyweight. I thought it would be cool to do that and would guarantee good grip strength and forearm development. What weight goal do you suggest?

    Good idea! I will add that after my deadlifts :)

    How come on the grease the groove method there are rest days when we are staying away from failure? Every time we do the lift we are fully rested. Is rest days necessary?

  15. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Staff Member Senior Instructor

    Your choice of weight for a hang seems arbitrary - and far too high - to me. You can get a better grip for deadlifting by deadlifting - hang onto your DL's at lockout for a few seconds, either after every rep or at least on the final rep of each set. You don't need to do this _after_ you deadlift, you just make it a part of your deadlifting. If you want extra DL-specific grip work, you can add lockout holds for time, and even do some 1-arm lockout holds with the bar at your side for time.

    GTG is great, but variety is also great, and even the most careful planning to stay away from failure can sometimes result in fatigue. Once in a while, as you feel the need, and certainly if you feel yourself not progressing, take a day off or very easy.

    I cannot comment on forearm development except to say that we know one gets bigger muscles from heavy-enough work and high volume. My choice for improving my grip for deadlifting has always been to swing a kettlebell.

    Best of luck to you.


Share This Page