Training overhand DL only?

guardian7

More than 500 posts
I got my doublebodyweight PR two years ago. Now I am doing DL to try to improve form and work back up to that PR, but I am less concerned about achieving it this my 50th year.

I did a fair amount of hanging exercises recently based on a program by Aleks Salkin and my overhand grip lasted longer than before.

I failed my reps today on PTTP DL at 115 KG but using only an overhand grip. Strangely, my grip did not seem to be the problem. My left hamstring felt too tight. Not pulled I am sure because I played soccer when I was young and know what that feel like. I didn't want to risk anything so I bailed on the set. Didn't feel right. I think I remember the bar rolling down my fingers but not losing grip at 110 last year.

I don't care about a PR weight so much but I would rather improve my form and grip strength. I am working on bar speed right now.

How common is it for people to train only overhand and add load when their grip/form/strength can handle it knowing that the rate will be much slower? Or maybe add volume instead of intensity and keep the overhand grip? Programs like RELOAD from SF have much more volume rather than intensity compared to PTTP.

The only thing is that the DL is more of an pure strength exercise. I can see higher volume being more useful for the squat. Using only overhand would limit it a lot. On the other hand, Tendon and grip strength would benefit and chance of injury would be reduced.

I have to decide whether to start a new cycle using overhand OR a micro cycle back 10KG and then try a four steps forward three steps back step cycle OR try to repeat my set with a mixed grip on Monday. I am at 113 KG overhand for reps. My PR was a 145 KG mixed grip single. I don't intent to use straps. I haven't learned to hook grip.

Stay with the overhand grip?
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Add swings to your program - swings help DL grip and DL helps swing grip. Double overhand only is fine for your purposes.

-S-
 

Antti

> 4k Posts
I don't think the deadlift is a grip exercise. The grip is best to train specifically, if need be. The deadlift has far too many other positive adaptations than the grip to let me limit it with it. The same goes for loaded carries, rows, shrugs, whatever.
 

LukeV

More than 300 posts
Think about your DL goal and unless that is to compete use straps to lift more in DL. And then if you have another goal to improve grip strength, do something specific about that. Don't confuse the two (unless you're competing)
 

guardian7

More than 500 posts
Think about your DL goal and unless that is to compete use straps to lift more in DL. And then if you have another goal to improve grip strength, do something specific about that. Don't confuse the two (unless you're competing)
The mixed and hook grip seem to have a lot of downsides. Would you then go with straps based on what you are saying here? Improving my DL form is part of my goal. Improving bar speed. etc. working at the point of my overhand limit seems to also be where I can do both. I could be mistaken. I am doing bar hanging as accessory grip work after each workout. It doesn't seem to interfere with the DL as the frequency is not that high.
 

ShawnM

> 2k Posts
I got my doublebodyweight PR two years ago. Now I am doing DL to try to improve form and work back up to that PR, but I am less concerned about achieving it this my 50th year.

I did a fair amount of hanging exercises recently based on a program by Aleks Salkin and my overhand grip lasted longer than before.

I failed my reps today on PTTP DL at 115 KG but using only an overhand grip. Strangely, my grip did not seem to be the problem. My left hamstring felt too tight. Not pulled I am sure because I played soccer when I was young and know what that feel like. I didn't want to risk anything so I bailed on the set. Didn't feel right. I think I remember the bar rolling down my fingers but not losing grip at 110 last year.

I don't care about a PR weight so much but I would rather improve my form and grip strength. I am working on bar speed right now.

How common is it for people to train only overhand and add load when their grip/form/strength can handle it knowing that the rate will be much slower? Or maybe add volume instead of intensity and keep the overhand grip? Programs like RELOAD from SF have much more volume rather than intensity compared to PTTP.

The only thing is that the DL is more of an pure strength exercise. I can see higher volume being more useful for the squat. Using only overhand would limit it a lot. On the other hand, Tendon and grip strength would benefit and chance of injury would be reduced.

I have to decide whether to start a new cycle using overhand OR a micro cycle back 10KG and then try a four steps forward three steps back step cycle OR try to repeat my set with a mixed grip on Monday. I am at 113 KG overhand for reps. My PR was a 145 KG mixed grip single. I don't intent to use straps. I haven't learned to hook grip.

Stay with the overhand grip?

When I deadlift I only pull double overhand. I found the Vodka and Pickles program great for that. Justas Singles works well too, but, you have to do it every day. V&P is three days a week and you do swings/snatches for assistance one day and squats the other alternating through the program.
 

LukeV

More than 300 posts
The mixed and hook grip seem to have a lot of downsides. Would you then go with straps based on what you are saying here? Improving my DL form is part of my goal. Improving bar speed. etc. working at the point of my overhand limit seems to also be where I can do both. I could be mistaken. I am doing bar hanging as accessory grip work after each workout. It doesn't seem to interfere with the DL as the frequency is not that high.
I've never tried to become expert in the DL but I did reach the point, from memory around 1.75x BW, where overhand grip was no longer up to the job. Mixed grip made my shoulder hurt and hook grip hurt, so I just used straps. My attitude was, who cares? I just wanted to lift more. I maxed out at just over 2.5x BW before going onto other things. I think it just depends on whether your goal really requires you to care about your grip strength in this context. If it doesn't, just use straps
 
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Trever

Double-Digit Post Count
I am 51 and last year I concentrated on getting my deadlift up using Daily dose, V&P and “even easier strength”. I got to 2x body weight but had to use mixed grip.
This winter I’m trying to build my deadlift up again using PTTP and I feel the same as you, in that I really want to work on perfecting the form and getting stronger. Last years PR was not with good form.
I’ve been using double overhand mostly until recently the weight is getting high enough that my grip starts to limit the bar speed. I’m using more mixed grip now because it allows me to pull more explosively and I feel myself getting stronger because of it.
 

Trever

Double-Digit Post Count
I don't think the deadlift is a grip exercise. The grip is best to train specifically, if need be. The deadlift has far too many other positive adaptations than the grip to let me limit it with it. The same goes for loaded carries, rows, shrugs, whatever.
This is very interesting. I’m trying to work farmer carries into my program and find grip strength is the limiting factor. Do you use straps for carries?
 

Antti

> 4k Posts
This is very interesting. I’m trying to work farmer carries into my program and find grip strength is the limiting factor. Do you use straps for carries?
I go without as long as sensible and then continue with straps. Like, I stress the grip, but won't let it be the limiting factor.

I can typically do all the carries I want without straps if my grip is fresh. So it depends on the exact session, if I did something before and what, how heavy and how far will I be carrying things.
 

kennycro@@aol.com

> 1k Posts
I don't think the deadlift is a grip exercise. The grip is best to train specifically, if need be.
Good Point

The Deadlift isn't a grip exercise.

Three Types of Grip Strength

There are three type of grip strength. Each one caters diferent sports.

Holding Strength

This is the grip strength needed for the Deadlift.

I did a fair amount of hanging exercises...
Hanging

The hanging exercise that you performed is the right tool for the job.

Placing a heavy barbell in a rack just, picking it up and holding it for time or even holding heavy dumbbells specifically increases your Holding Grip Strength.

The mixed and hook grip seem to have a lot of downsides.
Not Really

Very few Powerlifter using a mixed grip have any issues.

Improving my DL form is part of my goal.
Technique Training

This is accomplished by performing singles with load of 70% to 85% of your 1 Repetition Max.

I go without as long as sensible and then continue with straps. Like, I stress the grip, but won't let it be the limiting factor.
More good advice.
 

guardian7

More than 500 posts
Hanging

The hanging exercise that you performed is the right tool for the job.

Placing a heavy barbell in a rack just, picking it up and holding it for time or even holding heavy dumbbells specifically increases your Holding Grip Strength.


Technique Training

This is accomplished by performing singles with load of 70% to 85% of your 1 Repetition Max.

More good advice.
I do a complete reset with a pause after each rep to help with form.

It seems obvious but I haven't seen the advice just to hold the barbell that often. If you have a drastically increased ROM then obviously like a partial you could tolerate more weight. What you seem to be suggesting is basically a heavy farmer's walk without moving!
 

kennycro@@aol.com

> 1k Posts
It seems obvious but I haven't seen the advice just to hold the barbell that often.
Grasping Training Concepts

Hanging from a Pull Up Bar or holding on to a bar in the rack are essentially the same.

What you seem to be suggesting is basically a heavy farmer's walk without moving!
Developing Holding Strength

Holding on to a heavy loaded Trap Bar, Olympic/Power Bar, performing loaded (with dip belt) Pull Up hang is grip strength training.

Heavy Farmer Walks just standing in place without moving means it not a Farm's Walk.
 

Bpj911

More than Five Posts
I find DB carries as heavy as possible to be more effective than TB carries for grip strength. I also feel that limiting your deadlift to what your hands can carry in their weakest position is short sighted. If your grip is a weak point and your deadlift can still progress then train your grip on it's own day or session. In terms of mixed grip I see a lot of people concerned about imbalance or something but I don't see any issues myself at all. I don't even bother trying to vary which hand is underhand and have never noticed any issues at all.
 

kennycro@@aol.com

> 1k Posts
...limiting your deadlift to what your hands can carry in their weakest position is short sighted.
Good Point

Antti mentioned this as well in his post.

The Deadlift is a posterior chain movement. An ancillary benefit is that it develops grip strength.

...train your grip on it's own day
Holding Strength Grip Training

Grip Strength can be trained on any day. Just add it at the end of the training session.

Since the Deadlift require Holding Grip Strength, it needs to be trained that way.

...a lot of people concerned about imbalance...[I don't see any issues myself at all.
Imbalances

As Bp stated, it is rarely an issue for most lifters.

Secondly, "Imbalances" are natural and normal.

Very few if anyone is concerned with hand imbalances. No one is overly concerned with being able to write (or eat) with their right hand and having their writing look like something a first grader wrote with their non-dominate hand.

No one's trying to improve the imbalance of the left hand by learning to write or eat with it.

That applies to throwing a baseball, football, tennis, etc.

A right handed baseball player doesn't work on learning throw a the ball with his left hand.

The left hand is trained for another task, to catch the ball.

An interesting parable on this is...

Sprinters

Sprinters have leg imbalances in coming out of the blocks.

The stronger, dominate leg is positioned in the rear block. That because the dominate leg is able to generate more force in driving off the rear blocks than the non-dominate leg.

You literally want to put your best foot forward in Sprinting, which in the case of a Sprinter mean placing your dominate, stronger leg in the rear block position.

Major Imbalance Cause Major Issues

As long as there are no major muscle imbalance, there are no imbalance issues.

The dominate limb is assigned one job/task and the non-dominate limb another.

The issue is when when there are major imbalance issues.

Example: Emmett Smith Issue

Emmett Smith was a running back for the Dallas Cowboys.

Smith had a lot of hamstring pulls. That due to the fact that his quads were substantially stronger than his hamstrings.

His quads produce more force than his hamstrings could handle; resulting in pulled hamstrings.

In an substantial imbalance of this nature, the weaker muscle group (hamstrings in this case) need to be strengthened.[/QUOTE]
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
It's interesting to hear so many different perspectives on the deadlift and different aspects of the lift.

@guardian7, I don't think there are issues with the mixed grip. Much like the one-armed swing, you will find things to learn by noting the difference between the two mixed grips.

@Antti, I am a big fan of how different things - grip strength being one of them - can limit one's deadlift. Leg strength is an interesting one for me, because it's what limits my deadlift - I have a history with my lower back, having suffered a lumbar herniated disc before I ever started lifting. I don't want my legs to be stronger than my back - when my deadlifts fail, I like knowing my grip and core and back are strong enough but my legs aren't - it's the safest combination of attributes for my back.

One of the great things about the deadlift is that it's an almost-everything exercise - grip, abs, legs, back, lats. That means there are a lot of ways to approach it and that it be helpful in achieving a lot of different strength goals. @guardian7, I don't think working on bar speed will help your DL grip as much as grinding out reps will. With a moderately heavy weight, squeeze the bar hard, and when you get to the lockout, stay there for a little while, continuing to hold onto the bar, and enjoy the view. :)

JMO.

-S-
 

guardian7

More than 500 posts
It's interesting to hear so many different perspectives on the deadlift and different aspects of the lift.

@guardian7, I don't think there are issues with the mixed grip. Much like the one-armed swing, you will find things to learn by noting the difference between the two mixed grips.

@Antti, I am a big fan of how different things - grip strength being one of them - can limit one's deadlift. Leg strength is an interesting one for me, because it's what limits my deadlift - I have a history with my lower back, having suffered a lumbar herniated disc before I ever started lifting. I don't want my legs to be stronger than my back - when my deadlifts fail, I like knowing my grip and core and back are strong enough but my legs aren't - it's the safest combination of attributes for my back.

One of the great things about the deadlift is that it's an almost-everything exercise - grip, abs, legs, back, lats. That means there are a lot of ways to approach it and that it be helpful in achieving a lot of different strength goals. @guardian7, I don't think working on bar speed will help your DL grip as much as grinding out reps will. With a moderately heavy weight, squeeze the bar hard, and when you get to the lockout, stay there for a little while, continuing to hold onto the bar, and enjoy the view. :)

JMO.

-S-
Based on your reply and Kenney G. the obvious thing to do would be to just hold the lockout a bit since either I am going to continue my cycle with a mixed grip or continue at the bottom of a new cycle. Either way pausing will be at its easier now. I think Grey Cook has a concept of self-limiting exercises like the kneeling press or getup that are valuable because they reveal the weak parts of the kinetic chain and can't be brute forced like it is easier to do with barbell work risking injury.
 

Kettlebelephant

> 1k Posts
I don't think the deadlift is a grip exercise. The grip is best to train specifically, if need be. The deadlift has far too many other positive adaptations than the grip to let me limit it with it. The same goes for loaded carries, rows, shrugs, whatever.
Exactly what I'm doing. I do special grip training to achieve the Ironmind Crushed-to-Dust Challenge and don't want to compromise my grip by doing DLs and pullups before. So I use straps for both exercises.
 
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