Deadlifts and grip weakness.

PGA200X, those pincher excercises will be great for rock climbing and will improve your overall grip but I think incorporating an excercise that is more closely related to your current problem would be better. Like just loading a bar with a ton of weight and holding it as long as possibe, rest, repeat. Doing both of these excercises will of course give you a wider range of grip strengths but if you were going to do only one grip excercise i would do the one that has a direct correlation to your problem at hand. Good Luck!

DJS is right, IMHO. What we typically do is rotate b/t exercises. We train grip on DE Bench day before the session. We do something for 2 weeks, then rotate out. Typically we lead with hammer curls week 1 3x8-10, week 2 3x4-6. Week 3,4, we do either finger curls seated on the bench, or standing holding the barbell behind our back. Then weeks 5 and 6 we do barbell holds, one hand at a time, for 3 sets of 30 seconds per hand week one, 3 sets of 20 seconds per hand week 2. Basically we stand sideways in a power rack and hold the bar on the center knurling. If the barbell needs to be stabilized by your training partner (front to back) make sure they stabilize on the high side so they are not supporting the weight. I think one of the best effects of the holds is it teaches you to strain on grip. We train for PR’s each week. We try to time this cycle relative to our competitions so we are ending with the holds going into the meet. So far so good. Your pinch holds could be rotated through similar to the finger curls we do. Good luck!

Thanks for the replies guys. I’ll try the holds also. That will help me with my problem directly as you stated. I’m gonna keep the plate pinchers. I like doing them and it will also benefit my golf grip. I’ll probably throw them on my rotator cuff days. This is the first time I’m doing deads in my life. Actually this is the first time I’m working out properly for the first time in my life. So many years wasted, well maybe not wasted but so many years “learning” from errors.

I use straps. I don’t do a lot of reps work with deads, I just do reps to warm up… by the time I’m pulling a heavier weight I need the straps anyway and then grip isn’t a factor. One thing I have noticed is when I started to do rack pulls and deadlifts, my grip initially sucked ass but as time went on (sometimes just moving the weight around without the straps) my grip got a lot stronger. I can’t hold the weight on the biggest lifts right now so my grip would impede my deadlifting which isn’t an option for me.

My grip improved a ton when I stopped using gloves. I never used straps but for some reason the gloves assisted to a certain degree. When I stopped using them, the load I used for deadlifts decreased but since then (over a few months) I’m blowing my previous poundages out of the water. I went from pulling 385 lbs. with gloves to 455 lbs. without. Heavy rack pulls for reps helped too.

Congrats on starting to pull your training together. I dabble in golf. (Wife is good, I go just to spend time.) One thing I can tell you is that I have had several serious golfing friends ask me for ideas for forearm and back training. I have repeatedly heard that hammer curls yielded the most benefit…don’t really know why, but thought I would pass it on. Typically I would recommend something like 2 weeks on hammer curls; 2 weeks on full range of motion finger/wrist curls, thumbs over; and 2 weeks on wrist curls, no finger drop, thumbs under. Guess I should have figured out what pga200x meant…lol. Make it happen!

for grip i just load one end of a barbell with a couple plates and lift and hold it on the fat part (outside the plates) for as long as possible with one hand at a time.


For the record, there is a ton of ergonomics literature out there that shows that wearing ANY kind of gloves will invariably DECREASE grip strength.

I don’t feel that gloves have any place in the weight room, except when doing exercises that don’t require much grip strength (e.g. bench press), or for women handling submaximal weights who want to continue their careers as hand models…



I agree with many of the others, lose the gloves!

I would also recommend thick bar holds to increase your deadlifting grip.

You said that you are having trouble getting the 5th rep. I would then suggest that you time that set. Let’s say for example that the set takes you :15 (only for our example), to perform. I would then load a thick bar heavy enough so that you can hold it for :20 seconds. I would do three sets like this.

Let me know what you think!

Aight I’ll give it a try without the gloves and see how it goes.

ZEB, thick bar holds? What should I use since we have regular bars at my gym. Would bar pads work or will that be too thick or will the sponginess be just right? I’d say the pads are a little smaller than a can of soda presqueeze.

WHO THE FUCK WEARS GLOVES WHEN THEY LIFT? That might be the problem right there. Not the use of glove but the reasoning and feelings behind wearing gloves.


You might try the pads. Before I purchased my thick bar I used towels wrapped around the bar. Almost anything that increases the bar width should do the trick. Experiment!

OK lost the gloves today during the deads and… I blasted out 4x6’s without grip fatigue. Once I gripped the bar for my first rep I knew I wasn’t gonna lose my grip. About the poster who said gloves decrease grip strength I don’t agree with that. After the suggestions of a “thick bar” exercise to strengthen my grip I believe that the gloves produce the same effect. Obviously its not as thick but there’s a thickness difference between gripping the bar gloveless and with gloves. I was gloveless for everything except pullups ( I did deads, bent overs and reverse flys and “Mega-Shoulder Glider 2004’s”). I did 2 sets of pullups and my pads we hurting too much, so I used gloves for the final 2 sets. I did them after my deads and bent overs. I’ll be gloveless during deads from now on thats for sure. Hopefully they’ll adjust quick enough to go through the entire workout without gloves.

Thanks for the feedback. All of it was helpful and will be used in some way, shape or form.

If you just do your lighter lifts without gloves or straps, and you do rack pulls without straps (up to a reasonable weight I guess) your grip is going to get stronger. I don’t use my straps until I absolutely have to and the more I push it the easier it is. I don’t use the straps when I’m moving the bar from the rack to the floor for instance… just that few seconds is all it takes to eventually make your grip stronger.

for “thick bar” holds just do what i suggested in an earlier post, load one side of a barbell and hold it with one hand outside the plate while the other side rests on the floor or rack hook

Pull-ups with gloves? Oh my…

Actually I find gloves reduce my grip. When i dead or pull I take them off when my grip starts to fatigue. They are valeo ocelots BTW.

I find i get better grip when the knurling bites into my hands.

ZEB I don’t pullup with gloves. Just yesterday.

I’ve heard that not using gloves, i.e. weight in palm actually has some sort of positive neuro effect with recruiting tension.

I can’t substantiate this however, nor care to, as the bottom line is that gloves are for sissies.


On gloves:

It has to do with CNS stimulation. proprioceception and mechanoreception are affected.

Same reason you don’t see power or oly lifters wearing running shoes… they wear shoes with hard soles, or very thin soles so the feet get a good “grip” on the ground. This lets the CNS fire more strongly.

In other words, you can’t shoot a cannon from a canoe.

Dan “Gloves are for Pussies” McVicker