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View Full Version : Grip and upper back strength on Westside



danki
11-05-2010, 09:47 AM
Hey everyone, long time lurker, but this is my first post here. I have my training log over at teamstaley.com, but their forums dont get too much traffic, so I figured Id ask for advice here....

http://www.teamstaley.com/showthread.php?t=13772&page=44


Im 26 years old, 5'11" 210lbs. I have quite a few years lifting experience but only recently have I started focusing on strength. My ultimate goal is to be BIG, strong and somewhat lean, but first off I want to focus on getting to 300/400/500.

Im currently training similar to westside, as you can see by my log, but there are some slight modifications. I dont compete, and probably never will, and all training is done raw.

In the past, I spend a lot of time doing dealifts and pullups, so my posterior chain was pretty strong. I pulled a 405 deadlift quite a while back when I weighed 180'ish. So in bringing up my lifts, I focused more on squat, and leg strength, as well as triceps and shoulder strength.

Well, I think ive gotten to the point where my back is a limiting factor, as well as my grip. My last ME lower day, I tried pulling a straight leg deadlift from blocks for 415, but failed due to grip and maybe upper back. 405 went up pretty easily. Im sure with straps, I could probably pull around 450, and 500 isn't a long ways off.

As for bech, im not possative that my back is holding me back, but im sure more size/strength wouldn't hurt.


QUESTION: So im just wondering what others have done on westside to bring up their grip and back strength/size?

I was contemplating adding a "back day" similar to WS4FB, or just training my back muscles 2-4 sessions a week, upper and lower.

I was also thinking of something like this for exercise breakdown:

Heavy exercises
Rack pull
Yates rows
Pullups

Lighter exercises
DB rows
Pullups
Facepulls
Rear shrugs

QUESTION: Also, I pretty much never use straps, so im kinda surprised grip is such an issue. Do I need to start using straps some of the time, to allow my gripping muscles to recover, and then train them harder without straps? Maybe only work grip 2x per week, and use the straps the rest of the time?

Any other advice is appreciated....

Brian C
11-05-2010, 09:59 AM
What type of grip do you use?

Pete22
11-05-2010, 11:13 AM
Do high rep DB rows on your bench assistance days without straps. These will build up your upper back, and also work your grip.

Lones Green
11-05-2010, 12:06 PM
I think you could knock those both out with rack pulls with quad mini's.

Question, why is there so much discrepancy between your squat and dead?

danki
11-05-2010, 03:13 PM
What type of grip do you use?

I go double overhand until I cant do it anymore and then mixed

danki
11-05-2010, 03:15 PM
I think you could knock those both out with rack pulls with quad mini's.

Question, why is there so much discrepancy between your squat and dead?

What do you mean by "quad mini's"? Is that 4 mini bands?


Also I dont know about my squat and deadlift. I haven't maxed squat lately, but can probably get 380ish, and maybe 405 on dealift (and with straps or better grip quite a bit more)..... Is this a huge discrepancy?

Keith
11-05-2010, 03:26 PM
Do high rep DB rows on your bench assistance days without straps. These will build up your upper back, and also work your grip.

:withstupi:

gmen5681
11-05-2010, 06:49 PM
you could add some fat gripz to anything too.

danki
11-05-2010, 07:14 PM
Ok thx guys, you've given me a lot of options. I'll add in some high rep db rows for a while, on my upper days, and keep working on rack pulls and such.


One other question though.... Do you think if im working some form of pulling 3-4x per week (rows, chins on upper days, and rack pulls, deadlifts on lower days) that this is too much for my grip muscles to recover from?

Should I add in straps on some of the days to prevent my grip from being overworked and allow me to work my upper back harder? Or is this not an issue?

Keith
11-05-2010, 07:53 PM
Nope, you'll be fine. No need for straps.

Lones Green
11-05-2010, 11:12 PM
What do you mean by "quad mini's"? Is that 4 mini bands?


Also I dont know about my squat and deadlift. I haven't maxed squat lately, but can probably get 380ish, and maybe 405 on dealift (and with straps or better grip quite a bit more)..... Is this a huge discrepancy?

2 mini's but they cross over the bar 4 times


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uE4mTkxFAk

NickAus
11-06-2010, 01:54 AM
Lones is right, pulling against band tension will fix your problem.

You will need to buy two mini bands for Jumpstretch, cheap and are one of the best training tools around.

thewicked
11-06-2010, 06:04 PM
high rep dumbbell rows, weighted chins, doing seated rows and "ending" each rep with a wrist curl helps and I enjoy that alot though it's pointless at this point for me since my grip gets direct work now...

heavy shrugs, rack pulls, and farmer's holds/walks are the top exercises I'd recommend for grip. ANYTHING that works the forearms flexion wise will also help with finger strength as the prime movers for wrist flexion also move the fingers...

thick bar, grippers, etc. won't have much carryover in this aspect....if you want to build your grip around a barbell exercises..do things that mimic that the closest...

also think of your forearms like the calves of the upper body. You can train them initially twice a week for 5-6 sets of a particular exercise heavy every 3-4 days individual dependent to really ramp up the work.

I do heavy barbell wrist curls for 10-20 rep sets with 185 and as many as i can get with 205 (i'd like to wrist curl 225 for reps) and then do a grip machine both single and double overhand for 5 sets of HEAVY weight just before failure each set... grip strength has sky rocketed and I train it every 4 days on top of the grip work I do during my exercises. I am like you and pull double overhand until my grip fails which is around 545 then switch to mixed. If you use straps, DITCH'EM! worst thing for grip strength.