The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    Off Road, and anyone else doing 5/3/1...

    In Wendler's book he seems to think using lifting straps for heavy deadlifts, BB/DB rows, etc is an abomination, however I have used them for years. I certainly understand not wanting to have a weak grip, but I have always looked at it like "I am training my back, not my grip, so the straps are a benefit".

    Anyway, what are you guy's thoughts on this?

    Yesterday, I did Deadlift day and went as far as I could without straps, then added them to finish off. I did a set of Kroc Rows without straps to help develop my grip and did not use them on my chins.

    I figure if I can use them when going really heavy, but not use them on assistance lifts, then maybe I can improve my grip, but give my back the benefit of the heavier training.

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  3. #2
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    have you tried using chalk?
    “The worst thing I can be is the same as everybody else."

  4. #3
    Pro Strongman | Moderator Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    My advice would be to continue to use straps but only use them when you absolutely need them (your heaviest deadlift sets or once your grip fails on an exercise like dumbbell rows)

    You could go with an over/under grip but in my opinion it is not worth the risk if you are not planning on competing in powerlifting, since that style puts you at greater risk for a biceps tear.
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  5. #4
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Wendler wrote the book as a power lifter. If you want to compete in power lifting, you'll need the grip strength to pull off the lifts. If you are just using the routine to get bigger and stronger, then I'd just use the straps when you had to. I use straps on my top set of deadlifts and for hjeavy dumbbell rows.
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  6. #5
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    I have not tried chalk...but I thought about that option. I still may.

    Tom, I actually switched to the over/under grip yesterday and was able to go quite a bit heavier, but did not know about the increased risk. You are right, I am not planning on competing and your advice seems very logical. I'll go as far as I can without, then use them when I absolutely have to. thank guys.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    Wendler wrote the book as a power lifter. If you want to compete in power lifting, you'll need the grip strength to pull off the lifts. If you are just using the routine to get bigger and stronger, then I'd just use the straps when you had to. I use straps on my top set of deadlifts and for hjeavy dumbbell rows.
    thanks Off Road, I was thinking along the same lines.

  8. #7
    Senior Member sbirgel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXFatboy View Post
    I have not tried chalk...but I thought about that option. I still may.

    Tom, I actually switched to the over/under grip yesterday and was able to go quite a bit heavier, but did not know about the increased risk. You are right, I am not planning on competing and your advice seems very logical. I'll go as far as I can without, then use them when I absolutely have to. thank guys.
    I started using chalk in the past few weeks for deadlifting and it's amazing at how much I can hold compared to not using it...for some reason mentally I can't do a good set when using straps i just think about them too much instead of the lift so chalk has been a life saver.

    as to the bicep thing i had no idea using over under could increase the chance of a tear...at what weight range do you think this would be more likely to occur or does it depend on the lifter?
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  9. #8
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Just go ahead and use the straps with an overhand grip for your last set of the day. Every other set, don't use straps and work on the over/under grip. For a 1 rep single, your grip will be fine with or without straps as long as you can use chalk when you test it. These newer freaking deadlift bars make it almost impossible for grip to be the issue with not getting the lift.


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  10. #9
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    I was told by a power lifter once that he often used strps in training and never missed a lift in a competition because of grip.
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    You could go with an over/under grip but in my opinion it is not worth the risk if you are not planning on competing in powerlifting, since that style puts you at greater risk for a biceps tear.
    Do you consider it that big a risk Tom? I have quite small hands and unless I go over/under my grip fails me. I find a huge difference between double overhand and mixed grip. I really wouldn't want to go back to it.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    You could go with an over/under grip but in my opinion it is not worth the risk if you are not planning on competing in powerlifting, since that style puts you at greater risk for a biceps tear.
    I was under the impression that bicep tears using a mixed grip DL can be prevented simply by switching your mixed grip often. AKA do not suppinate the same hand every single DL set.

  13. #12
    Pro Strongman | Moderator Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXFatboy View Post
    I have not tried chalk...but I thought about that option. I still may.

    Tom, I actually switched to the over/under grip yesterday and was able to go quite a bit heavier, but did not know about the increased risk. You are right, I am not planning on competing and your advice seems very logical. I'll go as far as I can without, then use them when I absolutely have to. thank guys.
    If you would like to do some extra grip work you could always do some dumbbell holds or even hold your warmup sets at the top for a few seconds before you add in the straps.


    Quote Originally Posted by sbirgel View Post
    I started using chalk in the past few weeks for deadlifting and it's amazing at how much I can hold compared to not using it...for some reason mentally I can't do a good set when using straps i just think about them too much instead of the lift so chalk has been a life saver.

    as to the bicep thing i had no idea using over under could increase the chance of a tear...at what weight range do you think this would be more likely to occur or does it depend on the lifter?
    It is not really the weight, you could tear your bicep with 225 lbs or with 765 lbs. If your underhand elbow bends while you are pulling that is when you put yourself at risk.

    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    I was told by a power lifter once that he often used strps in training and never missed a lift in a competition because of grip.
    Layne Norton does this I believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by J.C. View Post
    Do you consider it that big a risk Tom? I have quite small hands and unless I go over/under my grip fails me. I find a huge difference between double overhand and mixed grip. I really wouldn't want to go back to it.
    I do not pull over/under because of this, but my biceps take a beating from strongman training which is why I consider it too much of a risk. There are other ways to build your grip strength and since I do not compete in powerlifting there is no reason to train with the mixed grip.

    Some good ways to build grip strength are timed hands (weighted), dumbbell holds, and farmers walk.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cmanuel View Post
    I was under the impression that bicep tears using a mixed grip DL can be prevented simply by switching your mixed grip often. AKA do not suppinate the same hand every single DL set.
    This will help to prevent tendinitis and lessen the chances of a tear but any time that you pull over/under you will be at risk for injury. Since strongman allows hitching and that is very dangerous with a mixed grip I would train with straps unless you have a specific event (PL or Strongman) that you are getting ready for where straps are not allowed.
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  14. #13
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    Good advice as always Tom, thanks.

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