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

Its 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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View Poll Results: Straps, or no Straps?

Voters
31. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes I use straps

    10 32.26%
  • No I use bare hands or chalk

    19 61.29%
  • I don't deadlift because I'm a sissy or I had an injury

    2 6.45%
Results 1 to 25 of 25
  1. #1
    is numero uno Saint Patrick's Avatar
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    Using Straps for Deadlifts

    Just wondering how many of us use straps for deads.

    I'm faced with a dilemma because I've reached the point where I can lift more than I can grip.

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  3. #2
    heading to 195
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    Yeah, I tried straps and were no help really.. I need to get chalk..

  4. #3
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    I would definitely recommend straps as the deadlift should be used primarily to increase the strength of the muscles of the upper and lower back as well as the legs and hips.

    Train with straps and then if you were to compete you could use chalk to enhance your grip.

    The only reason to not use straps would be to try to develop one's grip, but there are better ways to do that.

    I would recommend you check out www.ProWristStraps.com (the sponsor of our powerlifting forum) to get a great set.


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  5. #4
    3:16
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    i use straps as i do not want to limit my back development for grip development.

    I am not a competive powerlifter so i do not see the problem.
    my exprience - joined gym 10 years ago, 6 1/2 years hard weight training exprience.

  6. #5
    Wannabebig New Member HahnB's Avatar
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    My brother and I were brutal. I once chased him around the house with a spoon that I put on the burner. I burned that little pricks leg. -sharkall2003

    Then I saw a little african boy sleeping, and I thought...that is little Okeke. he is tired from herding all the goats and the big goat got away today - Rock

  7. #6
    Crrrrrrrrrrest!!!!! mikey4402's Avatar
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    i like straps for deads too
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  8. #7
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    I stopped using straps a long time ago. I can grip just as much with chalk as with straps and if feels more natural.

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:525 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220

  9. #8
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    What about "I use straps because I have an injury?"

    I never used them before I messed up my finger(s), but I can see their value for a final set or something. However, I think chalk is a superior tool, and I can't wait to get back to using it.

    The problem for most people is that they use straps ALL of the time. I see people doing curls with straps, benching with straps, etc. I'm surprised they're not doing cardio with straps. It's the exact situation as with belts. Those who actually know when and how to use them appropriately do so in moderation.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  10. #9
    . Delphi's Avatar
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    What Nash said. When I had tendinitis in my forearms I used straps for chins and deads. When not injuried, I don't use them. I haven't found that wrist curls or an Ivanko Super-Gripper translate into being able to hold heavier weights. Actually holding heavy weights does.

  11. #10
    Still Plugging Away -TIM-'s Avatar
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    The weight for my deadlifts has yet to exceed my grip so I have no need to use straps yet. But I have nothing against them. I like how Chris and Body put it, don't worry that your grip isn't being developed if you use them for deads. Cause that's not your focus and there's better ways to develop grip.

    I do use straps on cable rows because the attachment at our gym has horrible grip. Not even chalk would help with this thing.
    Best way to cheat on deadlifts...

    Stand there for a few minutes, then pace back and forth a lot, huff and puff, wait until everybody's looking. Approach the bar. Back off. Approach it again. Back off. Get some water. Chalk up. Approach the bar again. Then spray some more chalk around. Wait until people start losing interest. When nobody's looking, pick it a little off the floor, and slam it down. Jump up and yell "LIGHT WEIGHT BABY". Then give high fives all around. - Belial

  12. #11
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    There are quite a few different types of grip strength. I have to agree with Delphi and disagree with Chris on this one. By far the best method of building grip strength for lifting is to lift without straps.

    When lifting heavy weights, you are using a static grip the entire time, which is best worked with... static grip exercises. Things like using a larger diameter bar can improve this.

    Then there is pinch strength, where your fingers and thumb are parallel to each other. E.g., when holding plates together by their flat sides.

    Next is crush strength, like when you use those gripper tool, the ability to close your fingers and thumbs together.

    This is to say nothing of contact strength, which is sort of like the pylometrics of grip, and crimp strength which is like, well, I have no idea. I'll have to think about these comparisons further.

    Wrist curls are indeed forearm exercises, but they are primarily focused on wrist flexion and extension, not grip. Grip is really finger strength. Wrist curls will make your forearms bigger and have some carryover to grip strength, but they only work grip secondarily.

    All of these grip exercises are good and work complimentary muscles, so do them all!

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  13. #12
    3:16
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    I do grip work after my deads lifts.

    unfortanetly the only bar in my gym with good grip is attached to the smith machine. but for holding a heavy weight its pretty good.
    Last edited by body; 10-19-2003 at 01:58 PM.
    my exprience - joined gym 10 years ago, 6 1/2 years hard weight training exprience.

  14. #13
    Gonnabebig Member JuniorMint6669's Avatar
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    I think it depends on why you do deads. Do you do them to be a badass who can deadlift a lot of weight? Then no straps. Do you do them for (insert other reason) then do whatever you want, as long as it is in line with the rest of your goals.

  15. #14
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    I'll just use a power grip if it gets too heavy, straps have always cut up my wrists.
    Height-5' 7"
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  16. #15
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MixmasterNash
    There are quite a few different types of grip strength. I have to agree with Delphi and disagree with Chris on this one. By far the best method of building grip strength for lifting is to lift without straps.

    When lifting heavy weights, you are using a static grip the entire time, which is best worked with... static grip exercises. Things like using a larger diameter bar can improve this.

    Then there is pinch strength, where your fingers and thumb are parallel to each other. E.g., when holding plates together by their flat sides.

    Next is crush strength, like when you use those gripper tool, the ability to close your fingers and thumbs together.

    This is to say nothing of contact strength, which is sort of like the pylometrics of grip, and crimp strength which is like, well, I have no idea. I'll have to think about these comparisons further.

    Wrist curls are indeed forearm exercises, but they are primarily focused on wrist flexion and extension, not grip. Grip is really finger strength. Wrist curls will make your forearms bigger and have some carryover to grip strength, but they only work grip secondarily.

    All of these grip exercises are good and work complimentary muscles, so do them all!

    Hey Mix, I am a member of The Gripboard, I have met Randall Strossen in person, I subscribe to Milo, and I have met several of the top grip related strength guys in the world (at the AOBS dinner last year). I am fully aware of all of the grip strength variations.

    My point was that unless one is specifically trying to improve one's static grip strength for some sort of a competition, or because they love grip strength in general, then the use of straps will help one to overcome a possibly limiting factor.

    The great Paul Anderson was one to use assistance for his grip when deadlifting because his hands simply did not allow him to translate him prodigious leg, hip, and lower back strength to the bar.

    Ronnie Coleman, a former powerlifter and a man that can deadlift over 800 lbs, uses wrist straps in his training because he is trying to work the the larger muscles of the upper and lower body when deadlifting, not his grip.

    So, again, unless one is specifically after increasing grip strength, then the use of straps is dictated in order to tax the larger muscles of the legs, back, and hips. The guy that started this thread mentioned he can pull more than he can hold. He can work his grip with static holds and work the larger muscles by using straps while he deadlifts.


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  17. #16
    Senior Member geoffgarcia's Avatar
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    you should ask how much people are deadlifting....weight + reps...

  18. #17
    WBB OG Silverback's Avatar
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    I dont use straps, as whenever ive talked to any experienced lifter about increasing forearm size. They say that straps on deads will halt your progress.

    I do however agree that utilising straps on deads will aid the upper, lower bodys development, particularly because you can use more weight. Which is self explanatory.

    When my forearms are big enough then i will start using straps
    The only limits are the one's you place on yourself...

  19. #18
    Wounded Deadlifter ryan1117's Avatar
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    I'm all for using straps as a last resort. I'd say to use chalk first if your gym allows it. If they don't allow it, (like mine) then definitely use straps. If I were to not use straps or chalk, I'd probably be doing about 100 pounds less than my maximum potential. I'm not going to improve very well with that.

    I've also added some static holds to help work my grip after I deadlift to make up for what I'm missing.
    5-9 170

  20. #19
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Originally posted by chris mason

    My point was that unless one is specifically trying to improve one's static grip strength for some sort of a competition, or because they love grip strength in general, then the use of straps will help one to overcome a possibly limiting factor.
    We are disagreeing past each other.

    I concur with everything you said. I meant that the best way to improve static grip strength is to work on static grip strength. I felt that you implied that there are better ways to work grip strength for static grip.

    I think that this is completely separate from the notion of whether one should use straps for heavy lifting, though of course that is the point of the thread...
    To be on topic, I think that most trainees should not use straps for their lifting. If you're pulling 500+ in deads, you can do whatever you like, but if you can't hold onto 135 without straps then grip is such a weak link that it should be the focus until it is up to par.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  21. #20
    Senior Member geoffgarcia's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Big-Ron
    I dont use straps, as whenever ive talked to any experienced lifter about increasing forearm size. They say that straps on deads will halt your progress.

    I do however agree that utilising straps on deads will aid the upper, lower bodys development, particularly because you can use more weight. Which is self explanatory.

    When my forearms are big enough then i will start using straps
    if you want bigger forearms then try specific forarms movements...deadlifts aren't forearm movements and shouldn't be your weak link....

  22. #21
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    One more thing for folks like ryan, who prefer not to use straps but can't use chalk: There are alternatives!

    From the rock climbing world, we have: (1) Chalk balls, which you squeeze and they dry your hands and release very little chalk, so you can do it discretely.

    (2) eco-ball, which is a magic hand drying, chalk alternative ball

    (3) liquid chalk, an alcohol based drying solution

    (4) Sympathectomy, a surgical procedure that kills the nerve that causes palm sweat. Climbers, business people, and hyperhidrosis sufferers rejoice. Probably a bit extreme for you lifters. And sane people.

    Availible online at any climbing gear place like rei.com or mgear.com, or Sweden, in the case of the surgery.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  23. #22
    3:16
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    Originally posted by Big-Ron
    I dont use straps, as whenever ive talked to any experienced lifter about increasing forearm size. They say that straps on deads will halt your progress.

    I do however agree that utilising straps on deads will aid the upper, lower bodys development, particularly because you can use more weight. Which is self explanatory.

    When my forearms are big enough then i will start using straps
    your forarm still work when using straps.
    as mentioned above there are better exercsies than deads fro growing forarms. so use your deads to increase back and leg size rather than forarm size.
    my exprience - joined gym 10 years ago, 6 1/2 years hard weight training exprience.

  24. #23
    Gonnabebig Member JuniorMint6669's Avatar
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    Do you guys think deads are really good for increasing size of muscles? Ive always thought of them better at increasing strength, than size, but I guess thats because I do heavy singles most of the time, as opposed to lighter weights for reps. I would imagine squats/glute ham raise to be better at building mass.

  25. #24
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Well, my lower-ish back has gotten a lot bigger doing deads and squats. Also, my traps have grown only since doing deads. Shrugs never really helped much. I do deads for strength as well.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  26. #25
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    Agree with Mix. My traps have benefitted more from Deads than anything else.

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:525 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220

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