Tuesday, December 20, 2011

When To Use The Mixed Grip On Deadlifts

Will T. from Florida has a Deadlift grip question. Quote...

Hey Mehdi,

I'm from Florida, 22 years old, 6'1" at 195 pounds, and currently squatting 235 lbs 5x5. My question is regarding deadlifts, at which I'm currently lifting 245. I've been stuck several times around this weight, and it's entirely because of my grip strength. With the double overhand grip, it invariably starts to fail around the fourth rep and the fifth often feels too weak to attempt.

I've read your article on how to boost grip strength and it's helped a great deal, and my grip strength is increasing, just. very. slowly. While screwing around in a bout of frustration, I found that I could pull 315 with a mixed grip quite easily for reps. Every part of my body besides my grip seems ready for more weight.

So, I would just switch to mixed grip, but I feel I'm at far too light a weight to start doing that. So my question is, should I accept the slow gains on my deadlift in the interest of bringing my grip "up to par," or should I go ahead and adopt other measures such as chalk and a mixed grip in order to start pushing my big mover muscles?


You should definitely use chalk, white knuckling (squeeze the bar hard) and the mixed grip so you can keep adding weight on your Deadlifts. Here's why:

The goal is NOT to build grip strength only. The goal is to build full body strength. If you need specific grip training, do that separately.It's not like your grip will be weak if you can Deadlift 400lb with a mixed grip. Your hands will get stronger from pulling that weight.

Start using the mixed grip on your last Deadlift set, but keep using the normal grip on your warm-up sets which should be like this: 5x135lb, 5x175lb, 5x210lb. So up to 210lb you pull with a normal grip, the 245lb with a mixed grip.

Use white knuckling on every single set and try to Deadlift all your warm-up sets without chalk. If you can't pull your last warm-up set with the normal grip, chalk your hands (get an eco ball if your gym doesn't allow it). If you still can't Deadlift it, use the frigging mixed grip so you can pull that weight and get all your reps.

It would make sense to start adding 10 pounds per workout to your Deadlifts since you say you can already pull 315lb AND assuming your technique is right. Meaning: add 10lb every time you Deadlift, then switch back to 5lb increments once you're past 315lb. This will speed up your strength and muscle gains.

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