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Old 07-17-2012, 10:40 AM   #11
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You've talked about the tie-in between back strength and grip strength before, but I wanted to get some information up in your Q&A post.

Can you give us some basics on how back strength helps grip strength...
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:52 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
You've talked about the tie-in between back strength and grip strength before, but I wanted to get some information up in your Q&A post.

Can you give us some basics on how back strength helps grip strength...
X2..

I am finding my Erectore Spinae get exhausted pretty quickly, as do my forearms/grip strength...

I probably should know the answer to this, but how do you train your grip and erectors to get better lifts?

Thanks Fazc!
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:02 AM   #13
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It's something I've been banging on about for a few years, I picked it up in a discussion with Dave Maurice and it's actually something that Mark Bell talked about in his recent video blog.

There is a definite relationship between the form breakdown which occurs in the upper back and how well you hold on to the bar. Simply put upper back strength and grip strength are intertwined. I have never met a seasoned weight trainer who had a genuine grip problem; for a grown man who has been training for any decent length of time, let him do an alternate grip and use chalk and it just won't be the grip that goes first . Now you might think that you have had a genuine grip weakness and I'm talking crap, well go ahead and show me a video of your lift and how you failed and I guaran-damn-tee your form will put your upper back in the position where you grip has no choice but to let go.

So I haven't seen much in the way of grip weakness, what I have seen plenty of is upper back weakness. It's not so much to do with guys who start with a rounded upper back on purpose, it's when the form breaks down from the fatigue and causes this hunchback look, lengthening the time to lock out and just generally forcing you into this sort of 'bear hug' type of pose where the bar slips to your fingers and you're left desperately trying to hold on. That's the relationship between upper back and grip.

It's actually a very useful physical *oh shit* switch by your body. If it's something you really can't hold onto and is pulling you down with it, then it's probably a good evolutionary idea if you let that ****er go.

So let me ask you guys a question, what piece of gym equipment forces you to ignore this mechanism and why is that dangerous? Explain to the class, loud voice please.

My solution for perceived *grip weakness* is to strengthen the upper back with Partial Deads, Full Deads, Heavy Rows, Shrugs and anything else which forces your upper/mid back to work. Feel free to use straps!

I've linked Bell's recent video as sort of back up for what I'm saying here.


Last edited by Fazc; 07-17-2012 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:13 AM   #14
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My solution for perceived *grip weakness* is to strengthen the upper back with Partial Deads, Full Deads, Heavy Rows, Shrugs and anything else which forces your upper/mid back to work. Feel free to use straps!
Very important statement, I believe.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:14 AM   #15
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You ignored the question Steven, red cross for you.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:26 AM   #16
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My solution for perceived *grip weakness* is to strengthen the upper back with Partial Deads, Full Deads, Heavy Rows, Shrugs and anything else which forces your upper/mid back to work. Feel free to use straps!
I teach using straps to improve grip strength, and that you should never let grip strength hold back your upper back strength. This is not a popular opinion, so I was hesitant to spew in your thread.

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So let me ask you guys a question, what piece of gym equipment forces you to ignore this mechanism and why is that dangerous? Explain to the class, loud voice please.
No idea, el capitan. I didn't ignore the question; I just had no idea what you were referencing.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:33 AM   #17
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I remember David Maurice saying that when the grip fails, the form breaks down. I also remember that most of the powerlifters say that the grip is usually never a problem on max attempts. So, good points made by Faz.

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Old 07-17-2012, 04:14 PM   #18
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I thought it was grip issues after failing 4 times at 170kg for a deadlift over a 3 week spell. Then I used liquid chalk to help and 170kg went up with ease and I made 180kg within 2 weeks.

At the time of my fails, Fazc mentioned his belief about upper back weakness being linked to grip going and noted that my rows were fairly low compared to my deadlift.

This didn't seem to make sense as chalk helped me improve by 15kg but when I failed 185kg, it was my upper back that prevented me locking out thus causing me to fail as the chalk kept my hands on the bar. Everytime I have hit deadlift PRs since or went heavy, I can feel my upper back straining first. The chalk will always keep my grip but if I keep pulling, I will injure my upper back once the weight is too much. I am working on my upper back more often now and I believe my deadlifts will benefit massively.

In a nutshell, I do believe that Fazc has a very good point. Do I also get a red cross?
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:20 PM   #19
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I thought it was grip issues after failing 4 times at 170kg for a deadlift over a 3 week spell. Then I used liquid chalk to help and 170kg went up with ease and I made 180kg within 2 weeks.

At the time of my fails, Fazc mentioned his belief about upper back weakness being linked to grip going and noted that my rows were fairly low compared to my deadlift.

This didn't seem to make sense as chalk helped me improve by 15kg but when I failed 185kg, it was my upper back that prevented me locking out thus causing me to fail as the chalk kept my hands on the bar. Everytime I have hit deadlift PRs since or went heavy, I can feel my upper back straining first. The chalk will always keep my grip but if I keep pulling, I will injure my upper back once the weight is too much. I am working on my upper back more often now and I believe my deadlifts will benefit massively.

In a nutshell, I do believe that Fazc has a very good point. Do I also get a red cross?
Chalk may not have improved your lift per se but just made it easier to grip a bar with little to no slippage which then permitted you to make the lift, a load which you may have been able to make well before the chalk was applied had you used chalk; does that make sense?
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:18 PM   #20
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The answer to the question, was actually lifting straps. But you just recommended them Faz! Don't interrupt me!!! I know I did, so let me explain.

In my explanation I talked about how the grip acts as somewhat of a safety valve when dealing with heavy things and our inability to pick them up. If it's too heavy causing a loss of structural integrity/form and increased risk of injury then our bodies feedback loop on this occasion is the grip and it forces it to let go.

Lifting straps forego this safety valve. Now, imagine an intensity scale which ends as 10 as supremely hard and 1 as easy (something like Tuschererererererer talks about). With intensity levels of around up to around 8-9 you're relatively safe. But when you're dealing with max effort type of weights and you include lifting straps in there you really need to know when to quit if things don't go well. For singles it isn't as much of a big deal unless you're in to pulling 10 second deadlift singles. But multiple rep sets is the big one. One of the most famous of these cases was Stuart McRobert, the guy who did a deadlift set of 20 so intensely he broke his back and then took 12 years to recover (true story). One of the main issues with that last Dead set he did was the he was locked in with lifting straps, and he grinded every single last few of his reps. His body was unable to exert it's feedback loop to force him to let go of this damn bar which was killing him. Basically to his safety valve he said FCUK YOU! Not once but many times in the space of 5 minutes or however long his set took. This resulted in not only massive trauma to his back but also three good selling books and a monthly magazine.

Another example looking at the other end of the relationship, loose grip leading to loose upper back. The current 105kg BSM and I had a conversation regarding a problem of his. We had the conversation to do with his upper back tightness when wearing straps as opposed to not wearing straps. He said for the life of himself he could not figure out why his upper back felt loose when he wore lifting straps! But we know why right? It was because mentally his body knew he didn't have to be tight when he wore straps. It allowed him to loosen up because he wasn't gripping hard. So I told him that next time he wore straps to grip the bar insanely tight, problem solved.

So the two above example show a positive relationship between grip and upper back. When one is strong the other is strong, when one is weak the other will weaken. This might give the example of equality but again, it is mostly the upper back which is the culprit as long as an alternate grip and chalk is used.

---

Onwards to specific questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
I teach using straps to improve grip strength, and that you should never let grip strength hold back your upper back strength. This is not a popular opinion, so I was hesitant to spew in your thread.
You're right for doing so, I just wouldn't recommend them for death sets.

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Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
I remember David Maurice saying that when the grip fails, the form breaks down. I also remember that most of the powerlifters say that the grip is usually never a problem on max attempts. So, good points made by Faz.
Word.

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Originally Posted by Kuytrider View Post
This didn't seem to make sense as chalk helped me improve by 15kg but when I failed 185kg, it was my upper back that prevented me locking out thus causing me to fail as the chalk kept my hands on the bar. Everytime I have hit deadlift PRs since or went heavy, I can feel my upper back straining first. The chalk will always keep my grip but if I keep pulling, I will injure my upper back once the weight is too much. I am working on my upper back more often now and I believe my deadlifts will benefit massively.
Exactly right. As 5kg alluded to, the chalk has allowed you to improve your grip to the point where it isn't a concern. Like I said most men who have trained for any decent length of time will not have their grip as a genuine issue as long as they alternate and use chalk. BUT the upper back straining is a definite something to work on. That will cause the grip to loosen not because it's weak but because it's a natural feedback mechanism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5kgLifter View Post
Chalk may not have improved your lift per se but just made it easier to grip a bar with little to no slippage which then permitted you to make the lift, a load which you may have been able to make well before the chalk was applied had you used chalk; does that make sense?
Word, total sense. Green sticker for you.
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