Grokking the Hook Grip

Part of the future of my deadlift training?

Gripping stuffAside from the recent snatch-grip deadlifts, I've been ignoring the conventional deadlift for quite some time (the last time I tested my max was back in December). I was hoping that the 'no deadlift' approach may have had a positive benefit here - a 2 x bodyweight lift isn't all that far away.

After warming up with a little ab work (and there is a fine line between warming up and pre-exhaustion) I began climbing the pyramid. It was only after I managed a double at 140kg that I remembered reading the benefits of a hook grip, which I elected to give a run on a 150 attempt. Alas, the bar moved a little, then the grip gave way. A second and third attempt produced the same result. Hmmm.

The hook grip involves wrapping the fingers around the thumb (the regular grip puts the thumb over the fingers). It helps to have fairly large hands for this. With a little practice this should see an extra kilo or two slapped on the bar.

I decided to call it a day there and have a think about future deadlift training. After a few months of almost deadlift-free workouts I may try giving it a lot more time in the sun; probably twice per week. The first of these days will follow a similar pattern to that employed by Andy Boulton (certainly not a deadlift lightweight), and the second will be a westside-style session of speed pulls. Now I just need to make sure this allows enough recovery time.

On the subject of recovery, time to get a bit of shut-eye.

Hanging knee raise 30@bw
Seated knee raise/crunch 20@bw
Deadlift 10@60kg, 5@80kg, 3@100kg, 3@120kg, 3@130kg, 2@140kg, 0@150kg

You Might Also Like...




NB : For a complete list of everything we use and recommend, swing by the reviews area. And of course the Straight to the Bar Store. It's all in there.

To learn how to put it to work, swing by the Guides area.



Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 35) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

Find out what he's up to via Twitter, Google+, Facebook; and of course his online home. Enjoy.



Like this? Check out :



Of course, if you enjoyed these, I'd highly recommend grabbing the Strength & Fitness Newsletter. Delivered weekly, and absolutely free.

(there's also a Daily Update, if you're looking for an even larger dose of training-related goodness.)

NB : If you'd like to write a guest post for Straight to the Bar, or if you'd like to join the team of Moderators here (I love hearing about everyone's training approaches) - get in touch. And if you've got a fitness competition or seminar coming up, add it to the calendar.

Look forward to hearing from you.


Over to you. Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet :


blog comments powered by Disqus
Straight to the Bar Strength Kit

Are You as Strong as You Could Be?

Grab the Straight to the Bar Strength Kit.

Training Guides, eBooks and of course the Strength & Fitness Newsletter. Absolutely free.