Week 27/52: How and when to use lifting straps

I’ve seen some pretty impressive things over the years in regards to powerlifting and heavy strength training.  I was sitting second row when Steve Goggins was the first one to squat 1102. I watched Andy Bolton pull a massive 900+ deadlift. I saw some Russian dude do over 2000+ single arm push presses – it took him over 2 hours!


Earlier this year I saw some comments on social media about a bodybuilder deadlifting with straps.

“If you can’t hold on to the bar (without straps), maybe you shouldn’t lift it.”

“Using straps…that’s cheating.”

Those were just a few of the comments I saw regarding a pretty big deadlift from a bodybuilder.

Now, before you watch this video, always remember that people have different goals. Not everyone is out there wants to perform a competition deadlift. Some like deadlifting to build a bigger back. Others might want to get a stronger deadlift, but still have no plans to compete. If you plan on entering a powerlifting/deadlift competition, then you’ll want to limit the use of straps for your main deadlift movement.  In this case, yes, you need to be able to hold on to the bar.

For many non-competitors, straps are a great tool. Using a mixed grip can help you hold a heavy weight better than a double overhand grip, but it also adds stress the the hips and low back because one hand is turned under. The amount of torque might seem small, but imagine doing this weekly for years and years – it adds up.

There are also some contraindications for using a mixed grip. Anyone who has a back disorder (scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, etc) shouldn’t put themselves in a compromised position. Therefore pulling with straps and a double overhand grip might be the best thing for them.


Now watch the video…

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