After seeing Chris pull, I think a lot of us have come to feel that there is a certain coolness to pulling heavy deadlifts with a double overhand hook grip. This is part of the reason why Chris’s deadlifts are so awesome, other than the fact that he collectively lifts more than a ton with his 5rm deadlift. There is something about possessing the grip strength to pull that kind of weight double overhand hook grip that, to me at least, equates to being a man, you know?
Hands strong enough to crush a moderately sized Asian? 70s big.
This post highlights another double overhand hook grip deadlifter, Mikhail Kokylaev. Kokylaev competes as a strongman, powerlifter, and weightlifter, and possesses a great diversity of athletic skills and types of strength. The video below displays his insanely strong pulling in addition to his equally insane grip.
If you go to his youtube page, you can see his other videos, and he’s pretty much a loose cannon, he’s just out of control. My favorites are his 200k push press triple and the 150k muscle snatch in an exhibition vid that a barbell club in the UK posted of him.
While having a ridiculously strong grip is appealing, it’s probably not wise to let the pursuit of great grip strength overshadow the primary goal of becoming strong, that is, through squats, presses, and pulling. I like to warm up with a double overhand hook grip as much as I can for all my pulling movements, usually up to my last warm up set, but Justin is always encouraging me, in the nicest possible way of course, to be smart about my grip and to not let my quest to be as cool as Chris overshadow my quest to be as strong as Brent Kim can possibly be.
Hopefully in the next article, Justin will weigh in on grip strength and how it relates to 70s big. If you have any questions on the topic, share them in the comments.
I’ve got a couple questions, actually:
– What’s the method of rectification for a guy trying to get 70s big whose grip is the limiting factor in his deadlifts/haltings/rack pulls?
– There’s a subculture in lifting, comparable to the “no belts” subculture, which espouses the ideal of never using straps for any exercise. Thoughts on straps in training?
– A while ago at a cookout at the WFAC, Gant recommended Kroc rows to me for, among other things, grip strength. Since Gant suggested I try them, and because Matt Kroczaleski does them and has a lot of super sweet vids on youtube of him doing them, I have of course been doing Kroc rows semi-religiously, sometimes without a shirt on. Thoughts on accessory exercises such as these? Perhaps thoughts on training without a shirt on?