Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The hook grip is not optional!

Jyothi avoiding my impromptu burpee penalty by actually doing the hook grip today.
I learned something disturbing today - a whole class of folks who have been coming here since the beginning thought that when I said to use the hook grip it was just a suggestion. My standard newbie introductions always includes "whenever you're pulling on the bar, use the hook grip" and then I demo it and make sure everyone can do it.

Yes it's uncomfortable at first, but you get used to it. Just a few weeks after learning it, you'll find yourself holding the steering wheel or holding on to the bar when riding the bus using the hook grip.

The hook grip is important because it keeps the bar from rolling out of your hands. All else being equal, you can lift more with the hook grip than without. You will lift more weight and be safer if you grip the bar properly. On the deadlift you can use a mixed grip (though I don't really promote that much) to get the same effect, but you can't clean or snatch that way - and since the quick lifts are such a fundamental part of our programming, I'd rather you just be in the habit of using the hook grip any time you touch a barbell.

Randy once told me about a study (I can't find it on the intarwebs right now) where they set up a contraption that would always be balanced no matter how you lifted it. Then they set the weight at something that you could easily stand up but still too heavy to hold in one hand.  For example, think of about 65% of your deadlift. You should be able to easily pick that up with two hands, but not hold on to that much weight with one hand. So in this study, they had people pick up the contraption with both hands and then while holding it, remove one hand. You would think that since their other hand couldn't hold on to the weight that it would get ripped out of their hand and fall. But what really happened is that their legs would buckle under the weight. That is, their brains realized that they couldn't grip the weight and it told their legs that it was too heavy. Your brain won't let you pick up something that it knows you can't hold on to. You will actually be stronger with the hook grip.

Oh, and it's so easy a 3-month-old can do it.
Alek when we lived up in the mountains hook gripping his rings - he's always been a tad intense.


row 500 / run 400
crawling lunge
10 KB swings or snatches
double KB overhead lunge
10 TGUs or windmills
10 goblet squats
5 pull-ups or push-ups or dips


press 5-3-3-3x3


5 Bulgarian split squats between strength sets

Group Workout

10x2 high-hang clean + 1 jerk - heavy

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