Over time I've noticed that those who use a lot of machines have weak grips. They are not accustomed to grabbing something with a death grip. During presses and pulls you should be gripping hard enough to build popeye forearms (forget about thumbless grips--thats for the advanced). Even on push ups, your fingers should be attempting to tear into the ground.
Train your grip now as your working out and you may not need straps later.
If you're lifting heavy with those straps, nobody will 'make' fun of you.
X2 - I have yet to be laughed at, or maybe I just haven't noticed cause I dont care...lol, and I use straps all the time, for most pulling stations, including pullups...when you weigh a certain amount, its kinda like weighted pullups, so whatever. I guess if your focus is on, your intensity is through the roof, and your ear-buds are blaring, everything else disappears, including little laughing people...or maybe Im just a pussy...
Location: Beverly Hills, California, United States
Stats: 6'11", 385 lbs
Rep Power: 0
I use straps when i'm going heavy on DL's, rows, and pullups whenever I feel like I want to really focus on my back strength and not my grip strength. Weighted pullups I try not to use straps until I go above 80 lbs added on.