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  1. #1
    Registered User gfulla's Avatar
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    When to use chalk with a deadlift

    I've been struggling with my grip on deadlifts for the last couple weeks. I don't even feel like my max set of deads are fatiguing me too badly and even worse I feel like as my grip starts to slip my form on successive reps deteriorates a lot.

    Anyways, i ordered some liquid chalk (and some straps) yesterday. I was just wondering will it help the overall development of my grip strength to wait to use the chalk until the set i expect to struggle on (similar to how it makes sense to start with double overhand until i know i need mixed grip). Or am I just overthinking this? I know it's supposed to help protect your hands from ripping so if there isn't some benefit to training my grip strength I'd rather use it from the start.
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    Registered User mangiventofly's Avatar
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    i've always just used chalk when my hands get sweaty, or if the bar i'm using has really worn knurling. i don't see why you wouldn't want use chalk. please feel free anyone, to educate me if i'm wrong. it ain't gonna make your grip stronger. it will prevent the bar from SLIPPING out of your hand, but if you aren't strong enough to hold the weight, you're gonna drop it anyway.
    i rep back.
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  3. #3
    Registered User gfulla's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mangiventofly View Post
    i've always just used chalk when my hands get sweaty, or if the bar i'm using has really worn knurling. i don't see why you wouldn't want use chalk. please feel free anyone, to educate me if i'm wrong. it ain't gonna make your grip stronger. it will prevent the bar from SLIPPING out of your hand, but if you aren't strong enough to hold the weight, you're gonna drop it anyway.
    Thank you for the input. I definitely understand what you're saying and unless someone comes in saying otherwise I will just use chalk from the start.

    The only thing that was causing me to pause is that like you said the reason to use chalk is to prevent slipping. That's also supposed to be the reason to use mixed grip over double overhand though and I've seen many people recommend using double overhand for as many sets as possible. It made some sense to me that the same could hold true for whether to use chalk or not.

    Like I said in my other post, I'm most likely just overthinking it though. I have small-ish hands for a guy my size and it seems likely grip will be something i really have to stay on top of. I just figured i'd check all my facts first. Thanks again.
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    Originally Posted by mangiventofly View Post
    i've always just used chalk when my hands get sweaty, or if the bar i'm using has really worn knurling. i don't see why you wouldn't want use chalk. please feel free anyone, to educate me if i'm wrong. it ain't gonna make your grip stronger. it will prevent the bar from SLIPPING out of your hand, but if you aren't strong enough to hold the weight, you're gonna drop it anyway.
    True.

    and liquid chalk is inferior to powder chalk... so if you can, opt for the latter.
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    The deadlift is my favorite exercise, I look forward to deadlift day! I don't use straps, but I do keep a zip lock baggie of baby powder with for whenever my hands start sweating and I lose my gripping ability. It is kinda messy but I forget about it after I do a heavy set and my grip didn't hinder my ability!
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    Registered User powerliftinusmc's Avatar
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    Hell, you guys are lucky you have gyms that allow chalk. I myself go to the Y and they obviously frown upon "making a chalk mess". It's all those soccer moms in there doing their little cardio. I just gotta find a hardcore gym later on down the road.
    I wouldn't tell someone their not a powerlifter cuz they only bench pressed or they only benched and deadlifted but...what the hells wrong with squattin? I thought powerlifters were supposed to be these big tough guys. Strap your cock on leave your pussy at home put a bar on your back and bend your knees.
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  7. #7
    Registered User knassbruckles's Avatar
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    i use straps when i'm developing my deadlift power. i use chalk when i'm doing a raw max. your back can handle more weight than your grip is capable of holding so why limit your back growth? focus on grip training separately...
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    Registered User gfulla's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by powerliftinusmc View Post
    Hell, you guys are lucky you have gyms that allow chalk. I myself go to the Y and they obviously frown upon "making a chalk mess". It's all those soccer moms in there doing their little cardio. I just gotta find a hardcore gym later on down the road.
    That's where I go as well. I think in light of what RepnSets said I'm going to pick up some regular chalk too though. I could always use it to go for a max attempt at a friends house and just use the liquid chalk for when I'm at the Y.


    Originally Posted by knassbruckles View Post
    i use straps when i'm developing my deadlift power. i use chalk when i'm doing a raw max. your back can handle more weight than your grip is capable of holding so why limit your back growth? focus on grip training separately...
    That's why i picked up some straps too. I'd rather keep working on it raw but if i continue to struggle with grip, I won't hesitate to use the straps.

    Thanks again for the responses everyone.
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  9. #9
    Nashville Strongman freeride88's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cstufflebean View Post
    The deadlift is my favorite exercise, I look forward to deadlift day! I don't use straps, but I do keep a zip lock baggie of baby powder with for whenever my hands start sweating and I lose my gripping ability. It is kinda messy but I forget about it after I do a heavy set and my grip didn't hinder my ability!
    Baby powder isn't chalk. Get some chalk.
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  10. #10
    Registered User powerlifter70's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cstufflebean View Post
    The deadlift is my favorite exercise, I look forward to deadlift day! I don't use straps, but I do keep a zip lock baggie of baby powder with for whenever my hands start sweating and I lose my gripping ability. It is kinda messy but I forget about it after I do a heavy set and my grip didn't hinder my ability!

    Baby powder??? Deadlifters put baby powder on their legs to help the arms/bar slide up their legs. I am not sure how you hold on to the bar with baby powder on your hands.
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  11. #11
    Former 130 lb skinnyboy! A-rod's Avatar
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    I dont see the point of using chalk, except for meet time.....straps WONT make your grip weaker since you are holding for your life anyways on a HEAVY deadlift.
    5'11 @ 220lbs.
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  12. #12
    Nashville Strongman freeride88's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by A-rod View Post
    I dont see the point of using chalk, except for meet time.....straps WONT make your grip weaker since you are holding for your life anyways on a HEAVY deadlift.
    Neither one of your points are true or even make any sort of sense.

    Chalk can (and should) be used any time it's needed. Straps can weaken your ability to grip because relying on them doesn't require your grip to improve.
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    Experiment with it, but don't worry a hell of a lot.

    My goal is a big one-rep max. That's all I care about. Here are my parameters for using grip aids (I've got chalk and straps, too):

    1)I don't want to miss reps or lower weights in training because my grip can't keep up. And I find that my grip tends to fail in less time than the rest of my body. So I use chalk or straps with rep work pretty frequently.

    2)I don't want to miss a single because of weak grip.

    The solution, for me, has been to use straps when doing repetition work sets, and not much with adjunctive work. I'll work up to my work set weight, probably using a little chalk on the final warmup single. Then I perform the work sets using the straps.

    When I move into adjunctive work (rows, shrugs, lockouts, pullups, chinups, power cleans, high pulls, et cetera), the straps go in the bag. I'll use chalk for lockouts, if I'm feeling sweaty of hand.

    The point is, that's what works for ME. I don't fail on one-rep maxes because of grip, which is the only thing I really ask of my hands. If things started to get sketchy, though, I'd change my approach in a heartbeat.
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    Former 130 lb skinnyboy! A-rod's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by freeride88 View Post
    Neither one of your points are true or even make any sort of sense.

    Chalk can (and should) be used any time it's needed. Straps can weaken your ability to grip because relying on them doesn't require your grip to improve.
    yOU MIND CANT RELY ON STRAPS because it`s pulling for a max, you grab thr bar as tight as you can even though the straps are there. Trust me , I "never" go strapless yet I can static hold over 700 lbs with chalk.
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    I usually start at 315 or whenever I get sweaty. It's winter here and my gym is usually pretty cold so I don't bother until three plates. I use chalk for nearly every workout too. Anytime it starts to get serious I always chalk up.
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    Here is a link you may find helpfull:http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=2778361
    This thread has a lot of info on grip strength and may answer any other questions you may have.
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    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=142431291
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    Originally Posted by gfulla View Post
    Or am I just overthinking this?
    This ^
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    Originally Posted by A-rod View Post
    yOU MIND CANT RELY ON STRAPS because it`s pulling for a max, you grab thr bar as tight as you can even though the straps are there. Trust me , I "never" go strapless yet I can static hold over 700 lbs with chalk.
    ....no one cares?
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  19. #19
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    Use chalk when you can, where you can.
    Also, washing your hands to get rid of skin oil helps too.

    Don't use straps for deads if you want to compete PL. Ok for assistance, but besides making your grip weaker, it changes your set up and can change your starting position.
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    I use chalk every time I dead lift. It only costs about $1.25 from the sporting goods store and lasts forever so why not.

    I only use a hook grip on deads and never have a problem or concern with grip.
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    Originally Posted by A-rod View Post
    yOU MIND CANT RELY ON STRAPS because it`s pulling for a max, you grab thr bar as tight as you can even though the straps are there. Trust me , I "never" go strapless yet I can static hold over 700 lbs with chalk.
    You're a moron.

    I understand what you're trying to say. You're saying that even though you are using straps, you are still gripping the bar very tightly. The problem is this: You're still not gripping the bar as tightly as would be necessary if you were not using straps. The fact that you can hold 700lbs means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. If you can do that despite regularly using straps, it means nothing except that you have an above average grip strength.

    If a heavyweight farm boy can bench press 405lbs without even training the lift, would you tell every kid you saw in the gym to quit training bench, so their bench would go up to 405lbs? That makes every bit as much sense as saying that because you can hold 700lbs despite always using straps, straps don't harm your grip strength.
    Last edited by freeride88; 02-15-2009 at 09:56 AM.
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    Originally Posted by knassbruckles View Post
    i use straps when i'm developing my deadlift power. i use chalk when i'm doing a raw max. your back can handle more weight than your grip is capable of holding so why limit your back growth? focus on grip training separately...
    Not always... My grip is stronger then my max DL is... I can nearly DOH my max.
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  23. #23
    Registered User powerlifter70's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by knassbruckles View Post
    your back can handle more weight than your grip is capable of holding so why limit your back growth?
    Because deadlifting for powerlifting is about a bigger deadlift...not a bigger back.
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    Originally Posted by powerlifter70 View Post
    Because deadlifting for powerlifting is about a bigger deadlift...not a bigger back.
    quoted for trooth.
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    Originally Posted by freeride88 View Post
    You're a moron.

    .
    Easier said from Nashville, E-terminator!
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    Originally Posted by A-rod View Post
    Easier said from Nashville, E-terminator!
    What do you want to do, fight? I hope not, seeing as how you could punch me six times HARD in under a second.

    You're a moron, I posted why, that's that.
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    Originally Posted by freeride88 View Post
    What do you want to do, fight? I hope not, seeing as how you could punch me six times HARD in under a second.

    You're a moron, I posted why, that's that.


    Haha!


    peace out brother :Hulk Hogan voice:


    There`s no way I could fight such a huge ball of mass but thanks for trying!
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    Originally Posted by powerlifter70 View Post
    Because deadlifting for powerlifting is about a bigger deadlift...not a bigger back.
    if deadlifting is the best exercise to focus on improving your grip strength then i have a lot to learn!!

    thanks.
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    Originally Posted by powerlifter70 View Post
    Because deadlifting for powerlifting is about a bigger deadlift...not a bigger back.
    Totally true, except for one thing -- powerlifting is about a bigger deadlift SINGLE. If training requires repetition work, and my grip fails before the rest of my body, I'm comfortable using straps. And if I'm not dropping singles because my hands aren't strong enough to hold the bar, I fail to see a problem.
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    Originally Posted by JimmyVengeance View Post
    Totally true, except for one thing -- powerlifting is about a bigger deadlift SINGLE. If training requires repetition work, and my grip fails before the rest of my body, I'm comfortable using straps. And if I'm not dropping singles because my hands aren't strong enough to hold the bar, I fail to see a problem.
    who says training requires repetition work?

    i disagree with your premise.
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