What’s up Gronk Fitness!
Today, we are talking about strapping up! Of course, we are referring to lifting straps which are a rather common sight in most gyms these days. The questions that arise however are:
- Are Lifting Straps NECESSARY?
- Do Lifting Straps Offer Any BENEFITS (compared to no straps)
- Do Lifting Straps Hide Any DISADVANTAGES (that most people don’t know about)
- And Finally…Should YOU Invest In A Quality Pair Of Lifting Straps?
So, let’s answer all four of these questions, so that you can make an INFORMED DECISION.
1. Are Lifting Straps Necessary?
Drinking water is necessary. Breathing air is necessary. Using straps is not a MUST but it can help in certain situations. Would you be better off with a pair of quality lifting straps? Well, it depends on your kind and intensity of training.
If you are currently doing high volume Deadlifts, Pull-Ups, Rows & Pulls, then YES, by all means using a pair of straps will help you boost that intensity and possibly remove some limitations.
2. Do Lifting Straps Offer Any Benefits?
Absolutely. The main benefit of using lifting straps is that your grip strength is no longer a factor when it comes to pulling heavy weights. Regardless of the exercise, all pulling movements will be limited by your forearm and grip strength.
And since your forearms are much, much weaker than say, your lats or your spinal erectors and glutes, you will eventually reach a point where you won’t be able to hold on to the weight because of your GRIP STRENGTH.
So, in theory, you could be moving more weight but you can’t, simply because you are limited by your grip. Especially if you are doing high volume sets of more than 3 repetitions at a time, holding on to that barbell or bar will be next to impossible.
3. Do Lifting Straps Hide Any Disadvantages?
Absolutely. There are hidden “risks” in anything “good” in life. You know what they say…when something is too good to be true, it probably isn’t!
In the case of lifting straps, their main disadvantage is that they can become “addictive”. You may grow accustomed to using them in every single lifting session, so much that you won’t be able to keep lifting without them.
THIS IS NOT A GOOD THING. In fact, if you solely rely on lifting straps, you will be neglecting one very serious aspect of your strength training, which is your grip strength. Your forearms and wrists will now accept that they are not needed to help with your pulling movements, which will severely diminish your power and strength potential in the future.
4. Should YOU Invest In A Pair Of Lifting Straps
Absolutely! It might sound a bit ironic, but at the end of the day, every athlete needs a pair of quality lifting straps. Why?
Here’s why. Let’s say you are doing 5 sets of deadlifts. You should NOT be using straps for the first 2 sets. Then, on your 3rd and 4th set, add as much weight on the bar as you can, go for a MAXIMUM EFFORT ATTEMPT and use those straps. Then, on your 5th and final set, decrease the weight a bit and go back to not relying on straps to do all the gripping work for you. Same goes for Weighted Pull-Ups, heavy Barbell Rows or T-Bar Rows.
And as always…get your mind right.