When should straps be used?


Weightlifting straps can be valuable in certain contexts, particularly for enabling heavy lifts when grip strength is the limiting factor. Here's a summary of when they might be used:

  1. Competitive Bodybuilding:

    • Adam Schafer mentions using straps during competitions to help lift heavier weights without grip issues, especially when developing specific muscle groups like the back for aesthetic purposes 1.
  2. Advanced Lifters:

    • Sal Di Stefano and Justin Andrews agree that advanced bodybuilders, who have already developed significant muscle mass, can use straps to ensure their primary focus muscles are targeted without being limited by grip strength 2.
  3. Maximizing Load on Larger Muscle Groups:

    • For example, during heavy deadlifts, when grip fails before the larger muscle groups, straps can help maintain the intended training stimulus on the back, hips, and legs 3.

      Training with Straps

      Adam and Sal discuss the use of straps in weightlifting. Adam sees value in using straps to push limits and achieve specific aesthetic goals, while Sal ditched them to focus on developing his grip strength. They both agree that understanding your goals and using tools judiciously is key.

      Mind Pump Podcast

      1069: Avoiding Muscle Loss, When to Use Resistance Bands, Foward Shoulder Fixes & MORE

However, reliance on straps has drawbacks:

  • Grip Weakness: Prolonged use can prevent the development of natural grip strength, which is essential for overall strength and functional training 4.
  • Real-World Carryover: Training without straps can improve your practical strength and ensure your grip matches your lifting capacity 5.

In conclusion, while straps can be used selectively, particularly for specific training goals or competitive scenarios, it's beneficial to limit their use to develop overall grip strength and functional capability.