I have 200 lb. hand gripper which is very accurate. I can close these grippers for about 2 reps perfectly -- and don't cheat using the other hand to "set" it. In general, my hands are stronger than the majority of men my age -- 25. I can close it with both hands, which should say something about my grip.

This last week I visited a YouFit and attempted to deadlift a low 225 lbs. I have been "off" deadlifting for years, but knew I could at least hit it once -- and I did.

Problem? The bar seems incredibly hard to hold on to. Surprised me since, well, read above. It makes no sense that I could rep a 200 lb. gripper but have trouble holding on to 25 lbs. more with BOTH hands. The bar felts loose when I was grabbing it and it kept spinning in place (meaning the inner-bar rotates constantly without the weights moving). The bar was a standard 45 lb. bar -- no fat grip or such. I only tried that one bar in the gym, though there were plenty more.

On squats I didn't notice this issue of the bar rolling. Again, I highly doubt it's my grip at all. I have a "tight" bar at home which does not roll/rotate upon grabbing and have pulled close to the weight at the gym with my bar with ONE hand and it was barely as difficult as the gym's bar with two.

Is it me or is it the bar? Am I seriously in another dimension here or something?

Also, the weights were hex if that matters. To give a better visual description, I drew a pic of what I mean:

enter image description here

My first assumption was that I got a bad bar -- but is this a "thing" or no? Are olympic bars like this? I've always deadlifted with the bar I have at home -- a hollow, slightly bent, thin bar that holds about 225 lbs. max. Obviously the guys who complain of gripping in deadlift and such tend to possibly, legitimately have grip issues -- but I have credentials with grip and lots of training: with support, pinch and crush for years. I could deadlift this weight with one hand on a "stiff" bar that doesn't rotate constantly as you pull, but on the bar I had, it was tough with two hands to pull 225 -- even a tiny bit tough with just 185 as well. What gives?

  • To add, I always do double overhand. Never mixed grips or hook.
    – Sey Charl
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 4:22
  • Occam says, "I think your grip isn't as strong as you think it is." Being able to pull 225 once with normal grip makes you stronger than 95% of people your age. That doesn't mean you can hold on to it easily. I dl >350 and that grip on 225lbs is a challenge for me.
    – michael
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 19:40
  • Can you close a 200 lb. gripper? I hardly hear of many guys doing that. Of course searching online won't give you proper answers since you'll probably only find the minority of people who can do it, instead of all of the people who CAN'T. It's not the weight of the deadlift or deadlift itself that makes me stronger -- it's the crushing grip power. I just want to know why the translation isn't happening well.
    – Sey Charl
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 20:32
  • @michael I also doubt you can pull over 350 but can't hold on to 225 well.
    – Sey Charl
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 20:32
  • Also, are you implying that normal grip is double overhand?
    – Sey Charl
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 20:33

1 Answer 1


Basically what is happening is the bar has ends that don't rotate.

Since the weights on the end are fixed -- this results in a torsional force (which is why the bar is spinning in your hands).

  • Hook/mixed grip is for wimps ... and people who like torn biceps.
    – Sey Charl
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 5:43
  • Also, I don't believe it. Why not just force the bar to be tight? It would allow higher lifting numbers without the struggle -- and it'd still "count" as a legit lift at 'X' weight. My hollow home bar is like this and lets me lift 225 much easier with the same grip. The one at the gym feels like it's trying to literally escape my grip as I force it.
    – Sey Charl
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 5:45
  • Those grips were options if you have to use that bar again to prevent it from rotating. Not sure what answer you're looking for....
    – Mike-DHSc
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 5:57
  • I'm looking for the solution to these rotating bars, my friend.
    – Sey Charl
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 5:59
  • LOL I get it - besides explaining what's going on and either changing your grip or changing the bar dunno what answer your expecting.
    – Mike-DHSc
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 6:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.