Thick-Grip Deficit Deadlifts

February 06, 2021 | John Paul Catanzaro

Thick-Grip Deficit Deadlifts

Nothing earth-shattering here, right? It looks like I’m not lifting much weight except when you consider that I’m using the Apollon’s Axle. This 2-inch bar is much thicker than the standard Olympic barbell, which is about half the diameter.

Apollon's Axle vs standard Olympic barbell

And by doing these deadlifts in a slow, controlled fashion from a deficit (i.e., on a 4-inch step), the time under tension is extended which further challenges your grip strength. Trust me, you can’t use too much weight when you do them in this manner.

These thick-grip deficit deadlifts are placed strategically in a periodized plan – they’re not just a random addition. It’s an assistance exercise (B1) on a lower-body workout that follows 3 phases of Goerner deadlifts. The objective, of course, is to improve gripping strength specifically for the deadlift.

If you’re tired of using straps, give this sequence a shot!