Lynx Performance Grips

March 19th, 2009 Posted in Product Reviews 7 Comments »

Deadlifts
Deadlifts

I lift heavy.

Well, heavy for me at least.

Sometimes my grip strength doesn’t always allow me to lift a maximal weight for certain exercises. Typically this might happen with an exercise where I try to use more than my max deadlift or if I’m hauling around 150 lb dumbbells.

In these circumstances, I have to employ one of the following third party tools to help me hold onto the bar.

Click each item to browse to the review:

Last week I tried something brand spankin’ new called Lynx Rubber Grippers and I liked it. Now let me tell you how I have used these 4 products, which ones I like, and why I like them. My favorite accessory is chalk, so everything else is really compared against that baseline.

Chalk

Lifting Chalk
Lifting Chalk

Currently used for: deadlifting, bent over rows, Olympic complexes, anytime I need to decrease the greasy sweat on my palms or need an extra boost for my grip, and for shrugs if I forget my straps.

Pros:

  • Chalk makes my hands dry and adds that extra level of friction between my skin and the bar.
  • Using chalk doesn’t hide any strength weaknesses, it just makes the surfaces a bit stickier. This is good because you won’t fool yourself into thinking your grip strength is stronger than it really is. Address those weak links people!
  • Easy to use. Just rub a bit on each hand and lift.
  • Powerlifters and strongmen use it in competition, so you don’t feel like a sissy busting out the chalk for a PR attempt.
  • No extra equipment to deal with, so the lift looks and feels natural.

Cons:

  • Chalk is messy as hell. It gets all over the bars, plates, floor, and clothes.
  • Some gyms will give you a ration of shit for making a mess or will ban chalk entirely from the weight room.
  • It is hard to transport. I carry mine around in a tupperware container and it spills if the lid loosens up.
  • Since chalk doesn’t add any strength to your grip, if you aren’t strong enough to hold the weight you will still fail.
  • Some idiots will think your chalk is creatine, protein powder, steroids, or something else wacky. Trust me, I’ve heard them all.
  • I personally enjoy my calluses, but some people hate them. Chalk offers no protection against calluses.

Rating: A-

Despite the longer list of cons than pros, chalk is still my favorite grip enhancer. This is mostly because the pros use it so I feel justified using it, and because it doesn’t camouflage the fact that my grip is the weakest link in a missed attempt.

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Gloves

Lifting Gloves
Lifting Gloves

Currently used for: nothing. The last time I used gloves was in my Dad’s garage lifting plastic weights at age 15.

Pros:

  • Easy to transport.
  • Easy to use – just put them on and keep them on.
  • Protection against calluses.
  • No mess.
  • Never banned from any gyms.

Cons:

  • Gloves look totally cheesy. If you are a man wearing lifting gloves at the gym, I can promise you that every meathead in the joint wants to beat you up.
  • Totally obscures the truth about your grip strength. Gloves are basically a grip crutch; they actually facilitate muscular imbalance in the hands and wrists. Without the gloves, your grip will be your weakest link.
  • If you ever had to lift any weight in or out of the gym without gloves, you would have no protection from calluses and would probably rip the skin off your palms.
  • Gloves can bunch and crease up, totally taking your focus off the lift and putting it on the comfort level of the gloves.
  • Illegal in every cool competition known to man including powerlifting and strongman.
  • People tend to keep the gloves on during the entire workout, which means your grip will never get the workout it needs. This negatively impacts hand, forearm, and bicep development.

Rating: F

I know the pros look good and maybe the cons don’t matter too much to you, but gloves are just whack for male lifters. If you are a female and are also not a serious strength athlete, by all means wear gloves. If you are a man and you value your image, just say “NO” to gloves.

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Wrist Straps

Lifting Straps
Lifting Straps

Currently used for: shrugs and super heavy rack pulls when chalk is not enough. Years ago I also used them for bent over rows and several deadlift variations.

Pros:

  • Easy to transport.
  • No mess.
  • Never banned from any gyms.
  • Increases grip strength way beyond what you are actually capable of.
  • Many serious athletes use wrist straps in training when chalk is just not enough to overcome lack of grip strength. It takes a man to admit his grip is his weakest link, but at the same time he might not want a certain muscle to be neglected while he’s trying to bring his grip up to snuff. Straps would be the solution.
  • Straps are no where near as cheesy as gloves; they do get some small level of respect.

Cons:

  • Straight up, wrist straps are the biggest grip crutch on this list. If you regular use straps then you probably have the grip strength of a kitten and the forearm development of an 8 year old female soccer player.
  • Straps will somewhat impede the development of the calluses at the base of your fingers, but you will still develop other skin deformities using straps.
  • Straps are frustrating to use. There are several ways to position them around your wrists and on the bar. Do you wrap them fully around the bar or just wrap once and hold?
  • Like gloves, they are illegal in every cool competition known to man including powerlifting and strongman.
  • Depending on how you use them you could:
    • cut off circulation in your hands
    • rupture blood vessels in your wrist
    • rupture a tendon in your wrist
    • cause blood blisters on your wrists
  • Because you are enhancing your grip strength so much, you may be attempting to lift a weight that your body just can’t handle. This opens you up to a wide variety of back, neck, and joint injuries. Use straps with care.

Rating: C

If you use the straps by wrapping them tightly around your wrist and around the bar, you are seriously going to injure yourself at some point. Even if it’s just a blood blister or something, I promise you, you will get hurt.

On the other hand, wrist straps are the best alternative to chalk when your grip is not strong enough or is too fatigued to lift the weight you want to lift. I just suggest you use them infrequently and with caution.

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Lynx Performance Grips

Lynx Grips

Currently used for: the grips will replace wrist straps for barbell shrugs and any other time when I might need more grip assistance than chalk provides.

Pros:

  • Easy to transport.
  • Easy to use – just place it between your palm and the bar.
  • Protection against calluses.
  • No mess.
  • Not banned from gyms.
  • Increases grip strength beyond what chalk can do, but not so much that you are lifting weights that are WAY beyond what your body is capable of handling. This means they are more useful than chalk and less dangerous than straps when you need an extra strength boost.
  • Still provides an indication of how strong or weak your grip is so you can address the imbalance while avoiding the limitations of grip strength as the weakest link.
  • They smell like rubber, and rubber is hardcore. =)
  • No injuries like broken blood vessels, restricted circulation, or blood blisters.
  • Easily conforms to the area of your grip that needs the extra help.


Cons:

  • They do not artificially enhance your grip as much as straps.
  • Illegal in every cool competition known to man including powerlifting and strongman.
  • Like gloves and straps, the added equipment prevents the lift from looking and feeling like a truly raw lift.


Rating: A

What can I say? I like the Lynx Performance Grips. Never again will I use wrist straps for anything now that I have these grips. They are so much more comfortable than straps or gloves, and they help way more than chalk when I really need extra help with shrugs or a super heavy rack pull.

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But I Still Won’t Use Them ALL the Time

In the case where my hands are just exhausted from a killer deadlift session, I feel that I could use these grips to still get a decent pull up workout in. In all likelihood I probably could not bring myself to use any equipment to assist with my pull up grip, but I’m just saying it’s possible.

This is not an endorsement to use these grips for every exercise. I would restrict it to pulling exercises only, and even then only use them as a last resort if your grip is fried or just too weak to complete a heavy set.

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7 Responses to “Lynx Performance Grips”

  1. Mike Foster says:

    Wow, now all I need is about fifty pounds of more muscle to do all that heavy lifting. Great post, thanks.

    peace,
    mike
    livelife365

  2. Steve says:

    I’m sure the grips could help you whenever you need additional grip help, whether it’s on pull ups or pull downs or rows.

    I enjoy your livelife sites Mike, thanks for stopping by to visit.

  3. Kristal L. Rosebrook says:

    I agree with Steve.

    Kristal L. Rosebrook

  4. timbo slice says:

    i am a professional weight lifter and did you ever think that people might wear gloves to prevent calluses? they can be irritating ! oh and
    maybe wrist issues? also i have never herd of someone talking shit about people wearing them either, you are full of shit!

  5. Devin says:

    Great info Steve, keep it up. As for the comment Timbo left, I think you are way more manly not using gloves ever, especially if you are a professional body builder.

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