Using Straps

Jun 22, 2022

I love teachable moments. These are the times that I realize at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning we have a philosophy that may not be familiar to everyone who works there. It is my continued words in the staff meeting.

“I have said this over and over, but probably never to this group”.

I stole that quote from Coach Parker at BU. He would always say “I've said _____ in team meetings for 30 years but, maybe not to this team”. As staff changes I find that I assume everyone knows everything about what “we” believe. Then I get snapped back to reality.

Back to straps. A few days ago I watched a young female client struggle with a heavy set of hang cleans. I immediately said “we need to teach her to use straps, her problem is her grip, not her hips”. The athlete responded that an MBSC coach had instructed her to put the bar down between reps, rest and regrip?

My thought went to “have we ever talked about straps as a staff?”

My mind said, probably not.

Here is the policy. Straps are for advanced lifters. You will see when athletes begin to struggle to hold the bar and seem to be concentrating as much on grip as on the lift. This is when we introduce straps. Bottom line is we never want to limit lower body power because of a lack of grip strength. That makes no sense. We do not teach a hook grip. We do not tell them they need to concentrate. We do not tell them they need additional carries to work on grip. We teach them to use straps.

Our primary goal is power development. Straps undoubtedly help that. Lets make sure we all learn how to use straps, and how to teach an athlete to use them. They may regress initially but they will thank you later.