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Who lifts weights here?

gdgross

Veteran
I've been trying to research this topic for a while and haven't been able to find any good scientific answers.

I try to keep in shape, partially by lifting weights a couple times a week. I'm interested in adding some meatier lifts to my routine, like deadlifts, as well as increasing my weight/decreasing my reps on other lifts. But I'm concerned that increasing my grip strength will decrease my agility on the fretboard. If it will hurt my playing, i'm not interested.

Anyone else thought about this or had some experience one way or the other? (Or better yet, found any journal articles or scientific studies on the subject...)

Thanks all - this is really the only guitar forum I'm on, otherwise I might ask somewhere else too :-D
 

USMC_Trev

Fractal Fanatic
Swole is the goal and size is the prize...

You can look at guitarists like John Petrucci and Tosin Abasi and absolve yourself of any of your fears. Thise guys legit pick things up and put them down.
 

yeky83

Veteran
I lift weights. I'm a bit chubby these days heh, but I used to be a little obsessive about it and have done my share of nerding out on it :p

I don't think there is a direct negative impact on the fretboard agility by increasing grip strength. John Petrucci and Rick Graham are pretty ripped, they're some of the most able in terms of agility. I'd think if anything it helps than hurts. As with any workouts and injury prevention, stretch and mind to work out the opposing muscles time to time.

I do remember growing up, trying out one of those gripmaster finger exerciser things, and I found it helped with my guitar playing agility. That's different than a deadlift grip, but I don't see how either would hurt guitar playing.
 
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gdgross

Veteran
Fair points all around, and my suspicion is that it probably helps if anything, but I've got a nagging doubt lol. With limited time to practice, every little but counts for me haha.

Sure would love to see some science on this one.
 

Mark-B

Inspired
I remember reading about this subject back in the 80's.. Kane Roberts hit the scene with Alice Cooper - built like a brick shhhh-outhouse ...and, in an interview, he was asked if being biggly hindered his dexterity..

Apparently not..

...and he was BIGGLY!

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..then, there's the likes of Lil' Georgie Lynch.

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Arguably, one of the nicest guys in the biz - wouldn't call him lacking in dexterity though (not to his face anyway).

I strength trained back in the day when I was competing in various MAs, ...never bothered me a bit.

I think you'll be okay! 👍
 

pharmd07

Inspired
I’m a powerlifter. When I’m carrying some extra fat weight I’m around 165 lbs. When I’m leaner I’m in the low to mid 150 lbs. I just did a 400 lb deadlift at a meet this summer. Just to give you some perspective. I’m not a big guy at all.

Of the big 3 lifts in powerlifting (bench press, back squat, deadlift), the deadlift is by far the most grip intensive. I also do a lot of other lifts that are grip intensive - weighted pull-ups, barbell and dumbbell rows, Romanian deadlifts, etc. However, I’ve never felt that my lifting has ever hindered my guitar playing. Sure, doing a bunch of heavy deadlifts will fatigue your grip for a short period of time, maybe an hour or so. But no long term issues.

Lifting has many long term benefits, including increased bone density, improved cardiovascular capacity, increased lean muscle mass, etc. If you’re smart about lifting, your injury potential is low. The biggest downside is when people find out how strong you are, they will constantly ask you to move things for them!
 

JoKeR III

Veteran
Losing touch, feel or agility are huge misconceptions when it comes to weight training. You either have them or you don't. Muscle mass isn't going to affect one or the other with proper lifting technique.
 

steverosburg

Veteran
Yep, I have a similar experience. I used to lift heavy from college into my 30's, and with my small frame/joints, it eventually just became too painful/annoying. I started fighting one injury after another due to the stress. It never affected my dexterity negatively, but I never had much to begin with. Now I'm into competitive archery, very gentle on the body and requires almost zero dexterity. :)
 
I don't lift, but lots of mountain biking, DH biking, and motocross type activities can leave my hands pretty beat up at the end of a day. As a teen or in my 20s this would go away by the next day, now in my mid 30s, it can hang around a few days. But... still don't have any issues with dexterity or anything unless I do something that aggravates an old injury, like I did last weekend... I actually find that grip training (in BOTH directions) to be helpful with this.
 

drgamble

New here
I pretty much follow the the Wendler 5/3/1 routine which consists of Squat, Bench, Deadlift, Overhead Press with accessory movements. It is 4 days a week about an hour a session. I do quite a bit of grip work: hanging leg raises, pullups dumbbell rows, etc. I deadlift 500 lbs and I haven't noticed a decrease in dexterity. That being said, I think that you just have to find something you like that fits into your schedule. 5/3/1 uses a lot of powerlifting movements, but it is not a powerlifting program.
 

NeoSound

Fractal Fanatic
I've been trying to research this topic for a while and haven't been able to find any good scientific answers.

I try to keep in shape, partially by lifting weights a couple times a week. I'm interested in adding some meatier lifts to my routine, like deadlifts, as well as increasing my weight/decreasing my reps on other lifts. But I'm concerned that increasing my grip strength will decrease my agility on the fretboard. If it will hurt my playing, i'm not interested.

Anyone else thought about this or had some experience one way or the other? (Or better yet, found any journal articles or scientific studies on the subject...)

Thanks all - this is really the only guitar forum I'm on, otherwise I might ask somewhere else too :-D
I have read years ago to avoid working out your forearms and it won't affect dexterity.
 

NeoSound

Fractal Fanatic
I still lift but nothing like I used to. In my 30s I was 220 lbs and 6% body fat. It did a number on my skeleton. I have arthritis everywhere. My recommendation is to use light weights and lots of reps. Heavy weights wear your joints out.
I took ibuprofen for years dealing with the aches and pains from work and arthritis to keep pushing on. Had to stop taking it eventually because of the stomach issues it caused and then realized what damage it was doing to my joints. For about two years now, I've been taking about 4000 iu of vitamin D daily and it works wonders for arthritis and allergy issues. (knocks about 80% of the symptoms) Higher doses can contribute to kidney stones and other issues so after experimenting I believe this to be the best dosage. I'm all for natural, supplement and vitamin therapy and some do work well while many don't.
 
As far as power lifts go, get some good lifting straps. That will assist your grip until it catches up. I have bad basil joint arthritis(thumb joint at the wrist), but I still lift and still play guitar almost everyday. "JUST DO IT"!👊
I believe strong hands only help correct technique. Pain or no pain, got to live life.
 
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