The Zercher squat can build quads better than the front squat. It can jack up your traps better than shrugs. It can give you a core of steel faster than most ab work. It can even give you bigger biceps.
But you probably aren’t doing it because:
It’s brutally hard.
You don’t know how effective it is.
You’ve never seen it done.
If you can push through the discomfort, this exercise – along with all the other Zercher variations – can completely transform your physique.
So here’s an optimal compromise that will both ensure some grip training, ensure that your training doesn’t suffer and maybe make everybody happy. Assuming grip is important, start pulling workouts without straps. Depending on how good your grip is you’ll eventually find grip starting to become limiting. It might be on your fourth sets of deadlifts, your third set of rows, whatever. Doesn’t matter when it starts to happen. Just that it does at some point.
At this point, strap up. Your grip has been trained but this will prevent you from limiting your actual workout by a failing group. Then, if you want to improve your grip, do some actual grip training. I know, crazy idea but if something is limiting, train it a bit extra at the end of the workout if it’s important to you. You get grip work during the initial stuff, don’t let grip limit the other training AND work to fix a weak point.
This weekend the owner competed in the Lift for Life competition and fundraiser for the MDA. Below are the videos from the squat and deadlift. Check them out.