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One Finger Deadlift


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Dec 5, 1890- Louis Cyr is credited with a one finger lift of 490 lbs.

This is a deceptive description because usually it was not the finger

being wrapped around the bar, but some strap was around the bar

connected to a padded-ring apparatus worn by the lifter, which of course

was lodged as close as possible to the palm of the hand.

Anyway, if you have never tried a 'true' finger lift, get ready for pain

and suffering without the divorce! ;)

Start with a VERY LIGHT dumbell, hook your middle finger around the

handle-so your other fingers will be 'under' the handle. The handle

will be separating your middle finger from the others. The thumb will not be in a position to help even if you wanted it to.

Warm up thoroughly, no glove or other padding allowed. After you

reach your highest one hand deadlift, start again and see what your

highest one finger clean is!

Not appropriate for the Inch :blush

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No way Joe! No finger lifts for me. Way too much pain. The same goes for plate curls. I guess I am not enough of a masochist to develop a great grip. :inno

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Sounds nasty!!!! Maybe I'll give it a try when I get in from work tonight ;)

Although I'll wimp out try it only with a traditional skinny bar :D


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I gave it a try this morning (got lazyitis last night)! I managed 65lbs tried 85lbs and I couldn't even break it off the ground. Besides having wimpy hands, the balance issue is strongly at hand in this exercise! That 490 is simply amazing!!!!!


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Having experienced pain doing the SW, I have tried finger lifts and it can get pretty nasty in a hurry. You really have to go slow on them, and work you way up on light weights before moving up to the heavy stuff. Cyr was a friggin' animal!! :yikes

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In David Horne's Iron Grip courses there is a copy of a letter sent to him by Howard 'lastnameforgottenbyme' in which he shows a technique acceptable in the USAWA. Is the method referred to here the same or are you using a Louis Cyr method (knowing that the photos of him lifting are faked)?

In the IAWA (UK) there are several methods allowed for varying lifts. One has just the finger through the ring, others have the finger being used under the bar and others over and others again as you have described - through the ring and padded with other fingers and thumb wrapped around the ring. It would, I presume, depend on the finger lift.

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