Should one or should one not hookgrip the DL? I hook by habit on accident a lot.
His feet are so close together!
So many questions and comments, shortmom - you’re inquisitive, for one so short!
His feet are indeed close together. Even closer than mine when I deadlift, and my stance is narrower than most. But Carl knows the model, and has experimented with stances to find one that works well for him. It allows him to shove his knees out far and hard, without that causing him to have to take a wider grip and thus a more horizontal torso.
I wouldn’t teach this style to a beginner, and if I worked with Carl for a prolonged period, would try slight stance width variations. But I only have him for one DL workout prior to the seminar, and I know he has read Starting Strength, has previously been to a SS seminar in 2012 (the one where I interned as staff), and has also been coached by SS Staff members Tom Campitelli and Jordan Feigenbaum in London, so I trust his experience with the method and model, to make a very slight deviation from it, for the purposes of one session.
It is better to hook-grip deadlifts, vs alternating grip, if you can. The most compelling performance reason to do so is because hooking allows a slightly narrower grip, which places the torso in a more vertical position at the bottom, a position of mechanical advantage.
From a safety perspective, the even tension on both shoulders and biceps tendons is also a plus. The stress is symmetrical across the entire system, and the tendency of the upturned hand side to swing out away from you need not be concerned or dealt with.
However, for some people the hook grip isn’t strong enough to pull maximum weights with. In this case, you alternate grip when you need to. Don’t miss a lift because you refused to alternate your grip, if your hook won’t hold it.
But if possible, hook grip is better.