Then, I came to my senses and called it a day.
A suddenly weak grip (or anything else for that matter) probably does not mean you have a weak grip. It probably means that something else in the chain is faulty and the grip is a symptom of that weak link. In my case, my bad lower back was inhibiting my grip from holding onto the v-bar. Why? Because if my hand had allowed me to hold onto 200 pounds that day, I would have... and I would have screwed up my back worse in the process.
The hands are very interesting in the strength and conditioning game - as I mentioned Extremity Training - The Missing Link, when weak or injured, the extremities can hinder progress very quickly, and can also be an excellent window/gauge to overall health and preparedness.
In a 2004 PLUSA Video Magazine, Brian Meek, a (then) 58 year-old 700lbs+ deadlifter, took viewers through a deadlift workout. He and his training partner used an overhand grip with straps every set. In this workout, Brian and his partner, did moderate intensity deadlifts for reps and assistance work. He had this to say on the subject of deadlift training and straps:
We wear straps because we don't want our wrist and grip strength to hinder our back and strength development we get from it. ...It's my experience and my belief that very few deadlifts are missed because of grip strength because people can take out of the rack a lot more than they can ever deadlift without a grip problem. It's just that your grip is a manifestation of a weakness somewhere else... so we use straps.He went on to add that he believed using straps aided in the prevention of lower back and bicep injuries when deadlifting. He didn't elaborate on that, but why might that be true? Because if your efforts are placed on maintaining your grip, they might not be on maintaining proper body alignment, or tension in the lats and triceps - and if those things go wrong in a heavy deadlift, they can (potentially) go really wrong.