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Old 03-31-2009, 11:06 AM   #1
Garrett Smith
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Location: Tucson, AZ
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Default DL feedback greatly appreciated...

Here's my PR DL from my CFT a couple weeks ago.

Feedback would be appreciated.

Yes, I realize my 325# DL at 177# is nothing special (some might even say pretty weak), but we all have to start from somewhere, right?

Figured I'd get some form pointers before I start working on serious progress, better to fix it early than fix it later.

What I saw:
  • Could probably get the hips higher to start
  • Slight back rounding (happens on a PR, I know)
  • Leaning back too far at lockout
  • Need more weight on the bar
Fire away.
Garrett Smith NMD CSCS BS, aka "Dr. G"
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:18 AM   #2
Arden Cogar Jr.
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Good observations; except for the 4th one. Actually, I like your hip position and the roundness was barely noticeable and acceptable on a near ME lift.

Here's where I'm likely going to be wrong, but I can tell by the way you deadlift that you do a bit of olympic lifting? I state that because the distance the bar is from your shins/knees and lower thighs during the execution of the lift.

That's not a bad thing. Especially when you are cleaning and snatching - you only want the bar to contact the body one time - at the crease of the hip for the snatch and the upper thigh for the clean.

But, as I see it, for maximal deadlifting strength I reckon the bar needs to be a bit closer to the body. I know that friction has a tendancy to slow the bar speed down, but I see the bar being closer to your body enables you to engage the hips and legs more during the inital stages of the Pull.

"Sitting back" into a deadlift is wonderful once you figure out how to do it. It, in my mind, turns a deadlift into a glorified squat with the barbell attached to your hands.

I think you're doing great, so please take what I've written with a grain of salt. I could be completely wrong, but it works for me.

All the best,
Lifting heavy stuff is fun and relative......
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:26 AM   #3
Garrett Smith
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Thanks Arden. Actually, I've been doing a lot of OL, so you're definitely right on.

I've never done much DL-specific work...back when I wanted to in med school, I hadn't figured out my mid-back pain well enough to do any consistent training (it would always get aggravated from DLs especially). Now that I've got it under control, I'm going to do at least one DL workout a week. I think that's all I can handle, recovery-wise and schedule-wise.

Will work on that (bar closer to body and sitting in) in my deadlift workout today at lunchtime!
Garrett Smith NMD CSCS BS, aka "Dr. G"
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:45 AM   #4
Neill Smith
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 111

I'm not qualified to say what's good or bad, but I noticed two things relative to "the average" deadlift:
  1. Your feet are pretty close together.
  2. Your knees and feet look to be pointing straight forward.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:04 PM   #5
Craig Brown
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 220

That looks good, Garret. The things I can't see but help me out are remembering to fully lock out my arms as I set up- and not going so far back at the top. Feet, bar, back all look good for a max lift.

Dan John made an interesting comment on IOL a week ago:

"Kettlebell Swing. Plank. Ab Wheel. Deadlift.

All the same. "

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Old 03-31-2009, 12:52 PM   #6
Derek Simonds
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Location: Deland, FL
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You made it look easy Garrett. I am working hard on my DL'ing and this was the advice I received which goes right along with what Arden was saying.

For the deadlift try to get on your heels more and try to pull the bar back not up. Drive your upper back and head backward while you drive your heels thru the floor. You could try deadlifting while standing on some mats rather than regular for a few weeks than switch back. And push your ab and lat work.
In subsequent conversations Matt is really pounding in my head to pull back not up. Same thing Arden said about the bar path. I am really dragging it up my legs.

I have also moved my feet a little closer than before and the toes are turned out at about 10 degrees. You know my body type and this seems to be where I am most comfortable.

Here is an article that I have been using as a checklist for my DL'ing. It is from Mike Robertson.


Like I said before you made that look really easy. My last PR looks painful in comparison to yours, nice job.
What we think, or what we know, or what we believe, is in the end, of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do. -John Ruskin

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