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Old 03-31-2009, 11:06 AM   #1
Garrett Smith
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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
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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
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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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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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Old 03-31-2009, 01:04 PM   #7
Dave Van Skike
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i like it. good pull. very solid squatting it off the floor. that bar was movign too quickly. a couple good sessions and you're going to be in for another 20-25 pounds easily.

here's some minor considerations. keeping in mind,

a deadlift is a deadlift and a clean pull is a clean pull....and that said, it's my goal in life to screw up your motor patterns and convince you to do only power cleans and snatch hi pulls adn pull heavy from the floor all the time.

hip height looks fine,

the arch in your back is ummm...thorough,

i'd let it get a little more sloppy before I called it rounding.

I'd ditch the shoes for a while.

think about toeing out just a shade.

Are you hook gripping? if so good, if not start.

the lock out has too much layback.

..if you can sit back a little more at the start, the lockout will be solid.
Practical Strength
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:07 PM   #8
Liam Dougherty Springer
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Lots of good advice here...

Bar came up to quickly to be a true ME
It came off the ground easily which shows great hamstring activation and quad strength, however at top weights often the hips will tend to lead a little before the hams lock the pelvis in as the quads fail to have sufficient strength to initiate the separation from the floor... and this is were I think the slight bowing of the back comes from while there is simultaneously no spinal flexion or at least sufficient extension to be safe.

Also the lift shoes are not really of benefit in the DL if anything I think they can be a disadvantage do to a raised base in the begining of the pull.

I realize this has all been said its good to have supporting opinions as well as differing.

Other than that the basic form looked pretty stellar
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Old 03-31-2009, 04:13 PM   #9
George Mounce
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I agree with the others:

Lose the shoes.
Hips moved first, bar moved second (seconds 13/14 in the video)
Your back doesn't have to go that far back at the end, like Dave said there is no triple extension off the floor in the deadlift.

I bet if you did an opposing grip you'd put 50 pounds on that bar right now. And yes, you should be around 400#, cause you are way too fast for it to be anywhere near ME. If you aren't feeling like you are going to black/white out when doing a ME deadlift, you don't have enough weight on that bar. If you want to deadlift big, you need to put yourself at the point of making your brain fry itself from the CNS overload.
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Old 03-31-2009, 06:50 PM   #10
Garrett Smith
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

I do a frog stance for my OL, obviously I do my OL in the shoes. I'm thinking in order to fight off the screwed-up motor patterns DVS wants me to get , I want my stance and shoes to be as different as possible between OL and DL. So, OL will keep the shoes and the frog stance, DL will get (as of my workout earlier today) no shoes and a slightly-toed out hip-width stance.

I'll be totally honest, and from what you guys have seen you already know this--I'm a bit hesitant to go really really balls-out on my DL quite yet. As I do some heavier weights and get used to the grind, I'm sure that will change.

Regarding the grip, I did do a hook grip . Over/under grip does not feel right to me at all, even if I could lift more.

I really tried working more on sitting back today during the pull, with no layback at the top.

Craig, what is IOL?

I got Barry Ross' "Underground Secrets to Faster Running" e-book and started on a slightly modified version of it today. DLs are done above 85% always, weight is dropped at the top (no negative), followed by some basic plyometric drills, then 5 minutes rest between sets. It was interesting.

Again, thanks for all the feedback.
Garrett Smith NMD CSCS BS, aka "Dr. G"
RepairRecoverRestore.com - Blood, Saliva, and Stool Testing
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