Dancing with the Deadlift Devil, Volume 1, Issue 3 – Evicting Demons

… Conventional … Sumo … Wide Sumo … Narrow Sumo … Speed Pulling … Form Pulling … Max Effort Pulling … High Reps … What is the answer? I recently told someone that when it comes to the deadlift, I sometimes feel like I am trying to crack the Da Vinci Code …

    I remember you were getting stronger when you just grabbed the bar and pulled – Owen Smith

“Dude, every time I see you deadlift I feel like you are changing something,” Jeff says.

“I know.”

What could I say. Instinctively, I wanted to slam him back, but I knew he was right.

“I remember you were getting stronger when you just grabbed the bar and pulled,” Owen says. He’s commenting on the paralysis-by-analysis surrounding my deadlift technique and he’s dead-on correct.

BUT Thursday night was different.

Thursday I realized I was going to finally defeat the Deadlift Devil and in 12 weeks the exorcism would be complete.

Here’s week 1 of the Program to Evict the Deadlift Demons:

Week 1:
Perceived Max: ~600

    Conventional Deadlift
    4 x 4 with 420 (70% of perceived max)
    2 x 2 with 480 (80% of perceived max)
    1 x 10 with 420 (70% of perceived max)

    GHR – 2 body weight sets

Eggers' Near Miss w 605 - pre-Deadlift Devil

Eggers' Near Miss w 605 - pre-Deadlift Devil

Here are some of the changes I’ve made and the reasoning behind them:

  • I switched back to conventional pulling. I wanted to love pulling sumo; I really did, but I never felt that strong. Maybe I need to work on my hip strength and perhaps I will come back to sumo pulling one day, but I until I get my strength up to where it needs to be, I don’t want to miss a pull due to sumo-technique issues (or feeling like I have the hips of a 90-year-old grandmother).
  • Speed work against bands wasn’t working for me. First of all, I found myself hiding behind the speed work, which is to say that on days where I was supposed to pull heavy and didn’t feel 100% I would do speed work. Part of the problem was that at the end of a training cycle I would look back over my training log to discover I was feeling less than 100% too often and therefore wasn’t pulling heavy enough frequently enough.
  • Secondly, with regard to speed work, somehow I wasn’t getting the carry-over to my max pulls.
  • I realized my powerlifting belt was too tight; it was inhibiting me from getting down to the bar; I’ve loosened the belt slightly and it’s made a big difference.
  • I’d grown to hate the deadlift and pulling heavy; I hated pulling – the pain in my hands (constant torn off calluses), bloody shins, and total body soreness. I’ve finally made the decision not to care about any of that anymore – in Owen’s words, I’m just going to grab the bar and pull!

I’m just going to grab the bar and pull!

Keep pulling!

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2 Comments to "Dancing with the Deadlift Devil, Volume 1, Issue 3 – Evicting Demons"

  1. October 30, 2011 - 1:17 am | Permalink

    You seemed to have found your groove Thursday night and I would advise you to keep the form and set up you had to pull as solid as you did. Keep doing it and you will be pulling 600 in no time. See you at the bar this Thursday.

  2. a's Gravatar a
    June 21, 2014 - 3:41 am | Permalink

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    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well,
    almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really loved what you had
    to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

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