… 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.
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:
Perceived Max: ~600
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
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!