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Deadlift – The Bar Ain’t Bending

By | Chiropractic, Deadlift, motivation, Strongman, Training Tips | No Comments
The Bar Ain't Bending

The deadlift is the truest test of strength. It’s as simple as picking the weight up and putting it down. These are five points that I find to be most important for training your deadlifts.

Understanding The Mechanics of the Deadlift

Every individual, athletes or gym goer who does the deadlift are all different. Especially when it come to leverages and mechanics. Some athletes are natural born deadlifters with short legs, long arms and thick upper torso. Your deadlift stance can never be the same as Benni Magnusson or Eddie Hall but it can be adjusted to what will work for you. This can be resolved with tweaking or adjusting your starting position. How high or low your hips should be, your feet placement, hand placement, shoulders, chest and chin.

Here is the catch, from my own experience my deadlift style is constantly changing or evolving. It is also very dependent on the weight that is being lifted. The higher the weight on the bar, you will soon find out that what you have been using needs a slight tweak. Remember the smallest tweaks makes the most difference. I have to state that I am NO expert but I am still constantly learning from the best deadlifters in the world. Find a coach with experience, credentials and preferably not a $20 online coach with a generic template that he plagiarised from someone else

Cues, Cues, Cues

Every coach that you work with have their own specific set of Cues that make sure you practice. The ones I uses are Hips, Shoulders and Chin. These are the mental cues that I give myself

Hips
My hips or butt hover at parallel or slightly below parallel to the ground. The lower your hips the more hip and leg drive you will have.

Shoulders
This movement I tend to exaggerate a bit. It’s not so much a shoulder movement but it’s more of a pulling my scapulas together and then downwards to activate and lock in my upper back (lats, rhomboids, traps). If you also notice at this point. Your hips will dip a little lower.

Chin
Let’s face it, deadlifting is not the lift to make you feel or look pretty. I focus my gaze on something in front of me on the floor and tuck my chin in. This is just to make my lift more efficient and lessen the need for unnecessary movements. Once again this was the advice given to me by my Chiropractor who is an expert. The lesser lateral movement or shearing forces during the deadlift, the lesser chance of getting hurt.

Why you still suck at Deadlifting!

Let’s face it, if you go to a gym you are probably going to see some individuals attempting PRs every single training session. Firstly, you are not Larry Wheels or have the same lifestyle that he has. I’ve seen people who get hurt so often during training because listening to your coach or following the stated program is like a plague. Or maybe its opposite day everyday. When you get hurt, you tend to blame others. When you should be blaming yourself for your “ER or PR” mentality.

Your body is not designed to PR every training session. Every heavy training session that you have, put on a huge beating to your central nervous system (CNS). You need to learn how to regulate your training to give and allow enough time for your CNS to recover. Your muscles do the work and movement, your CNS is the one that controls your muscles to move all that weight. You can’t lift with your muscles alone you need both your muscles and CNS to work in sync. How do you know that your CNS is overworked. When you feel tired, lethargic or just have no mood to lift. Give yourself a day or two off from training to allow your CNS to recover.

Accessory Work and the 100 reps protocol

Doing deadlifts alone won’t improve your deadlifts. I’ve seen athletes who just do Squat, Bench and Deadlifts three to four times a week and expect different results. Doing three compound movements in a training session is demanding and strenuous. It also puts an incredible amount of stress on your CNS. You probably get better at the movement but the improvement will be rather scarce. You have to do accessory work. I dedicate one full training session a week for accessory work. Which means I train my back twice a week.

Volume days are incredibly long, tough and intense. Usually mine will look like this

Tuesday – Back Accessory Volume
– Seated Iso Metric Pull Downs (Hammer Strength)

20 reps x 5 sets
– Seated Pull Downs (Hammer Strength)
20 reps x 5 sets
– Dumbell Rows on Incline Bench (I usually superset this with the Hammer Strength movements)
10 reps x 10 sets
– Seated Rows
20 reps x 5 sets
– Shrugs pyramid (Smith Machine)
1 plate – 20 reps
2 plates – 20 reps
3 plates – 20 reps
2 plates – 20 reps
1 plate – 20 reps
(Thats 1 set… I do 2 sets)
– Face pulls
20 reps x 5 sets

Why 100 reps for all exercises? The real question is. Do you want to stand on podium or finish 4th with a difference of 5kg or 2.5kg. Nobody cares about how difficult or how sore you are. Nobody Cares, Work Harder!

Thursday
Deadlift (Volume/Speed/Max Effort)
Reverse Hypers
GHD
Face Pulls
Abs

Importance of Self-Regulation

Before you think that you can go balls to the walls and lift heavy every single day. You need to understand and accept that there will be some training days that are just terrible. These days you will feel tired, lousy or just not in the right frame of mind. Its important to acknowledge days like this and stop whatever you are doing, take off your gym shoes and head back home.

This probably caused by Your CNS being over worked, not enough sleep or stress from work/school. This concept of Self-regulation is important for longevity. You want to be doing this for a long time. The longer you stay in the sport injury free, the more achievements you will achieve.

I hope you find this article to be useful for your training. In the meantime train hard and stay injury free!

365kg (800lbs) in Static Monsters Loket, Czech Republic