Sunday, August 19, 2007

New Personal Best Deadlift

It always feels nice to have a new PR... I easily pulled 235lbs at The Press Gym tonight. My last DL PR was 225 in January. After the RKC in April, I haven't done any DLs until I trained with Mike Nelson last Tuesday.

I have decided to pull sumo. I have short legs, and this method feels good. I am still throwing my head back when I lift, something I am trying to train out of myself. Hopefully looking at my mistakes will help me to learn. I am very pleased with how easy this pull went up for me. This video is the third of three 235lb lifts I did tonight.

Training went like this...

Yoga with Lisa at Neti-Neti - 1.75 hours

DL's with Aaron

135 x5 - Conventional
185 x3 - Conventional
205x1 - Conventional
205x1 - Sumo
225x1 - Sumo
235x1 - Sumo
235x1 - Sumo
235x1 - Sumo

Pull-ups - 5,5,3,3,3


Tracy said...

I never could sumo deadlift.

Mike T Nelson said...

AWESOME work on the PR!!! You made that one look TOO EASY!! Nice job!

Yep, the head position is hard to retrain. Practice with a lighter load, do some Z outside toe pulls before you lift (at min), and try to add the Z "Chicken" drill right before you pull and see if that helps. If it is still hard, lightly rub the back of your neck for about 30 seconds before getting into position. Think tall spine.

Nice work! How did you feel at the end of the session? Next day!

I am excited to see you pull at the TSC! Another PR!

Rock on
Mike N

fawn said...

Thanks Mike! Now that I can SEE the mistakes I made, hopefully I can correct them. I will work on the movement with lighter weight. Thanks for the tips Mike.

Tracy, Sumo started out feeling weird... now it feels great! I think it is because my legs are stronger than my back.

fawn said...

Mike, after lifting Aaron and I both felt great. In fact, on the way home, (after splitting a protein shake) we joked about turning around and going back for another workout.LOL!

Today, my hams are a little sore and tight, so are my pecs. I did do about 45 minutes of Sun Salutations at yoga class. I'm not sure what caused what. Energy is good, I feel great!

One more thing... Aaron and I ran through Disk 1 of the R-Phase right before we went to the Press.

Royce said...

Damn, that's some nice DLing!!

Mark Reifkind said...

wow! great pr,especially after so long a layoff with deads. nothing transfers better to dl than kbs.Smart move to switch to sumo.much better biomechancially if you can do it, and safer.
you did notice of course the bar swing out as you came off the floor right? Get those lats tighter and pull the bar in closer the whole time.the wedge boss, the wedge.
each inch the bar is in front is worth about 50 pounds more on the back so keep it in close.
I have seen many great deadlifters lift with their head in that position; some things are tricky and hard to change.
train your weaknesses ,compete your strengths. Just some unsolicited advice.
congrats and keep the vids coming!

Mike T Nelson said...

Glad you felt great once you were done--that is a good sign.

Do you know of any top deadlifters that lift their head back? I pulled a bunch of video and I could not find many. What is the rationale that is commonly given for this? I am not trying to be a wisea$$ at all, just trying to understand better as I know many are taught this way.

Mike N

Aaron Friday said...

Of the three times she deadlifted this weight, this is the only time the barbell swung out like that. Yet, she chose this video over the other two :)

fawn said...


Thanks for the tips... I didn't see the bar swinging out, but I did feel it. I have no idea why I chose that clip... I think it was actually the worst one! LOL! Thanks for pointing out the visual. I totally agree, KB's really did help my DL. I can't wait to see where it goes!

Royce, thanks for the compliment!

Mark Reifkind said...


many of the sumo guys drive their head back as they pull,although to differing degrees. Mike Bridges, Ray Benemerito( a top 181, 198er)John Inzer. mostly its the lighter guys that are more flexible and really get a big lumbar arch and cervical arch.
Its all so individual. there is 'good' safe positition, and then there is where you are strongest,lol.

Mike T Nelson said...

Ah, gotcha and thanks for the follow up Rif-much appreciated. I should have been more clear that I was talking about conventional pullers, and I have not checked out the top sumo puller much to be honest.

I do think that it is possible to "rewire" your nervous system with lots of reps (SAID princiap), but for teaching I opt to go with the most efficient manner.

Try a standing hamstring test with a neutral spine and head position, then alter the head postion (look up) and many times it will test weak just from the change in head position.

Mike N

Mark Reifkind said...


I checked some back issues of PLUSA and found some conventional dl'ers with the head back at the start:
Lamar gant( wr holder at 123/661)
Diane Franz ( world record holder at 123)
ruth shafer( world record holder at 148)
jack sideris
bill calavier( 705 at 181)
diana rowell
steve wilson

these are all old timers from the 80's as that was the pl technique mag I grabbed but there are many others. it is SO hard to say WHERE one's individual optimal strength position is. I have seen as many variations as there are people.
It's all easy til its heavy,lol.

Mike T Nelson said...

Thanks for the history lesson--good stuff. I should have looked back in time more. I appreciate the work.

Yep, everyone is different but physiology from one person to the next it RELATIVELY similar.

thanks again
Mike N