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  1. #1
    Registered User alg0801's Avatar
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    Deadlift form. Weak off floor. Reworking my form. Should I Sumo?

    I posted a video of me pulling 405lbs recently. After watching the video I noticed that I was doing something closer to a stiff leg deadlift. My hips shoot up and I pull with my back nearly parallel to the floor. So yesterday I dropped the weight down to 275-315lbs and commenced a deadlift marathon. I believe I did somewhere between 25 and 35 deadlifts with very little rest. I varied my setup between reps to see what felt the best. These are my findings.

    for reference...this is my strongest position and starting bar position. I'm using all back and glutes.


    Conventional
    -The closer the bar is to my shin the weaker I feel (torso is parallel to floor)
    -I don't feel hamstrings activating off the floor
    -Any time my knee/hamstring is at around 45 degrees my torso is roughly parallel to floor.
    -If I place my torso @ 45 degrees, my hamstrings are parallel to the floor (not a powerful position)
    -Lower back became more fatigued than anything else
    -I'm stronger off the floor despite using very little hamstrings
    -Weak lockout

    My problems proportionally are that I have long femurs and a short torso (will measure later to confirm). So I gave Sumo a try.

    Sumo
    -Very weak off the floor. Less power/speed off the floor
    -Lockout is easy. Feels like I could lock A LOT more weight out, but I can't pull it from the floor.
    -This position is awkward but my torso seems to be in a better position to pull
    -Immediately after performing one proper rep sumo, my hamstrings felt extremely fatigued

    Am I a candidate for Sumo or do I just need to drop weight down and make a conscious effort to strongly contract my hamstrings before pulling from floor? Are my hamstrings just extremely weak? Really could use some help here guys. Thanks.
    Last edited by alg0801; 05-22-2013 at 07:31 AM.
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  2. #2
    1500 raw will be wrecked baxtej44's Avatar
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    fix your form, don't just switch to a different form.

    don't give all that long femur bull. work on fixing your form!
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  3. #3
    Registered User scorpionsf's Avatar
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    drop weight and fix form, as suggested last time

    or drop weight and pull sumo

    or pull both and use whichever is stronger in meets
    gym lifts/competition lifts

    squat ???/650
    bench 545/435
    deadlift 600/601

    Penn State Powerlifting
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  4. #4
    Registered User alg0801's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by baxtej44 View Post
    fix your form, don't just switch to a different form.

    don't give all that long femur bull. work on fixing your form!
    What? Long femurs means your ass will be further back and higher off the ground which effects your torso angle. A longer torso would be needed to achieve the same angle. It's all about proportions.

    I can drop the weight down to any amount and my torso is always angled the same way if I put myself in a position to pull the weight off the ground. I'm all for dropping the weight and fixing form...I just can't seem to get my hips down no matter what weight/starting position (conventional) I use.

    The only ways to achieve an angled torso for me are...
    - to start with my shins 3+ inches away from the bar so that forward knee movement reduces the height of my hips. This shifts the weight too far forward.
    -start with the bar against my shins and push my ass so far back that my hamstrings are parallel to the floor (weak position to pull)
    -or use a moderate stance width sumo form which has you pulling with your torso more upright (more upright for me happens to be around a 45 degree angle)
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  5. #5
    1500 raw will be wrecked baxtej44's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by scorpionsf View Post
    drop weight and fix form, as suggested last time

    or drop weight and pull sumo

    or pull both and use whichever is stronger in meets
    this is really all you need. if you want to pull conventional, stop using your femurs as an excuse and just keep working on your form. sure it may be "harder" with "long" femurs (whatever that means... who deems what long really is? kinda stupid in my opinion) all in all, you need to just work on form, no matter what you stick with (conv or sumo). what program are you on? are you making progress?
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  6. #6
    Registered User alg0801's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by baxtej44 View Post
    this is really all you need. if you want to pull conventional, stop using your femurs as an excuse and just keep working on your form. sure it may be "harder" with "long" femurs (whatever that means... who deems what long really is? kinda stupid in my opinion) all in all, you need to just work on form, no matter what you stick with (conv or sumo). what program are you on? are you making progress?
    "long femurs" or "short torso" is in reference to their proportion to your height or other parts of your body. You can argue it all you want, but the fact is, different proportions cause different leverages...meaning not everybody is designed to move the weight the same way. It has nothing to do with excuses. I'm trying to figure out the best mechanical position for myself to pull from so I can work on improving from a better base. If you don't have long femurs and a short torso (i can tell by your avi that you do not) then you have absolutely no idea how it feels to squat/deadlift with long femurs+short torso.

    Here is what it looks like to squat with long femurs (not me):


    Notice how far forward his torso has to tilt to reach depth. Hell, he doesn't even reach depth. Theoretically he could improve by squatting wider and moving the bar higher up on his back so that his torso can stay more upright.

    Conventional deadlifting with these proportions have similar problems in that your hips will be positioned higher and your torso will need to tilt more for you to pull the bar off the floor. Just like the squat, this distributes more of the work load on your lower back and less on your hamstrings. Hamstrings are far better at explosive power than lower back.

    From reading much about this subject, I have become interested in sumo deadlifting as it is often recommended for people with my proportions. After trying Sumo form, I am noticing that the strength in my hamstrings is lagging FAR FAR behind that of my lower back. All this means is that I'll have to lower the weight and catch my hamstrings up.
    Last edited by alg0801; 05-22-2013 at 12:26 PM.
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  7. #7
    1500 raw will be wrecked baxtej44's Avatar
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    i realize what biomechanics are.... do you realize that you just need to back off on weight and work on form? you have a few options, and they are pretty dang simple.

    1) continue what you're doing
    2) back off on your conventional weight and work on form
    3) switch to sumo at a lower weight and work up in weight


    that's really about it. i understand you may feel disadvantaged, but screw disadvantages, work through them! have you been making progress on your program? are you even running a real program?


    and yeah you can tell my body proportions by a small avatar screenshotted off of a video on youtube. you apparently know everything you need to know, so i'm not sure why you're asking for help here. we gave you pretty simple options. but apparently you have found out sumo is better for you... so go do it.

    i'm really not trying to be rude here... but if every time you hit a wall on a lift and decide to blame something without trying to fix it, then you won't make it very far. switch to sumo. see if you're better at it. if you are, continue to train both but compete in whichever you can lift more weight in. it's really simple and a topic that has been exhaustively covered in this forum hundreds of times. train both, compete in the one you lift more in.
    Last edited by baxtej44; 05-22-2013 at 12:47 PM.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Anthony21's Avatar
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    It seems you are very hard headed and won't take any advice so what's the point of this thread? Pull sumo if you want, if not fix your conventional form. Don't make a thread and when given the advice argue against it.

    Shut the fuck up and go train.
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    So, another OP needs help, OP gets good suggestions, OP argues against them


    Train both, get stronger, and compete with whichever method is strongest at that time.
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  10. #10
    Registered User alg0801's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by baxtej44 View Post
    i realize what biomechanics are.... do you realize that you just need to back off on weight and work on form? you have a few options, and they are pretty dang simple.

    1) continue what you're doing
    2) back off on your conventional weight and work on form
    3) switch to sumo at a lower weight and work up in weight


    that's really about it. i understand you may feel disadvantaged, but screw disadvantages, work through them! have you been making progress on your program? are you even running a real program?


    and yeah you can tell my body proportions by a small avatar screenshotted off of a video on youtube. you apparently know everything you need to know, so i'm not sure why you're asking for help here. we gave you pretty simple options. but apparently you have found out sumo is better for you... so go do it.
    Might give sumo a shot for awhile. If nothing else, my hamstrings will just get stronger. I don't know everything. I'm actually pretty clueless how I can fix this which is why I made this thread. "Lower weight" and "fix form" doesn't help me because I need to know specifically how to fix the form/setup. I've already changed my setup and I'm trying to make sure I'm much more tight before I pull...chances are it's still not correct.

    I am eating more now. I was too concerned with "aesthetics" and cut for far too long. I'm now eating 2900-3200 calories a day up from 1900. I am making pretty steady progress on routine.

    Routine:
    Push / Pull / Off / Push / Pull / Off / Off

    Push:
    Bench as many sets as possible @ my 3-4RM
    Squats as many sets as possible @ my 3-4RM
    OHP 4 sets of 5 (don't care so much about these)
    Weighted dips 2-3 sets to failure
    Tricep isolation 2-3 sets to failure

    Pull:
    Deadlift I mostly work with heavy singles @ different percentages of 1RM
    Weighted pullups 3 sets to failure
    Rows 3 sets 10-12 reps
    Bicep isolation 2-3 sets to failure


    I'm considering changing alternating between power and speed days for both push and pull. I also want to add some mobility work in outside of the gym.
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  11. #11
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    Gain some weight and your leverage should improve.
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    He posted same thing in misc with a vid of a 100lbs guy who never learned to squat , squating badly as proof of his femurs being to long. Comes to powerlifting section just to argue with people who have 450+wilks .... just ****ng lol
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    Originally Posted by untranslatedZA View Post
    He posted same thing in misc with a vid of a 100lbs guy who never learned to squat , squating badly as proof of his femurs being to long. Comes to powerlifting section just to argue with people who have 450+wilks .... just ****ng lol
    You seem to have missed the multiple videos of Layne Norton performing squats/deadlifts the same way. And nobody is arguing here.

    I'm asking for specific pointers (move closer to the bar, sumo might work better, etc...) and not blanket statements like "fix your form"...i believe the thread is basically asking how can I "fix my form" after all. I came here because people here are far more experienced than I am in powerlifting but it pisses me off when people who have typical proportions tell me that proportions don't matter. The same people will turn around and say things like "long arms make it harder to bench"

    I apologize if I have came across as hard headed in any way as I'm fully open to constructive criticism.
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    1500 raw will be wrecked baxtej44's Avatar
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    either shutup and ask for specific form help or just shutup and leave. this is just getting stupid now.
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    Originally Posted by baxtej44 View Post
    either shutup and ask for specific form help or just shutup and leave. this is just getting stupid now.
    I believe the original post is asking for specific form help to put me in a more mechanically strong position for my proportions.

    but please carry on giving me pointless advice (that I already know and have tried) like "fix form proportions don't matter"
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    your stance and grip width are too close
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    Originally Posted by alg0801 View Post
    I believe the original post is asking for specific form help to put me in a more mechanically strong position for my proportions.

    but please carry on giving me pointless advice (that I already know and have tried) like "fix form proportions don't matter"
    Umm... I believe the original post asked this
    Am I a candidate for Sumo or do I just need to drop weight down and make a conscious effort to strongly contract my hamstrings before pulling from floor? Are my hamstrings just extremely weak? Really could use some help here guys. Thanks.
    They agreed with the bolded part of drop the weight and fix your form. You didn't ask for anything else. I would start away from the bar a bit, pull back more, and keep that rear down just a bit longer allowing you to keep the back flatter more.
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    Originally Posted by Jason2459 View Post
    Umm... I believe the original post asked this

    They agreed with the bolded part of drop the weight and fix your form. You didn't ask for anything else. I would start away from the bar a bit.
    My mistake then. I probably worded the original post poorly. I'm just extremely confused as to what I can do to fix it. Will try starting further away from the bar. Thanks for advice!

    Originally Posted by ziyedb View Post
    your stance and grip width are too close
    Thanks I'll give it a shot.
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    OK, sumo = bar touching your shins, conventional = bar midfoot.
    As for your lift in the video, like i said on misc oyur setup is bad, u never actually get into a good position to start with so u are allready fighting a loosing battle. Your chest isnt up, so your whole upper body just falls over, u want the weight as close to your body as possible otherwise, same reason why a shoulder press db is easier than a side raise. As for more specific, u want to know what your weak spot is ? because u think u have 1 or two. Your weak spot is everything. My gf can lift 70kgs off the floor and lock it out @ 44kgs and 5'6". but she can barely lift 30kgs with good form. So for most people after 180kg they stall with bad form.
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  20. #20
    Registered User alg0801's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by untranslatedZA View Post
    OK, sumo = bar touching your shins, conventional = bar midfoot.
    As for your lift in the video, like i said on misc oyur setup is bad, u never actually get into a good position to start with so u are allready fighting a loosing battle. Your chest isnt up, so your whole upper body just falls over, u want the weight as close to your body as possible otherwise, same reason why a shoulder press db is easier than a side raise. As for more specific, u want to know what your weak spot is ? because u think u have 1 or two. Your weak spot is everything. My gf can lift 70kgs off the floor and lock it out @ 44kgs and 5'6". but she can barely lift 30kgs with good form. So for most people after 180kg they stall with bad form.
    Thanks man I will rep on RC. I've seesawed my lifts up and down (overall they're going up) on every phucking lift and it gets frustrating. I always end up finding out that my form wasn't quite right after doing it one way for months. I'd rather just start out right and not end up stalling months later.
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    srsly u ask for advice then ur arguing with the ppl trying to help u, kay then
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    You are not weak off the floor but you are gonna have big time trouble locking out heavier weight cuz you start with your ass in the air. You are basically doing a stiff leg deadlift which you will find out when you go heavier its a bitch to lock them out.
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    People are typically weaker off the floor with sumo pulls. Just fix your form and as some others suggested do both. Most importantly...fix your form. I warm up with power cleans, then do some sumo pulls then go into my main sets with conventional pulling. I'm stronger conventional.
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    Originally Posted by alg0801 View Post
    Thanks man I will rep on RC. I've seesawed my lifts up and down (overall they're going up) on every phucking lift and it gets frustrating. I always end up finding out that my form wasn't quite right after doing it one way for months. I'd rather just start out right and not end up stalling months later.
    It sounds to me like you should find yourself a local PL team and work with them. If you've already discovered a bunch of form issues then I'm sure there are a bunch more that you haven't discovered and a whole team of hypercritical brutes watching your every rep will help with that tremendously.
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    Watch your form man. Also don't ask for advice if you're just going to argue against it.
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    And why was this thread bumped?
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