T Nation

5/3/1: Deadlift Form Check


I just finished my 4th cycle of 5/3/1 with Deadlift day this morning. I’m hoping to get some feedback on my form because I noticed that my estimated 1RM really drops from Week 1 to Week 3. On week 1 of this cycle I pulled 9 strong reps at 302lbs (1RM = 393lbs). Today, Week 3, I pulled 2 reps @ 338lbs and failed on the 3rd (1RM = 360lbs).

The first video below is my second work set today (3x302lbs). The second video is my 1+ set (2x338lbs.) I noticed that my hips shoot up a bit at the start of the lift but I wonder if if’s because I’m starting with my hips too low?

Any advice/tips are appreciated!


Your form is good in the second video. In the first video, you did a mistake. You lifted the weight when it’s still rolling and not from a dead-stop.


It looks really good man, the only thing I would point out is that your hips are rising fast and that will limit how much weight you can really use. It kind of turns into a stiff leg dead after the start.


Thanks guys. Good catch on rolling the bar in on the first video; I didn’t even notice or realize I was doing that but will pay attention in the future.

My hips shooting up first is what concerned me as well. Are there any drills I can do or cues to focus on to fix it? I think my starting position is good but right now even when focusing to prevent it, it still happens a bit. My main focus cues right now are: deep breath, grab bar, lean back to engage hams and gluten, chest up and engage lats. As I start the pull off the ground I focus on bringing my shoulders back and hips forward.


I personally don’t see much wrong with your form.
In no way am I trying to insult here, but the attempt on the third rep did not seem genuine. It seemed more like you started pulling, the weight didn’t budge, so you quit. I believe if you had continued pushing the world away from you hard while gripping the shit out of that bar that you could have pulled at least one more rep.
I too have that problem with quitting too early on the deadlift because the effort requirement is so high when you reach a weight you aren’t used to moving.
For me, on deadlift plus sets, I need to get myself amped up or I won’t have an impressive set. Everyone is different though, find what puts you in the mood to ACTUALLY go hard on a plus set (while maintaining good form of course).


Hmm keep in mind that I’m a total noob, but a good cue I’ve been given to avoid moving the hips so early is to think about the starting motion as a leg press with the press placed on the ground. Think about PUSHING yourself away from the floor (instead of PULLING the weight up with you) while keeping the back neutral, this should keep the angle of the hips in place until you reach the knee level.
Also, it might be perspective, but when you set up for the lift and sit down before the first pull, it seems that you lean back and end up with the shoulder right above the bar and the armpit behind it, while I think you should have the shoulder a bit in front of the bar and the armpit right above it IIRC (but definitely wait for someone with more experience to weigh in on the matter)