I have 8 years’ training history and 6 years of powerlifting, mostly using 5/3/1 variations. When I compete, I deadlift sumo, but for the last 2 years I’ve been using conventional because I suck at it and need to get better. When I first started sumo I was able to lift around 100 lbs more sumo than conventional, but since then have been able to close the gap to about 30 pounds.
My issue is that I have some structural back problems (spina bifida occulta) and a short leg that tend to aggravate pain with conventional deadlifts. Lately I’ve switched back to sumo and have noticed a pretty steep reduction in pain, which has been great. I don’t, however, want to abandon conventional deadlifting. Right now I’m running Pervertor (which kicks ass, BTW) and am warming up with both stances, doing my working sets sumo, then going back-and-forth between sumo and conventional for the supplemental work.
I’m planning to stick with the above strategy, but if it gets to where I need to go sumo full-time to keep my spine and hips happy, will I be completely short-changing myself of the benefit of conventional deadlifts? Or am I better off to stick with sumo and work on mastering it more? Current max is 465 conventional and 495 sumo. Obviously my short-term goal is to break 500.