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Confused About How I Should Deadlift


About a month or so ago I decided I needed coaching on the deadlift. So I found a powerlifting gym in the area and got instruction. The coach is a referee for powerlifting competitions, trains powerlifters and lifts himself.He's been doing it for 20 years. I think he knows his stuff but at the same time some of his advice on the deadlift is conflicting with what I've seen from other reputable sources (Mark Rippetoe, Andy Bolton) and I'm not sure which path to follow.

The pieceo of advice I'm not sure of is that he says at the start of the lift I should do "chest up and butt down." Whereas Rip and others and guys I've seen pulling huge weights in youtube vids keep their hips somewhat higher while still doing "chest up". I'm really not sure who is right. Also in an article on deadlift technique from stronglifts.com they talk about how the correct starting position depends on your body type. I'm 6'1" and 220.

Anyone have advice on how to find the right position for my body type? I've linked a vid that shows me pulling 275x5 a couple nights ago. How does it look? Can you suggest improvements for my body type?


I never considered Rippetoe a reputable source on the deadlift, haha.

There isn’t a whole lot to judge from that angle. The plates are covering your feet and shins at the starting point, which is where I tend to make a lot of my judgments. That said, I don’t see anything particularly alarming.

There is no one universal right way to deadlift. A lot of authors and lifters are going to have different opinions on the matter. You kind of just need to sort through it all, see what applies to you, and work on from there.


2 things.

  1. Your shoulder blades should be over the bar at the start.

  2. The bar will always travel up in a straight line. Hence, to determine the optimal distance from your shins at the starting position, drop the bar from the top position and see where it ends up.

Everything else falls into place once you get this set up right.


Above two replies have it pretty much covered. It’ll take you a little time to figure out your optimal starting position - just watch any level of any powerlifting meet and you’ll see a huge variety in pulling styles that all work just fine; not to mention that you can then look at sumo vs conventional…


Different things will work for different people. However, if I was starting out and had a powerlifting coach who knows his shit, I would just shut up and do what he says. No “but Rippetoe said”. IF something FEELS off, tell him.


You shelled out money and spent the time to go to a coach because you felt like you needed it, then turned around and doubted his advice because it didn’t jibe with what you already “knew” and had been doing. Unfortunately I can’t see your video for some reason, but if a powerlifting coach with 20 years of experience says your hips are too high, there’s a good change your hips might be too high.


I’m doing what he said. What you saw in the video was what he taught me. I just wanted second opinions on it. I’m the kind of person who distrusts all but mathemetical facts. Things like deadlift form and different body types are fuzzy stuff that isn’t fully figured out yet from what I can tell. Iunno, the lift felt good today. I contracted my lats more and everything felt tighter. Heres my stance for the first responder who wanted to see it. This was my coaches recommendation too. Feels good so I wont be changing this part. And yes he has me pulling barefoot haha. (he said wrestling shoes were okay too)


Wrestling shoes are awesome for conventional and sumo. I only found that out recently. Super comfy as all round shoes too IMO