T Nation

Dave Tate is wrong!

Of course I do not mean that–I am very weak (My best deadlift type lift is a 470 stiff-leg, due to an injured hip), he is very strong, and I only used that provacative title to try and get the attention of the westside lifters at this forum. I am actually very grateful for the excellent lifting advice he gives, and I think very highly of westside in general.

I seek their attention, because a week ago I posted a question about deadlift form, and no one responded, until today. My question was whether doing olympic pulls, with one’s shoulders in front of the bar makes it harder to deadlift correctly with shoulders behind the bar. I asked, because I have a really hard time deadlifting with my shoulders behind the bar. The response I recieved indicated that maybe it is not better to deadlift with shoulders behind the bar.

Now my question for the westside lifters is why should one deadlift with shoulders behind the bar?

Because Westside lifters don’t really care much about olympic pulls.

Because you need to learn to pull back instead of up. Yep, that’s about it.

your response raises another question for me: why do they not care about olympic pulls?

Olympic pulls put less stress on the cns and joints than actual deadlifts, and they allow you to train speed and build up the upper back. Naturally, one might avoid doing full cleans or even completing a power clean in turning over the wrists, as this would create unnecessary stress on the shoulders. But I would think high pulls, with various grips, from various heights, might be excellent.

what are you training for?
If it is soley to get a massive poundage on your deadlift then yes switch to a leaning back type lift, with more emphasis on heel drive. Try sumo deads aswell.
If you are just training for training sake (like most people round here) mix it up.
I do think if you do too much PL type DL i think it could negative impact on your OL.

Just Pick the weight up off the floor…come on dude it’s a deadlift.
Reach down grab it and go!
Shoulders behind the bar has a lot to do with ankle flexablity.

You may need to do snatch grip deads to build up your mid to upper back.

Stay tight and PULL!


I think you are right in that clean pulls and high pulls could be very beneficial exercises…I train westside and I like to use high pulls to hit the shoulders and the traps but I think it is just that WS lifters have gotten along and reached their goals without such lifts…kinda like with chin-ups, Louie says they are an excellent assist for back but that honestly most pler’s just prefer rows and face pulls, pulldowns etc.

To tell you the truth i dont like to awnser questions about deadlift or squat form becuase i see so many lifters with diffirent styles and techniques i dont like to limit myself…i like to watch videos and imitate rather than learning technique from articles…watch powerlifting videos at iron game and try all styles and soon you will find what works best for you…in my opinion technique is personal…who is going to tell Steve goggins or ron palmer they squat wrong becuase they dont squat ultra wide …NO ONE CAN…because there the best…bm

No matter how much I try I CANNOT get my shoulders behind the bar when I deadlift. I stopped trying a long time ago. Once I stopped worrying about it and concentrated on doing it my way I saw some very nice progress.

I kind of like the title of your post. It draws attention to a very important fact.

You have to figure out what works for you.