T Nation

Deadlift Critique


Hi All, I was looking for a few guys to pick apart my pull. I am 40@198, This is my 6th time pulling in 14 years. I have just recently decided to start powerlifting again while my body still allows it. I loaded up the bar at the end of my workout just to see how bad my form breaks down. My best pull at 198 was 715. That was in 2002. This is the most weight that i held on to since. I am natural and would like to once again shoot for high 6’s. Thanks in advance for the help!!!



I have several pointers here.

  1. The bar is too far away from your shins, if you watch the first thing that happens when you pull is the bar moves backward towards your shins and your butt shoots up. Move the bar back, start with your butt a little higher.

  2. Right before you pull you bend your arms and don’t pull the weight off the floor as smoothly as you shoot, this also gets you out of position and shoots your but up a little. But your body does this because it puts itself in the best position for you to pull automatically, so as I said start with your butt a little higher. Treat your hands like hooks and your arms like ropes attached to your shoulders. They should be complete straight and have very little tension in arms. Pull the slack out of the bar slowly and then put all your effort into it. It will put your in a much better overall position.

  3. As that bar passes your knees you start to rebend your knees and hitch the bar. This would not pass in a powerlifting meet. Best thing to do here is just be patient and keep grinding, don’t try to manipulate the bar as it slows down. The best path too move a bar is in a straight line, by rebending your knees you move it around a little.

  4. So to recap, start with bar closer to your shins and butt a tad higher. Don’t bend arms right before your pull, apply force to bar slowly to pull slack out of bar and then pull the shit out of it.

Freaking strong pull though man!


Thanks! I knew the bar was away from my shins that is unusual for me to do. I never realizes that thing with my arms. The hitch I think happened because my bar wasn’t in a straight line and that it was heavy. I also feel as if my set up took to long. I need to not think about it walk up and pull. I also never “sat” into my deadlift.


@pamike If you have only pulled 6 times in 14 years I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t get to high 6’s with a little more pulling frequency.


I don’t think you’ve got much to worry about. But, I pull 100+ lbs less than you at 220 so what do I know? I’ve seen way worse. Watch your knees and thighs coming under the bar is all, as you can risk getting red lighted for that in some feds.

The thing I’ve learned really boils down to: if you’re not getting hurt, the weight is increasing and you get white lights at meets there’s not much to worry about.


Maybe try packing your lats, straightening your arms, and locking your feet into place to help create more stability and thus more power. I would also try holding your neck in a more neutral position. Everyone is different though. Overall that was a very strong lift.