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Deadlift Technique for Bodybuilding


I saw an interesting quote from fitnessdr on youtube (this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qxAaGKKVKo ), in response to a question:

TheDarkKnight: So is there a difference between a powerlifting deadlift technique and bodybuilding?

fitnessdr: A powerlifter lifts the weight in the easiest way possible, while the bodybuilder concentrates on activating the muscle as much as possible.

The only trouble is that fitnessdr is a power lifter, and I am a bodybuilder. He has awesome technique and form. But what should a bodybuilder do differently than a power lifter on deadlifts?


Nothing? good form, high weights and mix up your rep range. Don't see many tiny guys with 500+ deadlifts.

Maybe doing SLDL's and RDL's in conjunction with normal deadlifts might add to your aesthetics but they'd probably help build strength from a powerlifting perspective too.


you should probably use a "stricter" form (e.g. not rounding your upper back) and use different deadlift styles, depending on your goal (romanian, sumo etc)


I can't really see any reason that the two should be different when talking about conventional style deads done with correct form.

A nice thing to add maybe would be a nice strong scapular contraction with a pause at the end of each rep...



Normally strength=size for the most part, so having a huge deadlift will result in huge muscles


Don't let C_C hear you say that, he does not feel that way. His gym has lots of 165ers pulling 550+ with little muscular development. =0)


Are there pics of him? If he looks like a massive Jason Stateham I might have seen him live.

@Topic: Well those 165ers are probably not going over 3 reps per set. Volume too low and eating is restricted. Competing in certain weight classes. No wonder they are "tiny". But very low Bodyfat.


All you need to know when training the deadlift (any variation) is when you are NOT training max effort (ie. ALL bodybuilding work) then you use perfect form to avoid injury.

PL only use a less than strict form when they are straining to get up the heaviest load humanly possible - ME. They are highly conditioned TO do this, and do NOT train with that form day in, day out.

This (lifting max effort/1RM) is not the goal for bodybuilding, and it isn't the goal for a bodybuilder training to increase strength either.

Lift with good form, even when training to increase strength. If you begin training for the numbers primarily, you will eventually do ME lifts (after a considerable amount of conditioning etc).


So are you saying in order to have a huge deadlift and to be big you need to train your ME with sloppy form each time?

It isn't that simple - the strongest men can often have the biggest bodies, but that 1) doesn't make them better bodybuilders and 2) doesn't mean they train using their ME form in the gym to get to where they are today.

As a bodybuilder, no matter what range i am training in i keep a certain lock on form. So when barbell rowing, i could easily throw another plate on each side for reps BUT i would not feel the muscle working the same.
I could easily strain to lift another plate or two in my DL, but i don't care about my numbers enough to do that when i can be more productive for MY goals in the gym.
I know that with spotter security i could press around 400 - ass up, wide grip - but i never do, sticking to 300 to keep tension and better form - even in the lower rep ranges (~3~4).

Not only all that but even if i were training for my poundages, i would do so with meet day form!

See where i am coming from?